251 (edited by Grizzlor 2020-11-20 12:41:37)

Re: Supernatural

I watched it off the DVR this morning.  I thought the "clip show" was well done.  I most ways, the previous episode was really the finale.  "Carry On" was definitely touching, and I think totally fine the way they ended it.  Seen many fan comments about Dean which they were unhappy about, but I mean, they won, so, what more was there to do?

The other cool thing for me, they aired exactly 327 episodes of the show, and while "Baby" was a '67 Impala I believe it's only likely to have a small block Chevy.  One of the most prominent engines GM ever sold, the 327 cubic inch!

PS: I think we can do full commentary, I mean, there's only a few of us commenting on the thread and we've probably all seen it.

Re: Supernatural

I'm looking forward to watching it tomorrow.

Re: Supernatural

So regarding Dean....

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I think the death made sense.  I wish he'd had a bit more happiness, but he needed to die a warrior's death.  If you'd flipped Sam and Dean in the finale, Dean would've been depressed.  He tried the normal life, and it wasn't what he wanted.  Some people can't die quietly at home - they need to go out fighting.  I thought it was a little odd that he died the way he did, but he won the war.  I think Dean would've been content with just about any death after defeating Chuck.

One thing I thought was interesting is the two boys.  When they pulled up to the barn, I started worrying what would happen.  The story I wrote for them was that the Winchesters would end up taking the boys in and training them to be hunters.  When Dean died, I thought Sam would.  Train the next generation of hunters.  I think that could've been a fitting ending.  Maybe even switch the deaths and have Dean be the new John. 

The odd thing about the finale was how open-ended it was regarding the universe while being fairly closed for the brothers.  I guess they could do a Sam and Dean (the son) movie, but Dean's definitively dead.  I think they left the universe open (Jack didn't destroy all the monsters) so that they could revisit the universe, but it was odd that they didn't definitively leave open any way for Jensen and Jared to both come back.  But the universe is still ready if any spin-off ever wants to happen.

Re: Supernatural

I watched episodes 19 and 20 last night and I thought both were really good. Episode 19 was an effective season finale. Sam, Dean and Jack wandering through an empty world was an eerie and pandemic possible-method of finishing filming on the season and Rob Benedict's depiction of a villainous 'God' has never been better with Benedict's warmth, charm and sincerity revealed as a falsely-affable shell on top of a demented, indifferent and sadistically amused entity. The sheer pettiness of Chuck disappearing a dog simply to needle Dean was painful. And the repeated shots of Chuck striking down Sam and Dean only for them to keep getting back up was powerful. And Chuck's fate to live out a normal human life was highly effective and fitting.

The only part that didn't work for me -- the boys' somehow expecting Michael's betrayal was odd, as was Michael's betrayal in general. The alternate universe version had proven vengeful and determined to kill Chuck; this Michael being loyal to Chuck regardless of Chuck's betrayals was peculiar. There was also something arbitrary about it to me; Michael could have just as easily warned Chuck of the false spell knowingly to lure him out. But it went by so fast that it didn't seem to matter.

It was a very interesting choice to wrap up all of the Season 15 plots in Episode 19 as much as possible and leave the slate clear for one last episode. There were some unfortunate setbacks that couldn't be resolved: despite a presumed offscreen restoration, we will never see Donna or Charlie or Eileen reinstated to reality onscreen. It sounds like the intention to bring those performers back was there, but once the pandemic hit, it became impossible to afford the cost of flying everyone to fly to Vancouver and housing them in quarantine for two weeks if they'd only be on set for a day to film their shots.

Episode 20 was an interesting depiction of what Sam and Dean's lives would be if Chuck were not constantly engineering apocalyptic situations every year that put them at the center of everything. They would fight monsters of the week. They would have pie. They would save people. They would age. And they would die either in one of their monster hunts or from old age.

