The Season 12 finale of Supernatural, “All Along the Watchtower,” stirred up some strong feelings among viewers. The audience was feeling pretty great after watching “Who We Are,” an emotionally fulfilling episode in which the Winchesters finally get a win. It felt good … maybe too good. Our joy melted away and turned to shock as we lost one beloved character after another in “All Along the Watchtower.” Say what you will about the tendency of Supernatural to kill off their characters, it was a riveting hour of television. Showrunners Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb took responsibility for crafting an episode that they knew would be controversial, with Singer directing and Dabb writing “All Along the Watchtower.” Continue reading
The midseason break left us clamoring for the return of Supernatural to find out what the rest of Season 10 has in store for us. “The Hunter Games” brings us back to the stories we visited in “What we Left Behind,” which are: What the hell is the Mark of Cain doing to Dean? What is Cas going to do about Claire? What does Rowena want, and what will Crowley do about it? We don’t get all the answers, but we do get to dig in to a very satisfying episode of Supernatural.
“The Things We Left Behind” touches on serious themes as Supernatural reaches its mid-season finale. The undercurrent of this episode lies in how our families shape who we are. Though the importance of family in determining who we are and what we choose to do is one of the main themes of Supernatural generally, this episode takes it further by exploring how personal choices affect members of our family. We begin to see reflection on the consequences of actions taken by Castiel and Dean. Rowena’s impact on Crowley and the legacy it has borne starts to become more evident as well. There are things that our characters may have thought, or hoped, they had left behind, but this episode reveals what they still carry with them and what might not be so easily forgotten.
“Girls, Girls, Girls” had a few really good moments, though it is probably one of the weakest episodes so far in what has been an outstanding Season 10. Some of the best parts were a revelation (who knew we would become so attached to Hannah?), while other great moments were less of a surprise because of the consistently strong characters on Supernatural (you can always count on Crowley). There were several separate storylines occurring, which is not unusual on Supernatural since Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins have both become season regulars. The multiple storylines worked mainly because the narrative with Castiel and Hannah was so compelling. The scenes with Castiel and Hannah were also beautifully filmed, which we appreciate in a series with sequences that often take place in dimly lit rooms, dark alleys, the Impala, Hell, or purgatory. Even when Sam and Dean have visited Heaven the scenes were generally dark both in terms of content and images. Seeing the angels Castiel and Hannah in a beautiful, natural environment just feels right, a heaven on earth, as it were, and is a nice contrast with the demon Crowley in the gloomy, prison-like atmosphere of administrative Hell. “Girls, Girls, Girls” places Sam and Dean squarely into their traditional hunter roles.
The “THEN” montage at the start of the “Soul Survivior” indicates that the show may be an angel-heavy episode. Let’s hope this means the grace storyline gets resolved. After the exciting end to the last episode,“Reichenbach,” we wouldn’t have been surprised if “Soul Survivor” started with Sam laying dead on the road somewhere. Disappointed, sure, but not surprised.
We get right to business—the family business, opening with Sam preparing to cure Demon Dean. Dean is locked up in the Men of Letters bunker. It’s kind of impressive that Dean got him down there by himself. Those handcuffs are pretty amazing, but then again they did keep the King of Hell captive for a while.
The first episode of Season Ten of Supernatural helped us to get a sense of our bearings, providing opportunity for a lot of action as we move forward. The “THEN” montage concentrated on the end of last season and the previous episode, indicating that we will continue to focus on our current theme: Just how evil is Dean and what is Sam going to do about it? Though Supernatural stand-alone episodes are great, delving deeper into a season’s theme often provides a more intense viewing experience.