This past year, I was introduced to an incredible show. I somehow didn’t even know it existed, and now I don’t know what my life would be like without it. It satisfied my appetite for so many things I look for on television: creativity, a strong musical element, drama that doesn’t take itself too seriously, inside jokes, and a solid show using mixes of science fiction, horror, and the paranormal.
Supernatural just wrapped up it’s 10th season, leaving fans with way more questions than the ones that were answered when the Mark of Cain was finally removed from Dean (Jensen Ackles). Much like earlier in the series when Sam (Jared Padalecki) nearly died to close the gates of hell, saving a Winchester’s life can have universe-altering consequences. So here’s what we’re asking ourselves as the stakes are raised going into season 11.
1. Is Rowena now the most powerful character on Supernatural?
We haven’t known Rowena (Ruth Connell) long, but there’s one thing that’s been apparent since we met her: she doesn’t care about the long term effects of her magic. Maybe she didn’t know that taking the Mark of Cain off of Dean would open the universe to “The Darkness,” as Death (Julian Richings) explained. But then again, given the power at her fingertips, even if she had known, it’s doubtful that she would’ve cared.
The chess match of stakes and terms in which Sam brokered a deal with Rowena to use the Book of the Damned to cure Dean of the Mark didn’t go well for the Winchester’s. Sam appeared to get the upper-hand when he chained Rowena to the location in which she translated the necessary spell, but he had to give up too much to get her to hold up her end of the bargain: Charlie’s life, his friendship with Crowley (Mark Sheppard) because he had to try to kill him, Dean’s humanity, Dean’s relationship with Castiel (Misha Collins) because Dean found out what was happening behind his back, nearly Sam’s own life, likely the concept of Death, and now The Darkness returning to the Earth.
When you think about it, maybe it was better if Dean had finished Sam off so Death could’ve banished Dean for the sake of the the universe… but what fun would that be?
Still, we’re left with Rowena wielding the oldest and most powerful book known to man. She was so powerful that she was able to command an angel to kill the King of Hell with a mere twitch of her finger. What role she plays in season 11 is left to be seen, but whatever realm is available as The Darkness swallows the Earth, she could be in line to rule it.
2. Is “The Darkness” a personified concept or just an abstract threat?
The Darkness sort of reminded me of The Nothing from The Neverending Story, except that in Supernatural, something like The Darkness is rarely devoid of character. There’s usually someone playing a personified being and, more often that not, if that being is powerful enough, they have minions that do their bidding. Look at Death: he can be summoned, is quite powerful especially given that he’s older than time itself, and has reapers that work for him.
If The Darkness is personified, I can’t wait to see who they get to play it. Since the start of the series, Supernatural has done an incredible job of bringing on character actors that have developed incredible chemistry with the rest of the cast, so much so that in a relatively short amount of time you couldn’t imagine the show without them.
Oh, and speaking of Death…
3. Did Dean really kill Death?
Death’s fate is the most open-ended question left from the season finale. It seems like it would be impossible to kill Death. It’s literally a redundant statement of redundancy. But Death is one of the horsemen of the apocalypse and earlier in the series, during the apocalypse, other horsemen died. War died, but wars still exist in Supernatural. Pestilence died and there is still disease. Famine died and people still go hungry.
But it could also be that, in the case of Death, someone still must wield the sickle. And that someone could be Dean. After all, it was him that used it to kill Death and he’s already carried the Mark of Cain.
Dean the new Death? I think we could all get behind that. More on that awesome possibility in a minute.
4. Will Crowley live?
He’d better. That’s all I have to say and fans would universally agree.
Crowley is as complex and interesting a character that exists on Supernatural, but the last thing we saw him do onscreen was brace himself as a possessed Castiel prepared to sink a blade into him and kill him. You don’t get to be the King of Hell without knowing a few tricks. It’s likely that Crowley was shocked at Rowena’s newfound power. He’s familiar with her tactics and has certainly dispatched his share of demons and angels, so it seems like a false cliffhanger to pretend like he’s about to die…
But we still have to wonder. Would Supernatural really go so far as to kill off another popular character? It’s never stopped them before. And if you watch Supernatural, you know that no one is ever really dead.
5. Will this be bigger than the apocalypse?
It’s hard to believe that the stakes could get any bigger than Dean possibly devolving into Hell’s most powerful demon or heaven vs. hell, but Supernatural is really going for it with the storyline likely to dominate season 11: The Darkness vs. everything, and we mean EVERYTHING: the Earth, heaven, hell, and everything in between.
What we’ve seen over the years in Supernatural lore is the constant battle between good and evil, with more complexities than it would seem on the surface (Metatron, anyone?). But The Darkness threatens all of that. It threatens existence, itself. If there are no souls to fight for, no Earth to control, then there is no point in fighting each other, and the only possible answer is to band together to ensure that there is still a universe to control.
We’ve seen Castiel and Crowley work together to help Dean, and while one is literally trying to kill the other at the end of the episode, we could see that unity extend to an even greater extent. Imagine Lucifer coming back to help the Winchesters with a Darkness he fought once before. Imagine Metatron negotiating his release and helping both angels and demons using God’s knowledge of creation to suppress The Darkness.
With heaven and hell needing every able soldier in the fight, could we see them tap hunters to help Sam and Dean, like, say… John Winchester and Bobby Singer. That may sound crazy, but those two have made many posthumous appearances on the show and, if this is the final season, why not go out with a bang?
Boy we can’t wait until the fall when we finally get the answers to these questions.
Photos courtesy The CW