supseason13

Review: Supernatural: “Lost and Found” (13.01 – Season Premiere)


We need your help!

Contribute monthly via Patreon (which includes perks), make a one-time donation through Paypal, or buy us a coffee.


[lots o’ spoilers ahead]


Well. That happened.

Where to start? I have to say that this episode, like the season 12 finale, was remarkably tedious. Okay, perhaps “remarkably” is the wrong adjective for a turgid mess of cold oatmeal. Still, I was very bored and if there’s one thing Supernatural generally isn’t, it’s boring. But Dabb as a showrunner and the Nepotism Duo in charge of the Writers Room seem capable of dousing even the sparkiest sparks.

There were a few big problems here. One was a complete lack of surprises in terms of pre-existing SPNverse elements, except where the show ignored canon for no damned good reason (as in ignoring the part where Kelly, at least, ought to be in Heaven, so why is Sam saying they hope she’s in a better place?), or simply forgot about it (as in the part where two angels were blown away by a banishing spell while another one in the next room wasn’t – um … what?).

I also didn’t like the lame attempt at generating suspense by jumping around in the episode’s timeline and saving a few bucks for the super-expensive Metallica song (“Nothing Else Matters”) in the season 12 recap by recycling a fair amount of footage from previous seasons. The use of super-expensive songs in an episode generally signals an attempt to perfume stinky writing as often as it accentuates a great scene. This was true even in season one (thinking of an episode like “Hook Man,” here, which has almost back-to-back rock songs and hasn’t held up so well over time).

The angels were tedious dicks, including the bitchy Millennial one who pretended to be a drunk girl so obviously that it became clear early on she was Up To No Good. Holy crap, was she annoying. Her death wasn’t nearly painful enough. She should have seen Jack not be hurt by her blade before she died.

Also, for all her sarcasm and ridiculous anger at Dean, she turned out to be all hot air and no threat, not to mention, frustratingly vague. I guess that’s why Sam was able to kill her when he’s never been able to kill an angel in the past. Yeah, that’s snarky, but really, Show? Enough with giving easy kills to Sam to “balance” out classic kills made by Dean. It risks diminishing both brothers and that’s the best I can say about that.

gallery-1506076047-5

Also, can the show please kill Lucifer, already? My God, am I over him and his perpetual adolescent whining. He’s how many billions of years old now? Grow up, dude.

But hey, at least we had confirmation Mary’s still alive. And kicking.

Second, let’s talk about the new characters, guest and recurring (since I guess we have to). About the only one who made any positive impression on me was the Sheriff. Okay, she’s no Jody Mills, and we’re not liable to see her ever again, but it was downright refreshing to see someone confronted with Dean blandly explaining about the Family Business at his most dissociated and disconnected, and just roll with it because they had already seen sufficient weird to perceive his spiel as reasonable.

This contrasted positively to Annoying Drunk Girl Angel (we’ll just call her ADGA for short) in that, for one thing, it was nice to see Dean lay it all out in such an IDGAF way that the world is bigger and creepier than most humans think, and the other person respond … well … appropriately for her own survival, but with ADGA, Dean didn’t even try to defend himself from her tired and lame accusations.

Now, the angel Ishim from “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” hated Dean, too, but his anger made sense, albeit from his own twisted perspective. It was personal, focused. It reflected his own conflict with the episode’s resident Mary Sue.

In contrast, ADGA came off as spoiled and pissy, whining about Dean being a “Becky” roommate (apparently not the Becky of seasons five-to-seven) who “broke things” and didn’t care about other people. But come on. How many fans actually care about this, especially when there’s an alternate universe next door where the angels got exactly what they wanted and it sucks out loud for everyone else? Plus, it’s a place where the angels broke everything. Foreshadowing of a possible alliance between this ‘verse and that ‘verse’s angels was a little too obvious, so please, Show, edit the angel monologues way, way down from now on. They’re boring and hypocritical.

