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Supernatural : Season Seven Review
I've ranted about this season in previous articles, and I will continue to do so here. The season started off with such great promise in the first two episodes where we had the introduction of what possibly could have been one of the best villains in the series. It turned out that Dick Roman and the Leviathans were the worst out of any villain in the series. Instead of being a serialized show Sera Gamble, the new showrunner for season six and seven, decided to make the show easier for newcomers by making it have many more individualized episodes. Granted, it helped the ratings greatly, but it didn't make me think any higher about the Leviathans which were the big new thing in the season. Not to mention all the other plot points added in to this season that were either forgotten, or just simply thrown under the rug. Most plot points had potential as well, but due to the high amount of individualized episodes, the attention wasn't there on the major plot points of the Leviathans, Dean and Sam's psyche among others. While it had it's clear drawbacks it did do a good job of bringing in more fans which also means more seasons. However, that could be a bit of fool's gold to previous fans as the quality of the show has clearly suffered since the departure of the creator Eric Kripke. I will give credit where it is due as Gamble did do a good job of wrapping up the season with a fantastic cliffhanger that mirrors previous finales.
Castiel came into the season under the notion that after he had absorbed all of the souls from Purgatory that he had made himself into God. He wanted this power to end the war between he and Raphael in Heaven, as Raphael wanted to jump start the Apocalypse once again by freeing Lucifer. With his new power, he quickly killed Raphael. His power was great, but his ego was even worse. He truly believed that he was perfect but didn't realize how grave of a mistake he had made. Dean, having heard from Death that he would eventually reap God, decided to bind him in an attempt to get him to reap Castiel. Death explains what Castiel had absorbed, most notably the Leviathans. A peculiarly entertaining batch of creatures to Death that were thrown into Purgatory by God as they were a threat to not only humans, but also his angels. The souls he took on were too powerful for him to control and they fought and clawed they were to gain control of his vessel. To avoid any further complications he turned to his old friends in an attempt to set things back to normal. Castiel asked for forgiveness from his one time friend, Dean, as they attempted to send the souls back to Purgatory. All of them returned except for the Leviathans. The Leviathans took control of his vessel and seemingly killed Castiel but were sent across the globe through a public water supply.
Of course, you cannot have a character like Castiel go out in a disgusting black gooey explosion. In his return, he was not the Castiel we all know and love. Instead, he was your normal everyday family man but with a special gift. Dean stumbles upon him when searching for some one or something to help his brother recover from being driven insane of hallucinations. Castiel promises to help him, but Dean does not reveal to him that he isn't the family man that he truly believes himself to be. On the ride back to help Sam, Dean talks about why Sam is in the predicament that he is in and that it is all because of a friend that bit off more then he could chew. The two run into Meg on their way to the mental institution and when they reach the institution, Meg tells them that the place is surrounded by demons. Dean is hellbent on dealing with it in his own way, but Meg explains that they have their own personal demon killing machine in Castiel. Castiel begins piecing together that he is this man that Dean had been talking of during their ride to the looney bin. He takes it upon himself to face the demons, completely oblivious as to how to do so. He takes his hand and places it on a demon and kills it. With every one demon he killed, it allowed his memories to slowly return to him. He apolgized to Dean, and was even more guilt-ridden when he saw Sam struggling with his hallucinations. All of this harm had been caused by him, the Leviathans roamed free on the Earth and Sam had gone crazy and was close to death himself. Castiel decided to take on the pain to himself and absorbed the hallucinations that Sam had been having. He had felt that it was what he deserved for what he had done to his friends and the world. Eventually, he is healed, but isn't exactly himself. Instead, he is a hippie kind of version of himself filled with happiness. He does however help in the final battle against Dick Roman, the leader of the Leviathans, as he helped create the weapon to kill him. He was also beside Dean when he stuck it through his neck and sent to Purgatory, but more on that later.
One of the bigger loose-ends from last season was that Sam had remembered his time spent in Hell with Lucifer. He obviously was not all right in the head and it showed it's ugly head fairly early in the season. While Castiel had his problem and attempted to send the souls back to Purgatory, Sam went to retrieve an object for the ritual but was interrupted by a hallucination of Lucifer. Lucifer had explained to him that everything since "coming out of the cage" was all a big part of his grand form of torture. He explained that him coming back had to be messy, otherwise it wouldn't be believable really hit home with Sam. It made Sam really think as he continued to see Lucifer torturing his friends and simply being a nuisance. Eventually he reached a breaking point to which he was unsure if he was talking to Dean or Lucifer. Dean helped his younger brother by proving to him what was real as he pressed into a rather deep cut in his hand. This allowed Sam to remember what was real as he felt the pain, and as he continued to press deeper into his hand then Lucifer eventually disappeared, but not for long. Throughout a majority of the season you would see Sam frequently pressing down on his hand in discomfort as he would look around the scene.
MIdway through the season, he broke and talked to Lucifer. This made his little hand trick useless as Lucifer could now have his way with him and never allowed Sam to sleep. This of course led to Sam being sent to the nearest looney bin to be saved by Castiel upon his return. All of that is fine and dandy while also being a terrific way of bringing back one of the true bright spots of the show, Lucifer and Mark Pellegrino portraying the character. Above all else though, it felt as if this storyline was simply that. An excuse to bring back such a great character.
