“I mean, horror is one thing, but to be forced to live bad writing…”
Andrew Dabb is maniacally laughing at us. No, he’s doing more than that. He’s recklessly speeding away in the Lamborghini after delivering a giant “screw you” to the entire fandom, finally crashing the car in a spectacular wreck. I guess I should be happy that’s he’s driving it more than 35 mph, but that’s about the only pleasing thought I had after watching him blow apart everything and anything just because he could.
Anyone who has read my reviews over the past few years knows that I have been a harbinger for bad writing in “Supernatural.” I have been screaming “foul” loudly to the mountaintops, lamenting in agony over what in the world happened to this once great show. Well, somehow, Andrew Dabb found a way to hand wave it all. Canon, what canon? Story, what story? He delivered a ludicrous enough scenario to freaking justify every single plot, good, bad, embarrassing and just plain campy with one cheat, writers lie. They can do what they want and don’t have to follow any type of rules. It’s all the work of a writer who’s basically telling us we should just feel lucky that we’ve gotten to watch this long. Not feeling the love here.
“Moriah” as an episode itself wasn’t half bad if you completely ignored the writing. From a technical standpoint, it was one of the best I’ve seen in a while. I loved the visual at the end with the swarm of zombies coming after Sam, Dean and Castiel with nothing but the most basic weapons at their disposal, the thundering “God Was Never on Your Side” dominating it all. Of course I then asked myself, “A swarm of zombies can’t kill Castiel, right?” I mean, will he go full out zombie when they take a chomp? It might take him a while to take them out with one angel blade, but he should be able to make it, right? I decided that I’d enjoy the visual better if I turned off the brain and dismissed such questions. Suddenly that made it better.
Yeah, if you totally ignored the fact that there was 14 seasons of canon before it, “Moriah” was great. One big takeaway did come from it; the cycle is now complete. Dabb and company have managed to totally deconstruct everything that has ever happened in “Supernatural” and made it irrelevant. They may call it “re-invention,” I call it bulls***. Not that it matters. I’m just a stupid fan.
For those that might not remember all the way back, Chuck was introduced in season four as the mouthpiece for Eric Kripke, the creator of the show. Chuck was the writer inserting himself in the story as a casual observer. In “Swan Song,” Chuck was revealed to be God, so that observer was also the one responsible for it all. He could help, but he put faith in his creations to come through. At the end of “Swan Song” he was proud of what his boys had done. Yep, it all fit Kripke like a glove. Kripke was an optimist among all the horror.
So, what's it all add up to? It's hard to say. But me, I'd say this was a test... for Sam and Dean. And I think they did all right. Up against good, evil, angels, devils, destiny, and God himself, they made their own choice. They chose family. And, well... isn't that kinda the whole point?
Now Chuck is the voice of Andrew Dabb. Let’s face it, he’s angrier, jaded, burned out, pessimistic and personally doesn’t give a f***. He’s the anti-Kripke. Heck, Dabb has spent years blowing apart any goodwill Kripke had earned with the fans. Remember his atrocious, “Season Seven: Time for A Wedding?” He took the sweet sentiment of “The Real Ghostbusters” and blew it all apart by making Becky a stalking psycho who took her Sam attachment way too far. Now he’s blowing apart another beloved Kripke fan favorite, Chuck. Here is Chuck in Dabb’s world, through the lyrics of Motorhead’s “God Was Never on Your Side”:
Let the voice of reason shine,
Let the fires vanish,
For all time,
God's face here,
You can't ask him,
What it all means,
He was never on your side,
God was never on your side,
Let right or wrong,
On our own decide
God was never on your side.
Oh yay, warm fuzzies…not!
Do Theories Matter?
I’ve read a lot of fan theories since the season finale aired. I’ve read this is all a ruse, that maybe it wasn’t Chuck or maybe we were in a mirror universe. Maybe it was Lucifer. Maybe it was the Entity. Well, I’m not doing that. I’m not going to look for any hidden clues or entertain any theories because it will be a colossal waste of my time. Nope, I am accepting this ending at face value, because that’s Dabb’s style. He has always told it like it is and has never gone for fancy tricks and switcheroos since he’s been showrunner. I don’t see him starting now.
Since I have to work with what I’ve got, I see some basic constructs here, but they all ended going off the rails. Sam, who through the series has shown faith in God and angels, totally loses his faith and lashes out at God. That brings on the wrath of God, which kind of sucks considering God is the writer. Sam in this case represents complaining fans, and the writer, aka God, has decided, that’s it, we’re done. Good times! Thanks for playing. You’re all suckers for caring.
