After the jaw dropping finale for season 6, the prospects for 7 were high. Castiel (Misha Collins) had absorbed all the souls in purgatory, claiming himself to be God. How could the Winchesters fight someone with that much power, let alone a former comrade? With that last season being somewhat shaky, this setup seemed to correct previous errors, establishing a threat early on that effected the characters personally. Only, it wasn’t meant to be.
The premier kicked things off on a high note, picking up immediately after Castiel declared his power. Things quickly swerved though. Castiel discovered he couldn’t control the power within him, something was corrupting him. The brothers discover inside Castiel is Leviathan, God’s first creation. They were placed in purgatory as they were imperfect, and would consume the rest of God’s creations. Realizing he was losing control, Castiel asked the brothers for help. They manged to return the souls to purgatory, but Leviathan stayed, killing Castiel and spreading throughout the world. Meanwhile, Sam began to hallucinate, as Castiel removed the barrier in his mind that quarantined his memories of hell. Now, he was beginning to see Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino).
I wasn’t expect this turn at all. I had really hoped for some climatic season long show down against their former comrade, now drunk with power. Instead, we were given Leviathan. While season 6 suffered from not having a credible threat, this one attempted to remedied that, but didn’t give them direction. Leviathan wanted to turn people into sheep, an easy food source. Mostly, their plot lacked direction, particularly towards the end. There were a few good moments to be had, but a lack of direction and character purpose hindered the final product.
Bobby’s (Jim Beaver) death was easily the high point of the season, with Dean’s (Jensen Ackles) anger palpable. Sam’s (Jared Padalecki) arc with his hallucination was interesting, but a little wary. One of the shows hallmarks as been to give Same some other worldly problem. Demon’s blood, mind bullets, no soul, now this. A fine arc, but only a little worn.
The fifth episode, “Shut Up, Dr. Phil,” was a little divisive, if only for what it failed to do. This episode guest starred Buffy alums James Marsters (Spike), and Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia). I was excited for this one, only, it didn’t deliver. They failed to do anything special with the actors, with the parts easily filled by any other nameless actor. Felicia Day also made a cameo this year, where I’m pretty sure she played herself.
While there were many ho-hum elements, the arc for Castiel was outright maddening. Aside from failing to realize his potential with the opening, his reappearance was simply terrible. His return, where he was broken, could have been entertaining, but felt mishandled. It seemed like they didn’t know what to do with him. A fan favorite, they felt pressured to include him. His exit was fine, but his return was underwhelming, as was his new persona. Maybe he should have stayed dead.
The finale managed to bring things back around, setting up the next big threat. That is one thing the show has always done well, deliver a fantastic finale with a cliffhanger hinting at the direction for the next season. This wasn’t one of their best, but it had potential. Castiel and Dean were sent to purgatory (where all dead monsters go), with Castiel abandoning Dean immediately.
The seventh season of Supernatural is the weakest by far. Aside from squandering the amazing potential from the sixth, the Leviathan were a generic threat that lacked the gravitas of previous monsters. Though a few high notes were hit, particularly with Bobby’s death, they failed to make up for the poor quality overall. Diminishing returns indeed.
Did the ball drop in the premier lose you? Think Castiel’s return was weak? Comment below!