Big announcement! TNT begins airing season 8 episodes of Supernatural this Thursday, October 10. Yay! Now, on to the top five of the first half of season 7.
#1. Time After Time (712)
I love time travel, and Supernatural does it well. It’s usually about the fate of the world and our heroes’ destiny, but that wasn’t the case here. Rather, the drama was a bit more straightforward—gank the monster and get Dean back to the present. It was about two brothers working towards the same goals in two different eras, with some funny and heartfelt moments along the way.
Nicholas Lea made a terrific Eliot Ness. Plainspoken, unemotional, he was the straight man to Dean’s wisecracks and movie innuendos. He wasn’t encumbered with the usual hunter-associated baggage. He was simply trying to make a difference. His ‘boo-hoo” speech to Dean was spot-on for an age when men didn’t discuss their feelings. They were too busy fighting and dying in a war.
The homages to Bobby were touching. In 1944, Eliot Ness had his Bobby in the way of Ezra Moore. In 2012, Sam and Jody enjoyed some Johnny Walker Blue while Jody wistfully wondered what might have been.
Yep. I think 5 stars is appropriate.
#2. Meet the New Boss (701)
The episode was better than I remembered. But damn! Sera Gamble really knows how to ruin a good character.
[And now we move into the present tense. I don’t know why. Past tense just doesn’t sound right.]
Castiel becomes the new God, but he’s more wrathful than benevolent. Even Crowley’s afraid of him! The Winchesters must stop him before he destroys the planet, but how do you kill God?
Only Death can kill God, so Sam, Dean and Bobby use a spell to bind Death to them. You know I love Julian Richings’ version of Death, so the confrontation between Cass and Death is particularly entertaining. But before Death can kill Castiel (on Dean’s orders), Cass unbinds Death. Talk about a standoff!
Death explains that Castiel absorbed not just souls from Purgatory (at the end of season 6), but also the first beasts God (the original) made. These beasts, the Leviathans, were so destructive, God shut them in Purgatory to keep them from eating the planet. Now they’re roiling around inside Cass, ruining his vessel.
Death tells the Winchesters Plus One they have to remove the souls from Castiel. It’s all quite complicated, but Death helps by creating another eclipse. Fortunately, there’s enough of Castiel left in his vessel to regret his actions and agrees to the spell. I was surprised everything went so well (having not watched this episode since it first aired). Except, of course, it didn’t.
As if that’s not bad enough, Sam is having hallucinations of Hell. Lucifer tells him he’s really still in the cage; he just thinks he’s escaped. Lucifer says it’s his best torture yet.
The Supernatural writers must have some really dark brains. Where do they get their crazy ideas for torture? Because the meathooks and the choking chains and the idea that freedom (and reality) isn’t tangible are really scary. Bizarre-o brains!
#3. Hello, Cruel World (702)
What raises this episode above average is the brotherly bonding, when Dean shows Sam what is real (by pressing on his wounded hand). When I first saw the scene I remember thinking it’s been a long time since we’ve had one of these moments. It’s what makes this show so great.
Hey look! I’ve already reviewed this. At least I’m consistent.
I’d forgotten this episode ended with such a cliffhanger. Bobby’s missing, Dean has a broken leg, Sam is seizing, and the boys are headed to Sioux Falls General Hospital, where the Leviathans have taken over. Makes me kind of sad I didn’t record the follow-on episode. Oh wait, that was “The Girl Next Door.” Nope, not sorry I didn’t record it.
#4. Slash Fiction (706)
And the Sera Gamble destruction continues. This time, it’s the Impala. Even Jensen Ackles complained! (And he’s not a complainer. Hell, he’s had second billing for eight years, even though his name is alphabetically first and he’s been featured a bit more than Jared Padalecki.)
I’m surprised this episode gets 4 stars, but I found it highly entertaining. It features nearly everybody: Bobby, Jody, Crowley; it introduces two new characters: Frank Devereaux and Dick Roman; it even has two Sams and two Deans! (I love watching Jared and Jensen do variations of their characters, and this was no exception.) All that, and we finally learn how to stop a Leviathan. Not to mention a possible budding romance. Oh wait. Sera ruined that, too.
I was just about to anoint Robbie Thompson as my new favorite Supernatural writer, but then realized he also wrote “Bitten.” Another bit of trivia, John F. Showalter also directed Sleepy Hollow‘s “For the Triumph of Evil…”
#5. Death’s Door (710)
Oh dear, I recorded “How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters” instead of “Death’s Door,” so there’s no rating.
The only things I remembered about “Death’s Door” were the story of Young Bobby and his abusive father, and the Reaper coming for adult Bobby. When I read the transcript of the episode on the Supernatural Wiki, I discovered there was a whole lot more to the episode. Too bad I missed it this time ’round. Maybe it was 4 stars, but since I’d forgotten much of it, maybe it wasn’t.
And with “Death’s Door,” the Sera Gamble destruction of Supernatural is nearly complete. Thanks for nothing, Sera.
– Teleplay by Sera Gamble; directed by Robert Singer
– TV Fanatic fan rating 4.5; IMDB rating 8.1; TV.com 8.7