On the D/L – Supernatural
Season 10 Episode 3 – “Soul Survivor”
Well that didn’t take long. Supernatural makes a disappointing return to the status quo and does away with the Deanmon plot within 3 episodes of the season.
To say this annoyed me would be an understatement. The show was handling this plot so well by giving Jensen Ackles a very different role to play in making Dean a really tortured character who has literally lost his humanity and has to come to terms with what he is. Ackles was playing this role perfectly with just the right touch of mania with a hint of redemptive potential. I also really liked that he couldn’t be controlled by Crowley and the resulting implication that the Mark of Cain made him truly unique.
So why would they throw all of this away so soon in favour of getting the band back together? Elements of this episode were done really well like the revelation of the lengths Sam went to in order to locate his demonised brother and Deanmon’s slasher film style pursuit of Sam which left no doubt in my mind that Dean was out to kill his brother and sever all ties he had to his former life. There was even a great discussion giving a new perspective on the Winchester brother’s upbringing being something horrific. Lots of the elements of this episode were gold and rife for exploration.
Sam curing Dean of this affliction didn’t really seem all that difficult, there was talk that he might be killing his brother by doing this but it all seemed to run quite smoothly if you set aside Dean’s attempted murder of his brother. The scene where he pursued Sam was great and built tension beautifully. I was reminded of the early Halloween movies in the execution and Jensen Ackles’ performance really sold the menace and genuine threat from Dean in his pursuit.
I have no idea what the producers have planned for Dean now that he’s human again as the Mark of Cain is still branded on him which makes this an ongoing issue but there’s at least half a season’s worth of potential that has just been tossed aside here. If they really wanted Sam and Dean hunting together again why not have them forced to work together on some kind of mutual interest case and have Sam struggle with having to work with his demonised brother? It would have been slightly similar to Illyria replacing Fred in Angel but with the benefit of it still being Dean…sort of. It would have been a fun story so it’s a shame we will never see it. It all seems to be too much of a cop out to back down from this opportunity so soon.
The scenes where Crowley was clearly bored of sentencing those who betrayed him in favour of Abaddon in hell were really good. Mark Sheppard has this character nailed by now and he’s always incredibly watchable. The idea that some of his underlings don’t care for his unpredictable actions and his strange relationship for the Winchesters has potential but I’m not sure we really need another Supernatural being civil war here. I’m also unclear on Crowley’s motivation for giving Castiel another stolen grace, the only thing he says is that Cas is more use to him alive but I’m sure he’ll change his mind on that in a week or so.
Cas’ plot is barely worth mentioning and only really exists to imply that he and Hannah are building to some kind of romance. Seeing him imbued with more grace is good though and it’s enjoyable to see a Castiel who has use of most of his abilities again. His scene with Dean where both are coming from the perspective of having returned from some kind of abyss is an interesting one. These characters always play well off each other so it’s great to see that continue here.
Despite some well constructed moments this episode can’t help but be a disappointment. Having Dean cured of being a demon so soon into the season robs this story of lots of potential and suggests a desire to play it safe. Ackles’ does an impressive final turn as Deanmon playing it cold and detached while still having an intent to enjoy the hunt and kill. There’s a definite sense that he would kill his brother should he catch him and the pursuit was rife with tension. The Crowley subplot where his underlings are unimpressed with his recent behaviour has potential but it remains to be seen how well this will be handled. Fairly short review here but I haven’t much to say beyond how disappointed I am that such a great story was thrown away so soon.