Ten years later and no sign of dying.
We’re a decade into this enterprise and Supernatural continues to cruise. And while there’s certainly some wear on the tires, as someone who’s been with this thing since the premiere I can say that it’s kept up enough quality to keep the Johnson household (minus the young, impressionable children of course) engaged throughout.
The main gag this season is the Mark of Cain. According to Supernatural mythology, Cain got branded for whacking his brother, dooming him to dark, violent immortality. Through a series of circumstances (watch the show!), Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles, Smallville) ends up with the Mark and over the course of the season, it slowly drains him of his humanity.
Watching his brother transform into a demonic killing machine proves too much for Sam (Jared Padalecki, Friday the 13th) and he unearths any info he can to free his brother from the mark. But as he’ll find out, there is a major cost to saving his brother, which will have to be paid…in Season 11!
Decent season. Definitely not the one to start if you’re just plugging into the show, though. This far into the series run, there’s a dump-truck load of mythology to sort through and each season, while contained with its own arc, relies heavily on what’s been established beforehand. Here, in addition to the Cain storyline, is a continuation of the show’s bread-and-butter. The quasi-Biblical storytelling involving the forces of Heaven clashing with the forces of Hell. We even get some Lucifer and Michael name-drops!
I found this refreshing. Ever since Supernatural infused its plots with Judeo-Christian beats, the show has taken off. Recently, seasons have gotten away from that and the results have been mixed at best (the less said about the Leviathans, the better). Thankfully we’re back into the B-I-B-L-E and that means more Castiel (Misha Collins, Girl Interrupted) the confused angel and wise-ass King of Hell Crowley (Mark Sheppard, Doctor Who). It also means, alas, more Rowena (Ruth Connell, Sienna Burning), Crowley’s mother and a super-witch who, try as I might, I just can’t connect with. For all its pluses — and considering the hugely active female fan base — this show just hasn’t been able to get their women characters right.
As always, the show is as good as the brothers at the center of its mayhem and Ackles and Padalecki remain pros, continuing the chemistry that has kept it all moving for so long. Granted, their characters have both died and resurrected so much already mortal threats to their physical well-being don’t carry much narrative weight and I’m pretty much tapped out of their angst-ridden conversations in the car — but, they’re still having fun and their brotherly dynamic is peerless across the television landscape.
As for the season finale, typically a Supernatural strength, I’m mixed. The stage is set for a crazy next season where the world may literally go up in smoke (though this is a show that has had about 12 apocalypses), but the capper felt too out of the blue. We only learn about this threat in the last couple of episodes. Whatever. I’m tuning in anyway, a testament to the creative forces that have kept this ghost ship afloat.
Warner Bros. offers up another superb Blu-ray set for Supernatural: The Complete Tenth Season, starting with a rock-solid 1.78:1/1080p transfer and a boisterous DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track. The stand-out, again, is the extras, the gold standard in TV box set releases. Four big featurettes are the headliners: “Supernatural Theatre,” a breakdown of the musical 200th episode; “The Winchester Mythology,” a deep-dive into the show’s story and characters; “Supernatural at 2014 Comic-con;” and, finally, a very impressive hour-long documentary about the show’s fans. Three episode commentaries, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and digital copies of each episode top it off.
Not Guilty. There’s that Cain-do attitude.