Sam Winchester - Jared Padaleki
Dean Winchester - Jensen Ackles
Bobby Singer - Jim Beaver
Castiel - Misha Collins
OTHER SUPERNATURAL SEASONS
OTHER DEMON HUNTERS
Buffy The Vampire
Exile On Main Street
Dean is living a mostly normal life since his brother dragged Lucifer back down to hell. Now, though something is stalking his neighbourhood and almost kills him until his brother mysteriously appears along with a few friends with news of rampaging Djinn.
SUPERNATURAL returns with the question on everyone's lips being how can the show's writers top having the Devil himself face off with the brothers in the last season. There are matters to be taken care of first and these are to reintroduce Sam to his brother and set up the mystery of how he came to be released.
This means that the monster-of-the-week Djinn story is somewhat limited and disappointing, but that is understandable under the circumstances and there is the added impact of seeing Dean's relatively normal life being ripped apart once again and his having a family of his own to protect.
There's not a lot of humour to be had this time out, which is surprising, but again understandable considering the ground that needs to be covered. It's nice to see the boys and Bobby back and the addition of Mitch Pileggi as their resurrected grandpa can only be a good thing.
It's not the most triumphant return for the Winchester brothers, but it will certainly suffice for now.Top
Two And A Half Men
Sam is having a problem with a shapeshifter who is killing whole families and stealing their babies. Dean agrees to help and the brothers find themselves on the run with a baby that they have saved, but a baby that is more than it seems.
The second episode of the new season and the first story proper now that the backstory is dealt with. It still feels a bit flat. In previous seasons an idea like saddling the brothers with a baby would have led to huge comic potential, but here there are just a few flashes of the wit that the show could previously summon up.
There are some good twists and a few more hints about a darker running story with Sam's new 'family' of hunters with Grandpa at the wheel, but the spark between the two leads is muffled. One scene in a supermarket is fun and the transformation scene is nice, but beyond that, this is a pale echo of what SUPERNATURAL can be.Top
The Third Man
Cops are dying of what appear to be biblical plagues and the Winchester boys have no idea what is causing it. Until Castiel shows up and reveals a civil war in Heaven is underway.
There are two stories here and the first one with the cops is short and to the point, leading on to what must be the plot arc for the season. With the apocalypse averted and God still nowhere to be found, there is a civil war in Heaven and an angel known as Balthazar has stolen weapons of immense power.
This at least means the return of Misha Collins as the angel Castiel and though the character has hardened since last we saw him there is enough of a reawakening of the banter and humour that the show has at its best to reassure us that this season will get back on the rails.
Along with the humour, there is a gory opening and an action-packed twisty turny ending to enjoy. SUPERNATURAL is on the way back.Top
Weekend At Bobby's
Bobby has been one of the rocks upon which the Winchester brothers have relied, but it is now time for him to think of himself to gain back the soul that he sold to the demon Crowley in the fight against Lucifer.
When a show decides to focus on one of the more minor characters rather than the leads it is usually a sign that the writers are running out of ideas and that might be the case here, but in focussing on Bobby, the longest surviving non-Winchester character, they have chosen a great character and the story of his attempts to get back his soul is strong enough to carry the episode.
The substory of an abortive romance with a neighbour is both cute and funny and there is more than enough wit returned to suggest that SUPERNATURAL is back to its very best and there is some good stuff to come.Top
Live Free Or Twihard
Investigating a rash of deaths involving girls obsessed with the new style of romantic vampire movies and shows, the brothers run into the real thing and Dean is turned into one himself, with Sam looking on.
Vampires are old hat on this show, but this episode ups the ante by having Dean forced to drink blood and starting to turn. This leads to the best kickass sequence as a vamped up and pissed off Dean takes on the whole nest in bloody vengeance.
There's wit early on with the boys' reactions to the vamp romance addicts and things get very dark before the dawn. There is character development too, as Sam lets down Dean and Dean knows it. Not the best ever, but solid.Top
You Can't Handle The Truth
People are being forced to tell the truth and it's leading to murder and suicide. When Dean is cursed to hear only the truth, he determines to ask Sam why he let him get turned into a vampire.
There are some funny moments in a bar when Dean first becomes aware of his curse and the truth is finally out about Sam, but the rest of the plot is by the SUPERNATURAL numbers and, whilst perfectly entertaining, is way off the boil.Top
Now that the truth is out about Sam's missing soul, the boys turn to their only other clue, their returned grandfather. He is determined to take an alpha vampire prisoner alive, no matter what the cost.
The truth is revealed and confirmed, but it is not until the real villain shows up at the end and explains things that the episode shows any real promise. There is threat and tension in the alpha vampire running around in a dark building with all his prey, but that's as far as it goes.Top
All Dogs Go To Heaven
In thrall to the demon Crowley for Sam's soul, the brothers take on a job with a werewolf that isn't following the rules. It soon becomes something very much more threatening.
