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Supernatural season three episode reviews

Supernatural, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles

Season 3, Episode 1. "The Magnificent Seven" This show works best when it is about two guys on their own. Yet, somehow, the addition of Jim Beaver/Bobby doesn't harm the show at all. I credit the actor with this. He's just a cool guy. And he makes a great third team member.

This is a solid season opener. Long on action. The brawl/fight/attack at the bar was beyond awesome. The stuff with the couple trapped inside was some of the best that the show has ever done, and the fight/rescue that followed immediately was - likewise - an example of the show at it's very best.

Interesting to watch the boys adjust to the latest development in their lives. Sam being passive and letting Dean away with everything. Dean being a big kid and preparing to party like crazy for the year that's to follow. Plus repeatedly mentioning the sacrifice he's made. Good stuff. Can't wait to see where this all leads.

Season 3, Episode 2. "The Kids Are Alright" Wow. Where do I begin? What do I write about first? I loved everything in this episode.

The guest stars. Cindy Sampson is the most beautiful guest star the show has ever had (together with Taylor Cole). I was smitten with her when she appeared in Reaper last season (and I hope she returns). Kathleen Munroe carries most of the episode alone and she is terrific. Her best scene is the one where she drowns her child. Haunting stuff.

The story. This was almost like an episode of "The Twilight Zone" or "The Hitchhiker". Most of it was devoted to Katie and her mum alone in their house. And the brothers, when they did appear, were split up. So, in all respects, it didn't feel like an episode of Supernatural. And, again, let me say: that stuff with the mother driving her child into the water... haunting stuff.

Mini-Dean. How great was all that stuff? The kid was terrific and the idea that Dean would have a son that was exactly like him is totally inspired. I wish the child had turned out to be his. It would be great for the character to have to learn to adapt to being a father. The child could appear every few episodes and it would give Dean insight into his father's point of view and - even better - it would give the series a nice end-point for the future. Dean would have some place to go, somewhere to call home if he ever stopped hunting. I found myself wishing at the very end of the episode that Lisa was lying to Dean to protect all of them. I kept watching closely to see if their was any hint of this, but I saw none. Darn. I want to see her and the kid again. Particularly her.

It was scary. Right from the opening death (the guy with the motorised saw) this was a scary episode. Creepy kids are... creepy. And these creepy kids were extremely well cast. Margot Berner was superb. If she popped up beside me, and spoke in that monotone, I'd scream too.

The blonde chick is a demon! Wow. I never saw that coming. And it really opens up the show's backstory and storylines once again. Clever, clever stuff. Just when I thought they had moved on from Sam's background they drag me back in. I love it. Katie Cassidy doesn't strike me as very tough, though. More like a girl who is pretending to be tough. Not sure that that is what the producers were going for with the character.

Cindy Sampson, the story, mini-Dean, the scare-factor and the shocks and twists. I loved everything in this episode.

Season 3, Episode 3. "Bad Day at Black Rock" 'I'm Batman' declares Dean at one stage in this delightful episode, the latest in a long line of very, very funny SN episodes.

The boys cross paths with a cursed object. One that grants the owner fantastic good luck. Until he gives it away... At that point, his luck turns bad. So bad that, eventually, it kills him. Sam has the object for a brief moment and it is stolen, meaning that his life is in danger. Dean chases the thief, while Sam waits in a motel room to stop him from falling over things, etc.

Lauren Cohan is the latest in a long line of very beautiful female guest stars. Her scenes with Dean are hilarious.

Sterling K. Brown returns to cause problems (from prison) and he's enlisted the fantastic Michael Massee to do his bidding. Great development.

With the boys dealing with a cursed object, for once, this one reminds me of the great Friday The 13th TV series. There is even what appears to be a shoutout to the show at one point, when the boys name the date on which the cursed object was created. Nice.

Season 3, Episode 4. "Sin City" Sasha Barrese is yet another beautiful-beyond-belief guest star, the story is more low key than usual and it's fascinating to see the reversal that's happened between the brothers (Dean mellowed, Sam bloodthirsty), but... this is one of the weakest episodes in a while.

Sasha Barrese

Sasha Barrese is off-the-chart sexy as she taunts Dean in their prison, and the story being told this week is not the usual SN fare. This time out we have every reason to believe that the bad people in the town are just that: bad people, giving in to temptation that has (skillfully) been put in their path. It should be more fascinating and dark than it ultimately is.

Good bits, here and there, but it's all a bit 'Blah' overall.

Season 3, Episode 5. "Bedtime Stories" This is goofy story. You really have to take a leap of faith to accept this one. But I love stories like this. She-Wolf Of London did an episode somewhat like this, and Kolchak's later episodes were "out there" too. On stories like this, I really admire the creativity of the writers.

The spirit of a woman in a coma since she was a child is killing people by making them act out horrible bedtime stories. It's a total 'what the frak?' episode, but I really enjoyed it. I don't think it will ever make anyone's top ten list, including mine, but it's fun while it lasts.

