TV Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 9/28/11

This entry is part 13 of 26 in the series Spoilers 2011: Part 2

This week, we have spoilers for Doctor Who and Supernatural. Also, don’t forget to check out Supernatural Fridays and our new Gothic horror anthology, Candle in the Attic Window:

Doctor Who (Saturday nights, 9pm, BBC America)
By Heather S. Vina

It’s coming up, the finale of season six of Doctor Who! What will happen to the Doctor? Will he meet his demise in Utah, as we saw in the first episode of this season? What will happen with River, now that Madame Kovarian has captured her again?

Here’s the BBC Synopsis for this weekend: “As the Doctor makes his final journey to the shores of Lake Silencio in Utah, he knows only one thing can keep the universe safe – his own death – in the concluding episode of this series of the time-travelling drama. But has he reckoned without the love of a good woman?”

Here’s the BBC’s preview for this coming week’s episode, “The Wedding of River Song:” Is that Winston Churchill I spy? And in a Roman kind of room? Hmmm….

And here’s a very creepy prequel BBC has released for this episode. It seems like everyone is wearing eyepatches! I just can’t quite understand what the children are singing in there. It almost sounds like, “Doctor, prayed that he/turned away from violence./When he/understands/the falling of the Silence.” But I don’t know if that’s right, because it’s hard for me to understand some of the words there. If anyone can understand it, please let me know!

The SyFy Blastr site has a bunch of promo pictures up for the episode here. The most interesting to me is the poster, where everyone has an eyepatch on. I saw a few people theorise that the eyepatch is worn because it allows the wearer to see the Silence and remember them. Interesting and plausible theory, especially considering the soldiers are wearing them in the prequel clip.

And Blastr also has this synopsis up for the episode. It is longer than the BBC one:

“The city of London, 22 April 2011 – soaring buildings, glittering and mighty under a perfect blue sky, and life tumbling onto pavements below. And horse-drawn Roman chariots driving through the streets. And a Victorian steam train on a monorail…hang on, like in a sci-fi city, but with Romans and steam trains? And hot air balloons? And pterodactyls? And Charles Dickens appearing on BBC One’s Breakfast! Something isn’t quite right….

In Buckingham Senate, at 5.02pm, Holy Roman Emperor Winston Churchill calls for his Soothsayer to be fetched from the Tower. Greying, unkempt, older, tireder, but unmistakably – it’s the Doctor. ‘Tick tock goes the clock,’ Winston tells him, ‘but they don’t, do they? The clocks never tick.’ It’s always 5.02pm these days. All of history is happening at once. ‘What happened to time?’ asks Winston. The answer, it seems, is a woman…”

And alas, to end on a disappointing note, the DoctorWhoTV site is reporting that “Doctor Who Magazine has officially confirmed what has been clear for a while now – Series 7 will not air until Autumn 2012.”

How disappointing! But at least BBC picked it up for a full season – and not a handful of specials, as was rumoured previously. So, it may be a while away, but at least it will be 13 episodes!

And we still have the Christmas special to air this year. And speaking of, Doctor Who News site has listed the episode’s guest list: Claire Skinner, Bill Bailey, Alexander Armstrong, and Arabella Weir. I know Bill Bailey from the UK comedy, Black Books, and Claire Skinner from the miniseries, Second Sight, with Clive Owen. But the other two I’m not familiar with.

So…one more week to go! I can’t wait!

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

We’ve got two promos and a clip (all three of them about Sam’s wall breaking and, therefore, pretty repetitive and noninformative about this week) for 7.02. More interesting is the “Don’t Drink the Water; Your Sanity Will Evaporate” promo for the general season, which gets more into the modus operandi of the Leviathans and heavily hints that there’s a Something’s Wrong with Dean storyline coming up. Dear God, I hope so. There’s been so much wrong with that boy for years that it really needs to be a significant part of the uberplot. Ask Kristin hits that he’ll be soul-searching, but that really doesn’t say much. Nor do the hints that he’ll hit a “turning point” in 7.04. I mean, for all we know, that could mean that Dean will have a bit of angst in that episode and then be “running and gunning” and sidekickin’ the rest of the season.

