I need to say something right off the bat, because I can feel rant-mode welling up inside of me: except for the first minute and the last minute, I thought last night’s season finale was a good episode.
“The Road So Far” segment was disjointed and uninformative, almost as if they felt they needed to have it because both previous season finales did. It struck me as half-hearted and without a cohesive purpose.
The real problem was the ending. I am so disappointed and angry about the last minute that I am having trouble expressing myself. This was not a case of simply a generally weak episode; this was a good episode that they ruined! When I said yesterday “I would rather see Dean go to hell” I didn’t actually mean that I wanted to see it, as in experience a visual representation of it. But, okay, maybe this is just my personal preference: I think what we do not see is sometimes as frightening/important as what we do see, and that is a principle this show has previously employed to amazing affect. Be that as it may, can someone please explain to me why of all the possible interpretations of Hell (biblical, literary, cinematic, or newly imagined) this one looked like the opening credits of Spiderman? I am not going to say that anything would have been better than what they did, but I really really want to. There is just a point when concept and production value/capability are irreconcilable, and when that happens people should move on and come up with another idea. Otherwise you end up with what we got last night. The final image we have of Season Three, the one that will stick with us all summer until Season Four starts, was just silly looking.
This bugs me even more because it didn’t have to be this way; there are two obvious ways in which we know that the writers/producers/whomever responsible for this catastrophe know better.
The first is that this show knows so well how to kill off its principle/important characters. John’s death at the beginning of Season Two is rendered so perfectly not by witnessing his eternal torment, but by a coffee cup hitting the ground and seeing the shocked faces of his devastated children. Sam’s death in Part One of the Season Two finale is outstanding, with his brother holding him, his murderer running into the dark, and Bobby standing still not knowing if he should follow Jake or comfort Dean. Dean’s death has been the focal event of this season, and as such needed to be handled properly. There is no excuse for choosing to show (presumably) his soul chained up, floating in green, lightning-filled ether, screaming for Sam. Stupid, stupid decision.
The second way that we know they know better is the rest of the episode. Approaching his death Dean is able to see what the demons really look like behind the humans they possess (which is ridiculously cool, and I hope when he comes back from Hell he can still do this). Did they show us what he could see? NO! And that is the way it should be done. His reactions are more telling than CGI can be. Why recognize and respect the boundaries of what you should and should not show and them completely ignore those at the very last moment? Why?
If you are interested in an example of the way things like this (death and the afterlife) should be done, I suggest you watch the end of Season Two and the beginning of Season Three of Buffy. We never saw Angel in Hell, but the ramifications of his trip there were clear as crystal. Also see the end of Season Five and the beginning of Season Six, in which we did not see where Buffy went. Her friends presumed Hell, turned out she really went to Heaven, and we saw neither. Amazing.
Now I am just sad. Sad that a single minute has so overshadowed some really neat things. Like how funny Bobby is, and what a wonderful surrogate father he is to Sam and Dean. Like how Dean actually came to some self-awareness while facing the end. Like how Lilith doesn’t just possess children, she is actually child-like.
Like how Lilith has no power over Sam!
The TV Girl
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- I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.