I don’t know how many of you follow us on Twitter, but this was my initial reaction after seeing that shocking cliffhanger Friday evening: 

@Winfambusiness:  Hee, how much do you want to bet Sera Gamble wrote that end, chucked the script at Jeremy Carver and said, "All yours!" :)

I kid, I kid.  Still, I didn’t see it coming.  Honest, I had no freaking clue they would go there.  I’m glad I was too busy that week to go through the massive speculation in the comments, for I’m sure someone called Purgatory.  If anyone called distraught and all alone puppy eyed Sammy though, I think you read a true spoiler.     

Now that’s the way to do a cliffhanger!  I’m sure Mr. Carver may have had some input in the ending, but still, Sera did leave him with a doozy of a setup, didn’t she?  The events of the episode, which were very fun to watch, of course was the build up to the smack you in the face cliffhanger that’s now got us screaming all the way to October. I haven’t been this enthralled with a cliffhanger since season three’s “No Rest For The Wicked.” 

 

I can sit here and gush to no end how much my heart was crushed into little pieces when a totally freaked out Sam was left all alone in the lab.  You should have at least offered him a drink or something Crowley!  Even at the end of “No Rest For The Wicked” Bobby was nearby. While Dean was in Hell he also had Ruby. Sam is truly alone for the first time ever (yes I'm sure he'll hook up with Sheriff Jody at some point) and whoa, what a task he has. He has the remaining Leviathan to deal with, who are no doubt going to be quite upset that their long time leader has been taken out by his brother. He has demons on his tail again, unless Crowley is gracious and calls them off. If any angels are left, you think they won’t hesitate to take their ire out on the only remaining Winchester on earth? He also has to figure out what the Hell happened to Dean and if it’s worth the risk to save him. I could sit here and speculate forever how this could be done but I won’t. I’m not even going to make demands about how I only want Sam to save Dean (which I do). Nope, I’ve got all summer to do that. 

Oh Dean! I actually love the Purgatory setup. We’ve been screaming all year long what happened to the passionate, brutal, “won’t go down without a fight” Dean Winchester.  Here’s a chance for him to come alive again.  Unlike Sam, Dean’s not totally alone. Castiel is at least there to help. The question is though which Castiel does he have on his hands? Warrior Cass or one taco short of a combo plate Cass? I’ve heard “Hunger Games” mentioned a lot but I haven’t seen it, so you won’t hear me talking about that in comparison. I’m expecting instead a good old fashioned predator vs. prey type scenario. Dean Winchester in full survival mode. I’m not sure how long they can carry that, but it intrigues me for a least a few eps. I want to see him act like a warrior, not eat like one.

Still trying to wrap my head around this one

Season finales are always so tough to review. They, much like people, have their own personalities, their own slants that compare to others in some way but are uniquely their own. It’s obvious to us all that Sera Gamble wrote this script knowing it was her last for “Supernatural.” It was her job to tie up remaining loose ends as much as possible while setting up some possibilities for next season. In that regards, the script served its purpose extremely well.  There was a ton of stuff packed into “Survival of The Fittest,” but unlike the also very crowded “The Born-Again Identity,” this episode flowed perfectly from busy scene to busy scene. It's fluid progression is really impressive considering all that was in there. Crowley, Castiel, Meg, Dick, Bobby, Sam and Dean all getting some sort of resolution/progression to their current arcs. 


I’m most impressed how they were able to work in Bobby’s story and make it emotionally powerful given the little time that was devoted. I felt rather proud when it was Sam that took charge of the situation to stop Bobby, leaving Dean behind to handle the surveillance on Dick.  Everyone knows how close Bobby was with Dean, so it was a nice switch to see Sam get through. Then again, Sam did mean something to Bobby too, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch. Yeah, perhaps I’m overanalyzing.  Personally, I think it was Sam because there’s something about a little woman choking a big guy that this show loves to do so much, especially Sera. Sorry, but can you picture that maid when she woke up in the hospital? â€œWhat happened?” â€œIt was the oddest thing.  You were carried in here by a large moose.” 

I totally felt the devastation of Sam and Dean when Bobby appeared to them, telling them how bad it felt going vengeful.  Even though an angry ghost he was able to admit he was wrong and warned the boys never to test the ghost world like he did.  “When it’s your time, go.”  He also had sound advice for Dean, get Dick for the job, not for revenge.  It’s interesting Dean’s little eye roll with that.  It’s almost like he was saying, “Easier said than done.”  I hope he was thinking that when he shoved the bone through Dick’s neck.  


We’ve known for a while now that burning the flask was the inevitable conclusion to Bobby’s story, but it didn’t hurt any less when it finally happened. It was the right thing to do, it was the farewell the boys were robbed of before, but it still hurts like a son of a bitch. Kudos to Robert Singer and Serge Ladoucer for deciding to show the simple glow  of Bobby’s spirit burning up on the boys’ faces rather than Bobby burning himself. That is some powerful storytelling. It shows the true burden of the moment. Bobby is free, but Sam and Dean have to carry on his work. Just beautiful in a season that has been so absent of these sweet moments. Oh, but it gets better. There’s the slow swipe to reveal Castiel somberly watching on the stairs. If I wasn’t tearing up before (which I was), at that point I busted into sobs over Cass. He was Bobby’s friend too and it was fitting, even in his questionable state, that he was there.

Let’s talk about Castiel. I think that his character arc is actually the one they’ve gotten right this season. Sure, I sorely missed his presence from episodes 3 through 16, but since he’s been back, the writers have actually crafted a perfectly credible and well written arc for him. Think about it, this is a new one. How do you incur mental illness on an angel? By remembering that Misha Collins is a very funny person, that’s how. Let him act hippy, dippy, bizarre crazy, making us laugh with his avoidance of reality by offering honey he extracted himself to the King of Hell as a peace offering or flying away and coming back with board games to play by himself. Come on, who didn’t laugh at the ridiculous sight of him playing Twister by himself. I want to see an outtake where Jensen and Jared join in the fun!