Sera Gamble is now teasing that 7.02 may not be the last we see of Misha Collins. Or Castiel. Ya don’t say. With all those plot anvils raining down about Castiel and the budgetary needs of casting a single person as a Big Bad (with nothing on the horizon for who that might be), it’s sure sounding like Collins will continue, quite gleefully, to portray a Castiel/Jimmy possessed by Leviathans. Gamble also admitted to TV Guide that Lucifer’s claims about the past two seasons being all in Sam’s head are bogus. Well, that’s nice to hear.

This new video interview with Gamble appears to be a longer version of the one they showed during the commercials last Friday night.

Official photos of 7.03 are up (HD versions here), showing lots of Dean in a cast; Bobby in a suit (Land sakes, Mr. Beaver! You’re lookin’ mighty fine!) and driving an ambulance; and Bobby wheeling Sam out; strapped down to a stretcher. Clearly, it’s not been long enough since I was an EMT who had to restrain out-of-control people on a regular basis, as I immediately found myself calculating how many seconds it would take an out-of-control Sam to get out of those straps, especially since some idiot put a blanket over his hands. At any rate, I really, really hope Crazy Sam goes away as a trope very soon. Sam Done Come Back Wrong IV: The Revenge sounds an awful lot like yet another excuse for Padalecki and the writers to engage in yet more OOC shenanigans that Make No Sense. You know – like Sambot. On the other hand, Dean is far hotter in that hospital johnny than he has any right to be. Dear Lord.

Short, non-spoilery video interview with Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, in which they answer some rather odd questions (“Boxer-briefs!”). Separately.

The official synopsis for 7.04 is also up:

“DEAN IS PUT ON TRIAL FOR HIS PAST SINS — Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) investigate a string of gruesome murders and discover the Egyptian god Osiris (guest star Faran Tahir) is behind the deaths. The vengeful god is putting people on trial for their past mistakes and killing them if found guilty. Osiris hones in on Dean’s guilt and decides he’s the next to stand trial. Sam steps in as Dean’s lawyer, but both brothers are unprepared when Osiris calls an unexpected witness – Jo (guest star Alona Tal). Robert Singer directed the episode written by Adam Glass (#704).”

This episode sounds as if it could be either fabulous or godawful. On the one hand, Egyptian mythology is great fun. On the other hand, this sounds suspiciously like “You Can’t Handle the Truth”. Which was good, but the mythological element (especially a highly-entertaining Veritas) was given very short shrift, with a pagan god(dess) again reduced to a mundane cannibal.

Sam being Dean’s lawyer could be interesting (We’ve not seen Sam use his knowledge of the law much, lately), or yet another excuse for the writers to Gary Stu him into mush, while beating on Dean with ugly-guilt stick one more freakin’ time (Plus, what about Sam’s guilt? Hmm? He’s got a ton of his own). And the opportunity for turning it into a clips show, or retconning some things that don’t need retconning (We don’t need to see to see Dean and Jo get it on. Really) seems very high. So, I’m trying not to get my hopes up for this one.

More episode titles are out. The first hiatus will occur after 7.09, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, which comes out on November 18. It will last one week (Thanksgiving) and 7.10 (“Not Fade Away”) will come out on December 2. In the New Year, the show will return a week early on January 6, with 7.11 (“Adventures in Babysitting”) and on January 13, with 7.12 (“Amazon.com”).

New promo photos are up from the TV Guide spread. There are also some not-very-spoilery set photos from 7.07. Speaking of which, Guy Norman Bee tweeted yesterday that he was doing his first day of prep for directing 7.09, which means they are either currently filming 7.08, or very close to starting.

There’s an excerpt out from the upcoming companion for season six. Also, DVD and Blu-ray sales have been good.

In somewhat-related news, D.J. Qualls, who was in Vancouver to film an episode, was beaten and arrested by a Vancouver Police constable, basically for being impertinent. Ah, VPD. Not the most disciplined police force on the planet, it must be said. Qualls tweeted about the incident and expressed safety concerns about the fact that he might have to come back for future episodes (and also, that he’s in a lot of the episode). Yeah, those are probably spoilers for his character.

Amazon is now selling individual episodes for season seven, in both HD and SD.

