Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Supernatural Season 8 In Retrospect (**Mild SPOILERS**)

It’s been about a year since I posted my hopes and dreams for Season 8 (that is, before it aired), so I think it would only be fair to record how I feel about the season that has since come and gone. It could be summed up in three meaningful letters: O. M. G.

A surprising percentage of my desires were met in this season thanks to our savior, Jeremy Carver. Bobby was given a better send off, the Leviathans were essentially written off and made irrelevant, Sammy got some angst and inner conflict back into his character, we got to see Purgatory, there was a LOT of crying and for good reason (as well as hugs), Castiel and Dean were in a sense restored to their factory settings, and best of all CROWLEY. Crowley stepped up and kicked ass, and I could not have been happier.

My only disappointment, which can be tolerated, is the lack of Lucifer and Michael. However, there was sufficient mention of them, so we can only hope it’s leading back up to them. *fingers crossed!*

All in all, I think Season 8 was brilliantly written to bring the show back to its roots of the brothers and their relationship while finding new ground to tread. There was a lot more reference to Season 1 here that inevitably made the fans squeal, especially when a couple familiar faces popped up. Season 8 was terrifying, hilarious, and best of all, heartbreaking—as it should be. Also, Osric Chau as Kevin and Felicia Day as Charlie earned their places among the SPN Family, and most of us will be happy to see them return over and over again. DJ Qualls as Garth was also a wonderful addition, but the character unfortunately disappeared mid-season due to Qualls starring on another show elsewhere called Legit. (Haven’t watched it yet, but I intend to!)

It would be a lie to say I have nothing to complain about, however. If there was one thing that kinda irked me throughout this season was the questionable importance of Amelia. It was nice to see Sam find love and normality, don’t get me wrong, but the character was lacking in depth and necessity. Once Sam broke up with her, she faded off into the background and contributed nothing but a backstory for Sam’s year off, but with no substance. She had absolutely no encounter with anything supernatural, and broke the pattern of all the girls who sleep with Sam dying. (Not that we want to kill everyone that Sam opens his heart to… yes we do. What?) Even Benny had some important role in the plot. And he was charming. I’m certainly hoping to see Ty Olsson come back in Season 9.

And no season in any show is completely flawless. There were a few less-than-wonderful moments in Season 8. The first one that comes to mind is the trial in which Sam had to trek into Hell to “rescue an innocent soul.” It was ridiculously easy for him to stroll in and out without a scratch, which made it a bit of a letdown. A similar letdown was the episode which featured Grandpa Winchester, “As Time Goes By.” The casting was phenomenal with Gil McKinney in the role. Physically, he could easily be related to Jensen or Jared (who don’t look related at all making it all the more miraculous). And his acting of the 1950’s Man of Letters, the man who contributed to the hard core character that was John Winchester, was perfect. There should have been more of him, but we only got one episode. The character’s entrance proved to be extremely important, since they wouldn’t have gotten their new headquarters without him. But the family interaction is what makes this show float. They could have squeezed that lemon a little more. 

Whatever fell short in Season 8, however, was completely made up for by the finale. Not only was it an emotional rollercoaster, but the twists and turns that the writers threw at us were surprising, but not out of the blue. The last scene was shocking and insanely epic in terms of story, special effects, and characters. I nearly fell out of my seat, which hasn’t happened in a long time with this show. (I’m intentionally not saying what the finale consisted of. In the off chance that this would be a spoiler to someone, I don’t want to be the one to spoil it. It was that good.)

This blog entry doesn't contribute much, I know. It's mostly just a place for me to get these thoughts out of my head. Now that that’s out of my system, I may follow this up with a Season 9 hopes and dreams, now that we know it’s official.