Then there’s Jack. I was somewhat relieved to see that the actor isn’t as bad as he appeared in the promos (he came across as very, very bad in them), and he even generated a little sympathy, but there’s little for him to work with here. Jack isn’t a character. He’s a walking deus ex machina, written as inconsistently as you’d expect from a character who not only has a faulty, weak conflict, he basically has none at all.

What, precisely, does Jack want? Well, it seems he wants to find his “father” (who turns out to be Castiel, not baby daddy Lucifer, in a not-terribly-surprising twist) and he wants to survive. Or something. Oh, and he has powers that are remarkably malleable (translation: They exist to give the writers a cheap and easy out for times they’ve written themselves into a corner), except, of course, when they conveniently don’t work. They are remarkably inconsistent, even within the context of his being only a day old. I get that the angel sigil didn’t entirely work on him (because he’s half-human. Or something), but the rest? Not so much.

For example, he can understand and speak English thanks to “being” his mother in the womb (so not a reassuring or non-sexist way of phrasing it, Dabb), but though he can hear angel voices and had also bonded with Castiel, he can’t understand them. He’s impervious to an angel blade, but Tasers knock him out. He can’t control his powers because he’s a baby, yet he’s capable of expressing and understanding complex ideas.

Also, the FX for his powers were a bit pants and looked really goofy.

As a character, he just doesn’t make any sense and even more, he doesn’t really have a journey except toward going EVOL and/or dying (as opposed to Amara, who had an atypical bond with Dean from the start and a legit beef with her brother), and he’s never going to fit well into the MOTW format. Yep, no reason to get attached to this character. He won’t be around for long.

gallery-1506076051-7

Another big problem is that the show keeps trying to bring in CW tropes, principally from the DC superhero shows, and they don’t work so well. I keep trying to remind myself that the show has always been meta, always been a commentary on what was going on in the genre. That’s what keeps it fresh. And it is on the CW, after all. The problem with going so CW, however, is that the tropes the show currently uses are so plastic, shallow and insincere that it’s hard to care about them. The show works best when it’s a bit rough around the edges and this season premiere was too flaky to evoke that.

Which leads us to the biggest problem of all – once again, as too often happened last year, the show was about everything and everyone but Sam and Dean, yet none of these subplots was compelling enough to make me care, let alone make me forget that Sam and Dean were once again being made guest stars in their own story. In the damned season premiere, no less.

This was especially bad for Sam, since the only part I actually enjoyed was Dean’s grief and rage and sense of abandonment. Perhaps “enjoyed” is not the right word, but at least I was interested, even as I wondered whether this storyline had been interrupted for too long and should have been pursued in last season’s premiere, rather than that idiotic LoL storyline that came out of left field. The angels’ jealousy of Dean (even dismissively referring to Sam as “the other one”), Dean’s half-admission that Chuck left him in charge rather than him and Sam, Dean’s anger and despair over being left with half-truths and no tools for actually running the world, all of these things are intriguing and could potentially be a big arc for Dean. But considering Dabb and Singer took a year-long break from them to pursue other storylines that were a lot dumber and more boring, I’m not hugely confident they’ll remember Dean even has this storyline longer than five episodes down the road. Enjoy it while you can, I guess.

Also frustrating is that Sam’s big plot this season appears to be babysitting Jack because Sam is convinced Jack is Good. Or potentially Good. Or something. Just like his mother Kelly, the walking, saintly, single-mom womb whom nobody watching actually liked or misses.

gallery-1506076057-3

Never mind that just a couple of seasons ago, Sam was convinced Dean having the MoC had to be stopped at all costs (even though Dean mostly had it under control, all things considered), to the point that Sam went behind Dean’s back and got the Darkness released. Then he became convinced right off the bat that Amara had to be destroyed and did some pretty stupid things to bring that about, too. Add to that the fact that never in the history of this show has Sam ever thought anyone supernaturally gray could be Good and had that turn out well – and that the first few moments were probably the best time they had to neutralize Jack should he turn out to be a threat – and Sam’s idea that Jack is Good looks ludicrous. Even Sam had to Tase the kid at one point to keep him from attacking Dean.

