SN // upstairs brain

SPN 10.21 Dark Dynasty: Bitter and Bothered

Hi there, long time no write and all that...just haven't had much time as I'd like. But I need to vent about tonight's episode, and the general direction of the show. Supernatural, why do you do this to me?


This is one of those times where I question why I am still watching this show. I mostly still enjoy it, but they HAVE to stop with all the unneccesary deaths. Dark Dynasty was mostly just tedious until the last quarter, and then Charlie ran off and I thought, "They wouldn't really kill off Charlie, would they?" Now, not only is she dead, but she's just the latest in a long list of collateral damages. It's just Kevin Tran all over again. I had really grown to like Charlie and I think she would've been much more useful to them alive than dead. I'd like to hope her death will mean something, will help the boys find a cure, but I also know that the amount of people who survive an encounter with the Winchesters is pretty damn small, especially at this point. So it's not likely her death will have much of an impact, and it's that death in vain that hurts the most. Oh sure, they might mourn her temporarily, but then it will be like she never existed. Nevermind the fact that there are pretty much no female characters left now, other than maybe Jody Mills, who's been reduced to a babysitter for wayward brats. (Also: Frankenstein?! Really original!)

Probably the most annoying part of watching Supernatural lately is the following points:
One: how repetitive and predictable the storylines have become. I know in ten years, the writers have probably run out of ideas, but that doesn't mean you should recycle old stories and repeat the same patterns. I can't point to a specific example of this, but pretty much since season 3 at least, the main story arc for the season has gone like this: Sam and/or Dean gets into a life-threatning predicament and needs to go to great lengths to restore his soul/mind/fill-in-the-body-part. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Maybe this is why my overall favourite season is season two -- it introduces some new characters, it has a lot of great episodes, and it's generally more carefree in tone. The fate of the world doesn't rest on their shoulders. And while there is an arc that involves finding the yellow eyed demon and the whole special children thing (that didn't amount to much), there was less of an established storytelling pattern or a sense of 'this is how we always do it.' I don't really know how to describe it, but it just felt a bit fresher, more energetic. Sometimes, we'll get an episode like Fan Fiction that proves the show is still capable of the old magic, but that makes it all the worse when we get episodes like that one where a guy turns into a dog, because it has the potential to be better than that. There are actually only a few episodes in ten years that I really dislike, but several more that I find just boring or forgettable. In a way, this is worse, because once you've stopped caring about the characters and what happens to them, there's no point watching anymore.

Which brings me to a related point: dropped storylines. I've lost count of how many potentially amazing storylines have been teased and then abandoned within the first few episodes of the season. This season's demon Dean storyline is only the latest example of this, and it's really disappointing. For one thing, Dean wasn't evil, so much as sleazier than usual - he was sort of acting the way Sam did when he lost his soul. Not really bad, just directionless. If they were going to make him evil, then make him evil, not just drunk. All we really got was a few moments of Sam and Dean playing cat and mouse in the bunker, and I could have easily watched a whole episode of just that. It would have really upped the tension to see Sam try to deal with this new side to his brother and maybe make peace with having to lose him. But they rushed in and cured him far too quickly, and now it's all about the Mark of Cain. Which is sort of problematic, because how do you remove something so powerful? Surely, they can't be the first ones to try. It paints writers into a corner when they make a character invincible like that. It's also why characters like the Leviathans didn't work: intriguing concept, poor execution.

Finally, getting back to what I said earlier, I hope that Charlie's death is meant to be some sort of catalyst for change, but I doubt it will be because Winchesters LIE. Or conveniently forget to tell each other crucial information until it's too late to fix things. This is the thing I find most frustrating about the show. I just want to knock some sense into them! They keep hiding things from each other, over and over again, as if it's the only way they know how to function. Take tonight's episode: Charlie's upset that Sam didn't tell Dean what he was up to, and she ends up dead. And now Sam is probably going to feel really gulity, which could have all been avoided. I understand he doesn't want to hear lectures from Dean and he knows he won't approve, but come on, guys! We've been down this road so many times before! It's a cheap way of manufacturing drama, and it's not as effective as it once was. I just wish they'd both realize that they could get more accomplished if they worked together, instead of trying to go it alone, because that never ends well.

So, that's where I stand. It feels good to admit what been bothering me about the show for so long. I'll still be watching and muttering over here to myself because I believe in seeing things through to the end, but I'm losing faith that the show and I will end on good terms. I really hope I'm wrong.
  • Feeling: aggravated aggravated