TV Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 5/25/11

This entry is part 21 of 26 in the series Spoilers 2011: Part 1

This week, we have spoilers for Supernatural:

Don’t forget that we’re looking for TV reviewers, specifically for the CW’s new pilot, Secret Circle (airing on Thursdays at 9pm after The Vampire Diaries) and FOX’s Terra Nova. V and The Event have been canceled, but we are still looking for a replacement for our The Vampire Diaries reviewer. If you want to review something for us, please check out our previous announcement and drop us a line. Silvia has started reviewing Game of Thrones. We also have reviewers for Falling Skies and Grimm.

And our Supernatural-meets-Lovecraft contest continues. You have until May 27 to get your entries in and win stuff.

Supernatural (Friday nights, 9pm, CW)
By Paula R. Stiles

First up, we’ve got general spoilers for season seven that are…well, they’re vague. We now know that Nikita will lead in to Supernatural on Fridays and that Supernatural won’t move from its slot. I think this is a good thing for the show. It brought most of its Thursday audience with it this past season and is doing better than most of the other shows on its network (yes, even in the season finale). Moving it would probably just hurt it at this point by confusing the more-casual audience and putting Nikita there would have killed Nikita dead. Not to mention, moving Supernatural to 8pm would probably have required a reduction in its notorious boundaries-pushing in violence and language.

In addition to news of the show’s timeslot next fall, the CW put out a synopsis for season seven on May 19: “Returning for its seventh season, this haunting series follows Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers bound by tragedy and blood to the one thing that runs through both their veins – hunting monsters. This past season, Dean and Sam faced insurmountable obstacles: Sam returned from Hell without his soul, and Dean risked everything to get it back for him. The power struggle between good and evil raged on, with the new King of Hell, Crowley, ultimately emerging as their adversary. Shockingly, Crowley had made a secret deal with Sam and Dean’s closest friend, the angel Castiel, who is now a desperate freedom fighter on the losing side of a post-Apocalyptic civil war in Heaven; together, the uneasy allies sought to open a door to Purgatory, where a great untapped well of souls lie waiting to be used as the ultimate form of military power. Sam and Dean reeled from the betrayal by their friend – and raced to stop the angel and demon before they opened that dangerous, otherworldly door. Now, in season seven, the Winchesters will find themselves in an increasingly sinister, changing landscape, up against a new foe unlike anything they’ve ever fought. They’ll find their old tricks, weapons and hiding places all rendered useless. All they’ll have is each other. And the certainty that, like the last of the cowboy outlaws, whatever they face, they’re not going down without a fight. The series stars Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester, Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester and Misha Collins as Castiel. SUPERNATURAL is from Warner Bros. Television in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision, with executive producers McG (“Charlie’s Angels,” “The O.C.”), Robert Singer (Midnight Caller), Sera Gamble and Phil Sgriccia.”

Note that the synopsis has Misha Collins as a regular next season. However, the next day, TVLine reported that Collins won’t be a regular next season. Showrunner Sera Gamble hedged that they couldn’t say whether Collins would be in the season beyond the season premiere. Still, I doubt they have much of the season outlined yet, either. Gamble also clarified the lack of presence of Eric Kripke and Ben Edlund on the official synopsis, saying that they are still in the writers room, just in different roles.

The CW put out a general “TV to Talk About” promo for the next year of the CW. Usual stuff, not much of Supernatural, pretty bland overall. The network also put out a new promotional poster for season seven, which was made up of these photos (Only Ackles’ is really new) and followed the pattern for season six of halo and snake.

Speaking of which, the old promo poster has been used as the cover for the season six DVD, with special features including: Jensen Ackles: A Director’s Journey (Featurette), Supernatural and the Quest for the Soul (Featurette), Audio Commentaries on “Clap Your Hands if you Believe” and “The French Mistake”, the regular Gag Reel, a special reel of “The French Mistake” Alternate Takes and Outtakes, Two episodes from Supernatural: The Anime Series – “All Hell Breaks Loose” Parts 1 & 2, an Easter Egg, Blu-Ray Exclusives: A Hunter’s Guide to Season 6 & Pop-up trivia track on “The French Mistake”.

