I’m happy to be reviewing this first episode of Supernatural Season 13.  I’ve tried to have few expectations about the awesomeness (or not) of this new season, but to just let the story wash over me and see how it made me feel.  The verdict:  In the immortal words of Chuck, who didn’t deign to respond to Dean’s pleas, “Not Bad.”

 

It’s nice to be starting this episode in the same place where we left off last season.  One reason is because the scenery is gorgeous with a beautiful lake in the background, but also because I’m really not a big fan of flashbacks.  I like it when the action starts and just keeps rolling along, which it did here, for the most part.  When Jack’s suddenly a grown man (and naked) and utters the word “father” to a startled Sam, of course Dean tries to shoot him right away.  Not cool, Dean.  I know, Dean’s hurting and very angry, but give the poor naked baby a chance, why don’t you?  Geez.

The mid-air floating and wall flinging is nicely done, but I could have done without the scenes of Mary from last season’s finale and seeing Mary burn on the ceiling again.  I’m sure it’s to show Dean’s mindset, but I for one, don’t really need that footage to remember what happened to Mary and it felt superfluous. We get it, it’s tragic.  Note to self:  Work on forgiving Mary for last season’s actions.  Anyhow, I’ve gotten very attuned, these last few seasons, to anytime that it feels like Supernatural is wasting precious minutes that we could have seen something more enthralling.  I don’t want the thrall to be gone in my favorite show.

When we get to the obligatory guest star’s introduction scenes, I’m happy to find some appealing people to meet.  The lady Sheriff and her son (named Clark Barker, which sounds like a game show host) are engaging and in their limited roles, seem like real people.  That’s one of the highest compliments that I can give to an actor in a guest role.  Too many times we are treated to Stunt Demon #3 or Teenager with (add angst here) problem.  I don’t mind spending a little time with the Sheriff and her son and then a strange lady with dark hair came on the scene.  For a few moments I thought that maybe she was Ruby returned from wherever she is (is she anywhere?), but then I realize that the quippy girl’s an angel, so I guess not.  In my defense, she’s obsessing over french fries which was a Ruby thing, remember?  Oh well, I still enjoy her character.  Okay, maybe she’s snarky and too fond of pop-culture references, but she isn’t stiff and boring like too many angels that we’ve seen.  I love the way she interacts with Dean and the look that Sam gives them when she makes a remark about Dean’s bruised knuckles.  I can just see Sam trying to figure out who she is and why she’s acting so familiar with Dean. Maybe in the car ride to the jail, he asked Dean if he was flirting with strange girls, again.  Also, what was that with the Becky reference?  If they’re not talking about Yecky Becky Rosen, then they should have picked a different name because I immediately thought of her. 

I haven’t said much about Jack, yet.  Well, let me tell you – after being worried all summer that Jack's going to ruin the season and keep the focus away from Sam and Dean…I think I love him.  The actor who plays Jack has a very expressive face that wasn’t featured well in the promos (or I didn’t notice) and I found myself getting emotionally involved in the search for his “father” and also for his search for himself, which is going to be a main part of the season, I presume.  Jack has some funny lines where he’s being too literal (a la Cas) and I like his talks with Sam.  It’s time that we get to hear more about what Sam’s feeling and maybe Jack will be the catalyst that we need for that.  Now, about that brother of his…

Oh Dean, you’re very angry, I can tell.  (I’m so perceptive.)  Anyway, Dean’s sad/mad and just wants to murder/death/kill.  I’m sorry, but I like “Give ‘em Hell Attitude” Dean better.  You remember, the one with six bucks to his name and a GED?  That guy.  I hope that Dean doesn’t take too long to get over his bitterness about Castiel’s death, Mary’s vanishing, and Chuck’s non-answer.  We might be given a long arc this season with Dean like this, but I hope not.  It’s great for the occasional drama building, but it gets tedious if it goes on too long like the last half of season nine, am I right?  I’m trusting that Sam sees through Dean’s fury to his pain and they can work together to deal with all of their mutual losses.  Here’s hoping, anyway.

Now, regarding Cas:  I’m just not feeling his loss, sorry.  I know that I should be sad, especially for Dean, but I just found myself counting the times that people lifted the sheet off his face (twice) and the times that his body was shown (at least thrice).  I also kept thinking about the tweets I saw from his fellow cast members making fun of his “stiff” acting and wondering if Misha was enjoying his day on set with no lines to memorize. I also muse about how actors say that it’s harder to play dead than you might think – all that pesky breathing gets in the way. It’s probably my fault for reading spoilers, but it’s hard to ignore them when it’s trumpeted all over the place that *********SPOILER ALERT*********Misha and Castiel are not going to be long gone from our screens.  If old Cas is really gone and the new Cas is a totally different being, then I might feel more sadness about his death on rewatch, maybe. ********END Spoiler******** However, I’ve also been musing that every time I see Sam and Dean killed onscreen (over and over), I still get all mushy and teary, but with Cas…not so much.  I love Cas, really, but I just don’t feel the epic connection between him and Dean like others might.  I’m too focused on Sam and Dean’s epic connection, I suppose.

