Tonight I want to talk about the Campbells. We first met Mary Campbell and her parents in S4, and I actually kind of liked them. It was interesting to see a family of hunters that wasn’t necessarily dysfunctional. Samuel and Deanne seemed to really love each other and love Mary. Granted, we didn’t get to spend a great deal of time with them, but what we did see (before Samuel got possessed by the YED) seemed to be pretty normal. Even then it was clear that Mary didn’t want to be a hunter all her life, but I can’t say that I blame her. The average lifespan of a hunter isn’t very long.
Then came the Campbell clan in S6. Sigh. At first, I was kind of excited and thought there was great potential there. Sam and Dean met some family that turned out to be in the life too. I thought maybe, just maybe, the Winchesters would have some help. Their world was so small at the beginning of S6, so I was hoping to get some more good guys to help them out. My optimism didn’t last very long. Actually, it didn’t make it past the first episode. Let me address each of the Campbells one at the time.
Grandpa Samuel: This dude. Sigh. First of all, I understand that Mitch Pileggi has a pretty loyal following from his time on X-Files. I know this may take away some of my fangirl points, but I was never a big X-Files fan. I can’t really put my finger on why. I just never got into it. Therefore, I didn’t really have any expectations from Mitch Pileggi when he joined Supernatural. Let’s just say I was underwhelmed. He lacked any real presence or gravitas. He seemed to just be reciting the lines without giving them any real emotion. Then, there’s the writing of that character. It was just horrible. I think he was supposed to be a gray character since the S6 theme (such as it was) was supposed to be noir. But he just didn’t pull it off. He always seemed like a bad guy. He always came off as dishonest, self-centered, and downright creepy. And it wasn’t creepy in a good way like, say, Alastair. It was creepy like the grandpa who would sell you down the river to get what he wanted without giving a care of what happens to you. Oh wait. That’s exactly what he did. And it never made any sense to me. My question throughout all of that was, why? Yeah. Mary was his daughter and she was dead. It’s awful. But Dean asked a valid question: what exactly was he going to tell Mary? Was he going to tell Mary that she was going to have to suffer the same pain he was suffering knowing that her sons were dead? Was he never going to tell her that she had sons? Was he going to tell Mary that he’d made a deal with a demon to bring her back? Was he going to lie to her the way he had apparently been lying to Gwen about trying to kill Dean? He just wasn’t an interesting character at all.
Christian: I didn’t like him from the beginning. He seemed to have a beef with Dean from the jump, and it didn’t make any sense. He acted as if Dean was some slacker who wasn’t really a hunter. He even asks Dean at one point, “Where were you? I’m the guy whose been here.” I kept wanting Dean to look at him and say, “Where were you when I was saving the world, pal?” I think his fate was sealed for me after Two and a Half Men when he threw the fact that Dean tortured people in Hell in his face. Seriously? Maybe it’s because I love Dean so much, but Christian immediately put a bad taste in my mouth that never left.
Gwen: She actually had some potential, and I was hoping for her to be more. We haven’t had what I would consider a really cool female hunter on the show since Ellen sacrificed herself in S5. So I was hoping we would get that from Gwen, unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. We got a few glimpses of what could have been, but she was never given enough screen time to completely develop. I especially didn’t like the way she was killed off. It was another senseless death of a character that had potential to add layers and drama to the story.
Mark: Barely said anything. Barely did anything. Then BOOM. Dead. Adios, Mark.
In summary, the Campbells were a wasted opportunity. The Winchesters have suffered so much loss and have been so isolated for so long, I was looking forward to them finding some family to help out. If would’ve been nice to see a hunt like the one in S5’s 99 Problems in which the Winchesters, with the help of the church group, take out a nest of demons. I would’ve enjoyed seeing that with the Campbells from time to time. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t want the Campbells to hang around ALL the time or become a permanent part of the story. But I did wish they could be the Winchesters’ allies and folks that the Boys could trust to help. Alas, what we got was a mess of shallow, poorly written characters. They didn’t add to the story at all, and I was relieved when we were done with them. As I’ve mentioned before, S6 was rife with wasted opportunities, but I think the Campbells were the biggest.
Until next time: peace, love, and joy to all! 🙂