I always hear so many complaints about Castiel and say what you want, but it’s been setup now for him to be a presence in season 8. I suspect he wasn’t listed as a regular in the press release at the upfront because they didn’t want to give away the ending. He’s coming back and he’s getting airtime. Being stuck in purgatory with Dean will finally be his chance to earn redemption, especially now that he’s earned some forgiveness from Dean. I personally loved that scene between the two of them in the barn, the Impala under the tarp (they should have showed Dean uncovering the car and smiling!). It’s nice that the angel can so well read in between the lines.  Dean is starting to forgive.  He’s certainly come a long way since his first encounter with Dean, hasn’t he? 

The Impala.  I cried...again.  I saw it in the preview but to Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild?”  Utter, happy, streaming tears of joy.  She wasn’t on long, but it was something special.  How about a pic spam!  

Yes, that's the sound of me screeching like a little girl.  This is one extremely happy reviewer, finally.  Also, how many want to see Sam put the iPod jack back in Baby now that it's his car again for the time being? 

I haven’t talked about Crowley yet.  Crowley seems to have Hell in proper working order now, doesn’t he?   I’ve read theories that he’s too powerful for a demon and perhaps he isn’t a demon after all. We’ve never seen his black eyes or anything. That’s possible, but I really think that being the King of Hell comes with a lot of power. We haven’t seen his black eyes because he’s likely elevated beyond that. He was a crossroads demon, so I would think he’d at least have red eyes. He’s no ordinary demon, that’s for sure, and demons are essentially born from fallen angels, so they are cousins in a way. That could give him angel like power.  I’m just not buying into anything that he’s more than a powerful demon at this point.

I’m struck by the comment from Crowley that Dick has been the leader of the Leviathan since “just before the first sunrise.” That’s ancient. Take that away and yes, the remaining Leviathan on earth (which right now is an unknown number) are going to be pretty lost. They’re certainly going to be following their own agendas now that Dick is out of the picture. Remember how opportunistic George was? They don’t seem like the type that will band together easily.  They will more likely follow an “every creature for himself” mentality. So that becomes Sam’s job now, trying to kill the remaining Leviathan (an impossible task) who will all be out to carve a niche for themselves. Some will become savages, like Joyce, others will be smarter, like George.  That's a very interesting setup.  

Even more interesting, Dick has gone back to Purgatory and there’s no doubt Dean Winchester is public enemy number one. Something tells me Dick will have to take a number.  Remember all the vamps Dean beheaded last year and before? Amy the Kitsune and her mother might be there too, ready to shove a knife into him. Actually, I can list every single monster he’s killed since season one and it doesn’t matter, the point is clear. This guy is royally screwed. 

Man, there I go speculating again.  I've got all summer for that!  How about Kevin Tran? If there was any weak spots in the episode, it was the waste of a prophet. He conveniently escaped long enough to hear the master plan, but what did that do other than get Sam to the lab at the same time when Dick went poof?   Why did both the Leviathan and Crowley want to hang onto the prophet? He translated, shouldn’t he be done? Kevin’s role was never clearly defined and too bad, because I think he’s awesome.  It was another case of a grossly underutilized character introduced because…I don’t know why. Perhaps he’ll play a key part in season 8. 

I’m also not going to go into great length about why the brothers being separated is a good idea, but I like it. No, I love it. I want to know at what lengths these brothers will go to get back to each other.   Will Dean resign himself to the fact he’s stuck forever, or will Sam resign himself to the fact that opening the door to Purgatory will risk huge disaster? Again, all summer to speculate. But I love it. 

Overall grade for “Survival of The Fittest” is an A-. I’m docking a bit for not showing Dean actually drive the Impala (even though I know it was him) and cutting the “don’t get killed’ scene. That could have been worked in by eliminating a stripping teenage girl in Dick Roman’s lair (really?).  Happy Summer Hellatus everyone!   

In Appreciation of Sera

I wanted to say a few words in appreciation for Sera Gamble.   I've had the deep honor of interviewing  Sera seven times throughout the course of “Supernatural.” She was gracious with her answers, enthusiastic, and it was always clear that no one loved this show more than she did. It was pure joy each time I spoke to her. 

Let’s face it, “Supernatural” fans are a wee bit demanding.  I remember how frustrated Eric Kripke was with fans after stepping away from the show (see, Eric Kripke Defends Swan Song) at the end of season five. It’s not just “Supernatural” though.  I was reading an EW interview not too long ago from “The Vampire Diaries” showrunner Julie Plec, published right after the season finale. Her fandom too, not unlike “Supernatural’s” is very vocal and demanding about things. Julie Plec is only at the end of season three and had this to say about fan backlash:  

Is there anything else you’d like to say about the episode?

Just don’t send hate mail or death threats via Twitter.

I saw your tweet earlier this week about being blindsided.

If I go back to Twitter right now and read my mentions, I’m going in fully warned and fully aware that a large majority of people will probably be hurling angry and hostile insults at me amidst all the beautiful love and wonderful support that the fans are so good at giving. But it’s on a normal Tuesday, when I’m just reading the news and chatting with some friends, and I get hit with a “You’re stupid, you suck, you have no talent, and you’re ugly.” [Laughs] It’s like, wait a second. I was just having a nice moment, and you completely just gut-punched me with rudeness. Those are the ones that are hard to get over. It’s like getting smacked out of nowhere when you’re not expecting it. But continued love and appreciation for what is without a doubt the most passionate fanbase I have ever encountered in my entire life — including as a fan, I’ve never seen anything like it. Kudos to them for caring so much. We appreciate it.

Sera Gamble created a Twitter account, but wisely hasn’t used it yet.  As a matter of fact, she retreated from the spotlight this season, letting Robert Singer handle the producer’s previews and cutting back her interviews (our yearly request was not replied to this season). I understand. Stepping up from writer to showrunner is a challenging enough task. There’s writing arcs to control, story lines to map out, daily production duties that must be handled, overseeing post production duties (aka the editing room) and controlling all this on a strict budget. There’s also a very vocal fandom and a network questioning your every move daily. 

