Is season 10 all that you hoped it would be? Is it all that is was promised to be? How does it compare to season 9 in terms of fan reactions, ratings and storyline? Is season 10 a strong addition to the Supernatural series, or is it something less?

To examine the relative merits of Supernatural’s 200th episode year, let’s first look at what has happened so far in season 10:

The Winchester Family’s Business

Demon!Dean went on a long bender,


...but Sam wouldn’t give up the hunt for his brother.

c08"Soul Survivor"

Sam captured Dean,

SPN 1574"Reichenbach"

then Castiel recaptured Dean,

Soul Survivor 18 "Soul Survivor"

so Sam could finally cure Dean,

OpenerImage "Soul Survivor"

then, together, the brothers convinced Cole to give up the fight.

ColeSurrender 2145"Girls Girls Girls"

Now Dean’s battle is with the Mark of Cain. It wants his soul again, so it is pushing him to kill.

SamandDeanMurderScene"The Things We Left Behind"

Heaven’s Drama

Castiel got a booster shot of borrowed grace, 


"Soul Suvivor"

and Hannah went home,

Hannahs angel 1590 "Girls Girls Girls"

leaving Castiel to try to salvage what is left of Jimmy’s family.

CasHoldingClaire 2554"The Things We Left Behind"

Hell’s Drama

Crowley lost his drinking buddy,


but gained mommy dearest.

Rowena2 SPN1007HD0970"Girls Girls Girls"

The overarching plotline of the season was, and continues to be, the fallout from the Mark of Cain (MoC). This is a smaller and more personal battle than the apocalyptic threats of seasons 4 through 9. Castiel himself stated that “Heaven and Hell are relatively quiet”, leaving Team Free Will time for self-reflection and much-needed relationship repair. For the first half of the season, we worried about Dean' s health and the Winchester family; Castiel's health and his redemption of the Novak family; and Crowley's newly found family. Through stories about both our heroes and their foes, the season has thus far explored whether a family’s love can save someone from the damning temptations and horrors brought on by the superntural, or whether the supernatural wins out over everyone and everything.

I examined the opening themes and  dynamics of this year’s plot lines extensively in my article on fan’s expectations of season 10.  For several reasons that I discuss in that article, season 10 is employing the simpler monster-of-the-week (MotW) formula that was used so successfully in seasons 1 and 2. Of the nine episodes that have been shown thus far, half have been standalone monster stories, versus heavy myth arc tales. In contrast to earlier seasons, though, season 10 is taking the time to examine the weekly  monsters’ motivations, history and ethics. Previously, monsters were usually present simply as objects to be killed, antagonists that provided obstacles for our heroes to overcome. While season 10 continued to explore Dean and Sam’s personal journeys to self-acceptance and brotherly accord, many of this year’s episodes have also been character studies of the bad guys. The following chart shows how the season has more evenly distributed its focus between the plot lines and characters:


The episodes that have aired thus far are closely following the patterns promised by Jeremy Carver in pre-season interviews, such as this one by Inside TV:

“We’ll come out with a small handful of mythology episodes to start the season, then we start to get into some of the standalones, but they always involve issues that are still lingering, especially with the boys. The season-long mythology sort of unfolds in a much more personal and a bit more slow-moving way this year, but I think because it’s so personal, it’s going to pack something more of a punch.” [italics added for emphasis]

In a roundtable interview at SanDiego’s Comic Con, Alice captured Jeremy’s reiteration of a slow mythology build-up and more broadly distributed personal stories this year:

“this season, the overall mythology doesn’t totally hit you in the face in episode one... People are going to be forced to make much more stark choices this year based on ‘Who I am?’  It’s not going to be only [the main characters] making the decisions.  It’s going to be very personal this year.”  

He repeated the same themes of the myth arc gaining momentum very slowly and the more personal story arcs in a TV Line interview:

"We’ll be introducing, over the course of the season, characters that are very, very, very personal to our main characters, and that’s all going to start to snowball into, “You are who you are,” … Of course, there’ll be Bigger Bads that emerge, but the central focus of the season is really on these personal arcs."

