‘Supernatural’ Season 9 Mid-Season Premiere Review: Padalecki Shines!

Published 1 year ago by , Updated February 16th, 2014 at 9:39 am,

supernatural season 9 episode 10 sam gadreel Supernatural Season 9 Mid Season Premiere Review: Padalecki Shines!

[This is a review of Supernatural season 9 episode 10. There will be SPOILERS.]


Supernatural spent the majority of its first 9 episodes attempting to reignite its episodic drive –  with a fair amount of success. Now, in the season 9 mid-season premiere, it’s time to take on the seasonal story-arc head-on. Not only did this occur in a spectacular fashion, but it was done in such a way to allow Jared Padalecki to shine as bright as the falling angels. No need to yell “Poughkeepsie” here!

In this week’s episode, “Road Trip,” written Andrew Dabb, Gadreel (through Sam) continues on the murderous path laid out by Metatron (Curtis Armstrong), while Dean (Jensen Ackles), Castiel (Misha Collins) and Crowley (Mark Sheppard) team up in order to figure out a plan to oust the monotone celestial from the younger Winchester. Meanwhile, the battle for Hell heats up and Crowley uses his one true strength to upend Abbadon’s (Alaina Huffman) reign over the damned: personality.

Trips to Oz, talking to the animals and the like were all fun episodic escapes throughout the onslaught of the new television season; however, no matter how entertaining they were (or not), it prevented those wary watchers from being able to intuit the show’s ability to competently drive an overarching plot, in spite of Jeremy Carver and Adam Glass’s continued involvement. After all, losing Ben Edlund to NBC’s Revolution has to have impacted the show in some way, and fans have been attempting to figure out what that way is. Still, even though no answer to that question has been revealed, Supernatural continues onward and, in the case of this episode, upward.

supernatural season 9 episode 10 dean crowley castiel Supernatural Season 9 Mid Season Premiere Review: Padalecki Shines!

“Road Trip” kicks off 2014 with a juggernaut of a tale, and though immense – not to mention intense – action is displayed throughout, by everyone, it’s really the purpose of everyone involved which makes Gadreel’s (Tahmoh Penikett) journey and attempted redemption so powerful and compelling. Even without ever having a complete breakdown of the character we’re watching make waste of his targets, the series relies on, and makes brilliant use of, established knowledge of the Garden of Eden to allow everyone to easily identify the weight that this complicated and unfortunately-positioned warrior carries around. He was the first of Heaven’s failures, and the world’s pain is truly his responsibility.

Let’s talk about Sam, though, as it’s been a while – and this week the discussion is well-deserved. Sam, or Gadreel – or Samdreel – is much more than a supporting character in this episode, and Padalecki’s performance is much more than Crowley’s “giant baby” description – or previous episodes, really – would have you believe. It just took quite a bit of time to get to this point.

Now that it has, however, it’s exciting to see that when required to carry an episodic weight normally gifted to Ackles, Padalecki has an intensity strong enough to drive the heart of the episode in such a dramatic fashion that, for the majority of the episode, “Soulful Sam” seemingly falls away, revealing a powerhouse audiences truly haven’t seen in many years. Hopefully this will trend will continue now that Sam is, more or less, back his “normal” self.

The question of “why” Supernatural is such a beloved series is ever-present, and it’s something that should always remain (especially now). The show presents a consistent – and more importantly, logical –  mythology tale that painstakingly combines theology with the supernatural, action with heart, and existence with purpose. And yes – “this” episode  highlights that very fact, beautifully.

Will the rest of this season follow suit? Let’s hope so. However, the Supernatural spin-off in episode 20 is still a big question mark to many, as it realistically should be.


Supernatural returns next Tuesday with ‘First Born” @9pm on The CW.

Follow Anthony Ocasio on Twitter @anthonyocasio
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  1. This is my favorite show, can’t wait to watch next week. I can’t wait to see how the season will end.

  2. I always think that Jared deserves an acting award, a big one. An Emmy, a Golden Globe or something…I also wanna say; and I hope everyone agrees, it pisses me off that they didn’t get invited to the PCA’s this year. Why the F would they invite actors or people that aren’t nominated and leave J2 out of it they ae f*cking nominated?!

  3. Maybe the spin-off show will just be a series of episodes of Adam stuck in his hell-cage with Lucifer and Michael. Okay, that will never happen, it’s been wayyyy too many seasons and the show has never had the best hell-scenes. Maybe a female lead? That would be a refreshing take on this universe.

    • Yea i love how they just though their half brother into the pit and didnt even flinch to try to help him out. Lord knows how bad its going for that kid. I think the series should end with Sam having to becoming Lucifer in order to put everything in order. Then Dean having to either except Micheal to stop Lucifer or kills Lucifer himself.

  4. Didn’t expect a great episode… But we all got one anyways. Totally worth the wait. Glad my favorite show is back. Can’t wait for next week!

    • Totally Agree , Love the show , My Favorite Also

    • however have you notice how crowly UPPED everything? he was a lot more emotional and a lot more human with Sam when he was telling Sam to remember. I Think were beginning to see the effects, slowly but surely.

  5. Good episode, but some of the dialog really keeps rubbing me the wrong way and seems to cater a little to much to the 15 y/o valley girl demographic. Lines like “I was a crappy angel” really sound weird from the mouth of a 40 year old dude and spouted by an angel who is even thousands of years old. I get that the angels go with the times and adapt to modern lingo, but that is a bit much. The same goes for angels saying “easy peasy” and who are almost drooling over how hot Castiel is like a Supernatural fangirl. Jesus! Stop doing fan service to one half of the fandom that alienates the other half of the fandom, Supernatural writers! Stick to what you did in seasons 1-3! Stuff like that didn’t occur back then and for a good reason. Thank you!

    • Only Ben Edlund can write an episode with tons of fan service and obscure reference but still work without alienating anyone.

  6. I want more Crowley and Castiel team-ups in the future!

  7. While JP did an excellent job, I felt that it was JA who brought the emotional intensity that the script was meant to have alive. It’s been years since I got wrapped up in the intensity of an SPN episode, but this one did it. After five one-off episodes, I am more than ready to get the mytharc, and this episode was just the one to start the second part of the season off in that direction. I just hope it isn’t interrupted with a bunch of Charlie, Garth-type comedy ones again.

    • I agree with you. JA also performed great on this episode.

  8. I thought it was the best episode of the season and kudos to both JP for portraying two such distinct characters and Mark Shepperd for showing that Crowley is more than just a quirky demon king but was actually the most noble character this week..
    But I am so sick of Dean’s self imposed guilt.

  9. I love the show have every Season so far , Keep it coming , Love Dean & Sam , Great Show , Fan’s finally we have a Great Show to watch , Let’s keep it going ,

  10. If they wanted Gadreel out of Sam, why didn’t they just exercise him? I remember in Season 4 or 5 when Alistair attempted to exorcise Uriel and Cass after he had broken out of their torture room and attacked Dean.

  11. Jared Padalecki makes Sam come off as a PMSing b****. I don’t know if it’s the actors fault or the writing but it’s always Sam this and Sam that. Sam gets to blame Dean for all the bad choices he made but when the fingers turned on him oh it is suddenly bad. Can’t hold a grudge on Sam but oh Sam can go to college and lead a normal life ignoring that he basically abandoned the brother that cared for him all his life. He angsts about his mother but unlike him Dean actually has had memories of her and would feel more than him. He totally ignores Dean’s feelings even at crucial times. It wasn’t that noticeable in season 1,2, and three so much but after season three it’s way noticeable that Sam is one of the typical younger siblings that thinks he deserves everything it has to go for him both ways. He wants his brother to be there for him but he wants a normal life too. He doesn’t understand until their father’s dead that his father tried his best and he continuously criticizes Dean for keeping secrets that keep him safe even though Sam has withheld information in the past as well but for different reasons.

  12. I love this show. It has lasted this the long because the actors are talented and they have great chemistry. Jensen, Jared, Misha, and Mark work well with each other. Sam & Dean’s characters are realistic and over the past 9 years their transformation has been credible. The one thing that is missing in the last couple of seasons is the classic rock music. When I hear “Back in Black” “Don’t fear the Reaper” “Renegade” or “Simple Man” on the radio, I instantly picture the scene that SPN used it in. The music went so well with the story lines and now there is rarely any classic rock songs and when there is, they don’t seem to fit. I wonder why the show runners are ignoring this important detail.

  13. This show is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. The whole plot of the show really gives you a sense of what could happen between heaven, hell and earth. Even though this is show and make believe, it makes you wonder if there is actual people out there that do hunting like this and we just don’t see it. Having Jensen and Jared as the brothers was a great choice because when you watch the show they’re so compatible that you feel all of the emotions that they go through in every episode and besides what woman wouldn’t want a hot guy like either of them to save them? I think that the actors that have been on the show like Misha and so forth have been the right choice and really make the show worth watching and coming back for more. As long as the plot stays on track and interesting, I can see SuperNatural going beyond the tenth season.

  14. Love the cast, story is getting a lot tired

  15. I love the show