TV Review: Supernatural (Season 10, 2014-2015)

Yes, season 10; time flies. Supernatural premiered back in 2005, and tells the tale of brothers Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) as they hunt down various supernatural monstrosities. The stakes were raised from vampires and witches to full on demons by season 3, and season 4 introduced Angels, including new holy ally Castiel (Misha Collins). By season 5, my personal pick of favourite season, we had the Four Horsemen and Lucifer himself, as well as the introduction of the demon Crowley (Mark a Sheppard), and season 6 brought us some very angry Archangels.

The seventh season had The Leviathans, ancient hellspawn bent on destruction, with its roots in corporations worldwide. Seasons eight and nine focused on the brothers’ attempt to close the gates of hell permanently, and the subsequent fall of the Angels from heaven, followed by Dean accepting the Mark of Cain onto his arm in order to stop the Knights of Hell, led by Abaddon, eventually leading to Dean’s death.

So, it’s been a long road so far, and Season 10 picks up directly as Dean is resurrected by the Mark, now as a Demon, and on the run with Crowley.

+ Dean (Jensen Ackles) gets the main spotlight, along with the majority of the character development, as it is his Mark of Cain (“the wrestler?” “no, but that would be awesome”) that drives the plot. Ackles once again shows his dramatic chops, as he has to portray the range of emotions that come with simultaneously saving the world, while knowing you are probably going to kill all your friends
+ Castiel and Crowley (Misha Collins and Mark A Sheppard) return in larger roles than ever, essentially making this a main cast of four. As the good and bad allies, respectively, they each get the time to be particularly friendly, and particularly devious, and both provide numerous laughs and ‘oh crap’ moments
+ many previous characters return, or are mentioned, including Sherriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes, first appearing in season 5), Claire Novak (now played by Kathryn Newton, first shown as a child in season 4) and Charlie Bradbury (Felicia Day, from season 7). This helped the season seem a bit ‘closer to home’, and helped push the notion of a larger world than just whatever the brothers were up to that week
+ the final scenes of the season leave lots of room to go somewhere good in season 11, as long as they don’t just sweep it all under the rug like they did for the whole demon thing this season
+ the title card was awesome. Not the best, (season 5 and 9 take that spot) but the inverted pentagram, seen above, was always great to see

– Sam (Jared Padalecki) is just… not good at acting. He makes the same few faces all the time (either squinty eyes as if he’s confused, eyes wide and mouth open, which I assume is shock, or a sort of sarcastic scoff). It gets frustrating, and I felt the need to turn it into a game to try and copy his various, ridiculous expressions
– the season never really seemed to know who it’s major antagonist was. At first it seemed like former soldier with a grudge against Dean, Cole Trenton (Travis Aaron Wade) would be the lingering threat, but that soon gave way to the witch with the Scottish accent, Rowena (Ruth Connell). Again, she soon turned into more of an ally, and the brothers turned their attention to the Styne family, lead by patriarch Monroe (Markus Flanagan). But, again, this only lasted a few episodes
– similarly, the plot seemed to jump around a fair bit. It was sometimes a mad rush to get the Mark off of Dean’s arm, and other times everyone seemed to be content to just let Dean control himself. The huge cliffhanger of season 9, Dean being a demon, was (sort of) completely dropped after just a few episodes, but referenced throughout

> Episode 5, “Fan Fiction” was the 200th overall, which I think is why it allowed itself to be a bit silly, and throw in references all the way back from the first seasons. I enjoyed it.
> Lots of references to the third Winchester brother, now the Angel Michael, and Lucifer leave me hopeful we may get some closure on plot points back from Season 5.
> Regarding the final moments of the guest character in the final episode, I can’t say I am completely sure that their fate is as clear cut as it may seem. If it is, though, there may be some very widespread repercussions

Should you watch this show: Whilst I will always stand by my opinion that the show peaked in Season 5, this was a surprising return to form for the long running series. If you’ve been watching so far, you will be rewarded with this season, and if you gave it up a while ago, this might be the point to jump back in. I’d say to give this a go.

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