SPN 8x23

May. 15th, 2013 11:23 pm
bowtrunckle: (Plotting to take over the WORLD!)
[personal profile] bowtrunckle
This is probably the rantiest post I’ve ever written.  Ever.  Do not read if you don’t want your Show squee to be harshed.


I hate to say it, but the writers have lost a tremendous amount of storytelling credibility this season.  I feel like S8 was snippets of 3 different incomplete seasons with different emotional stories; it’s the Frankenstein of SPN.  It literally was all over the map, instead of formulating a well thought-out cohesive story that was paced evenly where 1+1=2, it’s like the writers just threw what sounded like good ideas against the wall and ran with whatever happened to stick.  And when the story stagnated and started sliding sideways (hehem, the first 10 episodes), they redirected and started throwing new ideas against the wall and ran with whatever stuck for the next 10 episodes.  And then they said, “Oh, crap, we have to come up with an ENDING because we’re getting renewed for another season” and then puked out the last 3 episodes.  I feel like the three different sections of the season weren’t strongly cohesive with each other, and it gave the impression that there wasn’t a clear vision.  There’s nothing more annoying and unsatisfying to me than being dicked around by the first-draft of a story that’s being sold as a final product.  Do not waste my time.  Argh.  :(

Let me elaborate: the first 10 episodes of the season are this beheaded version of SPN where it feels like they somewhat walk and talk and resemble Show, but they’re weirdly separated in what feels like a dramafied facsimile of itself until we wrap up Amelia and largely Benny and Sam and Dean chose each other and drink beer in a very unhappy, unsatisfying, unconvincing way.  Then we get ~10 episodes building up the demon tablet storyline and the trials to shut the gates of Hell.  Then in the last 3 episodes in swoops Metatron and the trials to shut the gates of Heaven.  Then in the last 10 minutes of a 23 episode season that spanned 8 months, the whole shut-the-gates-of-Hell trial gets snatched away in a giant JUST KIDDING and were redirected to a storyline that is ~3 episodes old, nullifying the season-long build up and robbing the story of a good portion of its significance up to that point.  It’s like the writers thought a great way to end a story is to have the Sam and Dean work on shutting the gates of Hell as the main story arc for an entire season and then have Dean suddenly believe Naomi based on her word and then waltz in and tell Sam, “Oops, we’re not going to shut the gates of Hell.”  And did anybody else wonder what the heck Dean was doing leisurely drinking beer with Cas and waiting for Cupid to show up (only to just talk to her) when he just left Sam, who looks like walking death, to SHUT THE GATES OF HELL BY HIMSELF?!!?!  But what has me really upset is the very real possibility that there may not be any consequences to the Hell trials and Sam “almost dying”.  So he and Dean went though all of that for an entire season only to just literally walk away, and whatever crazy supernatural power was making Sam deathly sick and his arm glow just conveniently disappears?   Um, no.

And why did Naomi have to die?  She was becoming so interesting.  Show, do you not do complex, multifaceted characters anymore?  Or did you simply kill her because she was a woman or because she wasn’t Mark Sheppard or Misha Collins (see next paragraphs)?

Somehow I don’t think Show has the guts to kill Crowley because I feel like it would’ve happened in the last minutes of this episode (Sam and Dean don’t cure him, so they kill him instead).  I feel like that decision isn’t driven by the plot because, to me, it makes sense to dispatch of Crowley as his story has become long-legged (Show seems to kill off everybody else in order to conveniently tie up storylines), but driven by Mark Sheppard and his popularity as an actor.  I’m not too hot on the idea of Crowley running around in consort with Team Free Will, and it doesn’t make sense to me that Sam and Dean would just let him go after all the trouble he’s caused, how untrustworthy he’s proven to be, and the fact that he’s still the King of Hell (unless the half completed last trial somehow robbed him mostly of his demon powers or something equally as weird).  So it’ll be interesting to see where S9 takes Crowley.

I do like the fact Abbadon is still a force to reckon with.  And it would seem Show may be keeping Crowley on the board in order to have a Hell-side scuffle between him and Abbadon.  But then again, I have to wonder how that power struggle will play into where Sam and Dean sit now that they’re seemingly no longer interested in closing the gates of Hell.  Will they just go back to hunting/exorcising/curing demons again?  Them standing down permanently doesn’t fit with their M.O.