The closing minutes are like something from a different episode. But they fit because the opening minutes tell us that is exactly what is going to happen. Clever.

Sam goes up against the demon that did the deal with Dean. And, in a very cold blooded way, he kills her.


Season 3, Episode 6. "Red Sky at Morning" A very weak episode that finds the boys going up against the ghost of a vengeful sailor. It's another one of those goofy story ideas, in which future victims see a huge ghostly sailing ship hours before they die, but that is not why it fails to entertain. It's a dud because Bela sucks and none of the comedy works.

Bela is an unsympathetic and boring character. I liked her first episode, but this time out she adds nothing to the story. She has no chemistry with Dean (although the story is written as if she does) and she manages to outwit the boys, even though it is blatantly obvious to the viewer that she will steal the cursed object (a hand) as soon as she can. The fact that she succeeds in doing this makes the heroes of the show look like idiots. How could they trust her? Seriously?

The episode tries to be funny on several occasions. The lack of chemistry between Dean and Bela ruins a few of these scenes (particularly the chewing-gum-in-a-tuxedo scene, which would have been very funny with Sam as Dean's partner instead) while pointless repetition ruins the rest of them. A older lady has a crush on Sam and keeps making advances on him, to his considerable discomfort. It is mildly amusing the first time, but after the show returns to play out the exact same scene several times the idea wears very thin. Oh look, it's that old lady again. And she's still putting the moves on Sammy! And he's still uncomfortable. Yawnsville.

On the plus side, the climax (ghost against ghost) is clever and looks good on screen. But I must confess that I don't really know what happened. Which ghost destroyed which ghost?

Season 3, Episode 7. "Fresh Blood" Stronger than recent episodes. Gordon Walker is out of prison and out to get Sam... dead. A vampire called Dixon enters the picture and - before long - Gordon has become a creature of the night. He's not lost his sense of self, however, and he determines to end his own life... after he kills Sam. So the stage is set for a show-down between the Winchesters and a super-powered Gordon Walker.

It's a bloody episode. Lots of graphic deaths in this one. Heads being ripped off, and such. There's some nice character work on the brothers (the Dean-decides-not-to-leave-the-motel scene and the fixing-the-car scene at the very end) but the climax is a cheat. Walker has them totally beaten. In particular there is nothing to stop him from killing Sam. Then he goes and blows it all by sending the two of the flying through a wall and out into the open where Sam can get the upper hand.

Sloppy writing, with regard to the climax, but this is a better episode than many recent ones.

Season 3, Episode 8. "A Very Supernatural Christmas" Another goofy story, but good character writing makes for a very good episode.

Dean and Sam go up against what appears to be a killer Santa, and it prompts Sam to think back to Christmas Eve, 1991, when the two boys were alone and he first found out that monsters were real.

The flashback scenes, and all the non-plot related scenes, between the brothers are wonderful. Ridge Canipe and Colin Ford are superb as the young Winchesters, all along in a bare location. It's a bleak image, yet - thanks to the way the brothers interact - it's a very heartwarming one.

The final scene, Dead and Sam celebrate Christmas in 2007 (in another bare motel room), is one of the most Christmassy things I've ever seen on TV. There's not false or silly about any of it. There's an abundance of love and family goodwill in that small room, as we watch these two young men swap small gifts, make chit-chat and watch football.

It feels real because lots of Christmases are just like that: small affairs shared by people who love each other very much.

Season 3, Episode 9. "Malleus Maleficarum" A strong story, a great finale, a bevy of beautiful women and solid character work on a new regular. One of the best SN episodes so far this season.

A coven of 'old school' witches have been using magic to affect their good luck, but one of them takes it too far and kills a romantic rival. Dean and Sam arrive after this death and are soon on the track of the witches. Things fall into place quickly which makes the boys look like impressive heroes. Right from the start it's a strong, very interesting, story but it has a great twist at the mid-way point which makes it even better.

The climax has Dean and Sam totally defeated and helpless. Erin Cahill does some great work as the last remaining witch, as she comes to terms with the nightmare around her and tries (in her dying moments) to do some good. She fails. But I enjoyed her tragic story from start to finish.

Cahill is one of several very beautiful women in this episode. SN always likes to have one babe in the midst of things, but they really went to town in this episode.

When all appears lost, it is Ruby who comes to the rescue. Not only does she save the boys, but we get to hear her backstory and it's rather cool. Not only that, but it tells us a bit more about the mythos of the whole series. Her actions scenes are cool, and her final scene with Dean is wonderful. It took a while, but I really like Ruby now. Katie Cassidy gives her best performance also. I'm starting to believe that she's tough. (On a side note, I've just seen pictures of her as a brunette and she's much hotter. Why can't Ruby be dark haired? Sigh.)

Season 3, Episode 10. "Dream a Little Dream of Me" The boys face a bad guy who can enter/control dreams.

