Supernatural Review by John Keegan

Supernatural 12.01: Keep Calm and Carry On

Supernatural 12.01: Keep Calm and Carry On

Written By:
Andrew Dabb
Directed By:
Phil Sgriccia

Let me begin by staring in wonder at the notion that Supernatural has lasted twelve seasons.  I was there when just getting a third or fourth season required significant fan support and perhaps a few deals with a hot Crossroads demon.  (That reminds me, I have a year or so before worrying about a date with a pack of hellhounds.)  But who could have guessed that the Brothers Winchester would still be relevant in the year 2016?  Even as a dedicated fan, this surpassed my wildest expectations. 

 


 

The Dabb era (as I will call it, now that the Carver Era is over) begins with some solid character building.  Mary Winchester makes for a very interesting addition, not only because Dean’s mommy issues haven’t been quite as explored over the years, but because she ties everything back to the very beginning of the series.  She’s also an interesting viewpoint character after so many seasons of the Hunter lifestyle getting a bit normalized for the audience.  She has the family connections and perspectives, but she has about as much understanding of the modern world as Castiel.

 

Meanwhile, Toni and her connection to the British Men of Letters continues to bring the antagonist side of the equation to a human level.  That’s a great idea given that God-level threats have been done to death.  The Men of Letters as a concept hasn’t been explored nearly enough, and having Toni explain how the Winchesters are perceived outside of the country is refreshing.  Toni is also something of a distaff version of Wesley from Buffy/Angel, someone who has a lot of theory about Hunting, monsters, and so forth, but has a lot to learn about the reality of it.  Sam gave them a taste of that already, but if this is supposed to be a “back to basics” season, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of it was about Mary and Toni seeing the everyday world of modern Hunting with Sam and Dean as their guides.

 


 

But even with all of that going on, there is a larger threat looming in the background.  Lucifer is burning his way through bodies as he gathers followers in a bid to take back Hell from Crowley.  Crowley’s not about to take that lying down, and when push comes to shove, Crowley is the better choice.  Lucifer was never someone the Winchesters or Castiel could keep in line; Crowley is at least somewhat predictable and manageable thus far.

 

Perhaps the best part of this premiere, besides its very existence, is that it take its time fleshing out the new status quo.  Things are taking their time in the best possible way.  Not only that, but for the first time since the third season, it feels like the show might have some viable long-term female supporting characters.  Mary and Toni both made a solid impression, and both of them have a promising role to play in the season to come.


Our Grade:
B
The Good:
  • The new characters make a solid impact on the storytelling
  • It feels like the series is getting back to basics and taking its time doing so
The Bad:
  • Can the writers manage to keep the female representation going all season?

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 - 10/14/2016 1:10 PM123 views

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