More hints about the emerging plot arc with the demon dogs in this episode setting up to create an army, but otherwise this is a fairly standard story that reveals more about Sam's lack of a soul and has a touching, but ultimately doomed, romance at the centre.Top
Clap Your Hands If You Believe...
People are being kidnapped by aliens, but the boys don't believe it until Dean is abducted and Sam wonders what to do about it.
SUPERNATURAL roars back to form in a gimmick episode of the highest quality. It even has an X-Files opening credits sequence. The wit and humour are back with a vengeance and Robert Picardo pops up in a cameo as the head UFO hunter.
The real nature of the abductors is hard to swallow, but everything else has been so much fun that it really doesn't matter.Top
Dean decides that it's time to go after Crowley and get Sam's soul back, but that means working with old demon enemy Meg.
This is all about who can you trust. The bonds of blood aren't necessarily stronger than those of friends who have been to Hell together (in this case literally) or enemies with a common goal. As a result, there are lots of twists and turns and changes of allegiance, but in the end it's all a bit too plot driven with the characters getting left behind.
That said, the last few minutes make for a game changin shock ending.Top
Appointment In Samarra
Dean asks Death himself to get Sam's soul back and he surprisingly agrees, but warns of dire consequences and demands that Dean spend a day in his shoes as payment. Sam, not willing to take the risk, looks for a way out of Dean's deal and learns that he must kill Bobby.
Dean as Death is a nice idea, but it unravels far too quickly, going in directions that are a bit too familiar and expceted to be truly successful. The duel between Sam and Bobby is more fun and quite tense, but ultimately is just filling out the running time.Top
Like A Virgin
Sam wakes up from having his soul reapplied with no memory of the previous year. Bobby wants to tell him the truth but Dean refuses. Anyway, they have a job that might possibly involve dragons.
This episode will be remembered for a long time thanks to the central Excalibur moment as Dean finds a sword that will kill a dragon, but one that is bound within a rock. His attempts to free it are the high point of this episode and very, very funny.
The rest is somewhat muted as the plot is pushed to the back to make room for the drama about Sam and the question over his memory. Bobby is acting strange and Dean is clearly hiding something. How Sam finds out the truth is underhand at best.
As for the dragons, well itís a disappointment not to see them in their natural state rather than in human form, but this is to be an ongoing plotline, so there is still time.Top
Sam receives a text with directions to a small town in which women are disappearing. When the brothers arrive, Sam starts to have flashbacks to a previous visit that he can no longer remember since he had no soul.
Considering that Sam has only just received his soul back and pushing at the boundaries of his memory are likely to send him into madness or death, itís a bit soon to have him doing just that quite so obviously. That said, there is some fun to be had from Deanís discovery of just what a hound his brother was with the ladies when he had no soul, but the rest of the plot is fairly obvious and only kept mildly interesting by the broken up flashback structure masking that.Top
Mannequin 3: The Reckoning
Men are being killed, apparently by store mannequins. It would appear that the ghost of a bullied woman is at fault, but when her bones are destroyed and she is still active the question is what is keeping her here?
Deanís dealing with his relationship issues with Lisa is a distraction from the main plot, but since that plot is pretty thin and a revisiting of earlier themes then this isnít such a bad thing. The use of the various mannequins (including a creepy anatomy class dummy and a sex doll) is pretty good, but some of the special effects work on making them move is pretty ropy to say the least.
The finale also doesnít work all that well since the set up for the ghostís invulnerability to having her bones burned leads to a nice dilemma, but then solves it for the boys with a deus ex machina resolution the cause of which isnít explained all that well.Top
The French Mistake
Sam and Dan suddenly find themselves in a world where they are actors named Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, stars of a TV show called Supernatural and demons don't exist.
Mixing up the reality of a TV show with its own mythology is a dangerous game (ask the RED DWARF boys, who cocked it up so badly), but this is how it should be done. The central duo remain totally straight whilst everyone else has the fun playing alternate versions of themselves.
Misha Collins dives in head first with his twitter-obsessed oddball whilst producers Erik Kripke and Robert Singer allow actors to turn them into arrogant, odious types who get everything they deserve.
The script is full of great moments (Sam and Dean trying to 'act' as Sam and Dean), great lines and in-jokes, but isn't quite as tight as it might have been. Fortunately, regular viewers will be having far too much fun to notice.Top
...And Then There Were None
Sam, Dean and Bobby, team up with the brothers' duplicitous grandfather and a couple of hunters to find out what is causing otheriwse ordinary men to murder people. Lured to a warehouse, they are confronted with a parasite that possesses humans and one of them is infected.
