An analysis of Supernatural’s Season 10 Preview Clip shown at SDCC
So, let’s talk about Supernatural Season 10 and, more specifically, the exclusive clip of episode 3 of the new season that was leaked from San Diego Comic Con last July.
This clip, which showed apparently the first confrontation between Sam and Dean since Dean had died and become a demon, blew me away. It is only about a minute in length but it gives so much to eager fans waiting patiently for that October 7th Season 10 Premiere date. It gives us an insight into Dean’s new personality, appearance and some people have also mentioned the change in his voice as well. It also hints more on how far Sam is going to go in order to find Dean, speculating which brother is the bigger monster. The series may have brought in massive, high-concept storylines and secondary characters, such as Castiel and Crowley, over the years but this short teaser for audiences really brings it all back to these two brothers which is really the reason why the show has gotten so far in the first place.
As a fan, October can not come quick enough for me but mercifully theSupernatural Cast at Comic Con really let loose a lot of spoilers this year, mostly surrounding Demon Dean. There is also focus on Castiel and his weak state now that his grace is fading, Crowley and Dean’s strange bromance in Season 10 and the musical-ish 200th episode. AsSupernatural is reaching it’s 10th birthday, there also seems to be a lot of speculation on when the show will end. Obviously this is not something that the fans want to think about and, personally, I feel that they could easily go on for many more years as the show is incredibly unusual and open to possibilities. It has so much potential and the series could open doors to many movies and spin-offs based around this whole universe. However, stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have been doing this for almost a decade now and it may be nearing closing time for the actors. Even if the writing continued being consistent and interesting, there is no guarantee that Jensen and Jared will stay with these characters for that much longer, especially now that they are married with children of their own.
First and foremost, can we please have a moment of silence for Jensen Ackles who directed this episode. Not only did he have to direct the first thing that the cast and crew get to sink their teeth into after the hiatus, but he had to introduce an almost brand new character…who he just so happened to be playing. Not only did he have to act as a completely different version of the Dean that we all know and love whilst directing, but he had to be Demon Dean that had already been through the first two episodes, that they hadn’t filmed yet. I was almost speechless when I discovered that he had done all of that. In interviews at SDCC, Jensenrevealed that it was the most difficult directing he has done (as this was his fourth time directing the show) and his prepping had him working into the night on some occasions. His method was, seemingly, to do tons of homework, thoroughly planning specific shots in detail, so that he could focus on how he was going to portray the new Dean.
I am usually disappointed at preview clips, especially Supernatural’s, because I feel that they don’t really give away as much as I want them to. They’re normally filled with information that we already know and, although this clip does do that, it also gives fans so much on Sam and Dean’s relationship and we actually get some action!
The tension builds throughout this clip, jumping back and forth through time between Sam having Dean imprisoned in the dungeon and Dean attacking Sam in the bunker’s corridors. I’m guessing the latter comes first chronologically but we won’t know for sure until October. The whole tone of the preview is very mysterious and there’s a lot of hinting at things that we, as fans and the audience, do not know much about yet. Dean’s voice, in particular, seems to have become higher and gleeful which is actually quite creepy as it is a Dean that the audience have almost never seen before. We know that this Dean is light-hearted and chirpy for all of the wrong reasons so I found it very sinister, especially as his voice sometimes overlapped the time jumps almost like Dean was eerily narrating the tragic story.
“I hate demons.” Sam reveals as he stands looking down at his demon brother in, what looks like, the Bunker’s dungeon. This is clearly symbolic of their uneven relationship now that Dean could ultimately be the enemy. The first statement from Sam is so simple and already known by the audience so why does he bother saying it? To let Dean know that he believes him to be a demon? To let Dean know that he, as a hunter, is obligated to hate him, or even that Dean is obligated to hate himself? Or to make him realise that this can’t work out and that something has to be done?
Dean responds with confidence or arrogance (however you want to see it). “I got a hell of a lot more running for me that just demon juice.” He is showing off, bragging and trying to assert his power and authority, just like a demon would do if he were trapped by a hunter. However, we all know that there could easily be some truth in this through the Mark of Cain which Dean bears. Dean could be a Knight of Hell like Cain meaning that he may have enhanced power, similar to Abaddon’s. This hints to how indestructible or undefeatable Dean may have become but, mirroring the theme of the rest of the clip, it still stays ominous and mysterious.
As shallow as it sounds, I need to talk about Dean’s hair. I mean, woah, it’s so very attractive. Jensen has said that “they didn’t cut it quite as short so it gives me somewhere to go when I get back to regular Dean, I can shed a portion of that facade” which I think is so clever and it works really well. He looks almost more clean-shaven than normal suggesting that he’s got the time and has found peace, rather than being tortured by grief or guilt. He no longer looks like a hunter.
Dean makes his way through the bunker in a destructive manner which, again, shows his new demonic character. The figure on our screens is bashing through walls and inconsiderately bursting through doors of the place he once deeply considered and openly called home. Have I made you cry yet? Dean’s neutral, unfazed facial expressions make his rampage even more impacting for fans. In contrast to last season, he’s not on a mission, he hasn’t got an aim. It’s almost like hunting down his brother is a casual, every-day thing for him. He also kicks open a door which he could have easily just opened in a regular, conventional way (making use of the door handle) which could show his lack of humanity and his new, untrusting, on edge, distant character.
