Rant over, let's try this again: Supernatural launched season 5 with a BANG last Thursday!
And I don't mean just the episode itself. The fans of the show surely deserve a huge pat on the back for their ardent promotion of the show! By now many of you may heard the story of How Supernatural broke Twitter. Apparently life imitates art, or at least virtually in this case. The "epic" battle between "Lucifer" and "God" in Twitterland even found its way to Fox News last Thursday. Who would have thought this little genre show's season premier would make a resounding splash?
And now onto the episode itself, here's what I thought:
For the most part this is a great season opener. I do have a small nitpick, but regardless, I thought it effectively set the stage for an exciting and intriguing season.
First, let me get the nitpick out of the way, then I'll talk about what I liked about the episode. Jared!Girls beware, if you can't abide seeing your favorite star being criticized in any way, shape, size, or form, you should skip the following paragraph. I'm not bashing him by any means, just voicing an honest opinion on how he handled a scene. And in all fairness, he earned my praise in other scenes later.
What I'm referring to is the moment when the boys first met Chuck in his battered house. It was a superbly written scene, in all its wacky glory. The neurotic little man going ninja on Sam with a plunger was pure gold. However I was bothered by the way Sam answered his attacker's startled cry "Son, you're okay!" I'm not talking about the dialog itself because "Well, my head hurts" was a perfect deadpan. What I had problem with was Jared's expression when he delivered that line (screencap). I know I'm not the only one detected the amusement on Sam's face here. My viewing companion caught it too. In my opinion, this was the moment Jared fell out of his character. First of all, it diminished the hilarity of the situation. The humor of the scene is more effective when audience finds it amusing instead of the character himself. But most importantly, the expression was inconsistent with Sam's current state of mind. At this junction, Sam should be an extremely contrite man. And he should realize how seriously fucked they all were. As such, I find it obtuse for Sam to consider anything remotely funny at the moment. So I think Jared still needs to work on nuance in his acting.
Phew, I'm done with my quibble, let's move on to the squeeing part. I'll start with the morbidly humorous moments. This is one of the reasons why I find Supernatural so addictive. Its warped sense of humor gets me every time. Not very often a show can make me laugh and feeling sad at the same time. But when Chuck pulled a bloody tooth out of his hair and promptly freaked out: "Is that a molar? Do I have a molar in my hair?" I was cackling and horrified all at once. It was clear who that tooth belonged to. Poor Castiel! That was all that's left of him, for the time being. By the way, I thought Rob Benedict was pitch perfect as Chuck the prophet. The comic relief he brought to the show was much appreciated.
I can't talk about Chuck without mentioning Becky the fangirl. ZOMG, she just about killed me here. I literally whimpered when I realized she was writing wincest when we first met her. Then came the scene where she went to see Sam and Dean. I was laughing and cringing so hard, I literally cowered in my seat. Aside from the amusement, I was a little embarrassed at the way Sam!Girl was lampooned here. From now on, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Let's just say I wouldn't be surprised when us Dean!Girls are also made fun of in the future. By the way, when Becky pawed Sam's chest, did anyone else think that glance Sam threw Dean and the fleeting looks they exchanged were loaded with subtext? Discomfiture aside, I loved the way Becky outright refused to stop molesting Sam. That's right, we fangirls are scarier than angels and demons combined!
My head spun during the episode's WOW moments. First of all, I had no clue Bobby was possessed. In retrospect I should've known when Bobby said he wished to sever all contacts with Sam should they survive the upcoming war. But at the time I thought Bobby's anger was justified. The harsh words Bobby laid into Sam were much needed to be said IMO. Dean especially needed to hear them voiced by someone he considered family. His earnest attempt in avoiding the giant Pink Elephant in an earlier scene (with Sam) clued me in that Dean was not okay with what his brother did. Not by a long shot. Here, I saw a trace of relief on Dean's face as he listened Bobby's speech (screencap). I can sense Dean's logic that as long as Bobby is mad at Sam, then he doesn't have to. In this scene Jared was perfect in showing Sam's contrition. Seeing that look on Sam's face (screencap), even though I was mad at the choices Sam made in the past, I still couldn't help myself wanting to pat the boy on the head and tell him: "as long as you learned your lesson, sweetie..."