Eric Kripke is involved in yet another project, this time with J.J. Abrams. I am not entirely sure why he keeps jumping around from project to project, whether he’s getting in and out that quickly or is hooking up with projects in various stages of Production Hell, but I suspect it will be a while before we see anything new from him actually put up onscreen.

Finally, we’ve got ratings for the season premiere, “Meet the New Boss”: 2.011 million viewers, 1.2/2 in the Household demo, 0.8/3 in A18-49, 0.7/3 in A18-34, and 0.9/3 in W18-34. I’ve heard a lot of slamming the ratings as being terrible and the show doomed. When one points out that the show is not doomed and the ratings aren’t bad, the response is to declare that the CW is dying – dying, I tell you!

Okay, first of all, there is no current evidence that the CW is dying. At least, not from anybody besides the usual people who’ve been wishing it dead for years. So, if Supernatural gets no season eight, it’s unlikely to be because the CW went down the tubes by next spring.

Second, let’s put those ratings into perspective in comparison to the rest of the network (because nobody on the network actually cares how the show does in comparison to, say, Fringe, which did come back with terrible numbers, come renewal time). Supernatural had the second highest audience for a season premiere of any returning show on the CW this fall. It was also one of only four shows (including two of the three new ones) to clear two million. Strictly speaking, networks don’t look at raw audience numbers for renewals, anymore, but since demos are portions of total audience, yeah, having a larger audience is important.

Supernatural also came in sixth in returning show season premiere demos (equaling one new show, Hart of Dixie), behind 90210 and America’s Next Top Model by only 0.1 in the demo (as well as The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle and Ringer), and second in returning show demos this week. Since the network can probably only field two or three new shows next season (and One Tree Hill is already set for its last 13 episodes), it definitely matters that both Gossip Girl and Nikita did significantly worse, that 90210 dropped 0.2 in the demo this week (already) with a much smaller audience, that H8R is DOA and America’s Top Model losing its mojo, and that Hart of Dixie only equaled Supernatural in the demo (because new shows tend to drop faster than older shows, which are more stable).

In other words, the show is currently in no danger and the drop in ratings was normal and expected (and in line with the rest of the network), so everybody just needs to chill out.

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

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IFPTV Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 9/28/11

17 Comments on “TV Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 9/28/11”

  1. Zoe

    I would love episode 7-4 of SPN to be a chance for Sam to give voice to all that Dean has done for him over the years. I know intellectually that Sam is grateful for the things Dean’s done, but it’s very rare to actually hear him say it in words.

    Usually he is complaining about Dean controlling him. There are a couple times when he speaks highly of Dean, like in “Fresh Blood” when Sam remembers how he worshipped him as a kid, or “Point of No Return” when he admits he can trust Dean in spite of appearances. But for the most part, he’s rolling his eyes at him, or talking smack about him, even as a kid.

    I want Dean to hear Sam say good things about him. But I want Dean to come to his own conclusion, that he is a worthy person. I don’t want others to convince him, but for his own sense of self to assert and defend itself.

  2. anotherjoy

    I gotta be honest, that line about a possible retcon of Dean/Jo sex instantly killed my interest in that episode. I loved the scene in “Abandon All Hope” where Jo turned Dean down. I’m not about to be on board with pretending she only had the self-respect to do that because she’d already slept with him. No thank you.

    Yes, I know it’s only speculation about a possible direction the show could take. But don’t say things like that; it puts it out there! ;-)

  3. Cassioe

    Thanks for the recap Paula. I do have to ask what is ‘Gary Stu him’ mean. Just consider me a social misfit for not knowing, as I’m sure it’s very obvious.

    SPN, in conjunction with other shows on the CW, is now more middle-of-the-road, instead of being up in the coveted 18-34 W demo. Yes others did worse, but others did better too, and the premier values usually are the highest the series gets for the year. SPN’s WaB jumped back up to its premier rates for last season, but I don’t expect any of the upcoming episodes of this season to do that…not even 7.03. Just too much Sam in it for most people.

    If it follows suit, ratings will continue to decline for the season. If you are going to compare it across different networks, then SPN is very low.

    I think eventually people are going to have to acknowledge that the show is actually losing viewers and that it is not a ‘normal and expected’ decline. Then they have to decide if that is okay for the series, in its ‘winding’ down years, or if they feel they can do better. I think the show can do MUCH better, but nothing will change until people acknowledge the ratings as low and hence that a problem exists.

