Friday, 23 January 2015

Supernatural Season 3 (The CW)

I share my thoughts on the third season of the cult TV show, Supernatural, starring Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, and created by Eric Kripke.

Supernatural, despite its flaws, has been one of my favourite series as of late but on this blog I have covered only the first and second seasons so I thought that now would be a good time to start remedying that given that I’m only one episode away from completing the sixth season (and am following the tenth as it airs). The third season is, thanks to the writer’s strike, the shortest yet, clocking in at sixteen episodes in comparison to the usual twenty-three. It sees Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) dealing with the death of their father from the previous season and preparing themselves for not only the possibility of an apocalyptic war, but also dealing with the fact that Dean is running against the clock, with only two years left before he gets sent to hell following a pact with a Demon that he made to bring Sam back from the dead in Season 2.

As opposed to the structure of seasons one and two, season 3 feels a bit more serialized than the standard monster of the week episodes as they attempt to go down a darker path. The stakes are higher as both Sam and Dean are pushed into increasingly escalating situations that are a far cry from the simple “monster of the week” cases that carried through pretty much all of Season 1.  Much like the first season’s driving narrative was finding their father; Season 3 is finding something that will save Dean from Hell. With the variety of episodes that explore pretty much everything that goes bump in the dark, Season 3 continues the strong form of the series with each episode being at the very least, watchable, and at best, having some of the whole series’ finest moments with No Rest For the Wicked, the finale, being one of my favourite hours that this show has given us.

As usual, Supernatural brought back a few recurring characters from previous seasons in this one to continue their storylines as well as introduce new, recurring ones. Sterling K. Brown returned as the vampire hunter, and nemesis of the Winchesters, Gordon Walker, Charles Malik Whitefield shines as FBI Agent Victor Henrikson, and the ever reliable Jim Beaver continued to play his role as Bobby Singer, the Winchester’s surrogate father in the absence of their real one, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s John.

Two newcomers are introduced in this season, as the show attempted to add some interesting female characters to the cast alongside its normal, male protagonists. Ruby, a Demon (Played by Arrow’s Katie Cassidy), once again forced the boys to question the fact that the lines between hunter and monster may not be as black and white as they initially appeared and the feisty, anti-authoritarian occult thief Bela Talbot (Lauren Cohan) proved to be an okay foil for the Winchesters but none of them really hit the mark, and with there only being really two good female characters in this series – Jo and Ellen so far, it’s something that the writers really need to improve upon, because Bela was just irritating and although Ruby was better, she wasn’t exactly brilliant either.

The season itself is mostly darker than the previous ones as the majority of episodes tend to lend themselves towards something related to the ongoing plot. However, there are a few episodes where they don’t even address getting Dean out of hell at all, However, in the final moments of the season the action really increases up as the threat escalates, pitting the boys against the demon Lilith. It was exciting and pretty intense, and ended the season on a really strong note even if the majority of Season 3 was admittedly, fairly standard stuff with few standout episodes.

The few episodes worth remembering from this season were fairly good, though. Bad Day at Black Rock showed the humour of Supernatural really well, with an incident involving a rabbit’s foot, and Jus in Bello was also one of the finer episodes of the season with a pretty dark tone that pitted them against Henrikson once more. Time Is On My Side, the penultimate episode, also impressed as well.

On the whole then, the third season of Supernatural whilst not being perfect, is still pretty good and it’s always reliable for some good horror and urban fantasy entertainment. It may have its weak parts, with the addition of new cast members not always paying off, but on the whole, it’s still fairly enjoyable stuff.

VERDICT: 7.9/10

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