TV Review: Supernatural Season 12

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Source: Wikipedia

Spoiler disclaimer: This post will discuss some spoilers from Season 12 of Supernatural, so if you haven’t watched the season finale yet or aren’t caught up, skip this post and come back when you’re caught up. 

After I watched the final episode of Season 11 of Supernatural, I did the equivalent of throwing a book across the room in reaction to the set-up for yet another season of the long-running (and I mean long) CW drama. But I recently got around to watching Season 12 to see if it would pique my interest in the show again, and I can honestly say that I was surprised at how interested I was in each episode. Some fans have lamented that the series has gone on for this long, and cite Season 5 as the true ending of the show for them, and that’s fine, while others have stuck around to see what else the show has to offer. Although I was ready to throw in the towel after the somewhat uninspiring and lacklustre Season 11, I’m glad I gave Season 12 a chance because it’s the most interesting that the show has been for years.

This is the first season in a long time where I found myself actually genuinely interested in each episode and I think it was because even in the episodes where there was a “Monster of the Week,” it somehow related to the current drama that was going on with the Winchesters and their involvement with the dastardly British Men of Letters or with the Lucifer subplot.

To be frank, I was surprised that the show had never done a “Lucifer is going to have a baby, we have to stop that thing from being born” narrative before, but I think the writers and/or showrunners considered it would be a good angle to pursue since so, so many others shows and films and books have explored that territory before. Although it remains to be seen in the upcoming “lucky” Season 13 what the consequences will be of such an event, it’s safe to say that Castiel’s visions of sugarplums and rainbows probably won’t be it. I will say that the mother of this child, Kelly, annoyed me to no end, I did prefer it when Lucifer chose the vessel of the fictitious former Hair Metal Glam superstar, ably played by Rick Springfield, which was a very cool addition this time around.

I’m not going to spoil the ending of the season finale, but I will say that I’ll be interested to see whether the two (wait, make that three) characters who we are convinced are dead actually are in fact dead, because as we know on this show, the concept of death and being gone can be fluid and not exactly absolute. Lucifer’s schtick is starting to wear thin on my patience, and I wanted to see a deeper, more personal subplot with Crowley where they really get into the meet of the feud as opposed to just skimming the surface. Still, it provided for a good looming threat in addition to the mostly stuffy British Men of Letters. Speaking of which, most of them did a good job getting on my nerves, especially Lady Bevel (I preferred the actress’s turn as Valerie on Season 7 of The Vampire Diaries), but I thought Mr. Ketch deserved more characterization and more exploration as to why he became the way he did. And of course, with Mik (sp?), at least there was an interesting layer of knowing that the British Men of Letters were definitely up to no good but that there was some grey characterization mixed in so it wasn’t all black and white.

With the return of the boys’ mother, Mary Winchester, nee Campbell, who used to be a hunter in her own right, I know there have been some mixed reactions with some fans being not too keen on her involvement, but for a show that has been on as long as this one has, and that keeps on chugging along, the writers constantly need to be doing something new, and I think this was definitely interesting territory to explore at times. I was expecting the whole time for something to go horrifically wrong–she would be yanked away from Sam and Dean as quickly as she had come back, that it would be a demon in disguise playing a cruel joke, that it would be like a clone or not really her, that she would turn against them at one point. I don’t think she answered enough about her involvement with Azazel, but nonetheless, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to her in the next season.

The episode in which Dean is hit by a memory spell and as a result starts to forget everything about himself, including his name, could have gone a very schlocky route but I thought it was a nice turn that allowed Jensen Ackles to show more of his acting chops, and although the cause was supernatural, it turned from comedic to very serious as the affliction mimicked the effects of watching a loved one go through dementia or Alzheimer’s, and it was very painful.

Two other things I really liked about this season were the plotlines involving hunters all across America becoming the hunted thanks to the British Men of Letters, and the introduction of more Princes of Hell, including Dagon and Remiel. I’m not gonna lie–I was totally panicking at first and thinking, “Wait…but they killed Azazel! How can this be?” for a moment or two. The introduction of the cool lance as a weapon which had very real consequences made me wish it would stick around. Speaking of weapons, although I did like seeing the Colt in action again, I thought that with the Alpha vampire episode, it served a very good purpose and the tension was real, but in the following episode with the God Pan, it felt like overkill and like the weapon was getting kind of overused by that point.

