Supernatural Midseason Review: What We Think of Season 7 So Far

Clarissa December 5, 2011 34

Supernatural Season 7The Supernatural hellatus is now upon us. Fortunately, we only have to wait a month before we learn the outcome of the midseason finale cliffhanger. With ten episodes behind us, I thought this was an opportune time to look back at the first half of Supernatural’s seventh season and put together a midseason review. But I wanted to present a more complete picture of opinions than just my own, because the Supernatural fandom is the collective totality of so many voices (and even factions). So I’ve solicited the opinions of many well-known writers and fansites in the fandom and put together what I hope is is a fair and comprehensive look back at the season so far. Our goal is really to explore three main themes: (1) what season 7 has been doing right so far, (2) what fans are taking issue with this season, and (3) some thoughts on the rest of the season.

What’s promising right off the bat is that a lot of the writers involved in this review are very optimistic about season 7. I think that Danielle Turchiano put it best when she told me that she felt a bit hesitant about season 7 after an uneven sixth season. However, “From the first few moments of the seventh season premiere, “Meet The New Boss,” I was re-hooked anew. Season six was meant to reboot the series a bit after Eric Kripke’s five season arc came to its explosive end two years ago, but it was in season seven that really felt like the tide had turned”.

Strong Season Premiere. In fact, several writers, including myself, agreed that the season 7 premiere of Supernatural was very good. In its history, the show has had two stand-out season premieres: season 2′s “In My Time of Dying” and season 4′s “Lazarus Rising”. AOL TV’s Laura Prudom thinks that “Meet the New Boss” deserves to be added to the list: “I thought that the season premiere was one of the strongest openers to date, up there with “Lazarus Rising” and “In My Time of Dying”. It was well-plotted and paced and how compelling the show’s Castiel-centric episodes can be.”

The season premiere was amazing and managed to weave together multiple storylines in a manner that didn’t feel jumbled or rushed. Castiel’s “possession” was explored and Sam’s slow descent into the more pronounced madness of episode 7.02 was subtle and poignant. The season’s big bads (the leviathans) were also introduced to the audience right off the bat, which I thought was far more effective and satisfying for the overall season arc than delaying the introduction of Eve had been in season 6.

Back to Being Brothers. After the distance between Sam and Dean in season 6 (and even seasons 4 and 5), it’s been so refreshing to see the brothers back on the same page. More than anything else, I’ve always firmly believed that the Sam and Dean relationship is integral to the show. Supernatural, and its fans, hurt when the brothers are at odds. Despite the whole Amy situation (which I will come back to), I haven’t been worried about the brothers being out of sync in season 7. In fact, even during the Amy situation, I knew everything would be resolved.

Supernatural Season 7Sure, the brothers are occasionally at odds for keeping secrets (think back to how Dean dealt with his father’s death and Sam trying to coax John’s last works from him), but none of those secrets – save the one about Ruby – have ever really come close to destroying the brothers’ relationship. I am overjoyed that the boys are back in sync and dealing with their problems together. Dean may say that he can’t or couldn’t trust Sam because of his unstable mental state, but there’s still no one in the world that Dean loves and trusts as much as Sam. And while it may have looked like the boys were at odds on how to handle the Bobby situation in “Death’s Door”, they were really just acting like themselves – with Sam the one who wants to deal with a crisis head-on, while Dean just wants to deny that it’s happening at all.

Individual Episodes Have a Very Early Supernatural Feel. In addition to the outstanding season premiere, there seems to be agreement across the board that the first half of Supernatural’s seventh season has contained several good episodes. Episodes like “Slash Fiction”, “The Mentalists”, “How To Win Friends and Influence Monsters” and the recent midseason finale have all been singled out as impressive. Laura said “I think that when Supernatural is firing on all cylinders, its best episodes this season (the ones mentioned above) have generally been more solid than most of last season”. Alice Jester, from Winchester Family Business, agreed: “‘Slash Fiction” is an old school lesson on how you amp up a mytharc, and the devastating “Death’s Door” is nothing short of pure brilliance.”

There’s also a fine balance to be found between recognizing that the show has progressed from what it was in season 1 and going back to what made many fans fall in love with the show. That’s not to say that the show has to completely disregard or forget seasons 3 to 6. In fact, it should remember the widening in the scope of the show while still finding a way to make it about the Winchesters as individuals and a unit. Thus far, I think it’s achieved that in season 7. Vinnie, from Winchester Brothers, perhaps put it best when she told me “Not to take anything away from seasons 4-6 because, let’s face it, those seasons gave us great arcs with great scenes with great characters, however the current season of Supernatural is going back to the gore and the scare and the bare bones brother duo that made it popular the first few seasons. It’s also the most realistic – if a show about demon hunting brothers with biblical ties can be realistic – the show has ever been. It’s showcased that they are fugitives that have to hide, that they’re homeless and they have almost nothing. They are hunters and they are the hunted.”

