I like Season 10—a lot. It’s not as grand in scope, thus far, as other seasons, and I think that is directly why I am enjoying it. I remember living through Seasons 4 and 5 and how breathtakingly excited I was for each new episode, for each brick to be laid and the next one to be placed on top as it built episode by episode (more so in 4 than 5) to the climatic finale, but, when I have down time during various hiatuses, the seasons I spend my time with are 1, 2, and 3. I love the smaller scale, the more personal stories, the brothers side by side working together, yes, at times having their issues as is normal and natural, but it was a storyline I was able to relate to; it resonated then and it continues to resonate now. There are episodes here and there from the subsequent seasons that I do pick out and watch, but they are few and far between. Notably, they are more the ‘event’ type episodes such as the boys going to heaven, the old west, traveling to alternate realities or into the past, a weekend with Bobby or season premieres and finales and, of course, bring the Trickster in for some fun, and I’ll watch…yes, even the awful Hammer of the Gods. Hey, I have fast forward on my DVR, and I know how to use it. 😉
Season 10 is smaller, quieter, more focused on the brothers with small, personal stories for all the characters, even the secondary or tertiary ones such as Jody, Donna, and Kate. And, while Castiel’s and Crowley’s personal stories are thus far duds, this is more personal taste. I prefer Sam and Dean, and when Cas and Crowley directly relate to them, such as Crowley in the first two episodes of the season and Cas – well, I’m still waiting, but I know it’s going to come, but when they’re tied in with the brothers, then I find it interesting. Hey, it’s the tenth season, not only has the show changed, but so have I. Still, despite my disinterest in two of the four main characters’ stories, I still am enjoying Season 10.
Over the summer hiatus I wrote an article on why I was cautiously optimistic for Season 10. If you want to kill five minutes, you can read it here. (Alice, insert the link, please?) So, with time to pass through the shorter, but still frustrating, winter hiatus, I thought I’d use that as an outline to see where things are at.
First up, the Men of Letters. I love this story opportunity, and it still has yet to be explored. I am surprised that the writers came up with such a rich storytelling landscape and thus far have done so little with it. Thank heavens the set designers didn’t squander the opportunity! We still have 14 episodes left this season, so perhaps it’s to come.
Jody Mills returns with her new buddy, Donna Hanscum. I thoroughly enjoyed Hibbing 911. I’m hopeful we see them both again.
Cole. I still feel that Cole’s story has been short-changed. I would have liked a bit more cat and mouse with him and the brothers. I would have liked some conversation between Sam and Dean regarding Cole, some reflection on what their lives do to those they come into contact with. This is something that does make sense for Sam and Dean to discuss, what they do, why they do it, and what is the cost. They’ve looked plenty into the cost for themselves, but delving into the cost for others would be something to explore. I’m disappointed that there wasn’t more to this, but I am happy that Cole made it out alive. There is something to be said for those who touch the supernatural and can walk away from it still living. Ah, Sarah from Provenance, if not for Crowley’s machinations, you would have continued in your happy, post-supernatural exposure life. Sigh.
Speaking of post-Supernatural lives, Jensen Ackles could be a director outside of SPN is he so chooses. Once again he directed an episode and once again I found it thoroughly enjoyable. I did manage to note some additional touches he put into his effort with different camera angles and distances. I’m no expert on directing, and I know he has not ever even gone to school for this, rather learned through experience, but I can see the growth in his selections. Plus, I absolutely enjoy listening to him talk about the experience. It’s clear he loves what he does and it is a joy to listen to someone talk about what they love.
The retrospective special set the tone for this season. I remember watching the special and noting how much time was spent on the genesis of the show and the early seasons. There were nods given to Seasons 6 through 9, as well as slight hints for Season 10, but the bulk of the retrospective was spent in the Kripke years. Since those are the years that drew me in the first place, I appreciated the choice. Also, since Season 10 is so much more akin to the early seasons, I think their choice was intentional.
