Friday, September 11, 2009

Can We Start A Twitter Trending Topic Called #DeanWinchesterKicksAss?

Supernatural: Sympathy For the Devil
Season 5, Episode 1

It's difficult to get excited for a television premiere when it doesn't feel like the show went anywhere during the summer break. Longtime Supernatural fans will cry out that the show, in fact, has been gone for the entire summer. Ok, ok, for you longtime Supernatural fans the summer must have been GRUELING but for us Johnny-come-lately fans the summer was an excuse to watch the entire series for the first time.

I'll fully admit that I initially wrote this show off as average CW teeny bopper drama until I heard that some of my favorite The X-Files producers we working on this series. So I gave it a shot. Damn. Am I glad I did. Without going into too much gushing fanboy-ism, I'm hooked. Explaining the series to friends as being like if The X-Files and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer made sweet, sweet love and the culmination of that fateful night was offspring that wasn't as whiny as Mommy Buffy and just as kick-ass as Daddy Mulder is a good indication of how seriously I take this series.

So, the Winchester boys haven't been gone this summer. No, they've been playing consistently in my DVD and Blu-Ray player for the entire summer. When we last saw the Winchester brothers, Sam and Dean, it was the end of the divisive fourth season. Sam decided to harness his demon powers to stop Lilith with Ruby at his side, unwittingly breaking the final lock holding Satan. With Ruby (and her awful acting) and Lilith dead, the boys are now facing the Prince of Evil himself, Lucifer.

Many fans didn't seem to enjoy the fourth season of the series, and maybe I have a different perspective since I watched the entire season over the course of a week, but I quite enjoyed the demon/angel war presented last year. This year seems to be pushing in much the same direction with the Winchesters at odds with both the demon world and the angels who apparently pushed for war in an attempt to finally defeat Lucifer once and for all.

One of the reasons I loved the fourth season was the way that it made the ongoing story of the previous seasons congeal into a compelling mythology that wasn't entirely visible previously. It gives the older seasons' arcs more gravitas in retrospect and truly feels like this year is the final chapter of a pre-planned story. Regardless of whether the show continues into a sixth season (and all indications are that it will) this five season arc will go down as being very well done and compelling. Maybe not as well thought out as say Babylon 5's arc, but close enough for me to make the connection.

Without going into too many plot specifics(if you haven't watched yet, go!) I will say that this episode was simultaneously satisfying and aggravating. The boys are rescued from the monastery and Castiel is brought back to life by some mysterious third party. It makes me think that the Twitter trending topic #Godishere was more than Twitter Christians reacting to the Supernatural fans trending #luciferiscoming. Viral marketing on behalf of the show, perhaps? Hmm, methinks so.) which is by far the most compelling thing to happen in the episode.

Meg Manning's demon makes her return as our first "face" demon that the boys must go up against. Bobby is possessed and breaks free from control long enough to use the demon killing knife on himself. Bobby doesn't die (Thank God!) but is told by doctors that he will never walk again.

The biggest news that is ACTUALLY spoken (not just implied like Castiel's resurrection by mystery person) is that the Archangel Michael is just itching to get into a brawl with Lucifer but needs a willing person to serve as his host. Not just any person, someone deemed to be Michael's Sword: Dean Winchester. Of course, after Zachariah showed his true colors last season, the last thing Dean wants to agree to is being a meat-suit for an angel throw down.

Lucifer, however, finds a host by convincing a depressed widow (Mark Pellegrino of Lost and Dexter)that God abandoned him and could have saved his late wife and child. It's an interesting dynamic that I cannot wait to see play out over the season. But seriously, if Lucifer shows up at your doorstep and says, "Bro, God's totally a dick, he totally lied about me being the prince of lies," don't believe him!

The big problem I have with the episode is that Dean seemingly forgives Sam early in the episode only to tell Sam later that he will never trust him again. I'm all for a rift between the boys - season four focused on that quite a bit and it turned Dean into my favorite character. Here it seems silly and contrived. The world is ending. Lucifer is rising. Shit is going down. The Winchesters need to man up and save the world. The rift itself wasn't even the big problem, it's just that it occurred at the very end of the episode. We didn't get a cliffhanger of any sort and this Dean/Sam fight seems to happen so frequently that I kind of felt like we'd been down this road before.

In the end the good outweighs the bland. I'm still on board for the rest of this season.

BTW anyone hear those rumors that Jensen "Dean Winchester" Ackles might be playing Captain America? I'm behind anyone who's previously uttered the words, "Criss Angel is a douche," playing Cap.


Arindana said...

Thanks for the review. It was really good and I love your writing style. Your wife linked to here from a sparkpeople page :)

Anonymous said...

great write-up; looking forward to future reviews!

Billy said...

Wow, thanks for the feedback. It's great to have eyeballs on the site since we literally just resurrected, actually. Keep an eye on the site, we've got some fun stuff planned for the future.

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