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"Everything will be okay in the end; if it's not okay...then it's not the end."


That was not what I was expecting. And that in and of itself is interesting, if you stop and think about it.

Over a decade ago now, I started watching this show about two brothers whose lives had been irreparably damaged by the violent murder of their mother and their father's search for meaning and vengeance. The thing that hooked me to this show wasn't the fact that the leads were seriously easy on the eyes or the sweet ride they drove around the country or the fact that they tried valiantly (and often succeeded) to scare the crap out of me. It was their relationship with each other, with their father. It was the fact that I found myself relating to Dean Winchester on a deeply personal level when the only two things we had in common were Lawrence, KS and being the oldest child.

The draw of family. The way Dean and Sam connected, fought, talked, didn't talk...the way they needed each other and couldn't stand each other and loved each other and survived for and because of each other. The way Dean's heart was broken and healed by his brother, the way Sam became who he was because of his brother, the way they both related individually and collectively to their father. This show was built on family. Not on mytharcs that you need a cypher to translate. Not on ghosts and vampires and angels and demons. But family.

So it's interesting to me that I found myself geared up for a big battle. A showdown of the century to take down the latest Mega Super Evil that the brothers encountered. And it's also interesting to me that my first reaction when that didn't happen was disappointment. But something occurred to me as I headed to my office to write this up. I'd seen two season finales tonight (our boys and The Flash--Mo Chuisle loooooves Barry Allen, I'm not even kidding) and in both, the theme of family hummed through the entire episode (there was another similar occurrence regarding family, but I won't spoil Flash in case there are viewers of that here as well).

Thinking about that put a whole different spin on my reaction to the end of this season. And a weight lifted. Because I love our show, you guys. I love these boys. And even when the writers seem like they have totally lost the plot, I can find enjoyment in gestures and expressions and lines of dialog. I couldn't figure out how to do that last week, but I got it back.

So, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to briefly tell you what I feel didn't work and what I'm glad is over and then I'm going to focus on what I enjoyed and what has me speculative for next season and everything else will just sift through the sieve. Good? Okay.

In concept, turning Chuck into God was amusing and intriguing and had it simply been left with that enigmatic smile and finger snap in Swan Song I would have been okay. I would also have been okay if God had 'returned' in this season as more of a...a presence or a way of causing things to happen that left you thinking 'what if'. Turning Chuck into God--as wonderful as episode 20 really was--in the flesh ultimately didn't work for me. It turned the Most Powerful Being in the universe into an extra. We ended up with God being breakable (and if God can be damaged--albeit by his sister--what's that mean for the rest of us?!) and Lucifer being a petulant child, killed without much fanfare. It just felt like too much possible story shoved into to little realistic space.

I feel like the whole Amara storyline was relatively half-baked and they went through the season pulling plot points out of their...uh...hat. It's hard for me to believe that when they showed Amara's rapid aging process and the link between Amara and Dean that the writers planned for the end to be more of a happy sigh than a primal scream.

That being said, I can see an alternative view point as well. I ended up not liking the Amara storyline and the teasing underuse of Dean's connection to her (but that's hardly the end of the world--no pun intended--as I also didn't like the Amelia storyline and the half-assed explanation of Sam's connection to her...and we all survived) but I can also see where introducing a 'peer' of God's leveled the playing field a bit. In as much as this show has always been about family, it's also always been about the tenacity of the human spirit. Humanity overcoming adversity. The power of free will. Even way back in Season 4 we were discussing how God loved human kind more than the angels.

So what better thing for that 'verse than to humanize God? And, personally, I'm 1000% glad they left Jesus out of the storyline, because...well, reasons. Many of them. But by humanizing God as Chuck, having him live among us and experience life, having him mortally wounded by his sister in retribution for the pain he knowingly caused her, having him confess that he loved her and yet needed more than her, having him learn lessons in humility and apologize to Lucifer...I mean, what's more human than that? So while I didn't really like it...it still worked for this 'verse. It still spoke to the basic fundamental theme of our show. And I have to give them props for that.

But? I'm glad it's over. As Dean said, give me something (for them) to punch or kill and I'm good, but when you start messing with a dying sun...then your arc is a bit top-heavy.

The only other thing I would've liked done differently is the amount of focus we had on the brothers. As I said, they are what hooked me. Why I watch. Not the arc, not the other characters, not even the story. I want to see how they react to the story line, not how awesome the story line is. I felt that in this and the previous episode, there was a good deal of stuff happening around them and they didn't get a chance to really react to it. Their scenes often felt hurried. Placed out of obligation rather that purpose. The boys did well with the time they had, but I could almost visualize someone off camera spinning their finger in the air and encouraging them to pick up the pace.

Now, all that said, let's focus on the good stuff.

I liked how it started right where last week's left off. I liked how the 'team' stuck together--God, a battered angel, a witch, the demon formerly known as the King of Hell, and two humans. Add yourself a Hobbit and you'd have the Fellowship of the Souls. I liked how they didn't part ways even when Dean was zapped off to Amara. I liked Crowley leading them all to the bar (and I mean, The Lazy Shag... tell me that's not the perfect bar for Crowley to take them to) and everyone just...staying close. Nothing brings mortal enemies together like an Apocalypse.