Then there’s the setup where Jack will be the one to save us all just like his mother envisioned. I would be inspired by that, like I was when Kelly made that declaration while the boy was still in utero, but now Jack is as powerful as God. So this will be the war of two Gods? The way the whole premise has been presented seems to add complete futility to the Sam and Dean story. Our heroes will be down and out and Jack will burst in and save the day? Meh. I’m also sore that the whole Ma’lak box thing was a giant waste of time, but then again, so was the British Men of Letters. Maybe Chuck can make a joke about the box next season.
Raising the dead and all the past souls from Hell that Sam and Dean saved the world from has set up intriguing possibilities, but at the same time doesn’t that render the last 14 years useless? All their work undone by one snap of an angry God? That’s a great story? I do concede that Sam and Dean have spent the last 14 seasons averting the apocalypse. No matter what they tried, they kept staring at it in the face on a daily basis. It’s a logical way to go, the one big scenario that has never played out and should of. How do Sam, Dean and Castiel choose to deal with the fact that the inevitable has finally come? Personally, I think they’re going for the Butch and Sundance ending, our heroes are doomed and decide to die swinging, but at this point anything goes because free will is in the kit. Oh wait!
So must we accept now that the whole concept of free will, that underlying basis for the whole series, was an illusion? It could all be taken away by the snap of a finger by a character that has been beloved ever since he was introduced? He’s suddenly bad now? One phrase that constantly echoes in my mind when I write these reviews comes from Castiel all the way back in season four. “All roads lead to the same destination.” In that episode, “In The Beginning,” Dean couldn’t stop the horrible outcome no matter how hard he tried. No matter what choices you make, it all comes back to the same destiny. Are we finding out now that Castiel’s words have always been the case? There is no free will if God’s beloved creations bite the hand that fed them? It does feel like a huge cheat, doesn’t it? Maybe it does only because that all roads thing hasn’t been uttered since the Kripke years.
Once I stopped driving myself crazy in my analysis to find purpose, I also tried to consider the motivation of the writer. Is this the work of a burned out writer that didn’t have time to do a carefully constructed script? Is this the work of a writer angry at fans for artificially extending a story long beyond its shelf life all because they don’t know when to let go? Is this just the work of a careless hack that thinks that stepping on everything we hold dear is a brilliant twist and gutsy writing? I guess I shouldn’t question the motives of the writer but when the writer inserts himself into the story via Chuck, do I have any other choice?
Personally, I think Andrew Dabb wrote himself into a corner, no matter what his motives. What sort of outcome could possibly be satisfying? Is this what a deeply engaged audience all these years really wanted to see? I get that writers believe that they should take a direction that isn’t what the audience wants but what they need. Do we need this? Everything we have held near and dear all these years has been dismissed. It is a little hard to swallow the idea that Sam, Dean and Castiel were just pawns in God’s chess board this entire time and now he’s tired of playing. But that’s what we’ve got now and it’s canon. How can we rally behind that?
I’m trying like mad to imagine what scenario could happen in the final season that wouldn’t piss me off. If it turns out it was all a trick, then Dabb just spent the entire summer hellatus punishing us just because he thinks we deserve it. If it’s not a trick and the zombie apocalypse or whatever is among us, how can Sam, Dean and Castiel prevail without the vengeful God changing the outcome and tossing out anything that happened prior out the window again? If the entire season is trying to avoid what is the inevitable, they are all going down bloody, then will that be entertaining to watch? The more I think about this, the more I think this handwave has done unimaginable harm and now I have deep trepidation over how the end of this series will ever deliver the closure we need.
I’m one that believes in the old adage “with risk comes reward” but at this time, I just can’t buy what the writer is selling. God was just keeping the twists coming because he loved watching Sam and Dean? It’s his favorite show? Will this all end with a writer smiling and closing a book over a job well done, even if it was total s***? I can’t believe that the entire 14 years is a giant fish story all under the mantra that “writers lie.” It certainly rewards those that blindly accept the story for what it is just because Sam and Dean are on our TV each week and tells the rest of us who enjoy literary symmetry to f*** off.
So, um, yeah, final grade. Oh hell I just give up. Does it all really matter? I can give this one an F for Epic Fail but it makes no difference. People will watch the show anyway even when the writers have chosen to make a total mockery of us. So it might as well be an A.
Lights out until next season, and thankfully it’s the last.