The Men of Letters bunker lighting up was exciting.  I’m tentatively hopeful that something interesting and surprising will spring from that.  I also like that Kevin finally got stuck in the ubersafe Batcave and that he’s still around and kicking (and still pissed off that his life got hijacked because he has every right to be angry and resentful).

I like the idea of a whole-scale, forced evacuation of Heaven, but degraced!Cas could either be played in a really interesting way or it could reek of fan service in a stinky, gross way that would get in the way of the story similar to manufacturing ways to keep Crowley around when it makes no logical sense.  Only S9 will tell.  I guess.

And I'm sure I missed this because my TV was on the fritz (argh!), but but are we to believe that Metatron really just shut out all angels from Heaven but himself?  No minion angels?  By his own admission, he's not a warrior.  And what's his "evil plan"?  Hang out on an empty cloud and read books?   Obviously I need to rewatch this episode ASAP.

Although I didn’t have high hopes for the season finale solving all the issues I had with the rest of the season, I certainly didn’t anticipate having a “What?!?!  You’re kidding me!” moment at 9:56 pm tonight.  Maybe after a re-watch of the entire season will mellow me out about the unevenness of S8, but until then (if ever) I’ll still be in my corner muttering about lost potential, my general disappointment with Carver, and my misgivings about S9.  Here’s to hoping to be proven very wrong next season.

ETA:  I think this post is really a reaction to S8 and how it didn't come together for me as a whole rather than a 8x23 episode reaction.  To be fair, the last ~10 minutes of this episode were great, beautifully shot, and epic.  In the larger context, however, their amazingness couldn't erase my sense of ughblahno!what?pphhbbttt when thinking about S8 in general, which is unfortunate because I want to be flailing around, freaking out in a good way.  So to sum up: good finish but an overall not so good aftertaste.  :(

Date: 2013-05-16 11:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] galathea-snb.livejournal.com
I am sad to say that S8 has done a tremendous amount of damage to my investment in the show; I am at a point where I seriously consider quitting. The writers blatant disregard for past canon, their lack of concern for consistent characterisation and continuity, their inability to create a cohesive narrative, it well and truly destroyed the show's credibility for me. The worst thing is, though, that there is no reason to assume that S9 will be any better. Since we're stuck with the same creative team for S9 (and probably S10), those seasons will inevitably be plagued by the same problems. :(

Date: 2013-05-17 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
I'm with you all the way. That "Taxi Driver" episode has supplanted my all time what-were-they-thinking-this-makes-no-sense episode, the one where they introduce the Anti-Christ--who could've been a weird deus ex machina (but thankfully wasn't)--to only stick him in Australia. And the worst part of it all was that the potential to do something incredible was squandered even more being that "Taxi Driver" was such an important, mytharc-heavy episode rather than just a one-off episode that was mildly annoying.

their inability to create a cohesive narrative

This is what baffles me the most. Continuity and the occasional characterization blip, I can sort of rationalize being that this show is 8 season long, but a story is a story. And a room of professional writers should be able to create a consistent, credible, internally cohesive story for a single season. Sure it may have taken a while for Carver to get up and running with S9, but after the first couple of episodes, things should've started falling into place. But they never did. And that's really hard for me to overlook.

there is no reason to assume that S9 will be any better

Such a shame, isn't it? :(

Date: 2013-05-16 11:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blackjedii.livejournal.com
So basically the finale boils down to "We've found a convenient way to keep Castiel around for hoYay for YET ANOTHER SEASON!" ?? :/

Date: 2013-05-17 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
Although I don't have a problem with Castiel running around doing his thing on SPN, it is starting to feel like the story may be beginning to be manipulated around his character rather than his character falling organically into the story. I think, though, that most of that is really my increasing doubt in the ability of the writers to write a good, solid mytharc for S9 and instead just trying to keep the boat afloat by appeasing the masses.

On a related note, it would've been nice if they kept Abbadon's meat suit for next season--I liked her. Plus, the knowledge regarding the MoL her meat suit had could've been used in very cool ways. And who knows if Josie Sands was still alive in there. She could've been a great ally and an interesting tie-in to Henry Winchester.

Date: 2013-05-18 10:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blackjedii.livejournal.com
Yeah. He needed to be gone like, two seasons ago but they've found the most convoluted ways to keep him specifically for fanservice. (IWhich is stupid - but truthfully I really did like where they took Castiel in S6 and that he was treated as a non-human entity as opposed to any other time when he was a childish creature that only needed to learn the values of humanity from the super-human Dean)

I might rewatch bits and pieces but I'm okay with not seeing this season. Of course the one time I did try to watch it live was last week just to catch them killing off Sarah Blake. I was not impressed with that.