(Thank you to Sugarhi15 for researching some of the interviews for me!)

While the “personal look” at monsters varied the season’s stories, it shifted the focus of at least half the episodes to characters other than Sam and Dean. This, and the fact that Sam’s storyline was again mostly implied versus overt, frustrated many fans. So what was the overall reaction to the first part of the season? If we ignore the 5th episode, which was the very special 200th “Fan Fiction” show, the WFB’s polls reveal that fewer fans gave season 10’s episodes high ratings as compared to season 9:

Chart High Poll Ratings

The number of people keenly disappointed in this season's episodes remained fairly stable, though.  The exception was the season 10 mid-season finale, which was disappointing to a whopping 41% of the people who responded to the poll.

Chart Low Poll Ratings

Since fewer fans were elated with season 10's episodes, but the number who rated them poorly remained stable, the obvious conclusion is that the season so far is acceptable to most fans, i.e. not great but not horrible. The big winners and losers?

Enjoyed the Most:      Episode 5 "Fan Fiction"                            - 85% of poll takers gave it the top 3 ratings
"It Was Just OK":       Episode 7 "Girls Girls Girls"                       - 67% of poll takers gave it the middle ratings of 5, 6 or7
Most Disappointed:    Episode 9 "The Things We Left Behind"   - 41% of poll takers gave it the bottom 4 ratings

[It must be noted that the sample size of these polls is very small, ranging from only 185 people for episode 8 to a maximum of nearly 500 fans, so the polls may or may not be representative of the fandom as a whole. Still, these people felt strongly enough about the episodes to vote in the poll!]

It is safe to say that many fans are still hoping for that big punch that Jeremy promised! To validate the conclusions implied by these episode related polls, The Winchester Family Business has posted a new poll, specifically asking readers what they think of the season as a whole so far. The poll can be found on the Poll Page and at the bottom of this article. Take a quick minute to register your opinion and we'll see together what the readership thinks of the season!

Regardless of their assessment of the overall season's quality, season 10 total viewership was relatively the same as season 9, dipping down by less than 1% (as measured by Nielsen ratings). Surprisingly, the 200th episode did not deliver an increase in ratings despite its broad promotion. Ironically, it was watched by 2.17 million viewers, while the 5th episode of season 9 was watched by 2.15 million viewers, an almost inconsequential difference. It’s worth noting that both seasons were up nearly 10% from season 8, though, and more than 27% from season 7. There is no doubt that the show's following is increasing over earlier years! Whether it has hit its maximum potential or whether season 10 just failed to deliver additional viewers is yet to be seen. [Source: Nielsen ratings reported on the WFB Ratings Page]

Chart Episode Viewership

Independent of ratings or polls, the anecdotal response to the season has been more positive than last year (as judged from the comments shared on the WFB and social media), though. That may be because fans perceive the slow myth arc build up to be a return to the early years of Supernatural. Perhaps the newer audience members (2nd generation and binge watchers) find it easier to grasp simpler plot lines, not having had the years of indoctrination enjoyed by long-time fans. In contrast, the criticisms of the season are generally the same as several prior years – Sam’s thoughts and feelings are not explicitly explored, Dean is misunderstood, and Castiel is misused. This year has spawned a new criticism – that Crowley is being underutilized! That’s a new one – we can’t get enough of a demon!

By all measures, though, season 10 has been successful and is doing what it promised to do. It is giving us a very slow build-up of mythology and personal stories. It is delivering solid ratings and consistent fan loyalties. I, for one, fervently hope that it continues to deliver on at least one more promise:  to “pack something more of a punch” by the end of the year. Wouldn’t it be nice if Sam and Dean talked more about the looming condemnation facing Dean? I’d love for Castiel to continue sharing wisdom versus mutely accepting accusations and criticisms. I don’t even know what to wish for Crowley!

