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During the season finale of Supernatural I had many feelings, especially with the way it ended, but since then the feelings have faded and I've been thinking. Not really a good thing, because my primary thought has been that if that whole ending was done so Jared could spend less time working and have more time with his family then I wish he'd just nut up and admit that. Honestly, I wouldn't hold it against him, because that would free me to walk away from the show without constantly wondering if I'm missing some bit of awesome Sam.
(This is especially sad for me after the CW finally decided to stop wasting their second highest rated show on Friday and announced it was moving to Wednesday. Sure, I figured that meant I'd have to give up Criminal Minds, but I was mostly okay with that because for the most part the last two seasons of Criminal Minds has been mostly lackluster, so I was thinking I'd rather be able to watch Grimm which I couldn't do while Supernatural was airing against it.)


Well, since the finale I've been having Xander flashbacks. Basically, I watched Buffy two and a half years longer then I really cared about the show itself, and I did that because I loved the character of Xander and simply couldn't bring myself to stop watching as long as he was a character on the show, and then how was I rewarded in the end for that Xander was not just sidelined as a character (for the better part of two seasons) but actually mutilated physically. And to be perfectly honest I just don't have the energy anymore to go on watching a show just because said show has a character I'm invested in, especially when I suspect the ultimate reward will end up looking/feeling a lot like Xander redux.
(Not that I'm against Supernatural having a "bad" ending, I'm just against the idea that Sam would be the only character to have a "bad" ending. If say both Dean and Sam die - I'm okay as long as it's both, and I'd be thrilled if it ended with both of them being turned in to monsters of some kind with no magical fix for it.)

Now I'm not ultimately upset because Dean and Sam have been split up - I'm more upset because I suspect what is coming. Sam getting a partner that will try and push him out of being OCD Dean obsessed, and then I'll spend every episode wishing death on Sam's new partner (and it doesn't really matter who it is), but not just any death but death by Sam shooting them because they just need to shut up about all the crap they're spewing and let him get to the serious business of saving or joining Dean. And my greatest fear at this point is the show will bring back Mills for this, and I honestly do not want to spend any time seriously wishing for the death of Mills.

There are only two potential partners for Sam that would work for me.

One is, as I said in my review, Cass, but that's not possible since Cass was sucked away with Dean for some more of the same interactions. No, seriously, the people behind this show sometimes act like they get bored writing Dean and Sam because they've been there and done that, but with the way the finale handled the split the show is just set up for more of the same. We've seen Cass and Dean interact before (two seasons, really) and we've seen how Sam handles life without Dean (season three and four, plus there was a bit in one or two where Sam didn't care about how Dean was saved as long as Dean was saved - it was Dean that was all bothered that someone else died to save him), so it's not like they've set up anything new and different character interaction-wise with this finale. At least Cass and Sam having to work together to save Dean would be new character interactions that we haven't exactly seen before.

And that brings me to acceptable character number two, Crowley, though with this one I wouldn't want to see it all the time, but with Crowley being so stupid in the finale thinking Sam cared at all about Kevin there's a part of me that would like to see Crowley learn what the Trickster, Ruby, and Lilith learned before him - do not take Dean away from Sam, because without Dean Sam cares about nothing but getting Dean back. Plus there would be a nice little irony going on with this one - Crowley (of all people/demons) trying to get Sam to do the right thing - obviously with Crowley it would be for the wrong reasons, but it would still be a nice little twist to see Crowley trying to get someone (anyone) to do the right thing. Also, bonus here is that Sam could repeatedly shoot him in the head without it being fatal to the character as long as the magical colt is no where to be found.

Instead I suspect (worst fear for me) the show's gonna bring Mills and/or Charlie back to partner with Sam, and as I said I really don't want to end up wishing that these two characters would just die all ready so Sam can get back to being delightfully crazy over this whole Dean thing, but you know Sam's partner won't just allow him to wallow in missing Dean but will instead force him to care about Kevin, the leviathans, and all that hero crap. But also considering Cass and Dean are "partnered up" in monsterland I strongly suspect this show will not allow Sam to be alone - they're gonna try to shove a partner on Sam thinking that'll make the Sam fans happy. *sigh* I'm not even that eager to spend that much time wishing death on the character of DJ Garth, but out of the three potentials I'd be happier wishing death on DJ Garth rather then Mills and Charlie.

