Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie
Who: “Supernatural” airs on network TV, specifically on the CW; this season, the show airs on Thursdays at 8:00 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 12 premiered on October 13, 2016, at 8:00 PM on the CW.
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, and have, as late, holed up in a bunker somewhere near their home town formerly run by the Men of Letters, an organization of which they are legacy members. 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 different 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 dissimilar to 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, even though many of them also express fatigue with the show from time to time. How do they feel the show is faring nowadays, into its double digits’ worth of seasons? Take a listen below.
How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)
CPU! caught up on Supernatural in podcast format starting in the summer 2016 by refreshing listeners and ourselves of the goings-on of seasons nine and ten and recapping season eleven (since CPU! previously covered the show in blog format). If you would like to catch up on our Super-coverage, click the embedded links below, or find the audio equivalents on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play (links further below):
Seasons Nine, Ten, and Eleven
Once again, your newly full Super-CPU! panel – including Nick, Jen, Kelsey, and Allie, along with recent addition Jeremy and all Super-fans in their own right – hops into our ’67 Chevy Impala, ready to ride until we, or Supernatural, die(s), as we discuss major plot points from, and ruminate upon the success of, the first half of season twelve. While our panel’s particular devotion and/or brotherly bond continues to be 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 December 2016, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the first half of season twelve of this long-running series. 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 take a break from our mid-season progress reports as we look back at a show that ended, arguably, too soon (or maybe not soon enough) after two seasons and a lucky first evasion of the cancellation bear, possibly because it was somewhat ahead of its time and/or possibly because it was too derivative to be ahead of its time. What’s all the hoopla about, you ask, Tad Cooper? Why, we’re looking back at none other than “Gaaaaaal-aaaaaa-vaaaaant!” That’s Galavant, for you non-musical types. Stay tuned!
Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations
1) REPEAT QUESTION: How many miles are on the Impala after all this time?
ANSWER: Still unknown.
2) REPEAT QUESTION: Will they ever get their happy ending?
REPEAT 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.”
3) 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.
ANSWER: The Mary Winchester that greets Dean in the dark wood is the actually resurrected Mary, a thank-you gift from Amara the Darkness to Dean for reuniting her with her brother, God, aka Chuck the Prophet. Jen predicted correctly, and all panelists agree, more or less, that Mary being back in her sons’ lives, more or less, is the most intriguing part of the season so far. Listen to the podcast for details.
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.
ANSWER: Of course, Sam is alive! Kylie predicted only partially correctly, however. Sam woke up elsewhere in America, not London, only to be tortured by Lady Toni Bevell, the erstwhile Valerie (Elizabeth Blackmore) from The Vampire Diaries. She was really mean to him, quite the bully, and there is some continuous danger presented by the surprisingly judgmental British arm of the Men of Letters, but the panel, more or less, feels that this story line is the least intriguing, and most confusing, part of the season so far. Listen to the podcast for details.
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?
ANSWER: Her name is Toni, and she apparently doesn’t follow orders well among her Men of Letters chapter’s chain of command. She was only supposed to capture Sam and bring him to her compatriots, but she ended up torturing him to get answers she craved more than her colleagues did out of some perverse need for control and order; however, some other Men of Letters appeared after Dean and Mary swooped into save Sam, and Toni is gone again. Will she be returning? We don’t know and don’t know if we care because this arc is not compelling, particularly in relation to the preceding season’s awesome.
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.