Placing Bobby Singer in danger is clever. He's a minor, but very important/likable, supporting character. Is the show going to kill him off? You never know...

Supernatural, Cindy Sampson

It's also cool to see a foe who can manipulate dreams. It gives the episode a 'special' feel and it gives the writers a nice way to reveal character stuff. Cindy Sampson makes a brief/wonderful cameo and when it is all over Dean finally confesses/realises that he doesn't want to die. A major moment for the character and the season-long story arc. Good stuff.

Season 3, Episode 11. "Mystery Spot" Sam is caught in a time loop, reliving the day of Dean's death over and over and over.

One of the show's great strengths is it's ability to tell the type of stories that you would expect it to be able to do. Case in point: the Groundhog Day story that crops up on every long-running genre show at some point. To their considerable credit the writers find a logical way to include this tale in the Supernatural canon.

So is it any good? Well, it does have several funny moments (especially the death-of-Dean montage in the middle) but it's tends to be more tiresome than cool after it goes on a while. The last third is interesting (Sam goes on living without Dean and becomes even more of a hard-nosed killer than he has become of late) but it's fails to really excite the viewer because we know that it's just another part of the fantasy, another illusion. And we just want it to be over, so Sam can solve this and reunite with his brother.

There are a few good laughs, and we get to see that Sam can survive without Dean, but there's little else to recommend this change-of-pace episode.

Season 3, Episode 12. "Jus In Bello" Henrikson captures the boys, but they are all trapped by a horde of demons.

Supernatural does Assault On Precinct 13. And, wow, do they ever do a great job! Not only is the episode superb from start to finish but the ending, where everybody dies, has got to be the best ending the show has ever had on an episode.

Season 3, Episode 13. "Ghostfacers" An episode made to look like an episode of a reality show about ghosts.


Where do I begin? First off, I was shocked and disappointed that the producers had opted to bring back Ed and Harry from "Hell House" a weak season one story. I felt then, and feel now, that these characters do not belong in the world of Supernatural. They are silly and inept. They shouldn't be part of the SN mythology. Bringing them back (and giving them a team to back them up) is seriously wrong.

Secondly, the idea that we were watching a pilot for a new TV show was ridiculous. It made no sense that these guys would have 14,000 cameras set up everywhere in the house. So, every time we moved to a new shot I was taken completely out of the story. I was constantly trying to figure why there was a camera able to capture what I was seeing. So, it was a novel way of telling the story, yes, but it was intrusive and it ruined the story for me.

Third, I was unhappy with the death of a main character and the fact that this was supposedly something I was watching as part of a TV show (or, to be more correct, a pilot for a TV show). That just left a bad taste in my mouth. The montage/tribute at the end was also ill-conceived. It made me hate the Ed and Harry characters even more than I already did.

Fourth, I hated the episodes attempts at humour. All of them were guff. Back in Season One, SN was a very serious show and I found the antics of these idiot characters to be jarring with the tone of the show. Since then, SN has evolved a lot. There is a lot of comedy in the show now. And all of it is character comedy. And it - mostly - makes you laugh out loud. That is not the case here. This is not character comedy. This is all aren't-these-guys-annoying comedy. And it sucks.

Finally, I feel cheated. I feel as if I have missed an episode of Supernatural. The narrative device (of making me think I was watching a TV show) created a distance between myself and Sam and Dean that I wasn't happy with. I feel like I wasn't 'with them' on this one. In fact, they were more like 'guest stars' in this one than main stars. And I hated it. I tune in to be with Sam and Dean on their adventures. I don't tune in to see this kind of crap.

Season 3, Episode 14. "Long-Distance Call" Everyone on town is getting a phone call from a loved one who died...

Much better than last week. This looks and feels like Supernatural. And as case-of-the-week episodes go, it's a pretty good one. Nothing spectacular, but it's a solid bad guy and the brothers have some conflict, too.

Season 3, Episode 15. "Time Is On My Side" Billy Drago guests as killer who has found eternal life.

Pretty good case-of-the-week is made even better by tying it into two ongoing story arcs. Clever.

This would appear to be the end of the Bela storyline. I'm not bothered. She started off okay, but - by her second episode - became boring and unsympathetic. I'm not sure about the flashbacks. She certainly had a sad past. Are we meant to feel sorry for her? I didn't. She had her parents killed and she was willing to kill Sam and Dean.

Highlight? Guest turns from Billy Drago and Steven Williams.

Season 3, Episode 16. "No Rest for the Wicked" Dean is ripped apart by hell hounds and dragged off to Hell.

While Season 2 was the best season so far, Season 3 had a much better story arc and the writers did more with it on a week to week basis. Using it as a means to do great things with the regular characters and their relationship.

Even if this wasn't the end of the season and the end of the story arc, it's an episode with a superb case-of-the-week (creepy little girl holds her family hostage). But, in an episode this good, the little girl story fades into the background somewhat.

Best bit? In an episode full of strong scenes, the final shot of Dean trapped and suffering stands out.

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