Hey y’all! I hope that everyone had a happy and safe Labor Day weekend. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I will be attending the Salute to Supernatural Convention in Dallas in two weeks. I am ridiculously excited about it for so many reasons. The first is of course getting to chat with J2, Misha, and the bunch. But also, I’m going to get to see some members of my Supernatural family that I haven’t seen in a while. Really looking forward to it. 🙂 As I’ve been thinking about what I want to ask the Boys if I get the opportunity, I started thinking about my hopes for season 8. Here they are in no particular order:
1. I hope Dean’s Purgatory storyline is handled well. We all know that Jensen Ackles is a phenomenal actor and if he’s given good material he will make it great. And let’s be honest, even if he’s given not so good material he still makes it good. But I’m hoping that his Purgatory story is handled in greater detail than his Hell experience was handled. I think Jensen did a great job throughout the course of S4 showing, in little ways, how Hell was affecting Dean. His body language was different, he drank a whole lot more than normal (for him anyway), and the weight of what he’d done and what was done to him started showing. But the show actually only really addressed it directly twice; once in Wishful Thinking when Sam tried to get Dean to talk to him and then once in Heaven and Hell when Dean finally broke down and told Sam what happened in Hell. And just as an aside, Jensen TOTALLY knocked that scene out of the park. It makes me tear up every time I watch it. But other than that, the audience had to fill in the blanks. On the one hand, that works because my imagination of being tortured in Hell can run in all kinds of directions. And as long as SPN doesn’t show me any differently, I can let my mind believe all of those things happened to Dean. But on the other hand, I need the show to realize that Dean’s Hell experience is important in shaping who he is and that should be explored more thoroughly. As far as Dean’s Purgatory experience, I want the show to actually show me what Dean had to go through there. I want to see him having to fight for his life. I want to see him find the fire in his gut that he been all but gone for the last 2 seasons. I want to see what happened between Dean and Cas in Purgatory. I want to see Dean come face to face with some of the monsters he’s put down over the years. I want to see how all of that is going to change him after he gets out. I want to know what he thinks about it. How he feels about it. I want to see how that experience is going to shape the brothers’ relationship. Basically, I want this part of the story to flesh out Dean’s character in a way that we haven’t seen pretty much since S5.
2. Speaking of Cas, I hope that Dean and Cas are able to repair their relationship. One of the aspects I’ve enjoyed the most about SPN over the last few seasons is watching the evolution of Dean and Cas’ relationship. They have a great many things in common, and I was excited for Dean to get someone besides Sam that he could lean on and trust. One of the realities of being a hunter is that it tends to be a pretty solitary life. If you have a partner, they’re pretty much the only person if your life. Sure you meet people on the job, but you never get to stay. In the beginning, Sam had people other than Dean in his life because he (Sam) had walked away from hunting to go to school. For a time he had sustained friendships and of course a serious romantic relationship with Jessica. Of course, as he got back into the hunting life, he had to let those relationships go. But for a time, he had them. Dean has never really had anyone outside of Sam…until Cas. In Cas Dean found a kindred spirit in a manner of speaking. No, Cas isn’t human. But he and Dean both know what it is to follow orders and be a good soldier/son. They know what it is to feel the massive disappointment that results when your father lets you down. They know what it means to be confront with the choice to either continue following orders or follow your gut and do what feels right. They know what it is to suffer the consequences of making that decision. So for me, their friendship and subsequent brotherhood was inevitable. I was really kind of disappointed when TPTB decided to make Cas the Big Bad of S6, but I think it solidified Cas’ position as the newest Winchester. Of course, Cas lied to Dean and broke his heart in ways that few others can, but I think it it had just been that, Dean would’ve been able to forgive Cas relatively quickly. However, Cas did something much worse than that. He committed the greatest of all sins–he hurt Sam. For Dean, there’s really nothing worse than that. It was true to character for Dean to refuse to forgive Cas quickly. I think Dean does want to forgive Cas, but he’s going to need some time. And he’s going to need Cas to not be nuts. He needs to be able to talk to Cas about this, and he can’t do that while Cas is crazy. I’m interested to see how Purgatory helps, or hinders, the process for these two characters.
3. I hope the Boys’ relationship stays on solid footing. SPN works best when the focus of the story is Sam and Dean’s relationship. S4 is one of my favorites because even though a lot happened in that season, the real focus of the season was the crumbling relationship between Sam and Dean. The lying and omissions created a gulf between them that filled up with all of the things they needed to say, but wouldn’t. All of that suspicion, mistrust, disappointment, and anger culminated in Sam letting Lucifer out of the box. Well, that, and few other things that were out of their control. The point is, S4 and S5 couldn’t have happened without Sam and Dean. It wasn’t just that their relationship was central to the plot, THEY were central to the plot. S6 wasn’t that way. The brother relationship wasn’t central at all. Partly because we spent the first half of the season without Sam and partly because the main arcs of the season were happening completely independently of Sam and Dean’s journey. Sam and Dean could’ve been absent for the entirety of S6 and it wouldn’t have mattered plot wise. S7 did a much better job with the brother relationship (excluding that drummed up drama over the Amy killing) and S7 felt more like the SPN I know and love. I’m hoping that the writers remember how important it is for the heart of the show to be Sam and Dean’s relationship. I hope we don’t lose 7 years worth of character growth too. Jeremy Carver has always done a great job with the brothers’ relationship, and I have faith he’s going to do a good job this time around too. That’s not to say that I want Sam and Dean’s relationship to be the ONLY relationship we focus on. That would get really old really fast. I just think it needs to be the heart of the season. Sam and Dean need to matter to the overall season arc.
4. I hope we get to repopulate the Winchester universe. One of my major complaints about the last few seasons (and I’ve mentioned this before) is how desolate the Winchester universe has become. TPTB seem to keep trying to remind us that hunting is dangerous, so they keep killing everyone. Seven seasons in, I’m pretty sure we’re all clear that hunting is dangerous. We get it. You don’t need to keep killing everyone the Winchesters meet to drive home that point. Colorful, recurring, supporting characters are necessary to a good story. Take Bobby for example. In addition to adding layers to Sam and Dean, Bobby added a great deal to the SPN universe as a whole. We got to spend time with him. We got to know him. We got to care about him. We got to see what he brought to the table. He was a fully realized character. Why? Because he didn’t get killed off after an episode or two. Sam and Dean need more ties to the world. They need more people that they care about. They need to have some investment in the world other than trying to save it simply because they don’t feel like they can do anything else. Supporting characters provide that and they also help to reveal more about the heroes. I want more Felicia Day and DJ Qualls. I want more regular, recurring guest stars that are going to add to the universe.
Well, that’s pretty much it. I, of course, always hope that we’ll get great writing and some good laughs thrown in. But the 4 things I mentioned above are the primary things I hoping for this season. What about you? What are your hopes for S8? I’m interested to hear some other ideas. That’s all for now friends. I’ll try to post and/or tweet things from the SPN Con in Dallas in two weeks too. So stay tuned for that. Until next time, peace, love, and joy to all. 🙂