Friday, October 22, 2010

Review - Supernatural Season 6 Episode 5 Live Free Or Twihard

The sixth season of Supernatural is as brutal as it gets. Despite defeating Lucifer and averting the Apocalypse, the brothers aren't better off than they were. The world is a different place: Instead of angels and demons running wild, it's monsters growing bolder by the day. Stopping the Apocalypse was but another step in life, and a dark one at that, where there is no clear enemy..

There is an air of uneasiness permeating every scene. In previous season, when a character would go off the rails, it would be visible and one of brothers would quickly catch on. In season six, however, there is something different at work. Sam is deliberate in his actions, and as far as we can tell, not under influence of a foreign substance. At the same time, clouded by Sam's return and his own personal problems, Dean is left completely unaware and easily fooled by Sam's lies. The scary part is that Dean has no clue who's sitting beside him, something we've never seen before. There were periods of ups and downs for them, times when they yelled and fought, but never had one slowly subverting the other.

"Live Free Or Twihard" has the initial tinge of clever humor, poking fun at Twilight and its ridiculous anti-feminist message which somehow appeals to masses of girls (who really need to move on to better literature), but the episode takes a deadly turn when Dean is turned into a vampire--due to Sam standing idly by (with even a smirk!?!).

My initial reaction was that it would be some kind of dream/hallucination. After all, Sam couldn't have just stood there and Dean can't turn into a vampire, right? As watched Dean run off to Lisa's house, I still couldn't believe it was all happening. It wasn't until halfway through the episode when Samuel brought out the antidote that I accepted what had happened.

Dean's infiltration of the nest reveals the big vampire plan which is operating covertly. Again, the characters are left oblivious to the threats. Before, monsters were a fairly simple deal. They come out of the shadows and the hunters take them down. But now it's another ballgame. The vampire alpha is strategically planning his ascent, using the draw of vampires to lure in recruits. Vampires are no longer hiding in the darkness; they are out in the open, building their forces, and there's nothing anyone can do to stop them.

When Samuel questions Sam about Dean, we learn just how craven Sam is. Sam, knowing about the antidote, allowed Dean to be turned in order to find the alpha. This definitely isn't our Sam.

Five episodes into the new season and Supernatural has found its narrative drive. The future battles are taking shape, through Sam's duplicity and the Twin Peaks-ish vision, and it's very appealing.

Score 9.3/10
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