TV Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 9/28/10

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

V (Tuesday nights, 10pm, ABC)

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia

More cast members joining V! Jay Karnes has signed up for a recurring role as the new partner of agent Erica Evans. The two trained at Quantico, so they have something of a history.

Could this be Erica’s baby’s daddy? Some might bet yes, but my chips are on Oded Fehr. Scott Rosenbaum has said there will be a shocking reveal related to Fehr and Elizabeth Mitchell’s characters: “The two of them have something in common that she never would have guessed.” My guess is the aliens have been cross-breeding humans to make tastier and stupider human meat (or something like that), and Tyler is the result of some Oded Fehr-Elizabeth Mitchell genetic tampering.

It is confirmed: mother-daughter-granddaughter mayhem. Jane Badler, Morena Baccarin and Laura Vandervoot are set to appear at New York Comic Con on Saturday, October 9. But before you head over to New York, you might want to listen to this interview Jane gave to rockwired.com. She talks about her new album, which will be released at the end of the year, and her return to V. She said her character is different from the original Diana, though she has a slightly-similar look to the 80s character. Nevertheless, despite being Anna’s mommy, this Diana hasn’t gone completely soft and she is “still strong, still evil, and still powerful.”

There also seems to be a date for the second season premiere: November 9.

Now, all we have to do is pray someone phones Michael Ironside.

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

No Vampire Diaries spoilers column this week.

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

Sera Gamble gave an interview where she talked about the general direction of the season (lots more monsters and their origins, starting off Deancentric and then more into Sam).

There was a new joint-interview/press opportunity with Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles last week, right before the new episode came out, with conflicting versions of it. Padalecki stated that Sam had it worse in Lucifer’s cage than Dean had it in the Pit, quoting something from Crowley where the demon said he couldn’t imagine what Sam’s experience must have been like. But Padalecki then admitted that, eight episodes in, there was as yet little information about Sam’s time in the cage. And people remember – Crowley’s a demon and demons lie.

Ackles created a bit more of a kerfuffle by complaining that Dean’s characterization was “soft” in the first eight episodes compared to previous seasons and said that he hoped he’d toughened things up enough in his “spin” of it (Padalecki assured him that he had). He referred to it as “a big shift in Dean’s character”.

Ackles also gave a not-terribly-spoilery interview with CW Connect with similar information as above and a discussion of his directing experience. And what’s with the necklace? His, the character’s or a set ID of some type?

New spoilery photos from 6.03 showed Raphael being interrupted in mid-skewer of Castiel, presumably by Sam and Dean. There’s a behind-the-scenes photo out, apparently from the same episode. And another one. Looks like Ackles finally got Collins out of that trenchcoat. (Wait…that came out wrong. I think.)

There was some casting info with CW regular Serinda Swan appearing in the fourth (fifth?) episode, as well as a brief blurb: “In the coming season’s fourth episode, titled “You Can’t Handle The Truth”, Swan will guest-star as a news reporter chronicling an unsettling series of suicides. As Dean and Sam delve into the maudlin mystery, they determine that each victim had been exposed to a brutal truth that quite literally drove them crazy. Swan’s character, I am told, may turn out to be in possession of information that could shed light on the brothers’ investigation, just as one of the Winchesters is forced to comes to terms with a hard truth of his own – one that could send his sibling reeling!”

Our interview with Jennifer Aspen had some info about her character, Marcy Ward, who appears in 6.04: “My character is really sweet. She’s a nice, very nice, endearing sweetheart. And I can tell you that all my scenes are with Jim [Beaver]. And that we like each other. And then I can tell you working on the show was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.” She also talks at length about Jensen Ackles’ direction of the episode.