I liked that Sam was the one to snap everyone out of their stupor. Dean might be Mr. Shoot First Ask Questions Later, but Sam doesn't know how to quit. I also liked how he seemed to have learned some of the hard lessons life has been trying to beat into him. When it became clear that Dean would have to die to save everyone, we didn't have that inevitable no, let's find another way, my brother must survive conversation that I think we would have had if the situations were reversed. Sam gets it (finally). He knew that this was bigger than him, bigger than them. This was bigger, even, than sacrificing himself to the Cage. This was more than life as they knew it, it was everything, the world, and he had risked it once to save his brother and unleashed The Darkness. He knew he couldn't do that again...and I think, more importantly, he knew that Dean didn't want him to. And he hated it, but...he was willing to do it. It was okay.

I think that after all this time, Sam was finally tired of fighting the tidal wave. He had an air of reluctant resignation boardering on acceptance about him.

I liked getting Cas back. Dean taking Cas with him on the beer run just so he could have time with his friend--I like how clear it was that Dean had missed Cas. I liked that he took the opportunity to tell Cas how important he was to them, how he was not just the best friend they ever had, he was their brother. I like how Cas didn't really know what to do with those words, in a way still reeling from having his vessel all to himself again. Most of all, though, I loved when Cas told Dean, "I could come with you," when it was clear Dean would have to face Amara alone. It reminded me of that scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Hermione realized that Harry learned he was a horcrux and had to go to the woods to face Voldemort alone. When she says, "I could go with you," I always tear up.

Oh, hush. Y'all knew I was a sap.

I liked the mini-ghost hunt at Waverley Hills, Dean mocking the 'magic word' until it saved their lives. It was interesting to me that they'd know about the place being filled with ghosts but have never gone there to do anything about it. I guess they felt that the ghosts weren't getting out and hurting people...and if anyone was dumb enough to wander in, well. It's interesting both that the humans were the only ones who were successful in the soul gathering -- and that Billie wasn't quite ready for there to be Nothing and tapped the veil to help them with a few hundred thousand souls.

That brings up some contemplation about souls in general and causes me to do yet another Show v Reality check in my head. I always felt that our souls are who we are. The compilation of emotion and memory and choices that create the essence of our selves. And to think about 100,000 selves being forced into a bomb bothered me a bit. I was glad for the end and God pulling them out of Dean (and presumably allowing them to move on from the veil...they'll never tell us, so that's what I've decided happened).

I'll list my other likes in my list below (it'll be long once again) and focus the last bit of the Ramble on my favorite scene, the scene that ended up surprising me, and contemplation for next season.

Favorite scene had to be in the graveyard. When Rowena first told Dean that he would have to be the bomb and Sam didn't utter a peep I protested. Out loud. At my TV.  But then when we shifted to the scene where the boys are standing at Mary's grave, I felt a wee lump in my throat. Because, of course it was Mary's grave. Her death started all of this. Her death changed them--their lives, their selves, the way they saw the world. She was their angel and devil at once, inadvertently sending them down a path of pain and heroism and also saving them physically and emotionally.

Loved the whole scene with Sam struggling to keep his voice steady while emotion had him in a choke hold, telling Dean he didn't have to do this, needing to give his brother an out--not only because he doesn't want to lose Dean, but also because of Dean's confession that he couldn't kill Amara. Dean sliding the mask in place, the brave face, the this is my job, this is what we do stance. Neither of them wanted this. Both of them knew it was their only chance. The world's only chance.

Dean didn't volunteer. He wasn't selected because he was The Righteous Man. It wasn't a decade-in-the-making confirmation of his purpose and importance. But. It did tie in to the very first episode and Amara wrapping Dean up in the black smoke cloud. It did give some credence to Dean being connected to Amara. He was the only choice, the only one who could get close to her. And both brothers knew that. Accepted that. And as much as they may have wanted to, as much as their instincts screamed at them to, they didn't fight it this time.

The farewells were nicely done, especially Dean asking Cas to watch out for Sam. And Sam kissing his fingers and touching the headstone. And Dean handing the car keys to Sam. It wasn't to the caliber of No Rest For the Wicked's, "Take care of my wheels...remember what Dad taught you...remember what I taught you." It didn't hold a candle to Swan Song's, "I'm not gonna leave you, Sammy. I'm not gonna leave you." It wasn't even Do You Believe in Miracle's, "I'm proud of us." But I think the difference is that with each of those, it was just the boys. Just the brothers facing the impossible, the terrifying, the insurmountable, and not backing down. This time, well...there was an audience. A surprisingly sympathetic audience, but...others none-the-less.

And something Dean said to Cas about he and Sam sometimes forgetting about everyone else circles back to this scene. Because this time, it wasn't just about the brothers. This time, they'd all anteed up and lost something. Rowena with her almost-coven, Cas with the angels (and Lucifer), Crowley with the demons. They all had skin in the game. Some rather literally. And while Sam was losing his brother, they were all losing Dean. And whether they wanted to admit it outwardly or not, that mattered to them. To each of them, be it the loss of an ally, the loss of an adversary, or the loss of someone you don't know who you are without, they all had to deal. And I think watching Sam say goodbye to his brother was their way of doing that.

