Supernatural post-Kripke: Who is really in charge?
Reflecting on the past couple seasons, I can’t begin to say how disappointed I’ve been in the Carver Administration. I realize that it has a lot to do with how optimistic I felt when it was announced that Jeremy Carver was coming on board after the dismal Season 7.
Carver after all was the guy who wrote Mystery Spot and gave us what many fans call “robo!Sam.” I’ve never cared for that term personally because it implies that Sam was emotionless upon losing Dean in MS. He wasn’t at all. It was just that his pain and grief and desperation buried the empathetic Sam we’d come to know. It made him a ruthless hunter who was willing to kill anyone to get his brother back. Be that as it may, I thought that was the perfect set up coming out of S7 with Dean missing and Sam once again alone.
I couldn’t have been more wrong however. Rather than hunter Sam intent on getting Dean back, we were presented with a character who was pretty much unrecognizable, and the only explanation of his behavior was that his world imploded and rained down around him. He turned his back on Kevin, on hunting, and on finding Dean. Who was this guy? Instead of showing us how Sam got to that emotional/psychological place, Carver showed us Sam meeting a woman with whom he had zero chemistry and playing house with her. It was surreal and unsatisfying.
Some fans, those who don’t like Sam on good days, either accepted this scenario with their usual criticism while others had to tie themselves into pretzels to explain this bizarre behavior. After months of outcry, Carver arrogantly said that fans would just have to accept Sam’s explanation that he just didn’t look for Dean to which many fans responded, No, we damned well don’t, and whatever goodwill Carver had as the new showrunner dried up and blew away like the husk of dead cicada.
According to interviews with Carver and Robert Singer, the two of them had met pre-season 8 and hashed out ideas about where the show would go. In later interviews, Singer talked about how he liked the idea of Sam seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. As interviews appeared throughout the season, it became clear that Singer is far more involved in the storyline than one might think. Rumor has it that he was in charge for the last half of S7 as well, and I wonder to what extent Carver isn’t showrunner in name only. Singer has huge influence given that his wife, Eugenie Ross-Leming, is also a writer and executive producer.
So, maybe I’ve been too hard on Carver. I think there is reason to believe that Singer is the guiding force behind the direction the show has taken since Kripke left. He is the one constant at the top. As far as I’m concerned unless proven otherwise, the buck stops with Singer.