Supernatural, Episode 291 “Stranger In A Strange Land” Broadcast on October 11, 2018
SEASON 14 PREMIERE
Written by Andrew Dabb
Directed by Thomas D. Wright
The Road So Far: A summary of previous episodes shows that Dean is right when he tells brother Sam that they can change things: demons, ghosts, and monsters of all kinds are killed. Jack, the son of Lucifer, is shown becoming an ally to the Winchester brothers. In an alternate Earth where Angels have almost exterminated humanity, Bobby and his angel killing hunters are brought back to Earth Prime, along with captured Jack and Mary Winchester. The Archangel Michael, responsible for exterminating mankind, and Lucifer are trapped in that dimension, but do come to the Winchesters’ world where Lucifer drains the Grace of his son to regain his unholy abilities. Because of this, Dean allows Michael to possess him to kill Lucifer, which they do, though the archangel doesn’t want to vacate the human’s body. The body of Dean now wanders the world with Michael in control.
Now: Sam is sporting a beard and looking haggard as he drives Baby down a highway at night. Meanwhile, a man starts his day on a prayer rug, but is interrupted when Dean/Michael appears sitting before him. Michael (and that’s how I’m going to be referring to the character as long as he’s within Dean) asks the man what he wants, but isn’t pleased with the response. When things get violent, the frightful man asks Michael what he wants. “What I’ve always wanted. A better world.” Cue opening title sequence.
This was an okay story that serves as a good introduction to the characters and how they relate to one another. For veteran fans this isn’t going to do much. There is a great introductory line for Jack before he appears. Two supporting characters have callbacks, with the female character being a great return after her one appearance last season. Sam has a solid conversation with another surprising character who looks to be living permanently in the bunker. Mom and Sam have a necessary conversation in Baby on their trek to a big city. The best conversation comes at the end of the episode between Jack and a visitor to his room. Those two actors work really well together and I was glad to see this script give them this moment. The makeup on Castiel and Sammy is great, with the latter’s teeth looking gloriously gross by the end of the episode. Not working was the villain, who has a decent justification for causing trouble, but really played things too much like Mark Sheppard, who’s not in this episode. I just wasn’t thrilled with this villain, his cronies, and the closing action sequence.
However, that closing scene between two characters, with one being silent, is fantastic! That’s what I want to see more of!
The good: Sammy as a leader, Bobby being back, Jack, Castiel, solid character scenes for several of the cast, the makeup, and the opening AC/DC song.
Fun lines: “What do you want?”, “So…So gross,” “Watch that left,” “‘We’?”, “People keep calling me that,” and “I can barely look at him.”
The bad: A lackluster villain, a rote action sequence without any surprises, and Michael sounding like Morden from Babylon 5 too often.
The final line: A solid jumping in point for new viewers, but an average outing for long time fans. Overall grade: B-