The title is taken from Agatha Christie, but the obvious influence here is JOHN CARPENTER'S THE THING. The whole plot is lifted directly out of the film only using electricity to make the creature reveal itself rather than the heated wire Carpenter used.
It's a perfectly acceptable episode, but a bit of a let down considering the quality that the show is capable of. The single setting and thinning of the support cast would suggest that budgets are an issue this season, but SUPERNATURAL has shown that it can do a lot, lot better than this.Top
My Heart Will Go On
Someone, or something, is killing off people in rather obscure ways. It may well be one of the Fates, but why would they be killing off the descendents of the Titanic, a ship that almost sank on its maiden voyage?
The main actual storyline here of the brothers going after one of the Fates is a straightforward one, though it is trimmed with some very nice barbed wit about the film Titanic. The meat of the thing, however, lies in the alterantive world in which Bobby is married and many people who are dead no longer are. This is brought out more subtly than in some cases, making it more interesting to find out exactly what is going on.
And then there's Castiel. What are his motives here? Is he really doing bad things? This bodes well for the show, though not for the brothers.Top
The brothers learn that the mother of all monsters can be hurt by the ashes of a phoenix. The only reference to one of those is in Samuel Colt's journal, so Sam and Dean travel back to the Wild West and Dean finds it not at all like he imagined it to be.
Never meet your heroes and never live your dream because the reality will disappoint. That's the theme behind this episode and it's a bit clunkily told when Sam meets Colt, but for the rest of the episode as Dean finds that his dream isn't at all like how he thought it would be, it's a real hoot.
Jensen Ackles to play up the comic side of Dean's persona as the child in the candy store finds that it all tastes of mud. The reactions of the real old western people to the brothers' clothes and boots and language is all very clever and very funny and makes up for the fact that the ending is borrowed from BACK TO THE FUTURE PART 2.Top
Eve, the mother of all monsters, is tracked down to Oregon so the brothers, Bobby and Castiel go after her, but Castiel finds he has no powers and Eve has turned half the town into monsters.
This episode marks the end of the Eve story (probably, you can never quite tell), but there are some twists along the way that have to be negotiated and they are all of them pretty good ones. The face-off with eve is nicely managed, albeit not quite as original as it would like to make out.
There is also more about Castiel's descent into darkness, it becoming ever more clear that this is the real point of what is happening this season. There are dark days ahead.Top
The Man Who Would Be King
The brothers learn that Crowley is alive and suspect that Castiel is in league with the demon. What they learn of his motives, however, is very much worse.
The one thing that has really been missing from this season has been a sense of what the plot arc is. There have been many smaller monsters to be dealt with and Sams' memory loss, and their grandfather's deals, but it's all been very bitty and without cohesion. Until now. This episode brings it all together to explain what has been going on and why Castiel is sliding into the dark.
It could have been mass info dump, but it's told nicely from Castiel's point of view as a sort of prayer to the absent God and has clever touches such as the initial silent movie footage speech. The way in which the relationships play out, especially between Cas and Dean is messy and untidy and that makes them all the more real. It's a testament to the depth of the characters that this level of complexity can be built into their interplay.
This is Misha Collins' episode and he runs with it, giving his fallen angel some real emotional heft.
The arc plot has been laid out. It's time to see what happens.Top
Let It Bleed
Crowley kidnaps Lisa and Ben and orders Dean to back away. Castiel is unable to make the demon reveal their location. Bobby tracks down a story about HP Lovecraft that might reveal the secret to accessing Purgatory's souls.
There's something of the setup episode about this story, which has Bobby tracking down the way to access Purgatory only hours before Castiel. The kidnapping of Lisa and Ben sets Dean up for a heartrending final sacrifice, but the story itself is surprisingly flat and 'been there, done that'. The end is in sight, but it could have used a better harbinger to tout the arrival of its doom.Top
The Man Who Knew Too Much
An amnesiac Sam is trapped in his mind and the only way out is to remember his time in Hell. Castiel is ready to take on Purgatory's souls, but Crowley has switched sides again and the angel civil war might be decided by the acts of human beings.
It's the big finale and it fizzles right from the start. All of a sudden we're presented with a Sam who has no memory. As soon as we learn that he is running around in his own head, the rest of his hallucinatory journey becomes pretty unimportant, a sidebar to what's really going one, which is Castiel being sideswiped by Rafael and Crowley.
There's lots of twists and turns on the way to the climax and the arrival of the demons is pretty impressive, but when the big cliffhanger moment comes there is a very real sense of 'is that it?'. Considering the heights to which Season 5 soared, you can't help but wonder if this turned out to be a season too far.Top
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