Supernatural: The Magnificent Seven (season premiere)
(S03E01) Guess who just got back today? Them wild-eyed boys that had been away. Haven't changed... Well, wait a minute. Yes they have, and those changes are a big part of what makes season three of Supernatural so interesting. I think it's very smart what Kripke and his team have done.
The yellow-eyed demon had all the makings of your typical carrot and stick never ending serial plot device. They probably could have gone on for another few seasons with Sam and Dean never quite getting the job done. But in dispatching him, they managed to do a couple of things. First, they paid off a major plot line for viewers that had invested two years in the story. And more importantly, as we move into the third season, they did so in a way that opens up a plethora of new avenues for our story to travel. That is where we find ourselves as we delve into the third season.
We pick things up a week after the big showdown at the devil's gate (and after a fantastic synopsis to the tune of AC/DC's "Hell's Bells") and the boys are wondering why things are so quiet. Of course, we all knew that wouldn't be the case for long. Bringing on Bobby for this first episode was a great addition. I don't know if that portends that we will be getting more Bobby this season, but that is an idea I could get behind. We also were introduced to two new characters, Isaac (Peter Macon) and Tamara (Caroline Chikezie). Isaac's run was rather short lived, and what a horrible way to go, but he did serve an important function.
As big a victory as killing the demon was for Sam and Dean, it didn't come across that way to a lot of other people. Our heroes, in the eyes of other hunters, are the cause of a very big problem. "You brought war down on all of us." It also serves to show just how high the stakes have been raised. It all made for a rough introduction for Tamara, but leaves things open for an interesting return. Her scene with Bobby after they captured Envy was excellent. Take charge Bobby is awesome.
Speaking of new characters, get a load of Ruby (Katie Cassidy, pictured). I actually liked everything about the way they brought her into the episode. From that first mysterious closeup, to when we see her tailing Sam on the street and disappearing behind a box, right up to busting in and saving Sam's hide. I'm very curious about that knife she's packing, and just as curious about the fact that one of the demons (Greed?) said, "You?" right before she was taken out. I'm on board with Ruby, and looking forward to more, but it did leave me wondering about something.
Now, I know that I am in the minority as a fan of Jo (Alona Tal). From reading the thoughts of Supernatural fans here at TV Squad and on other haunts around the net, I get that a lot of people really didn't go for that story. At this point though, isn't Ruby coming across as Jo 2.0? If she had left the bar and went off to be trained by a wise old demon hunter atop some spooky mountain, this could be her. Time will tell, and what the writers do with her will make all the difference, but I'll be very interested to see what the reaction to her is.
As to our first post-gate big bad, the seven deadly sins was an interesting choice. I thought what we got of them was very good. Josh Daugherty as Envy was really well cast, and a nod to the effects from his possession. I also liked how he laid out the situation for the boys. "I am legion, for we are many." His calling them on the carpet for their own sins was also good, even though it was a given just where that was going to get him.
The drawback to the seven sins as our first big bad was that they were a little bigger than the time allotted for this opening installment. We got an excellent look at Envy, quick examples of what Sloth (C. Ernst Harth) and Gluttony (Michael Rogers) can do, and the scenes for Pride (Ben Cotton) and Lust (Katya Virshilas) were both good. Pride's little speech about them all knowing who Sam is was very telling. Greed (Tiara Sorensen) and Wrath (Gardiner Millar) were pretty much afterthoughts though. I really could have gone for a two hour premiere to get a little more from some of those characters, or possibly the escape of one or two so they could return at a later date with a score to settle.
Of course, we also need to talk about Dean and the deal. His reaction was what I would have expected of Dean. It's not exactly denial, because as he explained to Sam, he is well aware of just what the situation is. That being said, he's overcompensating to keep from really dealing with all of its implications. It's something that I thought was shown to great effect early in the episode when Sam and Dean were talking in the car and it felt like both of them were actively trying to talk around the subject. I also expect the fun loving, make the most of life, Dean to be short lived. I imagine we'll see him going through a whole host of reactions to the reality of his surroundings.
It sets up quite the dilemma for the two of them. The final scene where they finally discuss the deal and Dean reveals that if they do anything to try and get out of it Sam dies, was excellent. It's something we've seen many times before, the two of them ending an episode with a telling conversation, and it worked here as well as ever. I'm pretty well convinced that in spite of all of those warnings and clauses in the deal, the boys will beat it somehow. How they go about doing that, should be a very interesting ride. I'll just add a note here to keep in mind what the demon said at the end of last season, "Are you sure that what you brought back is 100% Sam?" I'm just sayin...
Finally, we can't end a review with this episode without noting some of the little gems Kripke worked into the script. Among my favorites, Charlene Tilton of Dallas on the TV at the sloth house, Sam telling Bobby that Dean was "polling the electorate," Isaac's Scooby-Doo line, Dean's SE7EN reference, and the line of the night...
Bobby quoting Dean Wormer, "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son." Well done, and a great start to the season.
One last thing, "The Magnificent Seven" is available as a free download on iTunes.
|Absolutely, how could it go any other way?||231 (66.0%)|
|Nope, Kripke has something crazy in the hopper.||119 (34.0%)|