    It may very well be that the show doesn’t care about is continuance as really they will make most of their money in TNT syndication and DVD sales. If they do well, they could decide the necessity of spending additional funds on a budget to continue the series is not worth it…especially when you factor in the cost of renewing the J2 contracts for a season 8. You know they will want a raise!

    It’s very possible that the show will do poorly enough the WB could decide against putting any more money into it, and just sit back and reap in funds from TNT and DVR sales. It has happened before with shows a lot more popular that SPN.

  4. Donna

    I’m not sure why Sam would know much about the law, especially trial law, since he didn’t make it to law school, and there are no specific law related requirements at any US law schools that I know of. He’s also never mentioned any of the extra-curricular activities in politics and the like that the SLS selection committe favors for it’s candidates.
    Hopefully though, Dean will get a much needed boost of confidence from this episode and that’s all that matters.

    1. Paula R. Stiles

      True. The LSATs are basically a modified form of the GREs. However, I’d think that Sam would need to take something like PoliSci or Criminal Law, and do some intern work, in order to be competitive for law school. Also, it’s basically a continuation of Magically Educated Sam and just reflects the writers’ own lack of education (or willingness/ability to do some basic research on these professions).

      I’m more interested in what Dean does in the episode. I doubt Sam will be able to save Dean through any legal maneuvering against an angry and hungry god.

  5. Paula R. Stiles

    @Cassioe

    A Gary Stu is a male version of a Mary Sue.

    The ratings are *not* bad and it is not a contest. With middle-of-the-road ratings, the show stays in its slot and risks neither higher expectations nor losing viewers in another move. Expectations are *different* for shows, even on the same network. If TVD were getting a 0.8, for example, it would be in big trouble and would soon be moved out of its coveted Thursday night slot. Expectations for it are considerably higher than for SPN, as they are for the new shows.

    It’s far more likely that Fringe will be gone by next fall than SPN. Gossip Girl probably won’t be on the next fall schedule, either.

    People need to stop expecting a show to die as soon as they lose interest. If you lose interest, you just stop watching and the show therefore “ends” for you, simple as that. Shows are a business and they continue as long as they are a viable business. Stop wishing SPN dead. People have been doing so since season three and it’s getting very old.

  6. Ginger

    ” More interesting is the “Don’t Drink the Water; Your Sanity Will Evaporate” promo for the general season, which gets more into the modus operandi of the Leviathans and heavily hints that there’s a Something’s Wrong with Dean storyline coming up.”

    Paula, can you expand on this, please. I don’t understand the heavy hints that there is something wrong with Dean. For as much as I want Dean to have a significant role in the season or for some of Dean’s dropped plots to be explored, I don’t want a parallelism story to the something is wrong with Sam.

    I think everyone knows that I hate that Jo is coming back. SG just seems to be a bull dog with her soap love stories and just never lets it go **Lisa – gag**. I saw Jo, didn’t like it. I lost Jo, praise the Lord. I saw Jo again, and again I was glad to get rid of her. I would just as soon not see Jo again, and certainly not in some Dean loved Jo scene, Jo loved Dean, sex or no sex. The writers admitted there was no chemistry between the two in the beginning.

    And where are they getting those episode titles? No too impressive, but I suppose they work.

    I’m still skeptical for the new season, but the first episode was good, so we’ll see. Seeing Dean’s broken leg briefly before going into the Sam-centric episode was a good idea. Explains why he won’t be able to drive after Sam. A Ben Edlund episode for #2, and Ben can be very good (when he’s not being flaky as hell). Leviathan in the water systems…that’s creepy alright.

    I’m not excited to keep seeing Misha, but he has his fans, one of which appears to be SG and BE.

  7. elena

    Thanks for the round up, Paula!

    I’m also looking towards “Defending” with equal parts interest and trepidation. On any other show, I’d feel confident that Dean’s trial would serve to validate in an affirming way and help in his growth as a character. But given SPN’s prediliction for instafixes combined with “let’s blame Dean because it rained today”, I’m concerned we might get a “It’s a Terrible Fallen Idols” hybrid episode instead (with a helping of Super Duper Lawyer Sam thrown in for good measure.) Sad to not be able to have more faith in the writers but once you get burned…

    I’m also perplexed by how Singer made this sound like a turnaround episode for Dean but then went onto say Dean would be on a “rocky” course for the first 13 episodes or so. Maybe it’ll be like Sam’s hallucinations needing to be brought under control- the brothers need to at least be semi functional to continue but not completely fixed.

