Supernatural Review: "Family Matters"
This episode, “Family Matters,” wasted no time in revealing that Sam had no soul.
I’m glad this answer wasn’t dragged out. Instead, it finally explained why he’d been acting so indifferent. It also confirmed that Sam wasn’t possessed or simply acting like a jerk. He’s still Sam…... technically.
Because Sam is the more emotional and caring of the two brothers, he is the perfect character to lose his soul. He has become the polar opposite of his human personality. I do wonder that if Dean had been the one to lose his soul, though, would it have been as easy to realize that something was wrong with him?
It’s great that Jared Padalecki doesn’t recycle his Lucifer portrayal and instead demonstrates his acting ability by playing a detached and dispassionate Sam. When he unbound himself from the chair to explain that he wouldn’t be locked up, he did it with no anger, zeal, or much of anything.
It’s about as indifferent as you can get in such a serious moment and he played it fantastically.
Unfortunately, Dean revealed the biggest flaw of having no soul. A person’s instincts are completely absent. Sam didn’t suspect anything wrong or shady with Samuel. He had no gut feeling and therefore couldn’t think about right or wrong. Yet, the moment also illustrated the strength of the brothers' bond. Sam listened to Dean and decided to work with him in order to find out Samuel’s fascination with Alpha creatures.
One of them, the Alpha Vampire, questioned the boys, “Where do creatures go when they die?” I enjoyed Dean’s response of “Legoland.” However, the true answer divulged is Purgatory. After already focusing on Heaven and Hell, this is a great new mystery to bring to the show. Why is it such an important place?
The Alpha Vampire, who reminded me a lot of Hannibal Lector, also revealed two other interesting facts. He’s been building an army because a war is coming. Wait, a war with whom? Secondly, even though he was the first of his species, he stated, “we all have our mothers.” Is this “mother” the creator of all monsters or simply of the vampire race? Is it an angel, demon, god, or something entirely new?
If those moments weren’t enough to satiate your storyline hunger, it was Crowley’s confessions that brought all the characters to the same knowledge page.
Crowley, currently the King of Hell, was the one that pulled out Sam and Samuel Campbell. He is also the one controlling Samuel’s strings and having him search for Purgatory. Why he wants it isn’t clear, but I’m sure it can’t be good for anyone. And because Crowley is the only one who can retrieve Sam’s soul, he now holds power over Sam and Dean to do his dirty work. He is fiendishly brilliant.
The final moments of the show illustrated Dean with a great human emotion: compassion.
Even though Samuel betrayed the brothers, Dean chooses to let him go. Sure, I laughed when Sam chose the option to shoot his grandfather, but, remember, he doesn’t have a soul. As much as I’m sure he was upset for the way things turned out, Dean chooses to let it go and focus on the real enemy, Crowley. I'm curious as to what was Samuel’s deal with that demon because I have a feeling it's going to effect the brothers somehow in the future.
So, after seven episodes, not much has felt like filler. For many who believed that Supernatural couldn’t go on after Eric Kripke stepped down as show runner, season six is strong and shaping up to be a great season. Keep these episodes coming!
Supernatural: "Family Matters"
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.