I’m not going to say as a showrunner Sera Gamble did an amazing job. I highly respect her, I love everything she’s done for “Supernatural,” but seasons six and seven have not lived up to the previous five. I’ve spelled out on countless occasions in my reviews why that is so. I also don’t think Sera shoulders all of the blame. This is after all a team effort and somewhere along the line something strayed. However, she was the one who stepped forward with ideas to carry on the show after the original five year arc finished.  I admire anyone who has to nerve to take over for the person who created it all. Without her, we may not have our show right now. 

As a writer though, Sera set herself apart, and this season finale is no different. She did sorts of amazing things, and it’s that legacy that’s going to serve her well. She brought layers and sensitivity to these two universally screwed brothers and showed their heart and ability to overcome all when put in very vicarious situations. I personally am going to miss harassing Sera in every interview about her latest ways to excessively punish Sam Winchester. Thank you Sera for humoring me with those questions through the years!

After seven years of this, I’m sure she knew in her heart it was time to move on. I can’t help but think she in the end was beaten down by it all. I don’t work in entertainment, but I do work in corporate America. It’s brutal out there, especially when your performance doesn’t live up to expectations. And, when you’re a woman (there, I said it!)  I know she’s exiting with a low key sendoff, and perhaps even with some bittersweet feelings. We don’t know for sure.  This may even be too little too late but thank you Sera Gamble for all your years of dedicated service to this little show that could. You will not be forgotten and we wish you nothing but success on your future projects. Just keep writing with your heart and I know a flock of fans will follow. 

 

Comments  

mybelle
# mybelle 2012-05-23 00:23
Agree with ALL you said. Especially the docking of points for not truly SEEING Dean (Jensen) driving Baby. I wanted that!! And also, that don't die moment! Come on! That had better be a deleted/extende d scene on the DVD, especially since it was used in the preview for the episode.

I kind of love the separation of the boys, and I really hope that season 8 picks up exactly where 7 ended...because I think it'll be important to see Sam flounder a bit. Lost. Alone. As much as I don't want him to suffer I also don't want to miss seeing it. Cruel, I know. But I also hope their separation doesn't extend beyond four or five episodes because I think I would lose my mind. The thing that made me crazy about season 6 was Soulless Sam went on for far too long. I can't handle half a season of no Winchester brothers together! I also desperately want Sam to be the one to bring Dean back...and I kind of want Castiel to have to sacrifice himself for it to happen. I love Misha, and Cas as a character is great, but I'm over it. I don't see how he fits anymore, especially once Dean is back on Earth and with Sam.

A great episode, and a fitting final episode for Sera. I'm excited for what Jeremy will bring, as many of his episodes are among my favorites. I think he can do the character AND the plot stuff very, very well.

But man. It's going to be a LONG time until October. A long time. :(
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-05-23 00:53
Ah, the "don't get killed" scene was in the preview. I don't watch the previews. Total spoilerphobe.

I didn't see it, but yeah, they should have left that in.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2012-05-23 01:27
YES WE NEED DIRECTOR CUTS ON THE DVDs. NOT JUST EXTENDED CUTS OR CUT OUT SCENES. SPN CREW LETS DO IT, THANK YOU
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-05-23 00:49
Great review!

"I can sit here and gush to no end how much my heart was crushed into little pieces when a totally freaked out Sam was left all alone in the lab."

This is the scene that left me really gutpunched. The boys always freak out more when it's the other one in danger rather than themselves.

I was actually glad Dean didn't pull the tarp off Baby, it would've stolen some thunder from her grand entrance. I loved how they showed a deserted silent road for a few beats and then off in the distance you hear that beloved rumble. And then you're going OMFGYAYBABYadhfghdjs!!!

I noticed even during the episode that we can clearly see Sam and Dean in the front seat of the Impala as she's barreling down the road. And there's proof of that in your picspam. So it was the boys driving the car, then they stopped off before reaching the building to sneak around back and Meg continued on. But of course they didn't show that part because it would've interrupted the flow and ruined the surprise of the diversionary tactic.

What was the "don't get killed" scene? Do you mean they didn't include a scene like the one where Sam says "just don't get killed"?

As for Sera, I recently read that showrunning is the most gruelling job in showbusiness (from a former showrunner.) He said there's good reason showrunners step down to work on development, because there's no way to keep that up forever. On top of all the things you mentioned, they also have to PR, press, liaising with the network, trouble-shootin g, etc. They're responsible for everything all the time, both managerially and creatively.

And add to the top of that they're the lightening rod for discontent. (And "discontent" is putting it mildly. In some cases it's white-hot hatred.) I have felt bad for the way fandom has treated her.

To be fair to her, Kripke wrote them into a corner with his fake five-year plan. Hey, it worked, the ploy got the show renewed for a couple of years when it was on the bubble in season 3. But then Sera was left holding the bag, trying to find a way to write them out of that, at a time when you can't really embark on another epic five-year arc because for all you know, this could be the last year. So you're stuck with short-term plans. And on top of that, because many people believed Kripke really did have a creative vision for five years, when in fact he just fibbed about it, a lot of people had negative feelings about continuing past five seasons before season 6 ever started. So, given all that, I think Sera did a great job in the circumstances.

I wrote her a thank you card. If anyone else wants to do the same, you can send it here:

(Correct Address below)
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2012-05-23 01:25
HOW KIND OF YOU. THANK YOU.
Alice
# Alice 2012-05-23 09:18
That's so great you sent a thank you card, but that's the wrong address! They haven't been in the Wilshire Blvd offices since season 3. Plus, Sera isn't on staff anymore so she isn't in the offices to get that mail.

I meant to put this in the review and forgot. Some people have been asking me where to send notes and I asked Warner Brothers. The Supernatural publicist said to send those notes to her and she'll personally forward them to Sera. Here's her address:

Holly Ollis
Warner Bros Television
4000 Warner Blvd
Bldg 140.
Burbank, CA 91522

I hope you don't mind but I'm going to edit the address out of your post just so people don't pick up the wrong one. Thanks for providing the info though. I know Sera would really appreciate notes of thanks.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-05-23 10:23
Thanks for providing the correct address! I put "please forward" on the enveloppe figuring the staff would send them along to her, but that's not going to help if it isn't even the right address!