Kripke sure knows how to play with our heads. I love how Dean figured out Chuck's clue. The thought John had Michael Sword all along blew my mind. But before I could even wonder how John got his hands on such an important weapon, Wham! Dean was down and the possessed Bobby loomed over his fallen body. The re-entrance of Meg, a.k.a. the demonic daughter of YED, promises all kinds of mischief, and her announcement that all demons are gunning for Dean foreshadows loads of "fun" for the beleaguered boys.
I couldn't help drawing comparison between Bobby and John. Both men were forced to hurt Dean by the demons that possessed them. Only in Bobby's case, he was able to overcome the evil without hurting Dean. But then again, argument can be made that Bobby's demon was not as powerful as YED that possessed John. Still Bobby's father figure status was firmly established here. He's not just an uncle anymore. Even Meg had called Bobby Dean's surrogate father.
Zachariah's startling revelation that Dean was the Michael Sword stole my breath away! Wait, what? Dean's a weapon?! But of course, they were speaking metaphorically. Turned out Dean is THE vessel for Michael! I knew Dean is connected to the angels. I just didn't know how close. So what have we learned about the angels so far? Let's see:
+ They are powerful beings. Some more so than others. Michael's the toughest SOB they got.
+ They are dicks with wings. Except Anna, who doesn't have one and Castiel, who most certainly isn't one.
+ They need a vessel to function on Earth.
+ Revised: Maybe archangels, or Michael in particular only get one choice of a vessel.
+ They need permissions to ride their vessels.
+ They fell from grace if they rebel. But fallen angels are not necessarily evil.
+ Lucifer IS an angel.
Considering all that, it made sense Dean refused to give his consent. "Life as an angel condom? No thanks!" Haha, trust Dean to come up with a snarky but colorful response. And I could not have loved Dean more if I tried. I love his steadfast refusal to give up his humanity, even for a "worthy" cause. I see this as a sharp contrast to Sam, who was seduced by power, good intentions notwithstanding. In my assessment, Dean is the stronger one between the two brothers. Now here is the curious thing: how come Michael hasn't appeared yet to ask Dean directly? I'm not 100% sure on this but I don't believe Zachariah speaks for Michael. Who put the brothers on that airplane and sent Castiel back from oblivion? God? Or archangel Michael? Also we know Castiel has had two vessels. But his second vessel (Claire) carries the blood of his first vessel (Jimmy). So if Dean is Michael's chosen vessel, does that make Sam a second possibility?
Dean's refusal to accept Michael was juxtaposed against Nick's acceptance of Lucifer here. I love Kripke's decision to make Lucifer's vessel sympathetic. Like Dean, Nick loved and valued his family dearly. He was a broken man after his wife and child were brutally ripped away from him. So he raged against God for allowing this to happen. Dean for a long time had doubted God's existence due to the death of his mother. Here they are, two family men. One accepted his angel, one denied. I for one can't wait when these two come face to face.
I was charmed by Dean's bravado in the hospital. I can tell he was worried about Bobby, and the situation they were in (screencap). But like always, Dean's coping mechanism has been keep fighting. So he tried to infuse Bobby with his fighting spirit. I love the way Dean answered Bobby's question on how he plans to stop the angels and the demons. "I got no idea, but what I do have is a GED and give them hell attitude..." Jensen's delivery of the line underscores the rebel that is Dean (screencap).
My heart melted a little when Bobby told Sam his previous harsh words were demon talking, that he would never cut Sam off no matter what he did. Bobby is like a parent who can never desert his child no matter how much that said child erred. And I think it's appropriate for Sam to show his lovely dimples at Bobby's absolution (screencap). I just wish it was the first time he smiled in this episode. It would've been more powerful. Ironically Bobby's words comforted Sam, but were not what Dean needed to hear at the moment. Dean looked troubled during Bobby's speech (screencap).
After all, Sam had betrayed Dean by doubting him, and choosing a demon over him. Seeing Bobby, his surrogate father swept all that aside so easily didn't do well to Dean's feeling. If anything, Dean is all too human. Hence came the heartbreaking speech in the parking lot. It's true that Sam had walked out on Dean repeatedly. Not only that, as far as Dean knew, Sam had also ignored the conciliatory message he left on Sam's cell phone. Thus it's understandable that Dean cannot deny his injured feeling anymore. And it pains him to tell Sam he can no longer trust him (screencap). Jensen and Jared sold the scene so well. Especially Jensen, whose expressive eyes and quivering voice telegraphed Dean's hurt. And Jared as a remorseful Sam continues to garner my sympathy.
My score for the episode: A