Two spoilery clips for “Exile on Main St.” (which we’ve reviewed) came out last week, as well as a pretty awesome Space promo. A clip and promo (the latter including the new “general” promo for the show) are also now up for 6.02, “Two and a Half Men”. The Space promo for 6.02 is not up yet because Supernatural won’t be premiering in Canada until September 29. Here are two more short-but-hot general promo jingles, one with Padalecki voiceover and one with Ackles voiceover. My God…it’s been so long since I saw general CW promos for the show. I thought they had gone extinct along with the Passenger Pigeon.

There’s a spoilery-ish photo of an electric chair and a pool of blood from the 6.07 set.

Mark Sheppard is in 6.08, which Phil Sgriccia is directing.

SpoilerTV is reporting that 6.09 (“Clap Your Hands If You Believe” and reported to be Edlund’s “fairly” episode) will “feature a UFO hunter.” Uh…okay.

SFX Magazine has a short, fairly spoilery article with general spoilers for the season and also more-specific ones for 6.03. Apparently, the aforementioned “angels in the basement” are just Michael and Lucifer (Damn, was hoping there was a basement in Heaven), Gabriel’s still a doornail and Raphael is out and looking to get medieval on Castiel. Balthazar’s mentioned, but nothing really new about him.

There’s a new 6.04 blurb out, to wit: “Bobby asks Dean and Sam for help after Crowley refuses to return Bobby’s soul; a deep secret about Crowley is revealed.” Awww, is Crowley being a bad demon? (Edits out naughty suggestion.) There’s also a longer version: “After Bobby (Jim Beaver) discovers Crowley (Mark Sheppard) has no intentions of returning Bobby’s soul, the hunter takes matters into his own hands. He calls on Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) for help after he unearths one of Crowley’s deepest secrets. Meanwhile, Sam and Dean learn what Bobby does all day when they are not around. Jensen Ackles directed the episode written by Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin.” I thought Edlund wrote this one? Guess not.

Meanwhile, Ask Kristin had two spoiler answers that weren’t what you’d call ‘highly informative’. One stated that Sam Done Come Back Wrong (ya think?). Oh, and apparently, Grandpa Skinner is not trustworthy or who he seems, according to the latest one. Positively not shocking.

Finally, the ratings expert on TwoP, Stupid Colt, gave a thorough rundown of “Exile on Main St.”‘s final ratings (2.9 million) and was pleased to announce that these both exceeded expectations for the show and beat a first-run program (The Good Guys) on FOX, in viewers and demos.

So, speculation. Well, a lot of these spoilers are much vaguer and more repetitive than they sound, or the number of them implies. There’s definitely quantity over quality in the stuff from the interviews. For example, the controversial statement by Padalecki that Sam suffered more than Dean in Hell turned out to be his speculation based on a statement by Crowley in 6.08 because the mystery of Sam’s time in Hell won’t actually have been dealt with much by then. Gamble stated that only the first episode would concentrate on Dean with later episodes dealing with the “mystery” behind Sam’s escape from Lucifer’s cage. I can attest from watching the season premiere that I couldn’t care less about Sam’s escape and if the discussion boards are any indication, not very many other fans care, either. So, I sure hope the writers don’t intend to hang their hats on that storyline to any real extent.

Looking at the actual promos and blurbs, however, you may notice an interesting thing. In her interview, Gamble admits that: “We thought of [“Exile on Main St.”] a little bit as the sequel pilot. It’s a conscious riff on the original pilot in certain ways – there are ways in which it’s similar and ways in which it peels apart from the Season 1 premise.” The season six premiere does indeed run like a back-door pilot, but here’s the thing: whoever is the protagonist of a pilot is also the protagonist of the rest of the show. I mean, what’s the point of introducing anybody but your hero or heroine right off the jump? We do meet Sam again in “Exile on Main St.”, but the episode gives us literally no opportunity to get inside his head or see him as a protagonist. The only protagonist we’re given is Dean.

Gamble says, “The first episode is a little more from Dean’s point of view because he retired from hunting and he’s pulled back in by the events of episode one.” But, “And then we start to unfold what’s going on with Sam over the first few episodes.” Well, that’s great and all, but surely, if Sam were still the protagonist of the show, we’d be getting his story about his Hell trip sooner than later.

