Sam Winchester -
Dean Winchester -
Bobby Singer - Jim Beaver
OTHER SUPERNATURAL SEASONS
OTHER DEMON HUNTERS
Buffy The Vampire
Sympathy for the Devil
Sam and Dean are miraculously transported out of the place where Lucifer is rising, but find themselves the target for every demon around. They learn of the sword of Michael, a weapon that can defeat Lucifer, but getting it will prove more hazardous than they could imagine.
Introducing the Devil himself as the latest opponent for the Winchester brothers is pretty much raising the stakes to a place where there's nowhere else to go. This is the final face-off, the ultimate battle and so it's going to need to exceed everything that's gone before. Fortunately, we're off to a good start.
There's plenty of action as demons come out of the woodwork, prove to be not who they appear to be and generally make a nuisance of themselves, but they are nothing compared to the angels. Now they really are pesky, and so powerful that there really is no way to stand up to them, unless you happen to have one of them on your side. It's bloody, it's messy, but then again it is the end of days.
It's also funny. The wit and humour of the show is retained despite the dire situation the boys find themselves in. A look, a nicely delivered line of dialogue. It's all there and right up to standard.
Welcome back Sam and Dean. We can't wait to see where you're going to take us.Top
Good God Y'all
A whole town has fallen under the influence of demons and the Winchesters find themselves up against other hunters that they considered as friends. Unless, what they're facing is something much more powerful than just demons.
The first of the four horsemen of the apocalypse (War in this case) makes his appearance and the fact that these guys are going to be around opens up a few possibilities for future stories.
For this one, it's pretty straightforward with a monster-of-the-week feel to it, but so accomplished is the show now that we can forgive that because it's still entertaining and fast-moving enough for that not to matter.
The scene in which Castiel calmly announces that he is going to look for God is very sharply written and sets up some interesting mythology for the show to play with.Top
Free To Be You and Me
Now that he is apart from his brother, Sam attempts to make a new life for himself, but apocalyptic omens bring him to call in some other hunters who aren't too happy when they learn what he's done. Castiel comes to ask Dean for his help in tracking down God, a task whose first step is to trap and Archangel.
SUPERNATURAL has always been about two brothers looking after each other, no matter what the friction is between them, so it is strange to see two stories going off in different directions. Fortunately, they both pass muster. Sam's is the more dramatic one with friends becoming enemies and new friends getting mixed up in Sam's business against his will. The kicker, though, is in the revelation of exactly why Lucifer and his demons have been interested in Sam from the very beginning. Now that's a plot arc.
The Dean plotline is so much more fun as he and Castiel form up a comedy duo thanks to a wonderful performance by Misha Collins and some nice lines for Jensen Ackles. Collins' showing as an angel faced with a brothel where Dean has determined to get him laid is utterly brilliant and worth showing up for alone. The arrival of the Archangel Rafael is pretty impressive and when he announces that God.... Ah but that's a spoiler too far.
SUPERNATURAL continues to mix drama, horror and comedy with a smart lightness of touch and is impressing more with every episode.Top
Dean is refusing to let Archangel Michael use his body as a vessel in the fight against Lucifer, so the angels send him five years into the future to see what that decision is going to mean to the world. Once there, he also sees what it's going to mean for Sam and himself.
Fans of Jensen Ackles rejoice because you get not one, but two of the boy in this story. SUPERNATURAL pulls off its trademark trick of taking a hackneyed old idea (overused in HEROES for example) and breathing new life into it. The depiction of a world abandoned by angels with Lucifer in charge is impressive, but it is actually the view of the characters that is the fun here. Castiel has turned into a womanising, pill-popping human and Sam is now the Devil, but Dean...well Dean's still Dean, but without the humanity at his core.
The dialogue is great with present Dean and future Dean sparring off each other nicely and the special effects of putting Jensen Ackles on the screen twice are absolutely flawless. You really will believe that there are two of him. Jared Padalecki as Lucifer is less convincing than we would have liked, but then you can't have everything.
Another excellent episode in what is now a very fine show.Top
James Dean's car apparently kills an aficianado. Abraham Lincoln takes out a history buff. Sam and Dean suspect ghosts when they locate a waxworks museum in town with actual memorabilia of the killer spirits, but they have to rethink their strategy when the decidedly non-dead Paris Hilton gets in on the act.
