Supernatural – An Overview Part 1: The Heroes

supernatural logoSupernatural 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

The Characters

deanDean Winchester

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).

SamprofileSam Winchester

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.

Castiel-castiel-girls-7502664-1450-967Castiel

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.

Bobby-Singer-7x10-Death-s-Door-bobby-singer-27346393-1280-720Bobby Singer

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’.

Kevin902Kevin Tran

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.

Other Characters

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!

So there you have it. The good guys. Tomorrow I will be taking a closer look at the villains of the story; those harbingers of evil we love to hate. In the meantime I’d love to hear from you. What’s your favourite thing about Supernatural? What are your highlights?

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55 responses to “Supernatural – An Overview Part 1: The Heroes

  1. I used to love Supernatural. I watched up to the end of season 5 and saw bits and pieces of the next two seasons. At this point, I only kept my boxset of the first 3 seasons, which are the ones I loved. The first two are my favorite. One of my favorite heroes in the show is John Winchester. He was a great character, who sadly suffered from mean and counterintuitive writings in the subsequent seasons, after he died in season 2 (basically after Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s last appearance as John). I miss Jo and Ellen Harvelle a lot too. I cried so much when they died.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really liked John Winchester too. Jeffrey Dean Morgan went through a tough time in that period – he got killed in Supernatural and then in Grey’s Anatomy and both characters were memorable. But I digress! The death of Jo and Ellen was heart wrenching and I still miss them. It was a surprise, because they were great characters. I know some fans dip in and out, and though I’ve preferred some seasons over the others, I still get excited about it! Season 2 is still my favourite though 😀

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  2. Reblogged this on Melissa Barker-Simpson and commented:

    Are you a fan of Supernatural? Of course you are, who doesn’t love the Winchester Brothers! I’m over at Comparative Geeks today and tomorrow giving an overview of the show, so pop on over and let’s have a chat.

    Like

  3. I have gone back and forth on this show. I think it will end up being one of the shows I don’t really get into until my kids do. Then we’ll be able to binge watch the whole thing together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Binge watching is awesome! I’m still surprised and obviously grateful the show is still going strong because each year fans think this will be the last season and then it continues. I guess the same can be said for a lot of shows. Take Castle for example (which I love!) But I digress! My girls don’t share my enthusiasm for the show…but I’ll talk them around eventually and then…Supernatural marathon. Yay!

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Great post. I absolutely agree about the show’s genre-bending- I have no idea how they get away with some of the things they do. I loved seasons two, six and ten especially. What did you think of Brother’s Keeper?

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    • I mostly loved it (I was blown away by Death’s ultimate ending!). Given that darkness has been released, I’m hoping that the brothers can stop fighting themselves and start fighting a big bad again. What did you think?

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      • I thought the structure was awkward- I think the stuff with Dean’s vamp case would have been better earlier on. It was clearly there to illustrate his loss of self but I’d been seeing that already. But overall I loved it- I was crying at the ‘Sammy, close your eyes’ scene. One of the absolute best scenes in SPN history, I think.
        Loved Rowena’s role too, though I wasn’t keen on Crowley’s whole ‘my mummy doesn’t love me’ monologue, divine as Sheppard is. But Death’s ending was fantastic- I’m rewatching all the seasons and so far Dean has said ‘you can’t kill Death’ four times, which makes it extra awesome.
        Honestly I have no idea how SPN gets away with what it does.
        Loved s10. It felt very strong.

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        • I agree, it made his line about killing death all the more powerful and it was wonderfully delivered. And that ‘close your eyes’ scene was a killer. I think you might be right – it’s certainly up there on a top ten list of best scenes between the brothers. Then when Sam said ‘you’ll never hear me call you anything but a good man’ – well, I was a wreck by that point! Incredibly moving. I might have to do a little binge watching of those earlier episodes 😀

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          • Oh my God, that line. And Demon Dean just mocks him- so awful and so well done. Loved the Demon Dean arc, Soul Survivor especially.
            And I love how DARK s10 is! It’s like the early seasons!

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          • I agree with you. He played the part so well. And Soul Survivor was a great episode 😀 Roll on Season 11 – that’s what I say!

