Sunday, October 7, 2007

Supernatural—The Magnificent Seven

I know you're all wondering why I haven't reviewed the Supernatural season premiere yet, since I'm usually pretty prompt with that, what with it being my favorite show and all. (Of course I could assume you all have way more important things to wonder about, but where's the fun in that?) Well, the answer is that instead of watching "The Magnificent Seven" from my cozy chaise in Colorado, I flew all the way to Illinois to watch it with a group of fans, including my best friend, who kindly put me up on her Comfy Couch (with fluffy duvet) for a couple of nights and fed me Cheetos, peanut M&Ms and pie, in true Winchester family fashion.

While it's a little pricey to fly almost 1,000 miles to watch a season premiere (although, hint--if you visit your mom, too, sometimes you can get her to pay part of your airfare), I have to highly recommend the whole communal watching experience. It's just plain fun to watch a show with a room full of people waiting with anticipation as breathless as your own, who howl at the same jokes and get weepy at the end. The best part of fandom is the sense of community, after all, and to experience that in person rather than over an Internet connection makes it that much better.

Anyway, on to the actual show.

This season's premiere had a very different feel to last season's. Lacking the emotional impact of "In My Time of Dying," "The Magnificent Seven" concentrated more on the series reboot introduced in "All Hell Breaks Loose," last season's finale. Dean has made a deal to bring Sam back from the dead, and has only a year to live. Of course he's living it up, eating bacon cheeseburgers for breakfast and enjoying tea and crackers with the "Doublemint Twins." (What? You don't think they were having tea and crackers? Well what were they doing, then?) Sam's tolerant reaction to Dean's depraved hedonism was amusing and an interesting shift to their relationship. Obviously Sam is, for the moment, willing to put up with a lot more from his brother. I expect him to snap any minute, though. I expect Dean to snap, too. Sooner or later he'll realize exactly what's coming, and the heartfelt conversation at the end of this episode foreshadowed that nicely. Next week, I bet...

I was thrilled to see Bobby again, and I hope he continues to be a regular or semi-regular in the series. And one of the funniest moments of our viewing party was when Bobby showed up in a suit and all of us stared at the TV and then a few finally went, "Oh! That's Bobby!" He cleans up well...

And there's another regular or semi-regular character. Miss Blonde Thang with Freaky Knife had a very brief introduction in this episode, full of whiz-bang and special effects and a very cool shot of said knife glowing through the victim's wide-open mouth. While I have to wonder why she showed up (stalking Sam the Boy King?), and why she's so terribly competent, she definitely caught my attention, and I'm interested to learn more about her.

Tamara and Isaac proved interesting foils, as well, with their reluctance to work with the Winchesters and their attitude about the boys' role in opening the Gates of Hell. Apparently now the brothers are on the outs not only with the FBI and the demon hordes, but with their fellow hunters, as well. And with Sam being spoken of as the now-dead YED's Chosen Boy King, it looks like a lot of folks are out after our boys' asses, and not in the good way that involves depraved hedonism.

With all those plotlines to lay into place, there wasn't much room for the titular Seven Deadly Sins. This, in fact, was my only quibble with the episode (well, aside from some pacing issues through the last third but that's me being uber-picky). The Deadly Sins were introduced as powerful like woah! with a little temper tantrum from Bobby to reinforce the point, and yet they were dispatched remarkably quickly, albeit with the help of Miss Blonde Thang with Freaky Knife. I think it would have been nice to have explored the concept more deeply, possibly over more than one episode, especially as regards Dean's likely relationship with Lust and Gluttony. I particularly would have liked to have seen the Lust Meets Dean show. They could have a lot of fun having tea and crackers.

Overall, though, I have to say I enjoyed this episode quite a lot. With a very different tone from last season's opener, it's starting us off on the show's new arc with several things to think about, from Dean's deal to Sam's Boy King status to our new mysterious blonde hunter. I'm very much looking forward to next week, and to the rest of the season.

Oddly, iTunes doesn't seem to have much in the way of AC/DC, but we all know that was Hell's Bells, right?

Mean Little Town—Howling Diablos

Howling Diablos - Car Wash - Mean Little Town

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet—Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Bachman-Turner Overdrive - Not Fragile - You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

"I Shall Not Be Moved" was performed by J.B. Burnett according to the CW website, but iTunes doesn't have him, either. Here's a version by Johnny Cash, because Johnny Cash is totally cool:

Johnny Cash - My Mother's Hymn Book - I Shall Not Be Moved