What a fan looks for in these standalone episodes is one memorable scene that will serve as a lasting season memory. I won’t remember any details of “Paint It Black” after Season 10 concludes save for Jensen Ackles’ most masterful performance in quite some time.
Supernatural returned from its umpteenth hiatus this season with one of its stronger hours in a while. “The Things They Carried” brought former Dean-o stalker Cole back into the picture for a hunt involving soldiers harboring an evil worm.
In tonight's episode we got an emotionally draining confrontation between Cain and his chosen successor, Dean, that ranks up there as one of the best showdowns in Supernatural history. But we also got several episodes worth of story crammed into 42 minutes because the preceding 13 episodes were so unfocused.
What elevated tonight’s episode of Supernatural was its commitment to social commentary, something this show has done very well over the years, and the targets in “Halt and Catch Fire” were multiple – college students, Greek life, and, most noticeably, tech-obsessed youth.
"About a Boy" dealt with the season’s mythology only briefly but had enough winning ingredients to rise above the problems that plague over throwaway episodes. You had a new twist on a familiar story and plenty of humor sprinkled throughout.
When Claire was taken off the board last week, Supernatural suddenly had an opening for its token female character. The show wasted little time in filling that void as Charlie returned from Oz in more ways than one. Or, should I say, more bodies than one.
On the same night that President Obama delivered the State of the Union, Supernatural fans got a reassuring update on the status of Season 10 during “The Hunter Games.” Sam and Dean returned in a tight hour of storytelling that utilized the show’s best characters in refreshing ways.
Supernatural’s midseason finale was a microcosm of Season 10 to this point. The episode started slow and gradually built to a simmering conclusion. No big shocks or “Apocalypse take 3” this time. Just a smaller scale, more intimate storyline that reunited Castiel with the Winchesters and set the stage for what’s to come with Dean’s slow descent into madness.
If you’ve been keeping tabs on The Flash recently, you may already know that tonight’s midseason finale will be extra special. The CW agreed to allow the episode to run for two minutes extra in order to help The Flash achieve the exact vision the show wanted for the winter finale.
“Hibbing 911” was a standard episode of Supernatural that benefited from a strong female dynamic not often seen on the show. Sheriffs Jody Mills and Donna Hanscum returned this hour to help take down a pack of hippie vampires and more!
Supernatural is getting a bit slow in its old age. It might have taken seven episodes, but we finally got the setup for Season 10 that usually happens in the first couple episodes of a new season. Introduce yourself to this season's big bad.
Tonight’s 200th episode was a fun celebration of the Winchesters and all the wonderful quirks that make their world fresh and exciting after all this time. “Fan Fiction” was fan service in a way that’s probably never been done on a show before. While not its finest meta hour nor its first jab at the Supernatural fandom, this episode had enough charm to make up for its lackluster story.
It’s harsh to say that “Paper Moon” murdered the momentum of this season. But when you look at what the first three episodes of Season 10 gave us with Demon Dean, a new threat in the form of a mysterious lady, and Metatron lurking on the periphery, “Paper Moon” deserves that unfortunate distinction.
If all good things must come to an end, I’m sad it only took Supernatural three episodes to conclude its best storyline in quite some time. “Soul Survivor” brought the Deanmon arc to a satisfying and abrupt conclusion.
Regardless of how you felt about Deanmon’s debut last week, there’s no arguing after “Reichenbach” that Jensen Ackles is nailing this demonic side of Dean. Supernatural needed a shakeup headed into its tenth season and the writers have struck gold by turning the eldest Winchester into a black-eyed monster.