This Supernatural review contains spoilers.
Supernatural: Season 11, Episode 2
Every new season, the team at Supernatural HQ tries to make the Big Bad the biggest, baddest thing they can think of. We’ve seen everything from a yellow-eyed demon, the devil, to the apocalypse and the Leviathan. Each new foe somehow went beyond what we thought the limit of bad really was. This season we have something pre-Biblical: The Darkness, and she is something else entirely.
Just a few thoughts on the premiere: The premiere revisited the “infected” genre already used expertly in the early episode Croatoan, but with the added twist of it being all Dean and Sam’s fault. I was thinking how interesting it is to see the consequences of Sam and Dean’s impulsive selfishness (i.e. always saving each other, damn the consequences), and then Sam brought it up himself. He indicated that they had to change themselves if they hoped to continue what they were doing, and not go into every situation half-cocked and ready to bite the big one. It’s like the very idea of a long running show itself: it has to evolve if it hopes to remain relevant.
In the second episode of the season, we see a direct continuation of the events in the pilot. Jenna and baby Amara visit grandma’s house. What’s the worst that could happen? There’s that little problem with Amara being the Darkness personified, hungering for souls and spelling FEED ME by spiking alphabet blocks into the nursery wall. Aw. You know they only stay this precious for so long.
Meanwhile, Sammy is dealing with the repercussions of being infected during the previous episode, desperate for a cure. He meets a reaper, Billie, singing that fabulous “Oh Death” song. She adds a little intrigue into Sam’s story, bringing up the question of what happens now that Death is dead. She also serves a higher plot-related purpose. She tells Sam that Death used to find the Winchesters dying and coming back to life all the time funny, but now that he’s gone there won’t be any more of that. If they die, it’s game over.
Finally. This has been my biggest critique of Supernatural for quite some time. Due to Sam and Dean’s dumb luck, death has really had no meaning for them since the end of Season 2. Every time they die, lose a soul, become demonized…they come back. Everything goes back to normal. See you next Wednesday. Death lost its meaning, its power over our characters. We had nothing to worry about. Now that Billie has laid out some dire stakes for the boys, they might start eating their vegetables.
Cas is still dealing with the aftereffects of Rowena’s spell from the finale. Heaven’s none too pleased with him either, as two angels and a distrustful Hannah try to pry information from him. Castiel adds to his kill count, begging the question of just how many angels there really are in Heaven to be this disposable. Answer: A lot.
We also get the delightful inclusion of Daphne, I mean Father Crowley, into Dean’s story, “helping” him to go after whatever horrible thing the baby Jenna brought home is. Jenna is stripped of her soul, tossed aside by Crowley, and erased from probable guest star appearances from now on. Really disappointing, I was hoping this freshman cop would stick around. The boys could use some feminine wiles on the team now that Charlie’s gone.
Overall, with such a strong beginning to the season I think the writers have hit the nail on the head with this theme. I like the style of episodes thus far. With the speed at which Dean found out the Darkness is Amara, I’m hopeful that we won’t needlessly drag out important plot elements to shoehorn filler episodes in for time. I’d like this season to continue as it has started, and go out with one hell of a bang.