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Supernatural - Season One Review by A.D.Harris


I know this has been a long time in the promising, but I have to admit, I accidentally deleted my first attempt and couldn't bring myself around to writing up the majority of the Review again.... up until now. So this isn't quite the epic it once was going to be sadly, but hopefully it's still a lotta fun. I've spiced it up with some graphs and stuff as well.


First off, I'm gonna chat about the episodes in season one. As I went through the season, I rated each episode outta ten, based on how I liked it, and I also modified as I got more to grips with the show and other episodes I discovered were better or worse than I thought!

I thought the season started quite slowly, I wasn't the pilot's biggest fan, problems such as the brothers not recognising each other when they had the fight annoyed me more than they should. Two people who know each other that well would recognise earlier. It was a small niggle, but it really, really annoyed me. I did however love the start with Mary Winchester dying, I thought it was creepy, dark and well shot, and I hadn't realised Jeffery Dean Morgan was in the show, but more on him later. Overall the episode just about pulled me in, the ending when Jessica died was awesome, the blood dripping onto Sam's face.
The main problem I found with the start of season one, and by that I mean up to around the point of "Bloody Mary" or "Skin" is that every story was very much the same, with no real mythology and as a result I felt that Sam, who came out of the pilot really strong lost his edge, and Dean despite not also having much to work with, was the far better character. The episodes just didn't progress, every week we rest and there was no real sense of foreboding on a grand scale. I could sum up those episodes as "We need to find Dad let's look in the journal and wander into another Supernatural event." One thing I noticed was the way the cases presented themselves to the brothers got so much stronger in the second half of the season. Perhaps the writers noticed it was a bit annoying earlier on, but it made the later episodes much more believeable. In truth, "Bloody Mary" and "Skin" didn't do a lot to help that fact, for the grand mythos to come back you need to wait for the episode "Home", but there's no denying that the 'Shapeshifter' storyline in "Skin" was one of the best stand alone episodes of season one, it grips you with the image of Dean escaping the scene of a bloodied woman. "Bloody Mary" also felt like the 'villain of the week' was better conceived and it stood out above the others before it. "Hook Man" followed on from "Skin" brilliantly, a real scary concept that was executed well. Angry Spirits are so important to the show, and I'm sure you would all agree, an angry Spirit with a huge hook is far cooler than one that is a swirly smoke thing that likes crashing planes or a murdered boy who controls water. I'd go for a spirit with a Hook any day. It worked.
To skip "Bugs" seems like a logical idea, but that would be being too kind on what was a stinker of an episode, illogical and stupid, I'll ignore the fact a woman flicked a spider off her forehead then continued watching TV, I'll ignore the fact that the brothers arrived at the house at midnight when the bugs attacked then five minutes later it was sunrise, what I won't ignore is how did the writers ever think that watched our brothers in an attic with a load of bugs buzzing around what ever scary. Hook, then Bugs. What happened? :P
Following on from that shambles was "Home" which was more of a disappointment than "Bugs" despite being such a better episode. It was a real chance to get into the grand mythology of the show and they shied away, giving us a different poltergeist and some moving furniture. I can't deny I wasn't happy to see John Winchester at the end, his lack of appearance was annoying to say the least, but when next week they ignored he had been back it was disappointing. Everything about the episode felt like safe writing, and for the episode they return to their home, where there mother was killed by a demon, hell they got that wrong.

