Sam Winchester - Jared Padaleki
Dean Winchester - Jensen Ackles
Kevin Tran - Osric Chau
Castiel - Misha Collins
Benny - Ty Olssen
Crowley - Mark Sheppard
OTHER SUPERNATURAL SEASONS
OTHER DEMON HUNTERS
Buffy The Vampire
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Dean has escaped Purgatory and Sam leaves the new life he has built in order to join him. Tensions are raised as Dean learns that Sam has not only given up hunting, but has abandoned Kevin, a Prophet, to his fate.
SUPERNATURAL returns after the patchy last season and already there are signs that things are looking up. For one thing, Crowley (Mark Sheppard) is back and shaping up as being the big bad villain of the season. There is also the small matter of Dean's escape from Purgatory, something that seems set to be told in flashbacks over a number of episodes, but which has already seen him releasing a vampire back into the world.
The main story is less exciting, bringing back a character in Kevin Tran (Osric Chau) that most people might have forgotten about, making the search for him seem a lot less important. By the end of the episode, however, his part at the centre of what might be the season plot arc is established firmly.
Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles can now play these characters in their sleep, though the tension between them is a little artificially-induced, not least because what Sam did is precisely what Dean did after Sam was cast into the pit with Satan.
Not, then, the greatest of starts, but solid enough and better than many of last season's episodes.Top
What's Up, Tiger Mommy?
Kevin wants to save his mother, who is surrounded by demons, and recover the tablet that might spell the end of all demons on Earth. This means attending an auction of rare items being run by a minor deity.
SUPERNATURAL has found its footing straight away in this eight season and this story has lots of the flashes of humour that are so necessary to punctuate the darker moments. These include Sam playing with Thor's hammer, Dean's reaction to the suggestion that the car should be sold for bidding money and a man bidding with 'five eighths of a virgin'.
The flashback into Purgatory brings a welcome return for Misha Collins' Castiel and the show seems to be firmly back on the rails.Top
A string of unconnected people are being killed, their hearts ripped out. The killers are equally unconnected, or at least appear to be at first.
This is a fairly uninteresting 'monster of the week' story that doesn't even have an original monster to play with. The idea of transplanted organs controlling their new owners is not new at all and there isn't anything new around it.
The main plot arc has been abandoned and it all seems a bit flat after the recent improvements.Top
The Winchester brothers come across some filmed footage of a trio of teenagers apparently plagued by werewolves.
This is a gag episode in which the hook is the found footage idea in which everything is caught on camcorders, CCTV and the like. It's a movie cycle that has long since become tired and so it feels like the episode has missed the boat a bit.
All the main problems of the found footage format are here, including the failure to adequately explain why everyone in the whole world appears to carry a video camera and record every moment in their lives.
Disappointing to say the least.Top
Whilst Sam looks back on his year of normal life, Dean goes off after Benny, the vampire who helped him out of Purgatory. Together, they go after the vampire that created him.
Vampires really ought to be a lot harder to kill than this. In previous episodes, they have proven to be problematic, but Dean manages to take out a whole nest of them with very little trouble whilst having a phone conversation with his brother.
Add to that the fact that Benny's backstory really isn't all that interesting and this is a pretty average episode.Top
Ordinary people are committing rage-fuelled murders over ancient grudges. Sam and Dean come into contact with dorky hunter Garth, who seems to be taking on the mantle of Bobby.
Things perk up quite a bit here. OK, the flashbacks are getting a bit tedious now between both Sam and Dean having their own set, but the arrival of DJ Qualls as the irrepressible Garth lightens the mood and provides most of the laughs.
The plot is pretty perfunctory (a ghost possessing people through a cursed object), but the interplay between the three main charactes makes it all work.
Certainly a step in the right direction.Top
A Little Slice Of Kevin
Crowley has located all the potential prophets in the current generation and uses them to force Kevin to read the stone tablet. Kevin's mother, however, calls in Sam and Dean and the newly-returned Castiel.
The ongoing plot arc returns for an episode, but one that doesn't advance the story much. The tablet is still needing to be read and Kevin is the only way to do that. Introducing the other potential prophets smacks a tiny bit of the last season of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, but they are dealt with in true SUPERNATURAL fashion.
Mark A Sheppard is back as Crowly and is always fun, though he is given less to work with here than on other occasions. It is also good to see Castiel back from Purgatory, even if he doesn't know how and introduces a whole new plot strand involving STARGATE SG-1's Amanda Tapping.
Not the best episode, then, but solid nonetheless.Top
People are dying and banks are being robbed and all in the fashion of cartoons. Can Sam, Dean and Castiel solve the crimes without getting an anvil dropped on their heads?
This is a gag episode that plays with the concept of real life cartooniness (think THE MASK, or WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT without the cartoons), but never quite makes the most of the opportunity. True, there are some nice moments (talking cat, anvil, conversation inside someone's head, dean's face in a frying pan), but this really feels like there could have been more to it. The villain, when revealed, is a bit of a letdown.
And then there is the matter of Sam's flashbacks. They have passed into the realms of soap opera and have now high-tailed it into melodrama. Do we need all this backstory? Time will tell, but it feels like filler right now.Top
Word comes that Benny is killing again, but Dean doesn't believe it, driving a wedge between him and Sam.
There's a lot of familiarity about this episode. Sam and Dean are having their problems again, Benny is in a bind because of other vampires and Dean has to come to his aid, family is the backstory, leading to a personal stake.
It's all very watchable, SUPERNATURAL at its average is never less than that, but it feels like filler and Sam's ongoing soap opera flashbacks are close to excruciating.Top
Torn And Frayed
Crowley is torturing an angel and Castiel's new controller, Naomi, sends him in to stop angel secrets being learned. He recruits Sam and Dean for the ride.
The situation with Amanda Tapping as the heavenly power with her fingers in Castiel's brain is no clearer, but it is certainly feeding into the season arc, especially with the revelation about a second tablet, an Angel tablet.
The torture scenes are harsh and painful, but the ease with which Sam and Dean wander around the supposedly heavily fortified demon lair smacks of the writers not trying too hard. There are some surprises along the way, though.Top
LARP And The Real Girl
Participants in a live action roleplaying game are being killed off in impossible ways. Sam and Dean run into an old friend who just happens to be the Queen of the Moons.
Roleplayers are all sad losers with no lives. That's the conclusion arrived at early on in this episode and it's a jarringly judgemental note in an otherwise entertaining episode. Jensen Ackles gets some lovely moments as Dean finds the whole thing oddly attractive, but couldn't possibly admit it. The writers manage to play this up beautifully, giving him plenty to play with. SUPERNATURAL hasn't been this joyfully fun in a while.
It also doesn't hurt that Felicia Day is back as the delightful Charlie (from The Girl With The Dungeons And Dragons Tattoo), but this time she isn't given the material to really shine.
This is also the best excuse for BRAVEHEART ever.Top
As Time Goes By
Sam and Dean's paternal grandfather shows up, having disappeared in the 50s, with a demon in tow.
There really can't be any more Winchester family members to bring back and threaten with death. Father, Mother, both grandfathers, have all appeared now, which leaves only the grandmothers. Give the show time.
The episode is watchable and entertaining, but it is filler, pure and simple. The box that is the key to unlimited knowledge is a Mcguffin that might become important, but doesn't justify the fluff, monster of the week, story that it is wrapped in.
Frankly, family deserves better.Top
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