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          • Re Soul Survivor- up until that point I’d been kind of wondering what they kept Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming around for (they wrote Route 666, Man’s Best Friend With Benefits, and other weak episodes), and that was the point where I was like, ‘oh, now I see’.
            And I can’t wait for s11. I only started watching the show in February- Book Of The Damned was the first episode I saw in real time- and I’m going to have great fun watching them as they air.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Wow, you caught up quickly! It will be great watching as they air. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it’s a great season. I remember way back in Season 4 when they weren’t sure if the show would be renewed. It’s pretty much like that for all shows I guess, but it feels like a huge bonus whenever Supernatural is renewed!

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          • I binge-watched my way through in flagrant disregard of my GCSEs 🙂
            I’m amazed the show’s still going, honestly. Though I think it would have been awful had they ended after Swan Song. I usually like sad endings, but that would just have been cruel. I’d actually rather have had a post-apocalyptic world where Sam and Dean were together than a normal one where they were separated and one was in Hell.

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          • Oh, absolutely. When it ends, they have to conclude the incredible journey together. Wherever that turns out to be 🙂

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          • I’ve never actually been this set on a romantic pairing staying together, weirdly enough. There are so many romantic tropes used for Sam and Dean- the face-grabbing! the breakups!- but they are such BROTHERS too. And then there’s that motherly vibe Dean has going on with Sam. Which is just fascinating.

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          • I think Dean certainly sees it as his duty to watch out for his little brother. And their kinship is one of the best things about the show. After everything they’ve been through, I’m sure fans will be happy to let them retire in peace. Eventually!

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          • I think the fact that it’s a brotherly relationship sets it apart from other shows. I suspect SPN will be actually more popular twenty years or so after it finishes…
            And yes… eventually… give us another few years first, Jeremy Carver, okay?
            I do love how Sam is this gigantic grown-ass man and Dean is still convinced that he must protect him. With good reason, in the light of the recent Cole debaclé, but still. Such a great dynamic.

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          • I can relate to Dean’s protective streak, though my own circumstances are a lot less scary! My brother is a soldier, more than capable of looking out for himself; he towers above me and has a big build. But he’s still my little brother and I see it as my job to look out for him. Of course he finds that highly amusing 😉

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          • Sam was the way into the show for me- I’m the youngest of my friends, so the overprotectiveness felt familiar. Then I kind of realised Dean’s just as vulnerable as Sam in his own way- like, Sam has Dean looking out for him, and he really needs that, but who’s looking out for Dean?
            Recently, they’ve been looking out for each other- without sacrificing the big brother/little brother thing. It seems like a breakthrough.
            Younger sibling problems! The absolute worst. Three little brothers over here, so I know what you mean.

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          • I’m the eldest so I have three siblings of my own to overprotect…I mean look out for! I agree about the shift in their relationship. I actually prefer it when they’re watching each others back and they’re not at each others throats. It’s the reason I prefer some of the earlier seasons, and why I’m looking forward to 11. Just two brothers fighting against evil – of course they have a little help 😀

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          • Painful as s9 was, with the total breakdown of their relationship, I think it opened up so many opportunities to do it better. Like in s5 after their s4 argument when Sam’s like ‘no, Dean, I don’t want us to go back to how it was before, because before didn’t work. How did you think they got here?’
            And the early post-Demon Dean s10 eps felt like they were being very… careful… with each other. Hopefully they’ll be able to rebuild things better this time.
            I really want Evil Crowley (TM) back. And Socially Awkward BAMF Castiel. Then will I find happiness.

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          • I must admit, I like the growth in Crowley and Castiel’s characters. I’m enjoying the transition. Crowley is bad to the bone, so he’ll revert to his old ways, but I like him. A lot. Since Metatron gave Castiel his little angel ‘plug-in’ and access to all that literature and movie database I find it hilarious he actually gets Sam and Dean’s references. There are just so many of them. Yes, it was funny when they went over his head. But I like that he’s stretching his wings, as it were, because in actual fact he’s been around the brothers so long now, he’s bound to be a little tainted! He’s also taking his social clues from them 😀 But I liked his bumbling social awkwardness too – he plays all his roles so well.

