Season 5 was a disaster. But then so were Seasons 4 and 6. I think it was clear they were trying to recapture the success of Season 3 (their high rated season) without fully understanding what it was that made 3 so popular. // Honestly though, s3 wasn't the most popular because it was the best. 3A was popular because it was coming off the long hiatus after 2 when it got a ton of hype on tumblr from the Sterek fans. All the official show stuff was hyping Sterek too and that was just (1/3)
after s8 of SPN when a bunch of fans starting jumping ship due to the queerbaiting and some stuff that was said by cast and crew (myself included). So we all rushed to TW as some kind of bastion of slash shipping and the hope of having it go canon. And then 3A kind of turned out to be a mess, but it was the first messy season we had gotten, so we all thought that things we’re going to get wrapped up and made sense of during 3B. (They did not.) Also 3A despite not making a lot of sense (2/3)
still gave us plenty of Sterek moments so we all tuned back in for 3B. 3B pretty much killed Sterek, but a lot of us kept watching just because DOBs acting was amazing, even if the actual plot didn’t make much sense. (Again. Still.) So it wasn’t like those seasons were actually GOOD, they were just still riding the tails of the first 2 seasons and the naive hopes of shippers. DOBs acting and the few Sterek moments we got were pretty much the only good thing about them. (3/3)
Oh, I was in no way saying Season 3 was the best written season, but it was absolutely the most popular. Season 3 is definitely when the plot holes began to get a lot bigger, a lot faster. But what Season 3 also had was crazy good momentum–both with the Alpha Pack and the nogitsune–so that carried it through. It was really only when it was over and you could catch your breath again that you realised how flimsy the entire thing was.
But 4, 5 and 6? All compounded the errors of Season 3, but lacked the pacing and energy to hold it all together.