At this point, it is very hard to predict what will happen in the series. The more personal myth arc could purposely be smaller so that the show finally brings understanding and harmony to the brothers’ troubled relationship, wraps up the turmoil in heaven and hell and closes-out the series in the next year or two. Conversely, the slow build up could be copying seasons 1 and 2 and be just the beginning of a larger, deeper, longer storyline. The most likely scenario is probably somewhere between these two extremes. Either way, so far if feels like we have been served only the appetizer and maybe soup or salad courses and are still awaiting the main attraction of the meal. Solid and a good start, but not yet fulfilling. That’s fair. With 14 episodes left in season 10, 60% of the season is still ahead of us. Here’s hoping they leave us breathless and continually surprised by the little show that could.

So what have you thought of Season 10? Did the episode polls surprise you? Are the ratings what you expected? With season 11 announced, what do you think the show has to do to keep up its momentum?


# njspnfan 2015-01-13 18:49
Hi Nightsky - to steal from your analogy, enough of the bread and salad, I'm ready for the main course; the pacing in this season has been difficult to take. I don't mind a more personal/family driven arc, and I enjoy MOTW episodes, but S10 has been predictable, soap opera-ish, and just not that compelling so far, at least to me. The season started out okay, and Fan Fiction was outstanding, but it's been a descent in to mediocrity since the 200th episode. So far, I'd give S10 a C or C-.

And thank you for bringing up the way Crowley is being utilized. I can't believe how he's being written now, the King of Hell has mommy issues.

In thinking about this, a lot of my problem goes back to the direction taken with Demon Dean and MoC Dean. So far, they've decided to justify/rationa lize Dean's actions under the influence of the MoC. Early in the season, Demon Dean killed someone that sold his soul to have his wife killed, then in 10.09 Things They Left Behind., killed a room full of lowlifes. I really enjoy when the show plays with the grays between black and white but this portrayal of Demon Dean, then MoC Dean, is not gray, it's barely off-white. As I mentioned in some preseason comments; if you're going the Demon Dean route, then go all in. Since this has been the primary arc this season, I guess that's why I'm a little sour on things so far.

I'm just hoping things start to pick up in the next couple of episodes.
# nightsky 2015-01-14 09:10
Thanks for your comment NJSPNFan. Something about the first part of season 10 feels like the writers haven't committed to anything yet. I analyzed the episodes against all these various criteria, such as plot line, character focus, etc. specifically because I was looking for this answer. Why does s10 feel different? What about it is throwing off the momentum? I thought the Demon!Dean episodes were outstanding and I absolutely loved Fan Fiction and Hibbing 911. That's 5 out of 9 that, for me, were home runs. "Ask Jeeves" was the only episode that I didn't care for, so that is only 1 out of 9 that struck out for me. The other episodes (Girls, Paper Moon, TTWLB) all had good elements and were OK if not great. Those are very good statistics. So why are so many people (including me ) not excited about the season? I am NOT saying I think it is bad; I'm just saying so many episodes have not been exciting. That is what the s10 poll is reflecting as well.

