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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RATED: Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 903 minutes
- Commentary on three episodes
- Unaired scenes
- Devil’s Roadmap interactive featurettes
- Jared Padalecki’s original screen test
- Gag reel
Season 2 of ghosts, demons, creepy crawlies and other generally unpleasant and scary things. And no I don’t mean The Tyra Banks Show.
Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
"Our father’s dead, Dean."
"Yep. The last of the Jedi are we…"
Supernatural continues the adventures of Sam and Dean Winchester, brothers who travel the back roads of America in a ’67 Impala fighting evil in its many forms while trying to find the Yellow Eyed Demon that killed their mother when the boys were young. In Season 2, the Winchesters also now have to deal with the shocking loss of their father thanks to the same demon and they’re discovering more and more that not only are Sam’s emerging mental abilities a direct sign of something the demon has planned for them, but for the entire world. Furthermore, their personal war with this demon may only be part of a much larger fight for the survival of humanity.
In my Season 1 review last year (here), I wrote that I had slept on this show during it’s inaugural season and had only discovered it when I was reviewing it. No such lapse this time as Supernatural is Must See TV for me now and one of my favorite shows on television. It deftly takes a lot of old things that scared us when we were kids, puts a fresh spin on it and turns it into something highly entertaining to watch. More over, it’s succeeding in developing a great mythology involving an impending war between humans and demons and still has unique stand-alone episodes. It’s the worthy successor to X-Files, which is no surprise since it has many Mulder and Scully veterans such as John Shiban and Kim Manners behind the scenes helping to cultivate the stories and direction of the show.
"Get your motor runnin’…"
"Head out on the highway…"
"Lookin’ for adventure…"
"Okay dude, seriously, knock it off."
Supernatural manages to not only avoid the sophomore jinx in Season 2, but actually is getting better as the Yellow Eyed Demon (YED) mythology is continuing to unfold. Initially in Season 1, I thought that the show was just about a couple of regular Joes in a bitchin’ classic Chevy running around the country busting ghosts. And that the show runners were starting to cheapen out by having one of them, Sam, have emerging mental abilities such as visions that threatened to ruin the concept of the show. When in actuality Sam’s mental abilities and how they’re going to play a part in the coming demon war was the entire point of the show. That element was just developed and woven so subtly into the fabric of Supernatural, that I didn’t see it coming at first. Season 2 takes that concept and runs with it, as Sam discovers that he’s not the only one with these abilities, and it’s not necessarily a good thing that he has them. In fact, it means he’s chosen to have a pivotal role in YED’s planned demon/human war.
Season 2 picked up after the Season 1 cliffhanger where Sam and Dean had been reunited with their father, John (Morgan, scruffier than ever), had secured an old Colt revolver that could kill anything, including YED. They were on the run from YED and his demon minions when the Impala was (noooo) flattened by a truck driven by a demon-possessed human. In the season premiere, “In My Time of Dying”, John is hospitalized with various cuts and bruises after the accident, which has left Dean in a disembodied spirit state, with death lurking in the wings for his comatose body. John makes a fateful deal with YED, in which we learn that John knows about Sam’s special destiny, and gives his life for YED bringing Dean back from death’s door. So now Sam and Dean have to continue the fight without him and Dean must carry the burden of knowing Sam’s secret, which John told him before he died.
From there, the Winchesters run into a demonic carnival clown (“Everybody Loves a Clown”) that persuades children to let him in so he can murder their parents. They also meet Ellen (Samantha Ferris), the proprietor of a roadhouse where hunters such as them gather. In “Bloodlust” they meet another hunter named Gordon who far more ruthless than they are and who has a mad hatred for vampires, even ones who aren’t killing humans but instead minding their own business. “Simon Said” introduces the brothers to another chosen one like Sam, named Andy, who has the ability to get anything he wants just by asking for it. In “Crossroad Blues”, Sam and Dean meet up with a crossroads demon, one who can be summoned by burying personal items in a box at a crossroads, and who will grant any wish for a period of ten years, after which the person loses his soul. And in “Croatoan”, the YED mythology is explored more as some sort of demon virus is released and anyone exposed becomes a murderous crazy person. Things look grim when Sam is exposed, yet is ultimately immune to its effects. This is when Dean tells Sam that the secret their father shared with him, which I can’t spoil here of course.
"Whew! Nothing we’ve faced so far put up a fight like she did."
"Yeah, she terrorized people all over the country. Those archaic and hideous rituals she performed were ghastly. She had to be stopped."
"So we’re sure Britney can’t get out of there, right?"
Other bad things encountered during this season include a werewolf in “Heart,” a trickster, a being who can alter reality so it seems that a dancing alien, a chainsaw killer, and other weird urban legends are killing people, in the hilarious episode, “Tall Tales”, and a Djinn, a male genie, which offers Dean a look into how his life could have been if the YED had never destroyed the Winchester family in the episode “What Is And What Should Never Be.” And in one of the best episodes of the season, “Hollywood Babylon,” Sam and Dean journey to LA and insinuate themselves onto the set of a horror movie where several ghosts are killing key members of the production staff for no apparent reason. When Dean “goes Hollywood” by completely falling in love with being a production assistant (PA), including learning the lingo and diving into the craft service, it provides a humorous backdrop for their investigation. I’ve done that kind of work before – which is a tiring and hellish job for less than peanuts by the way – and just got a complete kick out of that episode. Finally, things come to a head in the two-part season finale, “All Hell Breaks Loose”, where Sam is abducted by the YED along with other chosen ones to a remote western town haunted by a gaggle of ghosts and where the demon’s plan for the chosen ones plays out. This leads to a final confrontation with him, the emergence of a much larger problem as the doors to Hell are flung open, and Dean has to make a fateful deal.
"Hello, Geico? Dean Winchester here, policy #4129683-123. Yes, hi, uh…I was just wondering, does my policy by chance cover demon collision? Yes I’ll hold…"
Supernatural is a kick ass ride and has me eagerly awaiting the new season. Although it is serialized to a certain degree, it’s still probably more accessible than say, Heroes or especially Lost. I’d highly recommend it of you enjoy ghost stories and American urban legends with a twist, while also appreciating a well-thought out mythology. Sam and Dean aren’t typical heroes but are actually more antiheroes, and they get into more than their share of trouble with the law this season, which only adds yet another level to their story. This is the best creep show on TV right now as far as I’m concerned.
This box set offers quite a few good special features. First of all there’s commentray on three episodes: "In My Time of Dying" by Padalecki, Ackles and director Kim Manners; "What Is And What Should Never Be" by creator Eric Kripke; and "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 1" by Kripke, director Robert Singer and writer Sera Gamble. There’s also a somewhat nifty feature that the latter two episodes have commentary with "complex Chinese subtitles". There’s deleted scenes from episodes "The Usual Suspects" and "Hunted", and Jared Padalecki’s original screen test for the series, which runs about eight minutes. The biggest feature is the interactive Devil’s Roadmap, which offers mini-featurettes on the legends and myths behind the episodes, a behind-the-scenes featurette on "All Hell Breaks Loose", and mini commentaries by the cast and crew on various episodes. The featurettes are presented as points on a map of the United States. A 10-minute gag reel rounds out the offerings. Good stuff all around.