Last Friday was a new episode of Supernatural.
I didn’t watch it.
Well, okay there was a small hiatus and I forgot if it was last Friday or this Friday.
But when I learned I missed a new episode, I didn’t rush to go watch it online. This is new. Usually, I jump at the chance to put off being productive and watch the latest Supernatural.
So what’s up?
The show isn’t as good as it used to be.
There I said it.
The season started with this huge bang in the start and it was gloriously full of so much potential. But now all that energy exhausted itself after so many one-shot episodes that were…lacking in the quality department.
But overall, Supernatural has just deteriorated.
Why? I’ll tell you exactly why.
Promises Not Kept.
In other words, too many pulled punches, too many feints.
If a scene in a story features an item or an event or something that is mentioned, it must mean something later on and be fully explained and utilized for maximum impact. But many times, the writers of Supernatural introduce an element that is bursting with potential, only to let it die for no reason.
Let’s take a look of the biggest broken promises that really lowered the standards of the show.
From Season One, Dean wore this amulet and held onto it as if it was his most prized possession other than the Impala.
In Season Three, we learn that Sam was the one who gave him the amulet for Christmas when they were little and is a symbol of their tight bond (this revelation was really perfect at the time — it raised the stakes by emphasizing how much they care for each other during a time when Dean was sentenced to go to hell in a few months).
And then, in Season Five, a promise was made. Castiel asks for Dean’s amulet, saying it’s a very rare magical amulet that burns hot when in the presence of God. Castiel asks for the object so he can look for God and ask for His help in stopping the Apocalypse.
The promise here is that the amulet will burn hot in the presence of God. It also promises the presence of God later in the show.
Dean gives it to him relunctantly…and that is nearly the last time we see it.
The only time it shows up again is when Castiel, disheartened that his father has no plans on helping them, gives it back to Dean, who in turn, throws it away after losing faith in his brother.
And that is it.
This wonderful object that symbolized the brother’s bromace, which is pretty much the theme of the entire show, cast away without so much a whimper.
It didn’t burn hot. It didn’t do anything. And now it’s gone.
And for no reason, because Sam and Dean are back on good terms, even stronger than ever, so it being casted aside like that makes it even more unnecessary and anticlimactic.
God and Castiel’s Resurrections
The existence of God has been mentioned back in Season Four and emphasized in Season Five. In fact, Season Five is where the promises were made…and utterly not kept.
Before, God was sort of an idea. He existed, but was absent. And honestly, they should have just kept it that way.
But then in Season Five, God supposedly saved Dean and Sam by putting them on a plane and out of danger, and then goes on to resurrect Castiel not once, but twice after being annihilated by his older archangel brothers with no explanation whatsoever.
The promise was there is a God. He’s still here. He’s helping you guys. And the reason he’s helping will be revealed eventually.
But this promise was broken. Sam, Dean and Castiel have yet, even ONCE seen or directly spoken with God.
The only thing we get is a vague scene of Chuck the Prophet disappearing as if he was God all along. And I don’t care if he was. It makes no sense and it ruins the promise of the amulet as well, since it never burned in Chuck’s presence.
Not only that, but Castiel’s resurrections had LOADS of potential. Why was he resurrected, not once, but twice? It’s a promise. The promise is that Castiel is unique and very special to God.
Never mentioned again.
(With the exception of that one time in Season Six when Raphael was about to kill Castiel, but again there’s no explanation why he was resurrected and why he wouldn’t be resurrected now).
In Season Six, Samuel — Dean and Sam’s grandfather and their mother’s father — was resurrected by the demon Crowley in order to capture big game monsters so Crowley (and Castiel as we soon discover) can torture the bejesus out of them and find a way into Purgatory and all the tasty souls stored there.
There is a scene where Samuel is looking at a photograph you can’t see. This here is a promise. It’s a promise that this photo or whatever the hell he’s looking at is important.
When Dean and Sam discover Samuel was working with Crowley, they confronted him and demanded to know why he was doing this. We learn that the photo was of their mother when she was younger. He goes on to say that Crowley promised to bring her back if he helps him.
This is another promise and a big one.
It promises there will be a chance that Mary Winchester might be coming back to life and all the implications that meant.
But of course, we never even get close to that happening. Crowley was most likely lying to begin with and then he “dies” a handful of episodes later, so that idea vanished with him.
And thus the sole motivation for Samuel’s actions disappeared and left us with a character that didn’t really have a purpose anymore, even though Samuel himself was a promise as well.
When the writers introduced him, they promised that he’d be important to the plot.
That was made very clear when he became one of three characters that died in the same episode and then never mentioned again.
Castiel’s Last Words
The latest promise.
Like I said earlier, if something happens (something someone says, something someone does, the introduction of a person, idea or thing, etc), it must mean something and be addressed fully. In fact, the higher the potential of the element or idea, the more important it is to fulfill it.
Otherwise it’s disappointing or anticlimactic.
So, in Season Seven, our current season, when Castiel releases all the souls from his body and collapses, two things happen that I feel have meaning or should have meaning.
Otherwise, why would it happen that way?
One, Castiel was dead as a doornail for a good minute, before suddenly coming to life again. Why?
This isn’t so much of a big deal and it does add suspense.
However, for it to happen just to bring the audience (and Dean) to the edge of their seats is a stupid reason cause…well, this isn’t supposed to be a “show”. It’s supposed to be real and everything that happens should have a reason behind it. That’s how the real world works.
It doesn’t rain heavily when you don’t have an umbrella just so those around you or God can feel sad for you. It’s because of the atmosphere science and stuff. (It’s a poor example, but you know what I mean).
Stories can get away with it, especially genre T.V. shows and movies, but it lowers the quality dramatically.
This is also a great opportunity to finally explain why the hell Castiel keeps coming back to life. I doubt it will be addressed, but the option is definitely available.
Two, when Castiel wakes up, he promises Dean that he will redeem himself to him. He insists on it, even.
Then he gets possessed and that’s last we’ve seen of him thus far.
Now I know we will see Castiel’s return soon. So this isn’t a broken promise…yet.
But if Castiel does not redeem himself or try to, even if it’s at the end, then this would just be another promise unfulfilled.
However, I’m very optimistic that this one will be kept and will prove very satisfying.
Still all the previous broken promises and plot holes have amounted to a less than reliable show.
Until I know for sure the next episode will be one I really want to see, I’m not going to be motivated to see it.
End of story.
So keep your promises and you won’t lose loyal, obsessive fans like me.
Has anyone else stop watching a once beloved show thanks to gradual plot deterioration?