Sam Winchester -
Dean Winchester -
OTHER SUPERNATURAL SEASONS
OTHER DEMON HUNTERS
Buffy The Vampire
In the Time of My Dying
The Winchesters weren't looking in too good a condition when last we saw them. They had squandered their chance to kill the demon and been smashed into by a big truck driven by their best friend. Now, they are all in hospital. Sam is pretty much OK and dad is a only a bit worse, but Dean is at death's door, quite literally. Now a spirit, he is the target of a reaper. His choice is simple, die or roam the hallways of the hospital until he goes insane and turns into the very sort of thing that the hunts.
The new series kicks off with a subdued, but interesting episode that has little in the way of action and fear and a lot in the way of character development and plot twistings. The reaper that Dean first sees as an enemy turns out to be less than that, Dad is willing to deal with the devil for the life of his son and Sam isn't willing to give up on anyone just yet. It's a surprise that, after a whole season of trying to find Winchester senior, he is killed off in this first episode, but how dead is dead in a series like this?
At least this story is ripped off from somebody else's horror movie, so there is hope that season two may be a bit more original than season one.Top
Everyone Loves a Clown
Whilst trying to come to terms with their loss, Sam and Dean follow up on lead, a message left on their Dad's voicemail. It turns out to belong to a woman who runs a bar frequented by demon hunters not unlike themselves. One of the men hanging out there turns out to be a genius capable of rigging up a system to predict where the demon's going to show up. It'll take 51 hours, so the boys head out to take on a clown that appears to be slicing up unsuspecting parents.
Clowns-you either love them or hate them, but there's rarely a middle ground. We are not fans, so the only surprise about a killer clown showing up on SUPERNATURAL is that it took so long to do so. That aside, this episode is much like any of the others in season one and has no distinguishing features whatsoever. Although the contact at the bar smacks of being a set up for the new format of getting the boys to each week's different problem.Top
When a rash of cattle mutilations are followed by a pair of beheadings, Sam and Dean drive into a small town to find another hunter there already. He's stalking a nest of vampires. Dean immediately agrees to help, but after a meeting with the leader of the vampires Sam learns that the world is full of shades of grey.
What is evil? Is evil evil because it always was and can never change? Are we all products of our nature or can we surpass that? Amber Benson (Tara from later series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer pops up to little effect in this story that has a bit more substance in the thought department than most of the others have shown to date. The nature of evil is not in what we are, but in what we choose to do.Top
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
A young woman dies in a car crash. Her boyfriend slits his own throat a few days later. Plants around the grave are dead. It's signs of unholy ground, and angry spirit, but there's more to it than that.
Zombies! Yes, someone brought the girl back as a zombie, but it really doesn't matter because she acts exactly like an angry spirit might, so there's no real difference. Despite this, the episode works pretty well with some good tension, some good jumps and some intrinsic nastiness. There's still a bit too much of the 'Dean, talk to me about Dad's death' stuff going on. There are also signs of the american habit of linking the external story to characters' internal feelings, in this case Dean's guilt over being brought back from the dead himself. That needs to stop right now.Top
Sam has a premonition of a murder in a small town. He and Dean track down one of the children that the demon said he had big plans for, a child who can now control minds. The problem is that he is not a killer, and yet people are dying.
Well, it's a change of pace and quite refreshing not to have an evil whatever causing the mayhem. This feeds into the backstory of what the demon is doing and why. You could be forgiven for having forgotten about Sam's visions because he hasn't had them in a while. They only crop up when one of the plots require it. Whilst there is tension and danger and death, this episode is a bit lighter than some of the others, something that is welcome from time to time.Top
Sam and Dean come up against the ghost of the first serial killer in american history, or at least the first recorded one anyway. With them is Jo, the wilful daughter of the Road House owner (see Everyone Loves a Clown). The ghost is kidnapping girls and letting them starve to death, so when Jo gets taken, the race is on to save her.
Ellen and Jo at the Road House have been a semi-permanent fixture of this second series, so it was inevitable that there would be some history there. Jo's dad and Sam's dad had some dealings and that is going to make life difficult for all the characters for a few episodes at least. As for the rest of the plot, it's so-so unless your personal worst nightmare is waking up locked up in an enclosed space with no way out (as ours is).Top
The Usual Suspects
Dean is arrested on charges of murder. Whilst two detectives probe into the events that brought about this state of affairs, Sam and Dean struggle to unravel the mystery locked within a name. That name may lead to the vengeful spirit they have been chasing and the identity of the true killer.
