Fall TV 2014RecapReviewTV

‘Supernatural’ Returns With Thrilling New Episode “Black”

Emily Dunbar ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Jensen Ackles in the Supernatural episode "Black." Photo Credit: The CW.
Jensen Ackles in the Supernatural episode “Black.” Photo Credit: The CW.

When we heard that executive producer Jeremy Carver wrote the Supernatural season 10 premiere “Black,” we knew we were in for a good setup for the rest of the season. But what a premiere it was!

Whether or not a premiere is good one depends entirely upon how much from the end of the previous season is touched on and how many new plots and characters are added to the mix. In this regard, “Black” shone brighter than an angel’s true form. We got to see what demon-in-training Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) and reigning King of Hell Crowley (Mark Sheppard) were up to (e.g. a whole lot of boozin’ and groovin’); what was occupying Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) (e.g. a whole lot of research and grimacing); and, of course, what celestial wavelength Castiel (Misha Collins) was up to (a whole lot of coughin’). We also had a few new characters thrown into the mix. The opposite of a damsel in distress, Ann Marie (Emily Fonda) is a cool but tough waitress at the bar in which Dean and Crowley are holed up. A mysterious muscle-head was also thrown into the mix, as somebody who’s got it out for Dean… and will go through Sam if he has to!

Starting off with these new additions: for the love of all that is holy, PLEASE let Ann Marie stay alive. The writers very often get fan backlash for killing off all their female characters, and this one’s got potential! It could make for awesome television if the writers really took the time to develop Ann Marie’s character and hone in on the ways she could potentially bring some human to the slowly-deteriorating cast of non-monsters. However, Ann Marie has been being described as an “intense fling” by many cast and crew members who are willing to comment. Let’s hope she doesn’t just become another lady in the long line of Dean Winchester’s conquests; let’s hope for some backstory! Keeping in the vein of women, it was exciting to see Castiel’s second-in-command from season 9, Hannah (Erica Carroll), back in business. While she’s still acting a bit crazy, a bit too angelic, she scraped by death in “Black,” proving that she will probably stick around for at least a little while longer. Again, it would be nice to have a long-lasting female character, and Hannah’s been around since last season. She’s slowly been developing into someone Cas can trust, even if he sometimes has to pry the angel blade from her descending fist. Hopefully we can look forward to not only seeing her more often, but also witnessing the progression of her friendship with our favorite angel.

Jared Padalecki and Travis Aaron Wade in the Supernatural episode "Black." Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW.
Jared Padalecki and Travis Aaron Wade in the Supernatural episode “Black.” Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW.

In “Black,” we were given a little more information about the Deanmon, albeit murky. After finding out that Crowley’s been sending cronies to find and fight Dean as they do the ultimate bar crawl, the King of Hell admits that he’d been doing it to keep Dean sharp. As the two argue over the logic of this, they say something along the lines of, “unless the Mark [of Cain] is sated, [Dean] becomes a demon.” Isn’t he already a demon?? Maybe not. Is it imprecise language, a continuity error, or something much, much more? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out. But as of right now, Dean is might not be completely a demon—perhaps he’s a human with demon-like tendencies and could potentially become a full-fledged demon at any moment? Murky, sure, but definitely cool. It sounds a lot like Sam’s deal in season 4. You remember, that time he was a raging blood addict and sometimes hit the red stuff a little too hard and his eyes flicked to black and we all got really scared? Maybe Dean is fine until the monster brewing deep within him forces his eyes grow black and his actions to become terrifying. Better keep an eye on the First Blade and out for this plot point.

In brotherly love news, Sam recited the Winchester motto, the sentence that lets all Supernatural fans know that it’s gonna be alright, that he is still the same Sam Winchester we know and love. He said: “I’m going to save my brother, even if it kills me.” Ah, yes! That’s the Winchester spirit! Though we’re used to hearing the self-sacrificing spiel from Dean, Sam’s been known to throw his hat and his life in the ring on numerous occasions. This time, he’s sticking his neck out to go after Crowley. It’s too bad he only got to threaten him, as the mysterious muscle man managed to take down the moose and lock him up in a warehouse. When the stranger gave a ransom call to Dean, the Deanmon was apathetic to his brother’s situation. It’s probable, though, that he’s got a Cain-like rage boiling within him that’s going to force him to rush to his brother’s aid… or something like that.

Jensen Ackles and Emily Fonda in the Supernatural episode "Black." Photo Credit: Liane Hentscher/The CW.
Jensen Ackles and Emily Fonda in the Supernatural episode “Black.” Photo Credit: Liane Hentscher/The CW.

Cas is very ill and seems to be deteriorating rapidly. Even though he’s got Hannah at his side and Sam Winchester on speed dial, it’s clear that only something drastic could get him back in fighting shape. It can’t help, of course, that he also has to deal with the thought of one of his best friends becoming his natural, mortal enemy. Hannah mentioned that he needed “more Grace.” Could it really be that simple? Is Cas going to have to go on (another) killing spree to steal some Grace of some less-worthy angels? Can his already guilty conscience take something like that? It’s very unlikely.

This episode was a success. It answered some questions, but left us with more. Season 10 is clearly going to hurt. Keep your TV locked on the CW for Supernatural’s next episode, “Reichenbach.” Is it a Sherlock reference? Probably not. But can we pretend it is? Absolutely! Bless your holy water, draw your Devil’s trap, and tune in next Tuesday at 9 pm!

Overall Episode Grade: A-


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