So how was Supernatural’s season 12 over all?
Everyone knows that foundations are vital to a house, and if they are doing their jobs, nobody should ever think about them. Ongoing stories have the additional complications that while they are building from the foundation of what came before, they’re also adding to said foundation. Many years ago, Kripke lay a very solid foundation for his world and characters. The previous 4 seasons worked at chipping away that foundation. So the first an most important job of the S12 staff was to shore up and repair that foundation else the stories would so no improvement.
And boy did it show that they were working hard this season. They breathed life into characters that might even be around for only one episode but made you think they were real. They worked on returning mood with camera and lighting and music, even into a monster of the week episode. They brought up canon when it was applicable to give you a sense that this is a real world with a real history to it. Heck last season the brothers said they wanted to try saving people again, this season was when I felt they were actually trying to do that. Was it perfect? Not always, but considering the shape of the show they were handed a full ‘A’ for the effort folks. This was the first season in awhile that looked and felt like the show I fell in love with 12 years ago.
But even though the effort was there, the season still wasn’t perfect. See there’s a problem all writers have – yes all of them, even me. It can be summed up as, “fighting the story.” See, we writers will get super focused on having a story go to scene W so we can move to plot X then Y concluding with Z. When often if we take a step back and look at everything a moment, we might notice that with A and B at the start, we have a logical move to F, G, and H which with a minor tweak, can then go to Y and Z. Let’s use a practical example from this season. Think about the entire season for a moment, get it into your head.
Now, what was the point of Lucifer possessing the president? To produce the nephilim? But his body previous to the president, was a rock star! We saw groupies willing to injure themselves just because he asked, you honestly think he couldn’t find one to carry his baby? It gets even funnier when you remember that the president was a religious type, meaning Lucifer had to lie and make an effort at explaining his liaison, whereas I doubt anybody would question or ask about a rock star knocking someone up. In fact had they gone this route, Lucifer would have the opportunity to produce multiple nephilim. Now imagine THAT season. The boys, angels and demons trying to chase down four or six children. They concoct the “make mortal” plan and save a child and their mother or two. But you could see the pressure of that effort getting to them and pushing them into the arms of the BMoL to stop this problem. Would that have been better? Maybe, it always depend on actually writing it. But we could have replaced two episodes that were ultimately meaningless* with two that gave us more character or arc to the season. Heck they could have devoted those episodes to build up, so when “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” air, Lily Sunder can actually move into a reoccurring guest star to use her knowledge of angel lore to aid the brothers with the nephilim crisis.
Hopefully by now you see what I mean. At several points, with almost everything in the season, the writers got so focused on getting to the next point – the next episode – they never took a step back to see if there was a better picture that could be painted.
But for the first time in a long time, I have some hope that next season, might be alright. If the show runners keep up the positives from this season while learning from its mistakes, S13 will be downright awesome.
*Yes, it is possible that there is some meaning with episode 12.09 in that Castiel killing the reaper is possibly the ultimate cause for his death at the season’s end. However ultimately that is only viewer conjecture. If you take out that episode from the season, there is no other change or alteration that has to be done to episode 12.23.