It looked as if Supernatural may have overplayed its hand last week when the trailer for Family Matters revealed that Sam was missing his soul. It was odd that such a seemingly important revelation was leaked in a preview. That, however, did not detract from this episode, which arguably is the best of the season so far. This revelation simply opened the door for other important revelations that gave clarity to just exactly where the series is headed this season.
After learning that Sam (Jared Padelecki) is indeed missing his soul, the Winchester brothers hunt vampires with Samuel Campbell (Mitch Pileggi). Dean (Jensen Ackles) gets the feeling that the old man is hiding something, and his instincts turn out to be correct. It is revealed that Crowley (Mark Sheppard) is the demon who pulled Sam from Hell and Samuel from Heaven. Even worse, Campbell has been working for Crowley, rounding up powerful monsters in order to help the demon find and rule Purgatory.
While it seems a bit odd that Crowley has gone from a minor demon to such a powerful figure, this scenario does provide the show with a charismatic villain that viewers are already familiar with. It also sets up future conflicts and interaction with Campbell and his gang of hunters. Most importantly, a clear focus and purpose has been established for the rest of the season: the boys need to get Sams soul back and take down Crowley.
The episode was very well written and every character that showed up played an important part. It was refreshing that, aside from one reference, Lisa (Cindy Sampson) was left behind for a week. I also find Bobby (Jim Beaver) to be a character who works better in very small doses. Adding either of these to the mix this week would have been extraneous and unnecessary.
What Didnt Work
The episode was the strongest of the season so far and really did not have any negative issues stick out. Perhaps it could be mentioned that classic rock was missing from the score, or that Deans comebacks werent as snappy as normal. Or perhaps I could point out that the whole Purgatory scenario is not very clear at this point. Such complaints would be nitpicking, as none of these facts detracted from the quality of the episode.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
Supernatural stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. Family Matters was written by Daniel Loflin and Andrew Dabb. It was directed by Guy Norman Bee.
Supernatural airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
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