I've done a midseason rewatch, and I thought I'd talk about what the tenth season has given us so far, and speculate about what's down the road from here. Join me? Spoilers, obvsly.
Here are the episodes so far:
- Black-"Deanmon" has left a frustrating note and skipped the bunker with Crowley, despite Sam last having seen him as a corpse he'd cleaned up and laid out, while he started working out how to get him back. We get the quasi-comedic, quasi-OTT violence Dean as he refuses to pick a side, and we also see a human, Cole Trenton, whose father he killed gear up for revenge. Cas is chasing down rogue angels with Hannah, but his stolen grace is failing, and he's dying. He refuses to let Hannah bargain with Metatron to retrieve his own grace, to both their frustration.
- Reichenbach- Sam gets held hostage by Cole, who tries to beat Dean's location out of him, but "manages" to escape. Dean continues to frustrate Crowley, who just wants to be BFFs with him and reshape Hell (overdue, IMO). But Dean just wants to drink, fuck, drink, sing, drink, and kill the demons that Crowley is sending to him to sate the Mark-fuelled need for violence. Crowley decides to get rid of him after his plan is rejected, and rats him out to Sam in trade for the First Blade (which somehow Dean carries stuck in the back of his pants or something—owie). Dean also beats the shit out of Cole, but lets him live.
- Soul Survivor-Sam works the fuck out of himself to cure Dean's demonicity, and it's not going like it did with Crowley. He manages to escape his bonds and Devil's Trap when the process has gone far enough to make him immune to demon-trapping magic. Crowley finds Cas and Hannah, and saves them during a fight with a renegade angel and feeds the angel's grace to Cas, thereby saving his life.
- Paper Moon- Remember that werewolf found footage episode that no one really liked? Kate's back and she's turned her sister to save her life. But her sister doesn't care about not hurting people, so the Winchesters find their trail. In the end, after parallels about what you do for a sibling, Kate ends up killing her sister to stop it, and leaves with an assurance but not a promise that she will keep not killing humans.
- Fan Fiction-This is the fangirl squee episode. #200 features a school putting on a fanfic musical about the Supernatural books. Dean is initially frustrated, but in the end, seems to enjoy the hunt, and even endorses people following their own subtext, as he's faced with both Wincest and learning the term Destiel. Meanwhile, the muse Calliope, whose MO is to defend the sharing of a story and then kill the author has had her attention caught by Show. Anyone who tries to stop the production is being held hostage (including Sam), but with the assist of the writer/director/"Sam", they save the day. Chuck shows up at the end and gives the girls approval of their story, despite the "transformative" inclusion of a robot.
- Ask Jeeves-The boys intercept an invitation to Bobby to a will reading, and end up at a mansion where people are being picked off one by one. Turns out the dead millionairess was hiding her half-shifter daughter in the attic, and willed the key to it to Bobby.
- Girls Girls Girls-Dean takes a detour to pick up a chick he'd been IMing with, and it turns out she was a pawn in a soul-stealing demon run brothel. The remaining sex workers are rescued by a Scottish witch who promises them magic. The guys don't manage to achieve much other than Dean having a knockdown dragout fight with Cole, but managing to talk him down in the end. Crowley captures the witch, and we learn that she's his MOM.
So, what's the experience been like for you? I found myself rewatching Fan Fiction almost immediately, and the joy was palpable. Recently I decided to do a season rewatch, and I blew through 1-4, only skipping one scene in Paper Moon. I think the first three hold together pretty well, and Demon Dean didn't outstay his offkey welcome.
I'm still majorly tired of Crowley and his infatuation with queues, but interested that his mother has shown up. And his son is wandering around somewhere...I hope that their family revitalises his storyline. The infatuation with Dean (they actually played "Lonely Girl" while he stares at a phone pic of the two of them) was kind of pathetic, and his demons have noticed.
He's also been summarily executing Abaddon's former supporters—both by sending them after Demon Dean, and also by having cursory trials. He ends up with resistor that doesn't like what Hell has turned into and immolates himself in holy fire. We've had a bit of time with two attendants—it remains to be seen if they'll turn out to be players, or just his mother Rowena.
Rowena did take the time to explain the difference between types of witches, which was sorely overdue. There are so many fans who thought Dean and Sam were hypocrites for using magic and hunting witches, but in actuality, they've killed very few witches, which I guess is an ethical aversion on the part of the writers about killing humans, but they're letting Sam and Dean kill demons and their meatsuits without regard for human lives, so I don't see why they bother. Maybe because they're usually female? Anyway—one type of witch is beholden to a demon for their power, another type are born with the power, and the third type can study real hard and perform trivial magic. Rowena is #2, presumably to avoid any associations with hell before her reunion with her son. But she was ejected from the Grand Coven because her magic was too dark and extreme, so it's not like being unbound from a demon makes you a good witch automatically.
It may be nothing, it may be something, but they've mentioned a drought twice now—the first episode has a computer screen with an article about one saying that 20% of the contiguous states are affected by severe to extreme drought, and in Girls Girls Girls a potential case is written off to the results of same.
The current tension between the boys (because there is, there always is) is that the Mark is still affecting Dean, and that he's still OTT with the violence. Dean writes it off to circumstance, and it's borderline enough that it's because we know we're in fiction with an arc, that we know it's not nothing.
Hannah and Cas spend 7 episodes (assumed) tracking down renegade angels who haven't returned to heaven yet. They encounter resistance in angels trying to exercise free will, so irony. The two angels we see them track end up killed down on earth, instead of getting them back to Heaven where they will be held responsible for killing the first angel sent to get them back. They'd rather sit and fish and watch the sunset, but Adina follows Cas and Hannah and tries to kill them in revenge for the death of her buddy, Daniel. It's Adina whose grace Cas ends up consuming, although it's Crowley that kills her. So he's powered up, and in strange debt to Crowley.
Hannah's vessel's husband tracks her down, and Hannah is so reverent of the potential and emotions of humans (at the start of the season she thought of them as the entry to chaos) that she relinquishes her vessel returns to Heaven. It was a well-done arc, and although she looks eerily like Cas himself, or maybe because, they made a good pair—one I preferred to Cas and Balthazar or Cas and Rachel. She will be missed.
Cole's quest was the Winchester quest, pretty much, except their YED was a hunter in the right, not a domination-obsessed jaundiced demon. When Cole finds the demon version of Dean, Dean physically dominates him and verbally humiliates him, which is pretty harsh treatment for a kid (24) who saw Dean standing over his father's slit throat. Dean later admits he doesn't know what kind of monster the liver-eating monster was, but assures Cole that he'd come home with the intent of murder, so Dean might have saved Cole's life. It seems there's a possibility he'll show up in another context—due to Deanmon's dialogue, he learns about the supernatural, and interrogates and tortures a demon on his journey.
Despite having appeared quite a bit this season, Cas doesn't seem to have that much of a storyline other than having received the grace from Crowley—very passive. We've only had one episode with Cas and the Winchesters in the same scenes, and it's very brief—although there is a nice reunion conversation between Dean and Cas. But, panic stations! He googles "Jimmy Novak" after Hannah leaves, and my stomach flips at the idea that his vessel isn't dead—that's summary torture beyond the usual scope of SPN. If he just means to make amends, well, it has potential and fewer ethical complications. It remains to be seen if he stays on mission now that he has no right hand angel.
Turns out Sam went kinda dark trying to find Dean (not that OOC, obviously). One of his tactics, beyond roughing up hunters (oh, you Winchesters are pillars of the community), was to convince a cuckolded husband that the solution was to summon a crossroad demon. Sam's been trying to capture one for interrogation, but orders say that Winchesters don't get served. Problem is, poor Lester actually makes the deal to have his wife killed before Sam can stop him, and in the end, one of the things Dean does that ires Crowley is that he didn't kill the wife, but killed Lester instead because he was annoying. Human death toll==1 for Sam, and 1 for Dean. The same one.
So what do you think?
eta: I think I want to call *every* review "So that happened" I like it even more than "The road so far".