When you have a guest star of the notoriety of Linda Blair (THE EXORCIST in case you didn't know), you don't stick her in the background, so this whole episode has been structured around keeping her on screen for as much time as is possible. This doesn't prove to be a bad thing as it freshens up the format a little, something that it needs because if you haven't guessed how this is going to turn out within the first fifteen minutes then you really ought to be ashamed of yourself.Top
There's a demon that's been making deals with folks at the crossroads, bringing them fame, fortune and talent in exchange for their souls after ten years. It's a decade later and the hounds of hell are showing up for payment. Sam and Dean determine to stop the demon, but does that mean making another deal, a deal like their dad made?
Making deals with the devil at the crossroads is old folklore, so there's not a lot of originality floating around in this episode, but then originality has never been SUPERNATURAL's strong point. What is this episode's strong point is the situation that Dean is put in, facing a demon that knows all about him, his dad and the deal with the yellow-eyed demon. That makes their confrontation loaded with history and guilt and more depth than is usually the case in this show. It's the moments when Dean faces that which are the interesting ones. There are also a couple of scary moments with people turning into scary-faced monsters momentarily.Top
Sam has a premonition about Dean killing a potentially innocent man in a remote town. They immediately head off to the town to prevent this from happening, but events begin to unfold just as in the dream. The whole town is going crazy because of some sort of demon virus in their blood. The brothers and a few survivors hole up in the local medical centre, but how can they survive against a whole town gone mad?
Cribbing ideas from here, there and everywhere is one thing, but actually telling people where all your ideas have come from is something else altogether. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is namechecked in the script for heaven's sake and there's even the black survivor just to ram the point home. Actually, this episode does look it's going to be taking its references and doing something interesting and new with them, but then it all just sort of trickles away to a very unsatisfying end. Still, the last line has us gagging for an answer. What did Dad say to Dean about Sam?Top
Dean tells Sam that their Dad said he had to protect Sam or, if necessary, kill him. Someone else has a similar idea and is hunting down all the people who are like Sam. Word is that they are soldiers in a war that's coming and some people aren't willing to wait and find out whose side they're going to be on. A woman who does not fit the profile, but who shares Sam's gift for prescience warns him of his own approaching death.
For once we get an idea of what the main thrust of the story is about with the news that there is a war coming and Sam and his type will be footsoldiers. That makes him fair game in the eyes of the more unhinged hunters and one in particular. It's a more interesting episode as a result.Top
People are dying in a small inn that is on the edge of shutting down anyway. Sam and Dean investigate, coming to the conclusion that it's something to do with dolls, dolls houses, voodoo or a spirit (narrows that right down). Dean has a bigger issue, though. Why does everyone seem to assume the brothers are a gay couple?
This episode is full of references (read rip-off) from other places as usual, but it doesn't wear them quite so obviously (OK THE SHINING aside) and there is a modicum of tension and even an ending that makes sense.Top
A shapeshifter is impersonating people, killing them and stealing from their workplaces. Using the information of a UFO nut, they stake out the next target, a bank, but the nut shows up and starts shooting off guns. The Police surround the place and assume that Dean and Sam are responsible. There's also the matter of where, and who, the shapeshifter now is.
What's this - an original episode plotline? Well almost. There are some serious nods to THE THING in that anyone could be the shifter and so nobody can be trusted, but the rest of the plot is seamless and exciting and takes some unexpected turns, not to mention being seriously downbeat.
This is, actually, the best episode of the second season so far and stands up against some of the highlights of the first. Let's hope that it's a sign of more consistent quality to come.Top
Houses of the Holy
Whilst hiding out from the police, Sam and Dean investigate a series of murders carried out by people who swear that they were told to do it by Angels. Whilst Sam admits to praying and believing in a higher authority, Dean believes only in evil spirits. Both will have their faith shaken before the truth is known.
This is another interesting story from SUPERNATURAL, pretty much standard in its design, but given more depth by the introduction of angels and the religious convictions that this stirs up, or doesn't. Although the final resolution turns out to be fairly nondescript, the journey to get there is one worth taking more than has been the case in many episodes.
The show seems to be hitting a vein of form.Top
Born Under a Bad Sign
Sam goes missing for a week and then shows up with blood all over him and no memory. Dean helps him trace his tracks back to the home of a fellow hunter, a hunter who is now very seriously dead. And the CCTV shows Sam doing it. Sure now that he is turning to dark side, Sam asks Dean to kill him, but he refuses. Sam lays him out and takes off after another old friend.
OK, the setup doesn't exactly seem promising since it has been used so many times before in so many films and shows, but it does leave the burning question of how to deal with an evil something when to kill it is to kill the person you love the most. Where do you draw the line? What do you allow? How big is the price? That's more interesting than the manner in which the plot plays out.Top
Sam and Dean call on an old friend to help them when they can't make head or tail of a case that they are working on. A professor is killed by the spirit of suicide. Another victim is kidnapped and 'probed' by aliens and another is killed by an alligator in the sewer. On top of all this, Sam and Dean are being forn apart by the jokes that they are playing on one another.
