Episode 10.1

“Black” Review

By Annie Kenney

It’s hard to believe that it’s October already; the leaves are falling from the trees, the weather is getting colder and Supernatural is FINALLY back!  After Season 9 had ended in such a dramatic fashion I was equally looking forward to and dreading the start of Season 10.  What would happen when Sam found his brother was missing?  What would demon Dean be like?  Would we be disappointed by yet another time jump or would we just be thrown straight into the action?

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Black answered some, if not all, of the above questions and the first thing to say is that I wasn’t in the least disappointed and the second thing to say is that, three minutes in, I was crying like a baby!  Sam Winchester you make my heart break (still) and your utter desperation is both worrying and exciting…

Is it wrong to say that I find angry and desperate Sam very, very sexy?  I adore that semi-evil smirk he gave the demon he was torturing.  It was instantly clear that Sam had been looking for Dean for a while and it was also clear he had no leads on finding him.  Dean’s note and Sam’s reaction to it (even though he must have read it a thousand times already) were utterly devastating and my heart (and no doubt the hearts of thousands) was already broken!

In its usual manner Supernatural switched from angst to humor in a matter of seconds.  From Sam’s utter anxiety to Dean’s tuneless Karaoke, from tears to strangled laughter.  Demon Dean didn’t appear to be that evil at first; more like normal Dean with no moral filter (like soulless Sam).  He appeared to be enjoying all of the pleasures Dean had denied himself for a while, drinking, eating and sex!  He also had a new hairstyle!  This was hardly what I expected but watching Dean turn rapidly darker was more than a little disturbing.

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The angel storyline was also kept to a minimum in this episode and, for that, I was quite glad.  I still like Castiel but I find that the sudden switch to his storyline can be quite jarring.  I understand that there has to be other characters and that Supernatural no longer revolves around the Winchesters one hundred percent but I would still like it to.  However I have to admit I quite like Castiel’s new story and the fact he is losing his grace.  It will be interesting to see where the writers take it and how they will incorporate it into the story arc for the season (if indeed they do).  All this said the conversation between Cas and Sam had me in tears (again) and I hope we get to see those two working together to save Dean.

I am fascinated by this new character (Cole) and I’m already wondering what his connection to Dean is.  It’s clear from his wife’s reaction that Dean obviously did something to Travis and his family and I guess all this will be revealed as the season goes along.  Watching the hunter go through his exercise routine reminded me of soulless Sam in Season 6 and it is clear that this is a man who stops at nothing to get what he wants.  He is also quite canny (that much was obvious when he got the jump on Sam) and there is something about him that makes me feel very, very uneasy.

Black gripped me from start to finish and, as usual, the actors hit it out of the park.  Crowley is clearly worried about Dean and his power and it will be interesting to see how long the King of Hell can control the Father of Murder!  Seeing this new version of Dean is pretty upsetting and once the humour had gone, the creepiness and underlying threat was tangible.  Worse than that was the ‘bitch/jerk’ exchange between Crowley and Dean and the hurt on Sam’s face when Crowley told him that Dean was his best friend and that Sam was no longer part of his brother’s life.

This said the worst part of the entire episode was the very end when Dean more or less told Cole to cut his brother’s throat.  It is hard to know just how Sam felt when he heard those words and it was clear proof that demon Dean is a million miles away from the Dean we all know and love.  Kudos to Jensen for doing this so smoothly; his acting subtle and understated.  Kudos also to the writers who managed to write Jared’s real life injury into the story!  Sam must be the most accident prone hunter around as he has already had a broken wrist and now a damaged shoulder!  Poor Castiel getting blamed for Sam’s injury when we all know it was really a super charged Kevin Tran!!

So it is a really big welcome back to Supernatural; if this episode is anything to go by then it is going to be a really fantastic season.  There will be ups and downs as usual, there will be episodes that annoy me and episodes that floor me but I will never ceased to be gripped by it or moved by it and while the Winchesters are still going so am I!

So – there are still so many questions – will Travis slit Sam’s throat?  Will Dean care?  What will happen when the Winchesters finally come face to face?  I have no answers at the moment but all I do know is that you will have to keep watching to find out!