The episode is somewhat marred by showing Sam's marriage but not whom he married; on a second viewing and on pause, the woman standing out of focus at a distance looks like Jared Padalecki's wife Genevieve. In the fictional reality of the show, the woman is clearly meant to be a restored Eileen, but it looks like it was simply impossible to afford the cost of having Shoshannah Stern flown in, put up in a hotel for 14 days and then on set for that shot. But it seems unlikely that Sam's wife is anybody else after this past season where the show resurrected Eileen from the dead, had Sam go out on a date with her offscreen, and had him texting her urgently two weeks previous. It looks like, because they couldn't get the actress, they didn't want to insist that it was her and draw attention to her absence, so there's no photograph of Stern to be seen; they decided to film it ambiguously rather than try to summon the presence of a performer who couldn't be there and let the audience summon her instead.

The pandemic also seemed to force a number of unfortunate but unavoidable concessions; there is decidedly less physical contact between the brothers, Jack and Bobby than one would expect. No hugs. A very minimal amount of touching, some of it engineered through clever editing and what may or may not be frame manipulation. These disappointments will be immortalized. SUPERNATURAL survived for 15 years on the same economics as SMALLVILLE and those god-awful horror movies that Rewatch Podcast is perpetually reviewing; it didn't make big money, but it also didn't cost big money, so it was also earning reliably. It's unlikely the resources will be there to film a few shots of Shoshannah Stern or Briana Buckmaster or Felicia Day to integrate into 19 and 20 for a future release. This is what it is.

I assume that if there were a Season 16, the child versions of Sam and Dean would appear in the present day, age into the present day Jared and Jensen through some magical MacGuffin. And I do expect a SUPERNATURAL Season 16 comic book at some point. But I think this is the end as a TV show: the spinoffs never came together, the lead actors are very, very tired and they have been working on the show a decade after they thought it would end. Season 5 would have been a great ending, but Season 15 was a good ending.

Re: Supernatural

I do wonder what would've been the original plan for the finale.  Because I don't think the ending felt stretched out.  It might've been Eileen in the scene where Sam dies and the scene where Sam is playing with Dean?  I never really thought that we'd seen John and Mary and Rufus in Heaven.  They needed a messenger, and while all of them would've made sense, I think Bobby made the most sense (you could make a really good case for John, but I think Bobby meant a ton to Dean).

The more I think about it, I think the ending makes a lot of sense.  Sam wanted a family and peace - Dean just wanted everyone to be safe.  Sam got to live in peace, and Dean got to rush to the big family reunion. 

One question I had coming out - did Sam stay a hunter?  Looks like Dean had the anti-possession tattoo, but I think it could've easily been just to get one like his dad's.  Or, even if they weren't hunting, Sam could've made him get the tattoo just to make sure demons stayed away from his son.

So if they ever do want to come back, Sam and Dean (the son) hunting could work.  I also assume they could bring Sam and Dean out of Heaven for one last job.  That could make some sense.  Because, yeah, all the spinoffs area dead, but if the actors get the itch, the CW would love a limited series return or a movie of some sort.

Did you read that Jensen was dissatisfied with the finale?

Re: Supernatural

According to an interview with Andrew Dabb and Jensen Ackles, the finale's story was largely the same -- but anything involving large numbers of extras or returning guest stars was cut. There was an intended montage of guest-stars, so I assume that we would have seen Charlie, Donna, the alternate Bobby and others restored to reality in 15x19 and that we would have seen Eileen and Sam raising their son in 15x20.

I did read that Ackles wasn't happy with the ending, but he didn't specify what he wasn't happy with and he also said that Kripke assured him that Dabb's ending was the right one and he accepted it.

I remarked to my niece that to see Felicia Day die once is tragic; to see her die in the same show twice suggests that Chuck's rather sadistic. It's a shame production didn't film everyone being reinstated to reality at the same time as they filmed the erasures.

I also think that Castiel was supposed to be present. He's mentioned as working with Jack, but he's not onscreen and I have no idea why; I read that Misha Collins was quarantining in Vancouver, but that could have been a mistaken report. It's possible that with all the risks, production elected to not bring back an actor for whom they'd filmed a death scene before the shutdown.

