Review: Supernatural – Carry On My Wayward Sam

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by Noor Alnaqeeb (@nooralnaqeeb)

Warning: Reading this article is probably the worst idea you have ever had if you are trying to avoid Supernatural spoilers.

Sam and Dean Winchester. They’ve been to hell and back. Literally… Twice. We’ve seen them comb through diabolical monsters and unfathomable scenarios time and time again. Season Eight is just around the corner, but first, let’s rewind and recap. So crank up Kansas’ “Carry On Wayward Son” and read on.

The Road So Far. Leviathans herding humans like cattle; Lucifer serenading Sam to insanity; Purgatory in all its glory; goodbye Bobby, hello Meg; the word of God coming from a high school straight-A student; Castiel’s resurrection as Emmanuel the healer—oh, and as usual, Crowley making deals like the King of Hell he really is.

The fallen angel, turned demonic ally, turned self-righteous God, Castiel was front and center kick-starting World War Three up in heaven while feeding off of all the souls in Purgatory in order to beat Gabriel. Meanwhile, a hefty price was yet to be paid. Besides the small matter of setting the indestructible Leviathans free to walk the Earth, Cas had irreversibly crumbled the wall between Sam’s reality and his memories of the Cage with Lucifer and Michael, rendering him slightly insane. We watched as Sam’s organs failed during his five-day long battle with Lucifer, suffering from extreme sleep deprivation. Apparently, when you’re the guest star of a brotherly not-so love showdown between an Archangel and the Devil, a few things are going to come back to haunt you. Including Lucifer himself.

While Lucifer serenaded Sam with his ever-repeating version of “Stairway to Heaven,” Dean desperately looked for notorious healer Emmanuel who he had coincidentally located, courtesy of Bobby’s meddling spirit, to cure Sam’s insomnia and save his sanity. Dean was speechless, and rightfully upset when one road trip and a case of mistaken identity later, Dean had been reunited with an amnesiac “healer” Castiel, with no memory of Dean, Sam or his angelic escapades. In the crucial moments before Sam was rendered certifiable, Cas remembered his previous life and his “I am God” phase, and transferred all the insanity from Sam’s fragile mind to his own, redeeming himself and getting Sam back in Leviathan hunting-form. What reemerged was a version of Cas we have never seen before; one who was scared of conflict. Instead of a soldier with a cause or an angel with a God complex, Castiel was a man (or angel) with the mentality of a five-year-old and an unhealthy dependency on demon-turned-good, Meg.

Leviathans. Season Seven’s main pain in the backside. The creatures that don’t flinch at the sight of salt, holy water or devil’s traps, but somehow soap renders them weary. “What do Leviathans want from us?” you ask. Well, they might not seem like the typical farming archetype, but throw in the promise of fat juicy humans and you’ve got yourself an epidemic. Thankfully, along came Kevin. The aspiring student-turned-prophet, whose only real problem before being handed the word of God was how to get into Stanford. Kevin knows the method to destroying the Leviathan; the bone of a righteous mortal washed in the three bloods of the fallen: an Alpha, a fallen angel and the Ruler of fallen humanity. Simple.

With Bobby, his vengeful spirit and his endless resources gone, Sam and Dean turned to Crowley for help. Deciding to help the brothers instead of offering over someone else’s red blood cells and double-crossing them, Crowley hands over his blood and a few words of demon-destroying wisdom.

After a seven-season battle against evil, Sam, Dean, Meg and a mentally unstable Castiel joined forces in order to destroy the fervently despised Leviathan leader. Crowley’s involvement proved helpful in the gruesome, gunk-covered and highly-anticipated death of Richard “Dick” Roman and the fall of his evil “devour mankind” plan. But in the final minutes of the season finale, Crowley’s malevolent nature facilitated his failure to explain something probably worth noting when ripping through the seventh dimensional wall into Purgatory. There’s the slight issue of the catastrophic blast radius. One so “insignificant” that it sucked both Dean and Cas into the oblivion of limbo with all of Hell’s rejects.

Purgatory, Castiel and Dean Winchester are probably words a Supernatural fan would not want to hear in the same sentence. Unless of course the sentence went something like: “Dean Winchester didn’t need Castiel’s help to destroy all the preposterousness of Purgatory”. But that is undoubtedly not the case. Instead, the sentence sounded a bit more like “Dean and a more-than-slightly unhinged Castiel are stuck in Purgatory… Oops.” But hey, at least they killed Dick. 

So, on the 18th of May 2012, with the standard gut-wrenching season finale came the standard emotional torture as we all stood idly by, watching Sam’s complete and utter solitude. Without even a whisper from his lunatic version of Lucifer to accompany him or Meg’s incessant sarcastic ramblings as she fell captive to Crowley alongside Kevin. In the words of the King of Hell himself, “Sorry, Sam. Looks like you are well and truly on your own.”

Season Eight’s first episode, “We Need to Talk about Kevin,” airs on Wednesday, October 3. The sneak peek mentioned something about the word of God and closing the gates of Hell forever. What could possibly go wrong?


    One Comment

  1. MarcusSeptember 24th, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Good review of the worst season of the show.

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