In light of all this, it was rather eye-rolling that the show wanted us to believe that Dean was the irrational one and Sam was being sensible and compassionate, when everything Dean was saying was actually pretty smart – look for Jack, find out his weaknesses, protect innocents from him, call and warn Jody, pray to Chuck (something that didn’t even occur to Sam until the very end of the episode). The show tried to reinforce this take of Irrational Angry Dean by having Jack act all cherub-like – aside from the odd sinister look, that is. Again, not buying it. This is a character who is far too powerful to exist on the show as-is, who entered the world by killing his own mother, and who brainwashed both her and Castiel while still in the womb. Even if he weren’t Lucifer’s son, I’d think there would be plenty of red flags here that negate any dewy-eyed boy-band appeal in Jack.

This week totally ignored the Hell aspect of the storyline. It seems we’ll get that next week when the incompetent Nepotism Duo turn in their first script of the season (God help us all). Crowley and his death got almost completely ignored this week (though Castiel did at least get kind of a send-off and a Viking funeral). We’ll see how much coverage the ex-King of Hell gets next week. Probably not much.

jensen-ackles-dean-winchester-jared-padalecki-sam-winchester-alexander-calvert-jack-supernatural


You can find my live recap of the episode here.


Like this column? You can help keep it going by contributing monthly via Patreon (which includes perks), making a one-time donation through Paypal, or buying us a coffee.


34 thoughts on “Review: Supernatural: “Lost and Found” (13.01 – Season Premiere)”

  1. Well, Dean mentioned Crowley in his bitch-out at Chuck, there was that.

    I am sorry you viewed it so negatively. My husband and I really enjoyed it. It is so funny, I ‘know’ the show is pushing “Sam is in the right” here or Sam is being compassionate or something, but I think Sam just wants Jack to open up the rift. Sam (to me) is doing that thing he did in Season 1 in which he ’empathized’ with people, whether the ‘possible’ victim(s) or just witnesses and then went to complain to Dean about dealing with ‘the civilians.’ Here, Sam has a point of view: the kid may not be evil, CASTIEL said he was not evil and let’s give Cas the benefit of the doubt. Dean is saying, the kid is too powerful and we have NO WAY to neutralize him completely. Same argument with Jesse the Anti-Christ and the Golem. At least for angels they have angel blades.

    I did not notice that this was Sam’s first ‘angel kill.’ In my mind I had built up the Zachariah Kill because Dean’s glowing eyes were figured so prominently.

    I posted this elsewhere: Osric Chau is coming back as per spoilertv.com and I really ‘like’ the character. Wonder if he’ll be a Prophet of the Lord?

  2. Maybe this is a purely petty complaint on my part, but I didn’t care for the opening song. Now rock is not my favorite type of music and I may not know that much about it, but there is no doubt it works well in Supernatural especially as a means of ratcheting up tension. “Nothing Else Matters” may be a fine song on its own, and it may have had the theme they wanted to convey. But the slower tempo made it harder to time the clips, and it made the whole thing feel off. If you are going to psychologically manipulate the audience via music, do it well.

    I am normally not bothered by Sam getting the occasional kill, so long as it is kept fairly even and is consistent within the episode’s storyline. This time, however, Dean was fighting hard while Sam was more or less incapacitated. While it made sense, and was quick thinking for Sam to use the angel banishing spell, failing to banish the third angel was just a setup to give him a kill he didn’t actually earn.

    Dean’s frustration with his role as protector of the world, while having few resources or sense of how to complete the job is potentially a much more interesting and potent character arc then the general grief arc I was expecting. It also cleverly parallels the general parentalization that he experienced as a child, which was previously only dealt with on a subconscious level. Since they overtly referred to that at the end of season 12, I wonder if they are planning on him dealing with that more openly. As a character, he is finally reaching a point where he can openly acknowledge his the validity of his own emotions, and it would be nice to see that.