    I’ve seen differing interpretations about this quote from Sera and I was wondering on your take (it’s fro that article on “what’s next for Sam?” the link’s below):

    “Gamble continued. “We didn’t want to wrap it up in one episode, where the wall breaks, but then he’s fine and drinking a beer and talking about it!”

    But going forward in the season, after the first few episodes, the tone and focus will shift a bit. There will be resolution to Sam’s situation in one way, only to have a new door to a whole other set of issues opened. And that, of course, will introduce a whole new big bad”

    Do you think she’s saying that there’ll be new issues for Sam or new issues in general? I voted for the latter but others felt that, given the context of where Sera brings it up, it sounds like Sam’s hell thingy gets kind of fixed but he’ll have something else pop up that links him to the big bad.

    http://www.examiner.com/tv-insider-in-los-angeles/sera-gamble-previews-what-s-to-come-for-sam-supernatural-s7

  8. shamangrrl

    I was interested in watching the clip for “Don’t Drink the Water; Your Sanity Will Evaporate”, but it appears to have been taken down. What in the clip made you believe that Dean would finally be given a story? I’d like to hear it, because maybe it will drum up some enthusiasm for the show, and I’m in short supply.

    1. Paula R. Stiles

      @shamangrrl
      I’ve added a new URL to the link, one that will work. The clip’s gone viral at this point, fortunately.

      @elena
      My interpretation? “Blahblahblah, we need to do something with Sam, blahblahmoreblah, let’s do a Crazy Sam storyline, since Crazy Dean is always popular and we did Soulless Sam last year, blahblahblardy-blah, even if the Sambot plot didn’t go over well, blahblahblahhhhhhh.

      Basically, I don’t think she really said anything aside from: “Hey! Did you see that Sam’s wall fell? You did? Didja like it?” Which isn’t spoilery. And it may disappear the way the Sambot plot did when they realised it had bombed. Though I think it’s interesting that she didn’t say anything about those “whole other set of issues” being about Sam. And, apparently, there will be another Big Bad besides the Leviathans. Considering the way the show emphasised in “Meet the Boss” how Sam and Bobby couldn’t do their own hero-ing without Dean, I’d think the fastest way to screw Our Heroes would be to have Dean go daaaaarrrrrrk, but that seems to be a no-go zone for the writers, so….

      I’m skeptical that Sam and Bobby could take Dean on as a Big Bad, anyway, but until/unless it happens, I don’t suppose it will matter. I guess they could always use the Power of Wuv against him if he really went off an even deeper end than Godstiel/Leviathanstiel.

      @Ginger
      In the “Don’t Drink the Water” promo, we get a lot of zombie action, Crazy Sam and a short (and creepy) conversation between Bobby and Dean, right after the word “Evaporates”. It goes like this:
      Bobby: How are *you* doing?
      Dean [abruptly]: I’m fine. [walks away]
      Bobby [sarcastically to self]: You’re *fine*.

      Stuff in the promo is there for a reason. I don’t know if something will turn out to be epically, catastrophically wrong with Dean, but the showrunners sure seem to want us to think it will. Personally, I find that and the Leviathans’ Lovecraftian barminess far more interesting than Crazy Sam, therefore, I want to know more about them and get impatient about the Crazy Sam. All the promos for the Sam stuff tell me is that storyline has little mileage and is already running on empty. Not least because Dean was running around for a solid week before his deal was up, hallucinating like crazy and seeing demon faces, but nobody so much as suggested he stay home. And then there was “Yellow Fever”. And “Sam, Interrupted”. And…but you get the gist. It doesn’t make Sam look very good, no matter how much endless praising of his fortitude in the face of umpteen years in the Cage they do, when Dean has been 57 flavours of Crazy and hunted all the way through them. It begs the question of: “Well, why can’t Sam just suck it up, too?”

