I know that this was a script that Robert Berens had to cobble together in a short amount of time because Jeremy Carver’s pilot was picked up by The CW and he had to bail on the show. Man did it show. Season eleven was building up very well until the previous episode, "All in the Family," taking the wind out of the sails of the very brilliant and exciting "Don't Call Me Shurley." As a matter of fact, “All in the Family,” “We Happy Few,” and the “Alpha and Omega were all spectacular failures. This was the worst of the three though, and it completely ruined in one episode a season long promising story in the making.
Right from the start, this one jolted in a very wrong direction. Lucifer, yes the very horrible villain who has plotted for the end of the world multiple times, killed scores of people, as well as inflicted horrific, damaging agony on our dear Sammy, was not only a guest in the bunker, but Sam and Dean tried to counsel him and Chuck in family therapy? Wait, what? Sam and Dean were treating him like an unruly child rather than the being that essentially RUINED THEIR LIVES? Why did they care if God and Lucifer reconciled? To beat Amara? Yeah, that went well. The whole thing was so cringeworthy, uncomfortable, and from a canon perspective, completely wrong on colossal levels.
I know Berens wanted to go with an Oceans Eleven type team up, except, from what I remember from Ocean’s Eleven, the team was successful in the end and I was wildly entertained. I don’t recall any of the team dying either. In this clunky ill-conceived script, numerous people joined in to fight for the greater good. and most of them died. Wait, what? Chuck was mortally injured and Amara in her tantrum won. What?? Let's not talk about how just about every character was written as a pod person, especially Sam and Dean, totally ruining any growth that they experienced all season. Everything about this episode was outright depressing. Did someone piss in Berens’ cornflakes?
4. Hammer of the Gods
It’s kind of funny, if this episode aired in any of the later seasons, it would be considered just another bad episode in a chain of mediocre to bad episodes. But this aired in the brilliant season five and man, it still pisses me off to this day. I mean, I’m still mad as effin’ hell when I think about this episode. In our theme of “tone deaf” themes, this was a slap in the face to all religions and beliefs out there. They’re all petty and inhumane cannibal Gods? The grossness factor was off the scale on this one (it didn't need to be) and Sam and Dean’s interaction with Gabriel was just totally out of character. They wanted Gabriel to betray his brother? Excuse me? Right after Sam and Dean's big reconciliation in "Point of No Return" and the heavy themes of family is all that matters? Then, fan favorite Gabriel, our fun loving Trickster, gets killed by Lucifer? Why? It was never really fully explained, until it just happened again in season 13 after Gabriel supposedly didn’t die (not a comfort since he didn’t come back our fun loving Trickster). Why do Gabriel’s brothers want him dead? Why did he want to kill them? This was our warning sign about what happens with Andrew Dabb writes at his worst. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten too many other examples since then.
3. Season Seven, Time For A Wedding
Since we're on the subject of Andrew Dabb stinkers...
Let me tell you how terrible this idea was. When Eric Kripke first broke that fourth wall with the introduction of Chuck in season four’s “Monster at the End of This Book” and then expanded it in “Sympathy for the Devil” and “The Real Ghostbusters,” the message was pretty clear. We fans are nuts but in the end, we're alright. We're even capable of saving the world. “Season Seven: Time For a Wedding” blew all of that goodwill apart for the sake of a cheap stunt, the marriage of Sam and annoying super fan Becky. WHAT?? She was mind controlling him into marriage? Could you make me more sick?
Becky crossed a serious line that no fan should or even would cross. What she did was practically sexual assault. The whole idea of fans are crazy but fun veered uncomfortably into unredeemable territory, essentially slapping loyal fans brutally in the face for their enthusiasm. It was a BIG screw to the fandom from Andrew Dabb. To this day I pretend it never happened, instead choosing to live off the warm feelings depicted in “The Real Ghostbusters.” Kripke knew what he was doing when chartering into this risky territory. Tease the fans and their behavior, but don’t outright insult them. This episode proved that disaster can happen when meta is tried by lesser hands. Edlund should have done this instead.
2. Dark Dynasty/The Prisoner (10.21, 10.22)
I know, this is a cheat. But honestly, how can one realistically pick which one of these craptacular episodes as worst? (Fine, Nate did, and he wasn't wrong). Not only were both terrible but they left lasting damage to fan goodwill. For one, who in the hell thought it was a brilliant idea to introduce the Styne family, aka Louisiana descendants of the Frankensteins??? WTH??? This show has always been grounded in researchable lore. The Frankensteins just smelt of desperation.
“Dark Dynasty” was the most vivid proof of how “Supernatural” just trashes strong female characters in the most disgusting way for nothing more than contrived plot twisting. Charlie Bradbury, a huge fan favorite and easily one of the best female characters ever on this show, is murdered by Jacob Styne in a brutal and bloody way, all for nothing more than a cheap stunt to trigger Dean’s murderous rampage in “The Prisoner.” Just about anything else could have done that! He was under the influence of the Mark of Cain! Sam stepping on his foot could have triggered that. Oh no, he skewers a poor Styne kid that wasn’t evil like the rest of his very wrong family. How will we ever forgive Dean? Well, if we had any kind of sympathy for the kid to begin with instead of being force fed his bland story, instead of still fuming over the fact that he got more time and attention put into his death than lesbian fan favorite and honorary sister to the Winchester brothers, then maybe the two parter wouldn’t have totally been the insult to loyal fans that it was. The mere fact that they’re having a “do-over” by bringing back alt-world Charlie doesn’t make it better. Not one bit.
1. Bloodlines (9.20)
When looking back at “Supernatural’s” history, one of the biggest failures will be it’s first attempted spinoff. So where did “Bloodlines” go wrong? First, by forgetting it’s roots. “Supernatural” did not gain popularity by being a CW teen soap opera with monsters. If anything, it gained popularity because it WASN’T that. It was unique, edgy, scary, fun, told a compelling family drama that was relatable to us all and had extraordinary chemistry between the two leads. Then why oh why did TPTB think that the polar opposite of all that would work?
Sam and Dean are pretty good hunters. So they didn’t know that the Chicago monster underworld was ruled by five families? Five vapid, shallow, one-note monster families that I was totally ready to watch all die by the end? One explosion at their lame monster night club was all that was needed! Proper SPN lore wasn’t followed either, like the fact that when shapeshifters change, they’re supposed to shed their skin. I didn’t see any shedding. But mostly it was too many random characters no one liked and a terrible plot that made it worse that even the bad, throwaway MOTW episode. It was just impossible to get the masses to accept this as a series. Or anyone.
Forget the story nitpicks though. In order for a spinoff to succeed, you need to get the base engaged yet do something that might appeal to new viewers. By introducing a wealth of brand new characters in one episode, giving them terrible dialogue and plot, and creating an episode that was worse than a forgettable MOTW episode, “Bloodlines” failed to capture the attention of either group.
The only shred of “Supernatural” in this story was that Sam and Dean were physically present. Even they looked out of place in this episode. In the end, they attempted to make a show that they thought The CW wanted instead of delivering something true to the franchise. In other words, it had failure written all over it.
So that's our ten, now it's your turn! Give us your list or at least tell us who's list you agree with more!