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Okay, on second thought...I am going to miss this version of Castiel if he's gone for good.  He was a nice little tree topper.

It’s very nice to hear Dean giving the “we kill monsters” speech – that never gets old and it’s interesting to ponder the Sherriff’s Superhero question.  That one’s really hard to answer in a straightforward way.  Sam and Dean are much more than normal humans, with all the things that they’ve experienced, but they don’t have capes and don’t fly unless something is tossing them around.  Still, they are extraordinary men and that reminds me – my favorite part about this week’s fight scene is Dean pausing comically with the broken coat-rack before tossing it away.  It’s nice to see a light moment, right then, from Dean.  Sam’s getting punched and kicked by boring guy angel, like…a lot, but still manages to do an angel banishing sigil with some help from his bloody lip.  You go, Sam.

I do appreciate that Dean’s in a really bad place, right now, but…it’s just a little weird when he prays to Chuck.  I know Chuck’s on vay-cay and wouldn’t answer, so why doesn’t Dean know that?  Chuck made it pretty clear that he’s done all that he’s going to do.  He’s not going to swoop in and solve every problem that any creature of his might cause.  It’s sad to hear Dean plead for people he’s lost, though.  Also, Jensen gave that scene his all, so kudos to him.

I do like the way that Sam’s remaining positive about Mary’s fate and I hope he can stick with that attitude despite Dean’s contrary opinion.  The boys’ search for Mary (let’s hope they do it together) and the continuing adventures of Mary and Lucifer in AU-land should be interesting to watch going forward.  It’s got to be much better than Mary’s adventures with the British Men of Letters.  Yawn.   After careful soul-searching (about three minutes, or so), I have decided to give Mary the benefit of the doubt, by the way.  Even though I’m not enamored of her behavior last season, I’m willing to forgive her and move on.  I would appreciate a more lovable (maybe funnier?) Mary now, if possible.  I know she’s in a terrible place with Lucifer as her buddy, but since I liked Mary better when she was “Eve, Mother of All,” then I liked her last season – a different portrayal would be nice.  I know that wasn’t Mary, really, but Sam Smith was just glowing, in that episode, and I’d love to see some more of that glow, now.

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Eve: "How do you want your eggs, Sam?  Burnt to a crisp, or ooey and gooey?"

Dean: "He only eats egg whites, Not-Mom."

Sam: "Uh, I think I lost my appetite."

--Quotes are totally made up, if you can't tell.

The scenes of the hunters' funeral were lovely.  The lighting was gorgeous as the glow from the fire played over Sam and Dean’s faces, not to mention the lake in the background.  As I watch Dean, especially, I think of so many of those sad events that our boys have witnessed.  I also think about how Sam refused to burn Dean’s body that way after he died and went to Hell.  Bobby thought that it should be done, but Sam wouldn’t allow it because he was going to get Dean back, somehow.  Ah, memories.

jensen ackles dean winchester jared padalecki sam winchester alexander calvert jack supernatural 2

Overall, that was a fine and dandy starting point and I’m hopeful for good times (or really tragic times, which is better on a show like this one) ahead for our lovely brothers.  I’m also hoping that Supernatural gets terrifying, once again.  I love the laughs, but I’m ready to see something truly scary.  I’d settle for moderately terrifying, also.

Bonus Musings

Alexander Calvert

Alexander Calvert plays Jack the Nephilim.  Alexander is Canadian and he’s also guest-starred on Arrow – playing the villain, Anarky. I watch Arrow, but I don’t remember that character at all.  I like his performance as Jack very much.  He reminds me of a young Leo falling in love with Kate Winslet and I’m glad that he was cast in this part.  It seems like we are going to be seeing Jack in many episodes this season, so it’s great that an actor with charisma was found.  We all know what can happen when the wrong actor or actress is cast in a pivotal role. 

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The dog was cute, anyway.

Andrea Menard (who is also Canadian) plays Sheriff Christine Barker and I was reminded while watching her that in many cases – it’s wonderful to have a female law enforcement officer to help our boys.  Deputy Kathleen Hudak helped Dean find Sam in “The Benders” and she was such a great character.  She was tough and could take care of herself, but she was also emotional and brought extra feels to that story.  We have Jody and Donna now, but it’s always nice to find another female officer in an episode.  We’ve had some great male ones too, but I just like the way that a woman will usually not use threats, physical force, and bravado like a man usually does.  There’s a scene in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency where a male cop is yelling at our heroes to tell him what the heck is going on and, all the while, I keep thinking that if the guy would stop yelling, then maybe they could actually tell him!  Fargo, the TV series and the film, features women police officers and they make those shows so much more interesting.

 

Thanks for reading!

----Mallena

extra images courtesy of:

Supernatural Wikia

ibtimes.com.au