Supernatural S07E23: "Survival of the Fittest"
No one except card-carrying members of the Becky Larson Fan Club would call Supernatural's seventh season the series' best, and most would admit that Season 7 isn't even in the show's top five. With that said, my anticipation going into Friday's finale, "Survival of the Fittest," was about as high as my anticipation for a trip to the grocery store! A cool grocery store, at least. With food samples and stuff. And a bar.
Booze would've been a good thing to have on hand for "Survival of the Fittest," a disjointed hour of television that threw everything at us (kind of like Season 7 as a whole!). But that's not to say it didn't have its entertaining moments, because the finale hit that sweet spot where humor and horror have babies, something Supernatural does better than any other show right now.
With both the blood of an Alpha vampire and Castiel's juice in hand (as obtained over the last two episodes), there were only two things left to acquire for the assembly of the Dick Stabber, the magic weapon that could kill Mr. Big Leviathan Dick Roman. Sam and Dean had no problems grabbing the bone of a righteous person from a mausoleum filled with rotting nuns, and Crowley gave his blood willingly because he was pulling a double cross on Dick Roman or maybe a triple cross on the Winchesters or a quadruple cross on us because can anyone tell me what the purpose of the all this hubbub about multiple crossing was if the initial double cross on Dick Roman didn't even really matter? Dick signed Crowley's comically long agreement, but he would have been a fool to trust Crowley and vice versa. Eesh! It just seemed like some pretty unnecessary scheming, if you ask me.
Dick's plan to zombify America through tainted corn syrup was in full swing, and his agreement with Crowley would have given demons full reign over Canada, which is a raw deal because I hear Canadians are actually full of gravy due to all the poutine they eat. That Dick really wanted America for himself because Americans are fat, he said. I suppose we're all supposed to rally around Dick's anti-American sentiment, but he's got a point. Did you know that America actually sinks into the Earth because of its obesity? True story. But that's how Dick likes it, and he actually concocted a new type of corn syrup that targets skinny, smart people and kills them, and even brought in a dainty blonde girl in her underwear to sacrifice as an example.
Castiel also returned, though his mind was mostly on lipstick-wearing monkeys. It was a good thing he came back, though; since he'd once served as a condo for all the Leviathans, he was the only person who could tell the real Dick apart from the clones made from the original non-Leviathaned Dick Roman's severed arm. You know, typing that, it seems really silly. So that ended up being Castiel's excuse to join the fight—and it was pretty much only that, as the multiple Dicks served no purpose except to give Castiel a reason to show up.
Probably the biggest waste of the episode was everything Bobby. Here we had one of Supernatural's most beloved characters pretty much just occupying space until he could be written out of the show in a way that was a qualified as a proper send-off. So what did the writers do? They made him a pissed-off ghost who possessed a roach hotel maid until everyone realized he would be better off ghost-busted into ghost heaven. It wasn't exactly a happy ending for Bobby, who deserved a lot more... or at the very least, some purpose in sticking around after being shot by Dick. Is this how Bobby is to be remembered? Ugh. Not cool, Supernatural.
But we still need to talk about the final fight! After finally getting the Impala back (another character that's been hosed all season long), the Winchesters, Cas, and Meg assaulted Dick's Sucrocorp headquarters. Well, technically it was just Meg who "assaulted" the evil corporate lair, showing off some sick driving skills to the tune of "Born to Be Wild." Nothing like some Dad Rock to get yer motor runnin' before you hit the highway and crash through a corporation's extremely shatter-y sign. I guess she was just a diversion, because next thing I knew, Sam, Dean, and Cas were inside the heavily secured building. That's one way to get them in: Just cut to a shot of them inside!
The dispatching of Dick was actually relatively easy, given all the build-up. It went something like this: They found him in a room, Cas gave the thumbs up that it was actually the real Dick, Dean stabbed him with the Dick Stabber, except it was a fake Dick Stabber, but then he stabbed him with the real Dick Stabber. I still don't know why Dean needed a fake Dick Stabber, but I guess it made the second stab THROUGH DICK'S NECK (awesome!) that much better. Dean said they needed to "catch Dick off guard," but stab number one was pretty much a direct hit so I'm not sure the effort to make a fake Dick Stabber was really worth it. There was lots of extraneous stuff in this episode, guys.
And that was it! Dick was dead. But because Supernatural was renewed for an eighth season, we needed to leave on some sort of cliffhanger. After Dick exploded into black goo, Cas and Dean both disappeared as a side effect of the weapon. Okay, Supernatural, I'll play along. It turned out that using a Dick Stabber sends its wielder (and his nearby companion) to Purgatory! So we left Season 7 with Sam confused, Crowley mobilizing a demon army, and Cas and Dean in monster-filled Purgatory, where Cas promised they'd be torn to shreds.