Then there's Cass and Dean being all partnered up, which doesn't excite me at all. Instead I'd rather Cass stay disappeared (or at least making friends of his own) while Dean roams monsterland hiding from monsters and possibly teaming up with Lenore and maybe even Madison while being bedeviled by Yellow Eyes and especially Alastair. Not to mention the potential of finding John and/or Mary there. But I suspect it's unlikely dead demons will be there, and I certainly don't expect the show to reveal that John and/or Mary is there, but I can hope until the show comes along and totally shits on said hopes. Instead what I suspect is that Bobby will be there and so as expected the eight millionth end of Bobby was once again not the actual end of Bobby instead he'll be there teaming with Dean while more interesting past characters are no where to be found. And, hell it wouldn't surprise me if Bobby ended up being the one to get Cass and Dean out cause that's just how this show tends to roll.

So, yeah, the ending of season seven really all around leaves me cold, despite the fact that there is some potential there for eight to be good - I think season seven shit on me so bad that I'm sorta as a protective measure refusing to get my hopes up and instead expecting the worst. So, much so that unlike when the CW first announced the schedule change I am now planning to at least watch the first couple episodes of Criminal Minds before Supernatural returns - I wasn't going to start watching Criminal Minds because if it's good enough then I wouldn't enjoy missing the rest, but now I almost expect Criminal Minds to remain my Wednesday show while Supernatural is the one that gets left behind.

So, there it is my feelings out of the way, and having wrote it out I realize that I really am considering giving up the show not just having a knee-jerk reaction. Though I will probably at least watch the first episode of season eight, but if I even suspect it's going to play to my worst fears then I'm out.
I find a lot of shows start having trouble when they hit season 7-8.
NCIS is a prefect example. Season 7 bit monkeys with a few good episodes and the finale was terrible and I gave up on the show.
Like you the only reason why I watched Buffy after season 5 was for Xander who rocked the season 6 finale.
Hopefully SPN won't go that way.
I'd love to have hope Supernatural won't go that way - I'd like to think a new showrunner coming in will get things back on track. But then said new showrunner still has to deal with/clean up the mess season seven made. But even then we don't know whether or not the new showrunner even thinks there's a mess that needs cleaning up.
(Which brings Rowling nightmares back, because she didn't realize Book Six made a mess of certain things so she didn't bother to have book seven clean that up.)

But seriously looking back the entire story of season seven was designed to replace Sam with Cass, and by the end sure enough Sam is out. Now granted I didn't see it all along, but after that finale it's easy to look back and see that's exactly what happened. Sam has hell aftermath - Cass comes along grabs that so now the crazy story is his because Sam is fine.

It was a slow enough build that I didn't see it all until after the finale, but now after that finale it is crystal clear that is exactly what was going on, and now a storyline I should be excited about (Dean and SAM in monsterland) holds nothing for me because I have no interest in the Dean Cass show.

I did not start watching this show to see Dean and his pet Angel (or the Angel and his pet Dean - depending on your POV) go off having adventures - I signed on because I was promised screwed up brothers hunting monsters, which is why despite Sam being my favorite character I don't have much interest in watching Sam off having adventures without Dean. Of course, I very much doubt season eight will offer much Sam, because that would defeat the purpose of replacing Sam with Cass, so again nothing about the set-up for season eight has anything to offer me.

As for NCIS I admit I've only watched an episode here and there, but I have seen other people around the net saying the same thing you have, so maybe you're right and some shows just can't handle going on and on.

(And, yes, Xander rocked the season six finale, but it wasn't really worth me staying around and watching two years of show, especially since Xander's big moment was pretty much forgotten two/three episodes after it happened anyway - just like Sam's hell trauma started strong then was almost all but forgotten until it was needed to be given to Cass.)