From a storytelling stance, though, the finale was supposed to show Sam and Dean without Chuck's ongoing interference and from that perspective, it makes sense to show the brothers without Jack, without angels, and without anything other than Eric Kripke's original intention of SUPERNATURAL as a series about two brothers hunting American urban legends and the result that would come if Chuck hadn't been artificially extending the series for 10 seasons after the Lucifer/Michael battle was concluded.

The implication of the montage is that Sam continued to hunt as he responded to a call for help. It's the last image we have of Sam engaged with his career as a hunter. There is no later image to suggest that he walked away from the profession. At the same time, if any fans prefer to think that Sam retired, there is an open space for fans to think that.

It's the same logic by which I'd say that the woman standing at a distance behind Sam is Eileen; the last explicit update we ever got on Sam's romantic life had him dating Eileen, so any woman Sam subsequently marries is likely Eileen -- although if fans want to slot in any love interests that Sam met over the last 15 seasons who weren't killed off, there is again space to do that.

A lot of fans are upset that the finale was not explicit that Eileen was Sam's wife, something that could have been achieved through Sam engaging in sign language to the woman in the background or showing the actress in photographs. But... I really, really did not like it when the show tried to summon the presence of Kathryn Newton as Claire by having Claire text Jody from offscreen or having Jody say that Claire was in Yosemite. It was clumsy and artless. They might as well have had Kim Rhodes turn to the camera and say, "We couldn't get Kathryn because she's busy filming THE SOCIETY and also, ever since DETECTIVE PIKACHU and BLOCKERS, she's gotten really expensive."

I concede that I don't have an alternative to that. The show needed to address Kaia's fate and Claire's situation even if Claire wouldn't appear on camera. But I appreciated how the finale did not try to hammer Eileen into the episode without having Shoshannah Stern to swing the hammer. As Informant would say, you have to know when to hold them and when to fold them, and the finale accepted that it didn't have Stern and didn't have Eileen -- but it made some space so that if you wanted it to be Eileen, then it was Eileen, and if you wanted it to be Dr. Cara Roberts / Lana / Lori / Sparrow Jennings / Velma from SCOOBY DOO or someone else, it could be.

Re: Supernatural

The previous episode was the finale for me, and yes, maybe the way they "stuck it" to Chuck was a bit hokey, but I think that was the point.  I felt it was a very A-Team kind of story resolution, which is a good thing. 

The finale was simply an epilogue.  Was it necessary?  That I'm not sure, as they'd largely resolved the series the previous episode.  However, I mean, it's the last one, and I think it was a unique take on it, because with Chuck out of the picture, you feel like their lives return to how they were perhaps meant to be.  Honestly I felt it was a very heartwarming way to end the show, and again, both actors have no issue "returning to the characters" at some point in the future.  It may have sucked for future fan fiction, but it is what it is.  Eric Kripke has said that his finale would have really been hated, telegraphing that pretty much everybody goes out in a blaze of horrific glory, ha ha.

I wound up being lambasted on the SPN Facebook page for saying that the show basically closed all the arcs.  A bunch of mainly female fans they proceeded to read me the riot act on how a dozen different characters were not resolved.  Honestly, I had to google most of them!  They appeared like ONCE on the show.  These people are nuts.  Also, who Sam's wife was really isn't important.  Like I said, it was a 30-minute epilogue for a 15-season show.

Re: Supernatural

Yeah that's kinda how I felt.  And it's a 15-year show with two leads.  I think it's perfectly fine to make the show about them.  Cas got his finale.  Jack got his finale.  Bobby got more than one finale.  John got a couple.  Mary got a couple.

Again, the only real complaint that would make any sense is Dean's death.  One that it happened and two that it happened the way it did.  And I maintain that if Dean could write his ending, dying after saving a couple of kids from some legacy vampires is probably pretty high on his list.  Even if Sam had died and Dean had lived as a John figure to those boys he saved, Dean needed to go out in a blaze of glory like John and Bobby and Rufus did.  It's the hunter way, and Dean was a true hunter.  Sam didn't care as much, which is why you could easily see Sam go into retirement.  I mostly agree with ireactions regarding whether Sam retired, but my head canon says that he stopped hunting as soon as Dean was born.

