Television

Sam Winchester, It Is Time To Get Over It

So, yes, I’m a Dean girl when it comes to choosing between the boys on the CW show, Supernatural, but that doesn’t mean that I detest Sam. I love and adore him quite a lot. He just never seems to lighten up. That is a fact about him that has been extremely apparent over the last couple of episodes.

I don’t know what direction the writers are trying to point us towards, but I personally do not like it all. I am a massive fan of this show and have invested quite a lot into these nine seasons. There have been storylines that I have loved and some that I have detested. Just like my writing classes have beat into my head, one of the most important principles about a story is growth, especially a character’s growth. Nine seasons of a show desperately need to keep this concept at the top of their game plans. Otherwise, why would anyone want to continue to watch that show?

We are currently dealing with the brothers, Dean and Sam, amidst another dispute. We have seen several over the years. With only two main characters, they cannot always be harmonious. There will always be the good and bad times and with this will come the fights. They are to be expected. Because the characters are constantly growing, how these fights are handled should be very different.

Currently we have Sam very upset with his brother for going to extreme measures regardless of right or wrong to save Sam. This has always been an absolute characteristic of Dean. His whole life has been devoted to the protection of his brother. When Dean’s mother was killed, this was what he was tasked with by his father, and it has honestly been the only true purpose Dean has ever had. If there has been one thing to count on with Dean it is he will do everything thing, regardless how blatantly stupid, to save his brother.

So Sam is mad and says he cannot trust his brother. He now doesn’t know how to be a brother to Dean because of Dean’s decision on how to save his brother. Had we had this argument before? Yep. I think fans of the show remember season seven, when Dean killed Sam’s friend Amy. Sam was angry with Dean for killing his friend and for lying to him. Instead of the full season moping we have gotten from the brothers before, the boys dealt with the issue pretty quick, which was refreshing since they are known to drag things out. Dean himself had valid reasons for doing what he did, and Sam seemed to accept it and they moved on.

Now we have a similar situation, but with different terms. Sam is upset that Dean chose to save him by tricking Sam into allowing an angel to possess him in order to heal him from the inside out. Sam had been slowly dying over the course of the eight season due to his pursuit of closing the gates of hell through trials. At the end of the season, Dean told Sam that if he completed his task, he would kill himself in the process. He asked Sam to choose to live. Sam did choose this and ended the trials, unfortunately enough damage was done to Sam’s body that he went into a coma and was dying. Last Dean knew was that Sam wanted to live. He was not privy to Sam’s internal decision to let go and be at peace. Dean did the only thing he has ever known to do since he was four years old. He found a way, a desperate way, but a way to save his brother. Everyone, including Dean himself, knew this was an extraordinarily bad idea, but Dean didn’t have another option. It did turn out to backfire, but his brother is now alive and well.

With Sam now mad, we are basically having the same argument as season seven. The only difference is that Dean agrees that what he did was wrong, he just didn’t feel he had any other choice. Sometimes people do bad things when they believe they are doing the right thing. This a theme we have seen throughout this show, and it is a burden that has been carried on many a character’s shoulder. It has been especially carried by Sam himself. No one can forget how Lucifer got out of the cage.

Yes, I believe what Dean did was wrong and a bad idea, but I also get that he believed he had to do it. I understand why Sam is upset with him, and has every right to feel mad. What I do not accept is the show making Sam look like an angsty tween and continuing to beat the audience’s head over with how upset Sam is. Did Sam just suddenly forget the last five years of his life? The show just had a beloved character come back from the dead and tell the boys to knock it off, because it was stupid. I was relieved when this happened, but infuriated when they had Sam run immediately to his room and shut himself inside to, I don’t know, be alone in the dark and get in touch with his feelings and pain. Thank God they didn’t have Dean follow him. I am sure Sam would have yelled at Dean to get out of his room, and I would have had terrible flashbacks of Dawn from seasons five and six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While Sam has always been the more sensitive brother, this is pretty ridiculous even for him.

This past week’s episode was to bring back the fan favorites, Ed and Harry. The Ghostfacers episode was supposed to be funny, because that is what all Ghostfacer episodes are. This was to be their great return. We haven’t seen them on the show since season four, but the writers felt the need to make an example out of the goofy Ghostfacers and have them mirror what was happening to Sam and Dean, so that we could once again attempt to prove that Sam was terribly wronged. That was when the episode stopped being funny. Unless the show was planning on bringing the Ghostfacers in as a permanent fixture in the world, why would you ever want to make them serious? This is not nor has been their purpose. The poor boys were misused by the writers as a sad plot device. Ed and Harry are better than that.

Now I’m just angry. Angry at a show that knows better than to write their characters this way. Upset that this show would waste several episodes on something that just doesn’t match the characterization that has been developed for Sam. I am annoyed. Sam you need to get over it. Hopefully the writers, will let you. Your brother has been through enough, and honestly couldn’t make it in this world without you. He would have no reason to and wouldn’t know how. It has already been proven. Dean could make it in Purgatory. The rules are simple, kill or be killed, Dean can memorize that easily. Sam has even made a comment when working a prison case how well his brother could fit in with the prison life. That life has strict rules as well. For the real world the only rule book Dean got was given to him by his father, John Winchester, and it only ever had two rules. Number one, keep Sammy safe, and number two, follow John’s orders. Dean continues to live by them now.

