Good God, bad God

SFX - - Viewscreen -

UK Broad­cast E4, Wed­nes­days 10pm US Broad­cast The CW, fin­ished Episodes Re­viewed 11.01-11.23

With The CW starry-eyed over the suc­cess of its slow­burn­ing cult phe­nom­e­non and sea­son 12 al­ready green­lit, things are look­ing good for Su­per­nat­u­ral’s long-term fu­ture. We could sound a word of warn­ing about the fact that a huge chunk of the cre­ative team have an­nounced they’re leav­ing, how­ever – es­pe­cially showrun­ner Jeremy Carver, who gave the show a kick up the arse when he re­turned to the fold in 2012 – but we’ll just cross our fin­gers and hope that the magic stays firmly in place.

In the mean­time we can look back on a mostly suc­cess­ful sea­son 11, es­pe­cially the ex­tra­or­di­nary “Baby”, an en­tire episode shown from the per­spec­tive of the Winch­ester broth­ers’ iconic Chevy Im­pala. Else­where there are all the usual in­no­va­tive crea­tures and en­ti­ties, in­clud­ing a fan­tas­tic take on imag­i­nary friends in “Just My Imag­i­na­tion” that ended up nom­i­nated for a Hugo, and the re­turn of Lu­cifer, who’s as much fun as ever.

But things get re­ally good in the sea­son’s fi­nal four episodes, which rein­tro­duce Rob Bene­dict’s cud­dly Chuck Shur­ley as God Him­self. Just imag­ine the sheer amount of balls-out guts it took to write a scene in which God and Lu­cifer sit down and have a dis­cus­sion about their be­hav­iour – an au­thor­i­ta­tive dad vs a grumpy child. Just wow.

One thing doesn’t quite work, though: Amara, aka the Dark­ness. Mak­ing God’s sis­ter the sea­son’s an­tag­o­nist was a crack­ing idea, but from then on the writ­ers were ham­strung by the fact that... well, she’s God’s sis­ter. She’s weak at first, yes, but once her pow­ers kick in she could have de­stroyed every­body in her path with a mere thought; in­stead we get her mess­ing around with some spooky, mind-con­trol­ling fog and re­peat­edly fail­ing to take down the Winch­esters (ap­par­ently be­cause she’d fallen for Dean... yawn).

Amara gets there in the end, how­ever, and you can’t deny the idea of God be­ing fright­ened is pow­er­ful. It’s just an­other one of those bravura, ground­break­ing con­cepts that have made Su­per­nat­u­ral such a plea­sure over the years, and this sea­son is no ex­cep­tion. Jayne Nel­son

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