I'll tell the SuperWiki the address they have on their front page isn't good anymore. Do you happen to know the right address for the production office in L.A.?
Alice
# Alice 2012-05-23 10:47
It's the same really, just a different building.

Supernatural
c/o Warner Brothers Television
4000 Warner Boulevard
Burbank, CA 91522

I visited the building the offices were in last summer when I was out there for Comic Con, so I know that's the right address.
Mickey
# Mickey 2012-05-23 16:03
Thanks!
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-05-23 10:12
Thanks for the address. I certainly will miss her voice on the show, she wrote some of my all time favourite episodes.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2012-05-23 01:05
CHAU LOOKS LIKE MICHAEL JACKSON WITH NOSE #2. TO CUTE. I LOVED THE HOWL HE GAVE WHEN ANSWERING THE PHONE IN THE CAR. I LOVED WHEN HE SAID paraphrasing "THIS IS 2 MUCH, I CAN NOT FACTOR IN THE SUPERNATURAL INTO MY WORLD THEME" & DEAN WAS THERE WITH THE BROWN BAG. HAVING SAID THAT I SAY THIS, SEASON 8 HAS GOT TO START WITH SAM BLOWING UP THE LAB. THAT WAS THE LAST THING TRAN SAID THEY HAD TO DO. HE WAS NOT USED IN THE FINALE' BUT HE & CASTIEL WILL CERTAINLY BE BACK.

CROWLEY WILL NOT HURT KEVIN. I DONT KNOW WHAT HE WILL DO WITH HIM, BUT NOT HURT HIM. MAYBE TRANSLATE MORE TABLETS. SOME HAVE SAID CROWLEY MAY BE GABRIEL because of all the snapping fingers. SOME HAVE SAID GOD. NOW WOULD NOT THAT BE INTERESTING. REMEMBER LUCIFER SAID THAT GOD WANTED EVIL. HE MADE LUCI THE WAY HE WAS. dont bring in dogma here. I am talking about SPN. A CRUEL JOKE BUT ALSO GIVEN WHAT CAS SAID PLAYING THE GAME SORRY again paraphrasing, I dont take notes, "THE WORLD IS MADE OUT OF CONFLICT OR CHAOS," I DONT KNOW WHAT CROWLEY IS BUT HE IS MORE THAN WE HAVE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE.

HATE TO SAY THIS BECAUSE I HAVE AN I.Q. didnt do a damn thing with it, but above average intelligence. I CAN NOT BELIEVE IT TOOK ME 7 YEARS TO FIGURE OUT THAT DEAN IS THE LONG SUFFERING "JOB" LIKE CHARACTER. JUST CAN NOT SUFFER ENOUGH. REALIZING THAT GIVES ME SOME, just a little, SOLICE. I HATED THE DEAN PART OF THE ENDING AT FIRST, BUT NOW I SEE.

AS FOR BOBBY. CANON, LORE, RULES ALL CHANGE SO I KNOW NOTHING OF PURGATORY IN REAL LIFE. ONE OF THE FEW BAPTIST raised IN THE ONLY, ONLY, STATE THAT HAS PARRISHES INSTEAD OF COUNTIES BECAUSE IT IS SO CATHOLIC. FAR AWAY EYES HIPPED ME TO SOME OF IT. THAT BEING SAID I SEE NO REASON ON GODS GREEN EARTH THAT BOBBY IS NOT IN HEAVEN WITH HIS WIFE, RUFUS, JO, ELLEN, ASH, ETC. HE WENT OUT ON HIS OWN TERMS & DID NOT HARM ANYONE. CHARLIE'S ARM WAS BROKEN BY ACCIDENT. I could be wrong. so be it.

SAM AFTER BLOWING UP THE LAB CAN THEN CONNECT WITH JODI, MACKEY the no nonsense hunter that told Dean about Emmanuel, AND LEST WE FORGET FRANK!

FRANK IS NOT DEAD !!! ROMAN WOULD NOT HAVE NEEDED CHARLIE TO DE-CODE ANYTHING BECAUSE THEY, levis, WOULD HAVE KNOWN ALL HIS THOUGHTS, UNLESS THE LEVIS DID NOT KILL FRANK & HE DIED SOME OTHER FASHION.

LIKE IN "ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE" NO ONE IS ALONE IF HE HAS FRIENDS. SAM HAS FRIENDS.

CASTIEL IS HIMSELF AGAIN, HE MAY PLAY LIKE HE ISNT AROUND DEAN BUT HE IS BACK. ONCE HE WAS FORGIVEN, & HE MAY HAVE EVEN KNOWN THE PULSE WAVE WOULD KNOCK THEM SOMEWHERE. WHEN HE TOLD DEAN TO WAKE UP THAT WAS THE OLD CAS. PRAISE THE LAWD.

OK, THIS IS MY LONGEST COMMENT EVER, IT ALSO IS THE LAST FOR S7.

TO THE CRITICS & YOU COMMENTATORS, SOME OF MY HAPPIEST TIMES IS READING YOUR REPLYS. I WILL NOT EMBARRASS ANY OF YOU, BUT YAL HAVE GIFTS FOR WRITING & MAYBE UNINTENIONALY LAUGHTER.

TAKE CARE SPN FAMILY. HOPE I MAKE IT TO OCTOBER. LOVE THIS SITE !

P.S. I HAVE SAID IT IN ALL MY OTHER COMMENTS SO I SAY AGAIN. BRAVA SERA, BRAVA. IF U DO NOTHING ELSE U KNOW U CAN WRITE. WRITE THE HELL OUT OF ANYTHING. BLESS YOU. TTFN :-)
kaj
# kaj 2012-05-23 01:52
Too bad that I disagree with many points in your review above, Alice. Are you sure you're not bias? You already like Sera's script from previous seasons. Perhaps it carries away to this episode?

