reviewed by Tom-Tom
Supernatural is one of the most enduring TV series currently on television now. It constantly freshens up the stakes and risks. It isn’t afraid to kill off any one or both of its main characters and throw them screaming into Hell, Purgatory, or even Heaven. It takes big, biblical themes featuring angels, demons, and monsters, strips them to their roots, removing them of anything preachy or overtly Satanic, relying solely on the lore of the beings and places them in big plot arc after big plot arc. It’s smart enough to make fun of itself every now and then with a spoof episode, and clever enough not to try to outspread its reach. It’s been a long road which has featured the Yellow Eyed Demon, Lilith, Satan, Eve, Leviathans, Metatron, and Cain. It’s a show which began with the monster of the week formula with two handsome brothers driving around in a sexy American muscle car and has expanded to encompass its own universe.
At the heart of Supernatural are two brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles). Their mother was murdered by a demon when the younger Sam was just a baby. Their ex-military father John researched all about the supernatural from people called Hunters. Hunters are a sort of loose confederacy of folks rather than a tight network of like-minded folks who search for strange murders or occurrences which may have their origin in ways not of this plane of existence and stop them. They will often pose as law enforcement to gain access to evidence and corpses so as to dispose of the threat quicker. Their tools involve silver, salt, wrought iron, dead man’s blood, wooden stakes, daggers dipped in lamb’s blood, and holy water. Their enemies are many. Shapeshifters, werewolves, vampires, ghosts, ghouls, demons, rogue angels, witches, and various other creatures from American urban legends to South American fat suckers to Japanese yohkai.
Sam and Dean are such hunters. In addition to the default hunter arsenal, they have a demon blade which can kill demons instantly and angel and archangel daggers which can eliminate heavenly hosts with a stab to the mid-section. They also have oddly friendly relations with the current King of Hell Crowley (Mark A. Shepherd) and an aloof angel Castiel (Misha Collins) who is still coming to terms with angel/human relations. Crowley speaks with a biting Cockney accent and has some of the most funny and memorable lines on television. Castiel speaks with a rough, deep voice, wears a tan trench coat and is very literal most of the time. He has an appealing innocence about him and is sometimes manipulated into doing terrible things out of his hope to save the future.
In Season 10 of Supernatural the two brothers are separated. Dean had been killed by the devious angel Metatron (Curtis Armstrong) in the finale of Season 9 and was reborn as a demon thanks to the Mark of Cain, which he receives from, well, Cain himself (yes that Cain) to defeat the villainous Knight of Hell Abbadon in the same season which the help of the First Blade, the weapon fashioned from a donkey’s jawbone into reputedly the first murder weapon in human history. It’s a weapon which can kill anyone and anything only when wielded by one who has the Mark of Cain. Dean spends the first episodes of Season 10 as a demon, singing crappy karaoke songs, bedding babes left and right, and getting drunk. He also has been at work eliminating the rest of the Knights of Hell who mysteriously find him over and over (with a little help from buddy Crowley).
Sam has been on his own quest in looking for Dean. He makes use of a method discovered towards the end of Season 8 to combat Dean’s demon side and things are solvent for a while until the Queen Mother of Hell arrives. Castiel is busy tracking down rogue angels with fellow heavenly warrior Hannah. Having lost his angelic grace at the end of Season 8, Cas is running on the fumes of the grace he stole from an angel he killed last season.
Sam and Dean search desperately for anything that may possibly cure him of the Mark. Secret uneasy alliances will be formed and a certain red-haired hacker (Felicia Day) may just come back for fun and games. Along the way, the brothers will encounter a school musical in one of the funniest self-referential episodes in the entire series, Fan Fiction. The Mark of Cain arc gets a bit tedious at times and one remembers the taut, 18 Episode 3rd Season where every minute was a countdown to Dean falling into hell. The current 23 episode season fleshes things out without offering much else to chew on than a young man Cole (Travis Aaron Wade) who is after Dean to avenge the death of his own father, murdered by the Winchester when Cole was a boy. I was hoping Cole would become a Gordon like character (the rival hunter from Seasons 1&2 who was out for Sam’s blood) but alas.
The witch Roweena (Ruth Connell) is a pleasant addition to the Supernatural cast. Her sultry attire, red hair and charming Scottish accent are quite appealing. We seem to get a new redhead babe almost every season since Season 7! Charlie, Abbadon, and now Roweena. For some reason, Roweena reminds me of the mother-in-law in the old TV series Bewitched in the way she does her makeup.
Towards the end of the season, we get introduced to a sort of anti-Men of Letters group, the Styne Family who are a secret organization from one of the “oldest European families.” Which family I found to be super corny but they are interesting hard to kill enemies with Cajun accents and fine clothes to match.
Much is revealed in the final two episodes of the season about the Mark of Cain and the danger which will face the Supernatural universe in Season 11. I look forward to the new season with a sort of wary anticipation.