After 11 seasons, it’s hard to believe that anything else can be done with Sam, Dean, Castiel, Crowley, etc. that hasn’t already been done. After 240+ episodes, the chances of rinse, lather and repeat are very high, yet we watch anyway. So, why create a Season 12 Wish List?
Easy, I’m angry. I’m a long time fan…a really long time…and I can honestly say that the end of season 11 killed my passion for Supernatural. I cannot forgive tossing aside everything that season 11 built up to in the last three episodes and ultimately turning the show (and it’s characters) into a total train wreck. It was too much of a betrayal to me as a loyal fan. I accept creative license, but that was just a plain insult and lazy writing. This show used to offer something extraordinary and fun, but most of all it was smart, challenging, exciting and wildly unpredictable. Stories and character arcs were woven where they had a lot of layers underneath for analysis, artfully connecting past and present. Unfortunately, most episodes now are to be taken at face value and superficial.
I know your answer, many fans have told me already, “Then don’t watch!” After all this time invested, shouldn’t I be hanging out for the final payoff? I can watch in hopes that I’ll get that. I want to enjoy Supernatural again. Season 11 had one of my all time favorite episodes in “Baby” so the story telling potential is there.
So, as we embark upon yet another season, a season opener that is loaded with skepticism considering the rug was pulled out from underneath us, I present my Supernatural season 12 wish list.
- Actual character development for Sam and Dean…ALL SEASON LONG. I know the focus is supposed to be on character-based stories this season. Well how about actually doing them on your main characters? Consistently. From beginning to end. Too much to ask?
- A real story for Castiel and Crowley. One that doesn’t make them look like bored, pathetic buffoons. Remember when these two were rather dangerous?
Yeah, I’m not sure I do either. If you’re going to make them series regulars and give them plot time, how about giving them a real plot! Hanging out bored in the “Hell of Earth” headquarters or the bar is not permitted any more, nor is wandering aimlessly from place to place without a purpose.
- A cohesive season arc that builds well and MAKES SENSE FROM BEGINNING TO END! Nuff said.
- Less fan pandering and shout outs to prior seasons. Just tell the damn story! That doesn’t mean the story cannot be connected to past events, but do it artfully, not quick mentions.
- No more senseless deaths of semi-regulars or past characters. Not that there’s anyone left to kill, but they did just bring Mary back…
- Filler episodes that are actually entertaining (I’m looking at you Brad and Eugenie).
- Stories that don’t insult my intelligence and are more emotionally layered (I’m looking at you Brad and Eugenie).
- Does anyone remember when Supernatural had a nice blend of humor with horror? When did that go out of style? I’m hoping this new set of writers have an actual sense of humor.
- What happened to Sam’s powers? (This has made the list every year since Season Six. Still waiting!)
- No more “fallbacks” on overused tropes that have plagued this series for a while. Like what? Just off the top of my head…
- Sam and Dean are not stupid, don’t make them do idiotic things for the sake of moving a plot in a certain direction.
- No more interrupting meaningful conversations with a phone call.
- No reporting on current events with one or two throwaway lines at the beginning of a MOTW episode (nope, we still can’t find Cas, XX character is still in the wind, let’s work a case!). This also falls in the common failure to “show, don’t tell.”
- Sam is NOT a damsel in distress. He’s kind of bad ass. Quit knocking him out and tying him up. Quit sticking him with the monologuing villain while he finds a way to cut through his bonds. Quit making his hair look absolutely perfect while he is in said predicaments. We want messy!
- Dean needs to be doing something meaningful, not just going through the motions. He also needs to stop worrying about Cas. He’s a big angel, he can take care of himself.
- Most importantly, SAM AND DEAN ARE HEROES. Stuff it with the grey area dilemmas. They’ve been there enough. We get it.
- Have Mary's return affect BOTH brothers. No, Sam doesn't remember her, but her deal to save John affected his life as much as it did Dean's. There is a chance for real emotional resonance with her return. Take that chance for character exploration and developement.
- Don't have Lady Toni and the BMOL become instant allies who everybody trusts. She shot Sam, damn it. She painted their actions in the worst possible light. Don't let this be Cole 2.0 where all is forgiven just because. We used to allow other hunters to be antagonists (see: Gordon Walker). Let's go back to that ambiguity.
- No more angel politics! I don't care who is running heaven. Really!
- Since Lucifer is out there, make him scary again. Lucifer as a sulky teenager doesn't cut it. He was a terrifying adversary. Keep him that way.
- Speaking of Lucifer, make Sam not alright with him being out again. Don't rely solely on Jared's acting to show that Lucifer hurt Sam and that Sam can still be terrified of him. You had Dean terrifed of Alistair, and it added to Dean's story. Try again with Sam.
Nightsky's Pie-in-the-Sky List
- My #1 concern is the British Men of Letters storyline. Nothing about it feels supported or genuine. The society has been a source of pride for Sam and Dean for several years. Since the discovery of their legacy, it has provided them with a treasure trove of research resources; strong allies (such as Henry, Dorothy and Delphine to mention a few); and a cozy, mostly secure home. Now, with no prior mention or build-up, an international faction hates the Winchesters to the point of considering them an enemy deserving of extreme torture and death. So far, this seems ridiculously contrived. My first choice would be for this storyline to be thrust into the Empty for all eternity. I am completely annoyed by the whole thing. I'm an optimist, though, so since Sam’s abduction inextricably committed the writers to this path, my biggest wish for season 12 is that this storyline becomes legitimately believable very, very fast. As one of the major underlying myth arcs of the year, we must buy into its premise and peril. Season 12’s suspension of disbelief entirely depends on this being done right – fast. I'm going into season 12 giving this new writing team the benefit of the doubt.
- One of the positive outcomes to season 11's climax was Mary. I am very excited about Momma. I’m thrilled to have a strong, female hunter in the mix and I love that she and the boys will get to know each other. I can’t imagine this ending well, though. They can’t be a threesome for long. It would change the dynamics of the show. So where is this going? Ideally, the show successfully balances giving us quality Mary time WITHOUT taking away too much Sam&Dean time and does NOT lead to a gut wrenching conclusion to Mary’s life (again). My wish is that they find a sustainable way for the expanded family to exist in the Winchester’s world without diluting the importance of the brothers.
- Please follow through on all the “Threads” that will be clearly and purposely woven into season 12 (dropping Sam’s faith arc last year really irked me). If I can track them, so can you.
- Keep the show complex. Don’t “dumb down” episodes. Make the dialog tight and meaningful. We can keep up.
- I would like to hear more classic rock - the real stuff that was used in earlier seasons.
- I’m thrilled we got away from the boys fighting with each other all the time. That was TIRESOME. Keep up their mature, working, loving relationship.
- Sam and Dean are strong characters. They won’t be weakened by sharing the limelight with equally strong allies or foes. Strong characters = high quality episodes so give us the smart version of our favorite characters:
- Quit knocking out Sam. Really.
- Use Crowley’s strategic mind and quick wit.
- Make Castiel a confident ally again.
- Give Rowena depth. She’s a strong woman (good or bad) so STOP THE WHINING.
- Make Lucifer menacing again. No more daddy-issues-therapy please.
- Visits from established, successful characters are always welcome - Jody, Donna, Dalphine, Bobby, Rufus, Billie…
- I wish that Andrew Dabb proves himself to be a talented showrunner who delivers complex, intricate, high quality characters and stories. Supernatural’s future is in his hands. Season 11 delivered some of the best episodes of the series! Do it again please, only keep it up all the way to #23.