Date: 2013-05-18 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
the one time I did try to watch it live was last week just to catch them killing off Sarah Blake.

*cries*

Date: 2013-05-16 11:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ficwriter1966.livejournal.com
I used to think Kripke was the king of "This doesn't work, so let's just dump it and move on to something else," but Carver has neatly swept that crown onto his own head.

First, he dumped the entire Leviathan storyline, when we were told that all of them except Dick were still walking around, and the food was badly tainted.

Then, he created a new setup (Dean and Benny, Sam and Amelia) that we were TOLD rather than shown, and I think largely for that reason didn't work (that, and Sam and Amelia's utter lack of chemistry). Aaaaaand we dumped that.

Spent a good part of the season with one-shots revolving around guest characters, most of them terrible.

Spent the second half of the season setting up the trials and the closing of the hellgates... only to completely dump it at the end. I'm assuming with NO consequences for Sam, the storyline, anything.

Yeah, that's some good storytelling right there. The "angels among us" business shows signs of being un-thought-out and potentially idiotic, so I'm sure S9 will be no better. But I'm inclined to forgive them everything, because

AMELIA DIDN'T SHOW UP PREGNANT.

Date: 2013-05-17 04:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] galwithglasses.livejournal.com
AMEN! She plain didn't show up, not as demon bait or anything else either thankfully.

Date: 2013-05-17 07:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
Ditto to all of that.

I'm assuming with NO consequences for Sam, the storyline, anything.

This is a big fear of mine. And if 9x01 has Sam walking around all hunky-dory, I'm going to start screaming.

The "angels among us" business shows signs of being un-thought-out and potentially idiotic

I already have so many questions about how they're going to do this, too. It'll be telling to see how they address all of established canon details about angels cast out of Heaven (Lucifer) or graceless angels or angels who choose to be human (Anna) or if they just start making up new "rules" based on the idea that nothing applies because the angels were cast out because of a spell. In the closing moments of 8x23 as the angels were plummeting to earth and losing their wings/grace, I was snortlaughing, thinking about a million grace trees (a la Anna) suddenly popping up everywhere.

AMELIA DIDN'T SHOW UP PREGNANT.

Oh, good grief. That would've been THE END for me. Thank everything Carver had the sense to not go there.

But to be honest, I wouldn't have minded if they brought Amelia back to kill her instead of Sarah. At least it would've tied back to the beginning of the season and lent some credence to Sam's emotional head space in the year he and Dean were apart. Plus then Sarah would still be alive and Amelia wouldn't.
Edited Date: 2013-05-17 07:33 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-05-16 12:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bonwriter.livejournal.com
You're right: there was a total failure to present any kind of cohesive story arc this season.

Metatron turned out to be the Big Bad of the season, but we only met him a minute ago.

The trials were all for naught, because closing the gates of Hell FOREVER wasn't worth the sacrifice of Sam's life. Even though, at the end of Season 5, putting Lucifer back in his cage WAS worth the sacrifice of Sam's life? (Did Carver forget to re-watch Season 5 before he wrote this mess?)

Kevin's life was ruined and his mother killed, but it turns out that closing the gates of Hell wasn't that important, after all. Never mind, Kevin.

If you're writing a show about a quest, you have to complete the quest or give us a damn good reason why. Total failure, Show.

Date: 2013-05-17 07:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
I'm still wondering about the title of this episode and its relevance to the actual plot. Erm, did I miss it? But there wasn't ANY sacrifice. Maybe it should've been titled "Sacrifice. NOT!" or "Sacrifice, just kidding!" or "Sacrifice ... surprise it's opposite day!" or "Sacrifice, it's not happening suckers". I only make fun because I care enough to be bothered by such details. ;)

Metatron turned out to be the Big Bad of the season, but we only met him a minute ago ... you have to complete the quest or give us a damn good reason why. Total failure, Show.

Yeah, they mixed up how to close a season's arc and start a new one. Instead of finishing the S8 arc and then planting the seeds for S9, they used the S9 seeds to close S8's arc. And that bait and switch cheated us out of the ending the writers have been building for an entire season and makes it feel weird and unsatisfying.