  9. Deenort

    According to Digital Spy, the children in the Doctor Who prequel clip are singing, “Doctor, brave and good/he turned away from violence/when he understood/the falling of the Silence”. The eyepatch theory is a good one and I’m really looking forward to the episode.

    I think 7.04 is the episode of Supernatural that I’m most looking forward to at the moment, so long as they can confine Jo’s appearance to being related to Dean’s guilt over her (and Ellen’s) death and not tied into any deep and meaningful relationship they may have had that was never shown on screen. She was a character I could take or leave, but felt she was shown as a more considerate and capable hunter in her last episode. If they could work a little Sam redemption into the ep too, that would make me very happy, but I won’t hold my breath.

    I like the “Don’t drink the water” promo. It’s been a long time (if ever) since Dean was fine, but I live more in hope than expectation that the writers will do anything significant with it.

    1. Paula R. Stiles

      I like the “Don’t Drink the Water” promo, too. Every time I use the water fountain at the Y, I check out the water to make sure it’s not black. *That’s* an effective horror promo!

      My main problems with Dean not being fine (but having it not a plot point) and Sam not being fine (and it’s being beaten to death) are that they really built up Dean’s not being fine last season and then did nothing with it. With someone that unstable, with that amount of power (Dean has been portrayed as a massive fulcrum in the SPNverse for years), knocking him askew can’t mean happy times for the rest of the SPNverse. I mean, this is a guy who bound Death and got away with it (with nothing more than a stern talking-to, no less). And that’s just his latest exploit.

      The other problem I have is that Sam not being fine has no connection to the main plot (making it part of the plot later on will not change the issue that the foreshadowing is really lacking in the story so far), is psychologically ridiculous (Psychotic disorders are treatable. Plus, PTSD is not really a psychotic disorder and is curable, anyway. It’s *not* schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. So, the idea of Sam being driven permanently insane by his memories is just silly), makes Sam look weak, and lacks the urgency of the Crazy Dean storylines. In the last case, Crazy Dean always goes hand-in-hand with dire peril for someone important to the story–Bobby in “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, for example, or Sam in “Sam, Interrupted”. Dean, himself, was in peril in “No Rest for the Wicked” and “Yellow Fever”. In every case, Dean was certifiably out of his mind, but also every time, someone’s life was at stake if he didn’t get it together. With Sam, nobody’s really relying on him and his arriving at the 11th hour hasn’t had much effect on the plot. So, there’s no tension and no reason to care.

  10. Heather S Vina

    @Deenort, thanks so much for the translation of the song in the Doctor Who clip! Those songs are really effective, because they are so creepy. Reminds me of the songs they use to sing in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” Series. I am really looking forward to this one, so excited! But it’s kind of a bittersweet excitement, since that means the season is over and we won’t be getting another one until late next year, sigh.

    I really loved the whole “Don’t Drink the Water” promo, minus the Sam/PTSD/Hallucinations stuff. It was exciting and creepy.

    I’m still worried about the lack of love that Dean is receiving from Sera this season. I guess we’ll see if Singer was just blowing a lot of hot air or not. But hearing how Dean’s big story might be letting go of Sam and trying to find out who he is if he’s not Sam’s guardian, just kind of makes me sick to my stomach.

  11. elena

    I so agree, Paula. Sam’s psychosis has no real importance other than to himself and Dean- personally, I wish they’d just admit him to a locked mental ward and move on. And I have to wonder, considering the lack of enthusiam for roboSam’s s/l, why the show runners would focus on Sam again so heavily for these early episodes. Dean’s PTSD played out in the background; it’s annoying to have the ridiculousness of Sam’s worstest PTSD from the worstest suffering in the universe shoved at us like it’s epic storytelling. And I don’t understand the reasoning of the ep 2 promos implying it’s All About Sam when the spoilers say that it’s not. Why not advertise something about Dean as prominently? He’s such a popular and charismatic character, it’s baffling why Sam is the only one being showcased once again. Still hoping that they’ve heard the Dean fan discontent and the tides might turn a little later on this season but it’s hard to keep the faith these days.