Telling the story from two different viewpoints is an old trick, but this is no Kurosawa epic. Instead, it's a fair tale that is occasionally enlivened by the flashes of humour that are the trademark of the Trickster, the creature that is behind it all. Unfortunately, that's still a long way from the show at its best. The final showdown with the beastie, though has its moments. As Dean says, he has some style.Top
A woman and her husband are involved in an accident caused by the appearance of a man on the road in front of their vehicle. The husband disappears, but the woman is chased by an man with his innards hanging out. Fortunately, she happens upon two saviours in the shape of Sam and Dean who have been looking for the spirit.
Tricia Helfer from Battlestar Galactica guest stars as Molly, the woman being chased by the evil spirit and the story is told more from her point of view, making the otherwise unoriginal story a little bit fresher. Sadly, the twist in the tail of this tale is obvious from about two minutes into the episode.Top
The death of a lawyer turns out to have been caused by a werewolf and the man's secretary looks like being the next in line. Sam and Dean step up.
No review of this episode is available at this time. If you would like to add one, click here to e-mail it to us.Top
When productions staff from the film Hell Hazers 2 start dying, Sam and Dean slip into the studio to see what they can find out. What at first seems to be a publicity stunt turns out to be a whole lot more serious.
This is a light-hearted episode that takes the mickey out of Hollywood, film-making, film-makers and the whole horror genre more than it attempts to scare. Dean's reaction to being in his element is fun enough and Sam's disgust at that as well, but somewhere along the line you have to wonder if someone just thought they ought to take a leaf out ofSCREAM 3's ideas book because it really doesn't come up with any of its own. They might like to call it homaging the horror classics, but really it's just ripping them off, something that this show hasn't been averse to in the past. If it wasn't for the leading actors and their chemistry then this show would have been dead in the water a long time ago and this is just another episode to prove that.Top
Folsom Prison Blues
Dean and Sam manage to get themselves arrested and sent to a prison where a friend of their father's believes a ghost is killing inmates and guards. As they investigate, they realise that the ghost may not be the person that they believed it to be. In the meantime, the FBI have caught up with them and a lady defence attorney may not be willing to help out either.
The plot here takes second place to the setting. Look everybody, Sam and Dean are in prison. That's about it. The investigation is pretty straightforward - it's a ghost, but not who they thought, so who is it? - and just about every cliche known to prison flicks is thrown in for good measure. This show has been patchy since the start, but this episode lies in the lower quality section.Top
What Is And What Should Never Be
Dean's on the trail of Djinn when he gets touched and his dearest wish is granted. He wakes up to find himself dating a pretty nurse who seems to know him inside out, his mother isn't dead and Sammy is engaged to the girl who once burned on a ceiling in college. There is every reason for him to be happy. Except for the ghostly girl in white and the memory of those that he never saved in this life. And then again not every reality is a real as it seems.
One of the best episodes that this show has ever produced brings a powerhouse performance out of Jensen Ackles. True, there's a story like this one in almost every genre show ever made, but that doesn't stop this one from being effective and affecting. The world he is presented with is very alluring and it is convincing that he wants to stay and making the decision between his own happiness and the lives of strangers is beautifully handled. It's episodes like this, when SUPERNATURAL reaches beyond itself that makes a lot of the lesser episodes worth the effort.Top
All Hell Breaks Loose - Part 1
The yellow-eyed demon strikes and Sam wakes up in a deserted town. He is soon joined by some of the demon's other gifted 'children', two that he knows and two that he doesn't. The demon appears in a dream and explains that it's a test to find a leader for the Demon's army. Only one of the gifted ones is going to get out alive.
It's time to set up the season finale and this episode does just that, although it also works as a standalone episode quite well. The initial mystery of why the strangers are brought together, their individual fates and secrets and the final outcome of the test are all effective and, occasionally, surprising. The story has been struggling to this point. Now that it's finally here, it's started to live up to promise.Top
All Hell Breaks Loose - Part 2
Sam is dead and the yellow-eyed demon has his champion. Dean, though, is not about to give up. He sells his soul to the demon of the Crossroad Blues in order to get Sam back and together, they figure out the demon's plan to open a gateway straight to hell. It's time for the Winchester's to face up to the yellow-eyed demon one last time.
Season 2 of SUPERNATURAL has been patchy at best with some very dull episodes and some pretty good ones. This finale is the best of all of them, with a satisfying conclusion to one major plotline and the opening up for a whole string of other ones. It makes fantastic use of its own mythology and history, reintroducing the story of the Colt pistol in a fascinating and believable fashion and comes up with a marvellous family reunion.
In short, the boys done good and they might even have done enough to merit a third season.Top
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