ANSWER: So far, Mark has not yet returned, but the panel remains hopeful. Yes, it is true – Lucifer was sported by Rick Springfield’s body, playing a rocker by the name of Vince Vicente turned possessed-by-the-literal-devil type. It seems poor Luci is feeling abandoned by Daddy (i.e. God) again and somewhat embroiled by a mid-immortal life crisis. Purposeless, Luci first explores the fine delights produced by one of the deadliest sins, namely pride/vanity, by enjoying the built-in worship of who is ultimately a washed-up rock star in Vince. After Luci as Vince has some run-ins with Crowley (Mark A. Sheppard), Crowley’s mom Rowena (Ruth Connell), and the brothers Winchester (Castiel i.e. Misha Collins in tow), and after Luci takes out some of Vince’s groupies, his agent, and his entire “butt rock” band Ladyheart, Luci jumps to bigger fish: namely, the President of the United States. In that body, he takes a mistress and finds new purpose – through procreation. His mistress Kelly becomes pregnant with his unborn spawn shortly before Sam and Dean use a Men of Letters gadget, a golden sphere typically used to suck out demon essences, loaned to them by efficient English Letters Man Mr. Ketch, to evict fallen archangel Luci from the POTUS. Where he went is up for much debate among the CPU! Super panel and is one of our biggest questions going forward.
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)?
ANSWER: No sightings of The Walking Dead actor yet, but the rumors are heavily percolating now among fanzines and pop culture/TV watchdogs. We may yet see a reunion with JDM in his old Super stomping ground – maybe even this season! – but dead like Bobby or alive like Mary (or, gulp, maybe still dead and joined by a newly re-dead Mary) is anyone’s guess. Please note that these rumors are unconfirmed, and CPU! is based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, so no Supernatural insider is giving us information. We just like to gossip around here.
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.
ANSWER: Billie the Reaper did return, to offer Mary the choice of returning to her death state via the reaping of her soul after Mary struggles to adjust to an Earth thirty years after her first death, but Mary, belatedly, declines that offer. Billie may yet be vying to be “New Death,” and Kelsey’s questions on this subject persist. We still don’t understand Billie’s true aims and particular beef with the Winchesters, but we may yet find out in the next half of the season. So, this is still a question.
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?
ANSWER: If by Cas teaming up, buddy cop and bromance style, with Crowley makes him more relevant, then he might have found his way again. Cas spent the majority of this half season trying to track down Lucifer with dethroned King of Hell Crowley, and he was successful in doing so. When the mid-season break arrived, Cas lost custody of a freaked POTUS mistress and mother of to-be devil spawn Kelly, who gave him the slip at a truck stop. Cas will probably have to track her down. In the meantime, we haven’t heard a lick out of the angels or Heaven this half season. We don’t know if that’s good or bad.
8) Will Rowena, Crowley’s mom, be returning? Why? The panel is divided as to how they feel about her.
ANSWER: Rowena returned this season. Really, she was trying to pick up the pieces of her immortal life post-apocalypse by getting herself a sugar daddy, but, in the end, she only found a fellow, decidedly less magical con artist who devoted son Crowley snuffed out in rankly loyalty to his mum when her suitor tried to leave equally destitute Rowena for a richer woman. It was sweet. Sort of. Rowena also helped Crowley with a few anti-Lucifer spells, but Luci is pretty powerful, so when they didn’t hold, she and Crowley quickly disappeared, avoiding fallout from any battle between the Winchesters and Lucifer.
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.
ANSWER: All Crowley wants is his throne back. Seriously, it’s power and prestige for the decidedly two-dimensional demon formerly named Fergus, but his chemistry with straight-laced, awkward angel Cas remains a source of endless comedy.
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?
ANSWER: Still a question. I, personally, have to believe that, with Lucifer out of Hell’s Cage, archangel Michael (whether inside half-Winchester Adam or not), has some time to sort through his sanity. Here’s hoping he busts out. There’s a disturbing lack of archangels nowadays.
1) Will Mary ever get it together long enough to accept her new lease on life and her much older, adult sons? Her adjustment seems prolonged. Understandable but prolonged. What will be her purpose in the end? Will she continue hunting? Will she join #TeamWinchester? Or, will she be the footnote of yet another – and a repeat one at that – tragedy in the boys’ lives?
2) Seriously, why should we care about the British Men of Letters at all? Why are they interfering? Why does their approach with sussing out the boys’ methods suck? Why can’t we abandon this piece of the story? Much of our panel feels that it’s not working, though some are still vaguely intrigued.
