Last weekend was one of those wonderful times when my academic self and my fannish self don’t have to be split down the middle – one of those times when I can put on my fangirl hat without taking my psychologist hat off. It was the Celebration of Supernatural at DePaul University, which brought together academics who research the show and the fandom, and fans who write about the show and the fandom – in other words, since we’re all doing the same thing, why not share it with each other under the umbrella of a whirlwind day of thinky thoughts about the show we all love?
I knew that streak of “OMG fandom all agrees about the awesomeness of this episode” wouldn’t last forever, so it wasn’t that shocking that this week’s episode split fandom down the middle once again. Half of my social media compatriots loved it and half hated it – or at least one line of it. I admit that particular line caused me to go “Huh?” – actually out loud, while scratching my head – which isn’t the reaction they were probably going for. I had to make a little cognitive detour to figure out what the hell it meant, or at least to come to my own way of making sense of it, which threw me out of the story for a minute, but then I found my way back in. Other than that glitch, and putting it aside for the moment, the rest of the episode was solid and touching, even if it didn’t quite leave me breathless or scrambling for tissues.
This was the first episode in which I found myself really liking the character of Claire. Kathryn Newton has done a credible job playing her throughout, but she was written to be annoying and that’s how she came off. This episode gave us a more mature Claire, some of her defenses partially dismantled as she searches for her mother. No coincidence that it’s her 18th birthday. Sometimes reaching that ‘legal adult’ status just brings up all the losses of childhood and makes us want to be parented all over again. I could understand Claire’s determination to figure out what happened to her mother. To find her, or at least to make sense of her abandonment. To make the chaos of her life somehow have meaning. I think Dean can relate to that need, which plays into what he says to her later.
I went into this week’s Supernatural episode already feeling very emotional, thanks to Jared and Jensen’s posted videos celebrating the last day of filming their tenth season of the Show. Seeing them so emotional about the ten years and about how they’ve only grown closer during that time – not to mention sharing some good whisky with their neckties as headbands – was the perfect way to mark that momentous occasion. That they shared what was originally intended as a video just for them with US only made it better.
Jensen: Just finished season 10!!!! 10 years. Same show and same ugly co-star. But damn is he lovable. Here is my post season interview with my boy Jared Padalecki. Cheers everyone!!!
There was a lot of cheering in response to both those videos, that’s for sure.
The ending episodes of this season feel extra special because it’s such a ‘big year’ for the Show, and it seems like everyone is amping up their game in response. I usually have at least SOME things to pick apart, and there’s usually a whole contingent of fans who dislike any particular episode, but in the last few episodes? Not so much. Supernatural is always good – but recently? It’s off the charts good. It’s like everyone wants to close out the tenth season with a BANG.
I was so unspoiled for this week’s Supernatural episode, thanks to an insane few weeks at work, that I didn’t even know who had written it. About three minutes in, I was already pretty sure I knew. Thank you, Robbie Thompson, for an episode so good that even fans who are rarely in agreement are standing up and cheering. I don’t even know where to start. And that’s a good thing.
I guess I’ll start at the beginning, since the opening scene grabbed me immediately (partly because for a second I thought that Stephen Amell’s suggestion about an Arrow crossover had actually happened!) But no, it’s Charlie (clue number one that this is a Robbie episode). I have loved the character from her first introduction, so much that I’m only a little taken aback by her evolution from scared and geeky to scared and badass. And geeky. The evolution seems alarmingly quick from a viewer standpoint, but Charlie spent time in Oz kicking butt with Dorothy, and time passes differently there. Which is to say that her fighting skills are therefore believable. That little niggling taken care of, I’m free to just enjoy who Charlie is now and the meaning of that in a broader sense. She’s who Becky could have become if she wasn’t hijacked in Season 7 – she’s the fangirl who never apologized for her geek ways or her fannish enthusiasm, instead putting all that passion and knowledge to good use to become a heroine herself. She’s the fangirl who is every bit as smart and capable as the Winchesters, in her own way. And every bit as courageous. That’s a really important message, both for the Show and for a culture that struggles with depicting female characters who are real and human and yet able to be truly heroic. We don’t see it enough and we need to see it more.
More from SeaCon and VegasCon soon, but for now, some excerpts from the meet and greet with Jensen Ackles. Not verbatim, just from recollection, and certainly not a complete transcript – but some highlights from what was a great meet and greet.
Jensen immediately got right to the point of what’s on all our minds – the season finale that will be here all too soon. Mostly because he was really excited about it, which was nice to see. (After all these years, they are as excited about this Show as ever — then again, so are we!)
Jensen said they’re filming out of order so they can accommodate Felicia Day’s busy schedule (he busted on her in an entirely big brother sort of way, which was all kinds of heartwarming). It’s clear that Jensen is very excited about the finale – he even said that for the first time, he’s thinking about calling Jeremy Carver and saying wow, great episode. Jensen then joked “For the first time…. What a jerk I am!”