"Survival of the Fittest" got the job done in the most average way possible, finishing up Season 7 with a sudden conclusion to the season-long Leviathan storyline shoehorned-in cliffhanger to give us something to anticipate in Season 8 besides more of Sam's "acting" faces. Bobby got totally screwed, and now I will forever remember him as a grumpy ghost instead of the awesome father figure he was for six-and-a-half seasons. "Survival of the Fittest" brought the laughs, but what it needed was more of the emotion or suspense that Supernatural has done well in the past. There was a huge opportunity to achieve that with Bobby's farewell, but the show was too busy shooing him off stage to capitalize on it.
– HUGE apologies for not getting to last week's episode. Pre-Upfronts news was breaking all around me late last week and this week, and that occupied all of my life for several days. Next year, I will make sure I clone myself for this time of year. For the record, I though last week's episode had a lot of the same problems as the finale.
– Cas was on fire all episode with all kinds of great cracks. "Do we need a cat? Doesn't this place feel one species short?"
– I actually started to enjoy the Leviathan plan of turning America into a feed lot, but the way it was built up all season long was pretty sporadic and just plain weird. Had the arc been better developed and unfurled, Season 7 could have been a lot better.
– Seriously, WTF with the Bobby stuff? Not cool, Supernatural.
"Survival of the Fittest" cleaned up the mess of Season 7 by wrapping up the Leviathan storyline, and gave us a hint of what's to come in Season 8. There were plenty of funny moments, so it wasn't a total loss, but the Bobby situation was a disaster that ticked me off. I'm still wondering what the point of making him a ghost was. Just extending the goodbye? Ugh. (I've also placed the previous episode, "There Will Be Blood," in the rankings!)
1. "Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie" (Episode 14)
Sam and Dean investigated mysterious deaths around a kid's pizza-and-games party house. Unicorns farting rainbows, ball pit sharks spraying blood, and octo-vamps giving fatal hickeys made this a fun episode.
2. "Party On, Garth" (Episode 18)
A Japanese ghost can only be seen by drunks, Garth returns, and Mr. Fizzles the sock puppet! But we finally learn the truth about what Bobby is up to in the afterlife.
4. "Death's Door" (Episode 10)
Bobby fought for his life and delved into his past as he tried to deliver a message to Sam and Dean from beyond the plane of the living.
5. "The Mentalists" (Episode 7)
More standalone fun as the brothers investigated murders in a town full of psychics.
6. "Reading Is Fundamental" (Episode 21)
Academic Asian stereotype Kevin became the prophet as Sam and Dean got instructions on how to kill a Leviathan. Plus, Cas came back!
7. "Meet the New Boss" (Episode 1)
Castiel got all righteous on those who didn't respect The Good Word, and it was great.
8. "Repo Man" (Episode 15)
The brothers visited a man they saved from a murderous demon four years ago, and Lucifer blabbed Sam's ear off.
9. "The Girl With the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo" (Episode 20)
Sam and Dean got a lesbian hacker to sift through Dick Roman's emails and Bobby ghost-pushed a lot of people.
10. "Born-Again Identity" (Episode 17)
Sam ended up in a mental hospital after too many chats with mind-Satan, and Castiel returned to smite and then get left behind.
11. "Adventures in Babysitting" (Episode 11)
Sam and Dean coped with Bobby's death and met a fellow hunter's young daughter.
12. "Out With the Old" (Episode 16)
A tale of cursed ballerina slippers became a story about a Leviathan real estate agent.
13. "Of Grave Importance" (Episode 19)
Sam and Dean headed to a haunted house, where Bobby learned a thing or two about ghosts and finally became visible to Sam and Dean.
14. "Survival of the Fittest" (Episode 23)
Season 7 finale! Dick got stabbed, Bobby got burned off, and Dean got zapped to Purgatory.
15. "Slash Fiction" (Episode 6)
Two Leviathans disguised themselves as Sam and Dean and took off on a cross-country shootin' spree!
16. "There Will Be Blood" (Episode 22)
Sam and Dean get some Alpha vampire blood to create the Dick Slayer.
17. "The Slice Girls" (Episode 13)
Dean had a one-night stand with an Amazonian lady, and Sam took Dean's Daddy card away.
18. "Hello, Cruel World" (Episode 2)
The Leviathans set up a buffet at a hospital after spreading into the water supply.
19. "Time After Time" (Episode 12)
Dean traveled back to 1944 and battled the God of Time with Eliot Ness.
20. "How To Win Friends And Influence Monsters" (Episode 9)
Hyperadrenalized cannibals and stoner sandwiches! Dick Roman's plan was sort of unveiled! And Bobby got shot!
21. "The Girl Next Door" (Episode 3)
Via flashback, we saw Sam's first kiss... with a monster! Then Dean killed her.
22. "Defending Your Life" (Episode 4)
Dean went on trial before Osiris because of the guilt he carries. Jo came back to blow him up!
23. "Season 7, Time for a Wedding" (Episode 8)
Too. Much. Becky. Larson.