Saturday, September 25, 2010

A review and recap of Supernatural: "Exile on Main St."

Now as some of you may know I am a huge fan of the show "Supernatural", so I have lived in high anticipation for the premiere episode of season six, Exile on Main St.. 

Here is my review; some spoilers follow:

It was a very low-key episode, with more emotion than action.  The opening sequences were fabulous, showing us Dean's new life with Lisa and Ben, cleverly juxtaposed with flashback clips of the old one with Sam.  It was fun to see the alternating clips, using salt as ward against demons vs. salt used for breakfast seasoning, Dean using a power saw for its intended use instead of for killing vampires, etc.   It was odd, to say the least, to see Dean in a quaint domestic setting, complete with a job, a truck and a neighbourhood barbecue, but there was a touch of the old Dean still evident if the shotgun and holy water under the bed were any indication.

So we join Dean in suburbia, having a beer with his new friend Sid, and apparently in a state of domestic bliss because he didn't hit on the waitress.  As Dean leaves the bar he hears a scream, gets his gun and investigates.  He finds blood and some strange claw marks, but nothing else.  Later he sees more of these claw marks and he is spooked enough to go prowling around the neighbourhood with his gun.  The only thing he finds is the neighbour's dog; a Yorkshire terrier, a cute nod to the episode, Yellow Fever.  After a hasty excuse to Sid regarding his behaviour, about rabid possums no less, Dean heads home.  There things get really screwy with the Yellow-Eyed Demon and Sam showing up.
At this point I'm thinking maybe there was a sale on resurrection and get-out-of-Hell-free cards, but no, it turns out Dean was just poisoned by the djinn -those nasties from the episode, What Is and What Should Never Be- and hallucinating.  The brother's reunion was quiet, emotional, with just a touch of anger when Dean finds out Sam has been back for a year.  And Sam is not the only one who is back, Grandpa Samuel has also returned from the dead.  Both claim they don't know who or what brought them back, but they have been searching.  Along the way they have picked up more of the Campbell family cousins, who are slightly creepy. 
Dean's worried that the djinn might be after Lisa and Ben, so everyone heads to his house, where his domestic life, complete with golf clubs, gets sneered at and Lisa and Ben appear safe and sound.  Dean takes them to the safest place he knows, Bobby's, where, surprise, he finds that Bobby knew Sam was alive.  The old Dean resurfaces here, lashing out in anger at them both.  I found it interesting that Dean seemed angrier with Bobby than with Sam for lying; it was if he almost expected it from Sam, but was hurt that Bobby lied.
Of course all this leads to a showdown with the djinn (and finally a bit of trademark Dean attitude when he comes up with the plan to trap them).  Their trap turns bad, the neighbours get killed and Dean gets poisoned again.  He has one heck of a hallucination about the Yellow-Eyed Demon, Lisa and Ben, confirming that most of Dean's issues stem from childhood trauma.  The Campbells and Sam save Dean, but not before the rather sinister Campbells, including Grandpa, take a djinn prisoner; they are definitely up to something.
The episode ends with Dean deciding to stay with Lisa and Ben and Sam leaving.
I liked the episode on the whole, although I did miss the attitude from Dean; a quiet, normal Dean seems wrong somehow.  They have set up the season with some nice teaser plotlines and I'm looking forward to seeing the new relationship between the brothers.  The most intriguing thing is that Dean and Sam have almost switched roles from where they started; Dean's become the cautious, caring person who wants a normal life and Sam has stepped into the role of the dedicated, hard-nosed hunter.  It should be an interesting season.

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