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          • I loved Crowley’s slight softening- he was reading Little Women! Kills me every time. I wasn’t so keen on his whole mummy-doesn’t-love-me speech in Brother’s Keeper, though Mark Sheppard is always sublime.
            I wasn’t so keen on the idea of Cas being ‘pop-culture savvy’- though if that’s your thing go for it- though I did like that episode in general. And the way it came about was very, very funny. Cas and Metatron crack me up.
            I liked his brief period as a human, too. What were your thoughts on I’m No Angel? I know a lot of people hated it because Cas basically got raped. I thought it was one of the best of the season, though.
            Was not keen on the scene in Reichenbach where Cas was empathising with the child. Snot rockets? No. Too cutesy for me. Ugh.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I agree about Crowley’s speech. Given his strength when it comes to pulling people in with his little monologues, I wasn’t entirely convinced or particularly moved by it. And I have mixed feelings about I’m No Angel. It was a sad episode for me, showing just how far Cas had fallen and the burden he carries.

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          • I found I’m No Angel unexpectedly sincere and convincing- like Cas saying about the people who have the least giving the most. Somehow Collins pulled it off.
            Re the sex scene, I don’t know what fandoms are coming to if suddenly shows aren’t allowed to depict rape. But hey, whatever, Tumblr.

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          • I enjoyed the fact it was Cas centric, that’s always a treat. I haven’t read anything about that particular scene other than the view that Cas’ approach to casual sex was completely out of character, since he believes in the bond of love. Other than that, I must have missed a whole discussion!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Well, I seem to find myself in the very weird corners of fandoms, so…
            That’s interesting about that being out of character. Could you expand on that?

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          • It wasn’t my comment, it was an article I read and I can’t remember the author. But basically, Cas has a really deep sense of morality when it comes to sexual relationships. He believes in a love bond, and he’s shown an adverse reaction the times Dean has tried to get a rise out of him about it. The author, and most of the commenter’s) agreed that Cas wouldn’t have entered into a casual, sexually relationship without some sort of conflict happening within himself.

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          • Huh- I’ll have to think about that. It’s true that he freaked when Dean took him to the brothel (I don’t think that’s the right term, but whatever) in Free To Be You And Me, but I put that down to not understanding human cultural norms- and there was his thing with Meg that was pretty sudden.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I think it was more to do with his views on relationships. But it’s open to interpretation. And you must have an excellent memory to recall all the titles so easily!

            Liked by 1 person

          • True about the interpretation thing- and thanks!

            Liked by 1 person

          • You’re welcome 😀

            Liked by 1 person

          • Misha Collins is always excellent, though.

            Liked by 1 person

          • In Meet The New Boss you can tell the exact moment when he transitions from Castiel to leviathan. It’s terrifying- this weird head-tilt he does, and his voice goes all high and unstable.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah – he’s great when it comes to using body language to convey meaning. His facial expressions speak a thousand words! 🙂

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          • He must have a chart tacked to his wall with all the different deadpan Cas faces on it.

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          • LOL! I can imagine him in the mirror practising 😉

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          • I have no idea how they even managed to get through The French Mistake without laughing… ‘Dean grimly’… ‘It’s because we have no other choice’…

            Liked by 1 person

          • I really love that episode. I think I’m going to have to watch it again this weekend! The production team must have been tired at the end of that day…take 998… 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • That part where they’re trying to act… what is JP doing with his hands? And JA’s expression?

            Liked by 1 person

          • They crack me up, they really do. I’m definitely watching that episode…maybe tonight! 😀

            Liked by 1 person

          • I love the one where Balthazar unsinks the Titanic- My Heart Will Go On- and Ellen and Jo come back.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I hated that they died. I really miss them.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh yeah. I already bitched on one comment thread about how unnecessary I found Ash’s death- I did think Ellen and Jo dying served a purpose, so from a writing POV I’m okay with it, but that episode makes me cry.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Me too. It was heartbreaking. Even though I too understood the decision behind it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Thoughts on Charlie’s death? I was okay with it- it tipped over a whole bunch of dominoes plotwise. I loved her, but you know, it’s SPN. Everyone dies.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I loved Charlie, but then like you said…so many great characters have died. I didn’t want Bobby to die and I’m still recovering from John’s death!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Same about Bobby, though Death’s Door was one of the best episodes of s7- maybe of all time.
            Frankly? I was relieved when John bit it. Such a complex character, but the effect he has on the boys disturbed me- he just makes them unravel.
            Charlie… oh, my darling.

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