Gamble gave an interview prior to the season finale that indicated some people we “liked” would be killed and a character would be “transformed”. We now know who died and it’s obvious who was transformed (Castiel). Gamble has confirmed this and implied a western theme for the new season. Sebastian Roche gave an interview that was cagey about his own character’s fate.

Predictably, Castiel fans were not thrilled by Collins’ no longer being a series regular and said so. I suspect, though, that Collins will be in as much of season seven as he has in past seasons and that this is a cost-cutting measure. It also frees Collins up to do other projects, like Divine.

As if to bolster the idea of Castiel’s popularity, Destiel and Kurt&Blaine (of Glee) made it to the finals in the “TV Romance Competition” and Destiel won. Predictably, some fans wailed that it was the Death of Heteronormativity. O the humanity.

Ausiello teased that Sera Gamble said that Adam coming back was “a very strong maybe”. Uh-huh. Put this in the same category as the showrunner-generated rumours that Kali and Gabriel would return for season six. He also posted an official teaser for season seven: “In season seven, the Winchesters will find themselves in an increasingly sinister, changing landscape, up against a new foe unlike anything they’ve ever fought. They’ll find their old tricks, weapons and hiding places all rendered useless. All they’ll have is each other. And the certainty that, like the last of the cowboy outlaws, whatever they face, they’re not going down without a fight.”

There was the Asylum Europe 2 convention in Mannheim, Germany last weekend. Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles did panels, as did Mark Sheppard, Richard Speight Jr., Fred Lehne, and Brock Kelly. No new spoilers came out of it, though there were some cute stories. Also, Mitch Pileggi’s talk, which we mentioned a month back would occur this past weekend, was written up in the San Francisco Examiner.

Rebecca Dessertine, author of the latest Supernatural novel, One Year Gone, gave three interviews in which she discussed the book and where such tie-in materials fall in terms of canon.

Finally, Supernatural had two hours’ worth of ratings for its season finale. Final ratings were 2.02 million and 2.11, respectively, with 0.8 in A18-49 ratings. These were down from overnight ratings of 2.06 and 2.21 million, with no change in demos, due to preemptions in Chicago and Sacramento for sports. Ratings were probably low for a few reasons: the preemptions (of course), the one-week hiatus in May that may have confused casual audience members and made them think the season was already over, and the premiere in theaters of Pirates of the Caribbean 4.

Some commentators have presented this as a big failure in ratings. However, this is mainly due to the demo being 0.1 lower than the show’s lowest so far, which isn’t much and can be ascribed to the preemptions. That said, the audience numbers weren’t that low. In fact, the actual season finale at 9pm did pretty well and even the 8pm showing didn’t drop below two million. Furthermore, the show’s season finale (and penultimate episode) did better in the ratings than any other CW show’s season finale save The Vampire Diaries and Smallville (the latter clocking in a much-publicized series finale).

So, speculation. As I said above, I’m not too worried about Misha Collins leaving the show just yet. The writers are very early in writing the season and the fan ructions over the idea of Castiel being killed off (and anger at his last-minute “transformation”) are making clear how popular he is. I don’t see him going anywhere permanently, as things currently stand, or Bobby, either. Though I’m guessing that Castiel, or whatever he’s unleashed, will be what’s dogging the brothers this next season, with the Lovecraft content being set-up for that.

I’m more concerned by the writers talking about doing a “western” and watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid for inspiration. Not that I mind westerns, but hasn’t this show always been a horror-western? And their attempt at noir this season? Well…it wasn’t very impressive. Besides, if you insert “western” for “noir”, how different is this synopsis from the one for season six, really? It worries me that the writers seem more focused on their seasonal “theme” than on the season’s overarching story – style over substance. This wouldn’t be an issue if they were doing mainly standalones, but they’re not. It would be nice to see some indication that they’ve learned something from previous seasons, especially the past two. But I suppose we won’t know get any big hints until Comic-Con and won’t know for sure how it goes until the season itself plays out. Let’s at least hope for a solid season premiere.

We’ll be back next week with more spoilers. Stay tuned and check out our reviews of Game of Thrones, The Event and Supernatural.

