A semi-controversial list of suggestions to improve Supernatural's eleventh season in the new year.
SupernaturalAirtime: Wednesdays, 8pm
Cast: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Mark A. Sheppard, Misha Collins
The holiday season has come and gone, and the wait is almost over for fans of Supernatural. The show has been on hiatus for nearly a month, but will return with a new episode on January 20th. While we're still waiting, I thought it’d be fun to make a list of New Year's resolutions for the show: a list of things that fans will hopefully see during the second half of its current season; some suggestions you may or may not agree with.
Let Amara die
We're not supposed to like villains. That makes sense, but there's a big difference between a character that we love to hate (or hate to love) and a character that we just plain hate. This season's “big bad”, Amara (Emily Swallow), the so-called sister of God, has the possible distinction of being the most unpopular villain in the history of the show. Is it her creepy advances toward Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles)? The large amount of innocent people she either killed or turned into soulless bodies? Or maybe it's just her petulant personality that turns viewers off. Either way, the sooner her character bites the dust, the better.
Let recurring characters live
Ever since the shocking death of John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in season two, Supernatural fans know that no character is safe, but the past couple of seasons have been particularly cruel to fan favorites like Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver), Kevin Tran (Osric Chau), and Charlie Bradbury (Felicia Day). With recent whispers of an irreversible, soul-killing death, fans are wondering if another major exit (like the weakened Castiel [Misha Collins], the ever-threatened Crowley [Mark A. Sheppard], or even Sam [Jared Padalecki] and Dean themselves) is coming soon. Let me put it this way: if a character is featured on a piece of official Supernatural merchandise, let's keep him or her around for at least another season, okay?
The return of Adam/Michael
Ever since Sam and Dean's half-brother, Adam (Jake Abel), was introduced in the same season four episode he was killed in, fans of the show have expected more from the character. He was last seen possessed by the Archangel Michael, who’s trapped in a cage in Hell with Lucifer. (Yes, I realize how ridiculous that sentence sounds.) So, now that Sam's also trapped in the same cage, why haven't we seen him? If actor Jake Abel’s unavailable, the writers should at least think of a reason why his character wouldn't be there and mention it at some point this season.
I literally can't tell you how much time this show has wasted on Dean being mad at Sam for something, and Sam saying that he can't trust Dean for whatever reason. That same scenario has repeated itself multiple times, not to mention the numerous angel wars the show has gone through, and viewers hate it. Wouldn't it be nice if the only fighting going on in this show was between the powers of good and evil?
A worthy spin-off
Do you remember Tribes, the Supernatural spin-off centering on a hunter/cop who dealt with the wealthy families of monsters who secretly ruled Chicago? Well, if you didn't, that's because it never aired. After its poorly received introduction in season nine's “Bloodlines” episode, the CW immediately stopped production on the proposed series. It was everything a Supernatural spin-off shouldn't be: boring, unconnected to the original, and a complete rip-off of The CW's The Originals.
Still, there has been some talk of another spin-off, possibly revolving around the armies of angels, Samuel Colt, the Men of Letters, or the early hunting adventures of John Winchester. Online fans have proposed a series starring the surviving women of Supernatural: Sheriff Donna (Brianna Buckmaster), Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes), Alex/Ann (Katherine Ramdeen) the reformed vampire, and Castiel's “daughter”, Claire (Kathryn Newton). Any one of these ideas has the potential to be watchable.
Special guest appearance by God
We've heard hints, rumors, and mentions, but with the current “God's sister” storyline, some sort of appearance by The Man Upstairs is due. Let's hope it isn't something ridiculous like the theory that Chuck the prophet (Rob Benedict) was God. How about a bright blast of light that saves the day in the last minute of the season finale? Or the show could take a cue from Joan Of Arcadia and have God visit in the guise of someone familiar, like Uncle Bobby or John Winchester.
The best episode of the first half of season eleven was “Baby”, which was filmed from the point-of-view of the Winchesters' beloved Chevy Impala. It's not overkill to say that Baby, nicknamed “the Metallicar” by fans, is the most popular car on television today. When a character's as well-liked as this, much as less an inanimate object, it should appear a little more often than it has been lately.
A CW cross-over event
When NBC canceled Constantine last year, fans of the short-lived DC horror comic series were pleasantly surprised to hear that The CW's Arrow would feature the character and star of the series in a future episode. The resulting cross-over ended up being a perfect fit and one of the highlights of the fall season. Wouldn't it be fun to see something similar on Supernatural? The network has a wide variety of series that could easily enter into the world of the Winchesters, from iZombie to The Vampire Diaries, the aforementioned Constantine, or any of the network's many superhero shows!
Balancing out the gore
Supernatural has never been a show for the squeamish. The nameless victims of its various monsters, spirits, gods, and even bad angels are often sliced, ripped, burnt, poisoned, and far worse in the first five minutes of every episode. A little break from this usually bleak cold opening would be nice. No one's expecting the series to gloss itself into a TV-PG rating, but just one bloodbath-free episode a season would be a treat.
A better Hell
In the mid-season finale, Sam Winchester visited the darkest reaches of Hell. It looked like a hall of dimly lit bricks. We understand that Supernatural doesn't have the huge budget that other shows on bigger networks do, but perhaps a little more effort (especially on major set pieces) is definitely needed. The show has already made a lot of progress by filming with brighter lights and replacing the same modified hotel room set with the impressive Winchester bunker, so maybe we will see a fancier Hell later on this season.
Whatever Supernatural does bring in 2016, I'll be here to review, critique, and (hopefully) praise every episode. Stay tuned!