Supernatural has been running for ten years, and remains one of my favourite shows. Fact is, there’s a lot to like. Let’s start with the array of supernatural creatures; wendigos, witches, ghosts, vampires, demons, werewolfs, killer clowns – you name it, they’ve had it. The Winchester brothers have come up against urban legends, creatures from folklore, biblical dieties, and have even ventured into an alternative reality or two. Who can forget the time they fell into a world where alternate versions were actors playing the Winchesters in a television show called Supernatural – yep, it takes a moment or two to get your head around!
But it’s about more than the creatures. What we have are two brothers who would die for one another (and have more than once!). They ride around in a kick-ass car, and are thrust into delicious adventures, which keep fans entertained week after week. It’s the connection you feel – a genuine investment in the characters. We need the good guys to win, and they sure have to fight for it.
It can be dark, and most often is, but this is counterbalanced by the humour – humour which comes in the shape of an angel or two, the king of hell, an old hunter and, of course, Sam and Dean Winchester.
This is a two-part review of Supernatural in which I will delve into the characters; the heroes and the villains. This time I’m sticking with the side of good, so join me as I reminisce about all that is great about Supernatural, and why we root for the winning team.
YouTube – Ethan Jefford
Dean is a hunter like his father, and has been part of the world since he was a boy. He likes pie, has a love affair with his Impala, screams like a girl (refer to video), is tough, loyal, and will move mountains when it comes to his family. Did I mention he likes pie?
When he is on a hunt, Dean never gives up. With the aid of his father’s journal, and his brother as backup, he travels the country hunting supernatural creatures and saving lives. He has a wicked sense of humour, and a big heart, though he has a tendency to bottle his feelings. This stems from a sense of responsibility and a protective instinct a mile wide.
When his brother died, Dean made a deal with a crossroads demon to bring Sam back to life – bartering his own soul. The demon agreed, giving Dean one year before payment was due; at which point he was torn apart by hellhounds and his soul was dragged to Hell. Castiel, an angel who later became his friend, pulled Dean out (an order from God.)
Despite their ups and downs, the brothers always look out for each other. They have help along the way, Bobby for one, and of course Castiel. They have prevented an apocalypse or two, and manage to send each ‘big bad’ back to where they came from. During one such confrontation, Dean and Castiel got sucked into Purgatory. Dean eventually escaped by making an unlikely ally (a vampire).
After years of staying in countless hotel rooms, the brothers discovered they are descendants of a group of hunters known as the Men of Letters, and inherited some pretty cool digs – a man cave worthy of the Winchesters.
Recently Dean accepted the Mark of Cain (the source of the First Blade’s power) to even the playing field, but the plan backfired. After he died at the hands of Metatron, an angel with a God complex, he was brought back as a demon (courtesy of the Mark).
Sam didn’t want to be a hunter, he was forced into the role after helping his brother on a case (which involved their father) and later discovering his girlfriend dead. Her death mirrored his mother’s, so Sam joined Dean to hunt for the demon responsible. It turned out the ‘yellow-eyed demon’ had chosen Sam (and other children) when he was a baby; planning to turn them into his puppets for an upcoming war.
Eventually, Sam took a more active role in hunting. When he discovered Dean had sacrificed his soul to bring him back, he tried everything in his power to break the contract. When he failed, and his brother went to hell, he fell into despair.
This led to many bad decisions on his part, including drinking demon blood. He had already shown evidence of physic abilities, thanks to the yellow-eyed demon and his demon-given abilities. It caused a rift between the brothers. During this darker period, Sam gets into bed (literally) with a demon (named Ruby) and inadvertently breaks the seal to Lucifer’s cage.
Filled with guilt, Sam agrees to become Lucifer’s vessel in order to put him back in the cage. In a battle to rid the world of Lucifer, and save Dean, Sam opens the gates to Hell and falls into the pit. Castiel later drags him out of the cage, but he’s soulless. When they reunite Sam with this soul, they seal his memories behind a wall to protect him sanity.
The memories do eventually come back, and Sam loses it for a while. But he’s stronger than he gives himself credit for and he manages to overcome the trauma.
