Sunday, October 19, 2014

Supernatural: “Black” recap and review

by Kayla Kenney, Writing Intern

CW's Supernatural redeemed itself in season ten’s premiere. Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki still portray the brooding, evil-hunting Winchester brothers after nine years. Sam (Padalecki) flipped to the dark side plenty of times, but now, Dean’s (Ackles) turn arrives. Will demon Dean fight for his baby brother?

Season nine left viewers hanging from a massive cliff. Dean awoke with pitch-black, demon eyes, and the credits rolled. The premiere kicks off with a demon strung up and tortured. She mumbles on about how the rumors are true — a Winchester is “one of us.” You suspect Dean tortured her. Then, the camera pulls out to reveal Sam. An icy-blue “Supernatural” shatters--the newest title sequence. 

Four weeks later, Sam continuously hunts for Dean. The usual amount of book flipping and internet searches only leave him with a note from Dean saying, “SAMMY LET ME GO.”  Then, he stumbles upon an article. He calls up Castiel (Misha Collins). Cas reaps the benefits of his stolen angel grace. And the two determine that Dean might not be “Dean” anymore.

Cue Dean drunkenly singing “I’m Too Sexy” karaoke in a dive bar.  There, he and Crowley (Mark Sheppard) pass time.  As usual, Dean beds the local waitresses. Unusually, he expresses his anger more often through bar brawls.
Photo by Chris Frawley/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. via Getty Images
After Dean’s inner, carefree wild side springs to life, the episode shifts back to Castiel. A fellow angel, Hannah (Erica Carroll), visits him. Of course, she wants a favor. She convinces Cas to track down rogue angels with her.

Meanwhile, Sam’s article finally brings him useful information. Using a classic, false identity and fake badge, he recovers videotape coverage of a gas station murder. The murderer happened to be Dean.  Naturally, he browsed the porn aisle. Then, a demon attacks him out of nowhere. The act appears as self-defense.  But Dean takes the defense to a brutal extreme. Sam slows the video down frame by frame and sees Dean’s demon eyes for the first time.

Simultaneously, another demon hurls himself at Dean. Dean suspects Abaddon (Alaina Huffman) followers are after him, because he killed her last season. However, Crowley is the man behind the deed. He wants to rule Hell with Dean as his right-hand man; Dean refuses. 

Castiel and Hannah search for their rogue angels. Along the way, Hannah notices Castiel’s failing grace. To live, he needs to kill an angel. However, he despises the thought of gaining any more angel blood on his hands. He plays mediator between Hannah and one of the rogues they find. Cas sees the lure in humanity. Hannah only sees the rules of Heaven. Cas forces the three of them to sit down and talk it out. Just as the conversation gets somewhere, another rogue comes in and mucks it all up. She and Hannah fight with their angel blades. In the end, Castiel kills one to protect Hannah. Castiel tears himself in two. He understands how the rogues yearn for humanity, yet he knows the importance of Heaven’s rules. This seems to be an infinite struggle for his character.

Sam finally contacts Crowley and tracks the call. This call directs him to his brother at long last. But, along the way, he hits a roadblock.

Season ten introduces an intriguing new party to the cast. We know he’s fought his way through some big battles. We don’t know why he’s hunting Dean. He goes to great lengths to capture Sam, just as he is on the road toward Dean. This new guy phones Dean. He threatens to kill Sam, if Dean doesn’t show up. An extremely out of character Dean doesn't run to save his little brother. He simply states that he will find and kill this guy someday.

The season opening gives Dean a new arc and new direction. Ackles’ character needed something. The change goes directly against his typical brooding-hunter style. The stagnant guy who saved people, hunted things, and always protected Sammy got boring. Now, his inner demon is brought to the surface. It’s bad. Drunken, heartless, and full of rage, Dean no longer comes to Sam’s rescue. Bogged down with predictability before this, Dean’s lack of savior-mentality is anything but sad. Now, Sam needs another change. His scrunched-up face of frustration shows up much too frequently to be taken seriously. 

The show manages to keep you hooked with new aspects, and ideas, each and every season.  Who is this guy that’s hunting Dean now, and why is he doing it? With this new character in play and Dean’s not-so-Dean attitude, the premiere is a great example of why the show’s lasted for ten seasons. 
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