Supernatural: The Road So Far

Well, we’re gearing up for the second half of the 5th season (and Supernatural HAS been picked up for a sixth season, yay!) which will close out the current storyline. I had gotten so frustrated with shows like Lost and Heroes that seem to go from season to season with no plan for a major storyline, or at least a storyline that is inconsistent, that I am still amazed at the pure awesomeness of the writing on Supernatural. What do I mean? Well, I’ll put some things in spoiler boxes in case our friends over the pond aren’t caught up yet…

[spoiler]This season, it’s been spelled out pretty blatantly that Sam and Dean are part of a very special bloodline, running all the way back to Cain and Abel, and that this bloodline is a reflection of the relationship between Michael the archangel and Lucifer, the fallen angel. Sam is Lucifer/Cain and Dean is Michael/Abel, at least in symbolic form. There is also a recurring theme of predestination versus free will, one that has been a classic debate throughout the ages.

Now, TNT has been running previous seasons’ episodes on TV and online, and it amazes me how far back the foreshadowing goes. Granted, not much of it in season 1, but in season 2, episode 1 Azazel the Yellow-eyed demon asks their father, John, how long he’s known about Sam…and John says he’s known for a while. We later find out that John’s last words to Dean are that he has to save Sam…and if he can’t, he has to kill him.

Season 2 episode 9, Croatoan, Sam has a vision of Dean shooting an innocent man who he thinks is infected with a Croatoan virus; Dean appears ready to fulfill the prophecy…but at the last minute he exerts his free will to avoid the killing. So was Sam’s vision wrong, or did Dean manage to thwart the so-called destiny that was planned for him? A question that comes up time and again now.

During the same season, Gordon Walker, another hunter, determines that Sam is utterly evil and must die, and enlists the aid of other hunters to try to carry out that feat. He’s convinced that Sam is the antiChrist. At this point, remember, we know very little about Azazel’s plans for Sam, and in fact we know nothing about Dean’s role in all of this on the cosmic scale.

Season 2 episode 13, Houses of the Holy, is the first mention of angels that I can think of in the series, and while Sam desperately wants to believe in them, Dean is bitterly opposed to belief in angels. While visiting the local church, Sam notices the stained glass windows and asks if one depicts the archangel Michael, and the priest says yes, and that he uses his flaming sword to smite evil and such…and the camera briefly focuses on Dean as he says this. Back in season 2! They end up not quite believing in angels but Dean sees events that make him wonder about a divine plan in motion…

Season 3, ep 4 Sin City, as Sam rides with the (unbeknown to him) demonic priest to try to find Dean, he mentions that Dean is his brother, and the demon/priest makes an offhand crack about being “his brother’s keeper.” Nice![/spoiler]

I’m sure there are many more moments that I’m missing here; the point is, it’s so satisfying to have a series that has a five-year arc that seems deliberate and purposeful, to the point that re-watching previous seasons sometimes makes you think, “so THAT’S what that was all about!”

So where do they go from here, since Eric Kripke has said that for sure the current mythology will be resolved? How do you top this season?

My vote: Cthulhu.

Well, first of all, Kripke has said that next year is going to be a return to the style of the first season - no overarching myth, just Sam and Dean driving around the country, kicking supernatural ass.

BUT Kripke is also not going to be around. He’s stepping down, or his contract didn’t get renewed or…something. Sera Gamble, who’s a long-time writer for the show, is going to be taking his place. Some fans are already a little nervous that it will now turn into the Sam Show, because she seems to have a pretty clear bias as to which brother she likes best (or likes to see shirtless), based on her writing credits, but I doubt it. It’s not like she’ll be the supreme overlord of the show or anything, they have a whole team.

BTW, I love that you find the writing consistent. :slight_smile: They’ve definitely done quite a bit of retconning, you know, and they’re almost ridiculously susceptible to fan opinion. The whole angel thing was not part of the original plan, I don’t think. (Sam was supposed to save Dean from going to Hell at the end of S3, but the writers’ strike screwed up their plans and they had to come up with a solution for how to get him out of Hell in S4.) Castiel was almost certainly not supposed to be such a major character - a lot of his role was originally supposed to go to Anna, but then the fans turned out to love him, and the role was expanded.

I do think the retconning is quite cleverly done, though!

I may be mildly obsessed with this show.

It seems that almost all of the female characters have been hated on this show, so I can see why Anna would be on the outs versus Castiel. I think Misha Collins has done a GREAT job as Castiel and the show is much better for having him on board. I thought Anna was hot, but then I thought Jo was hot, and that Bella was hot and Ruby was hot (both of them) and I thought that Pamela the psychic was SUPER hot, but they have to go with the majority of what fans want I suppose.

I love that Momma Mary was a kick-ass hunter who can at least cut an angel. Not an easy feat!