If I think about it now, after a week of reflection on the numbers I presented here, I think it may be due to the Castiel and Crowley plot lines. I love both actors and characters, and don't mind them getting more time at all, but their stories have been milk toast. They've wandered about aimlessly with no excitement, no real compelling story, drama or challenge. The characters themselves have been castrated (if you'll excuse the expression). Both were powerful beings who were waging wars. They were strong, opinionated, they had purpose and they posed a threat or were a strong ally. Now one is pining for a lost .....something. ..friendship? companionship?. ..and they introduce his mom?? The other goes to find his "daughter"? They gave them families, so now instead of being larger than life, they are dealing with all the same family issues we all have. Who doesn't have childhood issues? Who doesn't think they made mistakes with their kids? Obviously not on the scale these two have to deal with (a witch and destroying 3 lives through possession) but the bottom line is their drama has turned into a soap opera, as you put it, because they have been reduced to dealing with family drama! Yes, this show is about family at its core, but I really don't want it to turn into "Little House on the Prairie". I think each episode's momentum is being sucked into the passiveness and doldrums that Castiel and Crowley are feeling, every time they appear in the story. We leave the hour feeling the same way they are being portrayed, lackluster, blah, lifeless. For a while, Cas even slept a portion of his time on screen! That really kills momentum! I think we are all waiting for the excitement and action to be maintained through the switches between plots.
# sugarhi15 2015-01-13 20:55
I really like this season so far...I have no complaints....I 'm ready for part 2:D
# nightsky 2015-01-14 09:19
I love it when Supernatural hits all the right notes for a fan! I'm so glad you are loving it! I've liked some sections and loved others. I think the season has a chance to become better, though, if the second part picks up some speed. Maybe with s11 signed, the writers have the stability they need to commit to bigger stories.
# sylvia37 2015-01-14 11:15
Great article and well done on the research:). I've tried to analyze how I feel about this season so far, and it didn't occur to me until I actually saw in writing how many episodes are left to the season, that I can't really judge it as yet. I guess I feel, as in previous seasons, that it started out with a lot of potential, and has somewhat tapered off. I wont beat a dead horse, but I feel much the same as others in that I think Castiel and Crowley are both better characters and enhance the story when they interact with the boys whereas by themselves, they seem pointless except for time filler. While I liked Hannah and I think Rowena has some potential, I'm only interested in them as far as how they interact with Sam and Dean. I found Jody and Donna entertaining, but the boys showed up and were part of the story so it was relevant.

And I hate to say it, but I'm finding that Sam being separated from Dean and interacting with others these days is far more interesting than when they are together. I feel like I'm ripping my own heart out saying that, but it seems they can only write him as a whole person when he's allowed to express himself to others. I mean, in season 9, his best scenes as Sam and not Gadreel were with Castiel when they were trying to extract the grace. And I really loved watching him this year in the first few episodes and seeing his potential realized, then as soon as he and Dean were back together after the "cure", he was back to silent worrying and brow wrinkles of concern. He did have some fun things in "Ask Jeeves" but again, it was mostly separate from Dean. I don't think they're doing Dean any favors either, although Jensen's playing what they're giving him for all he's worth. I just find Demon/nonDemon Dean kind of ambiguous and hard to keep up with and I can't tell whether that's acting choices or writing issues.

But in saying all that, I'm waiting to see where they're headed. I really hope these "personal" stories have a point and a plot for everyone and somehow come together at the end.

Thanks for writing.
# SanSummer1 2015-01-14 17:18
And I hate to say it, but I'm finding that Sam being separated from Dean and interacting with others these days is far more interesting than when they are together. I feel like I'm ripping my own heart out saying that, but it seems they can only write him as a whole person when he's allowed to express himself to others. I mean, in season 9, his best scenes as Sam and not Gadreel were with Castiel when they were trying to extract the grace. And I really loved watching him this year in the first few episodes and seeing his potential realized, then as soon as he and Dean were back together after the "cure", he was back to silent worrying and brow wrinkles of concern. He did have some fun things in "Ask Jeeves" but again, it was mostly separate from Dean. I don't think they're doing Dean any favors either, although Jensen's playing what they're giving him for all he's worth. I just find Demon/nonDemon Dean kind of ambiguous and hard to keep up with and I can't tell whether that's acting choices or writing issues.
Well said.

