Supernatural meta, reviews & fic recs

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.

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5 responses

  1. You make a pretty persuasive argument. But unfortunately, other than me adding Bob Singer’s name to Carver’s in my occasional rants, it doesn’t really change anything. If anything it makes me lose even more hope that the show will get better because while I can see Carver being replaced I’m pretty sure Bob is here to stay.

    December 9, 2013 at 10:41 am

    • A friend recently said that she’s still watching because she doesn’t want Jared and Jensen to go through this alone. It’s like sitting vigil at bedside. We’d all like think that things will get better, but there’s no indication that tptb are listening or inclined to change direction. I’d like to think that Jared and Jensen did some good when they met with Carver and the writers, but they’ve already signed contracts for S10, so I don’t know how much influence they have. It really is too bad they don’t have producer status. They should — especially Jensen who clearly has a firm grasp of the characters and what makes the show work.

      December 9, 2013 at 11:04 am

  2. Teresa

    Are you sure Jensen is signed through season 10? And I have suspected Singer as the culprit in canon trashing – his wife and his protege (Jenny Klein) are two repeat offenders. I remember Kripke’s story boards – and I wonder if they even know where they are going this season. I like Kripke’s new show Revolution, but sometimes I wish it would get cancelled so Kripke would come home to Supernatural bringing Edlund (Carver can stay as a writer! He’s a good writer – so is Sera Gamble).

    December 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    • My understanding is that both Jared and Jensen have signed for another season.

      Gamble and Carver are good writers. Kripke is seriously missed as a writer on the show too. Singer apparently has far too much control over the show, and he’s running it into the ground. I haven’t seen Revolution. I’ve heard mixed reports on it, but it would be a great day if Kripke came back to fix things.

      December 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm

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