Now that Supernatural has deservedly been renewed for a ninth season any speculation about what they might be facing on the ‘long road’ is just a tad more real, particularly with the high stakes of this eighth season. Let’s do a quick review: we have a Demon Tablet which could help the brothers lock the demons out of the realm of mankind permanently, and we also have an Angel Tablet out there that could help their arch enemy Crowley (Mark Sheppard) rid the Earth of Angels. So which of these scenarios would work out best for the series in the long run? There are several different outcomes that could take place, let’s review:
The Demons are expunged.
So in this scenario, Sam presumably completes God’s obstacle course and the Demons are cast out from the Earth. The ramification for the story aspects of Supernatural are many. Demons intersect with witchcraft specifically—you might even say they ‘empower’ it—amongst many other forces of evil. It’s hard to imagine what the global impact of deadening the primary force of evil from the world would have. Would this mean that Sam and Dean would face more natural world supernatural forces in the coming season? Nessie and Bigfoot types, with fewer hardcore evil foes?
Of course this could be an opportunity for the Supernatural writers to explore more paganesque avenues of evil influence, developing stories that delve into Celtic folklore, and the like.
On the other hand, Supernatural could explore Evil as less of an abstract than a metaphor. They have in the past, and in fact with the Benny story arch they are doing so in a big way this season.
The Angels are expunged.
If Crowley succeeds in casting the Angels out, does he really obtain that much more of an advantage? At present it seems like the Angels are reduced to a more militant force meddling in his dealings at best and not organizing any kind of offensive to rid the world, or the Universe for that matter, of Crowley and his Demon ilk at all. Of course the most devastating impact of Crowley succeeding in locking the Angels out would be the loss of Cass, and he is such a fan favorite it is unlikely the Supernatural producers are in any hurry to get rid of him.
The other interesting angle to this is that Angels have never really represented a reliable force of good on Supernatural. This is in keeping with the deeper metaphorical struggles of good and evil, of course. Good has always been much harder to define in the Supernatural universe than Evil, with the permutations of the ‘Greater good’ device often muddying the waters.
There is no firm indication, for instance, as to whether Amanda Tapping’s Naomi is a force of ‘good’ as it relates to us humans, but she is certainly acting on the behalf of some faction of the Angels. (?!).
Angels or Devils? Who Should Win
Either outcome spells major changes for Supernatural on the long road ahead, but it almost seems the easiest to adapt to would be this: both sides win.
With the early introduction of the Men of Letters arc, it could be that the Supernatural braintrust has a more significant game changer planned for Season 9 that draws from barely explored new mythology. Beginning the descent down the Men of Letters rabbit hole kind of felt suspect to me from the beginning. It feels a bit like … indoctrination. Will the Men of Letters bunker ultimately hold secrets relevant to the currently overarching plotline? Perhaps, but it seems more likely that it sets the stage for what comes after the wrapping up of what has become a well-worn overarching storyline for Supernatural: the battle between Heaven and Hell with Mankind caught in between.
I’d propose that at the end of the day, neither side will gain a perfect victory, allowing those fan favorites we talked about to continue to be involved in Supernatural’s future, but in order for Sam and Dean to embark into a new unexplored mythology that could sustain the series for however long, it’s time for the Angels and Devils to suffer a setback.