Where next for Supernatural?

Sammy!

SUPERNATURALSupernatural is probably my favourite show on television right now. There, I said it, more so than Eureka (although not by much), Warehouse 13, True Blood, and even my beloved Chuck, Supernatural trumps it all for the amazing storyline that’s been going for the last five years.

Mostly, I’m struck by how beautifully it all ties together, despite some changing of the story. My partner and I have recently been watching it through from the very beginning, and we’ve just got to the end of season four (in fact, the first part of season five arrived from Tesco today). Looking at the show, from the very start you can see it in the light of where the story ended up, even if that’s not originally where it was supposed to be. Little nods and hints and winks permeate the narrative flow, leading, by the end of the fifth season, to one of those rare things in modern serialised television – a completed product.

Many people (myself included) were either up in arms or shaking their heads in abject bemusement at the decision to carry the show on for a sixth season. In a wonderful interview with Michael Ausiello, creator Eric Kripke talks about stepping back as the showrunner, and why the sixth season makes sense. He says that people said the same thing once Azazel was killed at the end of season two, and the tone of the show changed from a revenge plot to a war story. The difference is, this time, how do you top Lucifer as the big bad of the season?

I’m of the opinion mainly that the show is fine as it is, and could easily be left, with perhaps the last 15 minutes of the finale excised from the finished product. The story is done, destinies are fulfilled, Sam and Dean have come full circle and Castiel was popped like a balloon, thanks to Samifer. Yeah, there are a few loose ends, but I can live without them being satisfied.

But at the same time, I’m not-so-secretly glad that I get to spend another season with Sam and Dean. Their relationship and the acting of Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki are the reasons that I’ve watched it and stuck with it, as it’s grown and evolved through success and lost (particularly with the much-missed Kim Manners, a fine director who was responsible for the series’ most visually stunning episodes).

I’m just hoping that the last season doesn’t feel like a ‘clean up’ run, one where obscure plot threads are plucked out of thin air to add forced dramatic levity to the situation (the Dean/Lisa thing, anyone?). Supernatural thrives due to its emphasis on the dramatic, and sacrificing that to fill an order would be a grave waste of an exemplary run. Whatever happens, we’ll find out, starting in September, whether Sera Gamble can keep the pace and the quality going.