The wall comes down in Sam’s head and all hell breaks loose. Dean and Bobby are, for once, at a total loss on how to help him and are forced to stand by and do nothing while Sam breaks. The battle for heaven comes to a head. Robert Singer directed the episode written by Eric Kripke.
“Warriors take chances. Like everyone else, they fear failing, but they refuse to let fear control them.” – Ancient Samurai saying
Sometimes I use quotes because the circumstances scream for them. Other times I use quotes because I don’t know what else to stay. This is one of those times. This ramble is going to be harder for me to write because when this episode ended, I simply sat there. I think I may have said, “Um…?” But it was one of those moments where I was like…really? That’s the end?
I can’t begin to express how happy I am that we have a Season 7 to continue this story. Because if we hadn’t? And they’d decided to end it with that? I would have been utterly crushed. I remember thinking that the last episode had been filmed before we found out that we got the next Season. This would not have been an easy-to-live with cliffhanger. I thought Angel’s series-ending cliffie was hard – what with them cornered and facing-down all sorts of baddies. But this? Yikes. So, yay Season 7!
The challenge I’m having most with this episode, though, isn’t the totally-didn’t-see-that-coming ending, or inevitable hand-waving. It was that I didn’t get that Oh, I get it feeling I’d been hoping for. We knew back at episode 6.11, Appointment in Samarra, that it was about the souls. Not that we realized that was really going to be all it was about. I mean, at least I didn’t.
We had a season’s worth of Red Herrings and while that’s an interesting tactic and gave us plenty of speculating fun and kept the boys busy for 22 episodes, I felt it was a little too loose. There weren’t enough real clues along the way to make this last episode as satisfying as I’d wanted it to be.
I don’t want to spiral downward with gloom and doom – especially after trying to spin the positive in an experimental season. But I’m not sure the experiment worked completely for me. I think there are some purposely-placed holes – like the creature that really killed Lovecraft, and why Eve keeps laying eggs even after she’s dead, and why hurting her hurts her monsters – but I think there were some open-ended threads that I was, quite honestly, expecting to be tied up in this episode.
It just felt like a lot was slammed into us at the end and perhaps I need to give it some more time to process – more time than a steam-of-consciousness review allows for – but all-in-all, I wasn’t as taken in by this finale as I’d been by the previous five years. And that’s okay. It really is. I imagine that there are many out there for whom this season worked quite well and I’m happy for them.
And it’s not to say that this season has been unsatisfying. We’ve had some shocking episodes – like Live Free or Twihard — some truly hilarious ones, some that were heart breaking, some that were just hands-down fun, and some that were less than stellar. And that’s par for the course for every season, really. I suppose I just had a different sort of expectation with the way we began, experiencing the mystery through Dean’s eyes.
If I try to look back and find the glimmer of I get it, I can see that the soul stage really was set from the beginning. The Alpha monsters, the resurrected Grandpa, the Mother of All, it was all just a cluster of distractions to keep us (and the boys) from the very simple plot that carried throughout. Maybe it was the overall pacing that caused it to go a bit sideways for me here at the end. Maybe by staying unspoiled I’d worked up ideas on my own and was disappointed when those ideas weren’t even close.
Whatever the reason, I come to this ramble rather subdued and wondering how they’re going to get out of this mess – because we left them in a bit of a pickle there at the end and only the devious minds of the Supernatural writers are going to be able to get them out of that in a believable fashion.
That said, though? Before we get to the end, we are given the gift of the THENs and the traditional, wouldn’t-be-right-without-it, season recap set to “Carry On My Wayward Son.” I’d been in tears at the end of 6.21, so I’d stepped away to refuel and recenter. When that song started, I whooped aloud and the hubs looked at me with a half-grin and said, “You are unbelievable – weren’t you just crying?”
“Yes, but…that was then. This is now.” *grins*
Every time I hear that song, I think of our boys. It is their theme and I hope that if Season 7 is truly Lucky Number 7 (and making our journey with the boys the Magnificent 7) then we do see them finding peace when they are done.
But enough of that. Let’s get to it, shall we?
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