I purposely re-watched Faith and AHBL part One. Those script are better imho. I know SotF looks dashing and great on paper, flitted from scene to scene with lot's of material but I admit get bored in the middle watching it. I'm still trying to find out why. What makes it boring to me. I always try to be objective.

The highlight of this episode is of course The Impala. I love it that Baby is back. Too bad Dean would not be able to drive it again.

The idea that Dean is trapped in Purgatory is also a great cliffhanger. Reminds me of No Rest of the Wicked.

I've burned up looking at Cass. I did not laugh when he is on screen. I laughed at Dean's expression when he looked up to the sky shaking his head in exasperation. I share Dean's exasperation when he shouted at Cass.
You're not funny Cass, just drop the crazy act. You just use it to hide behind you're responsibility because you're too coward to step up. Cass said he never been to heaven, yet, stating that there's no insect there. BULL!!! bullshit! You're just afraid to face punishment/repe rcussion from heaven. Stop hiding behind the crazy, it's pathetic.

Bobby's flask burning is anti-climatic. He served no purpose wandering the living world as ghost. The writer just use it to prove that, yes, you cannot avoid destiny, what's dead should stay dead, ghost are vengeful especially if you choose to be a ghost for revenge. The cost in writing Ghost!Bobby plotline is almost severe. Making the boys look dumb is one. That they have to depend on GhostBobby to even solve a simple riddle.

Dramatic irony really does not work in Supernatural. When we know the answer already before the boys did, it makes the boys looks dumb. I'm just saying.

Sera is a good writer but somehow this episode is not biting to be a season Finale, except for the cliffhanger.
Alice
# Alice 2012-05-23 09:22
Oh, it's not her best, that's for certain. Although I do think it's better than All Hell Breaks Loose Part I. That episode was too slow for my tastes. To be honest, I think her best was "Death's Door" following by "When the Levee Breaks."

The point was, given all that was presented thus far, she did a great of job of pulling it all together and resolving the loose threads. Am I happy they killed Bobby? No, but considering they went there, this was fitting conclusion.

I'm saving a lot of my criticism for my upcoming season seven reviews (they aren't going to be anywhere near as kind). The episode alone though, it delivered.
kaj
# kaj 2012-05-23 13:42
Yes, I too like Death Door.

I never remember the writer of certain episode. Except for episode that i really really like. I have to go back and re watched the previous season to see which one is Sera Gamble's script. I like it that I can review the episode without knowing who wrote it.

Death Door is good. The season finale should be in that quality. Or even better than Death Door is all I am saying. Survival of the Fittest is ok and even great for regular episode but lack of passion for the finale episode. I guess I just have too high expectation.

On a more fun note. I think the theme Survival of the Fittest is a special message for Dean? As he must survive in Purgatory when only the strongest, the cruelest, the most Badass win there.
cd28
# cd28 2012-05-23 07:58
You were much kinder to this episode than I was. Honestly, I found it consistent with a lot of the season - some funny lines, awesome guests, but generally lacking passion. I felt like most of the episode was going through the motions to efficiently wrap up a lackluster storyline. The Crowley/Dick scene was funny, but it's too bad that most of the best scenes are with guests these days. I love Cas, but I don't love this version, and no, I wasn't laughing at his antics. I like the troubled, warrior Cas better and was behind Dean when he snapped at him. Through most of the Bobby part, I kept thinking that this would have been so much better if they had wrapped this up a few episodes earlier and given it the attention it deserved. Bobby had a great storyline this season, but he should have stayed dead after Death's Door. I don't know why they always feel compelled to squish a personal drama into the finale - especially when there's not really time to do it right. Last year it was Sam's wall, this year it was ghost Bobby.

I have mixed feelings about the cliffhanger. I'll give it credit for being bold. I can't help doubting that they'll really make much of an effort to make Sam's story gripping (while Dean and Cas slay dragons in Purgatory). And looking up Jody Mills isn't going to cut it for me. I need more. Sam's stories have been gutted for the past three years of all of the emotional substance. I'm not going to make it through another season in which he is pushed to the sidelines again. I barely made it through this season, and watched only about half of the episodes live (choosing Fringe or Grimm over SPN) - the rest I caught later online.

About Sera, while I think moving to a new showrunner is best for the show, I do think we're going to find that we really miss her writing next season. She does bring a depth and quality to many episodes that no one else seems to be doing right now. We might not feel the loss yet, but I think we will.
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-05-23 08:06
I appreciate that your review of the finale is positive because (1) I, too, haven't been this excited about a SPN cliffhanger in years and years; and (2) it's nice to end SG's reign on a positive note because I think we can all agree that SG loves SPN as much as we do. Any problems I had with the finale were connected to season-long problems (two season-long problems, really), and there is no point in going into those now. That's all water under the bridge at this point.

Thank you for that picture montage of the Impala. I loved giving the Impala her own special tribute, all alone on the highway, rocking to Born To Be Wild. I assume that was written into the script, but I'll say again: Thank you, Singer, for those every-angle shots! She is beautiful and photographs really well.

I, too, loved the shot of Bobby's spirit glowing on the brothers' faces. Singer and Serge never disappoint and should often be commended for their work. The GhostBobby story, however, is another matter that I'm not going to go into, as is the stripping teen girl in a conference room full of Levi (mostly) men. Huh? The Levi are asexual, have no interest in sex, and cannot procreate as far as I know. Not a good scene at all.

It's a long journey from here until October...sigh. ..but I'm content with all the possibilities the cliffhanger left us with.

I'd be okay if the brothers were apart for something like a six episode arc...but I don't think I'm going to be happy with Sam driving the Impala. (Who's going to fix it up with Dean out of the picture?) It's been almost a whole season w/o seeing Dean and his Baby. Dean just isn't Dean w/o the Impala...by, man, oh, man, I do like seeing him in that new leather coat.
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-05-23 09:26
Loved your review Alice, and agree with all of it. First time this season almost, I think. ;-)

No offense meant, and I do know the reasons you have had doubts this season. I can see them myself.

Have always loved Sera's episodes, especially Faith. Without her we would be missing so very much. I wish her the very best and a big thank you for giving me those two wonderful scrapping brothers that I love dearly! Good luck and much success to Sera in her future endeavors.

