SUPERNATURAL: Season 1, Disc 1, Episodes 1-4 Review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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SUPERNATURAL: Season 1, Disc 1, Episodes 1-4 Review

Rick Trivett begins a long journey with two brothers, a 1967 Chevrolet Impala and a generous share of demons...

As I stated in my previous post, I have come to Supernatural rather late, therefore my musings are not tinged with retrospective sentiment, but from a fresh set of eyes. I’m not going to give a blow by blow account, only my impressions of each episode.

As with all pilot episodes for television series, it has two jobs to do. Firstly, to set up the premise for the series, and second, to… well… to be an episode in its own right. I have to say that it does both admirably. The opening sequence “flashback” is powerfully done, and leaves you in no doubt that this is not an ordinary family we are dealing with and makes full use of the spooky stuff. Spool forward, and we have the contrasting brothers, and their coming together solely to find their father. The action centres around the Hispanic American myth of the Woman in White or Weeping Woman. At the end of the episode it looks like the brothers are going to go their separate ways again. However, a rework of the opening sequence brings them back together and cements their mission.

The brothers continue to follow their father’s trail and it leads them into the woods and mysterious disappearances. With the back-story for the series already set, this episode shows the boys investigative side, delving into the past and has a hint of Giles from Buffy. There is also a damsel in distress, always a crowd-pleaser. Their investigation points to a Wendigo or Wihtikow, and draws upon the myth from the Algonquian people of North America. It is another good, entertaining episode, with a “we’re in deep dodo” moment, followed by a “how the hell do we get out of this one?”. In the end the less distressed damsel bestows a grateful kiss.

Dead in the Water.
I have to say, that after the first two episodes, I found this one to be a bit of a letdown. The “troubled spirit” and, the sudden escalation in deaths because the lake is going to be drained, story is a bit thin and at times transparent. It could be because there is a change in both the writers and the director, but it had the “he’s behind you” ridiculousness and predictability of an eighties horror film.

Phantom Traveler.
Again, this episode is a bit of a filler. The demonic possession is all too predictable and the story follows the thinnest of plots. Again there are different writers and director. I may well get lambasted for saying it, but after watching this disappointing episode, I started to get misgivings about the series as a whole. I almost cringed when it turns out that their father’s diary just happens to have the correct “spell” or “prayer” to exorcise the demon. The only thing it added was the first indication that the boys’ father might still be alive, but this was clearly an add-on and had very little to do with the episode itself.

So, to sum up, the first two episodes were brilliant, the third was a bit wishy-washy, and the fourth was forgettable. It has left me with no compulsion to rush to put the next disc in the player, but I will, and I'll come back to bore you with more of my rantings. Oh well, on to disc two.

R.J.Trivett (Rick) is the writer of comic fantasy series the Lyonnesse Tales. He hasn’t been able to give up the day-job yet, whatever it is, but lives in high hopes. When not reading, writing or watching a boxset, he tours around the UK and Europe on a motorcycle looking for interesting roads and sampling the local equivalent of beer.

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