TV Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 7/26/10

This week, we continue with spoilers from V and Supernatural:

V (Tuesday nights, 10pm, ABC)

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The second season of V will explain why the aliens are on Earth, how long they have been here and more, producer Scott Rosenbaum told the press following Saturday’s panel at Comic-Con.

He also revealed that the Fifth Column will be expanding. A scientist will join the group.

“One of the things that we realized over the course of the first season was: if the Fifth Column is really going to be credible taking on the Vs, it can’t just be four people,” Rosenbaum said.

Rosenbaum also said he was surprised when he discovered that people assumed Marcus was a member of the Fifth Column at the end of last season.

“That was not something that was intentional when it comes to the writing or the execution of that episode or that scene, but it was a very interesting thing that just kind of came out. We will definitely start to see that maybe we don’t trust Marcus quite as much as we did in the first season,” he said.

During Saturday’s Comic-Con panel, the producers of the series said they would like Jane Badler to do a guest role during the second season, perhaps as Anna’s mother. However, this information was contradicted later on by Steve Pearlman who said Badler would not be cast. So, at this point, your guess is as good as mine.

We’ll also get to see the alien homeworld in the second season.

Morena Baccarin has changed her distinctive dark hair for a blond, short cut. Baccarin said that Lisa could be in danger if her mother finds out about her secret allegiance to the Fifth Column.

Talking about Lisa, Rosenbaum said “If she wants to have babies with Tyler, she’ll probably have to kill him.” Ouch.

Charles Mesure has been officially cast as a series regular. He talked about a romance between Erica and Hobbes. “How could Hobbes not fancy Erica? She’s a warrior; she’s self-reliant. She’s also the FBI, so she’s forbidden fruit.”

Elizabeth Mitchell does not know whom her character would pick: Jack or Kyle. ” I don’t know who the best choice is, morally. I think it’s going to be fun to see what the two men bring out in her.”

There might also be relationship brewing between Chad and Anna, which is not so surprising.

For some reason, Tyler is very important to Anna and we’ll discover why. A bunch of other spoilers are also spreading through cyberspace.

The Vampire Diaries (Thursday nights, 8pm, CW)
By Carla Lee

No The Vampire Diaries spoilers column this week.

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

[Note: we’ve been off-schedule for much of July with the retro recap/reviews. I’ve been on a roadtrip and haven’t had the time or energy. But we’ll be back on track come this Friday with “The Kids Are Alright”.]

Earlier in the week, we had some set photos of Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki filming 6.02 in which Sam and Dean had an emotional reunion, Dean was driving a truck or van, Dean looked as if he were on Prozac (or more like Thorazine), and the Impala was being kept in the garage (something confirmed at Comic-Con). Also, Dean had his shirt tucked in (which caused some fan distress over Dean becoming “domesticated”). Further photos released showed Jensen Ackles on set eating gummy bears with his hair combed down as in “It’s a Terrible Life”, but not a lot of spoilers, otherwise.

Two new season 5 DVD featurettes are out, one for Pestilence and one for War.

There was a new poster out purporting to be the official one for s6. Dean is in light, Sam in dark-grey. Gee, subtle.

And then there came Comic-Con. Oh, dear.

Eric Kripke announced that the question of whether Chuck was God will never be resolved because Chuck being God would be “M. Night Shyalaman douchey”. “Too late,” said DuLu33 on IMDB, beating me to the snark punch. Note the noncommittal looks on Padalecki and Ackles’ faces at 8:30 onward in part three when he’s talking about it. Sounds like Rob Benedict’s statement last week was true at the time and Kripke has since backed off the idea due to the negative feedback from fans (and maybe from the cast and crew). I wish he’d backed off doing it at all, but better late than never.

Kripke has said that Ben Edlund is pitching a story about “fairies, leprechauns and goblins,” and that it’s potentially “a little offensive” (hello? Did they not learn from “Hammer of the Gods”?). In the same interview, he says the Apocalypse was as underwhelming as it was deliberately because the story was really about Sam and Dean and how they were more mature and capable of growth than Michael and Lucifer. Ugh.

One of the most controversial spoilers was that not only is there a time jump of a year, but we re-enter the story at a moment where Sam, having been out of Hell the entire time, has finally decided to look Dean up because a monster that was chasing him is now chasing Dean. This actually makes Sam look rather good since it shows his concern for Dean.