What will Dean do now, without (as I saw elsewhere) Sammy, his baby, cheeseburgers & pie and showers and toilet paper? :o Can't wait to find out, and poor poor Sammy! How completely desolated he looked all alone in the lab. How will he cope? What a long hellatus it will be. :sad:

Jeremy Carver has been left with an almost clean slate I believe. His episodes are among my very favourites, so I have confidence he will blow us away! :P


And thank you again Alice, for this awesome site for Supernatural brother lovers! :-)
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-05-23 10:21
That was a great review. I enjoyed the episode, and man, what a great season finale. It opens up so many opportunities for next season. I actually think Sera left more for Jeremy Carver to work with than Eric Kripke left for her.

And thank you so much for all those great screen shots of the Impala barrelling down the road. I would have loved to see Dean driving her as he so clearly was from those pictures. Nevertheless, she made quite an impact, both literally and figuratively! And I think Sam has learned his lesson about pimping her up, he won't dare do it again.

One last thank you for the beautiful words you wrote about Sera Gamble. I will miss the heart she brought to so many scripts, but I will be looking forward to seeing what else she will do. She is a phenomemal writer and no matter what anybody thinks of how she ran the show, no one can take that away from her. I wish her luck and much happiness in her future endeavours.
Sharon
# Sharon 2012-05-23 10:32
He put a I-POD in the car not furry dice or leopard print car seat covers. I get the wondorous car is Dean's and Sam is not entitled to breathe on her but is it not suppose to be his 'home' too ? I dont care about the darn thing but it cant be both ways.
lala2
# lala2 2012-05-23 18:14
Hey- maybe Sam can get another Charger or whatever he was driving in Season 6! LOL! That way he won't harm the Impala with anymore iPods!

I took that scene for what it was - a funny moment btw brothers. Too bad many used it as evidence that Sam didn't love Dean or hadn't grieved for him. Hopefully, Sam won't touch Dean's car!
Samara
# Samara 2012-05-23 15:15
Alice, I'm glad you (and others) enjoyed the season 7 finale, and as always, your review was insightful and enjoyable to read.

That being said, I watched the season finale with my younger brother and sister, both big fans like me, and at the end all three of us basically said...'meh.' I loved the possibilities opened by the last five minutes (although I now have to clean my brother's car because he called it at the beginning of the ep), I loved Crowley's double-crossing deals, and I loved Misha Collins's heart-breaking performance as Cas, but...the rest was meh, at least to me.

In my humble opinion, Bobby was really sold short by his exit. It seemed like he had his realization that what he was doing was wrong, and then literally two minutes later he was gone, with barely a good-bye speech to the boys. This show, from John's death in In My Time of Dying all the way to Sam's death in Swan Song, has always done deaths very well, and I felt Bobby's exit was stuffed into five minutes and felt very abrupt tacked-on.

Other than that, the fact that it took so very long for the Leviathan to become scary, Crowley's drawn out speech to the boys, the unnecessary scenes with Kevin sitting in that room (much as I love Kevin) and Dean rather arbitrarily and out-of-the blue deciding to get the Impala back...this wasn't the worst Supernatural episode ever, but at least to me, it definitely wasn't the best.

I'm excited for Season 8, and I love the way the episode ended, but my opinion of the finale was very mediocre.
Gwen
# Gwen 2012-05-23 18:36
I'm afraid I'm one of those who didn't really enjoy the finale. To be honest, apart from the ending, I found it all rather boring. As well as the last five minutes I also liked Crowley and loved the goodbye to Bobby. Also loved that it was Sam who got through to Bobby.

I didn't like that they edited out the 'Don't get killed' scene. That would have been a lovely brotherly moment.

This new version of Castiel drove me nuts. His antics certainly didn't make me laugh at all. To be honest I didn't miss the character this year. I think Misha plays Castiel wonderfully but the character doesn't particularly interest me.
Also, and I'm rather scared to write this, I'm not that bothered about the Impala either. *Hides*

The ending was fabulous though. The scene of Sam panicstricken and hyperventilatin g ripped my heart to shreds. Poor, poor Sammy. I hope he does go to Jodie Mills, I loved their scenes together in 'Time After Time After Time'. He's going to need a bit of a cuddle and she can keep him from falling into those dark places he falls into when he's Dean-less.
I'm also really hoping that Dean's time in Purgatory is going to give us back badass, 'won't go down without a fight' Dean. I miss that Dean. That's my favourite flavour of Dean. I'm not so much a fan of Angst!Dean, I prefer my angst to be more of the Sam Winchester shaped variety. :lol: I want the Dean who's so badass that he sends shivers down my spine back on my telly screen.

I cannot wait to see what's ahead for Sam and Dean next season. I hope S8 picks up exactly where the finale left off. I don't want to miss seeing Sammy dealing ( or not dealing) with what's happened. I don't want flashbacks later on in the season like in S4, I want to follow Sam every step of the way. I also don't want the brothers apart for long. I'm not especially interested in seeing Sam working with other hunters and Dean and Castiel in Purgatory, I want to see the brothers back working together and sooner rather than later.

Quote:
About Sera, while I think moving to a new showrunner is best for the show, I do think we're going to find that we really miss her writing next season. She does bring a depth and quality to many episodes that no one else seems to be doing right now. We might not feel the loss yet, but I think we will.
I completely agree with this. I think the show will miss Sera's writing. I know I will. She's always been my favourite writer on the show. I wish she was staying on as a writer.
mybelle
# mybelle 2012-05-23 18:55
Quote:
This new version of Castiel drove me nuts. His antics certainly didn't make me laugh at all. To be honest I didn't miss the character this year. I think Misha plays Castiel wonderfully but the character doesn't particularly interest me.
Also, and I'm rather scared to write this, I'm not that bothered about the Impala either. *Hides*

The ending was fabulous though. The scene of Sam panicstricken and hyperventilating ripped my heart to shreds. Poor, poor Sammy. I hope he does go to Jodie Mills, I loved their scenes together in 'Time After Time After Time'. He's going to need a bit of a cuddle and she can keep him from falling into those dark places he falls into when he's Dean-less.
I'm also really hoping that Dean's time in Purgatory is going to give us back badass, 'won't go down without a fight' Dean. I miss that Dean. That's my favourite flavour of Dean. I'm not so much a fan of Angst!Dean, I prefer my angst to be more of the Sam Winchester shaped variety. :lol: I want the Dean who's so badass that he sends shivers down my spine back on my telly screen.

