“Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!” is officially the worst Supernatural episode to ever air.
Yes, even worse than “Swap Meat” (5.12).
It’s unfortunate that my first Supernatural episode review for DefectiveGeeks happens to be a negative one. The truth is, season seven has been amazing so far. I had dismal expectations after the trainwreck of season six, but the premiere knocked me off my feet and pretty much every episode following that has been great. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve watched “Hello, Cruel World” (7.02), and the continuity has been making me so incredibly happy. The show finally has a sense of history again, with all its references to early seasons.
I had already been bracing myself for another cringe-worthy foray into ~meta~ (sarcastic tildes required) when the title of the episode was released. “Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!” — I could practically hear the writers high-fiving themselves from here.
But while all the other ~meta~ episodes have been self-congratulatory, unfunny, awkward, and only mildly insulting, this one went ahead and obliterated any lines left to cross. At best, it was an extremely uncomfortable and ultimately pointless episode; at worst, it was offensive, harmful, and demeaning.
Here’s the thing: Rape isn’t funny. Not in any context, even if it’s “only” attempted rape.
Throughout the course of the episode, Becky drugs Sam multiple times, knocks him out with a waffle iron when the roofies start wearing off, drags him to a cabin in the woods, takes off his clothes while he’s unconscious, ties him down to a bed so he can’t escape, and gags him so he can’t call for help.
The fact that the rape is never actualized (and thanks for throwing us that bone, writers) doesn’t make it any less horrible. The intent is there, and I am really not sure how the audience was meant to interpret any of this. Does it somehow make it less awful because the perpetrator is a lonely, delusional fangirl? Am I supposed to laugh and go, “Yep! That’s totally what I would do if I met Sam Winchester in real life!”
By trying to explain and rationalize Becky’s actions — She was picked on in high school! Nobody understands her! Her boyfriend dumped her! — I get the sinking feeling that we are actually meant to sympathize with her. Sam even tries to comfort her at the end of the episode, assuring her that one day, the “right guy” will find her.
It’s nice to know that my self-worth will one day be validated when the right man comes along and decides to rescue me from my lonely, pitiful existence. Until then, I guess I’ll just continue to write “I ♥ Sam” in the pages of my diary.
You are 27 years old, Becky. Also, don’t you have a job or something?
Because let’s be clear about one thing: Becky represents the Supernatural fandom. The writers have gone out of their way to make that abundantly obvious. Becky’s behavior and rationale, while grossly exaggerated for humor, are a reflection of how the writers view this show’s fandom, at least in part. So even if the writers enthuse about how wonderful the fans are and how we’ve become a great big family, this isn’t lovingly poking fun at how “dedicated” we can get. This is taking a previously harmless (if slightly annoying) caricature and turning her into someone delusional and dangerous. Someone willing to drug, abduct and molest a man in order to save face at a high school reunion and who feels like a “loser” because she doesn’t have a hot boyfriend.
By having Becky redeem herself and reconcile with Sam at the end of the episode, the writers are suggesting one of two things. Either it is reasonable for a grown woman of sound mind to think and behave this way, OR it is admittedly unhinged, but since she did the right thing in the end, it’s all water under the bridge.
Hey, your boyfriend dumped you. It’s totally understandable.
“The right thing,” in this case, is saving Sam’s life. By killing a man. But let’s just ignore all the implications of that and pretend it’s totally normal for a someone to stab another person and go, “Whoa!” instead of “OH SWEET JESUS I JUST KILLED A MAN.” After all, we’re talking about the same woman who seriously considers selling her soul to keep Sam in a non-consensual relationship for 25 years. (It’s not rape if they believe they’re willing, right?)
The episode could have kept the same basic premise and made it infinitely better by acknowledging just how horrifying it is, owning the Misery parallels completely. But by using a ~meta~ character and trivializing rape in an attempt to make it funny, it only succeeds in alienating the fanbase and offending on just about every level.
“Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!” was written by Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin, the duo also responsible for some of my least favorite episodes of Supernatural: “Yellow Fever,” “Jump the Shark,” “I Believe the Children are our Future,” “Family Matters,” and “The Girl Next Door,” to name a few. Reoccurring motifs of Dabb & Loflin episodes include awkward dialogue, poor characterization, weak plots, and even weaker jokes. Also, they threw away Dean’s amulet for no good reason. (No, I will never get over it.)
NEVER FORGIVE. NEVER FORGET.
When all is said and done, this episode is essentially pointless. Nothing is progressed in the story or in the characters. Crowley’s brief appearance, while a welcome reprieve, is just an excuse to dump a bunch of exposition in a minute of dialogue, none of which makes any real impact. DJ Qualls’ character is amusing enough, but again, serves little purpose. Dean has hunted on his own countless times before now, so I’m not sure why he suddenly needs a partner — much less a partner that’s oh-so-hilariously inept at being a hunter.
To be fair, I might have been more readily accepting of the comedic relief if I wasn’t so distracted by how gut-wrenchingly appalling this episode was. Unfortunately, not even the combined efforts of Mark Sheppard, DJ Qualls, and Jensen Ackles in a sweater vest were enough to rescue this atrocity.
The tiny islands of not-terrible in a sea of oh-god-what-am-I-watching.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be spending the rest of my life pretending this episode never happened.