Unfortunately, the spoilers don’t stop there. Sam has allowed Dean to live out a miserable, drunken, desperately-searching-to-save-his-brother year not knowing that Sam was already out. Sam, after escaping Hell without knowing how or why (at any rate, Padalecki didn’t know and the writers weren’t telling), seems to feel that he’s just happy to get out and there’s no reason to revisit it. According to Padalecki, when Dean protests that Sam allowed him to suffer, thinking he was dead, Sam’s cold reaction is that Dean made a promise he’d go live with Lisa and be happy, so it’s his own fault if he was miserable, instead.

I have no idea why the writers did not seem to notice this made him look like a complete loser, but we apparently have to wait until 6.09/6.10 to get any idea of how Sam got out, which makes me hope to Cthulhu the writers won’t subject us to another horrible “I Know What You Did Last Summer”/”Heaven and Hell” double-whammy of some demonic Mary Sue’s Superspeshul Hour. Sam’s callousness is highly narcissistic and eerily reminiscent of Timothy McVeigh telling his victims to “get over it”. Sam seems to be stuck in the “Dark Triad” of Psychology. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t Kripke’s or Gamble’s intent. It’s also not the kind of character I feel like watching or rooting for.

To make matters worse, a question about what Ruby meant about the “Dumbo” comment in “Lucifer Rising” gets the answer that Ruby meant all of Sam’s darkness and poor decisions were what led him to where he is today (which is fair enough, but when does he stop making those poor decisions?). And in his individual interviews, Kripke goes on at length about all the many things Dean had to do for Sam so Sam could save the world while Sam didn’t have to do anything for Dean.

And yet, we’re still supposed to still like Sam and see him as a Hero.

There is, incidentally, supposed to be a role reversal between the brothers, with Dean acting “chick-like” like Sam (way to be sexist there, writers) in s1 while Sam acts like Dean in s1 in that he is cold and callous and doesn’t mind collateral damage (which sounds a lot more like Sam in s4, but okeydoke, writers). Oh, and the brothers will discover a whole new branch of their family that only hunts among themselves and apparently couldn’t be bothered to show up for the Apocalypse (They sound like the Benders). I guess that explains all the comments about how nobody is who they seem and has ulterior motives in s6.

Ackles talks about how Dean “was hung up on the idea [of Lisa]” all along and continues to seem very positive about her presence in the show in this interview (He did double duty at the con promoting Batman: Under the Red Hood). There is also apparently a montage of Dean’s life with her near the beginning of 6.01.

Ben Edlund drops some interesting spoilers in this interview, in which he talks about Dean going to Lisa on “the rebound” and getting married. He also talks about how Dean came back from Hell “deeper” and “connected” to something in the cosmos, whereas Sam comes back “light” (seems to rhyme with “shallow”) and interacting more with others. Edlund says his first episode of the season is 6.03. Edlund also says of the whole cast of characters that “everyone’s had a busy year” and talks about how “Raphael still exists”, “highly irritated”, and Heaven “is in disarray”.

The Croatoan virus will be back.

Sera Gamble hints that Lisa and Ben will be around for a while when she says that they won’t be gone by the end of the season premiere, no matter what fans want.

Misha Collins, meanwhile, has said that Castiel will be back as a regular but not until 6.03 and that his mission to clean up Heaven may be at odds at times with the brothers. Collins compares postapocalyptic Heaven to post-Glasnost Russia. Castiel has supposedly been “reset” to his previous non-emotional state (you may notice a lot of retread storylines and big red Magic Reset Buttons in these spoilers).

There will be a lot of Crowley and, in addition to the blooper reel, which is very funny and involves Ackles miming a blow job and pointing over his shoulder at Collins (I know that sounds gross, but it’s actually a hoot when you see it), among other greatest hits, they showed a clip from 6.04 of Bobby confronting Crowley and trapping him inside a laser-light devil’s trap in an effort to get his soul back (and it’s the old, tough Bobby, not the whinging mess we’ve had since 4.22). Crowley responds by siccing a hellhound on him (incidentally, the scene indicates that, as in “Crossroad Blues” with Sam, Bobby cannot yet hear hellhounds, even though he’s a dealmaker. Very interesting, considering “The Devil You Know” firmly established that Dean still can hear them and Ackles directed this episode). Jim Beaver says that Bobby will fight a female Japanese demon in the same episode and Ackles says Dean has an “emotional” conversation with Bobby (the episode itself is both Sam and Deanlite). Also, the main plot of the season will apparently be discovering the origins of MOTWs, especially shapeshifters and vampires (there will be an episode about vampires wandering around in the sun tentatively entitled, “Live Free or Twi Hard”. I’m confused, though: didn’t John say in “Dead Man’s Blood” that vampires can move around in daylight; they just don’t like it?). And there will be another djinn early on. Gee, I hope the writers remember that Dean nearly died from a djinn attack the last time they encountered one, but considering all the resets, I’ll be surprised to see much continuity at all.

