Episode Review – Soul Survivor

Eh, it was ok.

Oh alright.  This was written by the BB/ERL writing team, the duo I actually dreaded more than when Dabb took up the pen.  Considering some of the HORRENDOUS stuff they’ve turned out, getting an episode written that at least APPROACHES the level of mediocre is a marked improvement.  And like I’ve said, while they can still improve, I’ll credit improvement when it’s due.

So yeah, this episode was middle of the road, establishing a baseline we can use to judge the rest of the season.  Heck I was even surprised in two instances: 1) Sam stayed conscious throughout the entire episode, 2) Sam wasn’t using his own blood to cure Dean.  The symbolism and imagery on that is SO obvious I was pleasantly surprised that the writers didn’t go for it.

Still, there is some fail going on in this episode…

If you’re going to do a scene in Hell and go through the trouble of decorating a room, either cover up the window so you don’t see sunlight or at least green screen in some hellish flames or something.

Uh… demon setting himself on fire in Hell is like watching a spa employee go, “You suck, boss!  I’m going to go take a bath!”  Heck the fire should have just destroyed the meatsuit, which we saw with Abaddon in 8.23 WOULDN’T KILL THE DEMON!  Maybe they’re trying to bring back some of the insanity Supernatural used to be known for, but even then the craziness would make SOME amount of sense.

Closing scene?  Worthless with no context.  Know what would have been better?  Taking the minute or so that scene used up of run time and devoting it to smoothing out some of the OTHER faults in this episode.

Dean breaking the door down with a hammer… I was waiting for him to scream “Here’s Deany!” (or Johnny) so, again, kudos for resisting temptation.

…*sigh* Ok, time to address the 800 lb angel in the room.

Once again, Castiel’s story SUCKS because it is poorly written.  How can they not see this?

Oh look!  Crowley took out another angel’s grace and fed it to Castiel.  And the angel was set to live until Crowley stabbed her.  Of course, that doesn’t mean anything since a mortal Cas was stabbed and brought back thanks to an angel WAAAAAY back in episode… 9.03.  An episode THESE TWO WROTE!  Ok, ok this isn’t too bad as we might yet see that Cas went back into the diner and cast rez on his attacker (or Hannah did) so we don’t know for sure that wasn’t done.

BUT WHY HASN’T GRACE STEALING BEEN A STANDARD MO BY THE GUY ALREADY?  You have Metatron, threatening the world!  Take his grace!  Leave him mortal!  Heck in Heaven he shouldn’t die of old age so you wouldn’t even be killing him indirectly.  “Rogue” angels want to stay on earth?  FINE.  Take their grace and leave them stuck there as mortals just to be sure they don’t get up to trouble.  You would be giving them WHAT THEY WANT.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS?  I don’t care that Cas may not want to, I just want to know why.  WHY?

It’s like… watching a show where you see some people stranded on a deserted island, standing on the beach, and complaining about how thirsty they are.  All while the camera shows mile after mile of sparkling water RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF THEM!  Now you’re probably saying, “Silly, Nate, the ocean is salt water.  Drinking that would kill them.”  Which is my point.  We, the audience, know that the ocean is salt water and that salt water does bad things to our bodies.  If, however, we were to (somehow) lack knowledge of either of those two facts, then the scene would be utterly nonsensical.  Right now in SPN, we’re pretty darn clueless as to some basic facts about the angels.  If there’s one fact or two which would explain to us why Cas doesn’t take the obvious solution (just as “ocean is salty” is a fact explaining why people don’t drink it), things would actually WORK IN THE DAMN STORY.

You want a good example of how to leave things unexplained?  Crowley saving Cas.  We have no real idea why he’s done it, but we have enough knowledge to make a few logical guesses that don’t break rules of story or our own minds.  1) Crowley’s been getting a bit more human lately, which means he’s feeling more sentimental.  2) Crowley’s worked with and used Cas in the past, so it’s not out of the question that he might need him again.  See?  We don’t know for sure, but we can guess at some ideas.  Why doesn’t Cas try some of the obvious, logical solutions?  NO IDEA.  The only thing that even makes close to sense is that he’s suicidal and wants off the damn show.  It’s certainly hard to see any reasoning how killing an angel (sending them to oblivion), is somehow worse than just taking away their power.  It’s like the show arguing that it’s worse to cut off someone’s hand than to kill them.  Except in the SPN universe, we know there’s an afterlife people get to go to.  Angels don’t even get that much, their completely erased from existence.  I mean… THAT’S better than being crippled?  See, either the show’s making no sense, or it’s teaching a horrible, HORRIBLE lesson.

So all in all I give this episode 3 out of 5, or a C.  Which is a new high score for BBERL who tanked S9 in its 3rd episode so hard I’m surprised they weren’t fired.  Or at least made to write “I will not use rogue reapers again” 800 times on a chalk board.  Now if they could just take a minute and fix their shit while writing, I could stop using their acronym for a swearword, BBERLit.

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