I did think they were going to short-change us a brother hug for a minute there, though. When Dean kinda fell into Sam and wrapped him up tight, I caught my breath. That moment was the closest I came to emoting. Maybe there have just been too many deaths, I don't know. But a genuine hug between those two? That'll get to me every time.

I was surprised that the 'showdown' with Amara went off the way it did. Actually I went from surprise to disappointment to resignation to acceptance to appreciation. I'll just focus on the last one. Subtly--almost too subtly, if you want my honest opinion--we've seen Amara appreciating the world. It wasn't just the Bird Woman who did it. Little things all along the way had been slipping beneath the cracks in her surface. Crowley may have tried to mind wash her as a youngster to use her for his own devices, but present day defeats history and she had been seeing beauty in nature and in people and in relationships. She had been seeing devotion from Dean and Sam rival manipulation from Rowena. She's been seeing sorrow at death and rejoicing at reunions and how hard humans fought to stay alive and stay together.

When she saw her brother, she was hurt. It wasn't anger we saw lashing out at Chuck, it was pain. So, it should come as no surprise that Dean--who had never wanted to kill her in the first place, and for all his willingness to die with Sam or for Sam...didn't actually really want to die (even though his funeral would have been friggin' awesome)--would be able to find the words to get to her, make her listen. Dean, whose life has been filled with more than his share of fights, who understands better than most what kind of hell family can put you through, and how its not possible to truly hate someone without first loving them. Dean, who might actually have loved her a little bit himself.

And while it felt a bit like we'd strapped on all our armor just as someone told us they'd called off the war, having Amara choose forgiveness over revenge...choose family fit the constant, underlying theme of our show. Having God and Amara fade out, and travel in a double-helix of power upward (presumably to Heaven) is a much more preferable way to end this arc and segue into S12 than having them destroy each other so that we have a balance of power with no God. In my opinion at least.

So...speculation. I'm not sure what I think about London Lady. MoL or not that was kind of an "oh, by the way," if I ever saw one. She should have been introduced in the previous episode to help set the stage better. And honestly, I'm ashamed of myself for not guessing that what Amara would give Dean as a 'thank you'  for saving her in more ways than one would be his mother. She knows his pain. She knows his longing. And while personally I would have loved to have seen John return, JDM is a bit busy being all evil on The Walking Dead. And Mary just...makes sense. Plus it ties in nicely to the boys standing at her grave earlier.

We end with them separated, Sam thinking that Dean died to save the world and he wasn't there, London Lady firing her weapon--unclear if she actually shoots Sam, though--and Dean in BFE with no cell signal facing his mother...who is in her Death Nighty and looks exactly as she did when he was four years old. We still have Rowena and Crowley in the mix (somewhere) and Cas is back to being Cas (even though he was banished from the bunker by London Lady). God has returned to Heaven (it would seem) and brought his sister with him...and I have absolutely no idea where they're going to go with this. Should be interesting to say the least.

So, final lists for S11?

Liked:

  • Carry On Wayward Son opening. Because.

  • Dean limping. I love it when they actually act like getting thrown into metal walls hurts a bit.

  • Dean's face when Cas says that Lucifer is gone.

  • Dean pulling his gun out like a boss when Rowena enters the factory.

  • "So that was a gun in your pocket." HA! Yeah, 'cause I don't think he was happy to see you.

  • "I didn't know dog's had breakfast." "Uh, Cas is back."

  • The fact that "How are we supposed to fix the friggin' sun" is actually a legitimate question in their world.

  • London Lady's Wall of Winchester. I want one.

  • "Now's kinda all we got." I want that on a bumper sticker. Or a stickie note. Or white board.

  • Dean giving Cas props for the choice he made with Lucifer.

  • "Sometimes me and Sam have so much going on that we forget about everyone else."

  • "You're always there, y'know? You're the best friend we've ever had. You're our brother, Cas. I want you to know that." And that means you're family...and we know what family means to the Winchesters. So.

  • The close-up shots of Dean and Cas inside the Impala. That was interesting. I mean, I'm always up for seeing Dean close, but...it was unusual framing for the shots, I thought.

  • Chuck revealing that The Darkness's weakness is light and Crowley's sardonic, "He tells us now."

  • Plan B: Soul Bomb. Oddly, not the name of a shot.

  • "Desperate and stupid is pretty much all we've got right now, so." No joke, I literally had Dean saying the same bit of dialog in my WIP fic. Which I will now revise because no one will believe me.

  • Dean impersonating Rowena with a (terrible) Irish (not Scottish, Irish) accent. Sam just looking at him like, really?

  • "Let's give the 'magic word' a shot because we're six!"

  • "You finish up; I'll go piss them off." Wait, what? How is this a plan! Boys.

  • Their twin expressions of relieved surprise when the magic word saves their asses.

  • Crowley's grin when Billie says 'hey' to him...followed closely by the look both Dean and Rowena give Crowley. Love it.

  • "You want souls? Call a Reaper."

  • Bird Lady to Amara: "I like your dress. Pretty fancy for the park, but at least you made an effort." HA! Something about that just tickled me.