I cannot wait to see what's ahead for Sam and Dean next season. I hope S8 picks up exactly where the finale left off. I don't want to miss seeing Sammy dealing ( or not dealing) with what's happened. I don't want flashbacks later on in the season like in S4, I want to follow Sam every step of the way. I also don't want the brothers apart for long. I'm not especially interested in seeing Sam working with other hunters and Dean and Castiel in Purgatory, I want to see the brothers back working together and sooner rather than later.
TOTALLY AGREE ABOUT CASTIEL! Though I can't agree with you about the Impala! I've missed seeing her, quite a bit. I think she helps Dean feel more badass so hopefully when he's back from Purgatory and driving her again he'll be more like his old self. I too, want to see that Dean reemerge.

Jared really sold the panic and loss that Sam had to be feeling at the end of the episode, and it would be a shame not to see him work through that - so here's to hoping we don't get flashbacks like in s4. Here's to also hoping the separation of Sam and Dean is only a few episodes. I don't want to see Sam with other hunters and I don't want to see Dean without Sam, for more than a handful of episodes anyway!
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-05-23 20:09
Quote:
This new version of Castiel drove me nuts. His antics certainly didn't make me laugh at all. To be honest I didn't miss the character this year. I think Misha plays Castiel wonderfully but the character doesn't particularly interest me. .
I feel the same way. Misha playing Cas as playing Misha is boring and uninspired. If they're going to use him, give him something to do -- preferably as a support character to the Winchesters and not as a third cast member.

I'm okay with SG not writing for the show. Yes, her earlier episodes were great (co-authored with Raelle Tucker in many cases), and she has handled the mytharc ones of late, but I haven't found them to be particularly strong. Of course, there are some current writers that I think shouldn't be back at all. Adam Glass and the team with Singer's wife's episodes have not been all that good. I'm hoping that Carver cracks the whip in the writer's room next season.
Nitewoman7
# Nitewoman7 2012-05-23 19:08
Alice great review and thanks for all the reviews this season. Agree with all you wrote so I won't comment. I love the Finale except and here I blame Sera BOBBY SHOULD NEVER HAVE DIED. I will miss him sorely. Again thanks for a great season
Nitewoman7
# Nitewoman7 2012-05-23 19:10
Oh darn I forgot thank you thank you a thousand times for the Impala montage
MisterGlass
# MisterGlass 2012-05-23 20:56
At first I didn't care for the idea of the brothers being in separate realms again, but it could be interesting. They are different characters than they were last time; hopefully Sam won't try to deal, at least not for his soul. If it gives Dean the perspective that life is worth living again, that would be worth it. It will be interesting to see how Purgatory is depicted, and the creatures they meet. I keep wondering if the angels are there. If so, Castiel in particular will not be welcomed.

I am surprised that I am warming to this version of Cas. Somehow, despite the craziness, and random outbursts, there is a lot of the old Cas there. His quiet sorrow during Bobby's second funeral was touching. I hope next season that they can find a balance between his utility, his comic relief, and him as a real character. I do not want to see him get lost as a convenience or a joke.

Crowley was the winner here, without doubt. Revenge on Cas, imprisonment for Dean, isolating Sam, capturing Meg, snagging a prophet, and knocking out his biggest enemy, all in one move. After the slaughter of monsters last season, he does not have anyone left to match him.

It has been a pet theory of mine that Crowley is a second yellow-eyed demon, and that's why he doesn't show his eyes.

Thanks for the review as always Alice. The tribute to Sera is a nice touch; she was brave to step into the showrunner role, and deserves consideration for her hard work.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-05-23 23:29
Excellent review and I agree with most of your points. I will miss Sera Gamble's writing next year as I still miss many of the great women writers (Raelle Tucker and Cathryn Humphris to name a few) that Supernatural has had in the past.

Sera Gamble had really big shoes to fill after Eric. The fandom at times was almost cruel with the critiques leveled against her. It was so sad to see by this fan of the show. Hopefully, this won't affect her in the future. I wish her all the best.

Alice, I would like to say that I have enjoyed your reviews this year, my friend. Even though we haven't agreed all the time, you've had such great insight and the ability to get me to ponder other theories concerning my favorite show. Thank you and I want to wish you a great summer. :D

(BTW - I will keep looking for new stuff this summer, but I felt I needed to express the above thoughts)
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2012-05-24 02:11
DARN U RUTH, U KNOW WHAT I LOVE ABOUT U, U SAY YOUR PEACE & BOOM U R GONE. YES SOMETIMES U COME BACK, BUT ON THE WHOLE, U DO IT, DID IT, GONE.

U HAD TO MENTION TUCKER. FYI PEOPLE SHE WENT TO "TRUE BLOOD" & I READ THAT THEY HAD A NEW SHOWRUNNER & I THOUGHT OF SERA. SHE & RAELLE HAD WORKED TOGETHER BEFORE SO WHY NOT. BUT NO, IT WAS NOT SHE.

I HAVE NOT BEEN ON-LINE LONG ENOUGH TO KNOW ALL THE HORRIBLE THINGS THAT WERE SAID ABOUT SERA NOR GENEVIEVE NOR DANNEEL NOR ANYONE ELSE. I KNOW THIS, THIS IS THE BEST AND ONLY SITE I AM A PART OF BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE IT IS FAMILY.

I USUALLY ONLY READ 2 OTHER REVIEWS. ALL SPONSORED BY SPN OR BONAFIED SPN AFFILIATES. hey dont judge me & patronhippie's reviews. IF I READ SOMEONE ELSE IT IS BECAUSE THIS SITE HAS RECOMMENDED.