Forget what's actually doing the killing in this return to the monster-of-the-week format because it's the incidentals that raise the show above the level of its stories. Here we have the scene where Dean takes the engine number off the car that they suspect of being possessed, a killer Gandhi (now there's a phrase we never thought we'd use) and Paris Hilton holding forth on how sad it is that people idolise...Paris Hilton. Now that's cheek and irony on a majestic scale.Top
I Believe The Children Are Our Future
In a small town, itching powder causes a girl to scratch her brains out (literally), the tooth fairy steals all a man's teeth without anaesthetic and a toy hand buzzer electrocutes a man. The link is the belief of a boy, a very special sort of boy.
Anyone familiar with THE TWILIGHT ZONE will recognise the story of the boy who can do anything that he wants just by thinking it. Given the SUPERNATURAL treatment, though it works perfectly well here, starting off as a light and amusing mystery monster of the week story before twisting into a dark direction with the arrival of Castiel and his plan to remedy to the situation. The darkness is a signature of this season, but the story twists and turns in different directions so that you never quite know how it's going to turn out, which makes it all the more fun.
And the main part of the fun comes from the dialogue sparring between Sam and Dean, which is well up to par. Jared Padaleki and Jensen Ackles are completely immersed in the characters now and are able to deliver the lines with just the deftness of the touch that the delicate balancing act of the show demands.Top
The Curious Case of Dean Winchester
A nine hundred year old warlock comes to the attention of the Winchester brothers because he has the power to take away and give back years of life, but only on the outcome of a card game. Bobby plays him and loses. Dean tries to win Bobby's life back and is suddenly thirty years older. Sam decides to try and look for another way.
There is plenty of fun to be had in this stand alone story that has nothing to do with the main plot and harks back to the early days of the show with the monster of the week. What has developed since those early days are the characters and the actors playing them and the writers giving them the dialogue. All of this is in sparkling form so that a rather tired and not quite fully baked story still manages to be immense fun.Top
The brothers pick up the trail of the Trickster that has made their lives a misery before and set out to have a conversation with it in the hope of getting it to side with them against the war of the angels. Instead, they find themselves locked into a series of television shows, looking for a way to survive the next 24 hours.
Imagine SUPERNATURAL as a very cheesy, bright coloured sitcom, or Dean and Sam playing doctors in a series of ER. Well, now you don't have to because this episode of SUPERNATURAL gives you both those visions for free. The gimmick episode is something that SUPERNATURAL has always done well, playing with the gimmick and making it part of the story rather than forcing the story to fit the gimmick. This episode is no exception.
First up, it is very funny. Whether the initial sitcom and hospital drama or the following police procedurals, japanese game show or (and best of all) the advertisement for a treatment for genital herpes, the script is full of great one-liners and both Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles get to do that double act they do so well. There are guaranteed laughs here but, as is usual for this show, there is a darker underpinning and when that comes out at the end, it plays to the main plot arc and is surprisingly dramatic.
Studio audience, give this show a round of applause.Top
The Real Ghostbusters
Sam and Dean show up at a hotel to find that the first annual Supernatural convention is in full swing. Lovers of the books that were written by an earthly prophet based on Sam and Dean's life have gathered together to enjoy all things Supernatural and to take part in a role playing game about the hotel's ghosts. The ghosts, though, turn out to be real and soon everyone is in danger, including Sam and Dean themselves.
Forget the ghost story, that's pretty straightforward and even predictable. The fun here is the idea of the convention and Sam and Dean's reaction to it. Although it might be seen as biting the hand that feeds it, the show makes fun of its fans in a gentle fashion and uses the backdrop for a story where the witty banter and comedy take centre stage and the slightly creepy ghost story just fills out the time. This is the kind of funny stuff that the show does so well, even to the point that we don't mind that the main story arc moves barely forward until the last few seconds.Top
Abandon All Hope...
Sam and Dean go after the Colt pistol that can kill just about anything. With that and Lucifer's location, they take a team to an apparently abandoned town to make an attempt on killing the Devil before he can raise Death. It is an attempt that will cost them dearly.
