Supernatural is halfway through season 12 and things feel like they are at a standstill. Season 12 does feel like a throwback to earlier seasons of the show, when things were slower and the end of the world wasn’t always imminent. However Supernatural season 12 is taking things a bit too slowly, and the whole thing is verging on boring. Here are four changes Supernatural should make in the new year to turn things around in season 12.
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Bring Characters Back Together
Supernatural both just shot itself in the foot and tied its hands behind its back by bringing Mary Winchester back but not making actress Samantha Smith a series regular. One of the big reasons it feels like not much has happened in season 12 is because the first handful of episodes dealt almost solely with Mary’s return and the following few had Mary completely missing. Mary isn’t the only important character who has been missing in action. Castiel has been similarly absent for long stretches of time.
Supernatural is always going to come down the central relationship between Sam and Dean. Sam and Dean are at their best when they are interacting with others. After 12 seasons Supernatural is, understandably, running out of dynamics to explore between Sam and Dean that do not feel like variations of things we have already seen. Supernatural season 12 has this wild and new dynamic with the return of Mary and they are not capitalizing on it. The back half of season 12 should properly deal with Mary’s miraculous resurrection.
Give Sam and Dean a Goal
Supernatural season 12 has gotten back to basics a lot. The individual, monster-of-the-week episodes are much more prevalent than the larger mythology episodes. This is a fine way to approach the season. Some of Supernatural’s best episodes ever have been contained, procedural episodes. Even in seasons 1 and 2 though, there was an overarching goal that Sam and Dean were working towards and the individual cases were sometimes related to that goal. Sam and Dean’s goal does not need to be related to the villain of the season but the brothers should still be working towards something. In season 12 Sam and Dean (and the series as a whole) feels rather rudder-less.
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Make the Men of Letters More Relatable
Supernatural doesn’t need to make the Men of Letters sympathetic. After they killed poor Magda in “American Nightmare” that ship kind of sailed. But Supernatural should make an effort to make the British branch of the Men of Letters a little bit more understandable. We know they ruthlessly take out anyone and anything that could be a threat but they are a little too unrepentant. It’s not enough.
Any characters we have met from the Men of Letters feel more like plot devices than actual characters. This new faction should be interesting but instead they are somewhere between dull and infuriating. Whether it is through returning characters like Mr. Ketch, Toni or someone brand new, Supernatural needs to give the Men of Letters a little bit more humanity. We should be interested when they show up on screen, not repulsed.
Give the Season a Solid Villain
This is the big change Supernatural needs in season 12. It is rather ridiculous to say — eight episodes in — but Supernatural season 12 does not have a primary antagonist. Lucifer’s back, but if you believe the midseason finale, “LOTUS,” and you should not, he has been banished back to Hell. The British Men of Letters might have killed Magda but that is the last overtly villainous thing they have done all season. Sam and Dean need a goal but they need something or someone to fight even more.
Following Amara, the villain of season 12 does not need to try to bring about the end of the world … again. They should be doing something that Sam and Dean need to stop or disagree with occurring. Even if you think that Lucifer is truly gone, his child definitely still exists. Maybe that can be the driving force of the rest of the season. Maybe Supernatural can even do some wacky time hijinks or have Amara-like growth that allows Lucifer’s spawn to grow up to adult age during the course of the season and be an actual physical threat for Sam and Dean. The guys need something to fight besides Dean’s complicated feelings toward his resurrected mom. The season needs to go somewhere and soon.
What do you think? Has season 12 been too slow? What changes would you make? Which of these changes do you think is the most important? Did we miss anything that Supernatural should do in season 12?
Supernatural season 12 will return Thursday, January 26 at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Supernatural Facebook page!
(Images courtesy of The CW)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.