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What Is and What Should Never Be (S3)

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  • What Is and What Should Never Be (S3)

    No, this is not about the S2 episode, but about S3. As we all know the last season was cut short due to the writer’s strike, missing 6 out of the usual 22 episodes for the season. The latest issue of the Supernatural Magazine had an interesting interview with Eric Kripke, where he gave insight in how S3 originally was intended to play out

    “We didn’t have time to tell the story about Sam’s powers, and all that had to push into season four. In the original version, we were thinking of before the strike, Sam was going to save Dean and in typical Supernatural fashion, it was going to cost the boys dearly. But because we didn’t have the time to develop Sam’s powers, there wasn’t really anybody left to save Dean, so Dean had to go to hell.

    We were going to save Dean, maybe even before the season finale, but at the cost that Sam was now this fully operational dark force. Then Sam wants to make an assault on Lilith and he’s working on his powers, and that’s a big problem with Dean. So we get to end up roughly in the same place, we were going to end up anyway, it’s just instead of at the end of season three, it’s around episode six of season four.”


    I thought this was interesting. One of my biggest regrets about S3 is that Mystery Spot had no emotional fallout for Sam. The strike hit just after that episode was filmed and afterwards they had to wrap up Dean’s deal storyline within 3 episodes (Ghostfacers was already written before the strike) without having the opportunity to develop Sam’s arc, so there was no time to deal with the aftermath of MS. As the season is now, Mystery Spot can be seen as a foreshadowing of the things to come (Sam not being able to save Dean and falling into despair afterwards), but mainly it was made redundant by the actual events.

    The original plans for the season though would have turned Mystery Spot into a pivotal episode for the overall plot. I assume that the devastating events in MS would have triggered Sam turning towards his powers in order to avoid the fate of living without Dean, again, and then gradually slipping down the slope, possibly heading towards a major confrontation with Lilith in the finale. This certainly would have made S3’s second half a thrill-ride and raised the overall quality of the season, balancing out the weak start of the season.

    When it comes to Sam’s arc, they postponed it, but it obviously played out in S4 mostly as it was planned originally, with Sam pursuing his powers and now going after Lilith, pushing Dean’s objections aside and heading down a path of darkness. Dean’s arc and the mythology on the other hand were heavily influenced by the change in plans. The post-hell Dean arc and the angel storyline were a direct result of Dean’s death, if Sam had saved his brother, there would have been no need for that development. I doubt they would have considered the angel plotline if there hadn’t been the necessity of getting Dean out of hell somehow, given that Kripke always said they won’t show angels.

    My question is, what would you have preferred? A more balanced and poignant S3, with a Dean unburdened by his hell experience and no angels in the S4 mythology or the way it played out due to the strike?

  • #2
    My question is, what would you have preferred? A more balanced and poignant S3, with a Dean unburdened by his hell experience and no angels in the S4 mythology or the way it played out due to the strike?
    I love the angels and am enjoying Dean's post-hell experiences (though which they'd stop the car talks at the end of eps, find a new way to explore his trauma please!) so I wouldn't want to give those up.

    I also enjoyed season 3 a lot, though binge-watched it so quickly that no doubt I missed flaws.


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    • #3
      Wow. That's all very interesting. Thank you for posting it, galathea.

      I've been predicting that Sam is going to go down the path of evil, maybe a little naively as to he won't think its evil, but none the less do it. It definitely would have stirred things up in S3, and I was counting on Sam to save Dean the whole season. So, if the writers strike never happened I would have actually gotten to see that. I agree that it was disappointing that things weren't exactly followed through with Sam's story arch after MS.

      However, as heart breaking as it was to watch Dean die and go to hell, I've really enjoyed this storyline they have going for them this season. At first I was hesitate about the angels arch, because I didn't want to see harp totting, preachy, servant of the lord characters flooding my favorite show. Instead, angel in the Supernatural-verse are darker and more battle-hard warriors for the power of good, which I really like. It's always a pleasure to see Castiel in an episode, and Anna is definitely a favorite character of mine as far as female roles on the show now.