Sam needs to stop punishing his brother for his decision. Dean does that enough on his own. As far as terrible things go, it could be worse. Sam could not have someone around who cared that much. Not everyone gets that. He still has a brother, and he needs to stop telling Dean that they are not.

So to the writers I say this. I hope you have a plan for putting your audience through these last few episodes. I hope this will all be a part of something and make sense eventually. Right now, it sure as hell does not. I don’t know who you are trying to convince anymore Dean or the audience, but I am officially over it. The only bright shiny hope I can actually hold on to is the scene where Kevin tells the boys off for their woe. I hope you put that in there for a reason. Just please, please stop this.

Tapping My Nose at S.H.I.E.L.D.

My Tuesdays were to be exciting this year with the announcement that Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. and Supernatural were going to be airing on the same day. I am just glad that New Girl is online, but I was willing to make that sacrifice for Whedon and my boys. I haven’t been this excited about a Tuesday, since they aired Angel right after Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But alas, I am now firmly planted upon the fence that sits between love and loathe when it comes to Whedon’s newest television endeavor.

Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. is kind of a radical concept in film and television. We have had television shows before that were adaptations of a film or simply spinoffs or continuations of one. This show stands out, because it sits outside of the normal film to television construct. It is a spinoff choosing to focus on one of the more important aspects of the Marvel movies that has yet to be fully explored. The presence of S.H.I.E.L.D. is in every Marvel movie that has been made, and now we simply get to learn more about them. But why is that so unique? The world that the show exists in is the very world that the Marvel movies exist in. What happens in this show can effect what happens in Marvel movies to come, and vice versa.

I have yet to see any kind of ripples from the show make it into the movies, but that is okay for now. It isn’t a device that should be taken lightly or overused. It will take away from making the show its own. What the series is currently developing into its own is what I am having issues with. Being that it is the first season, which can be rough for any new show, and that it is a Whedon production are the only two reasons I am honestly sticking around to see what happens.

When any new television show is being introduced my first question to ask is could this show be interesting for five seasons. It doesn’t mean that a show will get five seasons, but it has to move forward. This question only needs a yes or no answer and should be found in the very first episode. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. clearly defined its intentions in its first episode as a specially assigned group of people out to find the extraordinary, a concept vague enough to be answered in hundreds of ways throughout five seasons.

Then we have to have people to care about and connect with, a reason to continue to tune in weekly. We already have Coulson, a beloved character from the films. His familiarity brings us in along with the question of his mere existence, since the last time we saw him was his death scene. Unfortunately, one man cannot do the show by himself. He has to have some kind of support, which comes in the shape of his chosen team.

Now we have a cast that is mostly new to fans and needs to be developed. We also have a beloved character whose questionable existence cannot be answered immediately or the draw of the show will be lost. We also have well known superheroes that exist in the world and could very well pop up. Everyone would love to have Tony Stark constantly barge in and irritate the S.H.E.I.L.D. agents, but how would we get a chance to care about the show and continue watching it on the episodes he did not. While I assume and hope that these characters will make appearances in the show it will be rare and only for exceptionally big events. Outside of quick cameos by Maria Hill and Nick Fury, cameos that honestly couldn’t really be avoided too long considering their place in the organization, the show has only made well placed comments or dealt with connected issues concerning the characters and movies like the quick opening scene cleaning up the mess in England left over by Thor after the events in the second film.

 

The show has really done a great job not leaning on these easy tactics that would guarantee instant viewers. It has been focusing on building the characters. Unfortunately, that is all it has been doing, and we only really know half of them. The problem I have with the season so far is a clear overall focus. Yes, we have had to track down relics and stop them from getting into the wrongs hands in each episode, but there is yet to be a clear pull that we are looking forward to being resolved or flipped over by the end of the season. Not only is it unclear, but there could be more than one avenue they choose to follow from what has been aired so far. Being halfway through the season, we should have some idea by now.

Does this mean that there is no hope left for this show? Absolutely not. It could very well be suffering from common first season afflictions, where shows test out characters and plot devices trying to latch onto those that work and remove that which does not. We as an audience play a massive role in what happens, because believe or not writers and creators do listen to the audience. They are not going to give you full creative control, but they are very aware that if you don’t watch, they can’t keep making the show. We are very powerful when it comes to our favorite televisions shows. If they didn’t listen to us, Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Castiel from Supernatural would have only been in one or two episodes. We are the reason they had many more.

What I am hoping for in the last half of this season is a direction of what is going to carry us to the end. If this happens, then I guarantee one hell of a cliffhanger that will force us back for season two’s premier. I want this show to succeed. As a comic book fan, S.H.I.E.L.D. was everywhere, meaning this show has so many stories to tell. It is not closed off to one teenager’s hard realizations about responsibility. They have full access to all of the possible stories from the comic world as well as being completely believable with anything new they come up with. Because of this, there is no reason for this show not to succeed. As a Marvel fan and a Whedon fan I will probably hang on regardless of quality till the end, because I am loyal. I just don’t want that to be the only reason.