    1. I agree. The song was too down-tempo, too elegiac. One of the warning signs you’re getting a Classic Rock song to cover up poor writing is that the song doesn’t really match the action very well. When a song matches, it really matches. For example, I’d never even heard of ELO’s “Long Black Road,” and didn’t particularly care for a lot of the clips, but the synergy between the beat and the editing really clicked. That’s a great recap. I love watching that and now I love the song, too.

      It’s like wanting a Led Zeppelin song in there just to show you could get one, but you couldn’t get “Black Dog,” so you settled for “No Quarter” because ZEPPELIN ROOLZ. They’re two very different songs and they wouldn’t match the same onscreen action at all.

      1. I thought they have never been able to afford a Led Zeppelin song.

        They have used AC/DC many times and we love whichever ones they choose to use because THOSE are upbeat.

        My favorite (if we are going into this) was George Thorogood (?) doing Who Do You Love? Boy that just got me jumping. I actually went to youtube.com to hear the whole song again.

        1. “Who Do You Love?” was another classic. That was on my bucket list of songs to hear before the show goes down bloody. “Thunderstruck” is another favorite, speaking of AC/DC.

          1. They ‘did’ use Thunderstruck though I am sure of it, in the Kripke years. I especially love Fight the Good Fight from Season 1 which was a song I did not know at first hand (you know, probably heard it but could not place it) and went to hear off youtube. Like Crazy Circles, which I tried very hard to find (I thought the title was Life is Like a Merry-go-round which sent me down a whole bunch of rabbit holes).

            Wonder if there is a poll someplace for favorite Premier Songs.

          2. They used it for the season five premiere recap of season four, which made really explicit all the Christ analogies for Dean in that season.

  3. Thanks for the great review! Much better than the episode. I didn’t hate the episode, it was okay — and so very ordinary. There are so many interesting places this show could have gone and once again it chose to go with the most plain and boring of the storylines. Maybe it will do better next week, every once in a while the nepoduo manage to put together a fairly decent show.

    Thank goodness for Dean, he seems to manage to save at least a few minutes of most episodes.

    1. Yeah, that was my biggest problem with it, too–it was so bland.

      I always keep my fingers crossed but my expectations low with the Nep Duo.

      I don’t think this show would have lasted more than a few seasons without Dean.

    2. I think it was on another site (or maybe it was here) that somebody said that the writers seem to be using Jensen’s acting as a crutch for most of the other components of a good script. They did not ‘show’ Dean begging Chuck for help; they left that for the end so it would stand by itself for emphasis.

      When whoever said that I put that scene where it should have been in the episode. It still had the emphasis for me, but that was because I was not as unhappy as Paula with the script. Jensen was so good in that scene it would’ve stood out wherever, but it almost seemed like they were doing it as a throwaway, like when Jensen said Eye of the Tiger because the episode was 3min short or something (Ghost Fever).

      1. I have watched soap operas my whole life; I remember years ago talking to a friend who said the most satisfying thing about soaps was watching the long long build-up to ‘something’ happening. You know, when the husband or wife FINALLY finds out about the affair?

        Anyway, my counter was I liked watching somebody you ‘met’ on the show changing and deepening with time. The old shows had the same group of writers for decades so there was rarely the whiplash writing for the characters we see on the few soaps remaining today. Hope you know what I mean.

        Anyway, Jensen has taken the character of Dean and just made him a real person, with all the growth and failure and success we all live with. Dean has grown so much, his whole BODY stance shows all he has undergone. It is amazing to me.

        Jared is a better actor than I think most of the time because he does not ‘show’ by stance and attitude the effect life and time have had on Sam. I mean, I ‘see’ it (Jesus, the guy is the size of a BUS now and he carries himself with a lot more confidence than Stanford Sam/1st Season) but he is not as weighed down as Dean.

        So the show has a rare match of character and actor on the show and uses it, but as I said, now that I think about the way the episode was put together I feel that Jensen was ill-used as well as the character. The scene ‘should’ have been in the regular timeline of the episode, not the way it was.

