The Morning After

Contrary to last week’s season 14 premiere, Supernatural’s “Gods and Monsters” defies being summarized by only a single word. Jack’s visit to his grandparents’ home was sweet but Jack’s hard line attitude about killing Dean was disturbing. Nick’s heartbreak when he remembered his wife and infant’s murders was touching, but his regression to Lucifer’s instincts and his remorseless murder of another human being was chilling. Dean’s return to his Sammy was a huge relief but the very real possibility that it’s a trick is terrifying.

Supernatural’s second episode this season kept us on an emotional roller coaster. I love it when this show delivers that kind of engagement! It wasn’t the deep emotion that has one rocking back and forth in terror or suspense, nor the kind that evokes tears of joy or horror. Rather, my emotions vacillated between empathy and worry. The story shocked us repeatedly – Jack’s cold-heartedness after his tenderness, Nick’s violence after his vulnerability, Dean’s sudden appearance and weakness after Michael’s hubris that he “owned” Dean.  So while shocking might be the closest word to summarize all the switchbacks felt while watching the story unfold, the emotion I feel the morning after absorbing all that shock is foreboding.

The show begins with Alt Michael strangling Dean in the bunker.  The word "Then" appears, and we see a quick summary of the end of last season's final episode:  Jack's eyes glowing as he overpowers AUMichael, Lucifer stealing Jack's grace, Dean shouting, "Sammy!" as Sam and Jack disappear with Lucifer, Dean saying he has no choice, his winged reveal in the chapel, the archangel fight, then his "We had a deal!" as Michael takes control.
Everything we know about Supernatural season 14 episode 2!

I struggled with the review this week for two reasons.  First, it’s hard to come in and do a review when the ones before mine seemed to nail the intent and deeper elements of the episode very well.  Kudos to Nightsky, FarAwayEyes and Nate Winchester for their well done analysis.  Second, I’ve been staring at a mostly empty page all week, trying to muster more than my one word review that summed up the whole episode for me. 

I have a lot to say about this but I kind of want to see how the next couple of episodes go.

“What do you want?”

This seems to be the crux of the Supernatural episode “Stranger in a Strange Land.” Almost every character gets asked this important question in some manner. Almost every character has an answer. Jamil, the Syrian refugee, answers Michael, “Peace. And love.” Nick, Lucifer's former vessel, wants peace and quiet from the nightmares. Castiel and Jack want to help Sam find Dean. Bobby, Mary and the remaining refugees from the alternate universe want to pitch in as well. They want to prevent Michael from turning this world into another wasteland. Sister Jo refuses to answer Michael's question and so Michael tells her that she wants to belong. Kipling decides that he would like to take Crowley's place on the throne. He wants to be King of Hell, committing “demon on demon violence” while the Winchesters look the other way. Even Michael, the one asking the question, has an answer. He wants “a better world.”

The only one not asked this question is Sam Winchester.

The Morning After

Hot! That is the single word that best summarizes Supernatural’s season 14 premiere, “Stranger in a Strange Land”. Want more words? Sizzling. Scorching. Embarrassed I’m watching it with my husband, hot. Did anyone else think Jared fried the pixels on their screens as he portrayed a superbly confident leader who was quietly desperate to find his brother? Even Kip, the monster of the week, commented “the shoulders, the hair”! Then there was Jensen dressed to the nines as Michael! Holy smoke (pun intended)! He too was confident and strong, knowing no one on earth was his equal. Package that presence in some darn fine tailoring and a smoldering, seductive voice and you have the clash of the titans – and way more than my libido could handle in a crowded theater with dozens of other Supernatural fans in attendance!  Add in Alexander’s innocence as Jack, Misha’s timing with witty one-liners, Samantha’s convincing motherly worry about both her sons (sorry people but I still really like Samantha and Mary), and Jim’s comforting presence as Bobby (I will never tire of having him with his boys), and you have a cast that elevated this episode to an exciting launch of Supernatural’s 14th year!