Procrastinators Roundup, Part 2: Supernatural

Season 10!  Not bad for a show that ended its first season not knowing if it’d be renewed.  As with any show of this longevity, Supernatural‘s seen good times and bad.  How is season 10 stacking up?

[Note:  I started this post prior to episode 1003 airing, therefore, my thoughts might be somewhat outdated.]

Supernatural: Bl/Ack  (1001)

The “Ack” in “Black” does not stand for Ackles, although the title does refer to the new color of Dean Winchester’s eyes.  Nope, my variant of the episode’s title is an indication of my impression of the season premiere. The episode felt like the first of a tw0-parter, with a troubling ending.  The end result was an fulfilled evening

Dean sings karaoke, badly.

Dean sings karaoke. Badly.

Crowley had his very own demon Dean, but Dean seemed more interested in making his own debauchery than in following the King of Hell to hell.  Castiel had Hannah, but their storyline didn’t add anything to episode.  (Other than to wonder why Cass wasn’t staying at the Men of Letters bunker.)  Sam was on his own (with a dislocated shoulder) until a guy named Cole showed up to kidnap and beat him up.  When Cole’s plan to lure Dean to Sam’s rescue didn’t work, Sam’s fate was looking mighty bleak.  And short.

So we had none of the patented Winchester brother camaraderie that makes this show so special, and not having it felt very uncomfortable.  Granted, it was supposed to feel uncomfortable, but that doesn’t make me like it any better.

Supernatural:  Reichenbach(1002)

Sam takes a bloody beating in the second episode.

Sam faces the fallout of Dean’s nonchalance.

Poor Crowley.  His plan for Dean backfired.  Instead of ruling Hell by Crowley’s side,  Dean was quite happy wreaking havoc in this world.

Over the years, I’ve often not been a fan of Dean’s in the early stages of the season.  I think it’s because the hiatus makes me forget the depths of Dean’s self-loathing, and all I see is the acting out.  It usually takes a few episodes to remember what a broken soul Dean is, at which point the empathy sets in.

This year, there was nothing subtle about Dean’s callousness.  The depths of Demon Dean were hard to fathom, especially when he gave Sam up for dead in the premiere.  Maybe Dean’s underlying resentment of Sam now had no social or emotional brakes, so it came to the surface in its most ugly way.

Except that things did get uglier, in the form of a hammer peen.

Soul Survivor (1003)

Sam got Dean back to the Men of Letters bunker and into its dungeon to perform the demon “cure.”  At least this time Sam used sanctified blood from a blood bank rather than his own.  But, as with most Winchester schemes, it didn’t go according to plan.

Mid-procedure, Dean escaped the Devil’s Trap and stalked Sam throughout the bunker with the intent of killing him.  Interestingly, Dean’s weapon of choice was a hammer rather than a meat cleaver, presumably because the hammer would be messier and more painful; with the added bonus of allowing Dean to continue to  beat the crap out of his brother even after death.  When Dean finally caught up with Sam, he attacked with the peen!  Thankfully Sam’s dislocated shoulder didn’t slow his reflexes.

Crowley seeks assistance from Castiel.

Unlikely bedfellows

Back on his thrown in Hell, Crowley was in a pissy mood without his boyfriend.  Deciding to cut his losses, he enlisted Castiel to reverse Dean’s demon status.  Of course, in order to do so, he had to kill an angel and give her grace to a reluctant Castiel.

At least this time Crowley’s plan worked.  Dean is now back to semi-normal status.  The demon is gone but the Mark of Cain remains.

For being excited about the new direction the show was going this year, the beginning was a bit disappointing.  I’m glad the Demon Dean storyline was wrapped up in the three episodes, because Supernatural without the Winchester brothers working together is not something I’m interested in.

It did give Jensen Ackles something different to work with.  The subtlety he had in being Dean, but not Dean, was excellent.  I’m not surprised.  If you’ve visited here enough, you know I think Jensen could be the Next Big Thing if given a higher profile role.  Hopefully the Mark of Cain storyline will give him something extraordinary to work with.

