The CW’s Supernatural Black TV Show Review. Supernatural: Season 10, Episode 1: Black was an interesting deviation from the typical Supernatural season premiere. After the big reveal of demon Dean in the Supernatural Season 9 finale, fans spent the hiatus eagerly anticipating what Season 10 might bring. Add to this the excitement of convention season, and the end result was high expectations for the Season 10 premiere. I wholeheartedly admit to having such expectations, excited fan that I am, and yet, after watching the episode, I can’t help but feel…disappointed.
As much as I love Supernatural and have high hopes for the current season, I believe that this episode was the slowest and least plot-driven season premiere so far. Typically, the Supernatural season finales feature a huge plot-twisting event that sets up the story arc for the next season, be it the surprise truck accident in Season 1, the rise of Lucifer in Season 4, or even the angels falling in Season 8. The only outlier so far has been Season 6, but even that picked up quickly with the plot twists that both Sam Winchester and Samuel Campbell had been revived. Season 9 set us up with the cliffhanger ending of demon Dean, but instead of picking up and starting the storyline for Season 10, the premier only seemed to continue this set up process.
To elaborate, let me break it down character by character.
Sam’s part in the premier held the least interest for me, personally. His actions basically only helped to establish just how demon Dean is different from the Dean Winchester we’ve come to know and love. While we did learn that Sam seems to have returned to the brothers’ old pattern of doing whatever it takes to save one another, which he deviated from quite notably in Season 9, the episode seemed to focus much more on Dean and, to some degree, Castiel.
Dean’s character had a good amount of screen-time in the premiere, and yet it still seemed to be spent mostly establishing just who demon Dean is. Essentially, it seems that demon Dean is all of Dean Winchester’s bad qualities turned up to eleven, with none of his more positive attributes. He appears to be driven simply by his more basic desires with no care for others, as seen in both his treatment of Ann Marie, and the beating he delivered to her ex-boyfriend. The former example was an interesting choice, in my opinion; for a show with such a high percentage of female viewers, it seems odd that the degradation of one of the few featured female characters of the episode was the best way to show the transformation from Dean to demon Dean. Which brings me to the biggest question that was raised in this episode: is demon Dean really a demon at all? A conversation with Crowley indicated that as long as he satisfies his need to kill, the Mark of Cain does not take over in turning him into a demon. So what is he, then?
Crowley himself also seemed to just be an addition to the set up regarding demon Dean. Although, as many fans expected, his goal this season seems to be using Dean as his right hand man in a takeover of Hell, there was not much more to his development in this episode than that.
One character who did have a bit of an interesting part in the episode, besides Dean, was Castiel. We started out seeing just how sick he has become in the time between Dean’s “death” and now, and followed him as he sought not to try and stop his own death, but to save the lives of other angels instead. One of my favorite aspects of Castiel in this episode was how, in his interactions with Hannah, it was pointed out just how human Castiel has become, making this the second season that’s started out with a display of Castiel’s humanity. It was also interesting to see him taking on a role, not so much as a leader – as we have seen before – but as a teacher of sorts (in this case, to Hannah). Also notable was the fact that while Metatron was mentioned, there was no talk of possibly using him to find a way to restore Castiel’s grace. It will be interesting to see whether or not such a plot develops over the course of this season.
Of course, a review of this episode would not be complete without a mention of the surprising new character addition. While his name was not specifically mentioned in this episode, IMDB refers to the mystery man, played by Travis Aaron Wade, as Cole. Cole’s character is fascinating to me because he is a tie to Dean’s past. Now, seeing as we’ve been watching Dean for many years, it would be reasonable to assume that this means Dean’s past pre-Supernatural. The fact that Cole’s character and his interactions with Dean might bring up a part of the Winchester’s back story we’ve never before seen is very exciting.
To conclude, even though I found myself disappointed with “Black,” I still have high hopes for where Supernatural Season 10 might be taking us.
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