Even though it was a bit weird to see Sam and Castiel have a little heart-to-heart in 9.11 First Born, the scenes seemed to hint at Sam feeling self-destructiv e. That issue should have been explored more in the subsequent episodes instead of just dropping it after 9.13 The Purge.
# ParadiseHeat 2015-01-14 17:49
I agree, I really feel that being with Dean hampers Sam not just in storyline and screen time, but also in his actual character. Sam is just non exsistant when he's around Dean. I would like for the show to spend more time exploring who Sam is away from Dean, with other people and doing more things by himself. Season 9 and 10 have shown me that for Sam to be at all part of the show he kind of has to be away from it, basically he needs to be useful as a plot device or he disappears into the cracks altogether. I guess thats why Sam has needed to be the mythology character all these seasons because when they took away the something wring with him part there wasnt anything they wanted to explore underneath. I cant see the Sam situation getting any better anytime soon, Jared wanting more time off to be with family isnt going to leave much room for Sam storylines when he'll spend his couple of days on set an episode making faces at whatever new is going on in Dean's storylines. Funny thing is he could have more time off as could Jensen if they gave Sam a storyline away from Dean. Then we would effectively have all 4 leads doing there own thing rather than just the three (Dean, Cas, Crowley).
# SanSummer1 2015-01-14 18:34
Funny thing is he could have more time off as could Jensen if they gave Sam a storyline away from Dean. Then we would effectively have all 4 leads doing there own thing rather than just the three (Dean, Cas, Crowley).
I wonder if one of the biggest reasons why Jensen and Jared keep re-signing to do more seasons of the show is that they get to act together. During the filming of 10.07 Girls, Girls, Girls – an episode that was basically about every other character besides Sam – Jensen tweeted:

A lonely #HumpDay on set. Picture courtesy of our camera department. #enjoyyourdayoffjared @jarpad
# E 2015-01-14 19:02
Actually that was a joke. Jared fired back with a tweet if his own a shirt time later saying "Im right beside you! Day off my ass!" With a picture obviously taken at the same time as Jensens with Jared looming over him. They were both working that day.
# SanSummer1 2015-01-14 19:39
J2 gave an explanation at DallasCon:

Basically, Jared had a later call time than Jensen (so Jensen’s hashtag was a bit misleading). Jensen tweeted the picture and when Jared arrived on set about five hours later, it was his idea to take another one.
# percysowner 2015-01-18 12:52
I do wish this notion that only Jared wants more time off would stop. BOTH Jared and Jensen have said they want more time off. Frankly, with good writing Sam's character can be explored. We had good exploration of Crowley his first few seasons and he wasn't even a regular. I knew who Balthazar was and he was in what 6 episodes? We know who John was and Mary. The issue isn't Jared's schedule, it's what they do, or rather don't do, with it. Dean took a mark that symbolized killing his brother. How does Sam feel about that? Sam had no idea where Dean was before he found him, what was he going through then? Does he even remember last season being possessed by Gadreel? (I will never get over the way Sam's reaction to being possessed was completely, completely ignored and I know they will never revisit it. They will revisit Sam starting the Apocalypse, going with Ruby, being soulless and how DEAN felt about that until the series ends.)

If Jared has less time on screen it doesn't have to be spent being knocked unconscious, going for coffee and being sent away while the adults (Cas and Dean) talk about how they are going to handle it if Dean goes darkside and maybe tries to kill Sam. They don't have to have Dean lying to Sam about how the Mark is affecting him, so Sam can have zero reaction to what is going on in the story.
# SanSummer1 2015-01-14 17:34
Is Dean still Dean, how much does the mark of Cain change his core personality?

Why did demon Dean seem quite normal when he was hanging out at a bar, with Ann Marie or even with Crowley but when he interacted with Sam, all bets were off?

10x02 – Reichenbach

Sam: It doesn't matter, all right? 'Cause whatever went down, whatever happened, we will fix it.
Dean: Will we? 'Cause right now, I'm doing all I can not to come over there and rip your throat out... with my teeth.

Maybe he just didn’t want anyone to try to change him but it seems like there was more to it.

