Breaking the Tablet: A Midseason Review of Supernatural


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The Road So Far has been rather long, not to mention rough. Any Supernatural fan will tell you as much. For those of us who have stuck it out past the often painful last two seasons, six and seven for those of you at home, this season may or may not seem like fresh air. I guess that depends on whose side you’re on. Or rather, which brother you care about more. 

It’s not secret that Sera Gamble is great writer, but she was not a good showrunner (she sort of has Steven Moffat syndrome). When Eric Kripke stepped down as showrunner, she was an obvious choice to take his place. With her leadership, we got the sixth and seventh seasons – which are not an all together good things. There are elements of both seasons that are great, though. Not to mention there were many episodes as wholes that weren’t bad. In fact, story lines started to fall into place, even if they were born from things that didn’t make a lot of sense. That being said, a lot of fans were excited about Jeremy Carver joining Robert Singer as showrunner.

And, honestly, this season has been a lot better than the last two. Of course there are episodes and story lines that were left over that don’t work, or in some cases will never work, but those are from Sera Gamble’s seasons. At least for the most part.

So, the season opens on Dean’s return from Pergatory, a year after the finale of season seven. Dean has escaped from his “box of the season” with a new friend: Benny the vampire. The Winchesters finally meet up in Montana, and their family reunion is anything but cheery. Sam stopped looking for Kevin Tran, the prophet, a while ago – mostly because he fell in love with a woman named Amelia who has a dog and a dead husband (who isn’t so dead after all). Sam isn’t overly fond of Benny, and I’d personally read it as animosity over Amy Pond from season seven. Near the end of the season Castiel appears again. The remaining angels in Heaven brought him back, not that he can remember that. Cas breaks the tablet that Kevin’s been kidnapped to read – God’s chapter on demons. The hitch of the season, the over arching plot, is to find the part of God’s word that will close the gates of Hell forever.

Reading is Fundamental

The character development, however, has been more important than that overall plot – and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Here’s a secret, not that it’s actually a big secret: I’m a Dean Winchester girl. I have been since I first saw the pilot over seven years ago. It’s not that I don’t love Sam, but I just care less about him. That sounds bad. I care about Sam, but I find his story lines boring. This probably comes from both not awesome writing on Sam’s part, but also because, of the two brothers, I’m more like Sam. I understand his plight and his reasoning – so I find it boring. I already know what I would do in that situation even if he doesn’t always do those things, therefore I care more about Dean’s development as a character. And develop his character they do – or at least they’ve been trying. Slow and stead wins the race, right? I especially love this season for Dean and Castiel’s relationship. I love the character development that has been going on with them, both separately and together. A lot of fans haven’t been happy with what they deem as out of character, though. I would have to disagree.

Supernatural is a show where characters change and evolve, and not always for the better. That’s the beauty of the show. I think at their cores, the boys still carry that same weight and the same values they always have. They are still, inherently, them. It just so happens that they aren’t, nor should they be, the same characters from season one, or even season seven. I mean, it has been a year. Besides, fans would be complaining if the boys were still the same.

Overall, I’m still excited about where this season is going. I trust Singer and Carver a lot, and I can’t wait to see if the actors have been fucking with us on some of the character developments that will come after the winter break is over (Destiel. I’m talking about Destiel).

I give this first half of season eight of Supernatural 8 out of 10 demonic sigils.

– Emily Frances Maesar

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