About Paula R. Stiles

Paula is not at all paranoid about government conspiracies after six years in EMS, two years in Africa for the Peace Corps, a few summers with the Park Service, and ten years studying the Knights Templar. She's seen governments in action. They couldn't cover up a toy picnic table, let alone evidence of alien visitation. Writes about science for fun, history for money, and zombies for the company. You can read her sober-as-a-judge book about Templars in medieval Spain, Templar Convivencia, on Amazon. You can find her homepage at: http://thesnowleopard.net.

Paula R. StilesTV Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 5/25/11

14 Comments on “TV Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 5/25/11”

  1. shamangrrl

    I agree that the writers idea of noir and my idea of noir are extremely different. I don’t think that watching Butch and Sundance is going to be any better.

    I agree, also, that Misha no longer being a regular probably won’t have more impact. He had less screentime this year (as a regular), than he had the previous two seasons (as guest), so that doesn’t bother me.

    It really is too early to judge anything by the spoilers, but given the mess of this season (I can’t even call it a hot mess, because it wasn’t even that good or interesting), I don’t have any hope for improvement. It’s just a shame that some of the best performances around are being wasted on such lousy writing.

  2. Sheri

    I swear this is the only place that understands the show as we few do.

    It sounds like the CW S7 promo was written by Sera herself, so I don’t put much stock in it. A loosely-based BC/SK themed season would be fun; but, honestly, it’s not going to be something fun like it should be because it will still be the angel story. I fully expect Cas to be around as much or more than in S6. Nothing against Misha, but the angel story is exactly what drug S6 down and put the brothers in a support role. Despite being in an uproar now, Mishamigos will be quite happy as Dean embraces his love for Cas and Cas, after chasing them back and forth across Singer’s Salvage Yard for 21 episodes (budget constraints, you know), will copitulate and return Dean’s love, extending it to Sam because Dean would want that. Under the current showrunner, who has successfully displayed a lesson in the Peter Pan Symdrome for an entire year, I don’t see any improvement coming.

    Sorry for the rant, but each time I hear something from TPTB, it gets more depressing.

    I was disappointed in the two finals ratings. I know it doesn’t mean much, but a million viewers since the beginning of the season for a small show is a lot to me. I know, the demos are okay for the CW; but, my God, the acting on this show, especially Jensen’s, is just good and it would be nice for more recognition of the 2Js efforts. I even like the pushing of TV boundaries, the violence, and the men’s locker room language. But this season, it was just the giving of everything Dean’s to Sam and then pushing a support character into a lead while leaving the brothers as absolutely nothing but pretty plot devices.

    I’ll still be looking at the spoilers and we will see what comes out of Comic Con, but this showrunner is starting off with two strikes in my world.

  3. Kay

    I personally think chances are good that Castiel will be gone in the first episode. I ahve a sneaking feeling that if there;s enough uproar by his fans, he may be back in the season finale, like John Winchester in the Season 2 finale. But who knows? We’ll have to wait for more news to filter out. But they way they devoted screentime to him in the last 6 episodes had all the Sam and Dean fans crying foul, and the only way TPTB were allowing it was to give Castiel fans a last hurrah before going back to the show about Sam and his protective big brother, Dean.

    I am not particularly enthused about the Butch Cassidy/Sundance idea. Before Season 6, Sera Gamble had said that this season would be LA Confidential-like. That’s all well and good, but the execution of this classic film based ideas are victim to their desire for Sam to be the one big hero and Dean his faithful sidekick. Which is the way Season 6 was going, before there was an intervention for the last run of episodes.

    I saw some tweets by one of the writer’s assistants, Jackson Stewart, who also had writing credit for Frontierland. He said fans of Season 2 will be pleased in Season 7. In answer to whether we’ll see more repercussions of Sam’s wall being torn down, he said, possibly. That alone has made me very indifferent towards the next season. I can’t take much more of Sam’ hell experience, I had enough in Season 6 to last me forever.

  4. hermitme

    Sheri: “Nothing against Misha, but the angel story is exactly what drug S6 down and put the brothers in a support role.”