One thing about SUPERNATURAL that we admire is that recurring character of even fairly major standing are not immune to being killed if the plotline requires it. Considering that we are only halfway through the season, the outcome of the story is hardly surprising, but the events leading up to it are tense, exciting, bloody and dramatic and all in the best ways. This is the most desperate fight that Sam and Dean have ever been in and there is none of the comedy trappings that have characterised the last couple of episodes. This is action drama pure and simple, well written, well played and showing a maturity that we could not have imagined when the show first started. The Winchester boys have come a long way and the road ahead looks dark indeed.Top
Sam and Dean go undercover in a mental hospital where the patients are killing themselves with alarming regularity and there is talk of a monster.
Mental institutions are by their very nature creepy places and what goes on in this one starts off as a simple monster in the walls story and then morphs into something darker and more dangerous as both Sam and Dean start to suffer from real mental instability. Sam has uncontrollable rages and Dean is talking to people who aren't there. It's being caused by a wraith, but is the monster creating the insanity, or merely heightening it?
This requires some strong moments from both of the main stars and both rise to the occasion, especially Jensen Ackles.Top
A 17 year old kid uses an old satanic book to swap bodies with Sam. Whilst Sam is dealing with overprotective parents and school, Gary is getting drunk and getting laid for the first time. When a demon gets wind of the fact that Sam's body is no longer his own, things turn dangerous.
The FREAKY FRIDAY concept gets the SUPERNATURAL treatment, but for once the story fails to make the most of its borrowed idea. The script isn't as sharp as previously, probably because Dean and Sam are kept apart for most of the running length. Jared Padalecki gets to have some fun playing Sam trapped in a kid's life and also playing a kid in Sam's body, but the novelty wears off pretty quickly, leaving this as a fairly average episode.Top
The Song Remains The Same
Angel Anna escapes from Heaven's prison determined to stop the Apocalypse by killing Satan's chosen vessel, Sam. When she can't get past Castiel, she transports back in time to kill his parents before he can be born. Castiel takes the boys back and this is the first time that Sam ever gets to meet his mother.
This is a solid, though not inspired, episode of the demonic drama, treading over some ground that's been covered before in In The Beginning. That said, Sam's reaction to meeting his mother is lovely and the final appearance of the Archangel Michael makes for an interesting confrontation in the main plot arc.Top
My Bloody Valentine
Two lovers literally eat each other up and it looks like a case of a Cupid gine rogue, but when Castiel starts munching on burgers they realise that they dealing with Famine. Can Sam resist his suddenly heightened thirst for demon blood?
Once again SUPERNATURAL takes a fun idea (the rogue Cupid) and turns it into something very much darker. Misha Collins makes Castiel's hunger for Big Macs funny and the confrontation with the tactile Cherub is hilarious, but the Sam gets his demon blood and it soon turns very, very messy (but in a good way).Top
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
The dead have been raised up in Bobby's home town, including his dear wife. They seem to have been rehabilitated into the community. But then they begin to turn nasty.
The SUPERNATURAL trick is becoming self-evident now. First there is a familiar set up, in this case zombies, but that's twisted into something unexpected and rather humorous. Then the darkness sets in. And that's exactly how it goes here. Because this is Sam and Dean's greatest ally Bobby, the hurt is personal and the fact that his raised wife is so pleasant and noble increases that hurt. And let's not forget the lady sheriff who has to lose her son twice.
The war between Heaven and Hell is nasty and getting nastier, all with the trademark SUPERNATURAL witty dialogue and telling performances.Top
Dark Side Of The Moon
Sam and Dean are killed, again, this time by fellow hunters out to get Sam for starting the Apocalypse. In Heaven, they are told by Castiel that they need to find Someone called Joshua, who talks to God. The path to Joshua lies through some of their best, and worst, memories, but will God be willing to even listen let alone help?
