I’ve been a little absent recently due to my parents visiting and lots of holidaying (yay!). However, I have been lurking A LOT and reading all your wonderful countdown to S10 posts. I’ve loved reading your recaps and looking back at the seasons in retrospect. I haven’t commented as much as I would have liked to, but please know I’ve been reading!
I am going to my own little retrospective with as few words as I can manage:
S1: It’s a big call, but this is probably my favourite season. I suspect it’s more to do with nostalgia than the quality of the season but I will never forget how heavily I fell for this addictive show. That first year was so exciting. I fell for Sam and his floppy hair and Dean with his sex-ass smirk and of course their amazing relationship. Fave eps: Pilot, Home, Faith, Skin, Nightmare, Hell House, The Benders, Salvation, Devil’s Trap (in fact, there’s not many I didn’t love).
S2: The love affair continued and this was the season I started to really participate in fandom. The season completed the story arc that started in S1. The brothers found their father and killed the YED. It also showed us death is not permanent, nor is not a state that would free them from their fight. Fave eps: In My Time of Dying, Croatoan, Hunted, Born Under a Bad Sign and What is and Should Never Be.
S3: I always think of this as the short season. It never really felt complete to me, though achieved quite a lot in a short space of time. Looking back it was the bridging season between 1 and 2 and then 4 and 5. Ruby was introduced and became a major player in S4. Bela was also introduced - though unfortunately her character didn't ever seem to be fully realised. Fave eps: Bad Day at Black Rock, A Very SPN Xmas and Mystery Spot.
S4: I know S4 is a favourite of many, but I remember having a hard time with it because of the disconnect between the brothers (hee, seems mild now looking back). I really struggled with Sam going behind Dean’s back to meet up with Ruby and I was most upset by Dean not understanding what Sam was doing and Sam not trusting Dean when he said what he was doing was bad bad bad. Looking back, it’s really quite an amazing season in terms of its overall story arc. It deepened the mytharc and opened up the universe to angels and demons. I sometimes wish they hadn’t gone in that direction, but I also think it’s possibly why the show has lasted as long as it has. Fave eps: Lazarus Rising, I Know What you Did Last Summer, After School Special, Sex and Violence, On the Head of a Pin, Jump the Shark (come on! Sam is tied to a table!) and When the Levee Breaks.
S5: This season felt so dark to me (combined with S4). The boys continued to be disconnected – losing trust after all that occurred in S4. But it was about building their bond back up again and resolving some issues that we saw between them. Mostly, Sam redeeming himself for letting Lucifer free and Dean letting Sam grow up (and letting Sam go). It completed Kripke’s 5 year plan for SPN and other than the very ending (with Sam in Hell and Dean not) it was extremely satisfying. Fave eps: The End, Abandon All Hope, Dark Side of the Moon and Swan Song.
S6: Oh man, soulless!Sam. I found this SO difficult. The brothers weren’t the brothers and Sam wasn’t Sam and I was hurting so much. It was a clever way to handle Sam’s return from the pit, but it was a struggle accepting this version of Sam (exept he was damn hot!). I think it was very well handled, but I can’t deny I was so relieved when Sam got his soul back. Fave eps: Weekend at Bobby’s, Appointment in Samara, The French Mistake and Frontierland.
S7: I actually really liked this season. I think I am one of the few people who liked the Leviathans. Mostly, I loved the idea
of them. I personally believe that large corporations who control our food are the modern day monster, so I think it was a great twist on that. Sadly, it ended up being poorly concluded. I also loved Hallucifer. There were also some great brother moments. In fact, this is one of the few seasons where the boys were, for the most part, on the same page and working well together. It was a shame that the hallucinations were resolved so poorly and the final episode was very weak. Fave eps: Hello Cruel World, Slash Fiction, Death’s Door, Time After Time, The Born Again-Identity (not the end), The Girl with the Dungeon and Dragons Tattoo.
