I have quite a few friends who discovered Supernatural after season 2, and they’ve yet to go back and jump into all the goodness of those first 44 episodes. I’ve had to field quite a few questions from them after last night’s amazing installment, which dug deep into the mythology of the show and answered some questions that fans have been pondering since season 1. Not only did we learn that Mary came from a family of demon hunters, but we also learned why she apologized to Sam in “Home,” and why she recognized the Yellow-Eyed Demon in “All Hell Breaks Loose.” I wish I could say I was ahead of the curve and predicted that Mary was a hunter long ago, but it’s obvious Eric Kripke is smarter than I am. I didn’t see the revelation coming at all, which is why my mind is still reeling from the big twist.
The shocks in last night’s episode were fantastic, but I’m still a little confused about the time travel element. Castiel told Dean (Jensen Ackles) that he was seeing what had happened in the past, but some things wouldn’t have played out the same way had Dean not been there. For example, Mary wouldn’t have discovered that the YED was going after her friend, and wouldn’t have gone to confront him without Dean passing on the information. The question is, did the past events always involve Dean, or did they simply come to pass differently the first time around? I’m assuming it’s the latter, since the Jeffrey Dean Morgan version of John likely would have found it strange that his son grew up to look like some guy he met in 1973. As Castiel explained, the events were destined to happen no matter what, so Dean’s interference couldn’t have changed anything.
That confusion aside, I’m now convinced more than ever that Supernatural is ultimately building to an epic confrontation between Sam and Dean. Sam (Jared Padalecki) is secretly spending his nights with a demon, Dean is becoming awfully chatty with an angel, and Azazel’s ultimate endgame has yet to be revealed. I don’t see this ending very well. Both Sam and Dean think they’re doing the right thing and following the correct path, but I’m betting one of them is being tricked into something that will change their relationship forever. I’m guessing it’s Sam who will ultimately fall prey to the dark side, and then he and Dean can have their Luke-Vader battle to the death.
What could Azazel’s endgame possibly be? Aside from Lucifer walking the earth, which Lilith is already working on, I can’t think of anything bigger than raising a massive demon army. Maybe his plan involves using Sam to help bust Lucifer out of Hell. It’s impossible to know at this point, but I do think that Sam’s powers are going to backfire eventually. As a wise man once said, you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain. I can’t shake the feeling that Sam is walking down a very dangerous path.
Aside from all the juicy answers that “In the Beginning” offered up, the thing that truly made the episode special was the casting. Amy Gumenick made an excellent Mary Winchester (née Campbell), and her performance is even more of a revelation considering this is her first credited acting role. Matt Cohen did an excellent job at portraying a more innocent John Winchester than we’ve ever seen before, and Mitch Pileggi stole the show as Grandpa Sam. Pileggi perfectly embodied Sam’s toughness and paternal instincts, as well as the twisted villainy of the YED. It’s too bad his character kicked the bucket and will likely never return.
Next week’s episode of Supernatural looks to be a monster of the week outing, but until then we can ponder the twists, turns, and crazy time travel found in “In the Beginning.”
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of the CW)