Even though, at the end of Season 5, putting Lucifer back in his cage WAS worth the sacrifice of Sam's life?

I'm reaching here, but maybe this was an attempt at character development? Or maybe Carver just didn't want to deal with another Winchester death and impending S9 resurrection.

Date: 2013-05-17 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bonwriter.livejournal.com
I agree: what Sacrifice? The thousands of people who will die at the hands of the demons who still roam the earth because Sam didn't complete the trials?

It seemed clear to me at the end of 8:23 that they abandoned the quest to shut the gates. If I'm wrong and they resume in 9:01, I may feel differently. But then won't S9 feel like a retread?

Date: 2013-05-18 03:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
But then won't S9 feel like a retread?

And that's why I'm curious about what they're going to do with Crowley. Maybe I'm unimaginative, but by him simply existing in S9, makes it hard to close the book on the Gates of Hell story. They could just make him relatively powerless and repent and, I guess, Sam and Dean could just let him go or incapacitate him permanently (like burying the crazy doctor in a refrigerator in "Time Is On My Side"), but those both don't really fit with a more ruthless, means-to-an-end S8 Sam and Dean. But, on the other hand, them not shutting the gates feels weird. Maybe I'm too American and not used to my heroes failing. ;)

Date: 2013-05-16 02:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] percysowner.livejournal.com
This season has pushed me to the edge with Supernatural, if not entirely off the cliff. The refusal to allow Sam to explain why he didn't look for Dean, the all over the place mytharc (it's about closing the gates of hell, no it's about Naomi, no it's about Metatron), the Amelia mess, even the Benny storyline that just got cut off instead of explored, all of these has left me very unhappy. I would be comforted if I thought any of these would be addressed, but people have been begging JC to clarify the Sam issue at the very least all season and Carver totally declined to do that. With the ratings being better than ever, I see no hope for improvement. Dean will forever be the put upon, unappreciated brother, because we only see his POV and Sam will now be forced to never think for himself again. This just isn't what I signed up for.

Date: 2013-05-18 03:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
I would be comforted if I thought any of these would be addressed

Most of my issues stem from the same disappointment and uncertainty that things will likely not ever be touched on, which worries me that future seasons will also be just as dismissive and all over the place. This season had a lot of problems, but if I had a promising feeling about the future credibility of the writers a lot of my ughmehhuh?arghh! would be left in the dust along with most of this season.

people have been begging JC to clarify the Sam issue at the very least all season and Carver totally declined to do that

I recall that interview. The one thing I did like about Kripke and Gamble especially was that they at least seemed thoroughly apologetic when they *couldn't* answer a question straight by acknowledging that they were being cagey and it was for a very good reason *nudge nudge wink wink* instead of just being tight lipped and stoic.

With the ratings being better than ever, I see no hope for improvement.

I'm glad ratings are up and we're winning PC awards finally. :) Part of me is saying, however, "You think this is good?! Watch classic SPN and you'll seize up and die happily," or "Where were you all in S2 when we weren't sure SPN was going to be renewed at all?!?!?!"

Dean will forever be the put upon, unappreciated brother, because we only see his POV and Sam will now be forced to never think for himself again.

The POV thing has been rolling around in my head for a while as is the old perception that Sam gets pulled along by the mytharc and Dean gets the emotional, self-driven story. I agree that it feels that way lately, but actually teasing apart that argument would be interesting in a give-yourself-a-migraine sort of way. *stabs self in the eye*

Date: 2013-05-16 10:07 pm (UTC)
luminosity: (SPN-Pig in a  Poke)
From: [personal profile] luminosity
Oh my God, come sit next to me.

I like that Cas is human, but the means by which? SUCKED. That's it. That's what I liked about the finale, plot/characterwise. I liked the imagery of the angels falling to earth. I liked the immediacy of the emotional manipulations. I never thought JP had those sorts of acting chops in him, to tell the truth, re the last act.

Now, light of day? This was terrible. I've been complaining about the entire season for, um, the entire season, but I thought that they may have gotten their act together with LARP and the Real Girl, only to figure out that they got Felicia Day.

I am so sick of Crowley that I could scream. Even though I loved his Tet Offensive to Girls speech and the possibility of his guilt-fueled redemption, I don't like him enough to be guilt-filled for Yet Another Season.