Did they pick the best way to kill Dean?  I don't know.  Again, it was a case from John's book, and a vampire is formidable.  The rebar part is a little off, but it needed to be a death that allowed Dean to win the fight decisively and then have time to talk to Sam.  And a death where Sam doesn't have reason to rush him to the hospital.

The other question is - could Jack have saved him?  Could Cas?  And I think the answer to that is that Dean needed to die right then.  He'd done his work.  And he could've lived for another 20 years and saved a few hundred more people, but there are other hunters that could do that.  And Dean deserved an eternity of happiness.  He'd earned it, and there was no reason to make him wait any longer.

Re: Supernatural

I assume that even a retired Sam would train new hunters, give advice, set up waystations and teams, collate new data on monsters, maintain a weekly email newsletter, let people know about exciting sales of wolfsbane and dead man's blood, etc..

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I can understand the irritation that after 15 seasons of battling werewolves, vampires, poltergeists, serial killers, Satan, archangels, Leviathans, mutated angels, Robert Singer, the King of Hell, the Men of Letters, God's disgruntled sister, the FBI, God himself and dental cavities, it's frustrating for Dean to be taken out by a vampire and a nail. But to me, that just captures how death sucks whether it's some self-sacrificing explosion or a small scuffle. Death is never happy in real life, and SUPERNATURAL was quite true to life in that respect.

In addition, Dean has died 112 times: 106 freak accidents in "Mystery Spot," a car accident, dragged to hell, shot to death, becoming Death and self-induced death to talk to Death (twice). The only death that the show hadn't done at this point was something small and low-key. As for whether or not Dean had to die -- I think that it was a dramatic necessity because the show had repeatedly resurrected Dean (and Sam). But this was to be the series finale, and rather than leave fans wondering how Sam and Dean would come back for some hypothetical Season 16, they showed Dean die and in the afterlife to make it clear that this was the end.

There's also the fact that SUPERNATURAL has had a decidedly unromantic view of death, often at its own cost and to the outrage of fans, specifically with Kevin Tran and Charlie -- but I'm not sure SUPERNATURAL was wrong to kill those characters the way it did. There was a strange sense of consequence to Kevin's death. He was only ever expected to be a guest star, but Osric Chau won over the fans and the cast and crew, so they kept him on -- but the character was in a difficult position. His mother was kidnapped. His girlfriend was murdered. He couldn't protect them.

Kevin was not a fighter, and while the show could have had him training with Sam and Dean and present him as combat capable, there came a point of no return where Kevin had spent so long as a non-combatant that it was too late to overturn it. Kevin was a scholarly student hiding in the bunker, incapable of defending himself against monsters like Sam and Dean -- so his eventual death at the hands of any threat that could gain access to the bunker was inevitable.

The show refused to excuse itself or Kevin from this painful but inescapable path of cause and effect, only giving Kevin the slight comfort that in death, he could bid farewell to his mother before Chuck sent him to heaven -- except it turned out Chuck sent him to hell to keep him in circulation for future episodes of his favourite show. (Presumably, Jack sent Kevin to the rebuilt heaven afterwards.)

And with Charlie, we had a somewhat inverted version of Kevin that came to the same unfortunate conclusion. Charlie rose to the challenges of becoming a hunter: she became combat ready, she drew upon her past skills to defend herself in her new life, she proved able to disguise herself, she was fit for life as a wanderer and researcher and fighter. But the life of a hunter is constant, endless, repeated exposure to deadly situations with enemies who are stronger than any human. Hunters survive based on knowledge of monster's weaknesses, partnerships, teams, preparations -- but those can fail and in the end, Charlie was trapped in a room with a monster too strong for her to beat and she died.

