I'm half-awake, so I'm going to blame the codine if this sounds stupid or weird.
I was having a depressing discussion with luminare_ardua
earlier on how well SPN's S5 stands up when critiquing it from an apocalyptic fiction standpoint. Bottom line: Not particularly well.
It got me thinking how different S5 would have unfolded if they made a bigger statement with Lucifer in 5x01. Really big. Like maybe Luci persuaded
some of those in control of the Big Red Buttons O' Doom and start, but not fully complete, MAD
. Basically made the season like "The Road Warrior" with monster fighting meets "Jericho". Which, tbh, this season as it currently is (hence, the budget) wouldn't have needed that much
tweaking to make it that way. It would be pretty much as it is now (though likely less funny eps), except the people they meet more panicky/upset/desperate due to immediate problems like avoiding fallout and communication breakdown. Topped off with whatever supernatural crisis the victims were facing. Gave a deeper personal emotional resonance to the story, even if the victims are strangers. Then increased the tension of every place they go until it hit boiling point in the finale (when food, meds, gas and *le gasp* toilet paper start getting scarce) and they're about to make that final showdown with Lucifer. Though - due to that considerably increased conflict - every case would have had to have a more direct connection to the Apocalypse/stopping Lucifer and as soon as possible, most likely. Which... would have been really welcomed, actually.
I'm not as versed on apocalyptic fiction as some folks I know, but I always thought that the core of most apocalyptic storylines is the human condition. How does one survive in such a horrific situation. The journey either being tragic, an agonizingly slow collapse until the inevitable dark end (Threads
or Level 7
) or hopeful in the face of incredible adversity (Alas, Babylon
), sometimes a jarring mix of both (Children of Men
). SPN's S5 is still about the human condition, but, to me, in not a particularly different way than it has been since Kripke had realized the humanistic story is where this show's strength lies (way back at the end of S1). So, for a basic SPN season, S5 hasn't been terrible, but as an apocalyptic story, something that I thought should have considerably upped the ante on the humanistic story already in place? Eh.