In fact, Kripke talks in one interview about how “mythologies become an exhausting burden in the story” that says all-too-much about the poor continuity in some parts of the show and doesn’t make me gag to watch another of his series projects. Sad, considering he used to have a good reputation for reliable payoffs and seems to have simply stopped caring about delivering on any of that. I would like his reference in the same interview to making the show “noir” if he showed any good grasp of what noir is really like, which he doesn’t.

A lot of fans on the discussion boards are noting that the above all sounds like a complete mess. Sera Gamble even admits that “if there’s one thing we cannot be accused of it’s not having enough plot.” Kripke says at one point in an interview that he thought “Swan Song” was wonderful until he went online and saw a lot of fans calling it “shit”. Should have been a warning right there, dude.

You can find groups of spoilers here, here, here, here, and here, though there doesn’t seem to be any comprehensive warehouse site, at least not yet. You can also find the audio (downloadable) of the panel here and a series of videos of the panel starting here and here on YouTube.

So, commentary: I mostly like what they’re doing with Dean, even if there are several potential pitfalls (the whole “domestication” thing and/or Dean just bailing on Lisa to go back to hunting without so much as a fare-thee-well). Ackles seems heavily involved in having a say over what will go on with Dean. As Padalecki’s roundtable interview, especially, indicates, Dean will be struggling and torn and will not have had a comfortable year, having effectively turned into an alcoholic. I would prefer, though, that they not turn Lisa into a bitch. Cindy Sampson’s portrayal of her has the potential to make her a strong character who can grow and also show great changes in Dean and even Sam. Hell, make her a hunter. I mean, if we’re recycling storylines, why not redo Jo’s “newbie hunter” plot with a character of responsibilities who doesn’t come across like a whiny teen? Better yet, have her give Sam the kick in the ass he needs to stop acting like a heartless twit. Yeah, that’s right – I like Lisa and I’m rooting for her to be in a lot of the season. Break out the pitchforks and burning tar.

I think there’s a lot of potential for Dean being torn between his new family and the remnants of his old family, plus the excitement (and dysfunction) of his old life. He was born and raised a hunter and I can see him trying to find a middle ground between that and Lisa/Ben, ordinary Joe by day, hunter by night. The writers have never convinced me that a hunter absolutely cannot have a normal life on top of hunting. As a military brat and former EMT, I’m frankly insulted that the writers (who clearly have never worked in a risky helping profession, nor seem to know anyone who has well enough to get their experience of it) think this is the only way you can have a heroic type of job, that you must be alone and miserable. It’s the one storyline of season six that I am genuinely looking forward to, even if I don’t trust the writers to refrain from screwing it up.

As for Sam…damn, how I wish the writers were…I dunno, more experienced? Yes, Ben Edlund has a lot of experience writing individual episodes for the show (many of which I’ve loved) and for previous shows like Angel, but is notoriously too flaky and not in tune with his audience to function as a showrunner. For Eric Kripke and Sera Gamble (Kripke, especially) I hear them making the same freakin’ mistakes with the same freakin’ characters over and over again.

Where to start–well, how about with Kripke’s assertion that the Apocalypse was as underwhelming as it was because the story was really about the Epic Love of Sam and Dean. Leaving totally aside that I think Kripke’s view of family as illustrated in the show is disturbing and unhealthy, dude, it’s the Apocalypse. Nobody gives a rat’s ass about the fact that you wanted to keep it emo. If you’re going to do the Apocalypse, do the Apocalypse. You made that decision not the audience. Nobody was screaming in season three, “Eric! Forget about all these MOTWs! Show us the Apocalypse!”

Then there is the fact that neither Kripke nor Gamble seems to understand a basic precept of character writing: your protag is the character who changes the most in the story. This can be easily translated as: “Your protag is the one you make suffer the most.” Kripke’s interview before (?) the panel is just a classic. From the way he talks about the many things Dean must do in order to “make it up” to Sam and the almost-nonexistent list of things Sam must do to be a good brother to Dean, it’s clear that Sam is to Kripke what Anakin was to George Lucas. Sadly, Kripke doesn’t seem to grasp the problem there. Not only does it give Sam basically nothing to do in terms of Show compared to Dean who has all of this story to do (which means you have to Tell the audience ad nauseam how awesome Sam is), the audience does not care who your favourite/identification character is. They’ll come to their own conclusions about their favourites and if you pamper your favourite like Velma van Tussle does her spoiled daughter, Amber, in Hairspray, you can practically guarantee that the audience is going to look elsewhere for the one they’re rooting for. If John freakin’ Waters got this decades ago, why can’t Eric freakin’ Kripke?

