Mark Watches ‘Supernatural’: S11E22 – We Happy Few

In the twenty-second and penultimate episode of the eleventh season of Supernatural, I DID NOT EXPECT THIS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural

I’ve had (a lot of) issues with season eleven, with its inconsistency, with its refusal to commit to the things written into canon, and with its repetitive nature, so I suspect that’s part of the reason that this last batch of episodes has felt so exciting. I wouldn’t say it’s a return to form because that phrase feels loaded and it doesn’t properly describe how I feel. But finally, after spending an entire season wandering about, Supernatural is now giving me a story about the end of the world that is starting to feel like the end of the world.

There are a number of things accomplished in the script for “We Happy Few” that contribute to that. One of the reasons Supernatural came off as stale this season was its reliance on characters who aren’t given any growth at all. Specifically, Rowena and Crowley haven’t grown or done anything interesting in a long while. It’s frustrating, especially in the case of Rowena, because these characters have so much potential to do interesting things. However, the writers always see them as agents of chaos and nothing more. They exist to double cross and betray others and it keeps the plot moving forward, often times in ways that feel artificial. Hell, that’s the perfect word for this: plot twists associated with these characters are artificial. They feel written instead of natural occurrences within a fictional world. It’s like you can see the writers knocking characters off the table and cackling. “DEAL WITH THAT,” they say!

Anyway, I’m glad that in a small way, this is dealt with in “We Happy Few.” When Crowley tries to rally the demons to his side to lead a coup against Lucifer, they just laugh at him. They even point out how pathetic Crowley has been most of this season! I don’t know if this is Robert Berens way of acknowledging that Crowley must do better, but hey, it at least amused me. The same goes for Rowena, who is openly made fun of by Clea, a character I wish we could have gotten more of. Remember when this was a show about American folk lore? That first scene in Clea’s house made me wish that in an alternate universe, Supernatural was an intense serial about backwoods magic and lore. I wanted Creole magic. Appalachian mythology. I WANTED SO MANY THINGS JUST BECAUSE OF CLEA. But like Crowley’s demons, Clea really serves one purpose: to point out how far Rowena is from doing anything significant. It’s Clea who urges Rowena to take up Sam’s offer.

Meanwhile, every scene with God is just THE BEST. Honestly, y’all, ever since “Don’t Call Me Shurley,” the God scenes make me feel like I am getting a rare chance to watch a show that isn’t Supernatural. These scenes are intense, beautifully acted, and contain some of the best writing in the series. We got a chance to watch LUCIFER confront GOD about being forsaken! I know it’s fiction, and I know it’s absurd, but I was speechless during the scene because it was so goddamn good. HOW WAS THIS HAPPENING ON OUR SCREENS? How had this show managed to craft a scene where God apologies for punishing Lucifer and not make it a giant mess?

But let’s also acknowledge that “We Happy Few” contains one of my FAVORITE tropes ever: enemies forced to work together to defeat a MUCH BIGGER ENEMY. The show gives us a beautifully edited sequence where Dean and Sam vocalize their plan, all while the show keeps cutting to the future conversations they’ll have with Rowena and Crowley in order to convince them to team up. There’s an honest-to-gods montage here that is so cheesy and cliché and I literally do not care about it. It works! It works so well within the context of the story being told, and I loved it!

Even then, I assumed the penultimate episode would be a set-up for the big finale. Why would I assume otherwise? The show has done that plenty of times before, and we all knew that the confrontation between God and Amara was the final battle. I expected maybe a betrayal or a double-cross from Rowena or Crowley, and one was given to me, and then WAIT. WHAT. THE FIGHT WITH AMARA IS HAPPENING NOW? In one of the most genuinely surprising moments of the whole season, THE BIG BATTLE HAPPENS IN THIS EPISODE. Rowena unleashes the power of her coven on Amara, hurting her long enough to allow the angels to smite her. Then, the demons, including Crowley, join the fray, and it is CHAOS, and Amara is CLEARLY INJURED and then Lucifer STABS HER with… something? What was that thing? Did I miss the part where they discussed that?

Look, I’m also impressed with this episode because I wasn’t exactly thrilled about Sam getting the Mark. We’ve already seen him soulless and got Dean with the Mark, and I figured it would just be more of the same. However, everyone underestimated Amara’s utter hatred of being caged away, because SHE NEARLY KILLS GOD, and she takes back the Mark, and now they all have nothing, and is Lucifer dead? Like really, really dead??? Will Castiel get any sort of story or resolution in this season?

At the very least, I appreciate this because it eliminates possibilities for the story that I was tired of. It’s shocking in a way that doesn’t feel artificial. Amara has no desire to return to her cage, and this was her showing it. So… now what?

The video for “We Happy Few” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

I am now on Patreon!!! MANY SURPRISES ARE IN STORE FOR YOU IF YOU SUPPORT ME.
– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Death Note and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
– Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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