        Aside: I can’t figure out why angels can’t ‘see’ that Dean has been WITH GOD and speaks for him. I thought angels could read humans if it was needed? I thought back on why Lucifer has not killed Sam and Dean at the end of last season: remember God fixed it so Lucifer COULD NOT when they were all at the bunker together? Maybe they are ‘untouchable’ now? Anyway, how can the angels NOT KNOW that Dean speaks for GOD?

        1. Can angels read humans? I seem to remember some thing about this in season 4, but when Castiel was watching Dean rake leaves in season 6, he thought Dean was happy. To me, Dean’s body language screamed misery. Or do angels differ in their ability to do this, same as how some people can pick up on others emotions, and others can’t.

          As far as the angels knowing that Dean speaks for God, I’m not sure most of them care. It indicates in seasons 4 and 5 that they already felt pretty abandoned by God. Then Castiel went rogue and killed a bunch of them. And then, all the angels fell at the end of season 8. Through all this, Chuck never showed his face even though they needed help and guidance. Then he finally shows up in season 11, only to go off again with Amara after leaving Dean in charge. So I doubt most of them have any interest in what God, or Dean as his regent, have to say.

          1. Good points. They may (or SHOULD) be as pissed off as Lucifer was in the Rock Never Dies about God ‘ditching’ him again.

            I thought the angels were created to ‘obey.’ And God left them the ‘order’ to watch over humanity. So they got their order.

            Now Metatron said that he as an angel felt ‘pure joy’ when he was in the presence of God. I wonder if angels miss the ‘crack’ now that Chuck united with Amara and became ‘one’ (would you say they were now ONE BEING?) and they are ‘pissed off.”

          2. Initially, it was said that demons could and then that angels could. In both cases, telepathy of humans the demon or human wasn’t possessing was dropped, probably because it created too many story problems.

            I think that the angels aren’t good at existing without a regimented lifestyle. If you think about it, Chuck first left Michael in charge and now he’s left Dean (i.e., the de facto, hidden “king” of Humanity). Dean is right to see it as a thankless job, even though everyone else is vying for the “honor.”

        2. I had to stop watching soaps because the storylines got so repetitive and mind-numbingly stupid. I think the writing actually used to be much better, but the golden age of that genre is long past. I agree, though, about the long build-up and the satisfying payoff in a good soap storyline.

          I’m guessing that the angels have a blind spot about Dean and Chuck because 1. their bigotry toward humans and 2. their jealousy of anyone in that position. Michael was able to ride herd on them because he had so much raw power, but even Lucifer couldn’t get them to follow him. Kinda shows you how powerful Michael must have been.

          1. Yeah, the writing was ‘much’ better in The Golden Age of Soaps because, as I said, they kept the same writing teams for YEARS and I remember how head writers could make or break a show.

            At times I think ‘if I see one more twin come out of the woodwork…’

            I am really interested in how the AU!Michael is going to be portrayed. Excited.

            Wonder if he and Lucifer will team up in some way. It is my understanding he defeated Lucifer (again) but I don’t know if AU!Lucifer is dead or alive. So maybe the two LUCIFERS will teams up? Nah. BOTH of them will want to ‘rule the world’ so they both will know they will each betray the other.

          2. Being left in charge is generally pretty thankless. Especially if your charges don’t acknowledge your authority.

            Does the show ever indicate the length of time Chuck had been gone? I always had the impression he left around the time of the birth of Christ, but I’m not sure it actually ever said. Because if he’d only been gone a century or two, in the scheme of basically timeless creatures, that is really not that long. Like being expected to manage for an hour or two. On the other hand, if he left at the dawn of creation, that might be a legitimate beef.

          3. Looks like Chuck is parentalizing Dean, just as John did, and handing him a job no human/child should have to do. That would actually be a great storyline, but I don’t really trust Dabb & Singer to even recognize what they’ve got and run with it.

