The Supernatural review: S02E01-10

From ‘In My Time Of Dying’ to ‘Hunted’.

Recently, I’ve had cause to watch the entire run of Supernatural through, by means of introducing it to my partner and various other friends. As a build-up to the new season next September, and as I’ve finished my previous series of literary micro-reviews, I’ve decided to go through every episode to date.

I’ll aim to get these up twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday mornings, but the schedule may deviate. For now, season two, episodes one to ten.

‘In My Time Of Dying’
Writer: Eric Kripke / Director: Kim Manners

Following on from the explosive season finale, ‘In My Time Of Dying’ somehow manages to crowbar a vintage Supernatural investigation into a mythology-rich episode, blending the two in the way that only this show can. Well directed, well acted, and an emotional send off for an important character, who just about redeems himself at the end.

‘Everybody Loves A Clown’
Writer: John Shiban / Director: Phil Sgriccia

The come down from ‘In My Time Of Dying’ and ‘Devil’s Trap’ was always going to be hard to take, but this episode cushioned the blow. It’s not the best of the series by any margin, but it is a decent hunt instalment nonetheless. It does rely a bit too heavily on the ‘clowns are creepy’ trope, but otherwise, a decent instalment.

‘Bloodlust’
Writer: Sera Gamble / Director: Robert Singer

‘Bloodlust’ introduces Gordon to the series for the first time, a character that would continue to be a tragic and terrifying opponent until season three. The story itself is simplistic and heavy handed with its analysis of Dean’s character, but the tension and the interplay between the characters is great to watch.

‘Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things’
Writer: Raelle Tucker / Director: Kim Manners

One of the weaker episodes of the season, this monster-of-the-week outing is more or less forgettable in the grand scheme of things. It does feature some decent tension in places, but overall the characters are relatively unsympathetic, and it’s hard to get particularly invested at any point.

‘Simon Said’
Writer: Ben Edlund / Director: Tim Lacofano

I’ve already said that I think the ‘special children’ plotline was a misfire for the show, and while this episode was enjoyable, it only served to reinforce that message for me. That being said, there are some excellent sequences, such as Dean giving up the Impala and the obligatory Star Wars reference.

‘No Exit’
Writer: Matt Witten / Director: Kim Manners

Jo’s last appearance in the show for a while saw her take on a job with the boys, and screw it up, something that foreshadows more tragic events in season four. The episode itself is classic Supernatural up to a point – a great little hunt that’s perhaps slightly marred by the forced backstory regarding John Winchester and Daddy Harvelle.

‘The Usual Suspects’
Writer: Cathryn Humphris / Director: Mike Rohl

While the bonds of brotherhood are evident in this episode, it’s hard to really get behind it as a particularly effective episode of Supernatural. We already had the ‘humans are as bad as monsters’ message hammered home (in a slightly cackhanded manner) with ‘The Benders’. Having it repeated fails to make it more effective.

‘Crossroad Blues’
Writer: Sera Gamble / Director: Steve Boyum

I love these episodes of Supernatural, the ones that have a huge impact on the series yet seem innocuous at the time. There’s also a high level of production value attached to it, with the early scenes being particularly well shot, and the writing comes into its own with the reasons for the deal in the first place. Good job, Gamble.

‘Croatoan’
Writer: John Shiban / Director: Robert Singer

This is one of my favourite episodes of Supernatural as a whole, and it frequently appears on many peoples’ top ten lists. Alternately spooky and thrilling, ‘Croatoan’ took a usually-manhandled trope – the ‘sixty two hours earlier’ device – and makes it live up t its potential. Shiban knocked this one out of the park, but real credit goes to the rain-soaked imagery of Robert Singer.

‘Hunted’
Writer: Raelle Tucker / Director: Rachel Talalay

Gordon’s back, and he’s not happy. The midpoint of the season set a number of events in motion, introducing Ava and having Gordon properly set on his quest to kill Sam Winchester, and it’s a great chase story with a fun and high-octane climax to boot. It’s a good way to finish off the first half, and a nice segue into the next run.

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