You know what? I'm just going to STFU here and post. *hands*

Date: 2013-05-18 03:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
Ha, I read (and commented on) your reaction post before I knew you replied here and pretty much was like, "OMG, brain twins!" XD

Human!Cas could be amazing. I'm curious to know if he'll have his memory or not.

only to figure out that they got Felicia Day.

I love FD and Charlie. Now I'm just crossing my fingers that they don't abuse and overuse her character. See how everything good about SPN is now being called into question now that I'm not feeling solid about the writers!? Ugh. I don't like feeling this way; I'm harshing my own squee.

I wasn't feeling Crowley (but I never really was attached to him to begin with). MS had a great performance as did JP (wow, I felt Sam's pain), but both times I watched Crowley's forgive me scene I said OUT LOUD, "What is this?" To be honest, I'm not really on board with the cure-a-demon thing, it feels too contrived for some reason and I don't know why.

Date: 2013-05-17 04:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] galwithglasses.livejournal.com
I'm hoping some of this will go the way of Cas being the leviathan host or Godstiel. It lasted what, 2 episodes at the start of season 7? I think that just because Sam stood down at the end doesn't mean that he still can't take that last step with Crowley and fry himself later. I'm really bummed that Abaddon will probably have to find a new vessel because I liked this actress. The batcave lighting up was cool.

This season was an inconsistent mess and if I were grading it, I'd give it back with a lot of red ink and a request that it be rewritten. I think they have somewhere to go with season 9. Whether they can actually pull it off with the current crop of writers is questionable, I think it's fair to say. I'll be there watching anyway. I still really enjoy watching how it's all put together.

Date: 2013-05-18 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
I think that just because Sam stood down at the end doesn't mean that he still can't take that last step with Crowley and fry himself later.

True. I feel like if the writers revisited the Hell trials in this way next season, it would negate 8x23 and just show that they were only interested in teasing and manipulating the audience. :(

I'm really bummed that Abaddon will probably have to find a new vessel because I liked this actress.

I thought she was terrific. I feel like we haven't had a convincing female villain with her charisma since the first incarnation of Meg.

Also, I liked her ties to the MoL and the potential for her to become more than just a one-dimensional villain. It could've made for an interesting push-pull if Sam and Dean had to defeat Abaddon but needed to save Josie for their own purposes. As I wrote in another reply here: "...the knowledge regarding the MoL her meat suit had could've been used in very cool ways. And who knows if Josie Sands was still alive in there. She could've been a great ally and an interesting tie-in to Henry Winchester."

The batcave lighting up was cool.

The MoL backstory is so ripe with potential awesomeness. And I'm in love with Sam and Dean's Hobbit hole. :)

I think they have somewhere to go with season 9. Whether they can actually pull it off with the current crop of writers is questionable

The potential is there, I agree. I'll be watching and hoping that S8 was just a really long show-runner transition and the writing team will have found their legs over this hiatus.

Date: 2013-05-17 12:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cassiopeia7.livejournal.com
Had it not been for the epic Sam-Dean scene in the last few minutes, I suspect my review would have been much more ranty. As it was, the brotherly scene was what won me over.

did anybody else wonder what the heck Dean was doing leisurely drinking beer with Cas and waiting for Cupid to show up (only to just talk to her) when he just left Sam, who looks like walking death, to SHUT THE GATES OF HELL BY HIMSELF?!!?!

This, so much. Or how Dean dropped everything (Sam included) to go help Castiel, but when Dean needed help, the angel suddenly had to "go save his home," or whatever. After dropping Dean off at the church, after Naomi had said that the trials would kill Sam, knowing that he could be leaving Dean in a world of hurt . . . he just takes off again? Without even CHECKING to see if Sam was all right?

God help me, but I really, really think that the confused, fractured, nonsensical feel of this ep was due to Carver's attempts to extend the angel storyline and validate Castiel's presence in S9.

are we to believe that Metatron really just shut out all angels from Heaven but himself? No minion angels? By his own admission, he's not a warrior. And what's his "evil plan"? Hang out on an empty cloud and read books? Obviously I need to rewatch this episode ASAP.

LOL, I have rewatched the episode and I still don't get it. ;)

Date: 2013-05-18 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
the brotherly scene was what won me over.

It was well done. I feel like practically the entire season has been built around that scene: the fractured/fighting brother moments in order to bring them together in the end and the big build up to shut the gates of Hell (hello, it took 3 trials) only to abandon it for each other etc.

