Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer.
When Season Ten wrapped up, the Winchester brothers had found a way to remove the Mark of Cain from Dean’s (Jenson Ackles) arm. The mark had been slowly driving him insane and more and more violent and making him less human. Unfortunately, there were two problems with removing the mark. The first was that they had to kill Death, which they managed to do. But in doing so, not only was Dean freed from the mark but it was the only thing keeping the most powerful evil force locked away since the beginning of time, The Darkness (Emily Swallow).
Dealing with the repercussions of their actions is something that the two brothers have had to come to grips with before. But unlike previous adventures, instead of the two being at odds with how the situation should be resolved, they actually work together as a team. And it takes everything that they can find to stop the annihilation of the world including working with Crowley (Mark Sheppard), Metatron (Curtis Armstrong), Lucifer (Mark Pelligrino), and even the all-powerful Chuck (Rob Benedict).
While the season-long arc of stopping The Darkness dominates most of the episodes, the two best episodes of the show are more stand-alone adventures. “Baby” which is shot from the perspective of the Impala as Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean investigate the death of a Sheriff’s Deputy. Not only does the way it was shot make the car feel like an actual character in the show, but it gives it a creepy vibe as the audience can only see and hear portions of what is going on as if they were actually sitting and waiting in the car. “Safe House” brings back beloved fan favorite Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver) and his hunter partner Rufus Turner (Steven Williams) in an episode that connects the four men through time as they all try to figure out a mystery and vanquish an evil spirit years apart from one another.
The Blu-ray was presented in 1080p High Definition 16x9 1.78:1 with a 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track. The video is very clean and sharp, which is important because there is a lot of dark and light contrasts throughout the episodes since a lot of the action happens during the night and being able to see multiple shades of black and gray clearly is important. The audio track has a good surround sound that is utilized to its full advantage and immerses the viewer into the action.
The four-disc set contains five special features:
“On the Set with Supernatural: The Real Fan Contest” follows the Vancouver trip of four fans, one pair from Oregon and one from Japan, who won a contest to visit the Supernatural set and meet the cast and crew.
“Jensen Ackles on Directing The Bad Seed” shows some of the behind-the-scenes he did as he discusses the challenges and intricacies of being both the director and one of the main stars of the show at the same time.
“Digital Magic: Enhancing the Sets with VFX” talks about and demonstrates what sets looked like in Hell and on a submarine before and after special effects were added.
“The Winchester Mythology: The Darkness” discusses the mythology and reasoning behind the creation and the development of The Darkness.
“2015 Comic-Con Panel” features the cast at their yearly Comic-Con panel as they answer questions about the show and interact with their fan base.
Also included are audio commentaries on the episodes “Baby,” “Just My Imagination,” and “Don’t Call Me Shurley.” There are deleted scenes and a particularly entertaining “Gag Reelm” which is more than just laughing at line flubs and worth watching.
I have been a big fan of Supernatural since it came on the airwaves. I was very happy to see it reach 10 seasons and even happier that it’s continued to be renewed afterwards. The acting is good. The chemistry between the actors and the story that they’ve shared has been entertaining, and the special effects are as good as anything out there. Unfortunately, in this eleventh season the show jumped the shark. Each season they try to push the envelope with the intensity and seriousness of the foe that they must vanquish. Bringing the sister of God as a villain raises the bar so high that there is no other nemesis that can compete. And along with his sibling, they actually brought God himself into the picture.
For me, God was the one character to show up at the very end of the series. Now that he’s arrived and he was kind of a wimp, what else is there to look forward to? What other challenge can you bring to the Winchesters that can compete with the one and only God? I’m still planning to continue watching the show as I’m so vested and interested in these characters I’ve been watching for over a decade, but I’m seriously concerned that the writers may have written themselves into such a small corner that nothing else that comes in the future can be as good as what we’ve already seen.