Look at the original pilot: We find out right away about Sam’s situation with his family, the death of his girlfriend, which echoes the death of his mother, and very quickly learn he has prophetic dreams. All of these things are mirrored for Dean in 6.01, with terrifying hallucinations that echo Jessica’s death (and appear to prophesy future tribulation) and clearly establish that his retirement is threatened by the imposition of the new central mystery. The main plot engine is not the new MOTWs but their effect on the episode’s protag: Dean.

Look at it the way Dean was covered in season one. We got to find out Dean’s issues (which were hinted at in the original pilot) as early 6.03 (“Dead in the Water”), but they were never the main plot. Now look at Sam’s escape from Hell…is it really connected to the MOTWs? Not necessarily, especially if we know so little about it by 6.08. I certainly hope we’ll know more about the main plot than that by a third of the way through the season. We do know, however, that Dean is directly connected to the reappearance of at least one of the MOTWs (the djinn) as they say so outright to him in 6.01.

Then there are the plot engines for 6.02 and 6.03. The hunt in 6.02 does not really start until Sam calls Dean in. Until Dean enters the picture, it’s not a story. That’s usually a big, fat hint of who’s the protagonist of the story. Same with 6.03. 6.01 makes very clear that Castiel has been ignoring Sam’s prayers for a year. We’ll found out why in 6.03, but one has to wonder why Castiel didn’t bother to come down before. The main change (aside from the external plot engine of the episode’s macguffin) is that Dean is back in the picture. Again, your protagonist is generally whoever starts the story when he/she enters the picture.

I’m not sure how I feel about this, even though I’d love to see Dean be a real protagonist of the show, finally. For a start, the writers may be playing with us and it’s not as though they’ve followed story logic in the past (which has resulted in some literally ungodly messes). But the further in they get, the less wiggle room they will have. Look at how invested fans already are in Dean’s “domestic” storyline and how he is seen as the most sympathetic character in 6.01 – and how much they’re not invested in Sam’s Hell escape storyline. It would be very risky even at this point for the writers to switch back to making it All About Sam, let alone later in the season. I don’t think very many fans are up for another last-minute switch as happened last season.

But let’s say for a moment that they’ve got their heads screwed on straight and are not bait-and-switching about who is the current main protagonist of the show. Sam was the protagonist of the original pilot, but there was still a lot of Dean in it. There’s not nearly as much Sam in “Exile on Main St.” and Sam is much less sympathetic in it than Dean was in the original pilot. I get that this is partly because the nature of 6.01 was such that you needed a single protagonist, but that storyline is hardly finished. In fact, “Exile on Main St.” was clearly setting up a long uberstory that could extend multiple seasons (if the show continues past season six), but that uberstory, in order to maintain the same sense of paranoia, would need to limit the audience’s viewpoint as much as possible and keep us guessing, which would probably mean keeping us in Dean’s Unreliable Narrator POV as much as possible.

I’m not sure how I feel about that, as it would marginalize Sam in a way that Dean wasn’t marginalized in past seasons (Dean often having been the POV character, even when he wasn’t the uberstory protag). Yes, he was often written like a jackass in the past two seasons, but whose fault was that? Not the character’s but the writers’. It didn’t need to be that way and it doesn’t need to be that way now.

On the other hand, I’m not up for Sam being the main protag under the current circumstances where he’s so unsympathetic and we have a completely outside POV of him. I want a Hero on the show that I can like and right now, Dean’s a whole lot more likeable than Sam. But while I want to see Dean get his own uberstory, I’m not ready to see Sam get jettisoned along with the old Apocalypse storyline, either.

More spoilers next week and don’t forget to tune into Vampire Thursdays and Supernatural Fridays on Innsmouth Free Press all September.

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IFPTV Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 9/28/10