Please welcome for the first time Cathia as a guest writer.  As part of our "Closting the Door on Supernatural Season Seven" series, Cathia is offering a somewhat more frustrated view of season seven, especially when compared to season six. Considering how season seven has drummed up a lot of strong fan opinions, it seemed right to offer one in our retrospective. 

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One day, I was wondering what makes Season Seven so controversial. Sometimes it's put in the same category as Season Six because it's perceived to be stuffed with non-important filler episodes, red herrings and things showing up totally out of the blue. I tend to disagree, as I was introduced to Supernatural during the course of Season Six.  I became up-to-date with previous seasons and I could see a difference, but it was smaller than noticed by every critic I’ve heard. Honestly, I was surprised to find so many people complaining about it. As much as I appreciated the complexity of the story arc of Seasons 1-5 and all its consequences, I also enjoyed what was emerging from the first ten or eleven episodes of Season Six.


I caught up with watching on a weekly basis at “Like a Virgin”, right after “The Soulless Sam” storyline had finished. Many people were complaining that it was too early to finish that storyline.  What about the rest of the season? At the very same moment we were introduced to Eve, Mother of All, and as the monsters’ strange behavior was stressed throughout all the episodes, we knew that she was supposed to be that great scary bitch, villain of the season. And then, a couple of episodes, and Boom!, she’s gone and we are facing the real villains of Season Six: Castiel and Crowley. I read many opinions saying that it was totally out of the blue, a kind of Deus ex machina solution and it didn’t make any sense. Those complaints didn't make any sense to me.

If we go back throughout the whole season, it is quite clear that something very wrong was happening to Cas. I know, it wasn’t shown clearly enough for many people, but, c’mon, it was obvious! The only surprise (but so delightful!) was Crowley being actually very much alive and in cahoots with our beloved Sheriff of Heaven. It was a great wrapping up of the season, but it wasn’t as unexpected and sudden as many people think, especially since they are forgetting that Cas and Crowley resurrected Samuel Campbell and started torturing creatures and looking for Purgatory a whole year earlier, so the monsters had their time to react and try to acquire the means necessary to raise Eve right up from Purgatory.

It’s all there, in the background; even in such a sideline episode like “Weekend at Bobby’s” we are informed about strange things happening – Okami out of Japan? Apart from “Mannequin 3”, we are always alerted that something is very wrong, and it makes the whole season very consistent. Thanks to one single idea behind it, there is almost no episode (apart from “Mannequin” and “All Dogs Go to Heaven”) that is really bad and unwatchable for the second time.  This IS a great problem of Season Seven.

It began with a huge explosion and then it was like shooting blanks. Take “The Girl Next Door” and “Shut up, Dr. Phil!”, for example -- they had their moments, but they were really crappy fillers. Yes, I consider them meaningless fillers even if the first one brings on the idea of Sam and Dean trusting each other (yet again) and the second introduces us to one of the possibilities of incapacitating the Leviathans. Both were wasted, to be honest. Then, we have a series of totally different episodes: some boring, some better, some classics or outstanding, all mixing with each other. Unfortunately, many of them are not connected to the main storyline. It’s like the Levis don’t exist, no worries here. Later on in the season, their existence is acknowledged by Frank or numerous Dick jokes.  Am I the only one who feels a lack of something? At the point of “Out with the Old”, I was asking myself “What the hell?” It was intriguing, but it didn’t make me curious about the main plot as much as Season Six. I knew that something obviously huge was happening, but it didn’t puzzle me as much as Castiel’s “little angelic war.” Archeological excavations, cancer research, real estate, Leviathans’ working on modified food didn’t work for me. I was like: “They have a plan. All right, Luci had a plan as well.” I really wasn’t interested. Okay, we know what the Levis can do, but as the season went on, there was Dick Roman and no one else -- maybe Edgar. Of course, Dick was awesome, but he was the only one. It was like there was one storyline, not sufficient for the whole season, so they had to fill it with other things. Some of them were nice – take “The Mentalists” for example -- but we also had “Defending Your Life”, which was really crappy.

The only thing that worked is the story about Sam’s psyche collapsing slowly, but inevitably, since Lucifer’s arrival in the first episode, we were expecting that something huge was going to happen. Personally, I thought that Sam’s breakdown would happen much earlier, at the point of “Death’s Door.” We can see him pressing his hand. I think that for once he was hoping that he was hallucinating. But it took a few more weeks, maybe even months to break, and it was the saddest part of the season, together with the sacrifice of Castiel (we will get there shortly).

