Supernatural: The Complete Fourth Season DVD boxset.

Life might have been hell after death for Dean Winchester (actor Jensen Ackles), but we don’t see it. Mirroring a certain vampire slayer, Dean wakes whole in his coffin (good thing he wasn’t cremated) and breaks out, discovering four months have gone past on Earth and forty years in Hell and has to prove to and his brother, Sam (actor Jared Padalecki) that he isn’t a demon or possessed before he gets back into the swing of things. Dean’s not very keen that Sam is using demon blood to purge demons from possessed people thinking it’s a deadly path to him becoming a monster himself. Then again, Dean also finds out the reason he came back from Hell was because of the intervention of the angel Castiel (actor Mischa Collins) and he has his own purpose. Dean isn’t really himself neither, having lost most of his mojo mixed with guilt and shame over his activities in Hell. If anything, Sam has taken the reins and doing his own thing, especially with Ruby (actress Genevieve Cortese). There is also a strong reliability on Bobby Singer (actor Jim Beaver) to get them out of jams. Even so, you have to wonder if the angels are the good guys, considering their activities are nearly on par with the demons. One can only hope the people they unintentionally kill end up in Heaven. I should point out that the angels feature in the extras points out that they are God’s warriors, so don’t be taken in by white wings, gowns and halos and they aren’t very keen on mud-monkeys. To see them as they really are is an eye-burning out experience.

In fact, both Ackles and Padalecki have a spin-around in what they do in their roles. Sam is now the dominate force for all the wrong reasons and it is Dean who has to get his act together, although he still has his appetite back for most of the time although I doubt if he’d eat angel fingers (that’s a biscuit for you folks who don’t live in the UK). If you have any preconceptions as to the two brothers then this might confuse you but it puts some great acting chops for both actors.

Having Dean transported into the past in ‘In The Beginning’, to discover that it wasn’t his father but his mother who was the hunter and meeting his grandparents put a lot of things from the earlier seasons into a different perspective. From the looks of things, hunters aren’t born, they just have to face off against demons and win to want to keep going. Interestingly, another aspect, although from Sam’s perspective, is played out in ‘After School Special’, where the younger Winchester was never the tallest. ‘It’s A Terrible Life’ again puts the Winchesters in an alternative life to show how ill-fitting it is for both of them.

Just in case you think Dean is likely to have a charmed life waiting for his purpose, in ‘Yellow Fever’, he is infected by a ghost sickness that makes him increasingly scared of everything. An interesting display again for actor Ackles as he slowly changes in the course of the episode.

Several of the episodes are played up in the humour stakes and questions again the reality they live in as to whether it is a fabrication and if they are being manipulated by a writer’s hand, as shown in ‘The Monster At The End Of The Book’ and neatly tied up in the season finale. The earlier episodes ‘Monster Movie’, ‘Wishful Thinking’, ‘Criss Angel Is A Douchebag’ and ‘Death Takes A Holiday’ play around with themes familiar to us all and there is karma of bad to go along with anything anyone thinks is good.

In many respects, season four of ‘Supernatural’ turns up the volume and moves up a few notches from the previous three seasons. Having the angels around with their own purpose certainly helped, not to mention everyone having their own agendas which should keep you guessing. I suspect had they not done this, ‘Supernatural’ could quite easily have fallen into a predictable pattern. From herein, you’re always going to be left guessing. Just don’t give Lucifer a light.

GF Willmetts

August 2012


(region 1 DVD: pub: Warner Bros 3000023323. 945 minutes 6 DVDs 22 * 42 minute episodes with extras. Price: about £12.00 (UK) if you know where to look)

cast: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beaver, Genevieve Cortese and Mischa Collins

check out website: www.wbtvondvd.com and www.supernaturaltv.com



Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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