I don’t know where the season is going to take us, but unlike my early years of Supernatural fandom, I’m willing to let the writers take me on the journey.

13 responses to “Procrastinators Roundup, Part 2: Supernatural

  1. I think the writing staff has an unhealthy fascination with hammers this season. Cole was on the verge of smashing Sam’s kneecap with one last week, and now this.

    Demon Dean was a let down for me. Unless he’s not done being a demon. Time will tell, but I suspect we haven’t seen the last of evil Dean.

    • The writing staff has an unhealthy fascination with lots of the things! 😀

      Do you mean a letdown as in Jensen Ackles’ performance, or as a story altogether? If the latter, I totally agree. If the former, I think Jensen was great in the first two episodes, not as much in the third.

      i agree we haven’t seen the last of evil Dean. The Mark of Cain is going to be an issue. I hope the writers do the story justice.

      • Jensen’s performance was just fine, I was disappointed he didn’t get to act more like a demon. Basically, he was just Dean without the angst and guilt.

  2. I thought the underpinnings of the story were well supported. The duties for the being bearing the Mark of Cain require a complete lack of empathy and connection to humanity, and that’s what Dean had. Crowley had some of his humanity restored, and even though he seems to have “overcome” it, he’s still pining for something that he thought Dean could give him. I love Crowley even more because of his balance of evil (dusting the demon who dared to stand up to him) and non-evil (saving Cas so he could save Dean…and I think because he likes Cas, too 🙂 ).

    I actually liked Jensen’s performance in the third episode the best. Jared did a better job being both Demon!Sam and Soulless!Sam, IMO. But that’s probably more writing than acting. I think the writers wanted to explore this concept but knew it wouldn’t go over with the fans for very long, and kind of floundered with what to do with it. Dean having no purpose, evil or non-evil, is boring. And as you pointed out, of course, the boys being this far at odds is never enjoyable.

    I’m not a fan of really dark antihero stuff (ooh, who’s the worse monster? ugh) so if I hadn’t been a superdiehard fan of this show for 9 years, I’d have stopped watching. Looking forward to seeing where they’re going next! 🙂

    • Yeah, the “who’s the worse monster” was really stretching it.

      Your analysis of Crowley is great. Mark Sheppard has said he prefers the playing the nuanced Crowley (as opposed to the completely evil Crowley of a couple seasons ago). I think that’s why he’s been such a hit with fans. In fact, (the follow-on to TWoP) measures Supernatural on 7 or 8 factors, one of them being “Crowley is the best thing on the episode, per usual.” 😀

        • No idea who Badger is. But I gotta disagree with your last statement. He adds a lot to the show, but I don’t think he’s responsible for its longevity. 🙂

        • Badger is from Firefly. 🙂

          I didn’t mean that he’s responsible, but contributed to. He’s no more responsible than Misha Collins or Jim Beaver are, individually, but all of them allowed the writers to add depth and creativity to the show that allowed it to exist for 10 seasons.

          i don’t think it’s coincidence that seasons 1-4 we were biting our nails every May, wondering if the show would be canceled, and since then, it’s been a no-brainer for renewal. It hasn’t been as good in later seasons, but characters like Crowley have helped a great deal, IMO.

        • I should have know it was Firefly. 😀

          We were biting our nails to see if Supernatural would be renewed? I wasn’t. Not because I didn’t care, but because I was sure it would be. 🙂

        • Well you were the only one! LOL The end of season two, when he says “we’ve got work to do” and they close the trunk? Was full circle to the pilot, so it could have been a series finale. The show was on the bubble every year until probably the end of season 4, and I *think* by that year it was a sure thing but not announced until Upfronts. Then it got renewed early a couple of seasons, and no-brainer from then on.

  3. Pingback: Procrastinator’s Roundup, Part 4: Terrific Tuesday | SciFi Chick (s)

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