  • "You know family. Even when you hate them, you still love them." Ain't that the truth.

  • The Brother theme. Because.

  • The whole conversation in the graveyard.

  • Sam kissing his fingers and touching the top of the gravestone.

  • "I could go with you." *sniff*

  • Dean saying he wants a big funeral, open bar, Savage cover band, and Gary Busey reading the eulogy and Sam replying with a tight, choked, "Done."

  • D: "No chick flick moments." S: "You love chick flicks." D: "Yeah, I do." **WORLDS TIGHTEST HUG**

  • The Lazy Shag bar. Come on, now.

  • "One little apocalypse and they shut up shop. Quitters."

  • "No matter how bad it got, we always made it right, because we're family. I need him; he needs me. And when everything goes to crap, that's all you've got: family."

Not So Much:

  • Lazy dialog at the end scene with Amara. Even accepting that there wasn't going to be a fight and that family would win out, lines like having Amara say, "I wish that we could be family again," just...nah.

  • The whole sun coming out, "earth will be fine because you're here" quick wrap up with the Amara/God storyline so that they could set up for next season. That was just so...I mean, that's all? The whole season of The Darkness Is Coming! She Can't Be Defeated! Run For Your Lives! And she dissolves with a beatific smile on her face and Earth's okay now? That just felt like someone said, c'mon, this thing is done, let's get it wrapped up and move on.

  • Introducing London MoL Lady with no previous build up.

  • I maybe kinda wanted Dean to say 'bye' to Crowley, too.

Burning Questions for next Season:

  • Where is exactly is Dean anyway?

  • Is Mary real? Human and alive again? Is she aged to now or is she as she appeared, the age she would have been when she died? Is she going to simply be back in their lives, helping them hunt? Or is she going to have to be something they deal with that wrecks them further?

  • Who is London Lady? Is she going to bring Sam to London with her before Dean gets back to the bunker? Will they spend the first part of the season separated? Will Dean have to get on a plane to get to London and save Sam?

  • Did she shoot Sam? I'm going to say no...that's kind of the oldest cliffhanger trick in the book.

  • Will God be in Heaven? Will the angels behave now? Is Cas forgiven and allowed back in?

  • Where is Cas? Did London Lady send him to Missouri or Timbuktu?

  • Will Crowley rule Hell now that Lucifer is gone and everyone agrees that balance is a good thing?

  • Will God finally rescue Michael (aka Adam) from the Cage, since he's back?

  • Did I see something about the show being on a different night? Is it at the same time?

That's it for me, then. It was an interesting season. Started out strong, had some really good episodes and some head scratchers, but it kept me hanging on. My sincere thanks to each of you who read these every week and especially to those who take time to comment and converse with me. I love hearing from you and thinking through your reactions and comments and interpretations and thoughts. I hope you were entertained this year and that you found some common ground and camaraderie as you read.

I'm still working on a new SPN story--the story itself isn't complicated, it's just life, y'know? The hubs, Mo Chuisle, and I are moving to a different house this weekend, so once things settle down from that, I'll be able to focus on it and if you're a fic reader and you choose to indulge, I'd love to hear from you. Otherwise, I'm currently planning to continue these next Season...but that will truly just depend on life. Hope to see you there.

Have a happy hiatus. Slainte!

Comments

( 23 Tall Tales — Tell Me A Story )
shazza85
May. 26th, 2016 07:14 am (UTC)
Thank you dear Gaelic for continuing with your Rambles this year. I know real life is complicated and crazy busy for you and yet you still make time for us. I stayed up hoping to read this tonight so I'm completely content right now! I will think thinky thoughts and give you an actual comment soon! I'm looking forward to hearing everyone's speculations and ideas! Oh, last weeks show got me so confused about how I felt about the boys and Show that for comforts sake I had to go back and re read some of your FF stories. Man a great Dean and Sam with some Brenna thrown in and I'm set! Thanks again.
apieceofcake
May. 26th, 2016 09:46 am (UTC)
All these years and that still made me cry! Had to watch five episodes in the last couple of days so I could watch that. Last episode was mostly a pile of poo, this was better though not great. Glad Cass is no longer Lucifer, I really didn't like that, made me laugh too much when Lucifer was scary and someone to be afraid of. Not sure about that English Lady, that went so well last time..not. Why oh why do they always portray us Brits acting like royalty with silver spoons in our mouths! So cliché, I don't care if she was a WOL, change with the times, ordinary down to earth peeps can be too.

Sorry I haven't been reading these much this season, I got behind and didn't catch up. hope to do better next season.

