A Retrospective of SUPERNATURAL: Season 9 and the Road Ahead

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Editorial on Supernatural Season 9 Events and Season 10 Possibilities. With convention season in full swing and the recent release of the Season 9 DVD and Blu-ray (which includes a behind-the-scenes mockumentary and the always anticipated gag reel), fans of The CW’s Supernatural have a lot to be excited about – and even more to look forward to. The show’s 10th season is just a month away, so it’s time to reflect on Season 9 and wonder just what Season 10 has in store for us.


Following the epic cliffhanger that was the Season 8 finale, Supernatural fans – myself included – had high expectations for season 9. Let’s review.

The Season 8 finale left us with the images of a sick Sam, a panicked Dean, and a devastated Castiel as angels plummeted from the sky. It also left us with a wealth of questions: What would happen to Sam? Would the brothers be able to find Castiel without his grace? Is Kevin, who we saw locked in the Men of Letters bunker, alarms blaring all around him, going to be okay? And what about Crowley, left half-cured and more human than we’ve ever seen – what would happen to him?

Of course, these questions led to a healthy amount of fan speculation. Other information released over the hiatus – including the fact that Misha Collins had been bumped up in status to series regular – further influenced expectations.

Personally, I believed that Season 9 would consist of Sam and Dean finding Castiel and setting off to help the fallen angels and defeat Metatron. I also expected to see an interesting battle for control over Hell between Abbadon and an oddly human-like Crowley. My predictions were incorrect in many ways, but I was not necessarily disappointed.

The Road So Far

Instead of playing out the typical “good versus evil” or “us versus them” storylines that many have come to expect from Supernatural, Season 9 was an interesting look into the distinct characters of the show and their individual transformations over the course of the season. As a result, we not only had the opportunity to see our favorite characters develop, but we were also able to see some of our favorite actors take on new aspects of their characters and truly shine.

Jared Padalecki, for example, played both Sam Winchester and Sam as possessed by Ezekiel/Gadreel. Meanwhile, Misha Collins took on playing a side of Castiel that we have never seen before – a fallen angel adjusting to human life. And of course, in the cliffhanger of the season, we saw Jensen Ackles’ portrayal of the final step in Dean’s transformation under the power of the Mark of Cain – from human, to superhuman, to demon.

One of my favorite aspects of Supernatural is that the show’s material allows us to see such versatility in both actors and characters. Fans have noted many different versions of each character over the years – Sam possessed by Lucifer, soulless Sam, shapeshifter Dean, Dean in “The End,” Castiel in “The End,” and Castiel possessed by leviathan, to name a few – and each one has been unique and incredibly fun to watch.

But these series regulars were not the only great characters we were treated to this season. Season 9 featured some of the most beloved side characters from the show, including Bobby Singer, Death, Charlie Bradbury, Garth Fitzgerald IV, Jody Mills, and Kevin Tran. Of course, Kevin’s storyline was a heartbreaking one, as he was ultimately killed by Gadreel. Which brings us to some of the other notable characters – the Season 9 “big bads,” if you will.

First and foremost is Crowley. The demon has been an interesting villain over the seasons, in that it’s never quite clear whether he’s on the side of good or evil, as he’s only ever looking out for himself. We had the opportunity to see many sides of Crowley this season, and all of them stayed true to that concept. From being addicted to human blood, to fighting for his spot as King of Hell, showing concern for his long-dead son, and ultimately bringing Dean back into the world as a demon, Crowley – as he always does – rode the line between good and evil.

Our second big bad of the season was very clearly on the evil side of that line. While we did get some great backstory on the selfless sacrifice made by Josie Sands, Abbadon – the demon possessing her – was clearly out for herself. Still, the fact that there was a new, tough female character on the show had many fans loving Abbadon despite her evil nature.

And yet, there was one big bad this season that was seemingly universally hated by Supernatural fans: Metatron. As the angel who stole Castiel’s grace, caused the other angels to fall, sent Gadreel to kill Kevin, and killed Dean, Metatron became the fans’ worst enemy this season. Further into the season, even Curtis Armstrong, who plays the character, humorously tweeted that he was starting to hate Metatron himself. And while I think it is a testament to his acting skills that he portrayed a character so universally disliked, I was still disappointed that Metatron was left alive in the season finale.