    I will have to disagree. The angel storyline and Misha were barely in the show this season, and certainly very little in the first half. What dragged this season down was the dull story of Sam’s soulessness and the fact that it was the only thing that the show was focusing on for far too long. Had Sam’s souless story been a couple of episodes, and then the show moved onto more interesting things like the Purgatory, the war in heaven, and the Alphas, many fans wouldn’t have felt so frustrated and may have stayed on. But Gamble’s obsession with Sam and what seemed her fanfiction storytelling is what made this season such a losing mess.

    I wish that season 7 had a different showrunner. After this season, I have no faith that Gamble is capable of running a successful story, especially since she doesn’t give any actors a chance to do anything but service Sam.

    I’m not sure who took over since the French Mistake, where it seemed that once the focus stopped being Sam and Dean was back to badass, kickass hunter that he is, things improved greatly, and Cas finally being on for more than two seconds was also a great crowd pleaser.

    I wish Ben Edlund was showrunner.

  5. Arafel

    “He said fans of Season 2 will be pleased in Season 7. In answer to whether we’ll see more repercussions of Sam’s wall being torn down, he said, possibly. That alone has made me very indifferent towards the next season. I can’t take much more of Sam’ hell experience, I had enough in Season 6 to last me forever.”

    This storyline has made me despise the writers of this show in some ways. After how shabbily they treated Dean’s PTSD, and the lost potential for Jensen as an actor, we’re all supposed to get excited about the fact that Sam and JP will get better treatment in a storyboard sense and/or with more sympathetic responses within the story from those who love him?! Please. They would do better to just hang it up altogether as far as memories of hell storylines go because I can’t care what Sam what went through, even if Dean does. They might want us to believe that Dean is over the fact that not one of his loved ones was there for him in any real way when he came back from hell because he is Christ-like in his forgiveness of those he loves, but *I* am most certainly NOT Christ-like in that and I’m also NOT over it; and as far as I’m concerned, one boo hoo! deserves another regarding Sam’s oh-so-much-worse than Dean’s back from hell storyline…*rolls eyes*…it’ll be FF material to me and nothing else. I seriously can’t believe these writers would actually go there after the way they denigrated Dean’s PTSD, but then again, we are talking Gamble and Kripke here.

  6. Manto

    “I saw some tweets by one of the writer’s assistants, Jackson Stewart, who also had writing credit for Frontierland. He said fans of Season 2 will be pleased in Season 7. In answer to whether we’ll see more repercussions of Sam’s wall being torn down, he said, possibly.”

    Does he mean that Sam will blame Dean for not telling him the *Big Secret* of what RoboSam did (never mind that Dean almost certainly only knows the tip of the iceberg)? Then he’ll run off because he feels wrongly mistreated and spent the rest of the season going all *WOE IS ME!!* and Dean apologising ad nauseum? Um. No thanks! Let’s do something original for a change! It was bad enough (read: disastrous and appalling) giving him Dean’s storylines, now we’ll have to suffer through the retreading of his own storylines? Ugh!!

    I agree with *Hermitme* it wasn’t the angel storyline that dragged down the show. If I remember correctly that was what renewed the interest of many viewers. It was the inability of the showrunners to focus on anyone else but Sam that dragged down the show -it is getting depressingly repetitive and unoriginal.

    I also agree with *Arafel*. If you claim that the show is about two equal brothers, then start treating them as such. Pay due respect to *both* their problems, not respond to one’s with: “Boo hoo! Suck it up princess” repeatedly and the other one’s with laser-beam focus, kiddie gloves and the entire world screeching to a halt because he got a booboo. Do they think we won’t notice the imbalance, hypocrisy and double standard? Can’t they see that this treatment also gives the lie to the *Dean is ONLY human* mantra? I mean, if Dean has gone through everything Sam has and was able to overcome it with no support whatsoever, whereas Sam needs all the support he can get (including a wall in his mind), which one of them shows inhuman strength and abilities? I for one never could accept that Sam’s time in time out with L and M was soooooooo much worse than Dean’s active and laser focused torture for 40 years in hell proper. [eyeroll]

    As for Misha Collins’s screen time, once again to me, it is obvious that the sparks that flew between him and Jensen Ackles frightened the showrunners because it was taking away from Sam’s spotlight and his (imo non-existent or imbalanced) relationship with his brother. It is really such a shame not to use the obvious chemistry between two actors, a chemistry that could create the philosopher’s stone in my opinion.