Demon Dean didn’t kill Mindy but when he had gotten a call from Cole who had threatened to kill Sam, demon Dean had done nothing. Was it simply about demon Dean always wanting to do the opposite of what others told him to do or did he think that Mindy didn’t deserve to be killed? If so, why did he have pretty much zero regard for Sam? He even chose a hammer deliberately so he could bludgeon Sam to death although the curing process was far along.
# ParadiseHeat 2015-01-14 18:05
I think thats a big part of how this whole MOC storyline plays out in the end, the whole brother killing aspect of Cain and Abel. I know they tweaked the story to make Cain the hero so they could keep Saint Dean as the hero of the show, but at the end of the day Cain still killed his brother to end up marked by the devil. Dean killing Sam has to factor in to the season somehow imo. My guess is the MOC was latching onto Dean's resentment of Sam to spur him to commit the ultimate evil act of killing his brother and cementing the marks hold on Dean permanently. Maybe the mark needs Dean to kill Sam to be able to thrive at its fullest? I forsee Dean trying to kill Sam again later this season. It looks more likely that the only way for Cas to save Dean is to make sure he doesnt kill Sam and finds a way to transfer he mark to someone else. As for Sam I have a feeling he's going to sleep walk his way to the finale and end up needing to be rescued by Cas, there doesnt seem to be anything he can do to help which is why I think they'll continue to keep him out of the narrative and keep him as the avatar for the viewers. He seems just as clueless and innactive/uninv olved as the viewers.
# SanSummer1 2015-01-14 19:04
I also think that they are building a parallel between Cain/Abel and Sam/Dean. I don’t think that Dean will go so far as to kill Sam but I think there will be a confrontation between the brothers. Otherwise Carver et al. wouldn’t have made such a big deal out of Sam possibly being a bigger monster than demon Dean.

The mark of Cain storyline had so much potential in season nine because the lore centers around two brothers. The Winchesters’ bloodline stretches back to Cain and Abel. Yet so far Sam has had no part in the mythology. If Cain largely ignores Sam in episode 14, the writers have really dropped the ball.
# ParadiseHeat 2015-01-14 17:39
Disagree with the table, episode 9 The Things We left Behind while Cas and Claire heavy was clearly more Dean centric. The guys having nightmares, asks his BFF to kill him because he's scared he'll go darkside, talks about his dad and kills a bunch of bad guys under the influence of the MOC. I would also add Dean's name to Girls, Girls, Girls because while Cole had that scene at the end the speach Dean gave and Sam was forced to witness was clearly about Dean. Cole was used as the plot device but Dean was the centre of that story. I think you need to add Sam and Dean to Paper Moon too. That episode uses two sisters as plot devices but the message behind the episode is all about the brothers. The episode wraps Sam's storyline for the season and continues to ask more questions about Dean and the MOC, how its affecting him, we learn more about Dean's feelings on the matter. Reichenbach I dont think counts as a Sam main focus episode either, he was used as plot device in the whole Dean and Cole saga but it wasnt about him.
# LEAH 2015-01-14 20:46
Since I can't reply I'll just make a general comment. I am sorry some of you feel Sams character has been maligned and marginalized. I don't feel quite the same way although I can agree on some things. What I do know is that I watch the show for the brothers, both of them, and if they start splitting them up to go off on their own adventures I would be very upset. I want them together through thick and thin. I don't care if they have whole episodes devoted to one or the other or if they occasionally split them up as they have done in the past but if it becomes a permanent thing I am out. I don't care if at the end they split up if it means they have found some kind of peace or happiness but not before. Not for this fan. It's Sam AND Dean together or I am not interested anymore.
# sylvia37 2015-01-14 21:33

I'm not advocating that they separate the boys or give them separate storylines. In fact, I want the opposite. I want them to write Sam as an interesting vital part of their interaction like he used to be. I miss it. I miss those two guys. It is them together that makes it THE SHOW, not either one separately, and that's what I feel is missing.
# LEAH 2015-01-14 21:54
Hey sylvia37,

I know, I do understand that. It wasn't specifically your comment just an accumulation of posts over the recent past that said similar things. More like- 'we want Sam to ditch Dean and just go his own way' sort of thing. I too want to see Sam have interaction with more characters I think that would be great. His character is not prone to spilling his guts to just anyone but having a few people he felt comfortable enough to confide would be nice. I enjoyed the talk he and Cas were having in the sneek peek. But yeah, them together, that's what it's all about for me. :)
# amyh 2015-01-15 21:05
I agree with Paradiseheat and others who would like to see Sam seperated from Dean more often. As much as i love the guys together....Sam just seems to come alive when either on his own or with others. he gets his sense of humor back. He gets his intellegence back. He just seems to come alive again. If the writers really ant to give the J2 time off....I'd love to see them investigating/h unting different angles of a job...and come together 4 or 5 times a season. I'd like to see the writers put some effert into cultivating relationships for Sam. Jody has been good for Sam...she truely sees Sam as a genuine person in his own right. IN just their few short episodes i believe in their friendship/rela tionship then i have in all of Bobby's years of trying to sell that he cared about Sam. I would love Sam and Jody having adventures together.