I wasn’t aware of much retconning, though. Apparently they had to retcon a bit whenever females were introduced, since the predominantly female base seemed to hate all of the potential love interests. (I think it was really intended that Jo would be the major love interest for Dean at some point, but then they realized that it worked better for Dean to be a player, a drifter with no ties to anyone) Maybe Dean going to hell was outside the lines a bit, but as I wrote there were definite signs from season 2 that there was some major plotline, some kind of epic destiny at work. Maybe the details were adjusted, but I do think that the idea was always there, that these two brothers were symbolic of Michael/Lucifer and Abel/Cain. There’s just too many small references to that mythology for me to think otherwise.

BTW Kyla, you mentioned that Sam was supposed to save Dean and all the angel thing was not supposed to be major…what source did you get that info from?

This is exactly what I want to hear. If the angel crap keeps on much longer, I’m out of here. IMO, it ruins Supernatural the way the conspiracy stuff ruined X-Files.

They retcon, but they retcon well. Like

The Trickster really being the archangel Gabriel.

No way they planned for that. But it turned out to be such an awesome reveal that who cares?

I’m a bit nervous about Kripke stepping down. Now I like most of Sara Gamble’s episodes, and taking a bit of the obsesive focus off of Dean sounds like a good thing to me, but for some reason the words “Marti Noxen” keep running through my head, like a piece of a traumatic and repressed memory that I can’t quite recall.

Oh god, I don’t even know. My post is my cite? This is just one of those things that’s well-known in SPN fandom. I don’t go to conventions myself, but a lot of things that people ask at cons sort of pass into the fandom hive mind. I know an embarrassing amount of stupid shit about this show and the people who work for it*, and I’m not even sure where it all came from, since I don’t usually actively seek out information. Osmosis or something.

*Did you know that the license plates on the Impala are from Ohio because that’s where Kripke’s from? And that Misha Collins has a degree in cultural theory from the University of Chicago? Shit like this is taking up space in my brain that I should be using for remembering birthdays and whatever.

You’re not the only one. Such pretty, pretty boys. :slight_smile:

That’s only the very, very surface, too. I’m just afraid of looking like a crazy stalker in front of all of you nice people.

facepalm

I’m surprised CW is bringing them back next year. I’m hoping they do, indeed, stick with their plan to make this year wrap up Lucifer, and along with it, the yellow-eyed demon’s plan.

Go right ahead. :slight_smile:

Yeah, it starts with the pretty, but the story lines and the humour and the sharp writing and the interaction with the fans, it’s all good.

I was VERY surprised. They have always talked about a five year plan and then…hey, a sixth year! What? (It’s the CW’s second-highest rated scripted show, and, in my opinion, by far the best. But it doesn’t fit in at all with the sort of atmosphere the CW is trying to create, and they do a *terrible *job of promoting it.)

Can’t say I’m not pleased, though.

Too scared to start into it. Fandom has always been an influence in what media I partake in, and I’m not sure I could get into this show and avoid the fandom. Which I really, really want to do. I lived through Gundam Wing and Final Fantasy VII - I don’t want to go into Supernatural being a het shipper which I’d probably end up as. It’s a mix of Sam/Dean/John/Castiel or bust in the fandom.

Awww, come on. The fandom isn’t nearly as crazy as it’s made out to be.

(Although it is pretty crazy.)

It’s still fun, though. I’d rather be in a crazy, big fandom than a boring, small one.

Um, for people who just watch the show without feeling the need to get into fandom shenanigans, SPN’s fandom has earned itself a reputation for being probably the craziest, wankiest, and worst-behaved TV fandom on all of the internet*. In general, I think the reputation is overblown, although there genuinely are some total lunatics out there making everyone else cringe in embarrassment.

It’s possible I find all of this hilarious.

*I say TV fandom because there are book and movie fandoms that are even more infamous. Harry Potter and Twilight, looking at you.

Daylight savings times, you utter bastard. See, our new dvr won’t record new programs on the channel we get “Supernatural” on, and the vcr downstairs is too old to have the new DST time, so I was able to tape about five seconds of the end of “Supernatural” last week. Dammit. Oh well, I’m planning to buy all the seasons eventually, so it will all be fresh and new to me. :slight_smile:

You know we’re still on hiatus, right, so last week’s episode was a rerun? New episode this Thursday, though. \o/

Oh. Well, then, carry on. :slight_smile:

As someone who also appreciates the fairly tightly-written arcs, this does scare me a bit. I feel like S5 so far has had way too much filler- the APOCALYPSE IS OCCURRING! Why are we still seeing in monster-of-the-week episodes? Why isn’t some of the awesomeness of Abandon Hope spread out over more than one ep?

So I am a bit worried, and I hope this whole ending of the universe thing doesn’t drag on into the next season.

They say that the end of the universe will be done this season, and that next season will be a whole new arc. I’m hoping they really up the ante in the last several episodes of the season. Some of the filler episodes were amusing enough, but seemed out of place when the fucking Apocalypse is going on.

BTW, if you like the SPN cast + apocalypses, you must keep your eye out for the upcoming Stonehenge Apocalypse. It sounds…amazing.

New episode tonight, yayyyyyy.

It is entirely possible to just *watch *a television show. And the need to talk about it could be met here. You couldn’t pay me to follow the TWOP forums on this show, them people is crazy.

That said… het ship WHO? Are there any major female characters on this show who aren’t dead?