Supernatural Review by John Keegan

Supernatural 10.14: The Executioner's Song

Supernatural 10.14: The Executioner's Song

Written By:
Robert Berens
Directed By:
Phil Sgriccia


It has been rather obvious for some time that Carver’s plot arc was going to come down to a throwdown between the Brothers Winchester.  Using the Mark of Cain as a plot device was about as on the nose as it gets.  I was expecting it so much that the decision to delay such a conflict into this season, and perhaps the entire season, was disappointing.



 

The challenge is that Carver put together a nostalgia-laden three-season arc that was meant to bring the series to a close, presumably with Season 10.  No series on The CW has lasted longer than that, after all!  So the ongoing success of Supernatural has been one of the greater surprises, and has also led Carver to stretch out his intended story to at least Season 11.  This is unfortunate, because one of the weaknesses of the Carver Era has been the thin nature of the overall arc, and how much room it provides for extraneous side stories that rarely live up to the show’s lofty reputation.  Thinning it out even more leaves ample opportunity for all those imperfections to leech through the veneer.

 

Following up on Cain’s post-Mark existence, and his prophetic words about Dean coming for him eventually, was a logical way to progress the story.  So much so that I could imagine them expanding on the point and making Cain a multi-episode adversary.  Granted, the budget for guest appearances is not huge at this point, but why not take something relevant to the overall story and drive home the major points?  Instead, Cain is reduced to a psychopath, all in the name of underscoring that Dean might stray in the same direction and be unable to keep himself from going after Sam.



 

What’s strange about the whole Mark of Cain question is that Cain kept himself from losing his mind and killing his descendants for millennia, all without much of a coping mechanism at all.  The implication is that losing the Mark was the issue, not having been under its thrall.  So wouldn’t that suggest that someone like Dean, with a devoted support system, would have a much better chance of controlling his dark side?  Even if he were to lose the Mark, which is becoming less and less likely?

 

For all that, the main event of the episode was actually not so bad, if one ignores the effect of budget limitations.  It’s certainly light-years better than whatever is supposed to pass for quality material with Crowley and Rowena.  I truly feel for Mark Sheppard, because he finally gets the long-term gig as a regular as Crowley, and he’s spending the bulk of his time with a character and actress that couldn’t be less of a fit to Supernatural if she tried.  Every time Rowena is on the screen, I start wondering if renewal was a good idea.



 

There was more to enjoy in this episode than I might be letting on, because if nothing else, the bond between Dean, Sam, and Castiel was at the heart of the episode’s resolution.  Dean is losing it, but he’s not so far gone as to forget that he has allies in his corner.  Highly troubled allies, since even Castiel is going into dark territory these days, but allies nonetheless.



Our Grade:
B-
The Good:
  • The battle between Dean and Cain
The Bad:
  • Rowena needs to die. Quickly.

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Supernatural by - 2/20/2015 4:48 PM151 views

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