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[Note: I started this post prior to episode 1003 airing, therefore, my thoughts might be somewhat outdated.]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