The past three episodes of Supernatural have had little to do with season 11’s major strategy, but the latest episode’s definitely arc-centric. There were a few surprises (guess who’s back?), appearances from most of this season’s main characters, and even a rare exorcism duet from Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) Winchester, but the show still feels like it’s spinning its wheels.
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Spoiler alert! The average Supernatural fan (or anyone who looks up their local TV listings) knew that this week’s episode dealt with a hard-to-believe premise: the death of Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki). Despite the fact that technically, he’s died at least three times on the show—stabbed by a demon-blooded “special child” at the end of season two, thrown into a pit of Hell at the end of season five, and falling into a non-reversible coma after being weakened by the “trials” of season eight)—it was still surprising to see him fall to his supposed final death by just a simple bullet shot by a werewolf.
The Origin Story
Once considered cinematic junk food, comic book movies are no longer just bite-sized, easily digestible bits of entertainment. Not long ago, comic book movie franchises’ primary objectives were profitable box office runs, generating as many sequels as possible (Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin), and selling ungodly amounts of licensed merchandise. In today’s blockbuster movie landscape, a film can meet box office expectations, spawn a sequel, and still qualify as a failure.
In 2016, studio mandates require that comic book movies hit multiple benchmarks in order to qualify as successful, and wrapping up a satisfying story in roughly 120-minutes is only one of them. Comic book movies must also act as advertisements for upcoming films, and establish deep mythologies that branch off into other movie franchises, video games, comic books, and TV series. Nowadays, producing comic book related entertainment is a complicated process, akin to juggling several knives while walking backward on a tightrope.
Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver) is perhaps the most beloved character in Supernatural history, sometimes even surpassing Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) with some fans. His interesting backstory, easy chemistry with other secondary characters, and deep familial bond with the Winchesters made him (and the actor who plays him) an integral part of the show, and many fans are still sore about the character’s controversial death back in season seven.
At least one episode in every season since, however, has managed to bring him back in one form or another, whether it be as a ghost, a figment of Dean’s imagination, or at last check, a spirit resting comfortably in Heaven with all the other Singers.
The sisters have finally settled into some sense of normalcy. Sarah, reunited with her foster mum Mrs S. (Maria Doyle Kennedy), daughter Kira (Skyler Wexler) and the clone original, Kendall Malone (Alison Steadman) at an Icelandic hideout; Alison, enjoying the spoils of the drug trade with husband Donnie (Kristian Bruun) and helping the once rabid Helena settle into domesticity; and Cosima, hard at work on a cure for her illness with lab partner Scott (Josh Vokey). We find Sarah’s battle-worn foster brother Felix (Jordan Gavaris) accepting that he’s been left behind, and trying to pick up the pieces of his life – post ‘clone gate’; and Rachel (Maslany), the clever self-aware clone reunited with her ‘mother,’ Susan Duncan (Rosemary Dunsmore) and attempting a reconciliation. But peace and calm seldom lasts long with this lot and Sarah’s hard won tranquility is disrupted when she receives a call that thrusts her right back in harm’s way. A mysterious ally tied to Beth leads Sarah back to where it all started. She’ll follow Beth’s footsteps into a dangerous relationship with a potent new enemy, heading in a horrifying but familiar direction.