If you’re a fan of Supernatural, it’s hard not to associate Kansas’ ‘Carry On My Wayward Son’ with Sam and Dean Winchester, the protagonists of a show drenched in horror, pop culture, religious symbolism and classic rock. Having built itself up from a monster-of-the-week feature with a humorous and often violent edge, Supernatural’s fourth season delivers an explosive combination of great acting, superb writing and cheesy, yet addictive special effects, making this one of the most compulsive shows on television to watch.
The fourth season picks up a few months after the events of ‘No Rest For The Wicked’, the final episode of the abbreviated third outing, but in the opening scenes Dean returns from Hell. As it turns out, a war between Heaven and Hell has finally spilled over into the streets of America and elsewhere, and Dean has been brought back for a specific purpose. The boys have to stop uber-hellion Lilith from breaking 66 of 666 seals surrounding Lucifer in his infernal prison, lest he be released.
Mixing a great deal more plot than usual with some truly exceptional humour (the episode ‘Yellow Fever’ stands out in particular, along with ‘Monster Movie’) carefully balanced with quite dark drama, the fourth season is a tour-de-force for the show, which seems to have corrected its flaws from before and progressed full steam ahead. Jensen Ackles, as always, is the heart and soul of this show, his comedic delivery blended with an innate understanding of his character to create a cornerstone for every story. Jared Padalecki’s Sam is actually a good deal more sympathetic this season despite dubious choices, and the introduction of guest characters such as Alastair, Misha Collins as Castiel and a new Ruby in the form of Genevieve Cortese fill out and define the series.
It’s not the most accessible of seasons for anyone new to the show as a whole, however. This is very heavily steeped in the mythology of the canon, and as a result, first-time watchers likely won’t make sense of it. For those who have been following Supernatural however, this is the ultimate reward for patience over a few uneven series. We can’t recommend Supernatural enough, and we can guarantee that you will get a lot out of it, even if you’re not a fan of horror or fantasy as a rule. It really is that good.
Creator: Eric Kripke
Starring: Jensen Eckles, Jared Padalecki, Jim Beaver
Released: 2 November 2009