Season 5 (part 2) – Salvation

Season 5

Dramatic Structure:

Has 3 areas of concern:

Let’s take a look at that…


Season 5 expresses this positive theme through:


This “salvation” usually comes in the form of:

  • Protection
  • Redemption


“Protection” is when one character is trying to save another. Give them salvation from harm.

We see this in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 5. Buffy and her friends spend the season protecting Buffy’s little sister Dawn, from the inter-dimensional god Glory. Glory is stranded in this dimension, banished from her homeworld, and Dawn is the key to going home. However, to use Dawn as her ticket home, it requires a blood sacrifice (sacrifice, Animals!), that will kill Dawn and unleash the Apocalypse. The entire season is spent hiding Dawn, providing her salvation from this fate. “Protecting” her.

The Shield – season 5. Internal Affairs has got enough evidence on Lem to put him away, but they want the entire Strike Team, especially Mackey. They try to flip Lem but he’s not having it – he’s loyal to the end. Lem spends the season protecting the rest of the Strike Team from going to jail. For better or worse. He is actively providing salvation for his friends. Protecting them.


This is a different type of “salvation.”

Our characters feel they need to make up for some great transgression, or flaw. They feel the need to redeem themselves. And once they do, they will finally reach some kind of salvation.

This plays a large role in season 5 of Dexter. At the top of season 5, Dexter blames himself for his wife Rita’s death. As he should, he wasn’t innocent in what happened to her at all. He struggles with his guilt. But when he meets Lumen, he feels he’s found a way to use his special set of skills in service of finding some kind of redemption.

We see something similar in season 5 of Supernatural. At the end of season 4, Lucifer was freed from his prison – the direct result of Sam breaking the last seal. Now freed, Lucifer is trying to bring about the Apocalypse and everyone is blaming Sam for making his escape possible. If Sam and Dean can stop the Apocalypse, if they can put Lucifer back in his box, Sam can redeem himself.

So when crafting your season 5, be sure to pay attention to this theme of salvation. You can explore it however you choose. But commonly you’ll see it expressed as protection, and redemption.

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