Good luck with the move, hope you will all be happy in your new home. xx.
ferrous_wheeler
May. 26th, 2016 10:59 am (UTC)
Love your rambles because they always seem to say most of what I thought about an ep, just much more coherently ;p and this one was no exception :)
While it was a bit of a hand-wave, and I kept thinking that maybe God/Chuck was just pretending to be dying as part of some grand plan (because, yeah, it's kind of odd having God being breakable), I liked how they did the family thing with Amara and him going off... somewhere, in a pretty swirl. Didn't quite fit with Amara starting off as the soul eating uber-evil suddenly forgiving her brother, but maybe she matured more than just in looks.
The one thing I really wasn't sure about was the London Lady. My first thought with her was 'spin off?'. She just comes out of nowhere with the fancy jet etc., basically says 'heel' to Sam, and where the hell have they been all this time and when the boys needed help? It just felt shoe-horned in, like I was watching another show, and I worry about possibilities for the next season. Oh well, time will tell! :)
Enjoy your summer, I hope that your move goes well, and thank you for your thoughts :))
thruterryseyes
May. 26th, 2016 11:34 am (UTC)
I haven't read this yet but I'm DYING to. I got your text but I didn't see it until this morning. Comments later!
lausbub0402
May. 26th, 2016 11:51 am (UTC)
First of all, apologies for only showing up now. I read all you rambles but never commented this season for, well let's say RL reasons and family ;-)
I was relieved to see that your ramble is already up before I even watched the episode. Because honestly, after the last couple of episodes I was so worried how everything will work out in the end.
But after seeing that your post showed a "content" in the how do I feel section, I was looking forward to seeing the last episode. Because I just knew if you are content I would be as well, as you have never disappointed me in the past and I agreed with more or less everything in your rambles this season once again.
To keep it short - I AM content with how it worked out in the end and I AM looking forward to season 12.
After having read your ramble now I totally agree with you (what a big surprise!) and I hope to see you around for the new season after the hellatus.
Thank you for writing those rambles and I'm curious about your new story.
Take care and see / read you in October :-)
livejournal
May. 26th, 2016 12:32 pm (UTC)
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hunenka
May. 26th, 2016 01:10 pm (UTC)
Are you reading my mind? Because your reaction = my reaction :) With one single exception – I didn’t mind at all that London Lady didn’t get a longer introduction…

I was dreading this finale quite a lot, since I didn’t really see how the writers could dig themselves out of this hole with dignity, in a way that wouldn’t feel cheap or unbelievable. And I still don’t particularly like the fact that they made God and Amara so relatable to us humans (I don’t think we should be able to relate to entities like them). But I’ve had time to get used to that in the previous few episodes, so when the resolution came in the form of “let’s be family again”, I took it far better than I would have otherwise.

But like you said, the crux of this episode – of every episode of SPN – was Sam and Dean, and I was pretty happy in that regard. After 11x22, which felt like Sam and Dean were practically missing, now I felt like they were back again.

I’m also glad that the setup for the next season doesn’t seem to involve any new world-ending threats. There are enough unanswered questions that will keep me curious even without another apocalypse. And I don’t think I could’ve handled the appearance of God’s great-uncle or something like that…


Thank you for another year with your Rambles, they’re always a highlight of my week, something that I look forward to, something that gives me food for thought. As I’m sure the Cave fic will do too :)

Good luck with the move, and see you around!
(Anonymous)
May. 26th, 2016 03:31 pm (UTC)
So after re-watching, twitter stocking and reading your review last last night, I woke up with this in my head and needed to share which is something I don't normally do. This is my take and how someone who tries to keep her Libra scale in balance. And I too relate to Dean as a first born which is probably why I like Sam so much.

Not the Rapture I was hoping for but it did pan out. In the rapture, one is sacrificed while the other is left behind and the world comes to an end. The world of angels and demons has come to an end (while our favorite antagonists are still there).

I’m glad Dean has to be the one the make the sacrifice. Chuck and Amara represented Dean’s personal light and darkness. Dean has always been black and white, while Sam has been the shades of gray so I was happy to see Dean finally take that leap into the compromise. There was a hint of the former Team Free Will with Dean losing his faith, Sam being hopeful and Cas being the voice of reason.

As for season 12, I am hoping for a nature vs. nurture arch. Since Dean did the sacrificing, he is in the empty where he finds Mary (answering that 6 year question). I am hoping working with Mary will help Dean work through some of his own personal questions about his mother,like what happened when her contract was up. Sam never knew his mother but had come to an understanding about her through Dean’s actions (first-born have a tendency to mirror their mothers or primary caregiver during their early years) But Dean really had that chance. I do hope they get a little mother/son bonding in the fight to get out of the empty and to find Sam.

Although Sam had found his inner peace with his understanding of his relationship with Dean, he does love his brother and wants him nearby ; however, Sam still seeks that something else. So as he challenged Toni to pull the trigger during his time of grief, he would not harm himself but instead put himself in harms way to join his brother in death. Where will this go in season 12, I can only speculate but I see a love/hate relationship between Toni and Sam and they will eventually work together to get Dean from the empty and eventually pull the MOL chapters together under one roof. (See potential spinoff)

At one point in time Sam and Dean wanted to go out in a blaze of glory, but now that they are older (and wiser maybe), attitudes and ideals change. Dean asked Churck about the earth and Chuck said it will survive because it had you and Sam. There will be monsters but family may or may not be there in the end. Isn’t that why Chuck gave us the gift of free will?

Why do we love this show so much? We have bonded with two brothers who went on a road trip 11 years ago and during that time we learned relationships are hard and there is a consistent battle with demons. But we keep fighting because as humans we don’t want to be a lone. And love does conquer all.

Look forward to your new fiction. Need some summer reading to get through the hellatis. Loved your reviews all year too.

