Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie
Who: “Supernatural” airs on network TV, specifically on the CW, though it is currently on hiatus. During the 2015-2016 season, the show aired on Wednesdays at 9:00 PM.
What: “Supernatural,” a drama depicting the tale of two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, respectively), who are “hunters” of all supernatural ilk, be they demons, monsters, or angels on high, in a quest to save the world from things that go bump in the night, things that cause apocalypses, and things that are generally just out to get them (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/tv/supernatural/summary.html).
When: Season Nine aired from October 8, 2013, to May 20, 2014; Season Ten aired from October 7, 2014, to May 20, 2015, and Season 11 aired from October 7, 2015, to May 25, 2016.
Where: The show is set in no specific locale; the brothers ride all over the country in a 1967 Chevrolet Impala and live out of hotel rooms via fake identities and money scams, though the Winchesters are originally from Lawrence, Kansas. The time is present day.
Why: Oh so many seasons ago now, Chief CP Kylie followed Jensen Ackles–a fine, fine man–from Smallville to his new gig, which, at the time, seemed like a new spin on the X-Files, with two brothers versus two sexually tense FBI agents. From the opening frames of the pilot, though, I knew that it was oh so much more or, at least, vastly different than the X-Files, and this show has surpassed so many expectations, including mustering the incredible ability to remain relevant and engaging long past the expiration of the initial story arc mapped out by creator Eric Kripke. For CPU!’s ever-expanding podcast coverage of a growing number of shows, several CPU! members, all familiar voices to the CPU! loyal, jumped up to participate on this panel. How is the show faring nowadays, into its double digits’ worth of seasons? Read on.
How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)
It’s been a while since CPU! covered Supernatural, another of the Chief Couch Potato’s favorite shows. As before, you can blame it on starting this whole podcast business. Better yet – rather than assign blame, let’s just agree to make the show with the two demon and monster hunting brothers involved in epic Biblical battles a candidate for said podcast, especially since your main moderator is always playing catch-up, okay?!
To wit, hop into your ’67 Chevy Impala and turn the radio dial to this new CPU! podcast episode, to which this viewer invited a healthy sized panel, including CPU! regulars Nick, Jen, Kelsey, and Allie, all Super-fans in their own right. In so doing, we play catch up with the brothers Winchester, their guardian angel Castiel (Misha Collins), and the demonic King of Hell Crowley (Mark A. Sheppard), covering the time since CPU! last checked in on the ninth season. We cover major plot points from seasons nine until eleven: from Metatron, the Scribe of God, playing God while angel Gadreel heals Sam from the inside in the aftermath of undergoing the demon trials to close the Gates of Hell, to Dean taking on the Mark of Cain to protect his brother and to overtake Metatron, to the removal of that Mark and the ensuing release of God’s sister, the Darkness. While our panel’s particular devotion and/or brotherly bond is sometimes tested in Supernatural’s later seasons, we still have lots to think and to talk about and to gush over whilst pining for the brothers and/or Cas (well, I don’t think Nick is pining…unless there’s something we don’t know). Give us a listen, with your salt guns and holy water on standby, and see if you agree or disagree with our thoughts.
This podcast was recorded in July 2016, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of three seasons and some of the earlier seasons to boot. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!
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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Our next podcast episode will replay our upcoming LIVE! Podcast, which will be LIVE at Dog Story Theater in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on August 8, 2016, at 7:00 PM, and LIVE STREAMING at the CPU! Facebook page at the same time! The video and audio will be republished as next week’s podcast episode both on the blog/YouTube channel and in our feed. Stay tuned!
Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations
Old Questions from Prior Season Nine Coverage
1) REPEAT QUESTION: How many miles are on the Impala after all this time?
ANSWER: Still unknown.
2) What will Dean do now? And will Sam be saved again? How many more trials do these brothers have to endure?
ANSWER: The short answer is that Crowley convinces Dean to obtain the First Blade and the Mark of Cain to be able to wield the Blade, both of which are in the possession of Cain, of Cain and Abel fame, who is still alive and still the First Murderer, bearing the cursed Mark as providence of God, or so he tells Dean and Crowley. Crowley reasons that the Blade and the Mark would be powerful enough to stop Gadreel and Metatron. Of course, Crowley also wants Dean to rid Hell of Abbaddon, so that the warmer, fuzzier King of Hell can reclaim his throne. Dean makes good on all of these promises; listen to the podcast for additional details (also, watch season 9), though he does so at great cost. In fact, the Mark of Cain’s effects lead Dean to succumb to darkness, a darkness that initially attempts to convert him into a demon, a battle within himself that he and Sam confront throughout Season Ten. Gadreel is eventually expelled from Sam, and Metatron is ousted from his Heavenly throne to a less heavenly jail (until Cas breaks him free and takes his grace), with the help of a few angels and Cas along the way. As far as trials: arguably, Sam and Dean sort of attract these challenges. In fact, throughout seasons nine, ten, and eleven, the brothers are repeatedly asked to examine why they continually sacrifice the greater good to save a brother, particularly when either one of them has elected to sacrifice himself to save the greater good. It’s probably the question they will most continue to wrestle with until the show finally ends.