“Guys like me; we are the natural order. It was the way it was set up.”Dean’s next line indicates that he has already accepted who he is and is now referring to himself as being a part of the demon, or anti-hunter, community. Mentioning the “natural order” also implies that he believes that he can’t fight who he is and that it’s simply a part of life which can’t be overridden.Sam answers his brother immediately with “Guys like me still got to do what we can.” Sam is also defending his lifestyle of being a hunter and is further separating him and Dean when he says “Guys like me,” showing that he doesn’t believe Dean to be a hunter anymore.
Continuing with the jump cuts, Sam is shown pulling down a lever and, like a panic button or alarm, it causes flashing, red lights to fill the bunker where Dean is situated. This is obviously symbolic of Dean’s demonic state (as the colour red can be used to indicate feelings such as anger, passion and hatred as well as story aspects like blood and death) and kudos to Jensen for directing that so well as the light appears behind Dean creating a dark, ominous silhouette visually showing his turn to the dark side.
This clip also plays around with the idea that the cast had been hinting at at Comic Con which is the question of ‘Who is the bigger monster here?’ According to spoilers and interviews, and now this preview, Sam goes to great lengths to find his brother and does some debatable deeds in the process. Jared Padalecki has compared the actions to Soulless Sam’s in Season 6 which means that it must be pretty big and therefore an important part of the new season. It also gives Demon Dean something to play off of. Now that he is a torturous, corrupt demon he may want to hurt people and taunt Sam about what he did or maybe even using the guilt to justify the things that he may have done whilst being a demon.
Dean continues to taunt Sam stating how similar they are because of these questionable acts Sam has committed, and explaining that he knows “how far [Sam] went” before repeating what has been said at every interview: “which one of us is really the monster?” The fact that a demon is questioning this makes Sam’s actions seem even more impacting. I have seen many fans speculating different things such as Sam turning back to demon blood, letting Lucifer out of his cage and becoming his vessel again, but I think that it may be more simple than that. It may simply be Sam causing harm to, or killing, innocent humans just to find his brother, which should be completely against his beliefs.
Finally, we then return to the cat and mouse game in the bunker’s corridors whereby we hear more of Dean’s new voice and attitude as he saunters around with his hammer. As much as I wanted to shout “Here’s Johnny!” from the top of my lungs, he does in fact have a hammer and not an axe. I found this really interesting as it has turned Dean into a completely different character. Regular, human Dean would never use a hammer as a weapon due to it being unconventional and it would probably cause more pain and mess. This just makes him that bit more scary and more like a villain. That is unless the hammer was the only object he could find in which case it implies a grittier Dean who just takes what he can get and doesn’t really care about doing anything perfectly or right. It’s awfully psychotic and I love it.
Dean also still refers to Sam with the nickname “Sammy!” which surprised me. I really believed the writers were going to steer away from that word so that, when normal Dean returns, he could have something to identify himself with. That being said, I do think that this situation is better because, again, it adds to the creepy, sinister feel and has turned a, once loved by all fans, friendly, compassionate phrase into something to fear. Dean even shouts “Let’s have a beer and talk about it!” just to lure Sam in even more. The fact is that Dean knows that Sam will never believe that Dean is fine and is the same as he used to be, so the point of this line is just to further irritate and annoy Sam, reminding him that his older brother is no longer around.
As Dean attacks Sam from behind with his hammer (which would make any fan cringe), Sam dodges it and subdues Dean with a knife to his throat. Dean’s eyes turn black for a moment, long enough for Sam to notice and the audience to scream. This is so intense and serious, unlike the quick, jumpy tone that the clip started out with. It goes from giving fast, snippets of information and dialogue to zooming in close on this one very important, pivotal moment which, I guess, is the moment when Sam first sees Dean in his new form.
Additionally, the fact that Sam does threaten Dean with the knife which can kill demons does indicate that he is prepared to stop Dean no matter what the cost and still has a strong-willed, straight-forward attitude about things and obviously Dean taking a lunge at Sam shows that his humanity and love for his brother has completely vanished. The scene then ends with Dean’s line “Do it. It’s all you.” further shows his taunting, testing characteristic, trying to push Sam to the limit. This could even be hinting at Sam’s monstrous actions that he apparently carried and, due to that, Dean knows that Sam could easily kill him (or at least try as we don’t know yet if Dean is more powerful than the average demon-the same knife wouldn’t kill Abaddon). Dean may know that the knife isn’t enough to kill him therefore is acting tough and trying to torture Sam by getting him to stab his own brother. My heart was in my mouth and this is when the screen goes black.
I’m surprisingly glad that Dean is allowed to spread his wings for the first time in, what seems like, years. It was such a hard year for the character last season as he was guilt-ridden, blaming himself for Kevin’s death, and was isolated from his brother. I’m actually feeling pretty happy that the new carefree Dean gets to do what he wants without any of those feelings or weight on his shoulders. Is that bad of me? Am I interpreting it wrong? Oh well.
Supernatural returns on Tuesday 7th October