    1. Paula R. Stiles

      @elena
      Actually, permanent hospitalisation is rare these days and it’s very hard to get someone hospitalised for longer than the 72-hour observation period, especially if you are poor and have no insurance (Many chronically mentally ill are homeless). Sam would essentially have to murder someone (or hurt them severely), be arrested for it, and be deemed mentally incompetent for that to happen. The writers need to do some *research* into how the mental health care system works these days in the U.S. and stop using “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” as factual source material. Even the book’s author, Ken Kesey, has admitted that he was stoned on LSD much of the time when he was working at the hospital where he did “research”. And the mental health care system had changed a great deal since the 60s and 70s.

      As for why they’ve given Sam this storyline, I’m guessing it’s because, being a co-lead, he does need a storyline, but he doesn’t exactly have much of a connection to either Castiel or Death. The Campbells are gone. Ruby and Lilith are dead. Lucifer is back in the Cage. Meg has no use for Sam at this point. And maybe they took on board the criticism about Dean’s PTSD storyline being cut short without taking on board that those complaining didn’t mean, “Let’s wallow in Sam’s version of it.” Sam certainly needs a new storyline beyond the demon-blood/Lucifer’s vessel crap, but this one isn’t working. He needs something that makes him stronger and more likeable (which means that it would also need to promote a stronger and more honest relationship with Dean), not weaker and more pathetic. It’s nice and all that he didn’t want to burden Dean, but that was his excuse in season three, too. And look how well that turned out.

      Plus, how is he to expect Dean to learn to be honest with him if he continues to lie to Dean? Sam’s lies did considerable damage to Dean, making Dean very wary of Sam every time he lies. Sam needs to start rebuilding that lost trust by being honest. That endeavour is not predicated on either Sam knowing what’s real or not, or Dean reciprocating right off the bat.

      I think, also, we’re finally seeing a clear-cut change in how the new showrunner differs from the old showrunner in preference for storylines. Gamble likes personal, emotional storylines and relationships more than Kripke, who had basically no time for them, for better *and* worse.

      As for the lack of advertisement of Dean’s storyline–that’s probably because the promos always pick a theme or scene in the first third of the episode and overexpose it out of context. Just as Dean was more heavily involved than Sam in the uberplot in 7.01, Dean will also be more heavily involved in the uberplot in 7.02. And Gamble has always been extremely paranoid about spoiling the uberplot, even for twists that a ten-year-old could figure out.

  12. Cassioe

    I agree with you totally Paula. It is what I always thought but you have such a good way of putting it into words. I wish I had your writing gift.

    It makes such sense that you have to wonder why Gamble et al persist in this Sam-plot when they know, as writers, it is only decreasing the strenght of the Sam character especially since she seems so hyped up on Sam. Makes me wonder even more why they are doing what they are doing. For me Sam was always the weaker character in the story. He would never have been able to support a series by himself. An antagonist just doesn’t make a good lead and that is what Sam has always been.

    Dean’s character has always been the protagonist until they through it under a bus in s5. I always felt that was to try to get Sam to look stronger, but it didn’t work, yet they still insist on going down that road instead of going back to the strong Dean of season3.

    Too bad they don’t read your column.

  13. Ginger

    I agree with you, too, Paula; especially Dean being the fulcrum of the other characters and the stories themselves. However, I’m not real sure that SG agrees with you. I’m looking for possibilities that she will take Dean dark, but I just don’t think she wants to give Dean any more power than his character (with JA’s acting) already has. I’m curious, though, and if what little they have shown so far and Bob Singer saying that Dean has plenty to do turns out to be more Dean baiting, I am going to be one pissed off lady. All of S6 was Dean baiting.

    I’ve thought since Comic Con that there is no way that Sam can stay mental and be tied to any story this season. It simply makes no sense that he is hunting, or that in the promo for tonight that Dean gives him his gun back.

    Insightful assessment that SG likes more emotional stories than Kripke, i.e., probably why so much of S6 ran with underlying soap themes in many fans’ opinion (mine included). The only one she pulled off last year, although it could have been more effective, was the Dean/Cas breakup. Dean’s love story was boring and poorly done. Sam’s wall was boring and had the character flipping back and forth as an episode’s plot dictated.

    So, I’m looking at the excution this season, knowing we will have Dean and Jo and their tender kiss and Bobby and his love interest, and there’s probably a shirtless scene in there somewhere for Sam.

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