Kathy, aka anonymous
(Anonymous)
May. 26th, 2016 03:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, and my told you so moment was from the beginning of the season. There always have to be light and dark, order and chaos, so having Chuck (light/white) and Amara (dark/black) spin into gray/balance was really the only way this could go.

Thanks again for the wonderful reviews

Kathy
queeberquabbler
May. 26th, 2016 05:11 pm (UTC)
Now's kinda all we got." I want that on a bumper sticker. Or a stickie note. Or white board.

I can put it on a t-shirt! I needed an idea for a new tee anyway. What else would you like on there? Oh and can't give you or anyone discounts, but I can try and design a decent tee for ya :)

Great review BTW, as always!
thruterryseyes
May. 26th, 2016 05:37 pm (UTC)
I was more interested in your reaction to the show than the show itself. I always say you get more out it than i do since my needs are fairly simplistic and I rarely look for deeper meaning in anything. I'm very glad this arc is done I hated it. There were good eps in the season but as a story arc this one left me yawning. I still think once they knew the show was being renewed there was a mass WTF do we do now moment and they scrambled to figure a way out of the hole they'd dug. Crudely, it's like not getting where you need to go, if you catch my drift. You might have still enjoyed most of the ride but something at the end was missing.
And yes I wanted Crowley to acknowledge Dean's impending death, with at least a good luck Squirrel or something. And I want to talk to the makeup people who did Roweena's eyes, seriously people, she looked like her makeup was running thru the entire show.

I did like the bro hug. It looked real, and I liked Cas hugging Dean and Dean going, okay okay..

Other than being female the london lady didn't bother me cause they have to throw some new stuff into the mix, the frosty, superior bitchiness of her irritated me.Although I do admit they took their freaking time to decide they needed to intervene. I wanted Sam to kick her ass.

Mary surprised the hell out of me, I couldn't figure out what the hell Amara would give him.

Bottom line, Dean was in it.


jennygeee
May. 26th, 2016 05:52 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this one especially after the last episode. I think they pulled it off really well, I had no idea how this was going to end.

I loved that Dean was the 'bomb' and I could feel the emotions from the brothers coming off my screen.

I liked the way that Chuck and Amara made up to each other and the black and white smoke spiralling up to heaven. I didn't actually feel that it was rushed.

I'm not sure what I think of London lady, I'll hold judgement on that one.

I'm intrigued to find out about Mary, it seems to me that she's back, that Amara gave Dean his mother back.

I have to admit that I thought for a few seconds "Oh no Sam is dead and Dean will now be working with Mary" I thought "I bet Jared has had enough and is leaving, how did they keep that quite" LOL But thank goodness I didn't think that for long :)

I'm looking forward to your new fic and I really hope you carry on with these reviews next season.

Hope the move goes well, I know how much hard work that is.
(Anonymous)
May. 26th, 2016 11:29 pm (UTC)
I've really enjoyed reading your rambles this season. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and reactions. I love reading your take-away from the episodes and I find it helps me enjoy them a lot more.

This season did start out strong with some really good episodes. Overall I really enjoyed it. I think that's why the last four were so disappointing for me. I found them "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" level disappointing. There was a lot of potential and build up that felt wasted and rushed, among other things, some of which you mentioned. At the end of the day though, I find I'm still watching for the same reason. I feel connected to the character of Dean Winchester and I want to see how his story ends. I feel drawn to the brothers who have been through hell (literally) and yet still keep fighting. I will be back for S12. I am definitely looking forward to your future thoughts.

I'm excited about the new SPN story you're writing!

Congrats on your new home! Hope you have a happy moving weekend!

-SJ
iontas
May. 26th, 2016 11:44 pm (UTC)
I was hoping that you would find a bright side to that episode. Because I need the help to see it. I think I probably need to watch it again. Although, I didn't hate it. But I didn't like the ending with the lady MOL shooting at Sam. Couldn't we end with neither brother being in peril? Also, sending Mary back? Just no. We already had god, which they did not end up handling as well as we hoped. It definitely bordered on jumping the shark. Bringing Mary back feels like jumping the sharknado. The loss of their mother drove them, it defined them. To just be handed her back, it feels cheap. I can't imagine where they are going next year.

But I did like some things. I liked the goodbyes, they were touching. I liked the Dean and Cas talk. I felt like they actually were driving in the car for that scene. I liked the ghost hunt, old times! And I guess I like the symmetry of Dean saving the day by sharing his heart and by talking to Amara rather than blowing her up. It is like when he went to be with Sam when Lucifer was going to fight Michael. It isn't warrior Dean that wins in these instances it is big hearted human Dean that wins.

However, I do feel like the last couple of episodes were not well written. And I think that after 11 seasons we deserved better than that. I am annoyed they brought god in because to do that takes good writing. They had it in the first episode with him back and then they just punted. I'm also annoyed because Kripke said he wouldn't bring god back and I feel like he isn't minding the store.