And of course, there’s the question of a certain beloved character who we saw again in the final episode when Castiel discovers that the impending birth of Lucifer’s son created a rift between earth and some sort of Bizarro world alternate dimension. It begs the question of how the two worlds will co-exist or function alongside one another, similarly to the sections we saw of Limbo when Dean was stuck there a few seasons ago.

This season’s big plot hole: So, since Castiel killed Billie, aka the Reaper, aka Death, who took her place as Death? Last time the Winchesters tangled with the first version of Death we saw on the show, there was a time when the dead weren’t going where they were supposed to go and it was creating huge problems. I expected the characters to address this plot hole in the following episode, but it wasn’t really mentioned in a big way since then. Theoretically, shouldn’t Castiel become the new Death? Or shouldn’t another Reaper pop up to take Billie’s place? I hope they’ll address that in Season 13, because it’s a pretty big plot hole.

For those who watched Season 12, what did you think? Overall thoughts? Ideas for what will happen in Season 13? What did you like or dislike the most about this season? Sound off below!


Supernatural, Season 11 Episode 1: Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire

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Supernatural Season 11
Supernatural Season 11 promotional poster. Source: Wikipedia.

SPOILERS AHEAD, so if you haven’t seen the first episode of Season 11 of Supernatural already or if you plan to watch it later, come back to this article after you’ve done so.

What I liked:

  • Crowley, although basically hitting the same note he has for the past few seasons, had an inventive return for a while
  • I like Castiel just as much as the next person, but it was nice to see that when he summoned his angel brothers, they weren’t the forgiving kind. Rowena cast a spell turning Castiel into a rabid killer in the season 10 finale, and he’s still a rabid killer, so it’ll be interesting to see if he ever manages to shake this spell.
  • Sam had to be infected with the Darkness because otherwise if it didn’t personally affect one of the brothers, it wouldn’t give the audience much of a reason to care.
  • Even Dean, with all the morally ambiguous things he’s done, would not willingly bring harm to a baby (even if it does have the Mark of Cain.) Speaking of which, that brings me to…

What I didn’t like:

  • I think it’s good to keep a balance between male and female villains so it was a good choice to personify The Darkness as a woman. So far she’s pretty underwhelming (as compared to Abbadon, who made far more of an impact) but the season is still young.
  • The name “The Darkness”–when your cast is poking fun at the name, you know you’ve got issues.
  • So basically, whoever the Darkness infects becomes a violent zombie. Yawn. Also, how is it that some of them seem to last a long time while others die so soon?
  • I’m glad Rowena was not in the season opener because she was one of the most irritating characters from last season, but she’s bound to return so I hope she’s more interesting this time around.
  • So far it seems like we’re in for a retread of the Supernatural season that I hated the most, the Leviathans.
  • Oh how cute, the baby who was rescued from the hospital has the Mark of Cain. Because that’s not gonna cause problems.

Overall, although I still like aspects of this show, I feel like the showrunners weren’t really sure what else to do after ten seasons, because they’ve already done so much and the show is starting to drag. They’ve repeated a lot of the same conflicts and the product is starting to get a bit stale.

It feels like they’re taking turns now where every season it alternates between Dean being the one to have the problem that must be solved (i.e. last season with the Mark of Cain) to this season where it’s Sam’s turn to have the big dilemma (infected with the Darkness).

Also, I’ve never been a fan of the split between the Big Bad of the season but then also Monster-of-the-Week mini conflicts that almost seem to minimize the impact of the Big Bad, but everyone has a different take and I know that many people are fans of the split, which is totally cool. To each his or her own.

For those who have watched the Season 11 opener, what did you think? Will you keep watching the rest of the season? Are you still riveted to find out what will happen to the Winchesters? Sound off below!