  7. Manto

    Upon a reread of the synopsis I stumbled upon this: “All they’ll have is each other.”

    I don’t know where to begin with this phrase. My first thought, with these two past seasons in mind, was Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings.. How sad is that for a horror show? My second thought was that it is a wrong strategical move on the showrunners’ part. After expanding the SPNuniverse with so many recurring characters and mythologies it will have a very claustrophobic feel to it that will be unwelcome to me. I agree with your #4 suggestion in the finale review: Please Show, stop killing off recurring characters especially the boys’ allies. Pretty please?

    I would also like a redemption arc for Castiel. Make him the Big Bad [eyeroll], fine. But for me he is a great character who has indeed helped the boys (especially Dean) a whole lot and doesn’t deserve to be killed off as bad.

    Lastly, I’d like to toss in a thought I’ve had for quite some time: Is it just me or is the show schizophrenic in his Show and Tell?

  8. Sheri

    @ hermitme: “The angel storyline and Misha were barely in the show this season, and certainly very little in the first half. What dragged this season down was the dull story of Sam’s soulessness and the fact that it was the only thing that the show was focusing on for far too long.”

    God, I can’t even talk about Sam Everything! I sure don’t disagree with anything you said, and I may be giving the writers too much credit, but I was speaking to the overall plan of Cas being the story. It wasn’t revealed right away, but I think that was the overall plan from the beginning.

    Fangirling fantasies, soap opera writing, bad fan fiction stories, pushing leads to secondary characters, rewashing previous episodes as stories, too many plots, all stories undeveloped…there’s not enough room to discuss all of that.

    I think there was some course correction made, but in the end it was back to the soap about a neutered hunter and Sam’s boring Humpty Dumpty story. I was disappointed that SG continues to be the showrunner, but from what I am gathering, EK approved every script and the shows direction this season. SG’s inexperience really showed this season with so many really elementary mistakes being made.

    I have very little hope that much will improve next season. If the Butch and Sundance are used, that show only showed the two leads running from the big, bad sheriff. I want to see the big bads running from the Sam/Dean. Also, there is simply too much room for the comedy to be overdone. Despite liking a western feel, given these writers propensity to overuse everything, I am worried.

  9. Lisa

    To quote Kay, “I am not particularly enthused about the Butch Cassidy/Sundance idea. Before Season 6, Sera Gamble had said that this season would be LA Confidential-like.”

    Well if Noir were a pale fuzzy grey, then this season was indeed “noir” – but as myself, and most Noir fans know, Noir is a beast best done up in crisp black and white, where the light eventually reveals truths hiding in the shadows that when revealed we go “Ah, yes…”, not, “what the heck…”.

    I loved “LA Confidential” and what Sera seemed to forget about “LA Confidential” when she became a showrunner was that “LA Confidential” had a very clear plot (known only to the writers until the end) and that it was very well-written. Also, if Sam and Dean were the leads in this SPN version of LACon, it didn’t look that way. Dean as the Russell Crowe character – no problem there, a noble man being sucked down by his violent past – but the Guy Pearce character, well, sorry, that was Castiel who helped save Dean from Hell, I guess that makes Sam Kim Basinger’s Veronica Lake look-alike?

    So for SPN to completely gut another Hollywood classic doesn’t go over too well with me, except for the thought of Jensen Ackles in chaps and/or a leather duster – be still my heart!

    The Castiel and Dean storyline could have had Dean and Sam helping Castiel win over Heaven and brought the two brothers together as the Earth bound agents of the heavenly Cas. Dean and Sam could have been Cas’ secret weapon against Raphael – or if Crowley threw in his 2 cents and helped bring Raph down – that would have been a great Season, but instead we had Sam wandering about soulless and Cas going to a very unlikely ally for help instead of turning to the memebers of Team Free Will.

    Why Sam couldn’t just be damaged from his stint in the Pit with Lucifer and Michael – a very LOGICAL and valid character development – we had to tarnish Cas and make him look like an incompetent jerk for only bringing half of Sam back and of course, instead of Sam having real problems like the rest of us lowly mortals, all of his sins were forgiven because he was soulless at the time. How uninspiring this is to an actor and how moronish it is to a fan.

