Nightshifter Review

January 31, 2007

By John Keegan

Visit The Shrine of Entil'zha for an archive of John's TV Review archives!
The mark of a strong television series is the ability to tell relatively isolated stories without losing sight of the big picture. Even successful shows like “X-Files” failed on that basic principle. Over the past few years, however, writers like JMS and Joss Whedon have demonstrated that working within a detailed and comprehensive mythology is not as limiting as some producers would like to believe.
Kripke started the show off on the right foot, and the second season has continued in the right direction. In this case, the episode was relative self-contained. One might argue that it was something of a bottle show, but it didn’t follow the conventions of that format in every aspect. Instead, it focused on perception: who is the real monster trapped in the bank with the civilians?

Other writers might have dropped the idea of the brothers as fugitives from the law, using it for one or two episodes as necessary and ignoring it as an inconvenience the rest of the time. This writing staff is using it as a surgical tool. In terms of the story, Dean and Sam have been forced into isolation from the rest of the hunters, thanks to Sam and his ability.

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Night Shifter

January 25, 2007

Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) investigate a string of robberies with a disturbing pattern, in each incident a trusted employee holds up the bank then commits suicide.… Read More

Playthings Review

January 24, 2007

By John Keegan

Visit The Shrine of Entil'zha for an archive of John's TV Review archives!
superntrl_playIn a very nice move on the part of the writers, this episode begins with the fallout from “Hunted”, focusing squarely on Sam’s reaction to Ava’s apparent murder of her fiancé. In fact, like so many episodes of this series, the scenario is designed to facilitate the exploration of Sam’s grief and guilt. The supporting story (in essence, a classic haunted house variation) manages to chart a parallel course.
The theme this week is self-sacrifice. In the first half of the season, Sam’s motivation has been slowly developing and evolving. Initially, it was simply a desire to take down the demon that killed his mother and Jessica. There were other influences and motivations at work, but they were at the forefront. By the end of the first season, it was clear that the situation had changed. Sam wanted to be a hunter, despite the chance to walk away. Now it’s becoming very clear: Sam is willing to sacrifice his happiness and freedom to prevent others like himself from destroying innocent lives.

With Ava’s apparent turn towards evil, Sam is no longer certain that his intentions will be enough to prevent his own slip into the dark side.

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