I see an apparent uptick in viewing stats on my blog. I guess everybody is wondering where my S13 premiere review is. Apologies for delaying.
How bad has the past week been? So rough I missed seeing Supernatural’s 13th season premiere on Friday the 13th in an OCTOBER. The planets aligned, and I screwed up. Still flogging myself over it.
Ok, as usual I’ll rant about what bugged me first and then close out the review with something positive (maybe even more than one).
So there’s a problem with audiences and writers alike (including me). It’s just a factor of the human condition – but we tend to “freeze” people and characters in our minds. Normally not that big of a deal, but it becomes a problem with a long-form storytelling. In order to maintain versimilitude, some effort has to be put in to remember that characters have had change and growth over the time we’ve seen them. The bad habit is for audiences and writers to always assume the characters are restarting each day as if from the page 1 pitch script.
In this episode, this would be Dean ONCE AGAIN being the trigger-happy, “let’s kill ’em all” hard-ass warrior and Sam ONCE AGAIN being the sensitive one that has to remind Dean that monsters can be people too. This goes on EVERY SEASON – even though there was a period of time (around S5 & S6) when Dean would be the restraint and Sam the trigger-happy one (of course he was soulless at the time). At least during S9 & 10 Dean had the Mark of Cain so there was an excuse that time.
Setting aside even all the times Dean is supposed to have learned this lesson by now, let’s also consider everything that’s happened over the previous 13 seasons:
- Even before this Dean had to help raise Sam, meaning he should be a lot kinder to kids and generally was the one a bit more inclined to bond with the really young.
- Was warned that Sam “had to die” yet refused to listen to it and repeatedly declared to people that Sam was not innately evil.
- Setting shipping aside, even purely as friends Dean was the closer pal to Castiel than Sam.
Sam meanwhile over those years…
- Had literal Satan inhabit his body.
- Was trapped with Lucifer in Hell for a long, LONG time.
I mean add everything up, and it becomes pretty clear that the two characters should have been switched this episode. Dean should have been the one sensitive to Jack and seeking to protect the kid as a way of honoring his fallen brother’s last wish. Sam, who knows the evil and wickedness of Lucifer better than anybody, should have been the one insistent that Jack had to die – that the evil is something the child can’t escape. Or evil won’t let him escape. And that would have been interesting and kind of new. It would also enforce the illusion that these are real characters who have gone through a lot.
I’m also not thrilled with the scene at the end between Mary & Lucifer. I would rather that be left to our imagination but maybe the writers will do something to change my mind on it. They’ve at least earned a chance at goodwill from me.
Other than that the episode was at least competent. Jack really skirted the line with being annoying but they thankfully just avoided it (although if some people still found him annoying, I understand). After kid-the DarknessTM it’s nice to see the show runners learning a few things. Loved the song selection playing over the “previously on” segment. I still like that the side characters being introduced are being fleshed out again and made to seem like real people. Heck the angel-girl was memorable in a way we love to hate. The longer S12 and S13 go, they really shine a light on how bland and forgettable side characters had become during the Carver tenure.
I did like that this episode took its time and let characters and the situation breathe. We went into this thinking the season villain is going to be this kid but now he seems to be ok. Will he yet become the villain? A hero to oppose the season’s villain? Will Sam & Dean turn him mortal and let him live out his own life? Will Jack become a full on regular? Since I avoid behind-the-scenes spoilers, I don’t know yet as it’s not obvious from the writing. We did get a hint that there might be more angel politics again at which point, I volunteer to be shot by the Colt. Hopefully the writers will really try something interesting this season. Heck I think they should do what Once Upon a Time started doing from S3 on and have 2 actual arcs each season (one is first half, the other is in the second half). Maybe Jack can have his arc conclude by Christmas, and a new adventure begin in January.
I like the send off they gave Castiel.
I’m interested in seeing where this goes. Whatever complaints I make about the new staff, they are at least trying new mistakes instead of the same old ones (well… this episode was a bad example).
I give the episode a cautious…
Out of 5. Pretty average, nothing too bad nor too great in it. It’s at least a solid start for the season.