Sunday, 8 May 2011

Supernatural 6x20: Wait, whut?

Danger! Danger! Spoilers Will Robinson!
Supernatural season six spoilers are contained in the following post!

You know the story about the bloke who is drowning? A second bloke comes up to him in a boat and he says: ‘Do you need help?’ And the bloke goes: ‘No, it’s ok, God will save me’. So he’s still there in the water and then another bloke comes along with another boat, and he says the same thing: ‘Do you need help?’ And again the bloke says: ‘No, it’s ok, God will save me’. This happens a third time, and eventually, the bloke drowns. He goes up to Heaven, he sees Saint Peter on the Pearly gates, and he says: ‘Excuse me, but where was God? He said he would save me, he said he would look after me.’ And Saint Peter says: ‘Well what did you want? He sent three boats!

This was the feeling I had when I was watching the latest Supernatural episode, The Man Who Would Be King. It was a really good episode, and I liked that they were brave enough to do an entire episode seemingly from Castiel’s point of view. It’s not very often that a show has the time and ability to give you the bug’s eye view, but this episode was very well done, and very well shot - especially the moments where Castiel is eavesdropping, totally invisible to people in his line of sight. There were lots of the usual lovely dark smouldering profile shots (yes Jensen Ackles, I am talking to you), and there were some very very nice touches (‘If there were a demon version of Bobby Singer, it would be Ellesworth’; cue lots of shots of a demon in a trucker cap giving people shit about dead bodies whilst bullshitting down the phone). In fact all of it was very well written - thank you Ben Edlund, again I bow to your script writing genius - and it was very well executed. So well executed, in fact, that you can appreciate Castiel’s predicament even as you side with Dean and want the two of them to understand why they’re butting heads.

But Castiel missed his boat sent by God; he didn’t listen to what he eavesdropped from Dean. That was his ‘message from God’, that was his wake-up call. He just didn’t hear it.

Considering that I have been bitching and moaning about how some of the episodes have been lacking recently, I really need to pass comment on how fucking good this episode was, and how it was a very welcome return to form. The episode before, where we see Eve finally get her comeuppance (and, I'm sorry, but how fucking badass was Dean, taking her out like that?), just goes to show that they are not going to be dragging out the story arcs over an entire season. There was the small matter of Sam’s dark and light broken chakram being put back together, which may well have been stretched out a lot longer under the previous management (no disrespect to the previous management. Don’t get me wrong; when season five finished, I thought the show was finished. Part of me thinks it still is). Then there was this whole Eve Mother arc, which I was very glad to see was not stretched out for the entire season. Now we have the entire finale set up in just the last three episodes. Normally, this is a little shaky and it’s not exactly the way you do things. However, season six has been all about throwing the rule book out of the window and dispensing with otherwise tiresome plot arcs quite quickly. This is the reason I am still watching it, even though I’ve not been happy with some of the episodes and how they’ve dragged their feet.

Using only the last three episodes to set up the finale is not as crazy as it sounds. In actual fact, they are drawing on the last five and a half seasons of history. Case in point: bringing back an old vampire friend, but because this is season six, she’s quickly dispatched by one of the new posse. And you know me: I love posse! (Yes, you knew that was coming!)

So, what do we have to look forward to? Obvious red herrings? Angels with their loyalties divided? Just for once, this will not be about tearing Sam and Dean asunder - and for that I am very fucking glad. That old chestnut was getting decidedly old, and it’s a brave new management than has decided to go with peripheral characters and how they can be put through the torture mill to tip their dominoes in Sam and Dean’s world. This episode should have played out as one of those Sam-and-Dean-lite stories, but in fact it worked really well as a 50-50. All we have left is two episodes shown back-to-back on USA TV, available for download in your area. At least, I really hope so.

If they hadn’t decided to have episode 20 this way, I don’t know if I would bother watching the last two episodes of the season. I know that’s sacrilege coming from someone like me who owns seasons one to five on DVD, has done a million episode LOLcaps, recaps, headlines, and has enjoyed the last few years of fanfiction excitement, both writing and reading, but it’s the absolute truth. As long as they continue to pull out brand-new plotlines, and save partial rehashes by subverting them, perhaps season seven may not be that bad.

*ducks rotten tomatoes*

What I mean to say is that it was all becoming much of a muchness, and I was bored with how it was going. However, the last few episodes have been solid, and there have been just enough good stories in the meantime to keep it ticking over. The good ol’ days of season two - and season three - it ain’t, but it does have its fair share of thrills and spills and wills. I will be watching the last two episodes, so I suppose I will be watching season seven when it finally airs.

So before I piss of any more of the Old Faithful, I’ll bring this to a close. A very satisfied close.


P.S. - THEY 'BROUGHT BACK' CROWLEY! For that alone, I will watch the finale.


~ ~ ~


Anonymous said...

ha ha! we both thought about the jerk who didn't know how to read a message!! awesome. Yes, I think Cas has been given many messages, some he has understood, others not so much...for the most part he seems to miss the messages due to that big deadly sin of PRIDE. :D

Amy said...

I've loved how the last few eps have panned out, drawing on the past while creating something new. I love that the rule book got thrown out the window and that the team took a bunch of risks this season. I wish Cas was not too proud to realise that God speaks to us in many ways, maybe he would have heard the message if he was really listening. I'm excited for 21 & 22 and for once not thinking it's just Sam and Dean on the line, as much as this show will always be about Sam & Dean to me, I like a shake up and a bit of change, so I'm excited and I'm real excited to see what direction they take for 7.

Tiny said...

Really love the opening of the blog. The boat story is very relevant to Cas. I am very very impressed with the past three episodes. I am also glad the Eve story line is wrapped, glad she died the way Dean killed her! Kick ass!!! Woohoo.

This episode is one of Edlund's best. I love it. I love him.

I am very nervous but excited about the season finale.. I'll worry about season seven later :)


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