My other big disappointment with Season 9 is something which I have come to both love and dread from Supernatural: the filler episode. Now Supernatural is, at its core, a show about two brothers driving across the country and hunting monsters. That being said, over the course of nine seasons, fans have been introduced to characters besides Sam and Dean who we’ve come to love just as dearly. In fact, Dean stated himself in “Devil May Care” that he considered Kevin Tran and Castiel, at least, family. And yet, throughout the season, there were many episodes that reverted back to just Sam and Dean, taking off in the Impala and going on good old-fashioned monster hunts. Don’t get me wrong, I love these episodes. “Dog Dean Afternoon” and “Rock and a Hard Place,” for example, were hilarious and wonderfully entertaining. My problem with them, however, is that they divert almost completely from the main storyline(s) and focus solely on the Winchester brothers. When it was announced that Misha Collins was to be a series regular, many fans – including myself – hoped that meant Castiel would appear beside the brothers in more episodes – reuniting Team Free Will (as Dean nicknamed them in Season 5). The fact that he appeared in only about half of the season’s twenty-three episodes was, frankly, a disappointment

Now, I’m not saying every episode has to be like “Road Trip,” where Sam/Gadreel, Dean, Castiel, and Crowley all shared the screen (although I loved that aspect of the episode). Ultimately, I would be happy if they were to simply show one scene of Castiel or Crowley to let us know that the other major story arcs are still playing out. However, without at least that, I always feel that these in-between episodes leave me disappointed. Still, I have hope for Season 10.


Here’s what we know going into Season 10:

–       Dean is a demon

–       Castiel’s stolen grace is fading, and he will die when it runs out

–       Metatron is still alive

–       The 200th episode will be a “musical-ish” and “meta” episode

–       Showrunner Jeremy Carver has stated that they will be “bringing back some folks…you might not expect”

–       Mark Sheppard will be a series regular

With all this new information, there are many questions being asked and much fan speculation being made. As demonstrated above, I’ve never been too skilled in predicting where Supernatural will go next. When dealing with a show that routinely takes its audience through plot twists and turns, I can only speculate, but here’s what I’d personally like to see in Season 10.

First of all, as I probably made clear before, I’d really love to see Team Free Will (and even Crowley) together again. While I think it’s more likely that they’ll remain separated – Castiel trying to replenish his grace, Sam trying to get Dean back, Crowley losing control of the demon he has created, and Dean doing his own thing – I still hold out hope that we’ll get to see them once again fighting side-by-side. Now that Mark Sheppard is also a series regular, perhaps this is a possibility.

I wholeheartedly expect that Metatron will manage to stir up some chaos from his prison cell. At the same time, I hope that he will be taken out once and for all, and that the gates of Heaven will be reopened.

As far as unexpected characters returning, there is a whole list of people I’d love to see back on the show. It would be great to get an update on Charlie Bradbury’s travels through Oz, or a look into how Kevin Tran is doing, now that his ghost was sent back home with his mother. What I’m truly holding out for, however, is the return of Chuck Shurley.

This last scenario has been something I’ve wanted to see since the end of Season 5, when Chuck disappeared into thin air, leading many to conclude that he had been God all along. At the same time, it always seemed to be a pipe dream…until the 200th episode was announced. Through convention interviews and panels, we’ve learned that this will be a musical meta episode involving the Supernatural book series written by Carver Edlund (aka Chuck Shurley). If there was ever a hope for Chuck’s return, it would be this episode. However, even if the prophet does not make an appearance, I’m sure it will be an episode to remember. Especially if we get to see any or all of our beloved characters belting it out onscreen.

Of course, the season premiere is still a month away, so we’ll all just have to wait and see.

Leave your thoughts on season nine of Supernatural and what you believe season ten will hold below in the comments section. For more Supernatural photos, videos, and information, visit our Supernatural Page, our Supernatural Google+ Page, subscribe to us by Email, “follow” us on Twitter, Tumblr, or “like” us on Facebook.

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Lindsay Bern

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