This was incredibly offensive to many fans. Felicia Day was offended. The cast were offended; when Season 10 showrunner Jeremy Carver was asked to explain this at a convention, the cast and crew around Carver took a step back from the microphones; they would not defend him or side with him. Carver said that it was where the story took him and ultimately, Charlie's death was upsetting and hurtful because death is upsetting and hurtful and most hunters die horribly.

The fan protest is that Sam and Dean have repeatedly been spared death and that surely a beloved character played by a beloved actress had earned the same privileges as the straight white men who lead the show; that surely a lesbian and a female hunter and a beloved role model to young girls and LGBTQ viewers should be excused from the likely outcome of a dangerous life, and that refusing to give some of Sam and Dean's privilege to Charlie and Felicia Day proved ghastly and horrific.

And I can see that -- except the show seems to have addressed that with Season 14 - 15, noting that Sam and Dean were spared because Chuck spared them. Because they were his "favourite show." Season 15 in "The Heroes Journey" further notes that Sam and Dean have been granted many special exemptions by being the leads of Chuck's favourite show that other characters like Bobby, Garth, Kevin and Charlie don't receive. Sam and Dean have exemptions from death, credit limits, parking tickets, the common cold, car battery failures, dental decay, indigestion and food allergies.

It's also fair for fans to feel sad that many guest-stars and recurring characters never got an on camera resolution. This was an unfortunate effect of the pandemic making it impossible to bring back many guest stars for the finale. I am sad that we never saw Jack face off against Harper Sayles the necromancer again. But -- the unfortunate truth is that any show that makes it five years (never mind 15) is going to have unresolved arcs because TV is perpetually hit by actor unavailability or sudden changes in the rush to crank out 20 - 25 episodes a year. No series escapes this.

From a creative standpoint, SUPERNATURAL absolutely grasped that it needed to give its guest-stars more screentime and development, especially its female characters. Over several seasons, the show built a cast of recurring female guest stars in Jody Mills, Donna Hanscum, Alex and Claire and then built momentum to launch a spinoff in WAYWARD SISTERS, a place where they could finally offer their female players the same advantages as Sam and Dean. The spinoff wasn't picked up due to (a) Kathryn Newton's success in BLOCKERS and DETECTIVE PIKACHU making her more expensive and (b) the CW having a lot of other shows that year that wouldn't come with the Kathryn Newton pricetag. The SUPERNATURAL creators had absolutely no control over that; they saw their own flaws with women, they attempted to balance it out, but their measure was rejected by the network.

Also, SUPERNATURAL addressed the Charlie issue by bringing in an alternate universe version of Charlie which proved satisfactory. This would suggest to me that the issue was not killing off Charlie, but rather killing off Felicia Day, and since Felicia Day returned to the show, SUPERNATURAL's point with Charlie's death has a clearer validity: hunters lead dangerous lives and will likely die during a hunt, their deaths will be violent, and death is always upsetting. And ultimately, once Chuck was no longer forcing Sam and Dean to be the star of his favourite show, Dean was treated in the same way as Charlie: he lived a life of constant kill or be killed situations and he was killed. His number came up.

Could Jack have saved Dean? Of course. But Jack freed Dean (and Sam), liberating them from the endless cycle of death and resurrection and being at the center of Chuck's favourite show. To resurrect Dean again would have been to steal his freedom instead of granting him peace.

I think it's fine to dislike it. But it was a perfectly valid writing choice and there weren't that many options that hadn't been explored after 326 episodes.

Re: Supernatural

ireactions wrote:

In addition, Dean has died 112 times: 106 freak accidents in "Mystery Spot," a car accident, dragged to hell, shot to death, becoming Death and self-induced death to talk to Death (twice).

Maybe it was in the episode where Dean died a bunch of times, but didn't a reaper or Death tell the boys that they'd died many more times than that?  I can't remember the context but I keep having this thought that the universe was repeatedly fixed numerous times so that the Winchesters wouldn't die.  So whatever situation would happen where Sam and Dean would live, that's the situation that would happen.  I feel like it was pre-Chuck storyline, but I can't guarantee the scene ever even happened.

