Supernatural S7E1 review
|REVIEWS - TV|
Hell's like the gift that just keeps on giving...
Say what you will about Supernatural...it's never dull. So, as season seven made its emphatic arrival on The CW tonight, one has to ponder - just how good was it?
OK, so let's recap a bit. As is common with the series, season seven picks up immediately where its predecessor left off. Dean (Jensen Ackles), Bobby (Jim Beaver) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) remain transfixed to the spot, unable to comprehend just what has happened to Castiel. After digesting a small army of souls, Castiel pronounces that he is now their new God, and each must bow down and profess their faith, or face annihilation...it's never a happy ending for the boys, is it?
Anyhow, Dean - as is his nature - attempts to plead with his new higher being, pleading with "Cas" to come back from inside. However, 'God' informs Dean and the other worker ants that Cas is gone, before agreeing to spare their lives providing they stay out of his way.
So, assuming his new role as 'God', the former angel goes on a self-proclaimed cleansing, first with his own kind and then on a worldwide level. Crooked preachers, embezzling politicians, even the Kl Klux Klan - no-one is safe from this surprisingly vengeful God. At the same time, the Winchesters palette is once again filling up. Dean is throwing yet another emotional wobbler, choosing to sulk rather than to fight; Sam's hell-protecting wall is, well, crumbling to the ground, inducing horrific hallucinations and fearful memories (which, as ever, he keeps from Dean); and Bobby? Well, Bobby must try to pick up the pieces, conducting research and sending out feelers to other hunters in the hope of finding a way of banishing Bruce Almighty for good.
Now, we all know the Winchesters are a desperate pair - these boys have had more 'deals with the devil' than hot dinners - but this is serious. They've got nothing. No leverage, no knowledge, no tricks...nothing. After some time, Dean - that spiritedly young fellow - comes to the realisation that there is just one person with enough fire power to take down God himself...Death. For long standing fans of the series, we know that Death's summoning is always a dubious one - one riddled with confusion and mystery - and this is no different. However, Death does at least shed some light on the complexity of their situation; Castiel has swallowed more than just souls. As the reaper himself tells us, God (the real one) created monsters long before he created humanity. In specific, however, God created the Leviathan's, a sea monster with a dubious temper, but soon banished these beasts to purgatory. Problem is, Castiel inadvertently gave them a doorway - and, more importantly - a vessel to escape too, so now our new God has a ghoulish stomach ache going on.
In order to clean up their mess, Death once again (why does he keep doing this?!?) provides the boys with a solution - get Cass to the assigned purgatory portal for 4.59am on Sunday and all will be well. Unfortunately, the Leviathan's have other ideas, and episode one once again ends with a cliffhanger. After all, banishing them within a 40 minute episode would be a bit of an anti-climax now wouldn't it?
So there we have it, episode one of season seven...done and dusted. Problem is, for the first time in the shows history, I have a number of growing concerns. First off, how does Miss Gamble plan on restructuring Dean? As one inquisitive reader pointed out in my previous Supernatural piece, Dean had developed an emotive connection with Castiel, and I am worried that season seven has all but bulldozed this progress. Their relationship provided humour, respite and, most importantly, humanised Dean's character, so my worry - one pervaded by last nights episode - is that Dean will fall back into his emotionless, drunken state, thus destroying all the process made to date.
Secondly, it all feels a bit rushed. In the first episode, Sam's wall eroded at a rapid rate; Castiel went bad, good and bad again; and Crowley (Mark A. Sheppard) managed to crawl back into the picture (not that I'm disappointed...Crowley's great...but too soon). Heck, why not kidnap Death himself...oh wait, we did! Supernatural has never been one to rush through a storyline, and I'm sure the plans are set, but too much of a good thing is ultimately poisonous. Personally, I would have preferred the episode to deal specifically with Castiel, his new role and its effect on those around him.
Finally, I must again question this apparent 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' appeal - I can't see how following this premise will help a show like Supernatural. In Cass, the boys have lost a friend, a companion and a weapon...now where will they turn? So much of season five and six was based around Castiel and his involvement that one struggles to see how the show will recover. Episode one did little to ease these fears, so I guess we must now play the waiting game.
On the whole, I'd never question the writing or plot of Supernatural - after all, when have they ever led us wrong - but I would be lying if I said I wasn't concerned. Episode two certainly has a lot to do, so I think we should wait until after its showing before passing any serious judgement.
IF YOU ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE HELP SUPPORT OUR SITE, AT NO COST WITH ONE CLICK ON THE FACEBOOK 'LIKE' BUTTON BELOW:
If you're interested in writing for Shadowlocked (disc and screening reviews, etc, or just getting some extra coverage for your extraordinary writing talent, get in touch with us.