An Objective, One-Hundred Percent Unbiased Review of Supernatural
By Carly Twehous
At first glance, Supernatural, now going on its thirteenth season, is a fairly standard genre show. “Star Wars in truck-stop America,” creator Eric Kripke said in his first pitch. Two brothers—one Han Solo and the other Luke Skywalker—brought up by their father as hunters of the bizarre and unnatural after their mother is killed by a demon.
Thirteen seasons is a lot, especially for a horror show, of all things. Since 2005, this show has endured a writer’s strike, four showrunners, a very peculiar sixth season, and a few episodes that even God himself likes to pretend never happened. Needless to say, Supernatural’s been through a lot, yet it still maintains shockingly high ratings, steady viewership, and has a fan-base that rivals the Trekkies—conventions and all.
It’s odd and leaves fans, critics, and cultural commentators all asking the same thing: What’s so special about Supernatural?
Speaking as a completely objective, third-party observer with absolutely no personal interest in the matter, I’ll tell you the secret.
This is, hands down, the greatest story ever told.
In the words of the immensely talented and aesthetically pleasing Jensen Ackles, “It’s two brothers, facing impossible odds, but always having the will to find the possible.”
This is the story of Sam and Dean Winchester: two brothers, in a muscle car with Kansas plates, road-tripping around the country, killing anything and everything that goes bump in the night. At first glance, you won’t believe the co-dependency and the we’ll-die-for-each-other-and-let-the-world-burn relationship that these two have. This story is tragic and hilarious, full of destiny versus free will, peace versus freedom, good versus evil. It’s an allegory of Christological sacrifice, a conversation of damnation and salvation, and an appeal to faith and family. If I had the time, I’d sit you down and take you episode by episode, dissecting every line, every heartbreak, and every moment of divine intervention.
Fortunately for you, I have a word limit.
But really, if you’re under the impression that you can fully comprehend the baggage these boys carry or the nuances of what makes them tick by simply fast-forwarding to catch the flip-side or allowing fear of blasphemy shield your sight—misinterpreting the theme of this stupid, glorious show’s center—then you’re doing yourself a huge disservice.
Again, to quote Eric Kripke, “This is the epic love story of Sam and Dean Winchester.”
It’s not what it sounds like. This has never been about fairytale love. There’s no Romeo and Juliet or Jack and Rose on the Titanic. It’s so much more tragic than that. This is the story of Cain and Abel, Michael and Lucifer. “It’s about two brothers who loved each other, and betrayed each other. You think you’d be able to relate.”
This story explores the epic scale of love to a degree few would dare; love that makes angels fall, God show his face, and the devil himself cower in fear. Two brothers who have been to hell and back for each other time and again.
It’s insane, sure. The Winchesters lie, kill, steal, and remain emotionally devoid of lasting loyalties except when it revolves around one another. Except this love transcends the tragedy and the pain, with self- sacrifice on an entirely new level, in the midst of punches and whiskey and that damned 1967 Chevy Impala. It’s a story of immortality because this kind of love is immortal.
It’s ugly at times, sure, and such a life as the Winchesters’ would undoubtedly destroy the average person. There’s gore, horror, a good number of pranks, and absolutely ridiculous episodes that break the fourth wall and allow for breathing room. And there’s the heart- wrenching brotherly bond that still bring tears even after the episode is over.
As you’ve probably figured out, I fibbed a little about the objective, third-party observer thing. In fact, I passed “objective, third-party” about fifteen exits ago.
Bias or not, the story of Sam and Dean Winchester speaks for itself and I’ll be here until the inevitable Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid ending.
Do yourself a favor, before October 12, when the new season premiers. (It’s on Thursdays, 8pm, on the CW, if you were wondering.) Sit down with a bucket of popcorn—maybe a slice of pie—watch this story unfold from “Saving people, hunting things, the family business,” all the way to the most recent reiteration of “Carry On My Wayward Son”.
You’ve got a long road ahead, filled with monsters and angels and the most amazing classic rock soundtrack on television. Let me tell you now: every damn second is worth it.
Supernatural is a lot of things, with an amazing cast of characters. But the core, the gooey center? That’s brother territory. That’s the heart and soul. It always has been and always will be.
This story will always end where it began: Sam and Dean Winchester in the Impala, a stretch of road out in front of them, the fallen stars at their back and angels watching over them.
Carry on, my wayward son.