Episode 10.10

“Hunter Games” Review

By Annie Kenney

And we’re back! An exciting ‘Road so Far’ followed by, in my opinion, one of the dullest episodes of Supernatural ever aired! I know that might be a controversial statement, but please bear with me because it isn’t all bad…

One of the things that first attracted me to Supernatural was the fact that it was character-driven but, unlike something like Lost, there were only two main characters and a few incidental ones who came back for more than one episode. Right from the start we were introduced to Sam and Dean and, as the weeks went by, we got to know more and more about them, we got to like them, we grew to love them and we suffered when they suffered.

Now ten seasons later and that little series that could has become something of – and forgive me – a leviathan. Instead of two brothers on the road there are a myriad of characters each with their own agenda. It is hard to know just who we are supposed to follow and even harder to know who we are supposed to root for! There are no really good characters or really bad characters, all of them have shades of grey and all of them have made massive mistakes and – to some extent – have been forgiven.

Not that there is anything wrong with that; programs that don’t move with the times don’t hang around for very long and you don’t get to your tenth season by standing still. Of course there had to be other characters alongside Sam and Dean and of course those characters had to have arcs of their own but – and here is the but – why do some of those arcs have to be so boring and so confusing?

Take Rowena for instance; I just don’t have any interest in her or her story. I can’t actually fathom why she has been introduced apart from the fact that she is making life difficult for Crowley. She isn’t frightening, threatening or likable and – to be honest – I find her a bit over the top. I know she is meant to be a witch from the Middle Ages and I know she is Crowley’s mother but I’m just not getting her. Which is a shame because Supernatural needs good, strong female characters but I would much rather see Jody or Charlie. Rowena – for me – isn’t working.

On the other hand I was enjoying the interaction between Castiel and Claire. It was really touching seeing Castiel trying to make things right with his vessel’s erstwhile daughter. Also the actress playing Claire reminded me a lot of Alicia Silverstone and I thought she was pretty good. It was sad to see her go and I hope we see her again and that Castiel does get some closure.

And now to the good bit; Dean and the mark, Sam’s obvious worry and Metatron’s return. Curtis Armstrong is brilliantly seedy as God’s Scribe and it is always hard to know just how much to trust him (not at all is my guess). However he does seem to know something about the mark but is it all a trick?

Jensen is brilliant as tortured, worried Dean. It is really upsetting to see Dean without his cockiness and token one-liners but it is necessary. Dean is trying to remain calm; trying to make sure he doesn’t – to quote Metatron – ‘Go Postal’. It also very refreshing to see a change of direction for the brothers. For the first time ever it is Dean that has the problems and Sam who is protective and trying desperately to save him. The chemistry between Jared and Jensen remains as strong as ever and they get better and better. It is so good to see the brothers actually working together, to see them supporting each other. I’m hoping that it stays that way but, knowing the writers, it probably won’t.

To conclude I think that The Hunter Games was something of a filler. A reminder of what went before and a pointer towards what is going to happen.   It is obvious that Dean’s problems are not going to be solved quickly or easily and I’m wondering just what Metatron’s mysterious last line actually means! Now Crowley has the first blade back I’m thinking that Rowena is somehow going to become involved in that particular arc (which is something I’m not sure I’ll enjoy but I’m keeping an open mind). It appears that Castiel and Sam’s arc is going to be curing Dean and I hope we see them working together rather than separating. We seem to have seen the last of the fighting angels for now but I’m not sure we won’t see a few more before the end of the season.

Supernatural will always keep me coming back and, even if I’m unsure about a character, I like to see where the story is heading. I’ve been enjoying Season 10 even though some of the episodes have left me cold. I’m pretty certain that things are going to get worse before they get better and – looking at the trailer – next week’s episode looks like it is going to be epic.

Can’t wait to see Charlie again…