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Supernatural

Supernatural Review: A Price to Pay

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There's definitely a new vibe in the Supernatural air.

It's pretty easy to stack seasons one through five as the first saga of the series. Season six was the first new step at attempting life after the near-apocalypse and the introduction of showrunner Sera Gamble, where season seven tried to revert back to formula but seemed to meander about.

But with season eight, things feel much more focused; the Winchesters are at the forefront, and the hunt to close the gates of Hell initiates a distinctive direction. It's as if new life has been sparked into the show and maybe new showrunner Jeremy Carver was just the trick.

It certainly made "What's Up, Tiger Mommy?" an enjoyable and solid follow up to the Supernatural premiere.

Lauren Tom on Supernatural

There may not be the heavy-handed end of world stuff or bad guys who are just unbeatable, but the stakes felt real, they felt close to home - and they called the brothers to action.

These felt a lot like the Sam and Dean from the early seasons. Granted, Dean has a cutthroat PTSD thing going on and Sam, while it's great to see his Latin incantations haven't slacked, is seeing a world beyond hunting every day.

Still, the boys are working together and getting things done without their big breakups or "I worry about you" speeches.

Wonderfully, the flashbacks allowed for essentially two stories to be told simultaneously, permitting for the one-year gap to be filled in while corresponding to a specific present time moment. We got to see Sam and Dean experience life apart without having to suffer the episodes of actually separating them.

And Dean's flashbacks are rich in bloody detail, getting down to the gritty side of survival and allying oneself with a monster. It's obvious his thought process has passed over in the interrogation room and his willingness to cut the possessed Mrs. Tran.

Which does bring up the interesting point of the brothers having everyone around them die. They may save the world on the larger picture, but at what cost in the smaller? Numerous friends around them have met their untimely end and it makes sense for Kevin to just want to get away, especially with Dean's new attitude.

Is Dean really okay with tossing those to the wayside that aren't so called valuable? Is that what that final Castiel flashback showed?

Yes, Castiel did return and looked homeless and dirty, but full of concern for his friend Dean, even if he did run away. These guys have a great, but tumultuous relationship, and it was sad to see Castiel talk about protecting Dean by pushing him away. I'm liking that the door on this story is continuing to open ever so slightly and I'm curious to see how else Purgatory affected the two.

Yet, it was Kevin's mom that really brought the fun sass of the episode.

Not only was she willing to sacrifice her soul for her son, but she was quick-witted, putting the boys in their place and smacking Crowley. Mama Tran took no time in becoming a great character that could have easily been overdone. And did perhaps Dean have a crush on her?

And the fun continued with the use of Thor's mighty hammer. Not only was it a cool mention but Sam got to wield it and get rid of that weasly character who had the 5/8 virgin blood. I wonder what else was on that auctioning block.

Of course, Crowley - with all his moose jokes and bidding with the moon and a nude Mona Lisa - managed to continue his new sinister attitude. He's becoming more than the charmingly delivered one-liners and showing that he's going to get down and dirty when it comes to the tablet. The Mama Tran takeover, with cool red smoke, had a comatose effect on her and I know the King of Hell is just getting started. Even dropping that hint about knowing who Kevin's "real" father is?

Crowley is slowly proving that he is the big bad to be reckoned with.

Which is just another reason why Supernatural is headed back in the right direction. Things are developing, the plot is moving and you care about the characters (even the evil ones). The episode may not have been jaw-dropping but it was filled with its call backs to souls, Leviathan, angels, and demons, while giving us the humor, the drama, and a pretty straightforward story that's looking to work in unison with its character growth.

It may be early, but things are shaping up nicely for season eight.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
  • 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (153 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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    21 Comments New Comment Subscribe

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    Sean Mackenna, you are in charge of Person of Interest AND Supernatural? Marry me! ;)

    Fifty

    One Word AWESOME!!! Way to bring it Supernatural style. Ep had it all: love,humor,heart,pain and greed. Specially the way show uses legendery tales/objects within its storyline is wonderful. Loving Crowley from day 1 he appeared. Magical character and brings out that cool super-villain effortlessly.
    Dean's reaction when Sam suggested selling the car was priceless. Lovin' Supernatural all over again.

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    I really enjoyed the latest episode. I thought it had some great moments in it in terms of Mrs Tran, I really liked her character. I really loved the parallels of the flashback and the interrogation with Dean, it really showed his new attitude well. In terms of the scene where he sees Cas again, I have to admit I was almost in tears and loved the emotion that Misha and Jensen brought to the scene. I really do not believe that people who Dean doesn't need anymore really do end up dead, and I'm sure their is more to the end scene with Cas than what was shown. I refuse to believe that Dean would leave Cas down there. Can't wait for the next episode, things are really looking up this year!!!

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    Even thou we don't know the full story but the last secne, WTF Dean, Pretty pissed if you left Cas there to die.

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    Contrived. Every time there's a key moment in the Winchester's favor they stand around looking dumb, even though they were fighting frantically just seconds before! Why did they hesitate just before Kevin's mom/Crowly ran off with the tablet after she said, "Two out of three ain't bad." They could have ran and tackled her in that time. And what about the time it took Crowley to de-possess her, come out of the room, dust himself out, pick up the tablet and make his little speech??!? Yet they act like football players with the nameless demons with no problem. *sigh* I recorded this ahead of time and it took me over two days to watch it. I was in love Supernatural but I guess after last season I have very little patience for weak writing.

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    Love it, love it... Much more focused and it brought some mystery to the boys lives over the last year. Course I'm not happy that Sam has a mate now... I just want them to keep swinging and kill as many SofB's as they can.

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    You couldn't have said it better Sean. I agree, that Supernatural is heading in a right and interesting direction which seems like a good direction.

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    I wonder who else Dean will meet in Purgatory? ISupernatural's a great show!

    Ilkvomit

    I was pissed that Sam did'nt keep Thors hammer :/,such a badass weapon and he just dropped it ? Lame . . .

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    Great catch Lisa. I knew that angel look familiar. This is turning out to be a great season, and I'm so happy that others are seeing what a great show this is. I have my dentist evening liking this show, because I have it on every time I go in for my appt. As well as my family, and now since they have a show that is slightly similar to smallville, (arrow), it is becoming a family affair. Hopefully the cw doesn't screw up the line up, since my husband like shows like arrow and I like shows like supernatural. Since there is not a lot of shows that we agree on.




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