Reading the synopsis, this sounds like one of those clips episodes that replays scenes from previous episodes to make cheap television, but SUPERNATURAL doesn't go there and comes up with visions of the boys' pasts that are happy and tragic and, most importantly, all new. They cast light on the bothers' characters and how the past created them. The episode also shows again the maturity that the show has developed and the confidence that it has to come up with a story that has no action an advances the plot very little, but concentrates on the inner life of its players and still rmains compelling and fulfilling.Top
Sam and Dean come to a town that has set up its defences against the Apocalypse thanks to the local priest's daughter getting instructions directly from the angels. When Castiel turns up, drunk but still with the knowledge that the girl is no prophet, the brothers have to unmask her before she can set the town against itself.
Another town, different demon. In this case it's the Whore of Babylon, spoken of in scripture and bringer of false prophecy. The set up for the episode is smart, but the actual plot is very much been there, done that. Fortunately, the show now comes with so much character development and nuance that the actual plot of the week is the least of its blessings. Here it is the view that Dean has of himself and his purpose, which is radically altered by events. The decision he appears to make as a result could fuel the rest of the season. He is close to saying 'yes' to be the vessel for Archangel Michael, losing his body and soul in the process.
Add to that the drunk and disillusioned Castiel and it becomes clear that the characters are now the story and the plotting is just there to serve them. SUPERNATURAL remains officially unmissable.Top
The Point Of No Return
Adam, Sam and Dean's dead half-brother, is brought back to act as Michael's vessel now that Dean has proved he will never say yes. It's all a plan by angel Zachariah to hit Dean at his weakest point - family. Angels, though, are not the only ones who can make plans.
Dean's losing his faith in his mission, his brother and himself. He is actually at the point of giving up his life to Archangel Michael, but nobody else is willing to give up on him yet. This is character drama of the highest order from Dean's faltering, to Castiel's rage at being betrayed and Sam's desperate need for his brother to stand strong alongside him. All the cast are firing on all cylinders and the performances match the demands that are made of them.
There's also a gripping story here. Zachariah is a fantastic villain and the way that Dean deals with him is excellent, taking the suspense right to the very end. This is SUPERNATURAL at its best, as it needs to be with the big finale coming.Top
Hammer Of The Gods
Sam and Dean take refuge in a remote hotel in the middle of giant storm only to find that they are prisoners of Old Gods, gathered to use them as weapons against the coming apocalypse. When Archangel Gabriel shows up and Lucifer is not far behind, things are going to turn nasty.
SUPERNATURAL goes out on a limb with this story of Old Gods. Afer all, seeing a bunch of mythical deities bitching amongst each other could have been just plain silly. Ghosts, demons, even angels are one thing, but the likes of Odin, Kali and Mercury? It could really have tripped the show up at a critical juncture, but in true SUPERNATURAL fashion it turns into something witty, dark and brutal. And all in 45 minutes.
The initial set up with the Gods is the light and witty part of the story with Gabriel (aka the Trickster) showing up to add another smartass to the group, but it is when Lucifer arrives that the red stuff starts to spurt and the face off between Gabriel and his brother is a fitting finale to it all.
This episode also introduces something else (and we're not talking about Matt Frewer's Pestilence). It introduces a plan, something that the boys can possibly do to save the world. Of course, this being SUPERNATURAL, the plan arrives as part of a pornographic DVD.Top
The Devil You Know
The Winchesters have a plan to deal with Lucifer, but first they have to find the two remaining Apocalypse Horsemen, Pestilence and Death. The demon Crowley agrees to help them, or rather agrees to help Dean. Together they take a trip to see Pestilence's travel agent.
Cross and double cross abound in this tale, but then, as Crowley himself admits, 'that's what you get for working with a demon'. The target is a demon that wears the body of one of Sam's best friends, who introduced him to his girlfriend all those years ago with the simple intention of killing her to start Sam off along his path.
It's simple, it's clean, but it allows time for the nice one liners and brother moments that the show now specialises in. It feels a bit like a setting up episode, one step above filler, but isn't completely satisfying in and of itself.
Still, the end is nigh and this takes us one step closer to it.Top
Two Minutes To Midnight
When the assault on Pestilence succeeds despite his ability to inflict sickness on the Winchester's, he announces that they are already 'too late'. His swine flu vaccine is set to kill millions. Sam and Bobby set off to destroy the vaccine, leaving Dean with the simple task of facing up to Death.
