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Supernatural Recap and Review

IN THE July 19 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andChris Lovato,
andFantasy & Fangs,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Chris Lovato

This recap and review picks up where are last review of Supernatural left off and covers the last 5 seasons.

Finished with nine seasons and headed for a 10th in the fall, Supernatural is a show that’s proven a fan favorite. It’s not hard to see why, but let’s take a look at…

THE ROAD SO FAR

After the introduction of Castiel to the cast, we learn that Dean’s been returned from Hell (by none other than Castiel), and that Sam has been consorting with Ruby in his absence. Though he’s horrified to learn that his brother’s been drinking demon blood, Dean and Sam must worry about a powerful demon, Lillith, who is working to break the 66 Seals of Lucifer’s Cage.

As Lillith continues to break more seals, Sam starts to consume more demon blood to become strong enough to face her. Eventually, the brothers kill Lillith, but her death turns out to be the last seal of the Cage and Lucifer returns to walk the earth.TV

Perhaps one of the most important revelations in all of this were learning that Dean held out for years before he gave in to torturing souls in Hell (this was the first seal of the Cage, as the Seals were rituals or certain events that had to take place). The brothers also learn that their mother made a deal with Azazel (the demon that killed her when they were children) to save John’s life, and that their father had a son with another woman (their half-brother Adam).

With Lucifer free from his cage, he wages war on his fellow angels, and he keeps making efforts to get Sam to agree to possession by the angel (as angels can’t possess people without consent, unlike demons). Through encounters with angels, the brothers learn that they are destined to become vessels; Dean to the archangel Michael, and Sam to Lucifer, as the two angels were destined to battle on earth.

The Winchesters meet the archangel Gabriel, who lets them know that the rings of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse can be used to open Lucifer’s Cage and imprison him again. Through many trials and encounters with new foes and old “friends”, they manage to acquire the rings. While Sam drinks enough demon blood to ensure that Lucifer can’t take complete control, he allows the angel to possess him, but Dean refuses Michael. Adam turns out to be the archangel’s vessel, and both he and Lucifer go into the cage, along with Sam.

Dean manages to rekindle his relationship with Lisa, and Sam is mysteriously returned to Earth, along with a few long-gone members of the Winchester family (like their grandfather, Samuel). While Sam displays some worrying tendencies, Castiel leaves to head an army in Heaven as the leader of one of the factions warring for their realm now that God has disappeared. As Dean grows to distrust his resurrected grandfather, he discovers that Sam returned from Hell without a soul, which led to some heinous decisions. Eventually, Dean makes a deal with Death to return his brother’s soul, and the Horseman creates a “wall” in Sam’s mind, as the memory of his time in Hell would destroy him.

When one of the first demons, Eve, learns of Crowley’s plans to find and open Purgatory (where all supernatural creatures go when they die) to get the souls, she comes to Earth and begins unleashing new monsters to stop the demon. Through their interactions and fights with the “Mother of all Monsters”, Dean learns that Castiel is working with Crowley to tip the scales of Heaven’s civil war in his favor by consuming half of the almost limitless souls in Purgatory. Though they destroy Eve, the brothers can’t stop Castiel from double-crossing the King of Hell and taking all of the souls into himself, making him the New God.

Castiel starts to take his new position very seriously, but the Winchesters have more to handle when Sam starts hallucinating Lucifer. Dean manages to convince the new God to give up the souls from Purgatory, and most of them go back except for the most dangerous creatures in the series so far: Leviathans. They’re God’s first creatures, and they’re hungry. They immediately infiltrate people in the top tiers of society, and the cost of their rise to power comes in the form of Bobby Singer. Without him or Castiel, Dean must keep his brother from spiraling into insanity and find a way to take out the leader of the Leviathans, Dick Roman. Thanks to the emergence of a new prophet, Kevin Tran, Dean finds a weapon to kill the Leviathans and succeeds; however, the victory comes at a price, and Dean and Castiel are taken into Purgatory.

A year later, Dean escapes Purgatory and finds that Sam has retired from hunting, but the discovery of tablets bearing the Word of God puts Kevin Tran in danger. Since he’s the only one who can translate them, the Prophet is highly sought after, especially when one of the tablets holds a spell that can banish demons back to Hell and seal it off. It takes the completion of three Trials, and Sam begins working on them.

