Supernatural Season Three Hits and Misses - Part One
Hit: The Time Loop
There probably isn't much need to explain why this is a hit - it was a pretty genius move. Not only was this episode full of hysterical moments like Dean's obliviousness to the entire loop and Sam's increasing deja vu to the point of taking an ax to the Mystery Spot, but it had such creative deaths. Finally, this was an episode that played on our emotions like no other: at the beginning we had a truly unexpected and emotional death. This was quickly followed by scenes of a soapy shower Mohawk, catching the falling hot sauce and being mauled by a golden retriever. And of course, at the half way point, hilarity at its peak, we are jolted back to a harsh death and even more alarming grief on Sam's part. Yes, this episode was creative, emotional, funny and above all, a hit.
Miss: Fairytale Horror
Conceptually this should have been a hit. Taking the Grimm approach to those classic childhood stories and then giving the whole thing a very human villain as the cause of the girl's coma. Yes, it should have been a good run. It's hard to pinpoint the specific issue with the MOTW story here, but one way or another all these pieces just didn't come together for me. Okay - it wasn't a horrible episode yet somehow to this viewer it just felt lackluster. There were some great moments, such as Sketch Artist Sam, but in terms of the fairytale plot it just felt underwritten and forgettable. If this were a dress, it would have suffered from underdesigning. So, the fairytale thing - while certainly far from the worst thing Supernatural has ever done, it definitely falls under the "miss" category.
Hit: Magic and Spells and Witches, Oh My!
Sometimes I like witches, sometimes I don't. This is one of those don't times. Let's just say I'm with Dean on the ick factor present with witches. Despite my own personal aversion to the more graphic bits of the episode, one cannot deny that the witches are a major hit. The witch storyline had some pretty solid writing, some incredible (if nauseating) special effects and overall a seriously ass-kicking MOTW.
This is another one we probably don't need to discuss much. As a concept she was okay and if she'd simply appeared in that one episode or maybe, possibly a second she'd likely have had a lot less haters out there. My major problem with Bela wasn't that she was written badly as a character or that she didn't have chemistry with our leads but rather it was this: she ALWAYS won. More often than not our boys were tricked, conned, played to fit whatever agenda Bela had. Not cool. The boys don't always win - the show is deeper than that and we like it that way. But they are smart enough that if you fool them once, it's a lot bloody harder to get them a second time - let alone a third, etc. I like slick, strong female characters - but nobody is that slick. Miss.
Hit: Christmas Memories
Truly the Christmas episode was a great one all around, however this hit is just in the form of the flashback memories. Any chance to see how little Sam and Dean got on in life on the road and to see the pure love between them is a hit. And having them relive that over a beer and some bad gifts as adults? Even better. Do we really need to even discuss this further?
Miss: Cougar Love
The "romance" was overdone this season - especially the fondling of poor Sam by the elderly woman. Not to get too serious but if genders were reversed here, some of those touches would have been classified as borderline criminal/sexual assault. This may be a nitpick one, but I don't think so (sound off below!). For me, and I don't think I'm alone here, this was a definite miss.
Hit: Doppelganger Dean a.k.a. Ben
Before the Lisa/Ben thing took on a life of its own, Lisa, or "Gumby Girl" as Dean lovingly remembered her, was a star player in Dean's bucket list. And on arriving at her door, not only is she not quite as Dean remembered - but she's a mom now. Of a son that is surprisingly near identical to Dean in personality and not too far off in looks either. The look on Dean's face as he's standing with young Ben eating cake and talking about the bouncy castle is brilliant. Even better was the decision the writers made to NOT have Ben be Dean's son here. Little chick-loving, booty checking-out Ben was certainly a hit.
Miss: Red Sky, Weak Execution
This episode is another of the season three group that had potential just not fulfilled. I've already addressed the issues with the character Bela, so I won't dive to deep into that again but it is a fundamental issue with this episode. Personally, the ghost ship story here was weak and felt more like a vehicle for the Bela-Sam-Dean interaction, take two. This leads to the second core issue with Red Sky: Simply put, it's totally out of character to trust Bela in any capacity given the Winchester's history with her; particularly given her shooting of Sam. Additionally, if they absolutely had to work with Bela, there should have been that classic con-artist-drama-twist where the "bad" one thinks they're in the driver seat manipulating things and in the end they've actually stolen a briefcase full of shredded paper rather than the billion dollars in cash they thought they had. One final point - Dean + tongue tied around this chick? Umm, no.
Hit: Cursed Rabbit Feet
One thing great about SPN is the way it takes the everyday folklore and turns it on its head. The idea of a lucky rabbit foot is who-knows how old and here it's a real thing; but with a twist: lose that foot and you're beyond doomed. In this case there wasn't really a monster of the week so much as Sam was his own worst enemy (nevermind Bela and Gordon at this point). Such a small, innocent thing causing such deadly chaos? An unquestionable hit, to be sure.
And there you have it, the first half of the season three hits and misses. What do you think?