My second problem with Season Seven is the matter of life and death. I know that everyone dies in Supernatural and maybe he/she comes back, but that’s not always certain and it was always a trademark of the show. Season Six brought up one totally redundant person and killed him off in a totally pointless way – Samuel Campbell was so wasted!!! Nice character, great actor, but well… he didn’t make it. No one screws with Dean Winchester and lives to tell the tale. I was really sorry for Rufus to go, but he was a Hunter and that’s their way of living… And I know that many people fell in love with Balthazar, who was a delight, but I didn’t buy him too much because my angel trickster will always be Gabriel. Balthazar’s death was the final step of Castiel’s fall and such a great part of the finale! I really loved this.
However, when it comes to Season Seven, deaths are totally misused. Bobby’s death made me cry all night and even drink a glass of whiskey in his memory (and I hate whiskey!). For a long time, I couldn’t force myself to watch “Death’s Door” for a second time. But I thought that it had some point; after all, it is a Sam and Dean show and the audience needs to be shocked or something, or maybe Jim Beaver wanted to spend more time with his daughter… Suddenly, something strange begins to happen around the boys, and it seems that Bobby stayed in a mortal realm as a ghost. All right, I thought, they wanted to make us curious, uneasy, they will find a way to bring him back. And they didn’t. They just killed Bobby off for the second time, this time in totally pointless way, a minute before the finale. I really don’t understand this charade. It gave us a few really fine episodes, but… as part of the bigger picture, it was pointless.

The same goes with Castiel’s death. I am a huge fan of our naïve little angel, but I understood the need to let him go and it was a nice way to say goodbye to him. – He overdid it, he had no chance to come out alive. Let’s say it was a crime and a punishment in one. Then, Cas returns, just in time to save Sammy. It’s a little bit like the writers realized that they had put Sam into such trouble that only an angel could save him now. Yes, I know, Misha Collins was supposed to return at some point, but that was a little bit questionable. He could return as Crazy Cas without that little interlude, but there would be a point of healing Sam. I didn’t like this solution.

So, this is it. I’d love to say that I think that in the future I will be able to like Season Seven, but I honestly do not think so. A couple of episodes, yes, for sure – “Meet the New Boss”, “Slash Fiction”, “Death’s Door”, “Repo Man”, “Party on, Garth”, “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo” and “Survival of the Fittest” for sure. The season had its moments -- it was heartbreaking, funny and witty at times as Supernatural should be, but in general… No. Please, give me back the old Supernatural.. All my hope lies with Jeremy Carver now.

What’s your opinion on Season Seven?

Comments  

Ginger
# Ginger 2012-07-10 13:20
My opinion of S7 is that it was the worst SPN season ever, and I did not think that could be possible after S6.

The problem with S6 was that it turned out to be a Cas season, not a Sam and Dean season. They were support characters to the angel storyline.

The problem with S7 is that it was the season of guest stars -- characters I have no investment in, not to mention I thought the support characters that were introduced did not fit into what is supposed to be a 'gritty' show. Yet, the support characters were more fully developed than the two leads, while the two leads spun their wheels or regressed backwards in their emotional issues.

Frankly, I was going to give up on the show until it was announced that Carver was being brought on-board, and my spirits for the show being good again soared. Now, although there have only been a few hints at what the new season will bring, I'm fully disappointed again and left wondering why a showrunner change was even made.

Love interests, S4 re-do, a season about "...Kevin and the tablets and the word of God", with Charlie, Garth, and Jodie Mills thrown in sounds like more support character development with the brothers as support character lackeys to the teenage prophet.

Yeah, I know, it's too early to make that assumption, but these are the last things I wanted to hear about the new season, and especially when they are the first things we've heard about it after two hugely disappointing seasons.

I'll hang in there for a while, but it's more with a 'ho hum' attitude, rather than how excited I was for all the great possibilities presented just a few short weeks ago.
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-07-10 15:43
Welcome Cathia! I enjoyed your first article.

I can't imagine coming in on season 6 and getting hooked, but then I came in on season 3 and got hooked for the duration.

After re-watching season 6 I find I'm enjoying it more each time I see it. Way more than the live watch! I even enjoy soulless Sam as I now know why he is like he is. I was upset at first by his uncaring attitude towards his brother, and anything that keeps them apart emotionally gets my stomach in a knot. :-x

You are so right about it almost obvious that something is very off with Cass. Just his body language alone conveyed that, and his insistence to Dean that Sam should not get his soul back. Just didn't compute! An angel who doesn't care about a soul? No way! Misha was so good and subtle in his performance in order to convey that something was off with Cas.