            The timeline on Chuck’s departure is fuzzy. Either it was at the very beginning of time or it was thousands of years ago, sometime in the Neolithic/early Bronze Age (around the time Cain would have been born). The clues point both ways.

      2. I’ve said it before, but I’m hardly the only critic to notice. Even the writers (including Kripke himself) have admitted that they will just write in that Ackles does something here and leave it at that. So, yeah, they definitely use his acting as a crutch.

        I felt that the impact of the scene was really muted, not just because there was so little foreshadowing in the previous scene where there was the gap (partly because ADGA was such an irritating distraction), but because it wasn’t even the last scene of the episode. I get that they wanted to show that Mary was still alive, but I don’t think it worked terribly well to put in that coda. They should have ended with Dean’s reveal about Chuck ignoring him and perhaps spelling it out a little more that Dean (and, Dean also feels, Sam) has been left alone to run things.

    1. Goatees have long been a signature of a Mad Scientist. Remember the MS from the original version of The Thing? Whoo, that beard could poke an eye out!

  4. And remember how the scientists with goatees are always WRONG? Like the guy in The Thing (from Another Planet) walked right up to James Arness’ Carrot Man and tried to ‘communicate’ and he got immediately killed? WRONG, Mr Mad Scientist with a GOATEE. WRONG.

  5. So what is the origin of the goatee of evil then. Does it predate the screen and go back to 19th or early 20th century literature? Something from H G Wells maybe? I know the mad scientist trope itself has been around that long. But your “good” mad scientists generally have Einstein hair and your “evil” ones get goatees.

    1. I’m guessing it has to do with the Reformation idea of the Devil as a dapper gentleman with goat feet and a pointed beard. Curiously, the originator of the Mad Scientist trope, Mary Shelley, did not make her MS character look like that.

      1. I think I had “The Island of Dr Moreau” in mind, but it’s been so long, decades, since I read it, I couldn’t remember the doctor’s physical description.

        Interestingly, I never saw Frankenstein as mad per se, although his project certainly was. But hubris took him where he should never have gone, and his refusal to accept responsibility for his actions, at least at first, amplified the consequences.

  6. Good evil goatee discussion however I w as referring to the evil goatee signifying that the AU version is evil which originates with Star Trek.
    Please give us evil AU Cas with goatee.

    1. I’m currently watching the original Star Trek. Before my parents started going to that church, my mother was an avid Star Trek fan. I remember watching it with her while she cooked dinner, which is probably why I associate it with Pot Roast. I’d forgotten all about this episode. Thanks for the article. It gives me something to look forward to.

      1. Your parents stopped watching Star Trek because of church? Jeez.

        I always associate the first and second season of the show with our first apartment in Milwaukee because that’s where we were living when those seasons aired. Our cat Butterscotch lost her lunch (half a rat) behind the TV while my mom and I were watching TNG’s first Trill episode, so we always associated that ep with dear old Butterscotch, God rest her. It kind of reflected how we felt about that ep.

  7. Paula, will tonight’s show follow last week’s schedule: we all get together on Friday at 8pm for a recap and then we get a review a day or two later?

    1. Yep. Still no live TV for me, so we’re doing a recap tomorrow night at 8pm and then I’ll do a review over the weekend.

      Next week, I’ll have to start the recap a bit later, since I’ll be working at a star party and won’t likely get home until about 10pm EST.

  8. Blah blah blah concerned look from Sam. Blah blah blah intense pained look from Dean. Blah blah blah
    Asmodeus grandstanding as Foghorn Leg horn (sp).blah blah blah why is Donatello in this episode… couldn’t he call. Blah blah blah everybody hurts even Jack. Blah blah blah Asmodeus has a hard on for the Shaheen. Blah blah blah when are Sam and Dean on the same page. Jack mimicking Dean was priceless.
    Blah blah blah Lucifer gets his much deserved comeuppance via very badass AU Michael. I sit up because he feels,like a scary big bad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *