Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Supernatural, Season 2 (2006)

The first season of Supernatural had a linking theme of Sam and Dean Winchester's search for their father, and for the demon that murdered their mother.  Outside of the last few episodes though, this was mostly a background thing, with the emphasis placed squarely on the monster-of-the-week antics.

This season on the other hand brings the Winchester family angst much more front and centre.  It's there in the first episode, there's significant narrative callback to it in over half the episodes, and on several occasions it is the focus of the narrative.  While this prevalence does sometimes make the plotline feel a bit drawn out, it also has several positive impacts for the show.  It makes this season seem bigger in scope than the first, it lets the writers wring a great deal of mileage out of the on-screen chemistry of the leads, and it gives them opportunities to build up a few recurring supporting characters.  This helps because - good as the Sam and Dean dynamic is - it's always useful to vary things up from time to time.

All this is not to say that there's no monster-of-the-week action, because the show still delivers that.  In fact, two of my favourite episodes - "Tall Tales" and "Hollywood Babylon" - are emphatically not related to the main arc, and focus tightly on the supernatural critter shenanigans.  Arc-related or not, though, all the episodes have a clear and present danger presented in them; it's just that often the clear and present danger also ties into the lurking background danger.

If you're into action-horror stories, wailing guitars, big black muscle cars, or more bromance than you'd thought possible to fit in a mere 40 minute run time, Supernatural season two might be for you.

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