Spoilers for all seasons abound, so don’t continue reading if you don’t want to be spoiled for most of the seasons.
Let’s get some of the bad out of the way.
The worst part of the entire season: Season 6 can best be summed up as Sam and Dean are constantly dicks to Castiel and then wonder at his betrayal. It seems each season after season 2 has an ally who becomes the biggest problem – Dean going to hell in season 3, Sam unleashing Lucifer in season 4, season 5 actually dealt mostly with the bad guys for a change, but at season 6 here we are with Castiel being the main problem by the end of the season. Pull it together, guys, and fight the external enemies. Internal infighting isn’t just boring, it’s stupid.
We left off season 5 with Dean moving in with Lisa and Sam standing under a streetlight that goes out, which is misleading seeing as he simply doesn’t have a soul, and that doesn’t usually cause lights to flicker. Unlike all of the rest of the fandom, I really liked Lisa and I hated that they destroyed their relationship over the first few episodes. There have been other hunters that have wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, and significant others, so not allowing Dean to have a slice of happy just seems lazy. Exploring Dean as a boyfriend and father figure could have brought a ton of interesting storylines to the series, including Sam as an uncle. I would have loved to see it – you wouldn’t even have to have him with her most of the time, as primarily they’d be on the road hunting, but a few episodes a year with them having a real Christmas or real Thanksgiving? It would have been fun and interesting to see.
Since it would be difficult to write Lisa in and make it work, they just didn’t bother. Also, there is a certain amount of rioting the fans do online if either of the boys end up with a girl, which is kind of sick to me, but whatever. The second Dean moves in with Lisa, you know it’s doomed, which is less interesting and more just sad, depressing, and head scratching. I honestly waited several years before even watching the season because I knew that the first 5-10 episodes would basically be the slow demise of Dean and Lisa – and Lisa was fucking cool, funny, smart, pretty, and honestly so understanding of Dean that I hate how things ended there. Sometimes in this season it felt less like the characters were making coherent decisions and more like they just did whatever the forced storyline or episode of the week required, which was frustrating to watch.
Sam and Dean are straight-up dicks to Castiel most of the season, calling him every time they stub their toe and being really angry jerks about it. Castiel is fighting a war in heaven, and they have no sympathy, empathy, or even slightly basic understanding. I don’t call my friends when I know they are busy doing eating dinner, for fucksakes, if they were at war AND mid-battle? I’d be embarrassed and apologetic to have interrupted. The Winchesters are too self-absorbed this season to give a fuck, and it really made me dislike them pretty much every single time they did it. Sam has the excuse of not having a soul, but Dean’s just myopically self-absorbed. And that’s coming from a Dean-girl.
That is not to say the episodes aren’t enjoyable, as they are. Castiel has some of the best lines and best dialogue this season. He was one of the best additions to the show ever made – I just love Castiel and Misha Collins. Also, while there are plot lines that go throughout the season, many of the episodes are primarily monster of the week episodes, which are fun. Season 5 had pretty much 0 episodes that were just road tripping monster fighting, which is where the show excels.
Castiel is so fun this season and I love every minute of him on the screen.
“Dean and I do share a more profound bond. I wasn’t going to mention it.”
“Sam, Dean, my ‘people skills’ are ‘rusty.’ Pardon me, but I have spent the last year as a multidimensional wavelength of celestial intent.” How GREAT is this line?
“I remember the Tower of Babel – all 37 feet of it, which I suppose was impressive at the time. And when it fell they howled, ‘Divine Wrath!’ But come on, dried dung can only be stacked so high.”
“Freedom is a length of rope. God wants you to hang yourself with it.”
These are just a few of my favorite ones from the season, but Castiel does provide a lot of the humor of the season.
Another character favorite that I’m terribly sad Castiel killed off was Balthazar – he was hilarious and fun in every episode. He treated the Winchesters with a condescension I admired. For example, in one of the funniest episodes of the season, “The French Mistake,” which happens to be one of my all time favorite episodes ever, Balthazar shows up in Bobby’s living room and starts grabbing supplies for a spell. Dean says hey to him and is ignored.
Dean: “I said hey!”
Balthazar: “You did. Twice. Good for you. (pats his shoulder sarcastically)”
How awesome is that? I just loved Balthazar, his humor, his sarcasm, his style, and his loyalty to Castiel. Gone too soon, but a fantastic character.
“The French Mistake” is such a fun episode in so many ways, but my favorite is the utterly obnoxious decor in Fake Jared’s home. The giant pictures of him on the wall, especially the one where he is riding a horse, make me laugh every time. “You married fake Ruby?!” and “I should figure out her name,” are two of the best delivered lines ever. Jared Padalecki is simply genius during the delivery of that line and during his messing up of Genevieve’s first name. Also, how great was it that they brought her back and had their real-life wedding photos as props in the background? I just loved this entire episode for so many reasons, that I could write a blog post simply about it’s wonderfulness. It’s fan service done well, and as a fan, I love it.
Another highlight, is “Weekend at Bobby’s” where the entire episode is from Bobby’s point of view. When Dean calls him whining about Sam, Bobby rolls his eyes!! Jim Beaver is always fantastic as Bobby, and in this episode he was fun, funny, and fantastic. Also, my favorite, Sheriff Jody Mills, makes an appearance here and just lights up the screen by being on it. I love her directing the FBI agent to the outside of Bobby’s house, but with Bobby there is no safe place because bodies are buried outside and a possessed woman is in the basement. “Dammit, Bobby.”
