Supernatural Season 14 Episode 1 Review: Stranger in a Strange Land

Fourteen seasons and going strong, Supernatural proves it still has tricks up its sleeves.

This Supernatural review contains spoilers.

Supernatural Season 14 Episode 1

Supernatural premiered its fourteenth season by lobbing emotional curveballs at every turn and showing us just how this show can keep going long after other series have burned out. The ability to adapt is what I attribute to the longevity. Here again, we have a big opener of a premiere, and the usual story beats are used only to setup some misdirection. 

I’m talking of course about Kipling — not the author of The Jungle Book, but yet another power hungry demon seeking to fill the vacant King of Hell seat. I was concerned that he would be another villain for the season, and being that we’ve seen many demons vying for this seat, I wasn’t exactly overwhelmed. I mean, once you lost the O.G. King Crowley, all others pale in comparison, don’t they?

further reading: Supernatural Season 13 Episode Guide & Reviews

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Luckily, the writers of Supernatural knew I was going to complain, so they had Sam and Company end it quickly in a spectacular saloon shootout. Having a new King of Hell every season? That gets old fast. Sam ended this guy and issued a threat to his followers like an absolute boss.

Sam has definitely taken his title as leader of this misfit band of alternate Earth hunters in stride. He runs Hunter HQ like he’s been doing it forever. No matter how tired he is, he finds the time to instruct his troops, console Jack and talk to a man whose very presence makes his skin crawl. 

Nick, Lucifer’s vessel, survived Michael’s smiting job and is now archangel free. It was really a great opportunity to see the man behind the evil, someone we only ever got a glimpse of oh so many seasons ago. I do, however, question the believability of Nick’s survival. 

It’s not the “archangel blade only killing the archangel inside” thing, although that does feel a little contrived. I question the fact that this is Lucifer’s actual vessel at all. This shouldn’t be Nick, since Lucifer’s original vessel was destroyed another time and this particular body was fabricated by Crowley. Even considering this — you give me some good drama and I’ll let you retcon these details. 

Related: How On Earth is Supernatural Still Going?

You can’t describe this premiere without talking about Jensen Ackles and his cold portrayal of Michael-Dean. The scenes with him are quietly menacing, and he doesn’t have to do much to achieve that effect. Jensen Ackles portrays the angel beautifully; from the way he carries his body through each interaction to the subtle over enunciation he does to every spoken word.

It is also kind of brilliant to see Sister Jo and Michael interacting, being that actors Jensen and Danneel are married in real life. Their interaction is relatively brief, but its electric, and I’m surprised Sister Jo didn’t end the scene either vaporized or at Michael’s side. She may have more layers than we even thought.

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Jack has to adjust to life de-powered after dear old Dad stole his grace. Sam’s heart-to-heart with him is very comforting. It’s incredible Sam even has time to play older brother right now, given all the weight on his shoulders. And later, Jack expresses his frustrations on his powerlessness to Cas, who is basically his adopted Dad. Jack is given a lot of good advice, but he’s still impatient and feeling worthless. I can only imagine where this might lead, and what trouble he might get into before his powers return.

Lastly, we see Mary truly being the protective mother as she keeps a brave front for Sam during the search for Dean. As much as she hides it, she’s worried too. “I have to think about the good, because if I don’t I will drown in the bad,” Mary tells him. Sometimes, the power of positive thinking seems to be the only thing they have when things look truly bleak.

This is a strong start to a season full of potential. Most of our main characters had a scene or two to show their struggles and worries, which really grounds them. We need that connection between our fictional characters and us. 

Sure, our hunters can be somewhat larger than life, but seeing Sam struggle to face Lucifer’s vessel, or Mary pretending everything is going to be okay, or Jack feeling incompetent — these are all very human and insightful traits for our characters to show us. I just can’t wait to see where this season, and Michael-Dean, will be taking us. I’ve buckled my seatbelt and I’m ready to hop on this rollercoaster of a season.

Keep up with all our news and reviews about Supernatural Season 14 right here!

Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

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5 out of 5