Finally caught up and watched the last five episodes. I got so bummed out by the crap that this season foisted upon us, I had run out of steam. Then I heard next season was the last, and thought... What could it hurt?
Me. Me is what it could hurt. I've kept out of the episode specific threads because my beef isn't with any one episode, it's with sooo much of it that this seemed a better location for my venting. Actually, I surprised myself with how much negative I feel. Usually, other than ripping a scene or a character misfire, I try to see the positive, even if that means a little digging or fan-wanking. But this just... defies my ability to see the better.
I'm probably a bibro when it comes down to it, although I tend to identify a bit more with Dean's approach to the world. So it pains me twice as much when both brothers are given the crappy shrift of this writing team. Because I don't consume any SM from the show runner, writers, etc., I'm not going taking the position that the writers have it "out" for one or both of them, or that they are scorching earth w/r/t Sam or Dean. Maybe yes, maybe no, it just doesn't matter to me what the motivation is when the outcome is dreck. The fact that J2 pulled the plug suggests that whatever the show has become, it's not enough for them anymore. And, that mirrors my own feelings.
I don't mind when the show introduces other characters to share the lead, whether those new characters have multi-ep, season-long, or multi-season relevance. It's 14 seasons in, and new blood can be useful. But the elevation of Jack, the send-off for Mary, and this Chuck-thing, have me at my wits end.
Never hated the idea of Jack-- I thought it might be a cool story device to explore something heavenly without representing actual biblical figures. And there have been times I've really rooted for the kid, which is likely a tribute to the actor as much as anything. But the handling of him has been off for the better part of his existence. And now? Now he's set up as part of the final confrontation? An inexperienced, soulless toddler so prone to manipulation that he just wiped a congregation off the map because he was told, by someone he has NO REASON TO TRUST (having heard "angels are dicks" how many times?) that his doing so would please Sam and Dean? WTAF, show.
And as a result of his utter failures to see anything but his own woobieness, he gets to pair up with Billie? And the Empty? Aaaarrrrgggghhhh. Not appealing to me. At all. I guess, at heart, I was okay with him suffering a death for the death he caused. Sure Mary was a dumbass, poking at the super-powerful being who was clearly in a fit of some kind. But Jack's total inability/unwillingness (doesn't matter) to see her death as anything other than "an accident" coupled with his failure to seek out ANYONE who could help him assess the matter clearly (hint: auditory and visual hallucinations are NOT normal and Lucifer TOLD YOU that you conjured him up in your own head) renders him a nullity to me. But I'm going to bet stuck with him in S15, and that just bums me out. Which brings me to mommy dearest.
The fact that Mary came back as not-perfect Mom was FINE with me. She's been out of the world for a lifetime, and as much as a mother's love might be able to patch that over, I was FINE with her not being that great of a Mom to virtual strangers. And I was okay that she didn't undertake an effort to become that Mom-- given the time limitations and what I perceive to be the actress's limited range. Sam and Dean never really called her on her shit, and as long as they were happy with her as is, I could manage. Didn't like her much as a character, because her only relevance to me was as the mother of our heroes. Absent any other defining characteristic, her being not-so-good at that just meant I didn't have to invest much in her.
What bothers me most with her is the wasted opportunity of her death; the retcon could have done SO much more. I like the idea that Mary tends to praise Sam more because of her guilt over the deal with YED, and until her send-off I could hand-wave her differing treatment of Dean with the occasional bitching. But when they decide to flash back with that saccharine BS, instead of allowing her to speak truth and clarity to both brothers? To deny her any self-awareness at all before final death? Despicable.
I have no skill for dialogue, but what a difference my take would have been had she uttered something along these lines:
Sam, I cursed you years ago because of a weak, short-sighted deal that I thought I could ultimately prevent, but didn't. You have paid for my stupidity with such pain and loss, and I am truly sorry for that. What you have grown into, what you have become [strong, brave, leader, blah blah].
Dean, I have not been able to provide you the kind of support you deserved since I came back. That you have been satisfied with so little breaks my heart. But I want you to know that in my own flawed way, I have cherished the time we have had and I love you for the man you have become." Then she has to firmly pish-tosh any of Dean's attempting to accept responsibility for her own shortcomings.
She doesn't have to compliment Dean the same way as Sam. They couldn't even have her own her failures both old and more recent? Disappointing to say the least.
And Chuck... hoooboy. Either God is evil, or a switcheroo on two and it isn't God? That rankles me to the core, and I'm not a religious person at all. It's just not who Chuck EVER was before the last ep. This "twist" made me think back and wonder why we ever bothered with heaven and the angels at all if this is the final confrontation. Because once there is a "heaven" opposite the "hell" of this show, God is necessarily part of the conversation given the degree of horror the show has introduced (i.e., where is God? why isn't God helping? how can we find God? etc.), and "he's not a helicopter parent" was never going to be a good enough explanation for the Winchesters. God was going to have to make an appearance, and I sort of liked the Chuck/God character earlier on. Hands off because, as I learned in Bible School, free will is just that-- and consequences exist. Now he's just an entertainment hungry douche? Brought back to us because they elevated Jack to world-ending powers?
Sorry for all the shouting, and the bits of incoherence, but I am so very sad with this. And yes, I'll tune in for S15, because J2 may actually get this ship righted in time for me to miss it. Wouldn't it be cool to see our lost favorites featured throughout as a 20-episode good-bye? I will sit through a lot of crap if I can seen Ellen and Jo again. But right now I am going to re-watch an earlier season to cleanse this taste.