I wish I could put into words how utterly pissed off I am about episode 9.22. I really do.
The thing is, if you get it, my words will just be preaching to the choir. If you don’t, I don’t know if any amount of words can ever make you get it (not agree, just UNDERSTAND the problem so many of us fans have). Well, let me use the words of two men much better at writing and speaking than me.
[I]t belies the central problem: the shields are not shields, they are plot devices, cardboard trees being moved about the stage to tell the story, except we wouldn’t accept it if someone said this tree was actually a rock (except, of course, in science fiction when trees can be silicon-based!). Those kinds of things break the verisimilitude of the work for the fans because it shows where the writers’ priorities lie, and it’s not with the science fiction, and in those terms isn’t it reasonable to be unhappy that people don’t care about science fiction in your favorite science fiction show? It’s basically the same as my earlier point about connecting with the audience on things you love, because even though Piller and Braga both created some really great episodes and I don’t doubt were doing the best they could to make a show they could be proud of, you could see the difference between them and someone like JMS who clearly just loves science fiction, and while he may give us some stinkers still seems to better connect with his audience as a result.
In telling a tale, a narrator is trying to cast a spell, to deceive the reader (with the reader’s cooperation, or course) into the illusion that the events being portrayed are unfolding before his eyes. The basic ingredient of the magician’s cauldron is, of course, verisimilitude. The events need not be real, or even realistic. They can be larger than life or smaller than life or true to life. They do not need to follow the logic of real life cause-and-effect. But they must follow the story-logic of make-believe. The author can say what happens: but he cannot say, like a child playing a game, that it only happens because of his say-so. The puppeteer cannot stick his naked hand down in front of the small curtain or box that forms his theater lest he ruin the show. If the events or plot elements appear out of nowhere and vanish with no consequence trailing after them, it is too much unlike life. The event seem to be inauthentic, inorganic, unnatural, and each thing that happens does not seem to be happening because of what the story requires, but merely because of what the author wants. If your plot has events and elements that don’t fit into the rest of the plot, if the plot is arbitrary, the spell is broken, artistic integrity flies out the window, and the reader is betrayed.
That above? That right there is the ENTIRETY of season 9, cemented with the death of Tessa. How bad is the shark jumping? Well now that canon just completely doesn’t matter, let’s look at some story plots we can now get in season 10!
- Turns out Dean and Sam aren’t actually brothers!
- Dean is the son of Gordon!
- Because of a filing mishap, the Impala Dean’s been driving for the past 10 years isn’t actually the one his father bought in the 70s. That one is over there.
- Dean never went to Hell! He just got really drunk and Castiel pulled him out of a homeless shelter.
- Crowley is going to release Satan! See, previously they just let out a really powerful guy named Stan, but THIS time, they’re going to have the real thing.
- Garth was faking being a werewolf. Turns out he’s a reaper! And ends up dying to a gumball launched from a slingshot.
- Death chokes to death on a slice of Chicago pizza. EVERYONE’S IMMORTAL!
- Mary never made a deal with a demon, she’s just really clumsy with matches.
- The entire show has been the imagining of a small autistic child. (no that’s not a joke about the producers)
- Sam & Dean never escaped the clutches of Gabriel in Changing Channels. It’s up to Bela to go save them!
- Did you know Ruby was actually an angel?
- Turns out the Colt never kills anything, it just sends them forward in time by a decade.
- The entire ten seasons have been a fever dream of Dean’s as he starves to death in the wendigo’s lair.
- Dean and Sam turn out to be Tulpas brought to life by the fans of the Carver Edlund’s book series.
Oh and if the show decides to use any of these? Don’t send me any money.
That’s right, I rather give these horrible ideas away than take a cent from the ongoing downfall of one of my favorite shows.
The Kripke era sits proudly on my shelves. I might go back and pick up Sera Gamble’s saga someday. But Carver’s crapfest? No. None of it will EVER cross the threshold into my house as long as I live. If you hacks can’t make it in serialized storytelling, then go back to sitcoms where you belong.