Continued on next page…

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  • http://twitter.com/tiptoe39 @tiptoe39

    Excellent sum-up of the season so far, Clarissa. I am feeling somewhat different on the matter, and if you will allow me to post a link to my own thoughts on the matter – http://tiptoe39.livejournal.com/1292232.html – I think there are some things there that might augment the discussion. Going to sum up a few here.

    For the first five seasons I felt like we were riding a wave of brilliance that allowed us to go over the speed bumps of the less-than-stellar elements. Seasons 6 and 7 I feel like have been the inverse of that – we grab at those moments of brilliance because the underlying wave is not compelling enough. There's a lack of simplicity in the storytelling, a feeling that there are multiple beginnings in search of an ending, instead of an ending compelling seemingly disparate threads together toward the inevitable.

    There's a lack of a heart, a lack of limits out of respect for the viewer that used to hold us back from disappointment. I think that was most clearly shown in the abysmal "Time for a Wedding," where Becky, the avatar for the fandom, was depicted not as an overenthusiastic and slightly batty ally but as an adversary that the show has to fight kicking and screaming. There's a lot of shock value, a lot of going with the craziest option because anything less extreme is what the fans would expect. Thus the midseason cliffhanger, thus killing Amy, thus tearing the boys apart when we were promised they'd stay together. Thus this concept of taking EVERYTHING from the boys. When they lost things before, they made up for it in their relationship, in togetherness. There was something there. Now it really feels like they've got nothing left to lose, and not only that, that they can't win anything to make up for it. You take that much hope away from a show, you're going to bleed fans because it will hurt too damn much to watch.

    The one lesson I'd wish for the writers to learn is that giving fans what they want isn't ALWAYS a bad thing. And by that I don't mean "shirtless Sam" or "Dean cracking jokes again," not that I'd complain about either of those things, but instead by giving us something to hope for, a ray of light that will cause us to believe that there's a reason to keep watching. The best parts of Season 7 so far have been those rays of hope – Bobby and Jody's relationship; Dean helping Sam find reality again; Castiel looking Dean in the eye and saying "I'll find a way to redeem myself to you." But just moments aren't enough. We need something solid. Something that tells us there's something to build on.

    I have a few more thoughts, notably on Castiel, that are behind the link but I'll stop spamming your comments now. Cheers, and thanks as always for the thoughtful analysis!

  • http://twitter.com/zombilvr @zombilvr

    I have a feeling this season is headed for an amazing finale. I was skeptical about this season after the brilliantly written and acted "Meet the New Boss." I felt a little let down. Now that they are stripped down to absolutely nothing, I am very excited about this unique and awesome show again. I am holding my breath for its return.

  • Gerry

    Lovely write up! I'm loving season seven and like you, think we are getting stellar character examination, with a ratcheting Leviathan situation which now is very personal for the boys. I adore Bobby and hate to have him go, but equally would hate for his goodbye episode to be undercut–whether the writers can get around that, I don't know, but if I have to choose between keeping Bobby and keeping the power of Death's Door, I'll go with the episode.

    I had no problem seeing both Sam's and Dean's point of view toward Amy. She was a sad figure, but having killed four people and shown stalking a father with two kids, I wouldn't characterize her as innocent. The actress was very sympathetic, but I had no trouble with Dean's action.

    I suspect we'll see Cas again, which is why he didn't get a send off for his death. I understand why having an angel on call was a story problem, so I give the writers a lot of leeway in figuring out how to deal with his character now that the apocalypse story is over. Really, Cas should have exited the story at the end of season five. I love his character and think he adds lots to the show, so I'm glad he didn't. But I don't envy the writers the job of figuring out how to have such a powerful character on the show. If Bobby was viewed by some as deus ex machina (I didn't–he just saved story time when the boys didn't have to research), Cas really embodies that problem.

    All in all, I find this season to be very strong. Not every episode has been stellar–Time For A Wedding had story issues and felt out of place in the arc (why didn't they care about staying off the grid?)–but the ratio of very good to excellent episodes has been high. And I can't wait for the second half of the season. Dean has fire back in his belly, so Roman better start looking over his shoulder!

    I

  • http://twitter.com/Mangacat @Mangacat

    I find it very difficult to comment on this as there's a lot I agree with, but also a lot I can see why people wouldn't and it makes me thoughtful of course. The thing I can say is, with all the flaws and brilliance and stuff that we've experienced with Supernatural I am to this day and will remain a die-hard (pun intended) fan of the show for whatever they've given us to date. I do agree that a lot of this season was brilliant and I do agree there were a few blunders, but I think I want to address something else that circles back onto these well-thought-out arguments to the fandom debate, but that has seen way too little discussion in my opinion.
    It's, of course, what else: THE META.