Or how Dean dropped everything (Sam included) to go help Castiel, but when Dean needed help, the angel suddenly had to "go save his home," or whatever. After dropping Dean off at the church, after Naomi had said that the trials would kill Sam, knowing that he could be leaving Dean in a world of hurt . . . he just takes off again? Without even CHECKING to see if Sam was all right?

All that repositioning felt stilted and manufactured and not at all organic or logical from what we know of the characters. I like it when it's clear the story is building to something and characters are being "positioned", but I don't like seeing the strings pulling on everyone/everything while I'm watching. It's much more satisfying to look back and be able to say, "Oh, that's why they did that. Cool."

I really, really think that the confused, fractured, nonsensical feel of this ep was due to Carver's attempts to extend the angel storyline and validate Castiel's presence in S9.

I agree. To be fair (bec. I'm always trying to justify everything I don't like ... grrrr), it must be a difficult task trying to get SPN to a new place instead of just retreading over old ideas. I can appreciate the idea of wanting to delve into more Heaven-related stories for S9 as we've been dealing with demons and Hell for 8 years, but just the execution is leaving much to be desired at this point. We'll have to see how S9 opens and where all the characters still left on the board are. 9x01 is going to be a pretty important episode in terms of world building/world rebuilding.

I have rewatched the episode and I still don't get it. ;)

Megatron has no forward momentum now that he's got his revenge (as it has been revealed) and it sort of stagnates the story, leaving it unclear as to WHO exactly the Big Bad will be next season (Abaddon, Metatron, Crowley). Let's hope S9 doesn't suffer from the same unfocused, schizophrenic mytharc issues this season did.

Date: 2013-05-17 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hugemind.livejournal.com
I feel like the three different sections of the season weren’t strongly cohesive with each other, and it gave the impression that there wasn’t a clear vision.

For me, the relief of not having to watch the wahwahdrama is enough to buy the arc/story/plot twists in the later episodes. :) I'm not sure if I completely buy the introduction of Metatron (but at least he was referred to in earlier eps because he made some author's notes in the tablets), but it's not a frustrating, unnecessary love triangle so it's cool. I clearly have ridiculously high standards. :P

--the whole shut-the-gates-of-Hell trial gets snatched away in a giant JUST KIDDING--

I get where you're coming from and I don't know if I'm giving Show too much credit, but I didn't feel like the boys were sure to succeed in their task (especially since it was a proactive move on their part and not a 'must save the world from monsters' move). The halved demon tablet could've said anything in fine print in Crowley's half, so I was taking the trials with a small grain of salt.

I’m not too hot on the idea of Crowley running around in consort with Team Free Will, and it doesn’t make sense to me that Sam and Dean would just let him go after all the trouble he’s caused, how untrustworthy he’s proven to be, and the fact that he’s still the King of Hell (unless the half completed last trial somehow robbed him mostly of his demon powers or something equally as weird).

I'd like to know what Crowley's status now actually is. Is he practically cured? Semi-cured? Will he regress back into a demon over time? Him possibly helping the boys occurred to me, but also it'd be possible for Dean to confess and then complete the ritual.

When it comes to Abaddon, I'm wondering if she'll try to let Lucifer out of his cage. She didn't like Crowley and she was hand-picked by Lucy to be a knight of hell. And that leads me to hoping that we'd get some kind of a 2014-ish!verse ep now that Cas is a mortal too.

Hang out on an empty cloud and read books?

Well, there are a lot of people/heavens for Metatron to visit, so that could keep him busy. I don't know. He got his revenge for being driven out of heaven, I guess, maybe that's enough for him. And because he did seem to be angry at the way the archangels ran things, he might just be happy looking after things by himself and not have any minions.

I have to admit that I'm excited for S9. Whether that is because the uneven S8 is over and the slate's been wiped or because we were left with clear (non-frustrating) questions/situations which I know will direct S9 right from the beginning, I don't know. Or it could be just the epic looking angel rain and super-exciting Batcave. ;)

Date: 2013-05-18 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
the relief of not having to watch the wahwahdrama is enough to buy the arc/story/plot twists in the later episodes. :)

Heh. Your "wahwahdrama" still makes me laugh. XD

The halved demon tablet could've said anything in fine print in Crowley's half, so I was taking the trials with a small grain of salt.

I guess it the part that whoever completes the trials dies was on Crowley's part of the tablet. The consequences of shutting the gates of hell was "the grain of salt" for me. I hope we do get to see the consequences of their attempt next season.

it'd be possible for Dean to confess and then complete the ritual.

