Hunting Evil—Stepping into the World of Supernatural

Film Reviews

Miranda Alexander

Everyone loves to set around a campfire and listen to odd and sometimes, quite unnerving tales of the paranormal. Today, crowds flock to the cinema the second a new horror film is released and relish in the intoxicating thrill of fear for a couple of hours before returning to reality. As humans, we have a rather morbid curiosity concerning the dark realm of the unknown, along with its inhabitants. Perhaps it is this curiosity that has kept the horror-fantasy show, Supernatural on air for thirteen seasons. Supernatural is an American television series crafted by the alluring imagination of director and producer, Eric Kripke.

With any grand tale, it is imperative to begin at the opening chapter, otherwise how could one possibly follow along coherently? On that note, let us center on focus where it all began, season one. Supernatural first hit the screen in 2005, introducing the two protagonists: Sam and Dean Winchester. The first episode unfolds in Kanas, in the dead of night. Mother and wife, Mary Winchester is brutally murdered by a yellowed-eyed demon, as her body is sprawled across the ceiling and bursts into flames. Infant Sam, and a young Dean escape the fire with their father, John Winchester. It is Mary’s appalling death that hooks the viewers and has people demanding answers.

Fast forward twenty-two years later. Through dialog between the main characters, we discover the upbringing of the two brothers by their revenge-bent father. John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) raised the boys on the road as he hunted down monsters, all the while hoping to confront Mary’s demonic killer. The boys were trained and taught how to destroy various creatures such as: ghosts, vampires, shape shifters, and countless others. As Sam (Jared Padalecki) grew older, he grew tired of this lifestyle and desired more than what his father had planned. Longing to pursue a career in Law, Sam packed up traded in his holy water and salt for textbooks and midterms. Everything appears to be going fairly well for the scholar till his older brother breaks into his house one night with an important message: “Dad’s on a hunting trip and he hasn’t been home in a few days.”

Sam, concerned about his father, reluctantly agrees to assist his brother in tracking him down. The brothers find his abandoned journal in a shabby motel room located in Jericho, California. John Winchester’s journal contains vital information about the things that go bump in the night and step by step instructions on how to kill them. Along with the journal, Sam and Dean stumble upon an unfinished case involving missing men and the Woman in White legend. The Woman in White is a vengeful spirit of a woman who at some point in her life suffered from the betrayal of an affair. According to legend, she appears to unfaithful men as an attractive hitchhiker, in desperately seeking a ride home. Once she lures the cheater into her old dilapidated house, she slays them mercilessly. With their father nowhere in sight, Sam and Dean carry out the case and send Constance, the Woman in White, to her eternal resting place.

Moments after winning a battle against the dark forces, Dean receives a call from John, he informs him he is following a new lead on the yellow-eyed demon that murdered Mary and he wants Dean to work on another case. Dean (Jensen Ackles), being the obedient son, bends to his father’s wishes. Sam, on the other hand, has an interview for Law School and insists he must return to his mundane life. The brothers part ways temporarily, but a tragic event shoves Sam away from school and places him back into the passenger seat of Dean’s black ’67 Chevrolet Impala. With his safe and normal American dream life torn to pieces, Sam turns to the ways in which his was brought up. Together, the Winchester brothers travel all over the country “hunting things” and “saving people”.

As season one progresses, the viewer may find it impossible to tear their eyes away from the screen. Not only is there the enthralling appeal of chasing after the unknown, there is also the ever-present theme of good versus evil that never fails to capture our attention. The heroes, Sam and Dean, toss away any hope for an average reality and make it their number one priority to hunt down monsters, all while attempting to save humanity. Their valiant actions bring a sense of admiration to the heart of the viewer, which only draws them deeper into the Winchesters’ world. Affection for the fictional characters are bound to increase as the viewer continues to take part in the dangerously adventurous journey called Supernatural. The viewer gets a up close look at the personality traits of the brothers. Take Dean for example, he is the epitome of rough exterior. He frequently uses sarcasm as a defensive mechanism and is extremely protective of his baby (his car) and his little brother. Despite his shoot and ask questions later attitude, Dean is a passionate person, simply trying to fill his father’s shoes. Sam is almost the contrast of Dean’s character. He tends to wear his heart on his sleeve and is more willing to display compassion towards others.

As the viewer learns more about the brothers through each episode, it becomes difficult not to fall in love with them. The viewer is introduced to another significant character in the twenty-second episode of the show, Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver). He is no stranger to the paranormal and is an old friend and fellow hunter of John Winchester. So it is no surprise that they seek for his help when their father is held hostage by demons. Bobby becomes an essential presence in Sam and Dean’s life, as he grows to be a constant comrade and fellow hunter.

The first season closes with a gut-wrenching cliffhanger. When they finally manage to rescue John, Dean becomes highly suspicious of his behavior and soon discovers he is possessed by the very same demon that killed their mother. Chaos breaks loose as the brothers battle against the demon. Sam gains control of the Colt, a gun equipped with the ability to eradicate any supernatural creature. However, Sam cannot bring himself to shoot the demon, for if he kills the demon, he kills his father as well. During Sam’s hesitation, the yellow-eyed demon departs from John’s body in a swift vapor of black matter. John berates Sam for allowing the demon to escape, as the trio starts on their journey to the nearest hospital. Sam snaps and defends his actions by stating that family is more important and they will find way to destroy the demon. In the midst of their argument, a demon-possessed truck driver smashes into the Impala, leaving the Winchesters incapacitated and unconscious. The viewer will be in emotional turmoil as they watch the end credits scroll down the screen. They will not be able to resist the urge to watch the first episode of season two.