3) Will Toni return? For what reason? Or, did the Brits put her in “time out?”
4) Where did Lucifer go? Some of the panel thought that his angel essence was entrapped by the Men of Letters golden snitch, while some saw it go through a floor vent. Kylie predicts that Lucifer will most likely return to fetch his spawn. What will his spawn be? Will his spawn be the “anti-Christ?” Will his spawn be born? Will his spawn bring about the end of times…again?
5) Will Sam, Lucifer’s predestined vessel, be forced to house Lucifer again, who burns through other human hosts quickly and destructively? There seems to be some hint at that possibility, though Sam has avoided it successfully so far.
6) To that end, the “American Nightmare” episode hearkened back to and reminded the viewer that Sam was once one of demon Azazel’s children, with psychic abilities. In that episode, Sam encountered a strict religious family who demonized their daughter Magda for having psychic ability. In that episode, Sam told Magda that he once had similar abilities. When she asked if he still did, Sam answered that he “thought” they were gone. Will we be seeing a return of Sam’s psychic abilities? He’s always been highly intuitive; if they do return, what will be the context? What will be the purpose? What will he do with them? Will he be good or evil? The panel kind of wants to see this happen.
7) The John Winchester question remains a question: will we see him this season? And played by whom? And will he be alive or dead?
8) The Billie the Reaper question remains a question: is she aiming to be New Death? What is her true intention? Or, is she a dutiful bureaucrat, operating status quo in the absence of her boss? Will she be successful in reaping Mary’s newly returned soul? The brothers’?
9) The angel question remains a question – Heaven seems disturbingly quiet…
10) Where did Rowena and Crowley go? Is Crowley back on his basement throne again? Will Rowena return to her witch-y ways, since her dreams of marrying her sugar daddy went bust and since she seems to have somewhat repaired her estrangement from her son?
11) Last we saw, Sam and Dean were taken into federal custody because once Lucifer was sucked out of the POTUS with the Golden demon essence sucking Snitch, it appeared as if Sam and Dean had hurt the President, causing the Secret Service and federal marshals to descend upon them and to arrest them. The panel feels confident that they will escape or be released; we just don’t know how. Will Castiel, vexed by losing Satan’s spawn, save them? Will Crowley? Will they break out themselves? Will they get off with presidential pardon? And then, where does the show go from here?
And, for the record, Dean killed Hitler.
Some doubts have resurfaced among the members of our Supernatural panel. Though we all remain committed until the end of the show, whenever that may be, and though, in many ways, Supernatural is still like a well oiled machine – a quality program with a cultivated, passionate cult fan base, even if the quality is not necessarily consistent in its late life – the panel is struggling somewhat with season twelve so far. In this episode, we wrestle with the arguably realized risk that during this season, the show is becoming slightly boring. We also wrestle with the not as debatable but realized risk that the show is bloated by too many story lines that do not seem to intersect but for the presence of the Winchester boys themselves. The panel members all still agree that Supernatural could never be completely unwatchable, owing to the writing, acting, and quirks of the mythology (and the sheer beauty of its cast), but the general consensus was that the show took on three major story lines that have not dovetailed together as well as might have been expected in the return of Mary Winchester, Lucifer on Earth, and the British Men of Letters. The panel remains hopeful that the writers and producers will help them meaningfully intersect by the end of the season in a way that pays the viewer off, like season eleven did. There remains nothing like Supernatural 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. Carry On, Wayward Sons, as we prepare to watch what the rest of season twelve has to offer.
Supernatural was automatically ordered for a full season upon renewal and will return from its mid-season hiatus on January 26, 2017. In addition, the CW has granted what was an all-but-confirmed (until last week) early renewal for the show’s lucky thirteenth season, which means the CPU! Super-panel will be sticking around yet. In fact, our Supernatural podcast panel will next reconvene following the twelfth season finale, which will likely air in or around May 2017. As always, CPU! will keep you informed of news and additional show coverage. Until then!