That's an interesting thought (obviously I haven't read your episode reaction yet bec. it's probably full of things like this that haven't occurred to me). I just assumed that Sam would have to be the one to finish it as he started the spell and was the one earmarked to complete all the trials. But I guess if they just wanted to cure Crowley and not shut Hell, Dean could redo the spell as it's clear from the demon-cure back story anyone who follows the spell can cure a demon. That seems sort of redundant, convoluted, and anti-climatic, though. Oh, Show. :(

I'm wondering if she'll try to let Lucifer out of his cage.

Even though we've done Lucifer running around on Earth, somehow I like this idea even though letting one or both of the archangels out would just reboot the Apocalypse story, and that's not likely to happen.

He got his revenge for being driven out of heaven, I guess, maybe that's enough for him.

And that's the thing. Now that he's fulfilled his "mission" (as we were told), Metatron's got no motivation (as far as we know) and he's just a dangle-y bit flapping around. I hope we get him involved in the mytharc for next season. If he disappears after 9x01 it'll be apparent he was only brought in to manipulate the weird plot contortions.

we were left with clear (non-frustrating) questions/situations which I know will direct S9 right from the beginning

I'm glad you're excited for S9! I'm curious to see where things fall because I feel like we were left in an unclear place with a lot of befuddling questions. For example, details of fallen/de-graced angels, Cas' status, Sam's illness and effects of the trials, Metatron's motivation, Crowley, and how the boys are going to deal or not deal with demons from here on out. I feel like what we do know is that Abaddon is out there in a new meat suit and will be vying for the title "Queen of Hell" and that Dean is still Dean.

Or it could be just the epic looking angel rain and super-exciting Batcave. ;)

The falling angels were spectacular. And I LOVE the MoL story and the Batcave/Hobbit Hole. Let's hope S9 delivers on all these counts. :)
Edited Date: 2013-05-18 07:38 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-05-19 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hugemind.livejournal.com
I hope we do get to see the consequences of their attempt next season.

Yes. Both it's effects on Sam because the trials really took their toll and on the hell situation because Crowley's currently not king of anything and there's a power vacuum in hell. I guess the boys could find a spell or a ritual or something in the demon tablet to heal Sam, but it has to be acknowledged somehow.

it's clear from the demon-cure back story anyone who follows the spell can cure a demon

I'm kinda disappointed that the trials purifying Sam weren't mentioned anywhere when talking about purifying the blood used in the demon cure. I mean why talk about Sam being purified and the purifying blood for a demon curing ritual if the two are not connected.

even though letting one or both of the archangels out would just reboot the Apocalypse sto

You know, if the angels in heaven fell, I wonder what happened to the angels in the cage?

Metatron's got no motivation (as far as we know)

Hmm, maybe he'll see the error of his ways and starts working up to a redemption storyline. He's also the only angel with powers, so. Unless the caged angels have powers and Metatron has to face them. Possibilities!

I feel like what we do know is that Abaddon is out there in a new meat suit and will be vying for the title "Queen of Hell" and that Dean is still Dean.

My head's kind of brimming with possible ideas for S9 and there are a lot of possibilities where to take the story. It's not the black hole of Sam alone and Dean in Purgatory but a busy crossroads with a lot of destinations. I like possibilities! :D

Date: 2013-05-22 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
I mean why talk about Sam being purified and the purifying blood for a demon curing ritual if the two are not connected.

So weird that it wasn't touched on! Maybe it's a plot point brewing for next season bec. both were so pointedly (is that even a work?) made that it's hard to believe that they were just a coincidence.

The more I think about this finale, the more I'm realizing that it really wasn't a "finale", but a "beginning" that just happened to be stuck at the end of a season.

what happened to the angels in the cage?

Are they considered fallen already? Lucifer is already for sure, but I don't think Michael is (is he?). I'd be interested in seeing if there are any ramification with the cage. A resolution for poor Adam would be nice, but I'm not counting on it.

but a busy crossroads with a lot of destinations.

!!! This is a good thing!

Date: 2013-05-18 04:34 pm (UTC)
yourlibrarian: Angel and Lindsey (DevilYouKnow: indulging_breck)
From: [personal profile] yourlibrarian
I feel like S8 was snippets of 3 different incomplete seasons with different emotional stories; it’s the Frankenstein of SPN.

