Supernatural Saturdays: Season One Recap

August 7, 2010 TV 3

“Dad wants us to pick up where he left off. Saving people. Hunting things. The family business.”

On November 2nd, 1983, Mary Winchester died in a mysterious fire in her son’s nursery. This left her husband, John to raise their two young boys — Dean and Sam — on his own, and irrevocably changed their lives. Jump ahead 22 years, and Sam (Jared Padalecki) is a student at Stanford University with a beautiful girlfriend and a bright future in law school — until his big brother Dean (Jensen Ackles) blows into town, bringing the life Sam had tried to leave behind with him. John, who has been hunting the thing that killed Mary, has gone missing and it’s up to his sons to follow the trail he left behind.

A few things about hunting – it isn’t what exactly you’re thinking. The Winchester boys don’t go sneaking around in camo and Dayglo orange vests, but they do have guns, knives and a small arsenal hidden away beneath a false bottom in the trunk. Armed with their father’s journal of every creature he encountered over the past twenty years, lighter fluid, matches, and a ton of rock salt, Sam and Dean continue John’s work as they search for him. “Hunters” are men and women like Sam and Dean who go out in search of every malevolent force known (and unknown) to man. A former Marine, John raised his two sons in this life as he obsessively searched the continental U.S. for the truth behind Mary’s death. This became a point of contention between himself and Sam, who just wanted to be like everybody else; Dean had never questioned an order from his father.

“You can pretend all you want, Sammy. But sooner or later you’re gonna have to face up to who you really are.”
“And who’s that?”
“You’re one of us.”
“No, I’m not like you. This is not going to be my life.”
“Well, you have a responsibility.”
“To Dad? And his crusade? If it weren’t for pictures, I wouldn’t even know what Mom looks like. And what difference would it make? Even if we do find the thing that killed her, Mom’s gone. And she isn’t coming back.”

After they deal with the Woman in White in the first episode, Sam still wants to return to the life he’s created for himself at Stanford, although he wishes Dean the best in looking for John. However, Sam finds his girlfriend — Jessica — pinned to the ceiling above his bed shortly after he gets back to the apartment. Just like his mother twenty-two years ago, Jessica’s body catches fire, and Sam is again rescued by his brother. Wanting to know what killed his mother and girlfriend and wishing to find his father, Sam takes up hunting again and reunites with Dean on a cross-country journey in Dean’s beloved 1967 Chevy Impala (AKA, “Metallicar” as fandom has dubbed it) that leads to encounters with a whole host of demons, monsters, urban legends and all those things that go bump in the night.

Sam, John and Dean

What drew me into the show, aside from the eye candy and Dean’s smartass attitude, was the Winchester brothers’ relationship. They had spent Sam’s college years apart while he tried to live a normal life, and still he drops everything when he realizes just how much Dean needs him. Over the 22 episode run of the first season, I really fell in love with the connection between these two and how much they relied on each other to find their father and help innocent people in the process. This is what the show is all about – vampires, demons and ghosts aside, it’s about the love between these two brothers, their bond. Of course, it isn’t all serious all the time; there’s a healthy dose of humor mixed in with the angst and suspense. In “Hell House,” the first scene after the title card is inside the Impala while driving through Richardson, Texas (Ackles’ hometown). Sam is asleep in the passenger seat while Dean is listening to some Blue Öyster Cult. Taking advantage of Sam’s state, Dean oh so carefully slips a white plastic spoon into his sleeping brother’s mouth and snaps a picture with his cellphone before cranking the music up and singing along loudly to wake Sam up. Naturally, Sammy is not pleased and begins an episode-long prank war which includes, but is not limited to, superglue on a beer bottle and itching powder in someone’s boxers.

By the end of Season One, Sam and Dean find their father and learn the truth behind his disappearance: John plans to kill the Yellow Eyed Demon who killed his wife and Sam’s girlfriend, but first they need a special gun that can kill any creature: a Colt made for a hunter by Samuel Colt himself back in the 1800s. They liberate the Colt from a nest of vampires in Colorado (“Dead Man’s Blood”) and continue their search for the Demon, which leads to John’s capture by a female demon who uses him to try and lure in the boys. Despite her claims that she has killed John, Sam and Dean go to Jefferson City, Missouri to rescue their father from the group of demons who are holding him and kill the Yellow Eyed Demon once and for all.

Metallicar

As you may have noticed, life is not exactly easy for the Winchesters and the boys soon discover that John has been possessed by the very same demon they’ve been hunting for twenty years. Dressed up as John, Yellow eyes tortures Dean in front of Sam until John is able to push through and tell Sam to kill him with the remaining bullet in the Colt. Unable to kill his own father, Sam shoots him in the leg, allowing the Demon to get away and rushes his injured family to the hospital in the Impala. A semi, driven by a possessed trucker, plows into the Impala, leaving the lives of the Winchesters hanging in the balance.

Fans of The X-Files will recognize two of the show’s directors, the late Kim Manners and David Nutter. In the pilot, Sam and Dean have a little run in with the FBI while investigating the disappearances of men along a deserted road in Jericho, California and Dean jokingly calls them “Agent Mulder, Agent Scully”. The show is rampant with pop culture references, as well as a kick ass classic rock soundtrack and dialogue that will have you saying “dude” way more than you ever thought you would. Led Zeppelin songs lend their names to episodes throughout the series, as well as classic films, other TV shows and celebrities (i.e. episode 4.12, “Criss Angel is a Douchebag”).

I’ve been hooked on this show ever since my best friend introduced me to it in late 2008. Don’t let what you’ve heard about the fans dissuade you from joining in the fun, like with any group there are those few crazies that make the rest of the members look bad. I like to think of the rest of us as “good crazy” and am continually impressed with the talented, funny and just plain awesome people we have among our ranks. There is a fan wiki, Supernatural Wiki, which details anything and everything Supernatural, including episode pages with the synopsis, locations, references made and the music featured in each one.

Next week, I’ll help you all get caught up on Season Two and continue with each season until the Season Six premiere on September 10th (9P.M. EST on the CW).

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