There was so much more they could have done with Samuel as I had questions that weren't anwered and Mitch is such a good actor and I loved him on X-Files!

I really didn't enjoy Dean killing Gwen, Sam killing his grandad or Bobby killing Rufus! Three gone in less than 20 minutes is too too much . :sad: My least favourite episode was And Then There Were None.

I even enjoyed All Dogs go to Heaven, for the dog Lucky and sniper Dean and Sam's cold cold manner. I liked Mannequin for Lisa, Ben and Dean and kept telling Dean to tell her the truth, but he didn't listen to me!

I now enjoy every episode of six, but can't say that for seven. Not nearly as bad as most fans complain about, but Defending your Life's defence by Sam was entirely wasted even though I loved to see Jo again. Sammy marrying Becky was yucky and the only things good about that one were Garth, who I find adorable, and the smarmy demon helping Becky. I found Dick a corporate creep who reminded me of my working years and the Leviathans were yucky also, but Bobby dying twice was upsetting and is still upsetting me and I want him back no matter how it is done!

But no matter what I will never quit my boys until the bitter end in which I hope they receive the reward they so richly deserve and don't get offed just because it is expected for hunters.

So please keep writing articles as I love the ones written on this site and again, welcome to the site! :-)
Katie
# Katie 2012-07-10 16:45
Well, when Eric thought of the show, he needed 5 seasons. The main story like would take 5 seasons, so it makes sense that 6 and 7 are more flighty or whatever.
Cathia
# Cathia 2012-07-11 04:10
@ Ginger

Well, I never considered Season Six to be “angelic season”, not “Sam and Dean’s one”. The angelic storyline is in the background, always there, but it concentrates mostly on Sam and Dean. There is only one stricte Castiel-centere d episode and it is “The Man Who Would Be a King”, even the finale gives us more Dean and Sam’s feelings (for Dean’s “family” in “Let It Bleed” and for Sam’s experience in “The Man Who Knew too Much”). Still, I loved S6, it was funny, heart breaking and really nice, I mean I knew Seasons 1-5 and I knew that they were composed brilliantly, so I gave Sera a benefit of doubt and it worked.

You are right about S7 being a Season of guest stars, but still, some of them are totally wasted. Take Amy Pond – when I heard about casting Jewel Staite I was happy as a child (big fan of “Firefly” and “Stargate Atlantis”). And it was nice to see her, but nothing else… She couldn’t even display her acting skills because her part was boring like Hell. Kevin… well, he was mostly scared all the time. There was Charlie, of course, and I totally loved her, hope to see her again! Jodie Mills… Oh, she’s a delight! James Patrick Stuart as Dick was also great, scary dick from a corporation – I work in one, I recognized my boss’ traits almost instantly!

@ Bevie

Thank you for your kind words! To be clear – I was introduced to SPN during S6, but I started watching from the very beginning – was visiting my friend, the weather was poor, so she said that she would share her latest obsession with me. It was Supernatural and thus she created a SPN monster… I was watching all from the beginning… :)

Misha was amazing in S6! He’s also great in S7 as Crazy!Cas, even if I don’t like the way his storyline was handled.

You know, I am in a minority, as I liked “Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!”, or maybe the idea behind it. I like Becky, that is I liked her character before this episode, because she’s an archetype of a fan girl, shown in a distorting mirror. I am pretty much sure that I would behave like her if I ever got to know Crowley in person (all right, or Sam). But I didn’t like the way it ended – just didn’t like the idea that Becky drugged Sam on purpose, this thing with “pure marriage” (in Poland we call it “white marriage”, no sex involved) was a piece of crap honestly and I didn’t like the ending, especially Dean forbidding Garth to get involved. But of course, I was delighted to see a Crossroads Demon again, I truly missed it. Not to mention Crowley and his famous “integrity” speech ;) So this is my problem: the idea is nice, its execution not necessarily.

@ Katie

Yes, I know, but Sera did great with Season Six, so why the hell Season Seven is so poor?
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-07-11 09:46
Hi Cathia, I enjoyed reading what you had to say about seasons 6 & 7. While I agree with some points, I disagree with others, as with everything, to each his (or her) own!

I liked season 7 as a whole, I thought the Leviathans were interesting, I like anything that's biblical. I do have a few eps I will watch when I get my DVDs and then totally forget about when I do my yearly rewatch of all seasons. First and foremost will be "Defending Your Life", HATED that episode even more than "Bugs" or even "Mannequin 3", never thought that would be possible.