That's a great way to put it.

And did anybody else wonder what the heck Dean was doing leisurely drinking beer with Cas and waiting for Cupid to show up (only to just talk to her) when he just left Sam, who looks like walking death, to SHUT THE GATES OF HELL BY HIMSELF?!!?! But what has me really upset is the very real possibility that there may not be any consequences to the Hell trials and Sam “almost dying”. So he and Dean went though all of that for an entire season only to just literally walk away, and whatever crazy supernatural power was making Sam deathly sick and his arm glow just conveniently disappears? Um, no.

Yes to all of this. Not to mention that a season with a reformed Crowley and a disempowered Castiel could make for something both interesting and amusing. And, mind you, only in the episode before was Dean so put out with Castiel that he didn't even want to talk to him (which seemed to come out of left field to me) and yet then during some awful timing and the possible failure of their whole plan, Dean just abruptly decides to go "help" Castiel

Most importantly though, just because Metatron may have lied about locking heaven, Kevin translated the demon tablets and it clearly was working to do SOMEthing. Why would they just stop? Is it really only because Sam would die? How is that different from Sam being locked in the cage with Lucifer for all time? Or from him dying on some random hunt or another? How does Dean not think that closing the gates would be worth it?

To me, SPN's problem has always been that they utterly suck at pacing in their seasons. They have a few good ideas and don't seem to know what to do with the rest of the time in order to build to something.

Date: 2013-05-18 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
a season with a reformed Crowley and a disempowered Castiel could make for something both interesting and amusing.

I suppose it could. But to be completely honest, I'm not sure that's something I could take in any sufficient quantity. Maybe it's because I've never been able to connect with Crowley as a character, and a bumbling, dense, completely clueless Cas played for laughs feels like a cheap device.

in the episode before was Dean so put out with Castiel that he didn't even want to talk to him (which seemed to come out of left field to me) and yet then during some awful timing and the possible failure of their whole plan, Dean just abruptly decides to go "help" Castiel

I feel like lately Dean just gets largely shuttled around by the writers to get the story and people where they need to be rather than his character driving the story.

Why would they just stop? Is it really only because Sam would die? How is that different from Sam being locked in the cage with Lucifer for all time? Or from him dying on some random hunt or another?

Apparently love doesn't answer to logic or obey continuity. ;)

What I'm having trouble with is how are Sam and Dean going to walk away from not shutting Hell and just go back to stabbing demons or maybe (but not likely) laboriously curing them one-by-one. I find that burden of knowledge a duty of responsibility. Not that it'll happen and not that I'm sure I'd like to see a rehash of this season's mytharc, but figuring out another way to shut Hell would make more sense in terms of the Winchester call to duty and their approach to hunting rather than Sam and Dean just dropping it like a hot potato.

SPN's problem has always been that they utterly suck at pacing in their seasons. They have a few good ideas and don't seem to know what to do with the rest of the time in order to build to something.

Yes. You have to wonder what a cable schedule of 10 episodes would do for SPN. Cut the fat and dump the stand alone MotW episode. Limited opportunity to tie the story up in knots and contradict established canon may be what this group of writers needs.

It's interesting that Kripke, when setting up his new show, basically wanted to tell an epic, American quest but NOT have to deal with filler episodes. It seemed like he learned from SPN's MotW episodes and wanted to tell a story without complicating it with unnecessary details and/or universe rules (like monster lore) that could create issues in the future.
Edited Date: 2013-05-18 08:01 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-05-26 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] counteragent.livejournal.com
YUP.

Sadly, I liked it even less than you did...I don't think anything but the angels falling was cool about the finale. The S/D moment struck all the wrong chords with me.

Date: 2013-06-07 01:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bowtrunckle.livejournal.com
I hate feeling all sorts of disgruntled with SPN, especially because I think I can sort of see what the writers might've been trying to do with the character arcs this season and how on paper it could've made sense. But, for me, when the credits started rolling after 8x23 it just didn't add up to much satisfaction.

The visuals of the angels falling with the music was spectacular looking. It just doesn't really feel earned. Yet. I'm holding out hope S9 will *somehow* (magically) redeem this past year.

The S/D moment struck all the wrong chords with me.

I felt really disconnected from the characters this season, so, while I liked that Sam and Dean are acting brotherly and protective toward each other, that scene didn't resonate with me like it would have pre-S6. IDK. *hands*

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