    Supernatural, partially due to it's microcosmic nature in TVland, but also due to the point in time when it was conceived and is still running was a very peculiar and revolutionary relationship to its fandom. I don't think I'm wrong to state that Supernatural has currently the singular most interactive dynamic between a traditional tv-production and fandom there is. And i mean that in all kinds of ways, not only in the sense of fandom shout-outs, meta-episodes, but also in the sense of the production TEAM interacting with the fans, addressing them in promotion, conventions, press-events to give us an insight into the workings of a show that are quite unprecedented to my knowledge. It's a phenomenon of the new, virtual, networking world of fandom and showbiz, but also something inherently Supernatural. The Producers have their ear on the pulse of fandom, the fandom has an eye on the producers and together, we're part of the creative process in the way the audience has not been before. However, what we feel so acutely in the livelyhood and ferocity of the discussions is the negative backlash that comes with this kind of openness. What i mean is the way the fans feel a certain kind of entitlement, to get their needs catered to, to see plot lines happen as they see fit and to condem executive decisions if they don't agree with them (which has taken a rather unpleasantly personal turn in some cases concerning the last couple of seasons). Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that we can be a part of the show like that, but ultimately, I feel that fandom needs to take a step back from time to time and realize that while we're certainly most important and have a right to our opinions, but we can't start throwing tantrums of 'if you don't write this or that for the next season, I'm quitting the show, so there' or 'how could they do this to us after all we've been through with them' …
    Just a few thoughts on that matter, even if it is a bit off topic all in all… but it ultimately leads to my assessment of season seven so far being that the real brilliance of this season for me is the fact that I do not want to get up and go search for plot holes or wonder what the rest of the season will do with hanging threads. I just want to come back every week and sit there and let myself be swept up and away with however the story unfolds. Because the emotional, literaly, and visual quality of most of the season has left me just breathless and I trust, I TRUST, that we're in good hands and that this season is leading up to a magnificent conclusion. Until then, I just want to enjoy the ride. *shrugs*
    Cat

  • Anonym

    After two outstanding season premiere episodes, I already ranked S7 as one of my favorites. The dissapointment following the next episodes was so much harder to take for me that up to this point I didn’t recover from. One storyline was completely dropped, the other was just hard to watch anymore after a time. They promised us that the brothers would stand together, instead we got the Amy desaster that (even if every Dean-girl will disagree) portrayed Dean as a non very sympathic character to me and Sam as an not trustworthy. While there where highlights like Slash fiction, they where too few and far in between. Also, I didn’t have the feeling like the brothers were really together like in the first Season. There they’ve been in syn, finish off each other sentences. Now I had the feeling, they where only together because they were the hunted & had nowhere else to go. With Dean’s trust issues & Sam’s emtionfree I am fine I miss the true brotherly bond that got me addicted in the first place.
    I can only guess that now, with Bobby dead (maybe), they’re forced to rely on each other more again but half of the season is gone – well for me at least.

  • Karina G

    I for one am still very happy with the decision to kill Castiel, he like Bobby was a quick fix and while Bobby losing him for me from the show was much more epic and will leave much more resonance, i believe he should have gone too. It was definitely the right thing for the show in my opinion to rip away the support system it was at its best when those support systems weren't there so i'm just really happy that they've made things so much more difficult for the boys. The only thing I want to see now is the show focussing on Sam and Dean in a huge way, we've got Castiel out the way and they gave him a lot of exploration, they've got rid of Bobby after fleshing him out in a major way now set to work letting us relearn who The Winchesters are now with everything they've been through. Show us Sam's struggle mentally with that epically bad wall, I mean that hell Sam in the season 6 finale of amazingness was a complete ruined man, i'm seeing little of that yet, and would like to see more. And Dean I want to see him get his fight back, get his glee about things back he's becoming a little too morose and sullen and I want to see him a bit happy again at least. Let the boys have a laugh together again, mostly I want to see them ENJOYING the hunt again, because there was a time before the weight of the world was always on their shoulders that they actually liked it.

    Interesting article from all the contributers and I am intrigued with season 7 so far.

  • Geordiegirl1967

    Great article. I am loving s7. There have been a couple of missteps. Maybe Sam has been a bit too ‘together’ since HCW, and DYL was a disappointing missed opportunity. But there have been loads of great eps, and the old spn vibe is back.

    I dont miss Cas, but anger from some of his fans is definitely at the root of some of the more vocal moaning this season.