3) Will they ever get their happy ending?
ANSWER: While the panel is in no particular rush for a series finale, especially after the stellar eleventh season, a season that hearkened back to the glory years of the first five seasons, it’s likely the brothers will not find peace until they are done. That’s why Kansas tells them to Carry On, Wayward Sons. “Lay your weary head to rest; don’t you cry no more.”
1) Is the Mary Winchester that greets Dean in the dark wood an actually resurrected Mary, a gift given to Dean by Amara the Darkness in return for his efforts on her behalf? Or, is she a ghost with a message? Panelist Jen predicts that we will see a Mary, alive and well and back in her sons’ lives, and the panel by and large hopes that this is true.
2) Is Sam alive? Of course he is. Jared has top billing. Or, will he end up dead in a spirit world or a heavenly plane or a hellish plane, from which Dean and Cas will have to save him anew? Chief CP Kylie predicts that he is alive and will wake up in London with the Woman of Letters who shoots him. What will happen to him there? Who knows, but are humans anymore threatening than Lucifer or the Darkness? None of the panel really feels the danger.
3) Who is the Woman of Letters, played by the actress who played Valerie on The Vampire Diaries, and why should we care about her other than her ill-guided decision to shoot Sam? Will this arc be remotely compelling after the awesomeness that was Season 11?
4) Where did Lucifer go after he was expelled from Cas’ vessel, and what will he do now that he’s out of the Cage (other than be played by Rick Springfield)? Will Mark Pelligrino return next season to play Lucifer in his true form? He’s popular among the panelists.
5) Will we ever see John Winchester, especially the one played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, on Supernatural again? Wouldn’t it be great if he was hanging out in Heaven with Bobby? Or, if he came back to life like Mary (if she, in fact, came back to life)?
6) Panelist Kelsey wondered, if the Horseman Death was killed in Season Ten, removing the Mark of Cain and releasing the Darkness, how are people still able to die? Will Billie the Reaper return? Is she vying to be the New Death? What is her damage in the end? Why does she have it out for the Winchesters? So, they get a few extra chances at life – they’re dealing in destinies here.
7) Will Castiel be more relevant in the future? The panel feels that he may have lost his way; what will his purpose be now that Lucifer was ejected from him? God (i.e. Chuck the Prophet and auteur of the Supernatural saga within the show) and the Darkness left for a “family meeting:” what’s going on with Heaven? How will the angels pick up the pieces?
8) Will Rowena, Crowley’s mom, be returning? Why? The panel is divided as to how they feel about her.
9) What is Crowley’s endgame at this point? All the demons in hell gave over when Lucifer came back. What is his purpose? He’s not universally popular among our panel members.
10) If Lucifer is out of the Cage, why can’t the archangel Michael, currently housed within long lost Winchester half brother Adam, escape from the Cage? Will we ever see Adam/Michael again?
The ayes have it: Supernatural is like a well oiled machine – it is a quality program with a cultivated, passionate cult fan base, even if the quality is not necessarily consistent in its late life; though, most of the panelists agree that Season 11 was the best season since the Kripke years (Seasons 1-5, when he was executive producer). Still, based on the latest season-ending cliffhanger, the looming risk for this show is that it all somehow becomes boring – a risk that seemed to take shape as reality in seasons nine and ten. Despite this risk, the panel agrees that Supernatural could never be completely unwatchable, owing to the writing, acting, and quirks of the mythology (and the sheer beauty of its cast). There is nothing like it on TV right now, at any rate, and despite the panel members’ individual gripes, all members feel that the show is still entertaining, even this late in its lifetime. In fact, the entire panel plans to return to watch Season 12. Carry On, Wayward Sons.
Supernatural has been renewed for a twelfth season, which is slated to premiere on the CW on Thursday, October 13, 2016, at 9:00 PM. The Supernatural podcast panel will next reconvene following the twelfth mid-season finale of Supernatural, which will likely air in or around December 2016. As always, CPU! will keep you informed of news and additional show coverage. Until then!