Saturday, September 25, 2010

Supernatural starts sixth season...

I was pumped. I was jazzed. I'd just finished watching season five of Supernatural on DVD and season six premiered last night. The Apocalypse had been averted by Sam taking back control of his mind and body and throwing himself into the Pit, shoving Lucifer back into his cage. Dean fulfilled his promise and went back to Lisa and her son Ben to start a new life. So did the first episode, entitled "Exile on Main St." live up to expectations? Ah, not so much.

We find out Sam got out of hell almost immediately and has been hunting for the past year with grandpa Samuel (Mitch Pileggi reprising his role). Neither Sam nor Samuel know how they were brought back, from hell and heaven respectively, or why. And no one told Dean. Then the Jinn show up and Sam has to save Dean's life, letting the cat out of the bag. Turns out even Bobby knew. The rest of the ep is fighting off three Jinn and Dean agonizing over whether or not to start hunting again with Sammy, Samuel, and three cousins from his mom's side he never knew he had. He decides to stay with Lisa and Ben. Yawn.

The most interesting part of the story was Dean's delusion created by the Jinn. Yellow Eyes (aka Azazel) is back and threatens to do to Lisa what he did to Sam and Dean's mom. And worse, he'll make Ben drink his blood...just like with Sammy when he was a baby. Was it just in Dean's head, or...? I think that this was the opening salvo of the season's story arc. So that little bit was good. The rest was, frankly, boring. The usual snarky humor was all but gone. The reunion between the brothers was awkward and wooden. The inexplicable return of Samuel, and Sam for that matter, wasn't explored enough to make me want to care. There was no real tension or suspense. I've forgiven this trespass in previous episodes (e.g. "Hammer of the Gods") because they normally make up for it with humor.

I hate to say it, but both Jared and Jensen seemed to be there just for a paycheck. I seriously hope and pray things get much better really soon. Speaking of prayer, it was a mistake not to have Castiel (Misha Collins) in the premiere. In my opinion, the addition of Collins to the cast saved the show. And if they're really, really smart, the producers will bring back Mark Sheppard as Crowley (the crossroads demon). For me, Shappard's performance in season five was one of the highlights.

The bottom line is that the first episode of the sixth season wasn't very good and didn't give any kind of hint of the direction of the show. This scares me. We all know this is the last season of the show in its current incarnation (contracts expire for most key players) and there's nothing stopping the actors and writers from just phoning it in...except maybe a couple of million angry Supernatural fans.

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