    The writers should have taken clues from “LA Confidential” – Russell Crowe’s character wasn’t a man missing his soul – he was a damaged soul – the result of being forced to watch his father beat his mother to death while he was helpless, chained to a radiator. It made him want to protect women, but it also made him violent. These are the kinds of characters that leave a mark – the real ones with real problems.

    This show spends too much time bending over backwards for a “clever” plot, instead of seeing the solid, logical path straight ahead of them. Season 2 did have a clearer path that was never fully realized in later seasons, to go back to square one might be positive as long as they don’t muck this one up and drop storylines and mytharcs left and right as they did in the last two seasons.

    I will probably watch the season premiere – being the flawed, human creature that I am, but if Cas goes, well, one of the great souls that made this show enjoyable to watch will have been betrayed by hack storytelling – yes, crueller than any betrayal of Dean by his loved ones is the betrayal of the characters and the fans by the powers that be on this show. It’s like watching little boys burning flies to death with magnifying glasses.

  10. hermitme

    Sheri:”God, I can’t even talk about Sam Everything! ”

    My response didn’t have anything to do with your talk about Sam Everythig, but with your claim that the angel storyline dragged this season down. No, it didn’t. If it had been on from the beginning, I’d maybe have not said anything. But there was no hint of any angel storyline being front and center, it was all taking place off screen and the only thing the show even showed was Sam and his endless story about his soul.

    Yes there was finally a course correction, and that course correction took the angel story from the back burner and switched it to the front, and the fans were more positive. I remember one critic stating he’s rather see the heavenly war story than the misadventures of Dean and Sam. That tells me that I wasn’t the only one bored to tears with the souless Sam story, and would have welcomed the heavenly war story as a nice relief from the dull and boring.

  11. madcap

    ” They would do better to just hang it up altogether as far as memories of hell storylines ”

    I’m just wondering how many times we are going to be treated to that incredibly bad CGI shot of Sam’s flaming face. It’s so laughably bad, especially when you compare it to the awesomeness of the shot of Dean hanging from meat-hooks at the end of season 3.

    I’m sure the show’s SFX budget took a hit when they decided to add a bunch of recurring Campbells that ultimately served no purpose to the story, but really when you so obviously rip off previously lauded scenes and storylines, it does help to put some effort into it.

  12. Manto

    Oh my God! I just read some threads on TWoP and some fans are already blaming Dean for Castiel’s actions!!! How is that even possible? I cannot for the life of me understand it… :/

    P.S. If I am becoming annoying with the multiple posts, feel free to send me a private message telling me to stop… Thank you!

  13. hermitme

    Manto:

    Yeah, Cas is turning into Sam 2.0 and everytime he does something wrong, the fans will blame Dean, and probably the show also. I like Cas, but if he’s going to become just another Sam, he can take a hike. I only like Cas as he relates to Dean anyway.

  14. Manto

    I don’t want Castiel to turn into the next Sam either. I, too, like Cas for what he brings in relation to Dean and that new dynamic in the show was what kept me entertained. I liked Sam’s dynamic with Dean in the first two seasons but the writers managed to turn into an unhealthy one-sided one; especially with all the blame-shifting and scapegoating.

    Personally, I thought Edlund made it pretty clear in 6.20 that Castiel has no one to blame but himself for his actions but some fans have managed to twist it by saying none of it would have happened if only Dean wasn’t mean!to!Castiel! and had tried harder to help him. WTH? In other words, exactly what they were saying with regards to Sam’s idiocy in seasons 4 and 5. Never mind that if he had done just that in both cases the end result would have been exactly the same… Consider me mind-boggled!

    I hope the show won’t have the nerve to go as far as to blame Dean in-show… Enough is enough already! Some other poster in this site said (I’m sorry I can’t remember who) that the show has started cannibalising from itself. I agree, it’s getting ridiculous.

    I may sound cynical or mean! but from the way the showrunners have treated Dean’s character’s popularity (who is not their personal favourite) I would advise them to get some serious therapy for their (elephant-in-the-room-sized) issues. Sheesh!

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