Which makes the alleged “role reversal” that much more troubling. It comes across as a combination of poorly-set-up OOC “change” with same-old-same-old masquerading as change. Sam in season six is going to be like Dean in season one because he’s out for himself hunting, not even bothering to tell Dean he’s alive, while Dean has become “domesticated” and cares about family? Well, aside from the fact that well up to the last time Sam struck out on his own (“Free to Be You and Me”), he just wanted to settle down and was so averse to hunting that he allowed a group of fellow hunters to walk into an ambush that got one of them killed (so, why is he suddenly so into hunting?), I don’t see how this demonstrates any change in either brother whatsoever.

Sam was always about saving himself over his crazy family (only on this show can that be spun as a bad thing) and ditched Dean to go to Stanford (where we found him in the Pilot with the girl he loved enough to marry…but not enough to be honest with). Dean was always about family to a pathological extent. And Sam not worrying about “collateral damage” has been around since season three (have we all forgotten about Sam shooting the Crossroad Demon in “Bedtime Stories”?). Doesn’t sound like any real role reversal has occurred, or any growth for the character of Sam. The roundtable interview with Jared Padalecki, where he says that Sam’s response to Dean’s having spent a year depressed, drinking and trying to find a way to get him out is to be cold and feel that Dean “broke his promise” by feeling bad and not moving on, just makes Sam seem totally irredeemable. Let’s hope that’s a foiler. Let’s really, really hope.

And that’s not even getting into how much I hate Slutty Sammy. Am I really the only one who liked him when he was a monogamous nerd with a sense of modesty and commitment to one woman, even if just in memory? Yes, Jared Padalecki looks really nice without his shirt on, but it’s not worth assassinating the character and turning Sam into a male ‘ho.

Case in point, look at the spoiler that’s caused the most ructions from this weekend. Yes, I’m talking about the admission of what we’d all suspected for a while: Sam won’t tell Dean he’s gotten out of Hell. Instead, he will go off hunting on his own and wait an entire year before he’s “forced” to show up on Dean’s doorstep. This roadmine had been increasingly clear for a while, but some of us just kept hoping they wouldn’t go there. And not only did they go there, but with no apparent sense that, with Sam’s really ugly history of blaming Dean for breathing and all the trust issues between them, his not telling Dean for so long makes him look really, really bad. Making him “unable” to do so would be a copout (and wouldn’t fix the problem) and there’s no way for him to choose to do it that would make him sympathetic. And he desperately needs to be made more sympathetic. I dislike Puppet Sam (not so much the character as it’s an annoying thing to do to a character, especially after all that crap about how the story was about Destiny vs. Free Will). I don’t buy Tragic Sam. I don’t buy Damaged Sam. I don’t buy Sam-in-Charge (unless they plan to pair him up with Crazy Dean as in “Point of No Return”. Sam the Leader-in-Training I’m totally for). And I definitely don’t buy PTSD Sam since the writers never concluded Dean’s PTSD arc in any satisfying way and how is Dean living with Lisa and Ben, convinced his brother is in Hell, not going to screw him up, too?

Well, back to happier thoughts. Let’s start with Misha Collins comparing postapocalyptic Heaven to post-Cold-War Russia (pauses to laugh very hard at that comparison). That explains the Soviet propaganda photos for his Twitter page background. I really hope that’s where the writers are going and that they’ll show us some of us. I know it’s somewhat outside of the purview of the Sam-and-Dean-joined-at-the-hip Story, but so are Lisa and Ben, and Bobby’s deal with Crowley, and…you know. Not so wild about the spoilers that Castiel will be at odds with the brothers, but considering he’s been at odds with them for most of his history, again, not really anything new, there. Just don’t screw up his relationship with Dean with a total retrofit and I’ll be okay.

I also really like how the panel starts with Jensen Ackles introducing a clip from the episode he directed (and the clip itself is a triumphant return of The Old Bobby). One thing I really do like about this upcoming season (aside from Dean finally moving into new territory and having a life with Lisa and Ben) is how much more involved Ackles is in the behind-the-scenes aspects of the show. Makes me all tingly when he takes control like that. I just hope the show survives enough of its current missteps to allow us to see more of Ackles’ new vision for the show.

Stay tuned next week for more exciting spoilers to tide you over in the hot summer months (assuming Burn Notice isn’t doing the trick). We’re also still looking for reviews, interviews and articles about The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural for September.

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IFPTV Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 7/26/10