I review the second season of everybody’s favourite horror TV Show, Supernatural.
Okay, let’s get this out of the way first. I know I’m very late to the game, but then – I’m late to the game on pretty much every show (including Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Supernatural is no different. One thing that separates this season from its predecessor is its increase in quality, with only a few rare poor episodes as opposed Season 1, which had a lot more. Packed full with 22 episodes, the second season utilises a variety of supernatural mythology and legends in order to give them an interesting twist that will keep the audience hooked. It’s easily one of the few shows out there that you can happily watch multiple episodes at a time and still maintain a relatively strong consistency across the overall season.
At the beginning of the season, we are introduced to two new female characters, both Ellen and Jo Harvelle, who have some previous history with John Winchester (or at least, Ellen does) and it was very nice to see a strong pair of female characters introduced to the show that usually has women in danger more times then it does having them fighting other characters. The show also kicks off with a bang in the first two episodes following on from the climatic ending of Season 1, proving that even major characters can die and reminding us once more that nobody is safe. What’s more is that I loved how the death of the major character in the episode In My Time Of Dying was handled, and for me it’s easily the best episode of the season. I could name several episodes as highlights but I think my Top 5 favourite episodes of Season 2 including the aforementioned episode are What is and What Should Never Be – which pits Dean against a djinn with the power to make any wish come true, All Hell Breaks Loose (P1 & P2) – the awesome season finale, Folsom Prison Blues (where Dean and Sam have to get arrested in order to take care of a haunting in a prison) and No Exit, which saw Jo joining up with the Winchester brothers to hunt the ghost of America’s first recorded serial killer.
In a show with a season compromising of 22 episodes then of course not all episodes will maintain a high quality and there are unfortunately some less interesting instalments. Heart saw the introduction of Werewolves into the show’s mythology but was not executed as well as the introduction of Vampires in Season 1. Playthings was a rather weak episode as well involving a haunted hotel and a ghost of a child, and aside from the beginning Everybody Loves a Clown had the potential to be a million times better than it was, with the Clown spirit not being as scary as it could have been.
The two lead actors, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki really get to shine in this season. Having got used to their roles as Dean and Sam by the end of Season 1 they’re exploring their characters, playing them well and fleshing them out – giving them a good layer of character depth. Jeffery Dean Morgan delivers a great performance in the character of John Winchester, and Jim Beaver also plays Bobby Singer pretty well as well. Samantha Ferris holds her own as Ellen Harvelle whilst Alona Tal allowed for an interesting addition to Dean and Sam’s partnership that was one of the reasons why No Exit remained one of the better episodes of the season, simply because she played a key role there. However, it’s a shame that Ellen and Jo don’t get to stick around for long, acting merely as supporting characters with the large amount of attention consistently on Dean and Sam, which is as to be expected as both characters are the main stars of the show.
I loved the less traditional take on certain aspects of Supernatural’s monsters. In Bloodlust, the third episode, Dean and Sam learn that not all vampires drink human blood and the execution of this episode is handled a lot better than the entirety of Twilight, falling just short of my inclusion in the Top 5 episodes of Season 2 because of No Exit. Another runner up is Hollywood Babylon, which was a clever way of showing that the writers knew the clichés of the genre that it inhabited and allowed to execute it in a fun way despite the overall darkish tone of the episode.
In short then, this show is addictive, fun and compulsory viewing. It’s probably my favourite non-cancelled TV show at the moment (I’m looking at you, Firefly) – and I’m loving the hell out of every episode.
VERDICT FOR THE OVERALL SEASON: 4/5
SUPERNATURAL SEASON 2 EPISODE GUIDE: S2x01: In My Time of Dying, S2x02: Everybody Loves a Clown, S2x03: Bloodlust, S2x04: Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, S2x05: Simon Said, S2x06: No Exit, S2x07: The Usual Suspects, S2x08: Crossroad Blues, S2x09: Croatan, S2x10: Hunted, S2x11: Playthings, S2x12: Nightshifter, S2x13: Houses of the Holy, S2x14: Born Under a Bad Sign, S2x15: Tall Tales, S2x16: Roadkill, S2x17: Heart, S2x18: Hollywood Babylon, S2x19: Folsom Prison Blues, S2x20: What Is and What Should Never Be, S2x21: Al l Hell Breaks Loose P1, S2x22: All Hell Breaks Loose P2