Friday, October 28, 2016

Why Was Last Night's Supernatural Episode So Great?

Yeah, I know, I'm releasing a new book on Monday and should be blogging about that. And I know I just hosted a contest and giveaway and should be devoting this week's post to that (don't worry, contestants, I will send out prizes on Monday.). But if I'm going to write about last night's episode of Supernatural, now is the time to do it.

So why did I like the episode so much? The answer is: Mary Winchester. Yes, I admit I was a bit skeptical when I saw that she had come back from the dead. Okay, more than a bit skeptical. Actually, my first thought was, "Well, that's a lame plot twist if I ever saw one." But the first few episodes of Season 12 set my doubts to rest. Mary's return has been handled very effectively by the writers so far, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it's going to go from here. But back to last night's episode.

So, it's almost Halloween, and Supernatural decides to celebrate with a traditional haunted house story. It's something that's been done hundreds of times, and probably dozens of times on that show alone. It's a story that's so common it's really hard to make it scary. And it's especially hard to make anything scary on Supernatural because we've already seen so much we almost know what's coming before it happens. Sam and Dean charging into a haunted house isn't really suspenseful anymore because, seriously, what's going to happen? Are they going to die? Well, considering that it's Supernatural we're talking about, yes, they absolutely could die. But so what? They'll just come back. Those two have died so many times it doesn't really have any meaning now.

So how do the writers overcome this obstacle and make a show that is spooky and suspenseful and everything we want to see during Halloween week? They send Mary Winchester into the house instead. And she goes by herself. And the audience knows it's very possible that she's going to die because...well...she's not Sam or Dean. She's not guaranteed to stick around until the series finale. And here's the thing: I really did not want her to die. As skeptical as I was about her return, I felt that it would be even worse if they killed her off after only three episodes. So I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting to see if she would survive the haunted house. I won't reveal the ending in case some of you reading this have not watched it yet, but I was delighted to finally have one of my favorite shows get my heart racing the way seasons 1 and 2 used to do.

So I take my hat off to the writers of Supernatural for giving us a character that we can be emotionally invested in, but who could also die any minute. It adds an element of urgency that has been missing from the show for a long time.

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