S8: If the Sam-not-looking-for-Dean story line was removed completely and them being over the top jealous of each others’ others (Sam over Benny and Dean over Amelia) – this season wouldn’t be so bad. Purgatory!Dean was interesting, I loved the intro of the Bunker and the Men of Letters and I enjoyed the dynamic between them that the trials brought. I will never forgive them for changing Sam’s character or making Dean do something as horrid as use Sam’s history of women he loves dying against him. S8 introduced a side of Sam and Dean that I feel is darker than anything we’d ever seen before. A nastiness that I’m still trying to cope with. Fave eps: Larp and the Real Girl, As Time Goes by, Everybody Hates Hitler and The Great Escapist. I loved parts of The Sacrifice but there’s too much that rubs against me to put as a favourite.
S9: I wrote about this season recently
so I won’t rehash it. I think (hope), I’ll look back on this one with more fondness in years to come. I’m afraid that Sam’s treatment was just too horrible for me to think favourably about it at the moment.
I was going to make this a separate post but I'm running out of time, so I'll cram it into this one.Hopes (and Fears) for S10.
Each year I write a list of hopes for the coming season. Usually it contains things like "I hope we get to see the boys washing the car" and "I want to see their first aid kit". This time it feels more like deal-breaker hopes. I've long realised that I'll probably watch every episode of this show until it ends. I've been with it far too long to not keep watching. But my patience is running very very thin and if I find myself left with nothing but negative thoughts and feelings I will be making a very strong effort to step right back (as in, I won't continue with episode reviews if they're only full of WTF?! I think there's definitely room for show discussion even if it's negative - constructive crit is useful, but I'm, also aware that constant negativity is draining - especially if everyone else is squeeing).
So. Thoughts about S10.
Aside from hoping that we get some awesome MoTW stories (they are usually my favourite episodes), the boys working well together (at some point!), a scene of them washing the impala (one day please!), patching each other up (ALWAYS on my wish list) and some genuine bro!moments (not last minute, finale tokens), I hope we get:
Probably the main thing that will go a long way in making bother S8 and S9 better for me will be they bring the "how far is too far" theme up front and centre. I don't need it to be "lecture-y, or even give us a definitive line, but with the can of worms they opened last season with Dean crossing a pretty major line to keep Sam alive, it desperately needs
to be explored. It was an issue WAY back in S1 when Sam looked for a way to save Dean in Faith - then later in S3 when Sam was looking for ways of saving Dean (Time is On My Side). Then Dean sold his soul to bring Sam back from the dead in S2 that created a knock-on effect of trouble for both of them for seasons to come. It's a theme that's been present for many seasons, but the characters don't seem to have fully realised the knock-on effect their choices have. Which is actually fine, because I think it's a bigger part of their character development, but it would be great to see it coming to ahead this season (and I seriously don't want it to be about what one
character has done. If Dean calls Sam on something he does to save him and Dean as no understanding of what he's done in the past I will probably rage-quit (temporarily)).
I think I have more "don't wants" than "wants" for this season. I know I have to be prepared for much the same kind of relationship between the two of them that we've seen during Carver's tenure. That underlying tension of mistrust and dishonestly will (sadly) still be present, but I do hope that by the end of the season they've made some inroads in re-building their relationship. I seriously don't think I could endure a whole season of dis-like between them. Sure, the love they have for each other will always be there - ALWAYS, but I'd love to see the "like" for each other return. I'd love to see them build
their trust again. I'd be happy with a slow build and I really want to see some solid resolutions begin to be developed.
I know that I will start to seriously buckle if we have any more situations where Sam's autonomy is removed and NOTHING is said about it. Or worse, that Sam is made out to be the "bad" brother again (or be in a situation where he gets vilified for decisions he has to make). Or that Dean gets away with doing something questionable and it not be examined in some way.
I'm hoping we get a massively interesting Demon!Dean. I'd love him to be layered and not simply charming or nasty (or whatever). I am excited about watching him and seeing how this effects the brother dynamic. I am curious to see what lengths Sam will go to save Dean - I just hope he doesn't do something so stupid that it becomes unbelievable. I'll be curious how they justify a Sam who didn't bother to look for Dean in S8 to a Sam who will do something horrible to save him. I'm excited by that - but also a tiny bit worried. But I'm not going to waste worry. I'll wait and see!
A couple of recs: Great to see this interview/promo by IMDB. What to Watch
and if you haven't seen deirdre_c
's vid Do My Thing
DO SO! It's a great look at what makes Sam and Dean so awesome.