Either way, I think the "unlucky" episode proves that the Winchesters, while very talented, aren't the incredible hunters that we've been led to believe.  They have infinite deaths on, and anyone can beat any game if you have infinite chances.  And in addition to being in a very dangerous line of work, I felt like the brothers were also pretty impulsive and reckless.  Even in the final confrontation, they aren't doing much recon, and they go in just expecting to come out the other side.  With no cheat code on, one of them didn't.

Re: Supernatural

Billie in 11x02, "Form and Void":
You and Dean dying and coming back again and again -- the old Death thought it was funny, but now there is one hard fast rule in this universe: what lives, dies. So the next time you or your brother bite it, well, you're not going to heaven or hell. One of us -- and Lord, I hope it's me -- we're going to make a 'mistake' and toss you out into the Empty. And nothing comes back from that.

I don't recall Billy giving a number of deaths.

As for "The Heroes' Journey," I genuinely don't think the authorial intent was to say that Sam and Dean were talentless and inept and only ever propped up by Chuck. It's simply that they were given the means to bypass things that Kevin, Charlie, Bobby, Rufus, John and Mary had to deal with.

Sam and Dean's sudden inability to pick a lock is often cited as an example of the brothers being incompetent without Chuck stacking the deck in their favour. But, in my view, it's actually a subtle DOCTOR WHO reference to how after many seasons of the Doctor being stalled and delayed by locked doors, the writers introduced the sonic screwdriver and spared the audience the tedium. (Any show that names a character "Amy Pond" has some WHO fans on staff.)

Chuck clearly didn't find it entertaining to watch Sam and Dean delayed by locks, so he gave them a sonic screwdriver -- lockpicking -- but once he lost interest in them, it became something they had to deal with.

Also, "Heroes Journey" has Chuck deciding that anything that can possibly go wrong for Sam and Dean will finally go wrong. No one would miraculously manifest cavities within weeks, so Chuck was now stacking the deck against them -- and any lockpick artist will be defeated by a lock at some point.

It's also a bit comforting, in some ways.

Dean in "The Real Ghostbusters":
I think that the Dean and Sam story sucks. It is not fun. It is not entertaining. It is a river of crap that would send most people howling to the nut house. So you listen to me. Their pain is not for your amusement. I mean do you think they enjoy being treated like... like circus freaks?

While Dean's life has been horrific, he has also enjoyed a life without worrying about bills, cavities, colds or car trouble except for a brief two week period. He may have been cursed by God, but he was also blessed in many ways.

Re: Supernatural

Look you have to work backwards when you are the creative staff wrapping up a 15-year series in one hour long episode.  You guys I agree with, the Chuck-led story ended.  Had there been another season, I'm sure Chuck probably tries to magic his way to one up Jack.  Save that, I mean, what was left for The Winchesters to even do?  What were the writers to show, the boys fighting the SAME creatures over and over, for another 30-40 years?  I mean, they literally defeated Death (twice), God, Amara, Lucifer (frequently), arch-Angels, original vamp, Egyptian Gods, Roman Gods, I lost track.  Their friends were basically all gone.  They beat the game!!  They unlocked all the secrets.  It's over.  Sure Dean and Sam might have both retired, but the point of the story was that Dean would NEVER retire.  Hunting was his life.  Sam lived it for Dean, not himself.  As I've said, beyond the questionable makeup choices on JarPad, I felt it was the RIGHT way to write the finale.

Re: Supernatural

I've already given how I would do it - which actually isn't all that different from how they did it.  I would've ended with Sam or Dean dying the same way they did, and the other raising the two boys they found as hunters.  A new John and two new Winchester boys.  I think there's a symmetry to that that I like.

I think my other alternative would've been to have Jack erase all the monsters.  End the hunt for good.  And the finale plays somewhat similar - the brothers are bored, Dean gets pie, and then Dean dies saving someone.  Maybe they starts tracking down human monsters, and they get in over their heads.  Or maybe it's just some sort of accident in a burning building or on the side of the highway.  And keep the rest the same.

I think either keeping up the family business or closing it up for good are the only better endings.  For me, at least.