Before we get started, I should confess that I had let my Supernatural fandom lapse a little bit after season 5. When season 6 aired, I had a hard time getting into it, and I stopped watching for several years. About a month ago, when Chaz offered me the opportunity to write about Supernatural, I decided to pick up the show again. However, due to that pesky “real life”, I only got through seasons 6 and 7 before last night’s episode aired. I’m planning on watching the rest, but for now, my background on season 10 consists entirely of Wikipedia summaries and the “A Very Special Supernatural” retrospective that aired the night before.
Despite all that, last night’s episode was still objectively a great season opener, with plenty of action and just enough fan service to cater to the base. I don’t know about you, but Crowley constantly referring to Sam as “Moose” will never, ever get old to me. Actually, Mark Sheppard will never get old either. Can we just continue to put him in every sci-fi franchise ever? I’m sure we could find him a role in Star Wars VII or Star Trek 3. Or both. But I digress.
At the beginning of “Black,” Sammy is desperately searching for any lead on Crowley and Dean’s location. After locating a case of a missing man reappearing after several years (indicating he was possessed by demons), he calls Castiel for help, but quickly backtracks when he hears how sick Cas is because his borrowed grace is failing. This scene was mostly notable because after a sickly, weak Cas tells Sam, “I miss [Dean],” I could almost hear the squealing and furious typing of multiple fan fiction authors. We were also treated to several scenes of Dean performing terrifically bad karaoke. I sincerely hope the full version of both songs shows up on the DVD release.
This season seems to be setting up a platonic demon love triangle centering around Dean. Crowley is trying to convince Deanmon to return to Hell to him and rule as his right hand man, but Dean is happy right where he is. Sam is trying to find (and save) his brother, but as we saw in the last scene, Dean is so far gone that he seems callously indifferent at the thought of Sam dying. And adding a layer of mystery to the drama is the mysterious ex-military man, who upon receiving a fax of Dean’s picture from the security footage with “Yup.” scrawled on it, promptly loads up a small arsenal and kidnaps Sam to use as leverage to track Dean down. I’m not ruling out that he might be a time traveller from the past, because who still has a fax machine at home?!
While it’s a little heartbreaking to see Dean turn against Sam like this, his new love-hate bromance with Crowley is wonderfully amusing. Their little “jerk/bitch” banter, harkening back to Sam and Dean’s early days, was both hilarious and sad (sorry, Sam, but you’re officially replaced). I also laughed at Crowley’s speech to Dean about wanting to get away from the dive bar, asking him, “How many suicide wings can you eat?”, because I could perfectly picture Dean happily turning into a townie barfly, albeit a slightly demonic one. Sam also gets a chance to flourish as a character on his own, so as sad as I am to see them separated, I’m thinking it’s going to make for some damn good TV.
As this is unfolding, Cas has teamed up with Hannah to attempt to reach out to two fallen angels who are refusing to return to heaven. I’m not a religious person, but I did go to Catholic schools for twelve years, so Supernatural’s portrayal of Heaven and Hell has always fascinated me from a mythological perspective. I’m particularly excited for storyline being set up in this B-plot, where the fallen angels are refusing to return because they have discovered the freedom and celebration of individuality they can have on Earth. Hannah can’t comprehend how this is better, because freedom leads to chaos, but Cas plays devil’s advocate (pun maybe intended?), telling her that “art, hope, love, and dreams” all arise from chaos. I’m a sucker for a good “humans are okay after all” theme, so I hope we see this explored more.
However, what really excites me about this plot is a little throwaway line from Cas’ first encounter with the fallen angel Daniel, where he implores them to stay for sunset, saying, “Nighttime around here is a Revelation.” From reading other reviews online, it seems most people were a little bored by this subplot, but I think it’s planting the seed for this season’s biblical theme, hence why I capitalized Revelation. A little research reveals that the Book of Revelation heavily references the Old Testament scripture the Book of Daniel, which follows the Book of Ezekiel in most Christian bibles. Daniel is credited as being the origin of a number of Christian mythologies, including the apocalypse and the coming of the “Son of Man.” Cas killed Daniel, so it’s possible I’m completely wrong, but since when has anyone killed on Supernatural stayed dead? Supernatural tends to play fast and loose with the Biblical origins of their mythology, I can’t say for certain where this story is going, but I have a feeling this is our first clue.
On an entirely less serious note, I’ve finally developed Stockholm Syndrome, because I no longer hate Jared Padalecki’s haircut. It only took ten seasons! Let me know what you think of his haircut (and I guess the episode too) in the comments.