01/02/2012. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
Region 1 DVD: pub: Warner Bros 112623. 6 DVDs 903 minutes 22 * 45 minute episodes with extras. Price: GBP 9.99 (UK) if you know where to look). cast: Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles.
check out websites: www.wbtvdvd.comand www.supernaturaltv.com
Although I read that the second season boxset of ‘Supernatural’ had all the extras, looking ahead to season three indicated that the next one didn’t. Don’t know about you but I prefer consistency so decided I ought to stay with region one releases for this particular series. As the early volumes have dropped in price so if you have a multi-regional DVD player then weigh up the options as to which to buy.
The second season of ‘Supernatural’ takes some turns after the season one finale where the Winchesters are hurt in a car crash. Sam (actor Jared Padalecki) and his father (actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan) are recovering but Dean (actor Jensen Ackles) is dying. It’s only by his father exchanging the Colt pistol and his life to the yellow-eyed demon is Dean spared. Things are nearly back to normal, except the repairs to the Impala. Considering the damage, it does make you wonder whether Dean transposes bits into the Impala or put bits of the old into a new second hand Impala. Love at car sight I guess.
With the fourth episode, ‘Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things’, Sam’s procogging begins to sink in and be felt a lot more. At the same time, he supports a broken wrist in plaster for a couple episodes and decides to change his hairstyle into that unfathomable divide down the middle. I’m never quite sure what to make of people who have such an odd haircut, especially when they have so much hair, however based off the screen test included with this boxset, seems to be Padalecki’s normal look. If anything, the hair style makes sense when he’s posing as someone in authority but drawn forward as it was in season one disguises him better than Dean’s short haircut does.
The episode, ‘The Usual Suspects’ where Dean is caught by the police for alleged murder is a turning point story in the season and re-enforced by the ‘Nightshifter’ where both brothers are wanted by the law. ‘House Of The Holy’ has the brothers discussing the existence of angels with Dean being very much a non-believer. Their attitudes change about religion in the conclusion of this story but still no wiser about angels. A point of reference for seasons to come methinks.
A regular theme now is just what kind of influence the yellow-eyed demon has had on Sam and others he has smitten and whether the younger Winchester brother will turn evil and Dean having to kill him. Something neither brother likes the prospect of.
There are a lot of firsts with this season. ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’ is the first time Sam is possessed and ‘Tall Tales’ is the first appearance of the Trickster. Does anyone know if Sam got his laptop back, especially as he doesn’t appear to have a scene to use it for the latter episodes? We also meet all the significant people the yellow-eyed demon gave psionic abilities to, even if I’m not certain why one of them appears to be super-strength.
Another pair of episodes that don’t follow the expected pattern are ‘Roadkill’ and ‘Heart’ and giving away what makes them different is definitely spoiler zone. I suspect the reason for both of these is show the Winchester brothers questioning their motives and not taking anything in their hunting at face value.
With ‘Heart’ and ‘Hollywood Babylon’, Dean is also shown to be eating whenever he gets the opportunity which must make anyone ponder on what actor Jensen Ackles did at regular meal times. The nearest thing to ‘Hollywood Babylon’ is probably ‘The X-Files’ episode ‘Hollywood A.D.’ although this one does it better by playing it straight and playing up the parody for the viewers rather than let the characters in on it. The in-jokes aren’t necessarily a requirement to know but the jobs of the film crew should be known to most of you folk. For me, the best gag is showing how the set of a log cabin sans one wall really looks like when they are filming. To top it off, the story holds up well together as well as they walk off into a literal painted sunset. Saying that, if cremation was that easy with a small bottle of kerosene then a standard cremation would be a lot cheaper.
There are some classic stories here. From the demon clown in ‘Everybody Loves A Clown’ to ‘No Exit’ and its ghostly serial killer to the spooky ‘Playthings’. Picking favourites is tough. So many are memorable.
It shouldn’t be much of a spoiler to note that to restore Sam back to life, Dean sells his own soul to the red-eyed demon and has only one year of life left. Sam discovering this is less than impressed but determined to resolve the issue. In the meantime, a couple hundred demons have been released from Hell which means their work is cut out for them for the next season.
The audio commentaries are rather telling. Creator and show-runner Eric Kripke seems to have bigger problems putting a story together than writer Sera Gamble, which probably explains how she became show-runner three seasons later.
The extras examine the legends they played with for these stories and a hilarious gag reel, especially where director/producer Kim Manners gets his revenge on Ackles and Padalecki by giving them a drenching down a tunnel and filming it. Speaking of the latter, Padalecki definitely needs to revise his diet so he doesn’t fart so much. There is also a three-parter looking at the jobs of visual effects, writers room and props, the latter showing these in some detail. I wonder how many of you people have or are building Dean’s EMF detector? Having seen this, it’s essentially a decorated LED chaser.
With the second season ‘Supernatural’ is slowly moving away from a monster a week to having a game plan that doesn’t always include chasing the yellow-eyed demon. It also shows the Winchesters can play both sides of the line with demons and their decision-making. Things can only heat up from now.
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