    I am with you. All this ‘if Bobby doesn’t die it will cheapen Deaths Door’ is rubbish as far as I an concerned. The show needs Bobby. The fans love Bobby. And most importantly Dean and Sam need Bobby. The show has got bleak enough without them having this further body blow to deal with. Bobby MUST survive IMO.

    Thanks for putting this together.

  • Sharee

    I loved the first two episodes of the season and really felt the show had grown up and was finally bibro again like in the first season (Sam's been getting his emotions and POV cut down since season 2, and I've been waiting THIS LONG for the show to get it's balls back and show Sam some love, too, here). I was sooooo excited all summer long about Sam's Wall collapsing and felt that at last something so huge had happened to him that the writers couldn't possibly ignore it. And then they ignored it! It's just crap writing, lazy writing, idiotic thinking. There are so many avenues of exploration they could do with Sam's character right now, and they are doing nothing, nada, zilch, with this material. Death's Door was a lovely, emotion-filled episode, but until Sam is allowed to have feelings and an equal point of view on SPN, I can only view the show as one of the most emotionally fake shows on tv. I've become so disappointed about this that I'm writing off the first half of this season as filler. Enjoyable, yes, but mostly just pointless filler.

    I think the problem is that Sam went from 60 to 0 with no explanation or journey on our screens whatsoever. I simply can't get over it. I'm tired of the majority of Sam's story not even appearing in actual scenes with actual dialogue on this show. I'm ready for Jared to just write his own lines in if he's not getting any. He may as well, since the writers decided all you have to do to cope with years of torture and rape is rub your hand, and it works on hallucinations, too. If only Freud and Jung had known this little trick to pass on to their patients! We got 2 episodes setting Sam's story up, and then NOTHING. After the hurt of them not even doing Sam's real story in season 3 (in which he went dark to save Dean from hell), and then erasing his "side" from the brothers at odds in season 4, to limiting his addiction story in season 5 to the first 3 episodes and his redemption to just standing behind Dean and being supportive (Sam's forever role on the show – holding Dean's fragile emo together), erasing Sam altogether for half the season in 6 (though I liked Soulless, actually), I really thought Sera had meant it when she said this was a story that Sam had earned on the show this summer. Thanks for lying and getting our hopes up, there. My grief for the lost potential is now never-ending. I thought finally I was going to be celebrating that Sam was being treated like he matters to everyone. I guess not….. I mean, Dean doesn't even care about what Sam is dealing with, and he's been to hell. He's Sam's big brother, if he doesn't care, and Sam has no struggle on our screens for us to see, then what are we supposed to think here? That Sam's sacrifice in Swan Song was just a joke and that they are avoiding anything that might make Sam sympathetic to viewers?

    Now, I'm a Sam Fan here, but I have no problem with a 50-50 equal POV split. I thought that's where the show was heading at long last. Those first 2 episodes, and even this last one with Bobby, were pretty even for everyone. So what happened in the middle? It's that lost middle that has me in a muddle. I've never been so disappointed in how Sam's been treated than I have been for what should be a major trauma for Sam here. We at least needed an episode that showed us how he got to where he was in episode 3 (oh, and Sam's life threatening head trauma got totally ignored for Dean's broken leg jokes, oh ha ha show, I see what you did there, thanks for ruining any chances of Sam's worst injuries being treated like actual injuries). Episode 3 needed to be episode 4, and 3 needed to be a direct follow up to episode 2. That they didn't do this pretty much tanked the first half of this season for me. I did enjoy the episodes all individually, but the failure is in SPN as a SERIES of episodes forming a greater whole. I feel like I don't know what happened and not knowing what happened just left me bitter and sad. Maybe if I rub my hand hard enough I'll get over it…

  • Tara

    I very much agree with your analysis. It's pretty much spot on with how I'm feeling. I am really enjoying season 7 – finding it MUCH better than 6, and even better than 5. I think Castiel will be back for some sort of send off so I'm not worried about that. I did like his character a lot, but I think they were getting close to overusing him. I will be sad if Bobby is gone and will worry that the show is going to get too bleak, but I think they probably know what they're doing and "Death's Door" was an excellent episode, so no complaints here! Thanks for the write up – great job!

  • JJ

    Nice article–hard to comment on it all with all the detail but I do agree S7 is better than S6…but not up to S1-S5. I also miss Cas who along with Bobby adds to the boys and the show. They are great characters and need to be back.