Whatever disappointments I can say about those two episodes was made up for in the next three. "Asylum", "Scarecrow", and "Faith" was the best three episode run of the season (sadly, "Dead Man's Blood" let down the end of season extravaganza) "Asylum" was freaking scary, and everyone loves a mystery in an abandoned crazy house, and this worked on every level, creaking doors, dark corridors and a slightly goofy but still cool Doctor. And possessed Sam was almost as cool as shapeshifter Dean. Not quite though. "Scarecrow" had the advantage of perhaps he coolest villain of the season. That damn Scarecrow was awesome. Problems were Meg Masters and Sam's storyline were a bit boring, but it was cool seeing Dean work on his own (something he does just as well at in "The Benders". Also, whoever casted Meg Masters majorly buggered up, she was laughably annoying and not scary. Compare Masters to the Demon when he possesses John Winchester in the finale. It's not even close. It really isn't.
"Faith" worked because, finally, I felt we really got to see the true Dean Winchester. Yeah, we know he loves his dad and he's very cool and bad ass. But "Faith" gave him more humility and will for life. I assure you, without "Faith", Dean wouldn't be half the character he is. How much from now on does he develop. He owns the finale, and it wasn't really his story. More on that in a bit though...
As became custom in Season one, we get some awesome episodes, so we then get a clanger, and Route 666 was the bad boy to take the hit. Sadly, it was supposed to be a continuation of the Dean storyline that was so brilliantly done in "Faith", and it was unnecessary, and it didn't work, mainly because his first love, Cassie is the most annoying love interest season one throws at us, and the big baddie was... a truck. Possessed 'Hot Wheels'... Come on writers?!
"Nightmare" was a very solid episode, the kind of episode "Home" should have been, and Sam's premonitions actually became interesting, the discovery of other with 'talents' was a cool reveal, and I liked the idea behind it. A layer of the mythos was peeled back, and it was needed, it worked. Hats off all round then...
"The Benders" was a funny animal, as it was the, 'appears Supernatural, but it's actually some crazy humans' storyline which I really enjoyed. Was also fun to see Dean saying how humans are worse than most of the things he hunts. Had some good spooky scenes where he's looking for Sam. Main problem with the episode was Sam was useless, thankfully Dean carried the episode well.
"Shadow" was an important episode in the season, but, as was a running problem (maybe the only problem) with the grand mythology was that Meg Masters ruined it with her annoying character. However we got the fact that the Demon wanted John, and attacking the brothers was the way to get him. John returns again, and I was excited to think that he was actually gonna do a case next episode with the brothers, but once again he left. That was one of the annoying points of the season. Jeffery Dean Morgan as I understand it was very busy, but the fact they put so much focus on the character, getting so little of him was nothing but frustrating. So seeing him drive off was disappointing, seeing Meg Masters still living, even more so!
"Hell House" was a cool concept, and it worked very well, and was a funny episode with the two 'Ghostbusters' type guys involved in the storyline too. As a standalone, I felt it was a good episode. "Something Wicked" I wasn't so in love with, but it was a lot better than earlier stand alone episodes, and with Dean in good form, it worked okay.
"Provenance" was my favourite episode of the season. I loved the idea of the girl coming out of the painting and killing, it's reveal to be her and not the father awesome. There's also something scary about paintings changing position. Also, Sarah was the best love interest of the year (hope she comes back in season two onwards) and the brother chemistry was really in full swing. It just worked through and through, funny, tense, scary and gave Sam a chance to let his emotions out.
The final three episodes revolve around the 'colt' a gun John Winchester believes can kill the Demon and end all the families mission once and for all. The plus point is that John Winchester finally properly shows up and does something, the family tensions and relationships finally shown on screen very well. The John-Sam disagrements. The John-Dean team. All was really good. The thing I didn't like was the vampires. Not that I'm against them, but they weren't something I thought Supernatural was about, and even though I liked the writers take on them, I'm still not completely sold. Still, they get the gun and we move to the two-part finale, as it should be viewed. "Salvation" is the set-up episode. Sam has a premonition, Demon wants the gun, John takes one storyline and goes to hand over said gun (although we know it's a fake) whilst the brothers aim to catch the demon when he tries to kill another babies mother. I kinda felt "Salvation" had a better storyline than "Devils Trap" in terms of 'catching the demon' and the finale served more like a season premiere, as the brothers deal with the aftermath of the failed attempt to catch him, and it led to the some what annoying cliffhanger to the whole season. Has it ended with John captured and the Demon having got away, it would have been perfect. I liked that it went on, but it took away the cliffhanger, as the storyline ran its course and they had to stick in the 'car crash.' Honestly, I didn't like that part of the finale. What I did love was John, whilst possessed by the demon, having the showdown with the brothers. Yeah, it was talkie, it wasn't full of action. But BOY, it was tense. Creepy, informative and oozing in class, the scene was THE scene of the season. We learn there is a plan, the Demon needs Sam's full attention, killing off his loved-ones is all "part of the plan". So exciting, very well written, so well acted by Jeffery Dean Morgan. But it was in fact Dean, on the out-skirts of the John-Demon-John storyline who stole the show, his love for his family so clear, his character really emerging as the stronger brother. It was brilliantly acted by Jensen Ackles, top kudos to him. Also, when Sam had the chance to shoot his daddy-demon hybrid, I was in missed emotions, but I decided he should have shot him, John's not gonna like the fact they missed the chance to kill that demon.

And so we end the season with the three family members in grave peril, they all looked pretty bloodied and beaten in the car. Some crazy mo-fo demon driving the truck. Hope that pays off well in season two...
My guesses would be that season two will wrap up the demon storyline whilst setting up something bigger, and hopefully a bit more clarity in the father-son relationship...

For your viewing pleasures, as I went through I also scored the brothers by episode in how good they were, in terms of acting, interest, characters in general. Here we go...
(This is outta ten, not twelve as the Graph Suggests)


Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Season One, I'm glad I watched it. It was more dark, scary and better acted than I expected, it was fun and it was constantly fresh. I'm not denying, It had some howlers, some real howlers, and also some annoying characters, and villain of the weeks. But I recommend it for a watch, It's a lot of fun. :)

I know this isn't as long as promised, but the deletion (if that's a word) kinda wrecked it, as it took me ages to write. My own fault though, teaches me to have a computer clear out :P
Do you all agree, disagree, any other comments on season one of Supernatural? Comment away, ask questions, I'll answer them all as I understand I didn't go as in depth as I'd hoped. I promise, when I finish Season Two, whenever that is, I'll go more in depth :)
I may also write something else about the season if anyone wants to know anything.
Basically, for now, re-live the first season of Supernatural. You know you want too...

Adam

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