One of the things I wondered a lot during season 7 when they were dealing with the leviathans, is why not a wood chipper? Bobby throws a monster into the wood-chipper in this episodes prompting Rufus to say, “Oh, okey-dokey, wood chipper. That pretty much Trumps… everything.” How easy would it have been for the Leviathans to put themselves back together after a wood chipper? And yet, they never again use a wood chipper to kill anything outside of this episode. I’d think they’d buy one and take it with them everywhere, but then the show would be more about Wood Chipper Murder Hoboes than Supernatural, but still.
“Clap Your Hands If You Believe…” is another fantastic and hilarious episode. Soulless Sam is never more fun than he is in this episode and it’s simply wonderful and funny and great. Jared Padalecki is just fantastic with comedic timing – honestly, I’m very impressed he managed to say most of his lines with a straight face. This episode involves alien abductions that turn out to be fairies, with the wonderful guest star Robert Picardo. If Richard Dean Anderson, Christopher Judge, and Beau Bridges guest star, pretty much everyone I’ve ever seen in Stargate SG-1 will have been a guest star on the show. (Can we talk about how underutilized Michael Shanks was in season 5? Waste of a damn fine actor.) Dean yelling “Fight the fairies! You fight those fairies!” as he is being put into the police car is especially entertaining and make me giggle every time.
“Caged Heat” is another wonderful episode but for different reasons. Meg returns, but soulless Sam not only puts her in her place, but has her work for them. Soulless Sam kills one of her demon henchman and when Meg ask if he’s going to give Ruby’s knife back, he angrily tells her that she stole it from them, and he’s taking it back. I’m with Meg – it was nice to see Sam had grew some balls, even if it was just the soullessness doing most of the talking.
Most of the season had good episodes that were a lot of fun, but there were some clunkers this season. “All Dogs Go to Heaven” is simply drab and depressing all the way through. This one has a very sympathetic monster, in my opinion. Granted, like a lot of shapeshifters, he was prone to murder, but in his defense the people he murdered were shitastic and hard to feel any empathy for at all.
“Mannequin 3: The Reckoning” is another episode that I really dislike. It’s well written, but is sad all the way through. I wish Sam and Dean had let the ghost kill her murderers, as they didn’t deserve to be saved, but instead it ends with her sister dying. Just sad and depressing all around when wonderful, kind women die and worthless, murderous, cruel men are to blame. Too much a reflection of the real world for my tastes.
I did not like “Frontierland” as an episode, either. Watching Dean’s enthusiasm get stomped on throughout the entire episode is sad, the phoenix was another incredibly and sympathetic monster, and Colt turns out to be a grumpy old drunk. What’s with protecting murderers and rapists? Let those guys get eaten by the monsters. They use Castiel’s limited powers to go back in time and Dean can’t remember to their time limit enough to get the ashes? Thank God for Sam staying on task and leaving his phone with Colt, or it would have been a huge waste of time and energy. I tend to skip this episode, or fast forward through the Dean parts and just watch Sam, Castiel, and Bobby’s storylines instead. I know the show thinks it’s funny to remove the wool from Dean’s eyes, but this is a man who didn’t have a childhood, so it’d be nice if the things he finds fun could remain intact.
“The Man Who Would Be King” is not just a great Castiel episode, but a wonderful Crowley episode as well. Castiel’s narration, which heartbreakingly turns out to be a prayer to the absent (or silent) god, is full of great lines, and has so much interesting in it. The Dean and Castiel relationship here is really highlighted, as Dean – in spite of all evidence to the contrary – refuses to believe Cas would work with Crowley or lie to them. The look on his face when he realizes it is true – after apologizing to Castiel for even suspecting him – is just a kick to the gut. Jensen Ackles is always superb, and this is no exception.
Also, this season provides a lot of Crowley and Castiel. I’m a big fan of Crowley, although half the time I do want him dead.
“Don’t worry about — what, like Lucifer didn’t worry? Or Michael? Or Lilith or Alastair or Azazel didn’t worry?! Am I the only game piece on the board who doesn’t underestimate those denim-wrapped nightmares?!”
“Denim wrapped nightmares” is not just funny as hell as a description for Sam and Dean, but also pretty accurate. People are always so very arrogant about the Winchesters, but they end up killing bad guy after bad guy. Crowley’s not wrong to feel this way, but by kidnapping Lisa and Ben, he really did make his own problems worse.
When they write out a love interest, they really write out a love interest. Lisa and Ben get their memories wiped by Castiel so that they never met Dean. Dean tells Sam that if he mentions them ever again, he’ll break Sam’s nose, and after this episode, they aren’t really mentioned by name ever again. In one episode where Bobby tells Dean that Dean had normal and it didn’t stick. Other than that, the two are never heard from or about again.
I do often wonder, if Dean and Sam had the bunker, if dating Lisa and Ben would have been more possible. The bunker is secured against pretty much everything, and while they couldn’t be on lockdown 24/7, they’d be safe more often than not, but it would never happen because fans would riot if they moved in a love interest. It’s like people enjoy seeing their heroes tortured, which is kind of weird to me. I like happy heroes, or at least heroes that have some possibility for happiness.
Overall I give season 6 a B – there are so many plot points that pissed me off this season (did Mary’s dad Samuel really have to be such a dick???) but there were also some truly wonderful, and fantastic episodes, too. This season has plenty of funny to lighten up the darker storylines, something that season 4 sorely lacked. The combo of light and dark storylines throughout is very well-balanced.