Supernatural: Lebanon

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

The walking dead.

Sam and Dean's latest case brings them into a music shop but the Winchesters are interested in some of the finer goods. After flashing some cash at the clerk, he takes them into the back to show them his rare occult relics that are for sale, except the boys know that he stole them from the hunter that he killed to get them. After a quick tussle, Dean kills the clerk and they decide to take everything back to the bunker. While they make a quick stop, a young girl steals the impala and all of the goods inside of it. The boys manage to track her down before things get too out of hand but they also find a mystical pearl amongst the relics that is said to grant wishes; or more closely, whatever the person's heart truly desires. Hoping that this will finally rid Dean of the archangel, Michael, they boys go through with it but they get a lot more than they bargained for. Instead of getting rid of Michael, the boys summon their father, John Winchester, into the present. It's a family reunion more than a decade in the making but sadly, the best things always come at a cost.

Supernatural's 300th episode shares its time between wonderful nostalgia and embarrassingly bad set up. To start, the first 17 minutes of the show is one of the worst set ups of that Supernatural has ever dones to get a story going. Every scene with the teens felt unsatisfying as the girl stole the impala and the inevitable resolution with the killer clown. All of this was for the later set up for the kids to not remember Sam and Dean when they saw them again after the pearl had been used. Considering that Zachariah was back and Castiel couldn't remember the boys, this was done twice but only needed once. Zachariah coming back is cool, resetting Castiel to his old ways is cool but 15 minutes focused on these kids was not. After that, the episode finally found its pacing and stride. The reveal of John Winchester was great and the reconciliation that he had with Sam is one of the strongest moments in the history of the show. When John was back, everything was great. Even though he couldn't stay, the boys and Mary got to see him again and say goodbye. This wasn't the relationship filled with anger, bitterness of resentment that might have been years ago but instead, the one where Sam and Dean have matured as adults and understand what has become more and more important to them over the year – family.

Another point that held Lebanon back was how unclear the story and time travel was throughout. Supernatural has done time travel more than a few times but Andrew Dabb and Meredith Glynn's interpretation felt convenient when it needed to be and confusing when it wasn't trying. To start, John coming back and creating a temporal paradox just compounded everything for little gain. I assumed that he was resurrected and didn't understand that he was pulled from time. After that, why was Mary not affected by everything yet Castiel was? Why did Mary even exist if Castiel had never met the boys and was still an angel with Zachariah? It came across as far too easy that only the people that the show wanted to reunite were the ones that could remember. A simple line saying that the bunker protected them would have gone a long way. Even saying temporal paradox in Supernatural feels far more sci fi than it needed to be. After all, the show has gone into other realities and has never used those kinds of terms.

Obviously, the stand out in Lebanon was Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Morgan's performance was like he never left and reminded me of the golden years of Supernatural. His scene with Sam was incredible and even his chemistry with Samantha Smith was outstanding; impressive given how they haven't worked together since the pilot. Everyone loved John Winchester and we finally got the chance to see him say goodbye to his family.

Reaching the 300 episodes is a milestone in television, especially when you consider how many shows are available through streaming services and that the entire landscape has changes since Supernatural first aired. It's a remarkable feat that truly puts the Winchesters in the upper echelon of long running television shows that fans will continue to love. Morgan's performance in Lebanon is one of the highlights of season fourteen and sets Supernatural up for something special as we get closer and closer to the season finale. We'll see if that happens when Jack and Rowena meet again in Ouroboros on March 7th.

Tags: Supernatural, Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Castiel, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

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