As expected, the Supernatural season 6 finale manages to once again raise the already lofty bar for one of television’s greatest series.
Presented as two separate episodes (“Let It Bleed” and “The Man Who Knew Too Much”) shown back-to-back, Supernatural’s makeshift two-hour season finale expectedly suffered slight pacing problems with the episode’s plot transitions – especially as the second hour began.
Starting things off with a tale of betrayal, the kidnapping of Dean’s former family – Ben and Lisa, served to perfectly set the tone for finale, and prepare viewers for what’s to come. With Castiel becoming desperate in his actions, it’s intriguing to see a series such as Supernatural delve into the grey area of what may, or may not, be acceptable in a situation – given its perceived importance.
Even though transforming the fan-favorite character of Castiel into a quasi-villain was one of the simplest ways to enact television’s familiar “twist,” there’s still something to be said for the series’ ability to slowly blur the lines of what is right – and allow the audiences to come to their own moral conclusion.
With Castiel’s newly renegotiated plan set, Dean makes one of the hardest decisions of his life and asks Castiel to erase him from Ben and Lisa’s memory. As Smallville fans are all too familiar with the so-called “memory wiping” trick, it makes the actual inclusion of this plot mechanic extremely difficult. Fortunately, in the scene that followed the wipe, the overall emotional weight of the situation is most certainly felt.
As this marked the end of the first episode and start of the second, there was (as previously mentioned) a slight problem with the transition between episodes. Since these two episodes weren’t originally cut to be played back to back, it quickly becomes apparent that the general energetic nature of the finale began to dip slightly during the transition.
Unfortunately, this is not the only moment where the energy dips. Now that Castiel has removed the wall from Sam’s brain, the famed Winchester brother is now forced to battle himself in some physiological land containing the multiple “aspects” that make up his soul. While I’m sure that, on paper, this philosophical conundrum appeared sound, the fact that these scenes are peppered throughout Dean & Bobby’s quest to stop Castiel made an almost roller-coaster-like effect of highs and lows.
Reminiscent of last year’s Supernatural finale, the producers warned fans of the death that awaits some of the series’ familiar characters. Unfortunately also like last year, the actual number of fan-favorite characters that ended up dead remained at zero. While the loss of Lisa and Balthazar was certainly shocking, the Supernatural producers once again misrepresented their intentions of wanting to progress the series with the loss of an integral character.
When it comes to seasonal cliffhangers, Supernatural has always been the kind to completely wrap-up their current story-arcs and then progress into an introduction which will serve as the cliffhanger for the months that the series is off the air. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
With a set of final shots that would certainly fit in any 70s grindhouse production, fans are met with close-ups of the character’s eyes – a mixture of a modern day showdown and a lapse of knowing how to actually please your fans, if you will.
While Supernatural’s finale is extremely entertaining and generally well-planned, the fact that The CW made the rare decision of extending the presentation to two hours slightly spoiled the fans – in respect to instant gratification. With over 90 minutes of storytelling, the episodes were able to provide so much content, that when it finally came to the episodes last moments, you simply wanted them to continue.
As both episodes of the Supernatural season 6 finale were largely episodic (despite obviously continuing the story-arcs) neither episode would have generally been acceptable for a season finale – even though they were admittedly entertaining in their own right. With the combining of these two episodes, Supernatural was surprisingly able to save itself from letting (most) fans down with the continuing tales of soulful Sam.
Even though fans will have to wait four months to see what eventually happens between Castiel, Sam, Dean and Bobby, everyone can rest easy knowing one thing…
Supernatural airs Friday @9pm on The CW
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