      I think Sam having to see Dean die (again) and to not be able to get him back fit well for the final push for Sam to accept Ruby's offer. Dean was no longer around to stop him, and he was finally desperate enough to take that last step. Although 'Mystery Spot' was a good starting point for Sam to want to use his powers, in the end he was able to get his brother back without them. It was when Dean was really gone that drove him, and we've seen that play itself out throughout this season.

      So, I like where this season has taken us, but it would have still been a treat to see the original version as well. I wonder where we would be now if the writer's strike didn't happen...

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      • #4
        season 4 is great as it is, wouldnt change a thing

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        • #5
          So... I revived this thread, because I was wondering about the strike and how the show is now playing out...

          If Dean had been saved, like originally the plan was... then he wouldn't have breaked the first seal. So I'm sure they would've still gone on with this whole apocalypse storyline, but Dean wouldn't have been carrying this guilt over breaking the first seal and all the things he did in hell...
          Of course, Dark!Sam would be going the same route with Ruby...

          But I do wonder what would've been different. Kripke claimed to have a 5 year arc planned out up beforehand, but the writers strike has changed some pivotal moments in the show.

          Now they are claiming in episodes that a destiny can't be changed, acting like Dean going to hell, their parents falling in love, was all inevitable...
          I just re watched the season 2 ending, and it just doesn't feel so pre destined, not like this. Not with the way Dean made that deal, and with Jake killing Sam, where that was not YED's plan...

          I don't know... what do others think of how the show is playing out and what the influence of the writers strike is on the later seasons?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rosely View Post
            If Dean had been saved, like originally the plan was... then he wouldn't have breaked the first seal. So I'm sure they would've still gone on with this whole apocalypse storyline, but Dean wouldn't have been carrying this guilt over breaking the first seal and all the things he did in hell...
            Of course, Dark!Sam would be going the same route with Ruby...

            But I do wonder what would've been different. Kripke claimed to have a 5 year arc planned out up beforehand, but the writers strike has changed some pivotal moments in the show.

            Now they are claiming in episodes that a destiny can't be changed, acting like Dean going to hell, their parents falling in love, was all inevitable...
            I just re watched the season 2 ending, and it just doesn't feel so pre destined, not like this. Not with the way Dean made that deal, and with Jake killing Sam, where that was not YED's plan...

            I don't know... what do others think of how the show is playing out and what the influence of the writers strike is on the later seasons?
            To be quite honest, I am at a point where I wished S3 had played out as originally planned - with Sam saving Dean, but going dark side in the process. We know from interviews that Sam's story would have pretty much played out as it was in S4 (although probably without the addiction storyline), so mostly Dean's story would have been affected, and I really could have done without the whole Dean-the-torturer storyline, especially since Dean's post-hell arc was handled so very dissatisfactory in my opinion. In the end Dean going to hell didn't really fulfil its full storyline potential, and that is regrettable.

            Also, looking at how the whole angel plotline played out so far, I wished it would have never been added to the show. Not that I didn't enjoy quite a lot of aspects of the angel mythology, but overall I feel that it buried the mytharc under massive inconsistencies and retcons. The implications of 'My Bloody Valentine' really only were the final nail in the coffin for me. Personally, I am a huge fan of the YED - and I still think he's the best villain the show ever had - and I am extremely disappointed how his complete storyline is undermined by the angel mythology.

            Now, obviously we have no idea if S4/5 would have been better (however we define better for us personally) if they had followed an 'original' S3, but from my current standpoint it might have. I mean, I am pretty sure that Lucifer/the apocalypse have been part of Kripke's original 5 year plan anyway - Dean's long conversation with Casey in 'Sin City' suggests as much - only the way there would have changed.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by galathea View Post
              To be quite honest, I am at a point where I wished S3 had played out as originally planned - with Sam saving Dean, but going dark side in the process. We know from interviews that Sam's story would have pretty much played out as it was in S4 (although probably without the addiction storyline), so mostly Dean's story would have been affected, and I really could have done without the whole Dean-the-torturer storyline, especially since Dean's post-hell arc was handled so very dissatisfactory in my opinion. In the end Dean going to hell didn't really fulfil its full storyline potential, and that is regrettable.
              Yeah, I agree. I really wish that season 3 had gone on like the original plan too. The fact that Dean tortured souls in hell... it's disgusting, but it could even work out IF they gave it a bit more depth, a bit more story like how he's dealing, in stead of always just shutting it out. But him not only being a torturer but also with that being the start of the apocolypse (breaking the first soul) and knowing that his father didn't give in in a 100 years...

