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Supernatural

Supernatural Review: Sam's First Kiss!

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How does a show that's been on for seven years attempt to stay fresh and exciting? Get back to what made it popular in the first place, of course!

That seems to be the direction Supernatural is headed and, frankly, it's a good idea.

Who doesn't miss the old days of Sam and Dean on the road together, taking down ghosts, haunted scarecrows, or whatever creature that decided to rear its ugly head? It was about the job of the week, the growth of the brotherly love, and the understanding that things really do go bump in the night. It was the wild scares mixed with the great humor and family dynamic that had me from the get go.

Bobby and Dean

Don't get me wrong, I loved the addition of Castiel and his assistance for the boys along their journey. He brought another great aspect to the show and a different opportunity for Sam and Dean to play off. (I'm even still wishing he had a couple more episodes before poofing away.)

But it was tonight's installment that proved that following just Sam and Dean isn't a problem. In fact, that's exactly how it all started: two boys and an Impala.

Aside from the quick wrap up and escape from the hospital (and Dean's tense and hilarious morphine induced attempt to leave), "The Girl Next Door" felt so old season that if I didn't know any better, I'd forget this was the seventh year of the show's existence.

It was back to hiding out in cabins, looking up information on what type of creature was causing problems, dealing with local authorities, and plenty of dark, desolate woods. No grand scale saving the world, just helping a few people from a local town. It was simple and basic, but at the same time filled with complications and even managing to progress the here and now.

Additionally, the episode gave viewers another glimpse into Sam's past. Except this time, he wasn't just a small boy following Dean's every word. He was a young hunter, wishing he was doing anything else, but still smartly and expertly attempting to handle the family work. And he was getting in his first kiss.

She was a creature though, so, does that still technically count?

The flashbacks gave insight into how early Sam didn't agree with killing "monsters" and introduced the concept of a "good" creature. Destroying them wasn't as black and white as John Winchester had made it out to be. Those past memories were also important that it revealed that Amy, a kitsune, was still killing. See how everything ties together nicely?

I didn't really understand Sam's reference to his father's drinking problem. I always knew that John Winchester was hard on the boys and passionate about defeating the supernatural, but an abusive alcoholic father? I'm not sure if I like that addition to his name.

It was good that Sam wanted to stop Amy from killing, but was compassionate enough to let her live and protect her son. I was even surprised when Dean agreed to trust Sam. Things really seemed to be changing.

So, I was shocked when Dean showed up and straight up killed Amy. To him a monster will always be a monster. That's cold, Dean. So, cold.

I thought this concept was argued about before between the brothers, but I guess Dean has been swayed far too much from his long and arduous journey that to him, everything still is black and white. So, how does that make him feel about Castiel then? And what does not choosing to agree with his brother mean if Sam ever finds out he was betrayed? I smell a problem between Sam and Dean on the horizon.

While the creature of the week seems to be returning, the larger story arc of the Leviathan was still highly in play. In fact, it's because of their dedication to hunting the Winchester brothers that Sam and Dean have been forced to lay low and return to hiding out in random out of the way towns. Now that they seem to be infiltrating all parts of human society (and tracking credit card fraud!), the boys are going to have a tough time fighting the vast reaching enemy that can't be killed. Yet.

I'd also like to point out that Jensen Ackles did another phenomenal job in the director's chair. He did have plenty more scenes than in his first outing, but I think he did a great job in them. He also used a variety of camera angles and maintained a nice transition between past and present scenes. I hope he's still having a great time in both his roles, because I'm certainly enjoying them.

So, will this returning to the roots, end up being a good idea? Time will tell, but for now, it's a welcome introduction. It really does have a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid vibe as the two brothers are forced to rely on each other as they run from the Leviathan. How long can they last alone and will they ever find out how to stop the quickly spreading Leviathan? Onwards and upwards, Supernatural. Keep em coming! Here's a look at next week!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (112 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Shaunieb

@Piecar Dean was doing everything he could to save Cas during the last eps of season 6 not actually the actions of someone wanting to kill someone. The view that Dean seems to have at this point in time is similar to Gordon Walker and he's got to be careful he doesn't lose sight of the fact that what they do is save people not kill every monster they can.
And just a side not but could you stop calling the character Kaylee....it should be Amy Pond (character's name) or Jewel Staite (actual name)

Piecar

Shaunie, yes. I wanted Dean to kill Cas. Dean wanted to kill Cas. Cas wanted to kill Cas. I like the character, but he became evil. I don't expect Dean to kill Sam, no. There is a brotherly bond there, and it the basis of the show. But that they struggle with the moral implications of their actions is important. Kaylee knew she was doing wrong, and knew the potential outcome of her actions. She got about what she expected in return. Yes, she did it to save her son, and blah blah. She ended someone else's life, several someone's who didn't threaten her or her son. That's a monster. A dead one.

Shaunieb

Also can I say how great is it that a show 7 seasons in can get it's fans not only debating the show but whether or not killing a monster was morally the right thing to do. Amazing!

Shaunieb

@MelodyParis
It's a good point that Amber Benson's character did kill someone and it's possible that Dean was factoring this into his descision. Although, didn;t she only kill because of Eve's influence and she actually asked to be killed (which Cas did). Although if I remember correctly wasn;t both Sam and Dean shocked by how quickly Cas acted. @Piecar
Based on that logic then Dean should kill Sam....after he bled and drank a human, who could argue that she was possessed but Sam knew that he was killing a human yet still went ahead with it. Also, Dean tortured souls in hell and therefore isn't a saint himself. I also assume you wanted Dean to kill Cas as well?