So thank you for your Ramble. It did help me appreciate it more. And I must confess I am cranky for other reasons that may be spilling into how I felt about the episode. I am looking forward to your story! And I will be back next season to watch the boys and read your Ramble (always well written). Bad writing or not, I will not give up on the show. Family don't end with blood or bad writing it seems. LOL
borgmama1of5
May. 27th, 2016 12:49 am (UTC)
Loved Dean's impact on Amara, how he saved the world by being human...

Felt the hunt in the asylum was contextually weird, like someone said, 'hey, we need an action scene to balance all the talking' so they stuck that in, but watching the boys in action wins anyway...

The MOL chick also felt like an afterthought, they should have introduced some background scenes a little earlier in the season (how effective would it have been to get a glimpse of her instead of the scene at the end of 11.21 when they sent the new prophet off in a cab...)

Ah well, it can't be perfect because every fan has their own image of what that would be, so good enough will be okay, and I do love how the boys were left at the end, Sam thinking Dean is dead, and Dean about to find Sam is MIA when he gets over the shock of meeting his mother...

I do hope they do her justice in season 12--how about hooking her up with the rest of the Wayward Daughters?!
supernutjapan
May. 27th, 2016 02:43 am (UTC)
Love the ep - especially the graveyard scene and the scene at the bunker before it. The emotion there both by Sam and Dean, the cherry blossoms, hugs, kisses...<3 Loved the scenery and special effects - sky, ghosts, Chuck and Amara <3

Looking forward to next season <3
(Anonymous)
May. 27th, 2016 05:25 am (UTC)
Dean is da bomb! Ha! Love your rambles... Thanks for a whole season of insightful comments, looking forward to season 12. And I heard it as "a Sabbath cover band" -- Dean would be more Black Sabbath than Savage.
jazzyirish
May. 27th, 2016 10:40 pm (UTC)
Hey Gaelic, thanks so much for the Ramble. Loved the way you talked about family and how much the relationship between Sam and Dean drives this show for you (and for me also). I do enjoy the mytharcs, but only when they're well executed. This one was not, IMO. These last two episodes felt extremely rushed - and disjointed. My personal opinion is that they rewrote them (at least in part) to set up the next season in Dabb's view since Carver is leaving the show and Dabb is taking over. This whole season had the feeling of "The End" to me only to have Amara and God join hands and go off together in peace. Strange. I have to wonder if they didn't think they would get a renewal from the network.

The episode didn't feel like a finale to me until the very end at which point I said "what the hell?" It felt like it was plodding along (poor pacing?) until Dean confronted Amara, and then she gave him her "gift". My questions are the same as yours - where is Dean? is Mary alive? and what are they setting up for next season? The British LoL seemed like an afterthought. Maybe she was, because she was on The Vampire Diaries until a few episodes ago.

I feel sorry for Sam because he thinks Dean is dead. That's probably the reason he challenged the LoL, because he didn't care if she shot him or not. I don't think she did, but if so, it's the Empty for Sam if she killed him. Unless reaper!Billie had a change of heart since they saved the world. Again.

In answer to your scheduling questions, The CW is moving SN to Thursdays in the fall. I think they also may be changing their affiliations. I know our CW is moving to another network. No more Bulls/Cubs/Sox preemptions! Yay

Thanks again for all of your Rambles this season. I know you've been extremely busy. Best of everything in your new home. I hope the move goes as smoothly as possible. Looking forward to your story when it comes out. Have a wonderful summer, and I'll stop by here from time to time to see what you have to say. :)

Until then,
Irish
(Anonymous)
May. 28th, 2016 09:37 pm (UTC)
Brave
Hi Gaelic
Thanks as always for the reviews, you are always my first call for a sensible and thoughtful opinion.

Coming from England I have never quite understood this season finale thing, it's not something that really happens here (with the exception of Dr Who and only because it kind of invented the cliff hanger - on every episode!). So how brave of Supernatural to go with understated but swirling emotion and a still quality that emphasised the heartbreak of what these brothers do and what they have to sacrifice. It was all about family. It was all about the brothers and I admit there were tears at that subtly played scene at their mother's grave.

Like you, I thought they had boxed themselves into a corner with the whole God is Chuck and Amara is his sister storyline and wondered how they would get themselves out of it.The answer was not with a bang but with a whimper and Dean being a big brother to them both. Interesting. Very interesting - almost grown-up in fact.

I wasn't fond of London Lady either. No-one talks like that except in American series or films. A regional accent would have worked much better but we'll see. ( I still have the Equity Card if they're interested...)The jury is out on that until season 12.

I loved the music (Gerry and the Pacemakers, Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying) it fitted perfectly the turmoil Sam was going through without having to voice it.

Jensen as always hit the perfect note. He has been growing as an actor these last two seasons and that scene between Dean and Chuck a couple of episodes back, the way he pitched it, was spot on and heartbreaking. Dean has always been an everyman and he asked those questions the way he did, for us all.

Much as I love this series, I think Season 12 should be the last and every thing poured into it to make it the best season ever, then Jensen can spread his wings and astound us in other roles, as I am sure he will.

Thanks again for all your reviews

PS
That scene with Dean (because that was all Dean) trying to do a Scottish accent was hilarious. There was definitely some Southern Irish, a bit of Welsh and Punjabi before he settled on Glasgow cum Edinburgh. Funny boy.....