SO TAKE CARE EVERYONE, HOPE I WILL SEE U AROUND IN OCTOBER. BLESSINGS.
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-05-25 00:27
I love you too! :D Glad you agree with me about Raelle. Man, she was one writer who really knew the boys...almost better than Kripke himself! IMO Speaking about her, I read that the current showrunner of True Blood is stepping down after this season (I guess Season 5 must be the thing that they all shot for) and that a new one will be named in the fall. I do hope that she gets her chance and that she's named as the new showrunner. Raelle would be excellent! And maybe Sera will sign on to their team. I understand that Sera and Raelle are still really good friends.

Take care and have a wonderful summer! :D
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-05-25 15:53
I really liked Raelle Tucker also. I've been watching some of the old shows, and man the women writers were all so good. By that I mean, Sera Gamble, Raelle Tucker, Kathryn Humphries and Julie Siege. Then came Nicole Charmelo with her writing partner, Eric Snyder (or their names might be the other way around), I was left disappointed. But hey, 4 out of 5 ain't too bad now is it? And there was Robert Singer's wife (sorry, I don't remember her name) that co-wrote one of the episodes this season, and it was pretty good. So here's to all the women writers out there, whether they write for SPN or any other show, BRAVA!
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2012-05-24 00:11
Great review, Alice. This finale really paved the way for endless possibilities for next season.

It opens up so many opportunities for next season. I actually think Sera left more for Jeremy Carver to work with than Eric Kripke left for her.

I agree with Sylvie, Sera has given Jeremy Carver some great raw material to work with (more than Sera actually had for season 6). This storyline can go so many ways. They could really bring back any monster and any person not already accounted for in Heaven. Sam and Dean can also get some great character exploration.

Jeremy Carver seems to be able to bring out the depth in characters (both in SPN and Being Human), so this is the most excited I have been about a new season in 2 years.

And despite the flaws in seasons 6 and 7, Sera Gamble is a talented writer. Many of her episodes are known as SPN classics, and I am grateful for her important contributions to this show.
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2012-05-24 00:13
Sorry, first time using that quote button. I don't think I have it quite figured out yet. That was supposed to be quoting Sylvie above!
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2012-05-24 02:37
HEY U KNOW WHAT? IT IS THE LAST COMMENT FOR S7 SO I WILL NAME NAMES. SORRY FOLKS IF YOUR STATURE WILL GO DOWN BECAUSE OF ME, BUT I LOVE THIS SITE.

OK, SO, THANK YOU ALL: MISS. BEVIE, MISS. GINGER, MISS. RMOTES, YES KAJ, MR. TIM & OTHERS THAT I CAN NOT SAY RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I AM CRYING. I HAD A REALLY BLESSED DAY & ALL I CAN THINK OF IS THAT, IN MY CHURCH WHEN I WAS A WEE CHILE, THEY USED TO SAY : LET MY LAST DAY, BE MY BEST DAY. never understood that until older. I am 49 & this is my 1st on-line fandom.

HAD A CHIEF FOLLOW, & DIRECT MESSAGE ME TODAY. happy dance. I AM BLACK & 1/2 CREOLE. SO I AM OVER THE MOON RIGHT ABOUT NOW. :lol:

BLESSING BE UPON YOU ALL. SEE YA IN OCTOBER IF JESUS IS WILLING & THE LORD SEES THE SAME. old expression. :P
Bevie
# Bevie 2012-05-24 10:51
Thank you Nolanola. It is an honour to be named. :-)

Looking forward to your comments in October and hope you have a happy summer hellatus. ;-)
kaj
# kaj 2012-05-24 21:45
Why thank you NOLANOLA.

You made me feel big it's really an honor. You always put so much energy to every review. I love this site too because we all can say what we feel without being judged.

We can rant, we can praise about the show because the bottom line we all love the show and the boys.

We all come from all around the world just to drop something to this site. It's fun.

Wish you the best Summer, NOLANOLA. :D
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2012-05-28 01:25
Thank you for mentioning me, my friend. The feeling is mutual. I love reading your thoughts/commen ts and look forward to reading them on the new episodes in the fall.

Have a wonderful summer. :D
airbat
# airbat 2012-05-27 16:23
I fear that I experienced the finale as I did the whole episode. Too much in too little time while other things were put away in a hurry. So I wasn't overly thrilled with the ending.

Though your reviwev is great as always, Alice.

I guess I was troubled by most of the things the others here already named. Bobby's two minutes sendoff. Crazy Cass - who made me want to slap him over the head (and the Destiel innuendos- sorry, don't want to step on anyones toes but I am not a Destiel fan. The writers continously feeding something that never was meant to be to beginn with drives me crazy). Also them cutting away the "don't get killed" scene made me mad. It's not like we had tons of brotherly scenes this year. Would it have hurt to let those two seconds in?
The half naked girl irritated me too. I am not prude by any means but why this sexual arousement? What was it's purpose? As did the Kevin scenes. I found them dragged out too long with nothing essential happening in them. Dick was killed of pretty quick, no great build up there.

On the plus side was the Impalas entrance. I too had loved to see Dean driving her, but I understand that storywise it had to be Meg.
Crowley/Dick were funny in their whole Deal doing.
Also Dean's clever plan to trick Dick and kill him.

The ending left me 50/50. First I rolled my eyes thinking "been there, done that". Now I think, it depends what they'll do with it in S8. Do they bring back Dean angsty like after his staying in hell, then no, thank you. I had as much angsty Dean as I could manage in S7.
Who will save Dean? If they won't let it be Sam this time either (and I somehow fear it's gonna be Cas) I'd be dissapointed. I also hope they won't drag the brothers-apart storyline over too many episodes (again, enough of that in S7). I am not too thrilled on a Dean/Cas storyline in purgatory and a Sam storyline doing ? (the same he did in S7, not much).
Of course Sam is gonna look for a way to save Dean, but I'd like for him to actually do it for a change.

I was blind trusting in the writers at the beginning of S7. I am not that openly about S8. I will wait and see how this will turn the first few episodes and go from there....