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I have seen every episode from the start of the series and I don't remember an ending more disturbing, and not in a good way, than this one. This is Dean in uber-holier-than-thou mode, killing her not so much for what she did but what she might do in the future. This is the guy who, as Belinda pointed out, tortured (human) souls in Hell for, what was it now, a decade. Yes he had extenuating circumstances - as being tortured himself in hell for three decades would certainly qualify - but the rub with extenuating circumstances is always this - how does one judge which ones grant you exoneration and which do not? The tortures in Amy's hell wasn't to her person, it was the prospect of watching her child die, and as any parent knows, that is hands down the worst and ultimate nightmare for a parent. As for the argument that monsters are monsters and humans are humans... wasn't that the approach of the hunter who slaughtered the non-feeding-on-human vampires? The one who was shown to be wrong (and later became a vampire himself before meeting his demise). And yes, Lenore only killed again because she was forced to, not because she really wanted to. How many who approve of Dean's actions mourn the death of Castiel... the one who joined forces with Crowley, who betrayed the trust of and killed fellow angel and ally Rachel (who was not thrilled by his dealings with the new king of hell), who as a god murdered humans for committing hypocrisy and sacrilege, before falling under the influence of the Leviathans and slaughtering everyone in a Michelle-Bachman-like campaign headquarters? Wasn't he by his actions (even sans Leviathans) a monster? And if I remember correctly, Eleanor, who's death was played as tragic, who had no malice in her heart and tried to help the good guys, was a creature from Purgatory who, while denying she killed Lovecraft, did steal the body of a woman - which amounts to some kind of death for the prior inhabitant. In the black-white-no-shades-of-grey world of monsters and humans, would the late serial killer John Wayne Gacy - who relished giving play to his inner demons - still be first choice for team human instead of Amy, who struggled against her demons to do the right thing (taking out her own mom to do it, working in a morgue)? The question here is what defines what really is a monster and what makes one human? Dean's dispatching of Amy, and his callous treatment of her child (I guess monster children deserve to see their parents dispatched before their eyes) expresses a viewpoint that concentrates the truly ugly side of the us/them mentality - one that has wreaked sufficient havoc in the real-non-television world. Seeing it displayed by one of the ostensible "good guys" on Supernatural is more than disappointing.

Piecar

I knew there were going to be bleeding hearts about killing Kaylee here. The woman killed several people. She did it to save her son, sure. But she killed them. She's a murdering monster. If her kid gets sick again, what'll she do? Kill again. She needed to get iced. Dean, while understanding, did what needed to be done. If she had have kept to her mortician ways, she'd be fine. She KILLED and is a monster. Bye bye, monster. When the kid showed up...I was really curious to see how far the show would go. I thought the ep was really good, and a return to the old days...But Bobby just reappearing like that? Either it's lame, or there's something up there.

Uncle-jackass

P.S @Melody Paris, not to block holes or bully others, but Amber Benson's character Lenore in Season 6 episode 19: Mommy Dearest was under the influence of Eve who's nest was already possessed by her. I'm not entirely sure if she had a choice or even free will. Only that she was aware of actions and requested it be stopped (Castiel obliged). The only justification for Dean's actions was from what he learnt from season 6 episode 11 "Appointment in Samarra," whereby the Angel of Death teaches him the lesson of "Nature has a way of balancing things out." (similar to Nature abhors a vacuum). Hence, in Dean's logic, by murdering those that sin, but allowing the innocent to walk free, he's justifying that when the day comes he might even allow the boy to exact his vengeance. Only problem is that it will inevitably lead to the same cycle from happening again. But that is the cycle of nature apparently.

Avatar

@Belinda Bu. As far as I am concerned, human life is sacrosanct. Therefore, if a cute as hell pitbull gets away from its owners and kills a bunch of people I have no problem with the authorities killing it. Hence, to me, a monster in the context of this show does not have the authority to decide to kill a person to save its child's life. So, to answer your question, I don't believe that a non-human has the same rights as a human being. They are not the same. Similarly, I don't think Dean has the authority to determine whether Sam (a person) lives or dies. He may incapacitate him but he certainly does not have the right to kill him or any other person.

Avatar

I was disgusted by Dean in this episode. There was no justification for killing that woman. I thought he had moved beyond the old black and white mentality and learned to reason things through. Apparently not.

Avatar

If anything, this episode gave me all I need to drop Supernatural off my list of viewings. The old stories of the boys and the impala no longer held the allure it used to, it's old and stale and recycled. And Dean's actions in the end have only cemented that this isn't the show I want to watch anymore. I thought Dean grew out of that attitude a long time ago that he wasn't the arbitrary decision maker in people's lives, I thought after dealing with free-will and destiny that he believed people weren't ruled by who they were. Not only did he killed a mother who was protecting her child, a mother who also saved Dean as a kid, but he made smart-ass comments at the kid who just saw his mother murdered, the same thing YED did to him and Sam. Honestly, I hope little Jacob comes back and kills Sam or Bobby to mess with Dean, because this my-way-or-high-way attitude is so Season 2 I'm tired of it. If the boys aren't gonna learn from their mistakes and parents' mistakes, then fine. @Andrea, I guess you and Dean share the same kind of black and white logic, maybe he should have killed Sam a long time ago then because Sam was becoming a monster and a freak, why didn't he just kill Sam then when he was killing people? But hey, whatever, I guess some humans just don't get other beings. So what she was born a monster, doesn't mean she can't have the same rights. Are you saying you wouldn't kill if it would save your child's life? What makes Dean the decision maker? Who the hell died and made him God to decide who gets to live and die? He's a hypocrite, not a hero. And he's not less of a monster than what YED was. A killer, and a mother-murderer. He tortured souls in Hell, human souls, it's not different than what Amy did.

Supernatural Season 7 Episode 3 Quotes

Oh, Dean. I have a question. How do you talk to girls?

Sam

New rule. You steal my baby, you get punched.

Dean
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