A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 10×01 (Technically, Dean is now a smoke monster)

SN 2x01

Not since Smallville has a show on the WB…er CW made it’s mark the way Supernatural has. Tonight marks the beginning of double digits for the Winchesters as a new chapter is written, and that chapter is 10. From the ashes of angelic grace and diabolical demon-ness comes…more angelic shenanigans and country style demon karaoke, with gravy. You could just tell Jensen enjoyed making those songs sound like abysmal torture devices for all to hear.

After a few months, Sam is searching for Crowley over what happened to Dean, but his rude awakening comes when he thinks a random demon is inhabiting Dean’s body. After acquiring a phone from a dead demon who Dean killed, Sam gets in touch with Crowley who explains that the demon really is Dean and has been hanging with Crowley since he left. After an unnamed ex marine kidnaps Sam, he forces a trade to Dean who passively says “Nope, not gonna happen.” leaving the marine and Sam to unknown territory and Dean driving toward his next careless frontier.

Meanwhile Cas and Hannah search for two rogue angels who refuse to return to heaven. After they find them, a fight ensues and Cas is forced to kill one of the angels and is wounded by the other. During this episode, Cas is seen as very sick which is due in part to an incident with Sam some time ago which also relates to Sam’s arm in a sling the entire time.

There’s a couple bits of history here we’re not currently privy to, one with this vengeful marine who’s hell bent on finding and killing Dean, and the incident with Sam and Cas while they were searching for Crowley. Both have peeked my interest, we’ll see how each one unfolds over time. This is a bit analogous with season 8’s flashback routine between Sam and Dean, so it’s not new but at least it’s interesting.

This premiere “Black” centers a bit on the concept of freedom and the perks and dangers that come along with it. On the one hand, Dean is living how he wants to, completely guilt free of demon slaying and hunting in general. He hasn’t shown a lick of regret and shows no emotional ties to Crowley, the young woman at the bar he had a fling with, and Sam himself who he chose not to save at all. This aligns with the angels Daniel and Edena who want to be free of heaven and enjoy the freedom of living on earth among humans. Both are willing to fight to maintain that freedom and I’m certain this theme will be brought up several more times throughout the season.

As for Dean, is this a good change for his character? Absolutely. He’s still the same Dean, but with more avarice and less constriction. The brotherly bonds that helped connect this show to so many fans is holding off on reuniting them with no certainty it’ll ever be the same again. Right now he’s playing to his vices which is a good start, but I’d like to see that change into more darker territory. He’s a demon and with that comes a bit of a rough patch that’s sure to change his entire outlook on humanity. The key here is that Dean still has his original body. Knowing this show it will maintain that gimmick until his demon days are over. Though, I’d like to see a few scenarios where Dean has to switch bodies or become truly despicable in a few acts. Right now he’s killed a few demons, ones sent by Crowley to keep him satiated from the mark. That’s all well and good. But how long until that spills into the innocent? I’m hoping that Dean doesn’t truly know what he’s in for. I expect him to throw Crowley enough curve balls until Dean doesn’t have a choice but to join him in a new creation of the perfect hell. That alone spells more of a fun plot then the entirety of both seasons 8 and 9. Can’t wait to see what happens.

The episode ends with Dean driving alone when normally the brothers would be driving in the car together. His look is one of true apathy over letting his brother’s choices determine his fate, good or bad. It was a good call, because it’s too early to show any glimmer of human Dean in there, which I’m sure there is to some miniscule intent. That’ll come later when things get really heated up. But how do you turn a demon human again? That weird demon exorcism? Nah, that seems tired already. We need something new to try out. More demon lore coming our way undoubtedly.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Most of the scenes were steady, but I did think Dean’s last chat with Anne-Marie stood out a little more than the rest. She was a decent actress and the character wanted to believe in the qualities that she thought Dean possessed, until his beating of her boyfriend showed Anne the simple side of Demon Dean Winchester. Again, he shows no regret over his attitude and lifestyle and insults her in spite of himself. He never bats an eyelash over his actions and expects to continue doing them.

What this spells out for me is that Dean is making conscious choices to be the person he is now. Being officially dead and transformed seems to give him a new lease on caring for nothing in the world but his own desires. While the mark was preparing him it was always forcing him to kill. Now he has free will of it, at least he thinks he does. Crowley’s scheme to pit him against demons every so often is a sign that Dean may not have as much control as he thinks. We’re certain to find out. In any case, I find it interesting that Dean forsakes everything he was just because his eyes can go black now. He hasn’t exhibited any other demon qualities that suggests he should be acting the way he is. The nature of a demon is to be despicable. That can take various forms, but if anything it only accentuates Dean’s booming flair. It hasn’t really changed it, yet. I want to see more attempts to put Dean on a darker path.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Since it’s Supernatural and very few guest stars or supporting actors/actresses truly shine, I’m doing MVP a little differently for this show. Each ep, I’ll award it to a one of the common four, Dean, Sam, Castiel, or Crowley and keep a running tally sheet so we’ll be able to track who’s in the lead to see who scores the most points for the season. That sound fair?

Tonight’s MVP goes to Dean. Stated numerous times earlier, he’s free of obligation and concern for human responsibility and lives it up the only way Dean knows how, drinking, and singing (horribly) and fornicating every chance he gets. He’s having fun and it’s fun to watch him have fun. It’ll get stale in a bit, but for now, he’s showing that side of him that doesn’t need the guilt and frustration with tackling Angels and Demons all the time. He has his break. And that break will eventually cost him.

The tally road so far

Dean = 1

Sam = 0

Castiel = 0

Crowley = 0

 

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

It’s ironic that Dean still has his warding tattoo on his chest preventing demons from inhabiting his body. It would be completely humorous if that kicked him out of his own body for a while.

Cas is in some dire need of new grace. How will he get it? It seems to require killing other angels. Perhaps Edena or another rogue angel on the loose?

The marine has a wife and child who seem normal, which could point to his brother being the reason why he wants Dean dead so bad. It seemed an odd little story to tell just to relate to Sam’s arm in a sling. I do wonder what human Dean did to mark himself too much.

I miss Meg. All the Megs.

The opening title logo (Which I think is fantastic) is the polar opposite of last season’s logo. Season 9 was angel wings and season 10 is the upside down pentagram. We’ve had demonic logos before but this one seems very specific. In any case, this suggests the tenth season will be primarily demon-centric with the angels playing in the background more. I’m okay with this.

T minus 4 eps until #200. It’s titled “Fan Fiction” which could point in a few obvious directions but I’ll refrain from writing my thoughts until we get closer to the date.

 

OVERALL SCORE

Tonight’s premiere scores a decent 6. We’re treated to a new theme and Dean as a potential villain character. I know villain is a strong word, but until he changes his ways and helps Sam again, he’s basically a villain who will let Sam die because he doesn’t care. Decent acting all around, except for those angels, minus Cas. I don’t like angels on this show anymore. There are no more celebrity angels this show can pull from that will make me interested in them again. Unless they did something fancy by bringing Gabriel back, which likely won’t happen.

The episode did it’s job showing us a new arc with the brothers, but it didn’t feel anything super special. Instead of diabolical Dean, we got lecherous Dean. Hopefully he has room for growth this season. He does still have the bone knife, and that thing is bad ass.

 

No more words

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