  • elle ryan

    you guys seem to forget that the bullet destroyed bobby's freaking brain did you even watch the episode properly?? i hope he stays dead cause im actually looking forward to seeing the boys cope on their own if bobby survives after that epic performance from jim IMO it will cheapen the death and it will mean absolutely nothing

    • Clarissa

      I watched the episode properly and even said that Bobby could end up brain dead in the review above. That doesn't mean he can't be saved. And I agree that Jim's performance was superb, but, like I said, I don't think that it would cheapen the performance or his death for him to live. Even if he lives, that doesn't mean he didn't turn out a terrific performance. It won't mean the episode didn't teach us a lot about Bobby's history or show us how much he loves Sam and Dean.

  • Suzana

    ok, now's everything is explained and justified and all rabid fans are happy…

  • Kitty

    I'm loving season 7! It has found a great balance between respecting the evolution of the characters, how far they have come and how much they have been through, with giving the storylines a classic Supernatural back-to-basics feel.

    There have been many great episodes from the writers. The three new ones, Robbie and the new Bens, are bringing lots of fresh blood as well as oodles of new talent. I always love Ben Edlund's episodes, and he has not lost his spark. And Sera can really hit them out of the park when she gets a good crack at the ball–her two episodes this season, Meet the New Boss and Death's Door, were absolutely brilliant.

    Mostly though, I love the characters, and I love them as much as ever. There is something just so Sam and Dean, and so SamnDean, about the boys now that we haven't seen in a while, due to all the forces tearing them apart. I mourn Bobby and Cas, and I hope they come back for season 8, but nonetheless I am loving the Butch and Sundance feel.

    You hit the nail on the head Clarissa when you said it is more realistic. It feels grittier and more palpable. When Dean's leg was broken, it was like Finally! The number of times they have been tossed around, it feels like high time we heard a bone snap. And even though I miss her, Baby is so conspicuous of course they have to keep her under wraps.

    And I am absolutely loving that the monsters turned the tables on them, and the hunters are the hunted. I love how everything is being stripped away, all their tools and havens and allies, in the face of a foe who is like nothing they have ever fought before. It keeps it fresh and new at the same time as revives the classic elements that made people fall in love with the show in the first place.

  • http://twitter.com/zombilvr @zombilvr

    Booya!! Cas is coming back…the Impala will be back…probably Bobby too….this season end is going to be epic.!!

  • Jess

    I, for one, am very glad that Cas was killed off and I hope never to see him again. I am enjoying Season 7 very much and hope for a Season 8. I hope to see more of the brothers working together and improving their relationship. I still can't believe that with all that Cas did to Sam, that Dean would grieve for him. Cas was more of a dick than Dick.

    It would be nice if they'd switch the point-of-view and give us some insight into Sam and how he views all that has happened to him.

    About Bobby… I love the character and hope he makes it. I'm thinking that he will be taken out of the equation for awhile so that Sam and Dean will be truly on their own for a few episodes. Then, later in the season, he will recover from his coma.

  • Thomas

    When they bring the impala back "Back in Black" had better be played or I swear to God (or is it Cas?)…

  • Emma

    This is a really comprehensive and respectful look at the season so far. I wish I could find this tone in more spn related discussion boards, but all the fans are so emotionally invested in the show that it all too often becomes an all out catfight. So thank you for writing something that encourages fans to calmly examine their opinions and be respectful of the fact that not everyone shares them, but that is ok! Supernatural succeeds in examining multi-faceted characters and issues, and if any ‘fan’ did not have strong opinions I would question how much they actually appreciate the show.

  • http://twitter.com/JuliaGrreer @JuliaGrreer

    I loved the first 2 episodes of Season 7, but I think that, except for Slash Fiction and Death's Door, the season has been a huge disappointment. It was set up so perfectly! Insane Sam! Levianthan Cas! All this potential wasted. It took a whole year of story to set up Sam's wall falling. The payoff was great in episode 2, and then it was all reduced to silly hand rubbing. I agree we can't have Sam cowering in a corner incapable of telling what's real or not, but we could have seen more of his struggle for control, how he got to the point of being able to "manage" his problem. All we needed was seeing his story from his own perspective a little more, so we could connect with the character better. I don't understand this Sam and why he's doing so well after everything. And now, because the story has practically ignored during the first part of the season, it might feel contrived when/if it's brought back again.

    As for Cas, I'm not a huge fan, but Misha as the villain "Dick" would have been awesome and would have given the boys a personal stake in hunting the Leviathan. Unless it was for financial reasons, I don't understand whey the writers didn't go that way.

