It’s hard to believe that Supernatural has been on the air for ten years. Not many shows make it to the magical fifth season let alone double that number. But if you’ve been watching the show all this time, you know that it’s something special. It mixes in the dark and macabre with the right amount of humor, heart, and characterization that hasn’t been seen on TV since Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
At the center of the story are two brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester, who have grown up as hunters, a family profession that has been handed down through the ages. Time and time again, they have fought demons, monsters, and the devil himself to save the world, refusing to give up and willing to sacrifice themselves for friends and family.
Originally the show started off with the two chasing down myths and urban legends, but as the story continued, the adventures became less about the monster of the week and became more about the family bond and establishing an overall season-long story arc. In other words, the characters became three-dimensional with real feelings and emotions and with it came more fans and bigger ratings.
So after nine years of fighting Angels, Lucifer, Demons, Leviathans, and all sorts of creatures, what was left? In season ten, the big Baddie is Dean, who has been turned into a demon by the King of Hell, Crowley (Mark Sheppard) after having obtained the mark of Cain in order to stop Abaddon (Alaina Huffman), a knight of Hell, from bringing about the Apocalypse.
But just because Dean’s a demon it doesn’t mean Sam will sit idly by and do nothing. The Winchester motto is to save their brother no matter the cost. Not only does Sam have to figure out a way to return Dean back into a human, but the two of them will then need to find a way to remove the mark of Cain.
With Dean’s plight being the focus of the season, it’s harder to find the standout episodes because they are a lot less independent of one another and don’t feel like stand-alone episodes. “Fan Fiction,” which also happens to be the 200th episode, is one of the few as it’s a direct homage to the fan base and features an all-girls school performing a musical based on the Supernatural books that directly mirrors the brothers’ lives. The other is “The Prisoner” even though it’s really a two-part episode. What elevates it is that it’s the one time you get to see Dean go completely badass on the Stynes, a family that used to go by the name Frankenstein, for committing an atrocity on one of the Winchester’s closest friends.
The DVD set consists of 23 episodes on six DVDs along with a digital download. There are Audio Commentaries on the episodes “The Hunter Games”, “There’s No Place Like Home” and “The Executioner’s Song”.
There are six Special Features:
- “The Winchester Mythology: Battling the Mark and the Blade”-The writers and cast give a synopsis of the entire season while giving thoughts and ideas for the character motivations.
- “Supernatural Fans” - A discussion of how important the Supernatural fan base is and also includes stories of four fans. This is a very long feature that would have worked better broken up into individual features as it tends to drag and become repetitive.
- “A Very Special Supernatural Special” - This was the special shown on television before the first episode of the season aired. It’s a wrap-up of everything that has happened from the beginning of season one through the season nine finale. It’s the best feature as you can see the growth and changes that have occurred.
- “Supernatural at Comic Con 2014” - The interview panel at Comic-Con. It’s nice to see if you couldn’t get tickets, but it’s just not the same thing as actually being at the convention.
- “Supernatural Theatre: Staging the 200th Episode” - This is an in-depth look into “Fan-Fiction,” an episode where they try to give back to the fans by incorporating a lot of actual fan fiction that is out on the Internet into a musical episode.
- “Gag Reel” - As most gag reel features it’s just okay and nothing spectacular.
Changing Dean into something he has been fighting against for so long was a brilliant idea. Unfortunately, it came up a bit weak. It would have been amazing to see him go pure evil but that part was never shown. There is talk about some of the bad things he did while hanging out with Crowley before episode one, but it’s just not the same and somewhat disappointing. By the third episode, he’s human again. Granted, he still has the mark which drives him to be angrier and a little more vicious on the kills he makes, but after such a shocking season finale much more is expected that just simply wasn’t delivered.
Even with this criticism, most fans will still enjoy the season as it stays true to the characters and keeps the feel of the show exactly where it should be. It doesn’t hurt that it brings back some fan favorites, Bobby (Jim Beaver), Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes), and Charlie (Felicia Day), to help satisfy the audience’s hunger, and with the all-out chaos that is released in the season finale, season eleven looks to be even better.