Jude





(Anonymous)
May. 29th, 2016 09:49 am (UTC)
Maz here....
Firstly, well done on your house move - hope you are all settling in and will be very happy in your new home. X

As regards the finale ...yeah,well... it just sort of happened didn't it.
I really, really hate the introduction of yet another pantomime style character - "M'Lady!" OMG how stereotypically, comically awful. In the same terrible ballpark as Rowena IMHO. These characters (and I'm afraid I also include Crowley and sadly, Cas sometimes too) just suck all the depth out of the very real emotion that the brothers' story, and the actors' performances (oh boy, that hug!), can always evoke in me.
I was worried all along that the Amara/Chuck storyline would simply dissipate in just this way and, sure enough, the writers don't seem to care if they disappoint. They were crazy to ramp up the arc to this God-level in the first place.
Really, the only thing I liked about it (other than Jensen Ackles' always wonderful acting - really, I don't know how he can deliver so well again and again and again) was Chuck's repeated allusion to Dean's importance - his and Sam's. Together - The both of them. I can only hope, for the sake of those of us who have loved the show for so long, that the whole Light & Dark is essential, destiny and purpose storyline will be played out well in the end.
So, many thanks Gaelic for all your Rambles - I love them for the perspective you always give me.
primrose_1
May. 30th, 2016 11:55 am (UTC)
I think the season ended the way it had to. This is sad because they really didn't have any surprises. You introduce God and Sister, and the ONLY way it works is for the two to reconcile. And they HAVE to go away or else there's no more peril for the boys. You can't be expecting God to step in whenever. So. The season ended the only way it COULD, with Dean doing the only thing he could, which is talk to Amara and help her change her mind. That's it. It leaves us with a bit of ho hum.

On to next season!

(Anonymous)
May. 31st, 2016 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you once again for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. I truly appreciate the time and effort you give. Supernatural is moving back to Thursday nights. Don't know what time.
I'm happy the God/Chuck and Amara storyline is done. Chuck isn't how I view God but I liked reading about how that personality of God worked for this 'verse. Your perspective helped me accept that episode.
Dean had me tearing up with his funeral talk. I still don't get why Amara was so taken with Dean. Scratch that. Dean is da bomb but thank goodness he wasn't. :) Why was Dean attracted to her?
I think the writers should have explored that connection more. My guess is when Jeremy Carver left before the season finished Andrew Dabb did his best with what storyline was left.
I'm looking forward to season 12 because I love the Winchesters.

I can't wait to read your Supernatural story. I sure would believe you came up with that bit of dialog Dean said about desperate and stupid etc. because you can write better stories than some of the writers. You're that good!

Happy moving and enjoy the new house.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 12th, 2016 12:00 am (UTC)
mother Mary
Happy Summer, gaelicspirit!
I hope your house move went smoothly. My family and I moved to the wilds of central Vermont two years ago this month - I have to confess to a few unpacked boxes still in the corner of the library… mostly old textbooks and papers from grad school and tons of homeschool supplies that might come in handy (four kids generate a lot of stuff!), but I'm pretty sure the 'if you haven't opened it in two years you don't need it' rule should really apply here...

I read your Ramble with interest back in May, and then put away my disappointment with the last four episodes of the season to concentrate on kids, concerts, and gardens. The events of the finale have been percolating up at unexpected times, though! My husband and son are at Scout camp this week, so I thought I'd indulge in some good SPN fic, and came here to see if your teased-at new one was ready yet….

I had expected the God/Sister merging and vanishing - there didn't seem to me any way to keep the universe intact otherwise once Amara was revealed to be 'god's sister' - but was disappointed in its execution. I had guessed that the connection that Amara professed to feel for Dean meant that she had somehow experienced life through him while he carried the Mark, and that that experience had already made an influence on her and her attitude toward her brother's creations. Well, when I re-wrote the episode in my head, that's how it went….

I've been waiting for the international Men of Letters to appear ever since the Bunker was introduced. It never made sense to me that the supernatural respected borders. We even got two nudges with Delphine and Eileen that the French and Irish had a chapter, but I confess to being confused as to the way the introduction was handled. If 'they' knew that the previously wiped-out MoL in the USA were re-emerging, why didn't they call up and introduce themselves? She breaks in and shoots Sam? Talk about shoot first and ask questions later.

But it is Mary's re-appearance that has been burbling late at night for the last couple of months. I agree with you that she looked as she did the night she died. And while I'm sure that the impact her presence will have on Sam and Dean will be profound, it is her own reaction that I have been thinking about. In the blink of an eye, her life has ended. She had shielded her husband from all knowledge of the supernatural and her former life. She sees the demon at her baby's crib, and then - fear, pain, fire, and a dark forest?
Her husband is now dead, and to all intents and purposes, her two sons are dead as well. The two battled-hardened men ten years her senior may eventually become family, but she has lost forever the sons she knew and loved, and lost all the intervening years of their growth into men. I can only imagine the intensity of her grief… and now I want hubby and son back from Camp, which is silly since they are having a marvelous time and my life isn't a fanfic!!

I shall keep checking to see if you had enough time to finish up your latest tale, but a long wait will only make the arrival sweeter.
Enjoy your summer!

e

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