Tis the season for reflections and looking back and with that in mind, I sat down to do a look at season seven of Supernatural so far. Over all, I love season seven in spite of a few glaring problems that I'll touch on below. Mostly though, the great moments outweigh the few bad things by far. I've not even come close to naming all the hits of the season, but the ones listed are some of the best for me. Being as this is season seven, I'll take a look at seven hits and seven misses (in no particular order) that have come so far this season. Let's take a look:
Hit: Bobby's Mind
What can I say about this that will do it justice? The field trip inside Bobby's memories was incredible: well conceived and well executed the whole way through. There isn't much to say here other than it was wonderful - despite the uber-depressing circumstances that led to this visually and emotionally stunning journey.
Miss: Bye-Bye, Angel Boy
While I loved watching Cas go on one of the darkest power trips in history, the abrupt and unredeeming death of one of my favourite characters is grossly unsatisfactory. Again, I have hope that this storyline will get the attention it deserves in the coming months, but only time will tell.
Hit: Castiel's Turn as God
This may be unpopular, given the eventual outcome of this story arc. Nevertheless, the dark descent into power hungry madness by our beloved holy tax accountant was well written, shot beautifully and acted brilliantly. Say what you will about this character, and the untimely end at the start of season seven, but for me Cas as God was a definite hit ...while it lasted.
Miss: Castiel Who?
Okay, maybe I'm beating a dead horse here, but this has to be on the list and it goes hand in hand with the previous miss: Cas, a major character of the last few years, dies with little fanfare and is barely mentioned again. One thing I've always loved about Supernatural was it's ability to carry through threads and give most everything it's due time and effort ...but on this one, you've kind of dropped the ball show. Please correct in 2012.
Sam and Dean's turn as, well, Sam and Dean a la evil was genius. By far, all the components in this episode were a hit for me: witty humour, Leviathan Achilleas heel, chilling acting talent, and quick moving, well executed plot.
Miss: Baby's in the Corner
Supernatural hit new lows by benching another of their lead characters for much of this season. The Impala hasn't been seen in weeks and I'm sure I speak for most when I say we are just aching to see her beautiful silver rims and sleek black frame barrelling down the back roads of middle America. BRING BACK BABY!
A great many people take issue with Sam and Dean's relationship this season, so this may be another unpopular one on the list. That said, for me this relationship has matured over the season to a new place: both boys have been able to discuss issues with reasonable calmness and/or respect for the other and made great strides toward an honest, open forum between them (one glaring thing aside - get to that later). Sam and Dean have moved quite a ways from simply exercising the sibling fallback - squabbles and nitpicks (not to say this doesn't have a time and place too. See: Twizzlers: Are they really a movie food?)
Miss: Trial Time
Boo-Urns. Again, this is contested, but personally the trial episode was the biggest overall let down in a very long time. Most of the episode fell dismally short of the expectations I held for it and in my book, it failed to reach full potential at nearly every turn: Jo's return, Dean's guilt, Sam's turn as a lawyer - even Osiris was weak. Big miss, SPN, big miss.
Again some will disagree, but I like the leviathan storyline and the evil geniuses themselves. Okay, yes, this is another thread without much attention thus far. But we are definitely getting to the meaty bits in the second half of the season, I know that for sure. What we have seen of the Leviathan tells us they are horribly clever and resourceful, super powerful in every way, near unstoppable and in the midst of executing an evil genius plan. This is a villain I love to hate, particularly with the smarmy mastermind of Dick Roman at the helm of this devious tribe.
Miss: The Fall of the Wall
No need to dwell too long on this point - so far there has been great build up and minimal pay off in this area. Alas, I hold hope that 2012 will allow this storyline to flourish properly.
Hit: Stone One
The moving scene in Hello Cruel World in which Dean is able to pull Sammy back into reality was definitely a hit.
Miss: Bottoms Up, Dean
Seriously, what is up with this storyline? It's been tugged back and forth, built of recycled elements and full of hills and valleys. Suddenly, Dean's drinking and it's an issue. And he's guilty and weird about something. Oh, it's the Amy thing because he doesn't like lying to Sam. But, no that can't be it, can it? MAKE UP YOUR MIND AND COMMIT! Okay, I believe there is a story to tell here, about a man whose lost a lot recently and struggling with what is either apathy or feigned apathy to mask the too-hard-to-face realities that lay below it. Deal with this properly or not at all.
Hit: Old Friends
Death, Lucifer, Rufus, Jo, Karen Singer and Jody Mills. These guys keep coming back one way or another and I love them each and every time they visit.
Do I hate this because I think what Dean did was wrong? No. Do I think it is a miss because I think Sam overreacted and wasn't getting the big picture? No. I hate this because it was drawn out, created unneeded tension and, in retrospect, was way too contrived for season seven of Supernatural. This plot device was flung around for weeks, never really being dealt with full and, in my opinion, muddling past issues to drag them into the present (for example: did Sam connect with Amy because they were both 'freaks'? If so then WHY ARE WE DEALING WITH THIS NOW? Hasn't this 'freak' thing been playing to death?). So yes, Amy storyline was THE huge, glaring miss of the season so far.
So, those are my thoughts on the season so far. What are your top hits and misses? As I said, I have mostly great, positive emotions towards season seven. And I cannot wait to see what the second half of the season will bring us. Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to a brilliant and clever final chapter for the season.