SleepyJane just asked me what my thoughts were on the fourth season of Supernatural, and I'm sorry to say it opened the floodgates.

I haven't written about Supernatural lately because I have some severely mixed feelings about it.  As everyone knows, I adore this show.  Which makes it extremely painful for me to admit that I'm... shall we say... less than impressed with the current season.

The first episode, 'Lazarus Rising', brought my favorite Winchester back from hell and introduced the main premise of the season - demons, angels, and the apocalypse.  It was a strong opening, and I was excited about the first few episodes... until it slumped into a downward spiral with poor writing, angsty angels, and a gradual loss of the well played family drama between the two brothers, which was one of the factors that turned Supernatural into one of my favorite shows.  I don't mean their reversal of roles, or their growing animosity towards each other - I know exactly where the writers are going with that - but it lacks the delicate writing and balance that the show has previously displayed through three whole seasons that made their relationship feel so realistic.

There were a few truly great episodes here and there, but the majority of the season made me cranky and disappointed.

It didn't come as a surprise that the writers chose to take this season of Supernatural down a more traditionally biblical path.  After all, demons are common enough, why not bring a dose of the divine on in?  But the season's descent towards the traditional apocalypse, hell on earth, Lucifer rising, blah blah blah... To me, it shows a departure from the unique, and a complete lack of imagination.  It's been done before.  Again and again and again.  

When 'On The Head Of A Pin' aired, I thought it was one of the most intense and well written episodes of the season.  I was wary of the subject matter, since Dean is brought in to torture a demon (and I have some strong feelings on torture in the media), but it was beautifully written and flawlessly acted by many of the people involved.  I allowed myself to get excited again.

Then.... 'It's A Terrible Life'.  An episode that could have been much funnier than it was, and seemed to point to the fact that the writers were having trouble creating any kind of plot device without angels being involved.  Still, I kept my hopes up.

'The Monster At The End Of This Book'.  Last week's episode.   I couldn't have been more disappointed.  It started out humorous, not too bad... a filler episode.  Then.... a prophet?  Protected by an archangel?  Puh-leeeze.   

This twisting of the show to become so Christian/apocalypse themed bothers me because Supernatural has always skillfully walked a line between the unique and the traditional, and this is just.... lazy.  Unimaginative, cookie cutter, bland.  The writing has suffered in more ways than one, and honestly, if Jensen Ackles wasn't around constantly proving that not only does he have a pretty face, he can act, I can honestly say I would have thrown in the towel and given up on the show.  

I'm not looking forward to the Sam vs. Dean season finale.  And honestly, I'm not particularly looking forward to season 5.  I am glad that although the series has definitely been renewed for a 5th season, word is that there will not be a 6th.  Supernatural is running out of steam, and it's painful to watch the show slip into mediocrity, where it does not belong.

To be perfectly fair, although I'm derisive now, my opinion may change slightly when I have a chance to watch the season back to back on DVD without the long breaks  between new episodes.  It may flow better.  It may not be as bad as I think.  But from where I stand right now... I doubt it.

I'm sorry, oh faithful Supernatural fans, but I did say this would be opinionated.  What do you all think?