Remember how previous heroes died? Like Jo and Ellen Harvelle? They went out with purpose and with honor. They went out in a heroic kind of fashion. How did Bobby die you ask? A bullet by a so called terrible beast that had the power to kill angels. Terrific writing right? Nope, just lazy writing. Any Supernatural fan would tell you that Bobby was a core part of the show as he was essentially the Winchester's surrogate father who had always been there for them, and for him to go out by a bullet is a hard pill to swallow. We expect our epic heroes like Bobby to go out with a bang, fighting forehead to forehead with a beast, who only wins because they have a supernatural advantage. To be stopped by a bullet makes it seem like he was some how less than a hero, like he could've been stopped by any ordinary mugger on the streets. To send Bobby away with anything less than a legendary last stand is a betrayal to the fans. Yes, it is that bad. Although, I will give them credit for giving us a terrific episode where we see him struggling with passing on to the other side. It gives us a great insight into Bobby and not just him as a hunter but also as a boy who had an old abusive drunk for a father. Hell, he even refuses to leave as he feels that his boys still need him, and that's where it went wrong. I have no problem with Bobby fighting to stay alive, but I have a problem with him becoming a ghost. He openly becomes the very thing that he and the Winchesters had hunted all of their lives.Never ever would I have thought to see the day. His reasoning to be a ghost is to make sure that the Winchesters defeat the Leviathans. Instead of actually being a help, he ends up being a nuisance as he continues to push himself further and further into being a vengeful spirit. Eventually, Bobby sees he is doing more harm than good after he nearly killed Sam and convinces the boys to let him go peacefully into the night. Mind you it was a very well done scene, but still, like above it is not the way a character of his stature should go.
Dean was walking a very thin line throughout the first part of the season as he struggled with losing his best friend, having Sam going off the rails, and with this great evil sent out on the world. He killed Sam's friend who was in fact a monster, but had no intention of hurting good people. He explained to her that one way or another, something always goes wrong. This reflected what he felt with Sam, knowing that his brother would eventually lose control over his hallucinations and become a real problem. Dean even goes as far to say to Bobby, "When do things ever go our way?" in the first couple episodes of the season. After the third episode, Dean's mental stability is a rocky road that seemed to be leading to a break in the road where he would completely lose his cool. When Bobby passed away, Dean was seeing red and it very possibly could have led to his untimely death but after one talk with Bobby's friend, Frank, Dean had been sent straight. So let me get this right, one talk, sets Dean Winchester straight. One talk from what is essentially a stranger mind you. Let's chalk that up to lazy storytelling yet again. His psyche is perfectly fine after being told to be a professional and do your job. I'm sorry I have a hard time swallowing that pill as well. Dean has literally been through Hell and back and despite all of that things have never gotten better for him. It is completely understandable for him to be broken, and for a stranger to tell him to do his job with a smile on his face comes off a bit disrespectful. In fact, I'd expect Dean to deck him for saying such a thing.
Dick Roman was the leader of the dicks, pardon the pun, but it was used a lot in this season. I heard from a friend that the writers based his likeness of off Patrick Bateman from the America Psycho film starring Christian Bale. Upon hearing that, I can see it, especially considering Roman's look and demeanor. He led the Leviathans that had escaped Purgatory and instead of being a terrorizing kind of villain, he was much smarter than we thought he would have been. He posed as a political figure which gave him plenty of power as he slowly began to dwindle down the human population. Leviathans viewed humans as delicious walking fast food, and Roman wanted nothing else than to make them lazier and taste better. He began to mess with food and syrups that made all humans into zombies essentially. He even sided with the one remaining Alpha from last season, the Vampire. However, when Roman was moving in on his food group, the big bad vamp couldn't have any of that. Not only did Roman piss off the Alpha Vamp, but he also managed to irk Crowley, the king of Hell. Roman explained to him that he viewed demons as a spineless kind of filth that is even worse than humans. Now, I'm sure that no one would take that as a compliment, and yet Roman expects Crowley to be his ally in the final hour. He and the Alpha Vamp helped the Winchesters in creating the weapon that would ultimately lead to Roman's downfall. Upon his death he continued with a creepy laugh as he exploded he took Castiel and Dean with him into Purgatory.
It is a shame that a season with such great promise faltered solely due to it's want to be a more individualized season in an attempt to broaden it's viewers. If it had been more serialized like previous seasons, then the story arcs would have more than likely been given much better care and told much more efficiently. It was also impressive to see the different angles and techniques they used in terms of directing in the early parts of the season as the show was clearly trying to become more creative in their camera use.
The season did falter mid way through the season ( like from season four all the way to fifteen mind you) but the final few episodes were all pretty good. The season was not on the level that season six was or even quite possibly season one and three which were viewed as two of the worst seasons in the series. However, it did set up season eight very well with Sam truly on his own as Dean and Castiel are stuck in Purgatory. I doubt Sam will be on his own as I am sure he will ask for help from Jody Mills or Garth who helped the Winchesters a few times in this season, but still he is away from his usual group. Dean now gets to see all of the wonderful parts of the universe, he had previously seen Heaven and Hell, so why not throw him into Purgatory. Then he can be like Dante Alighieri. Although, with him in Purgatory it does set up the intriguing aspect of him possibly running into fan favorites such as Azazel, Alastair, Ruby and so on.
My gripes with this season can be placed at the feet of Sera Gamble as showrunner, and I will not shed a tear as she leaves the show. Many Supernatural fans will agree that she is a talented writer to which I would agree, but as a showrunner, she does not have the foresight to run a successful show. In comes Jeremy Carver as the new showrunner who has previous experience as a showrunner for Being Human, and had written episodes for Supernatural previously. Here is to waiting this coming fall for a new and better season of Supernatural.