This penultimate episode is a rather patchy affair with too much to fit into the running time comfortably, but still with enough SUPERNATURAL quirks to make it rise above its faults. The vaccine story has come, and now goes, so quickly as to make you wonder whether it was worth having in at all, not least because the destruction of the warehouse stocks of vaccine, the natural climax of the plot strand, doesn't appear on screen.
The Pestilence interlude needs a full episode to play out successfully, but is here squashed into half the running time and, whilst the set up is nicely done the sudden conclusion feels a bit rushed. Dean's encounter with Death (with a capital D) certainly doesn't go as expected, but that's something that SUPERNATURAL does so well - confound expectations.
Anyway, it's a set up episode for the big finale and in that, it does its job.Top
Sam says 'yes' to being Lucifer's vessel in an attempt to force him back into his prison, but even hopped up on demon blood he is no match for Satan. Dean, though, is never one to know when he has been soundly beaten so he, Bobby and a now-human Castiel head off to the final battleground in one last effort to get through to Sam before the Apocalypse begins.
This then is how SUPERNATURAL was supposed to end. All of the previous seasons' through lines have come together to this point, two human brothers against two angelic ones. It's not as apocalyptic as we might have liked, even a little bit flat, but somehow also manages to be satisfying. There is enough of a resolution for the show to be tied up, but always a get out clause if they want to carry on. One question though; when you've faced the Devil himself and survived (if you think 'won' then look at the trail of corpses) where else is there to go?
SUPERNATURAL has come so far since the early monster-of-the-week format that it is almost unrecognisable as the same show. If this is the end then it is a worthy way to go out.Top
Role Playing Game
2010 sees the return of what we're told will be the final series of SUPERNATURAL, but on its new home of LIVING TV. To get the juices flowing, take a look at the real world and online game recently announced:
"In 2009, Emmy Award nominated US drama Supernatural found a new home in the UK – LIVING. To raise awareness for the UK premiere of series five starting early Feb, LIVING is launching one of the UK's most complex alternate reality games (ARG) ever, which will offer one viewer the ultimate Supernatural prize – a chance to appear in the show."
"Supernatural season four ended in suspense as Lucifer was freed from hell and on LIVING season five follows Sam and Dean Winchester as they face their toughest battle yet; the apocalypse. To promote the new series, LIVING is creating the Fight the Apocalypse ARG, which calls on Supernatural fans to mobilise their armies and join the fight against Lucifer."
"The ARG is based around collecting hidden symbols - 'Enochian Sigils' - which players must locate, photograph and send via MMS to a shortcode,. One of the first truly cross-platform campaigns of its type, the ARG utilises online, mobile, print and real world elements."
"Enochian Sigils have been hidden online and at real world locations throughout the UK and clues to the Sigil locations will be delivered by Castiel (Misha Collins) in specially filmed sequences on the Fight the Apocalypse website (http://www.Luciferiscoming.com). Once located, Sigils are photographed on any mobile device and using Image recognition technology – which recognises any image taken on a mobile phone camera – are uploaded to the player's profile. "
"In the ARG players have two ways of making it to the top: locating and photographing Enochian Sigils, and building an online army of support. Players can invite friends to join their army via email and through Facebook. On the luciferiscoming.com website, Supernatural fans can create their own profile and contact friends to join their army, manage their game playing and collection of Enochian Sigils, as well as view other contestants' profiles and join forces with other players. For fans who want to play on the move, all core game functions will be available on the mobile site."
"Online media partners are collaborating in the game, with some sites creating their own bespoke mini challenges for gamers to find sigils. Twitter is the social hub for Fight the Apocalypse and will countdown to the start of the game, as well as announcing new clues, and creating a community around the game and the new series of Supernatural. Followers of the Fight the Apocalypse Twitter feed will be given tips and additional mini challenges quick challenges to win extra prizes. Fans can follow the Fight the Apocalypse Twitter at www.twitter.com/fightapocalypse."
"The first clue to start the hunt will be released on the 20th January. Fans can pre-register for the game now at www.luciferisrising.com."
And it's only available in the UK so get registered now.Top
Season 5 Trailer
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