    As for Dean's story, to me it's basically a rethread of season 5. He's depressed, he's giving up, he feels guilty, etc., and he's headed toward suicide, like season 5. It's repetitive, it's boring. Worse, I think that the Amy story was a huge mis step and damaged the character, as well as the brother relationship. I know the show seemed to have condoned Dean's actions in killing Amy and if it's the case, they've shifted their moral goalposts, because if it was right to let Lenore the vampire go years ago, it was also right to let Amy go this time. At the very least it was a grey area and Dean should have given Amy the benefit of the doubt because she saved Sam's life and Sam asked him to. I didn't like Dean's breach of trust and I really didn't like the way he acted toward Sam in "The Mentalist". And I didn't like that Sam just took it, let himself get yelled at when Dean was clearly in the wrong.

    Also, I don't think that the newer writhers are very good. "Defending your life", the witches episode and the wedding episode were all pretty weak, IMO. I haven't found the Leviathans that entertaining and I'm not feeling the closeness between the brothers. I'm worried about the rest of the season.

  • Evie

    Great review! So far this season has exceeded my expectations time after time, and I'm very exited for January.
    Although I had some issues not only with your review but with the season. I feel the writers are wasting amazing opportunities, (such as Castiel's death. He left into a pool of water. Lame. Although that could've been a promise of him coming back, I believe they at least could have made that cooler) and the storyline is….not clear.

    Although if you look at each episode individually (excluding the first two episodes, those are definitely made for eachother), they shine so brightly it impresses me every time. I have my favorites of the season, (episodes 2,3,5,6,8,and 10) and this season has been much better than season 6.

    I feel you left out some good episodes though. Episode 8 was an amazing episode in itself, (if you're tolerant) and episode 3 was also one you didn't credit as much as it deserves. Taking a look into the Winchester's past's makes for an emotional and personal connection, and I think Dean's past is one we still need to explore.

    As for the future, I'm very hopeful. Although I doubt the finale will live up to past finales, (They will never top season 5's finale) I think the writers will have fun playing with different storylines and experimenting some more.

    As for my theories, I think on January 6 with Adventures in Babysitting will be another Vampire episode. This one seems very Sam-heavy, and I'm wondering if they'll have a two hour premiere, with Time After Time After Time being Dean heavy.
    I don't know what will happen to Bobby, but have you considered the option of him surviving and losing his memory? I haven't seen Dean in the promo for episode 11, so maybe Dean stays with Bobby while Sam runs into a vampire nest. (I think they're vampires at least, although I could very possibly be wrong)

    • Clarissa

      Personally, I think Bobby won't necessarily be dead, but will remain in a coma for a period of time. At the very least, he'll be out of commission, but I don't believe that the show would kill him forever. And I'm going to hang onto that hope unless or until they destroy it completely.

      I didn't hate episode 8 the way a lot of people seemed to and I thought it had its funny moments, but it wasn't up there at the top of the list for me. However, I really did enjoy episode 5 (with the Buffy guest stars) as well.

      But yeah, Castiel got far from a suitable goodbye. I think they did it so they could leave the door open for his return, but I'm not sure what else they could have done to do it open-ended.

  • Hunier

    Well, I didn't think for a moment, that it was a ultimate goodbye for Cas, it was clear that he's not gone forever. He "died" like that a few times, so it's not surprising, that he'll be back for 3 eps. Bobby on the other hand seems to be pretty dead – the whole "farewell" episode is pointing at it very strongly.

    About this season: I didn't like season 6 at all, well, maybe there were few exceptions. This season seems to be really better so far, but it also has his terrible moments, like the wedding episode, or the judgment over dean's concience. I really, really hated those episodes…. but on the other hand dialogs are much better, than the season 6's ones.

  • http://twitter.com/BetaArtemis @BetaArtemis

    I believe that Misha Collins should have gotten a mention in the acting section, you guys pointed out Jared, Jensen, and Jim's performances, but honestly, it was Misha's performance that carried the Season 7 premiere and made that episode shine. I feel like he should get a shout-out for that! That premiere episode hinged on his ability to do the three character transition which he did so seamlessly, and he made the Leviathan introduction actually scary, terrifying, and all of us wanting for more.

    I think Season 7 is leagues beyond the mess of Season 6, but that being said, I am still not impressed yet and maybe it's just because I never got into the old school SPN feel so now that the show is trying to go back to the glory days, it simply doesn't grab hold of my attention. Much of the episodes between Episode 3 and Episode 9 just seem like fillers to me and while they were well-written and cute, I was mostly bored waiting for the main arc to happen, and frankly, I don't feel like I should wait til almost mid-season finale for the storyline to even move forward.

    Speaking of main arc, the Leviathans are not as interesting as I thought they were going to be, and the character of Dick Roman as some big boss is a massive disappointment for me because I was not intimidated nor amused, in fact most of the time I'm trying hard not to fall asleep because he bored me. If I didn't have to listen to another one of his whiny speeches, it'll be too soon. The show really wasted a perfect opportunity to tap into Misha Collins' amazing talent, he could have easily made it more frightening and gave it the edge that Leviathans needed. Heck, in just a few seconds at the end of the premiere episode, he was already scaring me more than any big bad in all the seasons.