Supernatural hit the amazing 200 episode milestone – and knocked it out of the park. I absolutely adored Fan Fiction. I had reservations, apparently so did Jensen Ackles. He talks about how he was concerned, so much so that he asked for a meeting with Jeremy Carver. Leaving Carver’s office he felt a bit better but still concerned. As luck would have it, he ran into Robbie Thompson right away and Robbie was gracious and sat down with Jensen for a conversation on the episode, telling him the whole thought behind it and what they were trying to say. When that was done, Jensen was converted. He understood. I appreciate those insights, but I didn’t need them. I enjoyed it the first time I watched it. I’ve seen it four times and still laugh at all the right places. I’m glad they did what they did. And then they moved right on with the season they have planned.
Who am I and what am I doing? That is very much the question that the characters are exploring this season. Hannah explored it fully first; and returned to heaven, giving her vessel her life back. Cole next explored that question and, for all that we’ve seen and know, returned home to resume his life as husband and father. Crowley told Dean to pick a bloody side: demon or human, and if not for Sam’s dogged pursuit, would have, I believe, chosen demon – so strong was the MoC’s hold on him. Dean’s journey of discovery continues, and the MoC is still hanging around, but Dean has stated that he has people who love him, and that is pretty much a first for Dean to ever be so open. Cas and Crowley are embarking on their own journeys as well. So far the progress has been slow, especially with Crowley but we’re getting there with Rowena’s arrival.
Sam, well his journey is even quieter, and yes, I know that annoys some fans. Sam is coming to grips, in his usual subdued way, with just who he is as Dean’s brother. Sam is very much the protector-caretaker this season, and he has done terrible things to find Dean and try to save him. There is still much to explore, especially now that Sam’s worst fears have been realized. So much of what is going on with Sam is illustrated brilliantly in Jared’s portrayal of him. Sam faced all his anger and feelings of betrayal from last season and threw himself headlong and without hesitation into saving his brother. He was going to die trying to save Dean, and heaven and hell help whoever, or whatever, got in his way. Sam has spent the longest of any character trying to reconcile who he is and what his life is, first leaving for Stanford, then trying to figure out his destiny, then should he regain his soul, can he leave and live a life with a woman, is he a Men of Letters, does he even have a home – believing the bunker where they work, but not home, but now he knows. Side by side with Dean in the Impala is where he belongs. And, when the opportunity arises, he goes home to the bunker with his brother. This Sam is so weightless, so fun to watch. I do believe that Jared is thoroughly enjoying this season’s Sam. Sure he was fabulous as Soulless and Lucifer, and possessed by an angel, but this Sam, so thoroughly focused and so unencumbered is fantastic.
Demon Dean…ah, we knew you for too short of a time. Again, I understand why Demon Dean had to go so quickly. First off, the show is not constructed so as to have the two leads separated for multiple episodes in a row; second, the 200th episode was a tribute to the show as a whole, and the fandom outright, to have Demon Dean still in the mix just would not work. So, three episodes and he’s out. (See what I did there?) Still, as Seinfeld once said, and ultimately did with his very own show, always leave them wanting more. Now, if they give us some Demon Dean flashbacks, it won’t seem so been there, done that. I liked Demon Dean, from fun loving, reckless, free for all without a care, to cold and calculating, to manipulating and threatening. It was quite a ride. And, with the Mark of Cain back in the mix, we’re going to get, I think, a little bit of Dean trying to fight the Mark, and from all the interviews Jared and Jensen have given, that fight is one the brothers do together. That, for me, is key.
So, to wrap it all up, Season 10, nine episodes in, is a hit for me. The brothers are together, they are committed, they have their hang ups, they have their moments of conflict, but all of it is organic and not so weighted down with the lies. Yes, it’s Sam on the sidelines this time watching Dean go through some things, but that’s also what’s so darn refreshing, after season after season after season of watching Dean being the one to worry. Also refreshing, both brothers are aware of what they’re worrying about…the MoC.
Will the second part of the season continue to live up? I don’t know. I do know that Charlie returns, and I adore that breath of fresh air, and Timothy Omundson returns. Aside from that, I don’t know much. But, as long as the brothers are together, I think things will be just fine, small mytharc notwithstanding.
As always, thanks for reading, Elle2