Saturday, May 21, 2011

Supernatural Season 6 Wrap Up

Who said happily ever after is not possible?

This was the last line from my post discussing Supernatural season 5 finale. Well, apparently I had spoken too soon because it’s clear there is no happily ever after in Supernatural universe. Even worse: there is no happiness. Period.

But let’s take it from the beginning. Season 6 had a slow start, it kind of dragged for the first half of the season, if it went any slower it would have started crawling backwards. Key plot points: Sam is back, Dean leaves Lisa and Ben and returns to hunting, there’s a war in heaven between two factions of angels led by Castiel and Rafael, Sam’s soul is missing, the boys team up with Crowley, a bunch of creepy Campbells show up out of nowhere for no reason whatsoever, Death retrieves Sam’s soul, the quest for purgatory continues, there’s a new Mother of all monster on the loose, the boys travel back in time and to alternate realities (hi, Ellen!), and then it all goes high wire in the end as expected because, after all, this is Supernatural.

Yes, it took this many lines of text to sum up everything that happened in 22 episodes, less than half a year, if we don’t count the hiatuses, of watching. And if I ever hear of soulless-Sam, Campbells and Mother of all again it will be too soon. There were some lame Twilight parody, dog-shifters, dragons, mannequins and worm-monster, and the two episodes that were meant for comic relief (“Clap You Hands If You Believe” and “The French Mistake”) were miles away from the comedic gold of “Yellow Fever” and “Changing Channels”. Actually, the only two scenes really worth a laugh were Dean fighting a Fairie and later on a stone.

As far as complete episodes goes, it’s odd to say the best one only featured the boys for like five minutes, “Weekend At Bobby’s” (directed by Jensen Ackles, which might have counted for something). Other good ones were “My Heart Will Go On” (in which Ellen and Jo were still alive, though we only got to see one of them), “Mommy Dearest” (the awful Mother of all actress got replaced by the all too familiar Samantha Smith, and Dean was smart as bonus), and “Frontierland” (for diversity – what was that saying? Save a horse, ride a cowboy? Me turning in a big supporter of that!). Not too bad but deceiving, making us believe there was light at the end of the tunnel, were “Appointment In Samara” and “Caged Heat”. But this is less than a quarter of the season, so not a good quota as a whole.

Ah, the characters… Sam and Dean had it rough for most part of the season. Dean got to play family man for a year, which is going to haunt him for the rest of his miserable life because the poor bastard has always wanted a family, but then Sammy had to show up and drag him back to the hunter life and babysitter role. Jared Padalecki got to play robo-Sam and that was, I suppose, a nice change for him as an actor. Robo-Sam was entertaining for like an episode, when his behavior made sense, though most of the time it didn’t. Then it was back to whining and being a tortured soul. While amnesia sucks, sometime I think that both brothers’ trips to hell are the bane of our existence, not theirs.

Our helping hand trio – Bobby, Castiel, Crowley – is fine and well, doing same old, same old. We’ll be seeing them again next season, though no idea for how long. Chuffed that Crowley got away, he makes this bleak show bearable. Lisa and Ben made it out alive, that was a nice surprise, but they’re still lost to Dean. For the record, I hated the memory wipe. To compensate, the entire Campbell clan got ganked. Big cheers when the last one bit the dust, they were the most annoying characters ever. Talking about annoying, Meg made an appearance. Is she still alive? Don’t remember, don’t care.

Rufus died, he was fun, Bobby’s ex lady friend died too, she was really nice, and Balthazar did too. Miffed. That was one angel who knew how to enjoy life. He will be missed. Didn’t see enough of Raphael for his death to make an impression. Did I miss anyone? I don’t think so. The show is sticking to its tradition and all the good ones are dead. Maybe that’s why Sam and Dean keep being resurrected, because their characters have degraded so much and they’re so far from being awesome that they don’t qualify as dying material anymore.

I’ve left the last three episode towards the end because they represented a change of pace and plot. It would have been more effective if it had come sooner into the season, but the way it was they didn’t help the plot much and failed to make it believable, which was always a problem this season. With all Castiel’s innocent and child-like usual behavior, the sudden insight into his head showed us parts of his life and struggle we weren’t aware of. Still there was not enough build up to grant the big turn from the finale. Misha Collins did a good portraying the former fallen angel, now contender to heaven leadership. Some of the scene cuts were clunky and out of synch with the sound, but it can be considered an artistic decision made by first time director Ben Edlund.

While Lisa and Ben’s presence this season didn’t make much sense just to be taken away at the end, it gave Jensen Ackles the chance for very emotional, bad ass acting. That was an Emmy worth performance, too bad Supernatural will never be taken in consideration for one. It’s moments like these when I feel bad for Ackles, who is stuck in such show where his qualities as an actor are little recognized.

The finale was half focused on Sam and the wall in his head and half on the showdown between the archangels and the king of hell. Personally, I think it would have worked better if they had covered one episode each. I mean if they could make a whole Castiel, respectively Dean, centric episode, they could have given one to Sam too. It seemed only fair, and that story was actually interesting if it wasn’t that rushed. Was the whole wall from hell a hoax? Apparently so.

Ah, well… we’ll finally getting to the finale, the last five minutes of it. Many fans will argue that Castiel going baaad is the end for his character, he’s ruined for good. I was never a big Cas fan, used to find him a little boring at times, so I don’t know. Depending on the writers, this might or might not work, but since I don’t have much hope left in them I won’t hold my breath.

I’m more worried about the boys. They have officially nothing left to live for, and their perspectives for the future are bleak. Chances are Dean will end up as a drunk and Sam as a psychopath if they even get to live that long, which is debatable since Castiel doesn’t seem prone to save their asses left and right any longer. So I’m a little worried about them. A little more. It can’t end well for them. This show should come with a warning: viewers with depressive tendencies must avoid at all costs.

Well, this is it from me this season. Have a nice, TV free summer, and see you back in the fall!

No comments: