Tonight, The CW’s hit series Supernatural enters a new era. With the original series storyline conceived by creator Eric Kripke completed, Supernatural must now start a fresh chapter in the world of the Winchester brothers.
We've followed the Winchester boys through some shocking events: the Apocalypse, Sam going to hell, getting out of hell and - as we saw in the season 5 finale - creepily watching Dean through the window, outside of his house. While fans know that neither heaven nor hell (or death!) can separate the guys, things have changed.
Dean is now a family man with a wife, a child and a “good” job. It’s going to take something pretty spectacular to drive him away from his new-found happiness. While I believe that your brother crawling out of hell, after being taken over by Lucifer may be pretty spectacular, I’m willing to bet that it’s going to take something else – or someone else.
Preview (courtesy of The CW)
It's a year later and Dean (Jensen Ackles) has given up hunting and is living with Lisa (guest star Cindy Sampson) and her son Ben (guest star Nicholas Elia). Mysteriously freed from his cage in hell, Sam (Jared Padalecki) finds Dean and tells him he needs to rejoin the fight as well as introducing a world (and family) he never even knew existed - the Campbells, his mother's family, lead by none other than their Grandfather Samuel (Pileggi).
When a typical season of Supernatural begins, viewers are met with the sounds of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” while being presented with the adventures of the past season under the title “The Road So Far.”
This year, AC/DC was replaced by a more somber arrangement and the familiar title card was exchanged for “One Year Ago.”
These dulcet tones, while initially disorienting to those familiar with the series, serve as an impressive means by which to convey the show runners are staring anew. Even though fans knew that season 6 would present a new Supernatural storyline, after Eric Kripke’s original arc, many (including myself) were expecting a metaphorical (or theoretical) restart rather than the literal new beginning we received in the premiere.
As much as fans of the series may disagree, this was the perfect way to present the beginning of season 6 - so much has change and many of the series' characters have been given new and different roles. If the producers were to continue on, as if it was a typical episode, the premiere would have felt extremely sloppy and unfaithful to way in which Supernatural handles storylines.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that the producers felt the same way - since the introduction of the Campbell family served no other purpose than to provide character filler for the episode. While many fans knew that Sam and Dean’s grandfather would be returning, no one expected (or wanted) an enormous family reunion. In the past, Supernatural has often had problems handling “relatives.” The character of Adam (Sam and Dean’s half-brother) was a perfect example. He was poorly realized, horribly cast, and ended up feeling like nothing more than a spur-of-the-moment idea - rather than something planned from the beginning.
Of course, Mitch Pileggi is the exception to that rule. As Sam and Dean’s grandfather, he has already proven himself to be a wonderful addition to the series. Although, with the obvious hints that “something else is going on,” they have all but ruined any future surprising reveals about his character - a poor decision by the producers, especially with the pacing in this episode. It felt as if they replaced any intended episodic conclusion with a poorly implemented reveal - offered by new characters we weren't familiar with in the first place.
While I enjoyed this episode and thought it was a great start to what will surely be an amazing season, I couldn’t help but feel unfulfilled as the episode ended. Sure, one is always left wanting to see the next episode of Supernatural, but that’s because we’re excited about what’s going on and want to continue the storyline as soon as possible. In this case, I want to see the next episode of Supernatural so that I feel some type of closure or that something else, other than bringing Sam and Dean together, occurred.
The season 6 premiere of Supernatural was a great way to start off a new season, and chapter, in the world of the Winchester brothers. While the episode started refreshing and new, it ended awkwardly and without much closure. Hopefully, as the season progresses and more of the intended story is revealed, things will get better.
Supernatural airs Fridays @9pm, on The CW