Given everything he’s been through, Sam considered giving up hunting and returning to a normal life. Clearly that didn’t happen because, for a start, his brother needs him, and Sam feels a sense of responsibility too. It is a core part of who he is. Perhaps that’s why he agreed to be part of trials to close the Gates of Heaven – trials that almost kill him. Though an angel cannot possess a human without permission, Dean found a loop hole and gave an angel permission to enter his brother and heal him from the inside.
When the truth was revealed Sam was angry with Dean, but they had bigger things to worry about. All the angels had been ejected from heaven, which was Metatron’s doing (God complex, remember), and a war among the angels began. It ended with the death of his brother (again) and a resurrection, in which Dean becomes a demon.
Apart from a slight detour, when Castiel tried to convince everyone he was a God (he was tainted by demon blood), he is the personification of all that is good. When he first met the brothers he was driven by duty; an angel who followed orders and had little room for emotions.
I think that’s part of Castiel’s charm, his fascination with humanity. His slightly wooden, and often inappropriate behaviour has made him the brunt of many a joke – mainly Dean’s. Despite that, he has developed an affection for Dean and, in his own way, Sam. He took Sam’s memories after he was locked in a cell with Lucifer and it almost broke him.
He has died four times, but always manages to find his way back. He often gets things wrong, but always has good intentions and tries to do the right thing. Castiel is loyal, and believes strongly in his mission.
It was a sad day when Bobby Singer died, as he was a show favourite. A veteran hunter, and father figure to Sam and Dean, Bobby was as tough as they come. He became a hunter after losing his wife. Karen Singer was possessed by a demon and he had to kill her. The guilt ate at him for years until she was resurrected as a zombie and he had to kill her all over again.
Bobby had his share of dances with the devil. He sold his soul for information and negotiated for the use of his legs after he is paralysed fighting yet another demon. He managed to trick the demon and win his soul back.
He had extensive knowledge of the supernatural which made him the go to guy for hunters. His ‘home office’ contained a number of phones, each labelled with a different agency, and alias, when hunter’s needed cover in the field. He helped Sam and Dean out of many a fix and enjoyed to call one or both ‘idjit.’ His favourite cuss word was ‘balls’.
Another character who will be missed. Kevin died at the hands of Gadreel, whilst he was using Sam as a vessel. This seemed like a particularly tough blow, considering all he has endured. Kevin became a prophet after the first ‘Word of God’ tablet was unearthed. He could read and interpret the tablets, which made him valuable to both sides. Sam and Dean tried to protect him, but he was captured more than once and tortured by the demon Crowley. He also lost his mother.
Before his death, Kevin was living with the Winchesters in the bunker, interpreting the angel tablet to try and find a way to send the angels back to heaven. Dean felt responsible for Kevin, and his death hit him hard.
Garth Fitzgerald is a hunter, who claims to have killed the tooth fairy! Like many hunters, he often used Bobby as a resource and teamed up with Sam and Dean on three separate occasions. He likes to give hugs, much to the Winchesters’ chagrin, and brings light relief to the hunts. He was bitten and turned by a werewolf during a hunt, and currently lives with his pack.
Jo and Ellen Harvelle were hunters. They also run Harvelle’s Roadhouse, a kind of base for hunters. The pair died on a mission to kill Lucifer; Ellen sacrificed herself to save Sam and Dean.
Becky Rosen is a fan of the Supernatural books written by Carver Edmund. She has a crush on Sam and in season 7 drugged him in order to get him to the chapel! They later sign an annulment.
Charlie Bradbury is an IT expert. She is also a keen gamer and fan girl. In a particularly memorable episode Charlie became Carrie, the queen of one of the four kingdoms of the LARPing game of Moondoor. When two of her subjects were killed this drew the attention of Sam and Dean and they entered the world of the game to solve the mystery. In the Battle of the Kingdoms the brothers joined the army, and Dean gave a speech to rally the troops – stealing the words from Braveheart.
Sheriff Jody Mills was a friend of Bobby’s. This friendship was cemented when Bobby and the Winchesters helped save the town from zombies. She went on a date with Crowley, though didn’t know he was a demon at the time. Unsurprisingly the date did not end well!