    And the issue of angels and Cas as a deus-ex machina is one that I hear a lot from people saying why Cas has to die or Misha has to go, but that could easily be remedied with Cas's body being used by the Leviathans, thus providing the emotional punch this storyline very much needs, and it would also be able to bring in more of the relationship bonds that Cas had with the characters even if he is "dead", and even if they couldn't do that, Cas could have easily come back de-powered or damaged so that he couldn't just zap around or do all the angel mojo stuff that he could do before, it could be his punishment, or he could be human. There are so many ways to still weave him into the storyline that it simply disappoints me that the writers never see this character as more than a tool or a plot-point rather than a character with his own value. He was cheated much of his storyline because they never wanted to focus much on the war in heaven other than painting him in a bad light just to make Sam and Dean the good guys. It's really sad for me to see.

    And that leads to another thing that has been bothering me for a long time and recently reared its very ugly head, as much as I like Sam and Dean being the leads and their relationship being the center, the show seems to have developed a tunnel vision view where only Sam and Dean should have storylines while others are just basic plot-tools to be easily tossed away if they can't figure out a storyline. And more to the issue, Sam and Dean, especially Dean, being hypocritical. It was one of the things that's always kept me from fully loving the show in its earlier years, and the boys' treatment of Cas after the truth was revealed just made me even more pissed and angry. Dean and Sam have made their fair share of mistakes and demon deals, and they still continue to do so, running to Crowley for help, yet they crucified and threw Cas out of their circle for the same reasons while emphatically declaring that they don't go making deals with demons. It's very hard for me to root for the heroes when I see that kind of hypocrisy in the way they treat their friend and how fast they all turned on him and refused to listen. It was their way or the highway and I cannot stress how much that kind of mentality turns me off people.

    I like to hope that the rest of Season 7 will be better, will fix the mistakes of the past, and do right by the characters, but there is a part of me that's very very weary because I simply can't feel like I can trust the writers. I was so impressed by the premiere episode and I thought I was totally wrong for thinking that the writers wouldn't be able to do it right, but then it was a downhill disappointment from there on, dashing away all my hopes like the way Cas got swallowed up by the lake.

    I'm not saying the acting or writing was terrible, no, the acting was stellar and on point as always, and the writing has definitely been more solid this season, but it could be so much better if they didn't go make this show so bleak and depressing. I get they want to show Sam and Dean only having each other, but honestly, is a dark depressing claustrophobic world really the way they want? And what is that world worth if there is not even a little bit of hope?

    • Emma

      I agree with a lot of what you’ve said. I personally think that since the first couple of seasons they’ve really simplified Sam’s character to the point where he virtually only speaks up when he is disagreeing with Dean or being ‘broken’, which is unfortunate because I used to really like Sam but now I just find him whinging and boring.
      I think the writers, etc. realised that they seriously screwed season 6 – I have yet to find anyone who believed 6 wasn’t the worst season to date. Thus, I think they had to bury Cas for a while so that they could play it safe and get things realigned. I respect that, but, like you, I do find it a little boring. I kind of feel as though this season is concentrating on ‘getting away’ from something, more-so than moving towards something specific? I don’t if that makes sense…
      I for one believe that Cas’ storyline is by no means over yet. One thing that greatly annoys me and I hope will be addressed on Cas’ return, is Dean’s treatment of Cas in 6. We jumped from them being all bff-ish at the end of season 5, to Dean seemingly forgetting everything that happened that year and treating Cas like dirt. I’m going to take a risk at making more than a few enemies here and lay the blame of Cas’ transformation on Dean, pretty much wholly and completely, and I think Dean should be made to feel guilty for it. Cas never had the internal fortitude of Sam & Dean, and Dean should have been able to see that. He was between the biggest rock and hard place any of them have had to face, and I really think Cas did right, all things considered. The way Dean crucified him was totally out of line. I also found the script writing at the end of 6 disappointing. I mean, really, the ‘Superman’ line? Could they honestly think of no other catalyst to bring things to a head? I’m sorry, but Cas really isn’t that stupid… And his awkward , stilted conversations with Dean were just annoying. I spent the whole time thinking, ‘just tell him you’re too busy, to just for once trust you, there is absolutely nothing he can do, so back off and you’ll explain it all when you’ve finished saving the planet…again’.
      As for Dick, I too find him boring, but furthermore, I just don’t think he has the gravitas of a leader. I doubt he is actually at the top at all, but that he is getting his orders from somewhere. This is all speculation, but I suspect that top daddy leviathan is going to be chilling inside Jimmy’s meat suit. I mean, whoever is in charge, why would they bother leaving for one thing? If you were in a body with the broken angel that freed you, maybe the remains of the human who’s meat suit it is, and all your minions, and you knew that this ‘face’ is the face of a friend of the two guys that are most likely going to try to kill you, wouldn’t you order your minions to go find other bodies and keep the angel alive so that if threatened, you can simply take the back seat, and let the boys face Cas, while knowing you’re hidden deep inside of him? And furthermore, if you’re a clever leviathan, you’re not going to show your face to the guys that are out to kill you for as long as possible. Let them think ‘Dick’ is in charge, it keeps them from looking for you for a while… Or am I thinking way too much like an evil genius? Why wouldn’t the top dog use Cas as a bullet shield? Especially since you know that they hardly know how to kill you let alone exorcise you. It just seems an obvious choice to me…
      Anyway, I think we just need to grin and bear it and wait for the writers to do what they need to do and get things back on track. Hopefully with Cas & Bobby back along for the ride, with or without wings. =)

