"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Supernatural: In The Beginning

After two episodes that gave me a look at what the future holds for the Winchester boys, it’s time to look back at the past. I traveled back in time to Lawrence, Kansas, circa 1973. There, I ran into young Mary and John. If that wasn't enough for me, Sam and Dean’s grandfather, Samuel also makes an appearance. He’s not so keen on the idea of John and Mary getting together. And he holds a secret that will shed some light on things in the present day.

My, oh my. Where do I begin after that? How about the casting? I was impressed with all of the guest players. The big star of the show, though, was Mitch Pileggi. Just perfect casting. He was great as the crotchety old hunter that didn’t trust anyone, and just as good for his stint as Azazel.

Getting to the story, I started this episode with some reservations. Not that they did anything wrong, but whenever anyone wants to go messing about with time, warning bells go off. I have a general rule for TV that the only one who should play willy-nilly with time is Dr. Who. Everyone else should tread lightly. Thankfully, the powers that be had Castiel waiting at the end with an explanation. Destiny can’t be changed. That’s a solid working rule moving forward with Supernatural.

In the end, it all served as a big history lesson for Dean, and for me. I expected that would be the case going in, because if Dean was to alter anything in the past, it would wipe out the last three years of the show. Again, this is why only the Dr. messes about with time. It was quite a history lesson.

To start: Mary, ass kicking hunter. When she put the boots to Dean I was caught completely off guard, but when I got the closeup of the bracelet, it all came into focus. It was a very cool twist. And as I learned more about her, it answered some old questions. Why she recognized Azazel in the nursery. How Azazel was picking his “psychic kids.” And, most importantly, how Sam got on that list. What it didn’t tell me was what his endgame will be.

Along the way, the episode was just filled with great lines, and great scenes. Things like Dean convincing John to buy the Impala. Or Samuel’s reaction to Dean, “You seem like a nice kid Dean, but yeah, you’re crazy.” And the scene where Azazel is revealed in Samuel’s body. As soon as he asked to hold the gun, I knew. The best of it all though, was the moment that Mary and Dean shared. Her telling him how she wants out of the hunting life, and Dean pleading with her to stay in bed on Nov. 2, 1983. It was very moving.
It was quite nearly Sammy free in this one, only seeing him race off in a Mustang with Ruby. I can assume they were heading out to go after more demons, but Castiel’s warning that Sam is “headed down a dangerous road” did sound ominous. I can’t wait to see where that all goes.

At the end of the day, I can’t think of any way this episode could have been better. There were loads of Winchester history as the backdrop to revealing just a little more of Castiel’s mission. And the fact that it is going to tie in with what Azazel was doing with all those kids is fantastic. Season four is off to a tremendous start.

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