demons & possessions

[TV Review] Supernatural Season 8 (2012) ★★★★★

Sam and Dean in Moondor in Supernatural season 8

Supernatural prepares for more epic adventures, battles and discoveries in an exciting fresh story arc.


The eighth season of Supernatural introduces new developments, surprising twists,  and opens up a whole new story arc resulting in one big very entertaining storyline. Fresh characters grow, new discoveries are made, a very odd enemy presents himself while the Supernatural universe is ever expanding. And Purgatory has been opened which opens up whole new possibilities, new dangers and new missions to pursue. The battle between good and evil, or saving the world is sharpened again in a whole new way. 

This eighth season consists of 23 episodes with each a duration of 44 minutes. It has a continuous storyline where evil must be battled, although a grey area of what is in fact evil is getting more important. 


Plot

Sam’s mind is fully restored, thanks to Cass. And Dean and Cass defeated Dick Roman, the big boss Leviathan, but at a cost. Both Dean and Cass were sucked into Purgatory and they have to survive and find a way out.

Meanwhile Sam does what he was told by Dean when he ever died, he goes on living his life. He even found a girlfriend Amelia, whom he lives with. Till of course, Dean shows up. Sadly Cass is still in Purgatory, but Dean has a secret passenger inside himself, the soul of vampire Benny whom he befriended in Purgatory. 

There’s no time to argue because Kevin is missing. He escaped Crowley, not thanks to Sam, and he is important for he is the only one who can read the Tablets, the Words of God. When they find out that with the help of a Demon Tablet they can close off hell forever, they go in search for it. But Crowley wants to find the Angel tablet for a similar reason. But there’s another party going after the Tablets, a new group of Angels. And a very dark new enemy rises from the past.


Why you should watch it

It’s an exciting new storyline with fresh new characters that stir things up a bit. This time it’s one big story arc. There are hardly any stand-alone monster-of-the-week episodes but the big story arc is very much enthralling, gripping and full of excitement. 

Some great monster-of-the-week episodes deal with a fun footage film about college students who have to deal with a werewolf. We get to know Prometheus, Zeus and Artemis. Also Jewish mythology that has a connection with the nazis gets its own little storyline in raising a Golem by the Judah Initiative. They have to deal with a Thule, a witch and a hybrid Djinn. 

This season is all about letting go or fleeing from responsibilities. While Sam wanted out, Dean can’t let anything go. He has trouble getting over the death of Bobby, which makes Garth’s new role a bit harder, being the new ‘Bobby’ but Garth proves himself as wise and understanding as Bobby was. And now he left Cass behind, over which he feels guilty.

The story itself is all about finding the Tablets. To close off Hell forever they have to successfully execute or undergo three trials. To kill a hellhound, to transport an innocent soul from hell to heaven, and we all know who that’s going to be. And thirdly to cure a demon, and we also know which demon has to be cured. Especially the last trial is cause for a lot of fun and humany wumany tears. While Crowley is becoming more human, the more hilarious it gets. 

Key player in the Table business is Kevin. He’s smart and gets braver every time and we know where he gets it from. His kick ass mom Linda is one of the cool moms, but sadly her story is a devastating one for Kevin. 

Meanwhile Cass is being brainwashed by Angel Naomi who wants to bureaucratically take over Heaven. But she is not the only one who manipulates him. Metatron, God’s Scribe is very good at it too, for his own selfish reasons, becoming god himself. He’s a tiny little man, spiteful and selfish and although he knows everything he gets all the more grumpy and nastier for it. 

But all of this is only the half of the big story arc. Sam and Dean make an amazing discovery: The Men of Letters. A secret society battling demons and evil with all the knowledge they can get. A highly organized group that enlisted hunters to work for them as soldiers. And better yet, Henry Winchester, their grandpa and John’s father was one of them. So Sam and Dean are the legacy of The Men of Letters and of Hunters. How epic do you wanna go. They find a huge bunker that is out of use, but has everything they need, books, cars, equipment, spells, potions, ingredients, everything. And they make it their home. 


A home that Charlie comes to visit. She has become a real badass. She is awesome. First she The Queen of Moons in a LARP game, and Dean and Sam also go LARPing and they enjoy it eventually. And Charlie makes out with a real beautiful fairy queen. She also gets trained as an undercover hunter and her nickname is Ripley, of course. She’s fun, smart, bubbly and lightens up every scene. But she also has a tragic past. 

Crowley is back to be the main villain again. You win some, you lose some. But a great enemy he is. Although he has to share his title with some other less charismatic beings like Metatron. But his biggest enemy is Abaddon, who is also the enemy of the Men of Letters. So you do the math. Abadddon might have a small part this season, but it wasn’t the last we saw of her. 


My favorite part

The de-demonization and re-humanization of Crowley was a pretty fun trial. It’s always fun to see Crowley like the sensitive human he once was. He and Cass are still my favorite angel and demon.

The episode when they go LARPing is so much fun. It is Charlie’s chance to shine and she certainly does with glittery fairy dust even. The real fun is at the ending when Sam and Dean fully give themselves to their roles and just go with it, while their feelings of awkwardness were really fun too. 

But when Cass decides he wants to be a hunter too, he gets his first hilarious case, where cartoon gags seem to be the trouble. It’s great fun and it is a great example of how the series keeps things fresh and fun.

Garth is a great character who is totally different from Sam and Dean and feels like a fresh breath of air. 

But the ultimate game changer is the bunker of the Men of Letters. It opens up a whole new perspective and feels also like a fresh start for both brothers. Not that it gets any easier from now on, but it definitely is a big change for the better. 

This season was a very full season that had a lot going on, told in excellent storytelling, leaving no-one out, adding more and more to the Supernatural universe, keeping it fresh and new with a whole lot of new problems coming their way. 


Ratings

Rating: ★★★★★

Epic factor: ★★★★☆

Scare factor: ★★★☆☆

Originality factor: ★★★★☆

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★


Read more about Supernatural:


Cast and crew

Supernatural is created by Erik Kripke. It stars Jared Padalecki (Sam), Jensen Ackles (Dean), Jim Beaver (Bobby), Misha Collins (Castiel), Mark Sheppard (Crowley), Rachel Miner (Meg), Kim Rhodes (Jody Mills), Felicia Day (Charlie Bradshaw), Dj Qualls (Garth) and Osric Chau (Kevin Tran). 

Music: Christopher Lennertz, Jay Gruska. Cinematography: Serge Ladouceur. Production company: Kripke Enterprises, Warner Bros. Television, Wonderland Sound and Vision, Supernatural Films. Original Network: The CW.


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