Reviewing Supernatural is such a stumbling block for me sometimes. I think it’s because I don’t always share the general sentiment, which is fuelled by a passion or a hatred I also don’t always share.
I like all of the episodes, to varying degrees: some I like more (The French Mistake), some I like less (Fallen Idols – and ONLY because a certain person was in it; even that episode redeemed itself by decapitating her) – but I do like them all.
I have seen mixed emotions on social media on just about every episode that has aired: some hate, some love, some don’t care. There was quite a bit of fan backlash over Bitten (aired Oct. 24/12), that was shot in the ‘Cloverfield’ first person camera style, with very little of the fandom’s beloved Winchesters in it, and that’s probably precisely why. It was a departure for the cast and crew from the usual, and from what I hear from the cast and crew themselves it was quite enjoyable to make. I personally really liked it, though I am in the minority on that one.
The following week’s episode, Blood Brother, is a return to regular programming, with one exception: Dean is helping a vampire get revenge on his maker, and dispatching with the entire nest at the same time. We all know Benny (Ty Olsson) as the weapon-wielding vampire who helped Dean escape purgatory, by using Dean’s body as a vehicle to cross the veil; Dean owes him his life, for both protecting him and helping him fight off monsters in purgatory, and for bringing him back. For this reason, Dean is obliged to help him even though it goes against his nature, and I believe he may even feel some ‘affection’ for the vampire.
I like the addition of Benny. It adds to the flow of progress on the show, which – despite its unending potential for storylines – could be in danger of becoming stagnant with its characters if it weren’t for a constant cycling of secondary characters, as well as the occasional shocker of ridding itself of some main characters entirely.
Benny adds a new and very interesting dimension to the show; he is, after all, a monster that the Winchesters have lived their lives slaying. At the end of the episode, when Sam meets Benny and Dean at the pier, that’s the extinct that immediately takes over for Sam, who reaches for his knife upon shaking Benny’s hand. At the shake of Dean’s head he thinks better of it, but is still obviously suspicious.
Do I think the addition of Benny could be harmful to the Winchester dynamic? Sure. But a television show must grow and change in order to stay relevant and avoid cancellation; thus, having Benny to add a third perspective to the show is in the name of progress. And I think we can all agree avoiding cancellation should be a priority.
So why the tangent, right?
I miss some of the old characters as much as anyone else. There is twitter outrage against Benny when the Castiel is nowhere to be seen. I am very interested in seeing how the mentally recharged Cas makes his return, and how he fits back into all of it now. And I understand the sentiment, totally; but I disagree.
We all want the same thing: the show to continue, and to be renewed each year, foreverandeveramen.
But we also all know that if a show doesn’t grow and progress beyond its last season, all of that is a pipe dream.
So let’s all agree to hope for at least one more season, every season, and be united in our love for a really great show.
That’s what we love about Supernatural itself, isn’t it – the love, the loyalty, the family?
Supernatural airs Wednesday nights at 9 on the CW.