Things are complicated when an enigmatic angel brings Castiel back from Purgatory to spy on the Winchesters. When the brothers and the angel encounter Metatron, the Scribe who took down the Word of God, the Scribe convinces Castiel to complete another set of Trials: ones that will activate a spell that would take the angels back to Heaven and seal it off. While Cas and Sam both work on the Trials, a demon named Abaddon, a Knight of Hell, time travels to the present day and vies for the throne of Hell.

Eventually, Cas completes the trials and reveals Metatron’s true motives: to seal Heaven off and cast the angels out of it. In casting them out, he also moved the angels’ civil war to Earth, and most of them have their sights set on Castiel. Meanwhile, Dean is on his own after Sam goes into a coma, and he accepts the help of a duplicitous angel; however, that help comes in the form of the angel possessing Sam and, in essence, hiding out while he heals Sam from the inside out.

The angel, Gadreel, begins working with Metatron to rebuild Heaven, and Abaddon makes a ploy for Hell’s throne in Crowley’s absence. In response to the growing threat, Dean encounters Cain (of Cain and Abel) and finds the tools necessary to destroy Abaddon. All the while, Sam starts to suspect something as he loses chunks of time.

Dean manages to kill Abaddon, but the cost of using the weapon from Cain drives him to want to kill; this makes their quest to stop Metatron all the more difficult, but also offers the best solution they have to do so. Their plan fails horribly and Metatron kills Dean, but Castiel turns the tables and imprisons Metatron for all eternity. While Sam mourns the loss of his brother, Crowley returns and uses Cain’s weapon to resurrect Dean…as a demon.

Through all of this, we see the loss of Ellen and Jo, Bobby, and Kevin Tran.

Now, back to reality. Kinda.

As the series delves almost completely into the war between Heaven and Hell, the character development through the first nine seasons is startling. Dean goes from hunting with his brother to saving him, then not trusting his own flesh and blood as the stakes grow. Jensen Ackles takes this all in stride, and if this reviewer has to pick sides, he’s Team Dean. Of course, Sam/Jared Padalecki goes from little brother who never wanted to be in the family business to a pawn for demon and angel alike. Who could blame him for wanting to get out of hunting? We also watch Castiel (Misha Collins) make the transition from guardian angel to God, but the stoic “angel of few words” who doesn’t get pop culture references shine through the whole time.

The Road So Far has seen quite a few guest stars as well. Felicia Day (The Guild) plays a semi-recurring role as a hacker named Charlie, and her flare for online gaming in The Guild carries over extremely well to Supernatural. James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter star as a pair of warring married witches, and you may recognize them as Spike and Cordelia from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Fun fact: Felicia Day also guest starred on Buffy). We even get cameos by reality stars Paris Hilton (who makes fun of how humans treat celebrities like her) and Snooki (Jersey Shore).

The recurring characters added later in the show also add watch factor. Mark Sheppard is Crowley, and most of the show’s viewers have fallen in love with his snarkiness, flirtatiousness, and pure attitude. Osric Chao is Kevin Tran, the reluctant prophet, and his character is an illustration of what happens when someone is drawn into the supernatural life (which is, in fact, everyone in the show).

The slew of monsters the brothers face over the years is nothing short of amazing, and the special effects used to produce them are equally as amazing. As the show introduces bigger and badder demons, it expands the lore and the type of spells/effects we see, which allowed the cast and crew more freedom to show us what the things that go bump in the night can really do.

Overall, Supernatural has followed the course of shows before it, starting out as “monster of the week” and progressing to stories that engulf entire seasons; with Season 10 coming out in three months, I’m interested to see what’s going to happen down the road.

Catch Supernatural starting October 7 Tuesdays on the CW.

Check out more TV reviews in KRL’s TV section!

Chris Lovato is a twenty something Coloradan who happens to know how to wield a sword…and a pen. Although more inclined to the dark and macabre, his love is literary fiction (based in the ”real world” with a supernatural twist). You can find his blog at roboticscorpionvoodoo.tumblr.com Follow him on Twitter @ceeloroboto.

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