              "How do you get up in the morning?"
              "that's a good question"


              And it is, cause how does he get up? And where on earth can he possibly still get the strength to keep fighting? It's a bit surreal to imagine that he's that strong to keep fighting.

              Also, looking at how the whole angel plotline played out so far, I wished it would have never been added to the show. Not that I didn't enjoy quite a lot of aspects of the angel mythology, but overall I feel that it buried the mytharc under massive inconsistencies and retcons. The implications of 'My Bloody Valentine' really only were the final nail in the coffin for me. Personally, I am a huge fan of the YED - and I still think he's the best villain the show ever had - and I am extremely disappointed how his complete storyline is undermined by the angel mythology.
              I do like Castiel, and surely how he developed, but the way the Angel story is playing out, really does suck. And then them bringing up the YED again in flash backs, with In the Beginning and And the song remains the same, trying to act like it was all a plan from the beginning, is just not believable.
              If Sam and Dean were supposed to be vessels all that way, then what?
              The YED was there just to screw up their childhood, getting them torn in their family, torn their relationship as brothers, so that they would be a good parallel to Lucifer and Michaels torn brotherhood?

              Now, obviously we have no idea if S4/5 would have been better (however we define better for us personally) if they had followed an 'original' S3, but from my current standpoint it might have. I mean, I am pretty sure that Lucifer/the apocalypse have been part of Kripke's original 5 year plan anyway - Dean's long conversation with Casey in 'Sin City' suggests as much - only the way there would have changed.
              I'm not totally displeased with how the show is overal, and I do like season 4 and also season 5. But the mythology and the way the show was set up in the first 2 seasons is changed in a way that I don't really like


              I guess their major mistake was to take a year as a year... and sure, they needed the big thing to be in the season finale.. but why not postpone that? Have the season finale in September.. or in June...

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              • #8
                Well, I'm a huge fan of S4 so I can't really imagine it being changed. I loved many, many things about that season and thought everything came together really well. I guess if most of it had just been transferred to S3 then that would have wound up being my favourite instead, but I don't think it was necessary or anything.

                In regards to the Angel Arc -- I really enjoyed it in S4 but have grown tired of it in S5. I think they've just went overboard with it this season with all the "it was destined" malarkey and it's starting to get too convoluted and create too many inconsistencies. And it kinda feels like the writers have bit off more than they can chew because the world doesn't feel very apocalyptic which it really should at this stage. I think the YED worked better because of its emotional resonance with the Winchester family and because, let’s face it, it was a more simplistic story. Not in any way too simplistic and it certainly had its dense mythology and layers, but it didn’t go overboard.

                We also need to see more of Lucifer. The Angel arc is a bit all over the place and I think they need to spend more time fleshing his character out and having him interact with the brothers. The best villains are the ones who have a strong connection somehow to the protagonist, like the YED, but right now Lucifer lacks presence. I quite like the Horseman mythology but I'd get rid of it in a heartbeat if it meant we had more scenes with Lucifer instead. As it stands I'm totally apathetic to his character.

                Overall I've been quite pleased with how S3 and S4 turned out and it's only really S5 that I've had strong issues with, but I don't think I can really blame that on the Writers Strike. They just need to reel the Angel plotline back in, work on building up Lucifer, and make the world feel more dire. That's my recommendations, anyway
                vampmogs
                Slayer Supporter
                Last edited by vampmogs; 17-02-10, 10:35 PM.

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                • #9
                  A random question but was Ruby always destined to be evil? Or did they only decide on that for definite after the strike?
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Vampmaster View Post
                    A random question but was Ruby always destined to be evil? Or did they only decide on that for definite after the strike?
                    According to Kripke it was always planned for her to be evil, and that she played a long-con on Sam.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks Galathea
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                      • #12
                        i would've done something about that bela bitch. i hated her so much and she got what she deserved at the end but it bugged me how every time she showed up she made the brothers look stupid.
                        Arlo: You're just jealous
                        Chloe: yes you're right i really want a coworker to be all perverted about me please look at my ass as i walk away.

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