Jan 23, 2011

Supernatural - Season 3

After Dean made the deal with the Crossroads demon to save Sam's life, he now has only a year left until the hellhounds come to drag him to Hell. What's even better, thanks to the Winchesters now there's an army of demons loose across the globe, and nobody knows what they are after. And if that were not enough, FBI agent Henriksen (Charles Malik Whitfield) is still hot on the brothers' heels, while at the same time Bela Talbot (Lauren Cohan) - procurer of mystical objects for the right price and con-artist extraordinaire - keeps interfering with their hunts. And on top of all that trouble, there's the matter with Ruby (Katie Cassidy) - a mysterious girl who possesses a knife that can kill demons just like the Colt, and claims that she could save Dean's life.

Season 3 of Supernatural had the misfortune of airing during the writers' strike a few years ago, and is therefore six episodes shorter than the rest of the seasons. But in its meager sixteen servings it manages to go so many new directions that it puts the previous two years to shame. There are almost no "monster of the week" episodes, and when they occur, there is always some part of them dedicated to the main story-arc - the Winchesters trying to find a way to escape from Dean's deal, while at the same time attempting to figure out what the demons are after and why all of them seem to be gunning for Sam. Memorable episodes include Bad Day at Black Rock, which not only introduces the charmingly annoying Bela, but is also among the most hilarious episodes in the entire show; Bedtime Stories rocks Grimm's fairy tales, while A Very Supernatural Christmas is all about the Christmas spirit... dragging people to their gruesome death through the chimney.

Hands down the best episode in the season though, and probably one of the best in the entire show, is Mystery Spot, in which the Winchesters get mojoed into their own Groundhog Day where Sam has to witness Dean's death again and again, unable to prevent it no matter how he changes circumstances. It is both funny and sad, especially towards the end. The other episode vying for the crown of the season is Ghostfacers where everybody's favorite Harry and Ed (of Hell House fame) shoot their own reality show in the most haunted house in America. The entire episode is shot in Big Brother docu-style which I normally hate, but here it's really hilarious.

Now for the "but". Like I said in my previous Supernatural review, this show really doesn't do drama very well. It has its occasional moments of brilliance, but overall the serious stuff tends to drag horribly and not move in any meaningful direction. The Winchesters just pile issues on top of issues, the important problems keep not being shared, or when they are, the conversation stops, because obviously that's what people with issues do - avoid problems. So the end result is boring drama that just slows the otherwise great season.

And Season 3 is really great! On my first viewing it was definitely my favorite season, with awesome characters like Henriksen and Ruby, as well as all the cool new demon info and the awesomeness that are the few short cameos of Lilith. Plus, the trend of shooting truly imaginative and unorthodox episodes starts here, and some of its best results are in this season. Being a bridge between the Yellow-eyed demon story-arc and the demon war arc, and with the writers' strike to cripple it, Season 3 should have been the weakest in the show. Instead, it is arguably the best.


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