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Battling demons and monsters, avenging the death of loved ones and saving the world is not exactly upbeat material, but "Supernatural's" latest season is especially dark. Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) endure many losses without much hope for the future. It almost seems as though the show only gives them something happy or positive to use it against them in some twisted way.
Being a hunter obviously has its risks, but "And Then There Were None" was a bloodbath. Gwen, Grandpa Samuel and Rufus all died in surprising succession as the gang faced Eve's infectious worm. Gwen's death felt relatively insignificant, like the death of the "Star Trek" extra in a red uniform. Grandpa Samuel's death felt like the inevitable but abrupt end of his story line. However, Rufus' heartbreaking death scene made the entire episode incredibly depressing.
Rufus was a precious ally in the Winchester's circle and, more importantly, he and Bobby had a long history as hunters. Perhaps this episode has a higher meaning as Dean, Sam and Bobby killed fellow hunters who mirrored their own unique personalities, but it eliminated some amazing characters, further isolating viewers and the Winchesters.
Losing Lisa and Ben
Domesticated Dean was a welcome contrast to his usual lonely hunter lifestyle. Watching Sam and Dean change roles with Soulless Sam becoming a callous hunter and Dean finally showing more compassion was refreshing. It makes sense that Daddy Dean did not last, but it almost felt cruel when the show kept making him say goodbye after he chose hunting.
Castiel (Misha Collins) became cynical Dean's trusty sidekick when Soulless Sam left him without a reliable partner. Castiel even began to develop his own Dean-like sense of humor and became one of the family. Despite the war in heaven, he frequently came to the aid of the Winchesters and used his angelic powers to save them. When Sam and Bobby questioned Castiel's honesty in "Mommy Dearest," Dean fiercely defended him, only to realize Castiel's betrayal in the season finale.
Castiel healed Lisa and granted Dean's request to wipe the memories of him from Ben and Lisa's minds, but that cannot make up for his secretive choice to become god. Next season may resolve this issue by somehow proving Castiel served his destiny, but for now it is just another painful blow to the Winchesters.
Throwing in an occasional frivolous episode or winking at fandom culture is not enough to balance the overwhelmingly dark plots. Unless Sam and Dean are still in hell, they need to live for more than suffering, betrayal and disappointment.
"Supernatural" airs Friday nights at 9 p.m. E.T. on The CW.
- Jared Padalecki
- war in heaven