  • D. Allan Hull

    Here's my problem with the latest episodes….one of the truly unique things were the great late 70's and 80's rock tunes, the vintage Impala, the diverse characters and bizarre relationships….what are the writers thinking??????????????!!!!! To kill of Bobby and discard Castille coupled with trashing the rock tunes along with the 68' Chev is insane and a recipe for series cancellation….it's like they're trying to sabotage the show!!! The vintage tunes and car, Sam and Dean along with Bobby and Cas were the hallmarks of this truly unique series. Maybe they need a new writer!!

    D. Allan Hull

    • D. Allan Hull

      Better yet…introduce a hot, strong good-guy female character (drop-dead gorgeous babe in her 30's)? Dean could marry one of his old flames, or the museum/auctioner chick that had a thing for Sam. But bring back the car and tunes! And don't throw away Castille and Bobby!!! I write science fiction novels, and have a few great ideas for some episode screenplays….but the series needs a little less doom and gloom and a little more hope and bloom!

      D. Allan Hull

    • Emma

      ’67! (Sorry, just had to)
      I agree, maybe the music change is because the it was from Kripke’s personal collections? Idk, still doesn’t explain a lot though…
      But as someone previously said, if back in black had better be playing!

    • Clarissa

      The reason for the lack of classic rock is the budget. It costs a lot of money to license more popular songs for use in a show and the DVDs they release. If they need to cut the budget (especially as the actor and crew salaries increase year after year), then they'll take that money from other sources. The music would be a logical choice.

  • Melanie

    Bring back Castiel, for good. Keep Bobby. Let the boys be a little happy, and how about a return to the loving Team Free Will of earlier seasons?

  • Nikki

    Great mid season sum up, appreciate all the hard work.
    NOW…. let's talk Bobby Singer, HE MUST NOT DIE!!!! he has been a rock for the boys and a second Father to them, he is one character besides the Winchesters that should NEVER be killed, and the long standing saying of "your not really dead if you die on Supernatural…" is BS!!! it just wont be the same, I mean look at the few interactions with Jo and Ellen, just not the same. PLEASE DONT KILL BOBBY!

  • Envie

    Not sure who originally said this, but in my ideal fanworld, Misha will return but not as Cas at first, but eventually Cas will break through and help stop the Leviathans, sacrificing his grace/angelness in the process. Rendered human and relatively powerless, but still with his angelic knowledge and dry sarcasm, Cas will settle down somewhere and become the new Bobby, helping the boys as best he can from the sidelines while giving them a place to call home when they need it. That would allow him to stay in the series without feeling like an overused deus ex machina, but would also ground the boys again – a new home would be a nice reward for Sam and Dean after everything they've been through so far this season, and everything else yet to come.

    (that and they'd get to bust out a new set, and I love the sets in Supernatural <3)

  • Nitewoman

    Excellent mid season review. Agreed with all your points especially about not killing Bobby I could not survive that and Dean needs Bobby he has lost too much

  • Sarah

    I think S7 is much better than 6 was. I even liked the Amy storyline and episode. Love Dean getting his badassity back. Want him to find his "sacred calling" to the hunt again, now. Hope that this time his being unable to keep all his feelings inside that "lead box" of his, will lead to this, and to his leading the way as a hunter, to defeating the leviathons and also finally lead him to his own redemption, as happened for Sam in S5. That would make S7 great to me, and anything else they gave us, would just be gravy to me.

  • Ash

    Season 7 SUCKS!!!!! Supernatural is lucky that it was renewed for season 8. I really don’t care what happens in the finale