It’s nearly been 10 years since the Winchester brothers began saving people and hunting things. Supernatural’s family business is entering into its tenth season this fall, making the primetime show almost as classic as the music Dean loves so much. In preparation for the season premiere this Tuesday, let’s recap and review season 9 and “The Road So Far”:
Missed Opportunities Galore:
In the season’s first episode, Dean (Jensen Ackles) allowed an angel named Ezekiel to possess Sam (Jared Padalecki) to save him. Cool idea, right? Turns out Zeke had ulterior motives and wasn’t who we thought. Even cooler, right? But in a splendid fall from grace, this exciting idea slumps over like an angel with a blade through its chest. The angel possessing Sam should have been somebody we already knew, back for revenge. Every fan held their breath and prayed for the return of Mark Pellegrino’s Lucifer, but Ezekiel turned out to be Gadreel (Tahmoh Penikett), who, albeit interesting, was poorly developed as a character and as a plot device. There was also the lackluster way in which Abaddon (Alaina Huffman), Queen-of-Hell-Hopeful, was killed. As fun as Crowley (Mark Sheppard) is to watch, it would have been a nice change to see a woman in charge, and especially one who had been around and had as much development as Abaddon did. Her death was wasted.
With a show like Supernatural, it’s no surprise that every once and a while the writers and the fans need an emotional break. The filler episodes between the plot-heavy ones are often fan favorites, because they’re fun or experimental. Unfortunately, throughout season 9, Supernatural didn’t use the one-shots to their advantage. Almost every in-between episode brought back an old friend and banished them. Because of various one-shots from season 9, it’s unclear if we’ll ever see Charlie (Felicia Day), the Ghostfacers (A.J. Buckley and Travis Wester), or Garth (DJ Qualls) again, who always brought in huge ratings. Hopefully, season 10 will bring back meaningful filler episodes, ones that call back to the Monster-of-the-Week fun we remember from seasons 1-3.
This title brings shivers and snarls to Supernatural fans everywhere. For those living under a rock for the past year, the writers pitched an idea for a spin-off show about feuding monster clans in Chicago that would air in Supernatural’s off-season. It would have the Supernatural feel, but a completely different cast of characters. As many might have expected, (especially after seeing the underwhelming episode that set up the universe) the CW did not pick up Bloodlines. The Supernatural writers put a heck of a lot of time into planning and promoting Bloodlines, so it’s clear that they may have let season 9 fall to the wayside. Yeah, we noticed. But it’s not too late! With Bloodlines lying in the darkest corner of the CW’s office labeled “Ultimate Failure,” this means that season 10 essentially has to be absolutely spectacular.
The death of beloved prophet and former Advanced Placement student Kevin Tran (Osric Chau) has been under severe fan scrutiny since the moment it happened. While we should definitely lament the loss of Chau’s witty and caring character, we should also be considering this plot choice logically. Metatron (Curtis Armstrong) asked Gadreel to kill Kevin because he didn’t want anyone foiling his plans to seal the gates of Heaven. Kevin was the prophet, a.k.a. the only other person besides God’s scribe Metatron who could decipher the Angel tablet and consequentially reveal his plan. Of course he was the first person on his hit list. It wasn’t a willy-nilly decision of the writers to kill Kevin Tran—they knew he was a favorite—but it was a bold and smart decision to do so. His death gave Metatron’s plan the logical push it needed.
The last thirty seconds of season 9 very nearly redeemed the bad choices that were made throughout. When Dean opened his eyes and we saw that he had become the very thing he worked day in and day out to protect the world from, we knew season 10 was going to hurt. The “Deanmon,” as the CW is referring to his newfound, black-eyed identity, is here and working with Crowley in earnest. It’s exciting for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a great juxtaposition to how season 9 began, with Sam being inhabited by an angel. Second, it brings us closer to a few possibilities we’ve been warned about in past seasons. In season 3, Dean meets an evil, truth-spitting, dream world version of himself who shouts, behind black eyes, “You’re going to die. And this! This is what you’re going to become!” Also, it’s 2014, which means The End!verse (circa season 5, episode 4) apocalypse theory could finally come to fruition. In that episode, 2014!Dean is a total jerk and doesn’t seem to care about anyone. Despite wanting to kill Satan, his behavior matches that of demons we’ve seen before: self-involved, reckless, and generally cold towards others. Who’s to say 2014!Dean wasn’t a demon the whole time? If Supernatural has to end it all, please let it end in flames with Dean as a demon and Sam as Satan.
Set-Up for Awesome Character Development
Where is Cas? Will he lose his Grace? Will he become human again? How can he possibly survive any of this? All of these questions require answers, and those answers inherently call for character development. The choices Angel of the Lord Castiel (Misha Collins) is going to be forced to make are really going to show the kind of person he’s become over the course of this past season. Let’s hope the writers take the time to thoughtfully develop America’s favorite angel. Also, despite the tired concept of Sam and Dean hiding secrets, fighting, and then breaking up, season 9 did bring about some serious development for both Sam and Dean. Sam finally stood up for himself, and Dean was finally able to stop caring for a minute. Even though it all hurt, it made sense. Now the boys are in a situation that means hating each other is going to be second nature—if the writers take this opportunity to dive into the pain, then swoop back out to help the boys form a stronger brotherly bond, season 10 could be amazing.