Supernatural, S10 Ep01 – Black

Supernatural season 10 title banner

Season ten of Supernatural is not something most people expected to happen. In the early days of the show there was fear of cancellation, and Eric Kripke always talked about his five-year plan for the Winchester brothers. But Supernatural gained in popularity so much that, when season five came to a close, The CW wasn’t willing to let it go. And neither were the fans. Kripke, on the other hand, had no problem leaving, handing his baby over to Sera Gamble, who only stayed as showrunner for two seasons (one of which included the worst season ever, season seven), before passing it on to Jeremy Carver, the current showrunner. Ten seasons is twice as long as Kripke had planned for, and probably much longer than he’d actually anticipated. But the fervor of fans has kept it going, even at times when maybe it shouldn’t (again, I refer you to season seven). So what does season ten have in store? The first thing is something fans have been ficcing and photoshopping for years: Demon Dean!

After last season’s reveal of Dean’s black eyes, fans have been hoping for the best and fearing the worst. Could the show possibly live up to the way fandom has dealt with this topic? In my experience, shows rarely can top what fanfic does, so I didn’t expect much to be honest. This first episode introduced us to Demon Dean, or as the producers are calling him, Deanmon (which is about as dumb as their insistence on spelling Castiel’s nickname as Cass, with two “s”s, as opposed to fandom’s Cas). What was this official version of Demon Dean like? Not as cool as fandom’s, that’s for sure.

Supernatural s10 ep01--Dean singing

Karaoke: The sign of true evil

I expected a badass who sexily hunts whoever has ticked him off, be it human or monster. I expected a Dean on the road, a Dean with a newfound passion for violence and hunting, a Dean who maybe experiments with guys a little, you know, standard demon stuff. What we got instead was a drunk who sings karaoke and has a rather depressing fling with a waitress. Actual Demon Dean was underwhelming, though, I can see where he comes from. This isn’t a possessed Dean; this is a dark and twisted Dean. Like Crowley was once human but became corrupted by being in Hell, Dean has been corrupted by the Mark of Cain. So the darker aspects of himself have come out to play.

Alcoholism has been Dean’s personal demon for years, rarely admitted out loud but obvious to all who watch. Dean indulging in that habit now that he’s gone dark side makes sense, but I had been hoping for more. Drinking has been Dean’s way of coping with how his life has turned out. Wouldn’t a badass new demon version not need to drink? Wouldn’t he be able to break free from that crutch now that he hasn’t a care in the world and can engage in other, darker desires that human Dean never dared dream? He got off on torturing souls in Hell, why isn’t he playing with that now that he lacks a conscience? That was what I’d hoped for, but instead we got Douche Dean. Douche Dean is not as cool as fandom’s Demon Dean. Douche Dean gets sad-drunk, beats up some guy, sings badly, and sleeps with the same waitress more than once. Even Normal Dean enjoyed going from town to town and sexing up anything in a skirt. Shouldn’t he be having threesomes or moresomes, like when he first sold his soul? Maybe he’s just getting used to being a demon and is taking baby steps into evil, or as Crowley mysteriously implied, he’s not a fully fledged demon yet. Otherwise, this is a pretty watered down demon, and that’s not what fans wanted (it’s also not what Crowley wanted; more on that later). We wanted him to go all the way. We might be a bit messed up like that, but hey, if you promise us a character going dark, we kinda expect him to go darker than he usually is. This isn’t dark Dean, it’s just Dean in the shade.

Supernatural s10 ep01--Sam glaringSpeaking of darker than he usually is, Sam seemed more demonic than Dean in this episode. But Sam has always been darker. Sam might be the one who ran away to have a normal, apple pie life, but he’s more like his father than Dean ever was. Sam is ruthless, even with his soul. The opening scene showed him torturing a female demon for information about Dean’s whereabouts. The scene tried to paint him as crazy and leaning towards evil, but to tell the truth, the Winchesters have been torturing demons for years at this point. It’s not really surprising anymore. It was still darker than anything Dean did this episode, though.

The question is, how far will Sam go? He has a newly rediscovered love for his brother after season nine’s weirdness between the two of them, and he’s taking it to the extreme. Last time he lost Dean he…wait, last time he didn’t know Dean had gone to Purgatory and so he settled down with Amelia. But the time before that, when Dean sold his soul to bring Sam back to life, that gave us the first glimpse of the darkness beneath the shaggy hair and freakish tallness. When Dean died, supposedly for good, in “Mystery Spot,” Sam became solely focused on getting him back and even killed someone he wasn’t a hundred percent sure wasn’t Bobby. Then, when Dean was dragged off to Hell, Sam got tangled up with demon blood and did all kinds of nasty things after that. Sam without a soul gave us an even darker version of him. Which version are we seeing now? Dean dying at the hands of Metatron must have scared him and reminded him just how much he really cares about his brother. And that has sent Sam on a path almost as dark as Dean’s.

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