It’s been awhile since I’ve written something about Supernatural since the start of the latest season. Well, life can sometimes get in the way, and it’s not all good and can get downright nasty for many of us. Plus, who can top those amazing recap reviews by our Lynn Zubernis, who truly is an expert on all things Supernatural.
The past few weeks have been hectic for fans, the actors themselves, the US and the world in general. What’s good about this season so far is that it comes off as dramatic, seemingly reflecting the helplessness and the hopelessness many of us feel. A world of ever-increasing conflict, full of death, fires and shootings that God has seemingly left us to dry, leaving his churches open to evil, leading many to believe that He’s just a fairy tale.
The first episode alone shows us a helpless Dean fresh from the loss of his good friend Castiel and his mother Mary and having to deal with the latest otherworldly threat of Jack the Nephilim. Not to mention losing their awkward friend Crowley. He asks God for help in bringing them back, in true Supernatural fashion, but as suggested in the entirety of Season 12, he’s not coming back to help, and as suggested in the latest episode, the Winchesters are going to have to deal with things themselves. Let’s compound the boys’ losses with the death of their friend Missouri, who for many fans was a disappointment since her death was a plot device for her granddaughter Patience to enter the world of monsters and hunting. Many fans were waiting for her reappearance only for her to die off-screen like fan-favorite Rowena. Well, the show’s not perfect.
I feel we haven’t had this level of drama since the first five seasons of the show. Not a big fan of drama (the soap opera type) but I know its importance to any story and laud any film or TV show that can make me cry. Dean is as embroiled in depression here as he was while hunting Famine in Season 5. As for Sam, we’re reminded of earlier seasons of him being ‘the freak’ who should have been killed off by his brother now clearly biased against those like him. Whether or not this motivation was tacked on over Sam’s prime motive to harness Jack and free their mother but it’s clearly logical when you look back. Unlike Dean, Sam still thinks that Mary is still alive. And unlike Dean, Sam continues to want the feeling of having a mother around, something he hasn’t felt all his life. These motivations put him at odds with hopeless Dean to keep things dramatically interesting. This conflict was brought nicely to the surface in the fourth episode The Big Empty by a shrink shifter no less.
It’s not just Dean and Sam. Jack, played by Alex Culvert deserves some applause in his performance so far—wanting to be good, and afraid to be evil in honor of his mother Kelly and his father figure Castiel. He’s also like Castiel at first, a childlike being totally naïve of the ways of the world. He was literally born yesterday but gives us a great performance we haven’t come to expect in the first four episodes. I honestly can’t predict how he’ll figure into the whole season’s narrative which of course centers around him. Like Castiel, Jack is both pained and funny.
The drama still hangs in the air in the latest episode Advanced Thanatology but lifts it at the end. The past two episodes showed us the pain of losing someone. We can only imagine in the latest episode, how exacerbated Dean’s pain got after seeing the mother grieving over her son, lost to the episode’s baddie. But it’s time to bring the fun back to the show that’s keeping it in the air for so long. Castiel comes back from the Empty, which should alleviate some, if not all of Dean’s hopelessness and give him hope that his mother is still truly alive. Something he failed to confirm with Billie the now true Death. Too bad Mr. Julian Richings can no longer come back for his Chicago pizza. It’s also quite interesting what outlook Dean will have in the future after confirming he and his brother won’t be dying anytime soon because they have a job to do. Advanced Thanatology also erases the brothers’ chances of being tossed into the Empty themselves because as much as Billie hates it, the Winchesters continue to be important.
For us fans, that’s good news, and hopefully, that’s true. Can everyone say that we could use a couple of seasons more after Season 13? In these trying times, we could sure use some escape into the world of horror, action, comedy and yes, some drama.
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