Since the start of Season Five we have been enjoying the reunion of our beloved, and not-so-beloved, cast of characters on the Walking Dead. Sure we have our favorites, but characters like Sasha and Tara still help round out the cast. Maybe we have some sort of childhood-driven complex, but we just like it when everyone’s all together. We feel safer with the group, despite Rick telling Carl in the episode “Strangers” (S05E02): “No matter how many people are around or how clear the area looks, no matter what anyone says, no matter what you think, you are not safe.” The departure of Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita, along with Glenn and Maggie—oh, and Tara, in “Four Walls and Roof” (S05E03) makes us feel a little less secure. Though the return of Daryl at the end of the episode made us feel a lot safer. Not safe like sleeping in the backseat of your parents’ car safe, but still pretty content. We were sure hoping that Daryl was going to have Beth with him, because who doesn’t love it when good things happen to boring people? Actually we came to appreciate Beth in Season Four, and we don’t want her to be left out by the group. It does seem like most of them, including her sister Maggie, seemed to have moved on without her. We thought it might be helpful for Beth to learn “How to Cope When You Feel Left Out.”
“Paper Moon” is a good old-fashioned Monster of the Week Supernatural episode. The boys’ development as hunters and brothers is shown during the opening montage. The reference reminds us why we love Supernatural so much: hunting provides excitement and suspense, while the characters’ relationships provide meaning and investment for the viewer. We get a chance to revisit Sam and Dean’s previous dealings with werewolves—mostly involving Sam or Dean killing them, but also showing how their relations with lycanthropes became increasingly complex over the course of their hunting career. Werewolves have been a staple of Supernatural’s terrestrial monster repertoire from the beginning.
There are several unresolved questions that Season Five of the Walking Dead has yet to answer: What happened to Beth? Will Bob survive, and does he even want to? How will the conflict between the cannibalistic Termites and Rick’s group be resolved? What is Gabriel’s terrible secret and will it affect the group? Will Rick take the group to Washington? If they get to Washington, what will they find, and can Eugene really end the virus?
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.
Season Ten of Supernatural—pretty impressive by any standard. By the tenth season, are our expectations higher than ever, or are we willing to accept whatever the boys will give us only because we are so grateful they continue to carry on? It’s likely a symbiotic interaction, with fans recognizing the immense potential of Supernatural, and the show responding in kind to the support and anticipation.