I enjoyed the whole Cass story arc in season 6, and I very much liked the way he was brought back in season 7. Should Sam's whole wall falling down have been treated differently? Maybe, but the fact that Cass was really the one responsible, it was kind of appropriate that he would be the one to "fix" it. I put that word in quotations because I don't think that Sam is (or will ever) be totally cured.

On to Bobby now. I thought "Death's Door" was a stellar episode, I didn't go so far as have a glass of whiskey (brave girl), but it certainly made me cry. Bringing him back to just kill him off again went a bit too far. It was quite heartbreaking the way it was done, but I would so have preferred that Bobby be in a coma, then he would be alive and Sam & Dean could have done everything humanly (and supernaturally) possible to save him. You may be right about Jim Beaver wanting to spend more time with his daughter, it can't be easy for him all the way up in Vancouver.

Anyway, sorry for rambling on, I hope we'll see you again writing on this site, it was quite entertaining.
Cathia
# Cathia 2012-07-12 10:11
Hi Sylvie,

I was enjoying the idea of the Leviathans very much in the first episodes, I thought them to be smart and scary monsters. But, honestly, if I had to choose someone who sends shivers down my spine, it would be the Alpha Vamp, not the Levis. Like I said in a comment above, Dick is a living copy of my boss (although a lot more handsome!), so he’s not scary at all. Not for me, at least. I am a well-trained assistant :) When Death told that the Leviathans were locked in Purgatory because otherwise they would destroy every single thing on Earth, I was expecting a lot. But no, just the “food plans”. All right, it was nicely done, but it wasn’t horrifying as much as Lucifer’s plans were.

Killing Bobby was a terrible blow for me. I remember when I was watching “And There Were None…” and I was scared to death that it would be Bobby’s tombstone at the end of the episode. My husband said “Are you out of your mind? They can’t kill Bobby. He’s the third Winchester. He will be always resurrected or healed at the last moment, but they can’t kill Bobby.” Well, he was wrong. Unfortunately :/
Britney S
# Britney S 2012-07-12 20:14
Really enjoyed your article! I think the reason season 7 is so poor is because it's so inconsistant. I mean I agree I think s7 has the crappiest fillers I have seen thus far, but I think it did an ok job of saving itself by peaking my interest again at the end of the season. But the season as a whole is jumbled, and poorly put together. I still fo have high hopes for s8 though! a very supernatural christmas is one of my favorite episodes so I am very glad to see jeremy carver as the show runner.
isleofskye
# isleofskye 2012-07-13 04:47
Although I haven't as yet see season seven, I have been spoiled as far as the story- arc is concerned.

However I just want to say how much I agree with your assessment of season six.
I saw the first five seasons one after the other on DVD and I think you get a better grasp of it all when you see one episode after another like that. Anyway when season six came along, in DVD, I was enthralled by it, from the obvious problem with Sam to the glimpse of an impossible domestic life for Dean.
It was clear that there was something shady going on. Why resurrect Samuel and Sammy? Why not let Dean know that he was alive? Why were all the strange monsters appearing in places that they should never have? Why was Samuel acting behind Dean's back?

I really started to suspect about Castiel when he burned Crowley's bones in Caged Heat.
Was Crowley really so stupid as not to have at least hidden his bones in the deepest reaches of Hell? Then Death with his little side-line about the "souls".
It was all there, one just had to look.

I repeat that perhaps seeing the episodes one after the other on DVD made it easier to follw the story and the clues.
For me it was a great season and right up there with seasons one to three.

As for season eight I hope it folows a more logical story-arc with the episodes tying into one another.
I don't mind filler episodes now and then because they can be really excellent, Black Day at Black Rock or A Very Supernatural Christmas for example, but the overall story has to stay consistent.

I hope Jeremy Carver does a good job although the first snippets I'm hearing don't particularly encourage me.
However great article. Thanks. :)
Cathia
# Cathia 2012-07-13 07:22
@ Britney & @ Isleofskye

Yes, you are totally right – the worst fillers ever. Still, Jeremy Carver is great and I guess he will make something nice out of it. I love his episodes so far, especially “Mystery Spot”, “The Rapture”, “Changing Channels”. But there was also “Family Remains”, as much as I want to forget it :) Yeah, I am quite scared of what I’m hearing about Season 8, but maybe it will work just fine.
Thank you for your kind words :)