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Supernatural Midseason Review

There are not many shows that can get to eleven years. The character growth needed alone is daunting but to also continue to up the stakes of danger without going too far from the original premise of the show is something most shows fail at spectacularly.

Which is why Supernatural is so special. This season has seen the basic premise of the show: two brothers, saving people, hunting things, the family business; taken to its most extreme. As Sam says early on, saving people means saving all the people. Not just the humans, but the angels, the mermaids, the werewolves and everything in between. So when The Darkness was unleashed last season by Sam and Castiel in an effort to save Dean from the Mark of Cain and threatens the very fabric of the universe, the Winchesters start doing whatever they can to save everyone.

Unfortunately they are outmatched on every level. While the boys have faced down everything from ghosts to demons to Heaven and Hell coming for them and survived through sheer stubbornness this year they face an enemy like none they’ve faced before. The Darkness isn’t good. She’s not evil. She just is. As played by Emily Swallow, TD is basically Galactus, except she eats souls, not planets and she’s been locked away for eons. She’s very, very hungry. She’s also sad, angry and lonely, wondering why The Light aka God aka her brother, banished her. TD is childlike, manipulative, oddly kind and terrifyingly seductive and it’s that which makes her such a formidable foe.

It’s also what makes her fixation on Dean utterly disturbing. The moment they lay eyes on each other in the premiere you know that Dean is in trouble in a way he’s never been before. He’s drawn to her despite every warning bell in his head telling him to run. It doesn’t help that he’s losing time due to her ability to call to him, wherever she is and in whatever form she’s in, and bring him to her without anyone noticing. It’s been a slow seduction of Dean on every level as TD sinks further and further into his psyche in her efforts to fulfill what she believes is their destiny to be together for eternity.

Sam’s not doing much better fighting fate as he’s been receiving visions throughout the season, much like he did in season one. They’re all telling him the same thing: he has to face his darkest fears and go back to The Cage and worse see Lucifer. It’s a testament to how much the character has changed that he tells his brother and Castiel what is going on almost immediately. They try everything they can to avoid it but in the end Sam goes to Hell and it’s as emotionally and mentally damaging as you’d expect.

Castiel and Crowley haven’t been in play as heavily this year though their respective factions of Heaven and Hell are in panic mode at The Darkness’ release. TD has been gone so long and apparently wrecked so much damage in her last appearance that she’s basically the nightmare monster baby angels and demons are told about.

What they have had has been fascinating as Castiel struggles with the aftereffects of the spell Rowena placed on him in the tenth season finale unleashing his id. Now every time he has even a small skirmish with anyone he’s afraid he’ll lose complete control and he’s right to be. His decimation of the angels who tried to use him as a bargaining chip against the Winchesters was brutal in its viciousness and a side of Castiel that we haven’t seen in quite some time. It will be interesting to see how and if he’s able to get that part of himself back under control or if he even wants to.

Crowley’s attempts to control The Darkness backfire on him brutally and that, combined with his continued obsession with Dean, has made him make several choices that not only threaten his crown as King of Hell but his very existence. Watching him try and get his swagger back after Rowena undermined his foundations has been hilarious with just enough underlying desperation to make you scared of how off the rails he’s going to go.

All in all this season has been a twisty one as every faction tries and fails to even comprehend just what they’re up against and just how much trouble they’re all in.
I give this half of the season 5 out of 5 Angelic Smitings

About belleburr (497 Articles)
Actor, writer, singer

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