My dear friend Clarissa at TV Overmind a few weeks ago asked me for a write up shortly after "Death's Door" aired on what I thought of "Supernatural's" season seven so far. She asked for comments from several bloggers for the show and came up with an amazing summary on what the overall consensus was from the blogging community based on the feedback she got. For those that missed this amazing article, here is the link:
TV Overmind Midseason Review of Season 7 So Far
I was so honored and pleased to see many of my quotes used in the article, but since then I never shared in it's entirety what I wrote. Only Clarissa has seen this until now. I know my opinion is not popular opinion overall, so I'm curious what all of you think about season 7 so far. We have 7 Days, 21 Hours, and several minutes and seconds before the show comes back, so this should be a fun distraction. All opinions are welcome! Below is my short commentary on the way I see it:
Season Seven So Far, by Alice Jester
The first half of Supernatural’s season seven is done, and I do have to say overall I’m enjoying it more than the first half of season six. Season six was a bold experiment with soulless Sam, but for me fatigue set in with the story line somewhere around episode 8. Just by ditching the noir theme alone season seven is an improvement.
Still, there’s something missing. Something that existed in the first five seasons that still hasn’t quite found itself again. Everything seems tired. Often times it looks like the brothers are going through the motions, and at this rate they probably are. After all, how much crap can they take? There haven’t been a lot of wins, and the losses keep mounting at a now annoying rate. First Castiel (a devastating blow for a fan like me), then Bobby’s house, then the Impala, and now possibly Bobby himself (another crushing blow). Sam and Dean vs. the world was the season one theme and I get why the writers would take these characters to that place again. I’m just not entirely sure if I like it this go around.
The question is, how much suffering can these boys go through and it still be compelling to watch? Instead of being fascinated by the possibilities, I’m seeing a lot of missed opportunities. I for one came into this season most intrigued over the idea of Sam’s wall breaking inside his head. All those memories of a hundred plus years of intense torture in Lucifer’s cage in Hell, all those memories of what his soulless self had done during that year and a half, it surely had to wreak some serious havoc on the younger Winchester’s psyche. It has, but so far there has been very little payoff in that department. “Hello Cruel World” is a brilliant depiction of his psychotic break, and then it all went away too easily. Sure, it’s entirely possible that its going to come back and bite Sam hard in the second half, but that doesn’t leave me any less disappointed over what we’ve gotten so far.
Then there’s Dean. His story line makes some sense, but it hasn’t been all that interesting. In the season premiere, of course he had every right to feel depressed and defeated. He knew better than to believe that Sam was okay, and it was only a matter of time before everything was going to go bad. But it’s been hard watching him limp along in these episodes, getting more cranky and complacent with circumstances (not to mention drinking a lot more) rather than angry and fired up. He had every right to ask why they should keep saving the world. Why did it take until episode nine for him to start verbalizing those questions though?
Nowadays, I keep thinking back to that line in “Jus In Bello” in which Dean vehemently drew a line. They were going to fight their way. “If that’s how you win wars, then I don’t want to win.” He was a warrior on the side of humanity. He was going out fighting. Where is this determination when taking on the Leviathan? It took until episode 19 last season for Dean to get to that point, and I had hoped that his fighting spirit would have carried over from that. It faded away too quickly.
I know, little is known about these Leviathan creatures though and going up against them right now would be suicide. Is that dilemma thwarting our heroes enough to keep us vested in the story line every week? That is where the shaky ground of season seven comes in. Because there’s no simple answer to that question, the episodes have been very uneven. The brothers don’t seem to be all that motivated, and their attention has been pushed into other wastes of time. They’ve gotten lost in stupid drama like the entire Amy fiasco. That story line did not deserve anywhere near the attention it got. It’s okay that it happened, but dragging it along for a good chunk of the first half made the storyline contrived. They have bigger and tastier fish to fry.
There have been some great episodes though, and that has what separates season seven from “forgettable” to “watchable.” The first two episodes of the season are breathtaking barn burners, “Slash Fiction” is an old school lesson on how you amp up a mytharc, and the devastating “Death’s Door” is nothing short of pure brilliance. When these episodes though have been put together with the other mediocre to just plain bad offerings (“Defending Your Life” being the worst of the bunch) it’s very clear something is missing. The fun and the action. This show used to pride itself on having the perfect mix of action, drama, and humor. Remember “Changing Channels?” Even by this time last season we had the howlingly funny “Clap You Hands If You Believe.” Sorry, but “Season 7, Time For A Wedding” just didn’t cut it in the comedy category compared to what we’ve gotten in the past.
What I’m hoping for in the second half is a return to consistency and form of the first five seasons. Previous seasons did an awesome job of blending the looming mytharc with the brotherly issues and monster of the week drama. That groove needs to be found again. Sam cannot be okay. The setup has been done, ride with it. Dean needs to find his reason to fight and get that smart ass confidence back. Both need a reason to save the world other than it’s their jobs. Their universe keeps shrinking and if the writers are going there, then let’s see what these brothers are capable of when backed into a corner. We know it’s something extraordinary.
My overall grade so far, a B-.
Your turn! How do you think season seven is going? Where would you like to see it go in the second half?
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