I think Dean and the MOC could work if the writers would only commit to it as something bad. Unfortunetly when i think of Demon Dean all if can remember is bad kareoke. MArc Of Cain has been so diluted its tragic. I'm stiill waiting for the innocent collateral damage. Something truely dark. Imagine if Clair Novak got caught up in the slaughter of the bad guys. by Dean. Imagine Sam rushing in and finding Dean in shock. The camera pans to Cas....and in his view as he hears Sam words to Dean...we pan to all the broken, bloody bodies of the bad guys. And then....the camera stops on Clair, her own body, broken and bloody.

Just think of the reaction that would bring. It would truely show just how bad the MOC is. And it would really bring the intense, the desperate need to find a way to get rid of the find answers. it would put weight on Dean wanting to die but knowing if he was killed he would only become a demon again. So the ONLY answer is figuring out how to get rid of the MOC.
# SPNForever 2015-01-26 21:32
I feel that we currently have too many secondary characters with storylines that are completely independent of each other and, at this point in time, don't appear to intersect or have a common demnominator to create a cohesive story that unfolds to show a relationship to the greater arc. Now, that being said, everything could change in one episode and we could start to understand how all of these characters and their stories are really part of a bigger story that is being told in a very subtle way.
I am concerned that Cass lost his GRACE at the beginning of Season 9 and here we are in Season 10 and that story has not moved forward with the exception of Crowley's intervention. This is a general concern that I have with the season is the writers don't seem to be moving the ball forward towards a clear goal or end. This could all be intentional and I am hopeful and optimistic that all will come together and intersect in a climactic moment or episode where we will be like "OMG" I didn't see that coming and that was awesome. I just don't want to have to waddle through an entire season to see resolution to problems that have been around for well over a season now.
I am hopeful that there will be a meaningful point to the Claire storyline other than it was created to fill time in epsidoes. I'm sure the writers have a clear plan here - it's just hard to see what they may have in store for us. Rowena seemed interesting to me, at first, but has become tedious to watch and not very entertaining. Again, I hope this will all be amped up so that Rowena's purpose and role will have meaning to the story and to the viewers. Crowley is amazing and I am hopeful he will be given more substance to work with and not portrayed as a mama's boy who couldn't see what was right in front of him.
Season 10 was promoted as being about DEANMON but it's hard to tell if that was just promotional or real. The pacing this season and the way the episodes have been organized (or presented) don't seem logical and don't seem to carry a lot from one episode to the next save a last minute Dean does something dark just for the sake of the DEANMON story or Rowena manipulates Crowley for just a few minutes and then the scene cuts to Claire with no resolution to what Rowena was up to and no linear script to anticipate when, where and why Rowena will be back other than screen time needed to be filled. I think Season 10 has a lot of good ideas but lacks strong execution on any idea and just throws way too much at the viewer. As a viewer I am confused - am I invested in any character's story? Do I know more about Sam or Dean or their relationship because Dean was turned into a demon and what the impact of that was on the two of them? The writers have given me a little here and a little there but not enough to draw me in and make me care. There are so many wonderful opportunities for Season 10 and I hope that all will be realized with a little more time. I do get the feeling that the writers wrote Dean as a demon at the end of Season 9 for dramatic effect and then didn't really know what to do with the story in Season 10 so I feel a little short changed not allowing Dean to explore that darkness. I also would like a lot more back story on what Sam has done to save Dean or find Dean because he has a lot of making up to do for not looking for Dean for an entire year when he was in purgagtory.