Supernatural debuted yet another non-canonical episode this week and because of that, I feel compelled to deviate from our usual review style. As opposed to breaking down the episode for the good and bad bits (mostly bad, mind you), I feel compelled instead to offer a wholly different response. I will get to the breakdown – although it will be far less detailed than normal – but first I just have to ask why/what the hell is going on with Supernatural this season.
First of all, last I checked (today) Supernatural has yet to be picked up for a twelfth season. Is this really the note they want to go out on? I’m getting ahead of myself already, let me try again to start from the beginning.
Supernatural has been on for eleven years now, and while not every season has been gold (I’m looking at you, Leviathons) the show has ultimately been strong. At least, strong enough to be one of the longest running shows currently on television. It does not always take itself seriously; in fact, the moments in which it pokes fun at itself have been some of the strongest. The true reality is that this show may seem like overdramatic bullshit to some, but to its fanbase, it created characters we love, told stories that changed our lives, and gave us something to be excited about and devoted to. That being said, Season 11 is at risk of being the last season of Supernatural ever and so far, it is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. There is no story development, at all, and we’re just about halfway through its supposed arc. I was worried that the writers may have dug themselves into a hole when they created The Darkness, a being older and more powerful than any force ever, except perhaps for God. And wouldn’t you know it, God has been MIA for years because the concept of characterizing fucking GOD is extremely daunting and something best avoided by primetime TV. So what could the Winchesters possibly come up with to defeat such a force? Personally, I have no goddamn idea and I’m really starting to resent feeling the forces behind the show have no freaking clue either.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the non-canon episodes of Supernatural. Every single episode cannot be solely about the big bad. Taking a break gives the audience an opportunity to enjoy other monsters, to get a breather from the heavy shit, and quite frequently, to have a laugh. However, there has only been one episode this season that I feel lives up to that (“Just My Imagination” – freaking fantastic) and the rest have just been boring ways to kill time. Or so it seems to me. “Don’t You Forget About Me” was just apparently my breaking point. I suffered through the boring ass Banshee episode last week with a smile, but this week’s showing was just too disappointing. Maybe the writers decided to do an episode that centered around the only three female characters they haven’t killed off yet because of all the heat they came under after Charlie’s death, who knows? But if that was the goal, it accomplished very little for them.
I don’t like to be a hater, I really don’t – especially when it comes to something that I’ve deemed as one of my favorite fandoms (I have an SPN tattoo for fuck’s sake), but the sad truth is that I am not enjoying this season. Maybe I have too high of expectations or my patience is limited, or maybe I’m just not giving the Supernatural team enough credit. Good god, I hope it’s the latter. I don’t know how any of you feel about last night’s episode or this season so far, but speaking solely for myself, I know I want more out of it. I don’t want this to be the last season of SPN, I want them to go out when they choose and in an intense blaze of glory. So far, Season 11 does not seem like that blaze, and if a renewal is based on merit alone, I’m pretty worried. Perhaps this is just a slow start to something great, maybe I’m just being a dick – I don’t know yet. All I can say now is that sure hope Supernatural proves me wrong and I am left eating my words, and this article, by the end of the season.
Now that’s out of the way, here’s a quick breakdown or what worked and what didn’t in “Don’t You Forget About Me”.
Sheriff Jody Mills: I love you Sheriff Jody, and I always will. Never change. But maybe learn to fight a little better since you’re a cop and pseudo-monster hunter.
The predictable twist. And his acting: Okay, I could see from a mile away that Henry was going to turn out to be evil. He was too perfect and not at all believable as a person. And frankly one of the worst actors in show history.
Claire: I get it, Claire has really had a rough life so far. But on this show, who the hell hasn’t? My point being that a rough past doesn’t give you the excuse to be a complete bitch all the time. Sure, she should/could be a little rough around the edges, but there should at least be a likable person there somewhere. As far as I see it, she doesn’t have a single redeeming quality.
Alex: While I am fully aware that SPN has a nasty habit of killing off their only female characters, I have to admit that I was kind of hoping Alex actually died. She is inconsequential so while her death would have had no overarching impact, it would have at least given some substance or grit to last night’s episode. There can be meaning in death, and the reality is that Alex helped to ruin a lot of people’s lives. The vamp that came for her was a single representation of many and frankly I think he was owed his vengeance. After all, in their past he defended her from a potential rape, to gave her some money to take care of herself and drove her home safely so that he could be sucked dry by her vampire “family,” turned into a vampire himself, and then basically forced into killing his wife and son before he could even understand what happened to him.
As much as it pains me to do so I give “Don’t You Forget About Me” and F for having no substance and for making me go on the sad rant posted above.