Supernatural – Season 11

posted 16 May 2018, 12:57 by Paul Woodward

Genre: Action / Horror

Stars: Jared Padalecki / Jensen Ackles

Creator: Eric Kripke

Certificate: 15

Year: 2015/16

This show has evolved a lot since its very dark, horrific and gritty beginnings about two brothers who are ‘Hunters’ of all things supernatural but remains consistently entertaining even well into its eleventh season. This season starts as the last finished with the unleashing of ‘The Darkness’ and season eleven’s overall story arc is about the Winchester’s getting rid of it! Spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned, The Darkness is introduced in the opening episode as a powerful being who has some sort of connection with Dean as he was a big part of her been released following the events of the previous season. She then takes a human form as a baby named Amara and for the first third we see her grow up, quickly, she likes to devour souls before wreaking havoc as a powerful adult hell bent on destroying the world in revenge for been trapped in a prison since the dawn of creation. We discover she is the sister of God and her revenge on his creation is purely to get back at him. So, the season follows the adventures of the Winchester’s trying to discover a way to put Amara back in her box, amongst other detours as they battle your usual array of nasties and a whole host of reappearances of series regulars that we have gotten used to with Supernatural.

I think the main reason the show remains entertaining is its heavy use of humour and the chemistry between it’s two leads Ackles and Padalecki who make The Winchesters essential viewing. The show sometimes feels like it’s re-treading similar stories and plots from the past and I do get bored of certain things the show does or re-treads. This season it seems to have become self-aware of some of the things fans are getting fed up with, both Sam and Dean have died numerous times and come back for example. In the first episode Sam bumps into a Reaper called Billie who informs him that the next time he or his brother die she will make sure it’s for the last time pushing their souls into the nothing – rather than heaven or hell to assure nothing can be done to bring them back. This is a real game changer for the show and something I hope they stick to as it reignites the danger of perma death to make situations more exciting. Another self-aware jibe happens when Crowley loses his crown as King of Hell after Lucifer escapes ‘The Cage’ and is dispossessed of his throne. Once Lucifer is out the picture, he schemes with some demons to take back his Crown and stage a coup – something we’ve seen him do more times than I’ve had hot dinners. He is then laughed at as the Demon’s point out – what’s new? They’ve done this before, why bother! There are a few other self-aware jokes, that you’ll appreciate if you keep and eye out for them, it’s a cool acknowledgement that the show has been guilty of going over familiar ground with some situations and characters.

For me the show is at it’s best when it focuses on The Winchester’s and in episodes which focus on an episode specific story as opposed to ones which focus on the overall story arc. Don’t get me wrong in comparison to other season story arc’s Amara is one of the better ones and has a really cool and unexpected conclusion. It’s just some of the episodic episodes tend to focus on the relationship between the brothers and the plots are more finessed as they are concluded within that episode.

I think one of my biggest complaints over the past few seasons is that I’ve gotten bored of the Heaven and Hell internal power jostling – it’s started to get a little tedious and overplayed now. When Crowley was first introduced I enjoyed his character and when he appeared more frequently I didn’t mind – but I’ve grown tired of him and I wish Crowley would return to been a more occasional character popping up as when the plot demands. Rather than having plots created to give him screen time! The same goes for Castiel, they show writers seem determined to keep him in most episodes even though he’s not needed and his ‘Angel’ schtick has worn thin with me. Fair enough Castiel becomes Lucifer for the second half of the season and his storylines follow that persona with Misha Collins doing a good impression of Lucifer actor Mark Pellegrino. But my argument is why couldn’t they write the plot to have Lucifer escape and have Pellegrino do literally everything Castiel does – It all boils down to there would be nothing for Castiel to do! Which just emphasis the fact I think the script writers should start using Crowley and Castiel as occasional regulars rathe than shoe horning them into plots. I love Rowena but I fear she could fall foul of been over used in the future which would be a shame as I love her character and as a Witch she is more earth bound than the demons and angels – Ruth Connell is superb as Rowena a real nasty piece of work who you just can’t help but like!

‘Baby’ is one of the standout episodes of the season, it is all shot from the perspective of the Winchesters Impala and it’s a fantastic episode. Everything has to happen in or around it and the writers do a fantastic job making it a great episode and also making the Impala a big part of the story and its conclusion. It’s episodes like this that keep the show relevant and fresh. Another favourite episode is ‘Just My Imagination’ which introduces us to Sam’s childhood Imaginary friend Sully, while it’s this season’s silly/funny episode it is also one of the more emotive ones. ‘Don’t Call Me Shurley’ is another important episode as we are introduced to God – who turns out to be Chuck, the guy who writes the ‘Supernatural’ books in the show (remember?!) when Sam and Dean discover the books are based on their real adventures! I remember the possibility of him been God or a God been brought up in past plots, but this was dismissed – well in this reveal episode we learn all. It also sees Metatron come back to the good side as he convinces God to confront Amara and come out of ‘Retirement’. Metatron even gets to go out in heroic style to!

‘Don’t Forget About Me’ sees us catch up with series regulars Sheriff Jody Mills, Claire Novak (Castiel’s human hosts daughter) and Alex Jones (A former lure for a Vampire clan) the latter two been taken under Jody’s wing following events in previous seasons. It’s one of the better episodes which diverts from the season arc. ‘The Vessel’ and ‘Safe House’ are also strong contenders for episode of the season.

Another very enjoyable season of Supernatural and I can’t wait to see how season twelve plays out – who will the next big bad be? And how will Sam and Dean’s mom coming back to life, courtesy of Amara (I warned you about spoilers) affect them and their life’s as hunters!

8/10

Review by Woody

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