It’s not easy to review an episode of Supernatural that had so many flaws, but at the same time made me grin. Just call me Abby Normal. Hey, what a great username! Maybe I’ll use that instead of Mallena, someday.
Many of the shows that I have loved have had terrible ratings and often suffer an early death. (See: Wonderfalls, Firefly, Braindead, Galavant, The Dresden Files, etc.) I must see things and be entertained on a different frequency than most of the viewing public. I can’t wait for 12 Monkeys to come back and it has a viewership of less than half a million for its live broadcast. Meanwhile, shows like The Big Bang Theory – which hasn’t been funny for years – and NCIS grab a large number of viewers. I couldn’t even tell you what NCIS really stands for, besides Nope, Can’t, I pass, Sleepy. Don’t get me started on Criminal Minds, which hasn’t been interesting since the great Mandy Patinkin left the show. Since I’m in the mood for writing about my favorite shows, instead of the episode at hand, does anyone remember how great Mr. Patinkin was in Chicago Hope? Note: not to be confused with Saint, North, and Chicago West; which are the children of Kayne West. Anyway, Mr. Patinkin had an arc with his ex-wife (played by Kim Greist) on the show. His ex-wife had so many great scenes with him, many from her mental hospital, as she horribly told him that she didn’t want to get better. If she did regain her full mental health, then she wouldn’t be able to stop seeing her hands wrapped around their infant son’s throat as she drowned him in the bathtub. I’ll never forget that emotional storyline and there’s many more wonderful sequences – like a haunting ensemble rendition of “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” that just made me sob.
Anyway, the point that I’m trying to make is this: I watched the Wayward Sisters back-door pilot and without even thinking about plot holes, continuity issues, or the acting ability of Kathryn Newton – and I found myself enjoying it. I basked in the power of sisterly-bonding and wished for more in the future. I want this series to be successful – for the hundreds of people to keep and get new jobs, for Sam and Dean to appear as guest-stars, and for the careers of the female co-stars to bloom and grow.
I’ve decided to be honest about my feelings for this episode and for the mothership (brothership?) of this series. Actually, I was having a fine time watching the ladies of Supernatural taking their turn in the spotlight. I like Claire well enough, but could live without the cheesy voiceover and diary/journal reading. I’m happy with Alex, Jody, and mostly Donna. If she tones down the Minnesotan colloquialisms – I’d enjoy seeing her hang out with this group of ladies on a weekly basis. She does give awesome instructions in the art of shooting. Just aim in the general direction, Ha!
I’m enjoying Kaia, but will probably prefer evil-Kaia, and am glad that Patience isn’t suddenly portrayed as a girl who knows what to do in the Supernatural world right away. I think that she has the wary attitude that’s required for a newbie hunter. I’m not sure how the show will handle her father. He might have one of those convenient plot-development deaths that inserts angst "here." We’ll see, I suppose.
Now, for the sad part: Sure, Dean eating a lizard and Sam refusing to partake is a funny moment. My problem is that I found myself not caring that they were in the episode at all. My main reaction was: Ho hum, so there’s hard-to-love-anymore-Dean and I’m-so-passive-someone-should-check-my-pulse-Sam. I’m not sure that Supernatural has anything left to say about Sam and Dean anymore. Dean’s motives are unclear to me now, and Sam just seems to be following him – one pace behind and agreeable to a fault. I’m starting to think that the reason that Wayward Sisters feels entertaining, to me, is because Sam and Dean are starting to lose my interest. Someone please tell me – what’s left for their characters to do? The really interesting things don’t seem to be on the table anymore. Goodbye to demon-blood-Sam, funny and emotional big-brother-Dean, the Amulet, scary demons, angels with a plan, and fabulous reoccurring guest- stars. I thought that we would have had more stories featuring the alternate reality and fun versions of beloved dead-too-soon characters by now. Nope. At this point, I’m even hoping for Mary to come back and give her boys a reason to carry on. I don’t even like Mary, that much. Maybe, I’m hoping that she’ll be able to re-animate her boys.
In short, I’m probably rooting for the women of Supernatural to save the show, in any form. It’s not likely, since the same men who are making my beloved Sam and Dean act like cardboard cut-outs of themselves, are the driving force behind Wayward Sisters. Heavy sigh. I think I’ll go watch Wynonna Earp, which is written - for the most part, by Emily Andras and other female writers. After giving her amazing cast an epic struggle and a foe to defeat, Ms. Andras will end her episode with the sisters reaching for each other in solidarity and love, even though one sister might have betrayed the other, in that very episode (for a good reason, of course.) I’m hopeful that Jody, Donna, and their posse will become a dynamic group of ladies and that TPTB are smart enough to hire women to write and direct. It could happen.
Musings on Memorable Spin-offs:
Battlestar Galactica (1978–1979) – I was in love with Richard Hatch (Apollo) the minute that I saw him onscreen in this epic adventure. I was a big fan of this original production. Galactica 1980 (1980) – not so much.
Battlestar Galactica (2004–2009) – The remake’s even better than the 70’s series and featured a role for my old Captain Apollo, Mr. Hatch. Caprica (2010) – A confusing yawn-fest.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003) – My eternal devotions are pledged to this series, but Angel (1999–2004) lost me in the last few seasons.
Cheers (1982–1993) – I loved this show because of Sam and Diane. When Shelley Long left, I couldn’t watch it anymore. Frasier (1993–2004) – This one became a marvelous surprise. I didn’t expect to even like it, but the antics of Frazier, Miles, invisible Maris, and company kept me rolling. Magical storytelling and the jokes are always hilarious.
Doctor Who (1963–1989, 1996, 2005–) – I loved the Doctors from Eccleston to Smith and I didn’t really have for Torchwood (2006–2011) that much happy anticipation. However, it turned out to be unique and fascinating.
Happy Days (1974–1984) – Yes, I’m old and have seen every episode of this iconic show. Mork & Mindy (1978–1982) was the real gut-buster, though. The late Robin Williams gave so many great performances and Pam Dauber wasn’t bad, either.
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995–1999) – I only watched an episode or two before losing interest. When Xena: Warrior Princess (1995–2001) was announced, I decided to give it a try. Xena and Gabrielle soon joined my list of favorite female characters.
The Six Million Dollar Man (1973–1978) – I never watched more than an episode, or two, but then The Bionic Woman (1976–1978) aired; and I loved and admired Jaime (played by Lindsay Wagner) with a dedicated passion.
The Vampire Diaries (2009–2017) – I never gave this one a chance when it first premiered, but on Netflix, I soon became besotted by the Salvatore Brothers, Stefan especially. The Originals (2013–2018) was a spin-off that I didn’t need. Klaus is so evil, childish, petty, and boring, that I just can’t watch.
I read many, many positive reviews of this episode on other sites and a lot of viewers seem to be in love. I’m not that sold on it yet – it’s just that I realized, during my viewing, that I’d rather be watching this leaky shell of a show (WS) than watch the flagship series in its waning years.
Come on ladies! Row faster! Let's prove the naysayers wrong.
Thanks for putting up with me, readers. I salute all of you: those who love either (potential) series, or both. I also salute those with differing opinions. Maybe, we are all right about our show and its possible spin-off. It’s a big Supernatural universe and I’m not letting the theory that WS isn’t a strong enough successor to the original to cloud my enjoyment of it. When the boys hang up their weapons, I’ll always appreciate the years of awesomeness and know that Supernatural earned its own epicness, and so will Wayward Sisters, hopefully.
Racing shell image courtesy of: aforathlete.com