TV REVIEW: Supernatural, Season 7 Episode 2: “Hello, Cruel World”

Can this episode follow the ‘wham bam’ awesome season opener? Well, not quite but it’s still pretty good.

We open where we left with Castiel taken over by the Leviathans.  Unfortunately, the weight of all those Leviathans is too much as Cas threatens to explode under the pressure of all the creatures.  Cas walks as if in a trance to the nearby lake and then disappears in a sea of black in front of Dean, Sam and Bobby.  The lake it turns out is also the local water supply and the Leviathans are now free to roam.

Dean finds Cas’ trench-coat and in typical Dean style, calls him a son of a bitch.  The mourning period is quickly over though and the focus shifts to Sam as he reveals that he is now having hallucinations of Lucifer and that “Lucifer” is claiming this life isn’t real.  Dean puts on a brave face as he and Bobby look into suspected Leviathan activity.  The Leviathans begin taking victims including Benito Martinez (the brilliant Aceveda in The Shield).

We learn that the Leviathans are very hungry and they devour a high school swim team, much to the annoyance of Edgar and a mysterious “Boss”.  Sam is fast sinking into his delusions as he ends up being driven to the middle of nowhere, believing himself to be with Dean.  Lucifer has a plan and the plan is for Sam to kill himself.

Meanwhile, the Leviathans begin to learn about humanity and with a clever callback to “Dr Sexy MD”, begin to take over a local hospital for food.  We see the re-introduction of Sheriff Mills (Kim Rhodes) who is in said hospital for a routine operation.  We see the horrific Leviathan revealed as Dean gets control of Sam by relating his own hell experience.  The boys race to meet with Bobby back at the house to find it in ruins with no sign of Bobby and Edgar standing there ready to devour them.  After a brief but violent fight, Edgar is crushed under a car and the boys are on their way to hospital. Lucifer reveals he IS a hallucination but that he’ll always be with Sam when Dean realises they are heading straight into the Leviathan infested hospital.

The highlight of this episode is Lucifer.  The wicked one liners, facial expressions and teasing of Sam delivered expertly as we begin to wonder if Sam really is still in the cage after all.   While the mystery is solved by the episode’s end (believe me there will be more than enough mystery to come), it doesn’t mean the end of Sam’s torture and that is a positive as it means more of the brilliant Mark Pellegrino.

The Leviathans make interesting villains with plenty more to be explored.  We discover that they can take the form of another by touch (like a super shapeshifter), silver doesn’t work, nor normal bullets and even a car crushing them cannot stop them completely.  The boys will have their work cut out to defeat them for sure.  They are also one of the more horrific looking beasts we have seen on the show, while mostly staying in a human guise, when about to feed the face completely disappears and a protruding set of jaws and forked tongue is all that is visible.

I have to say this episode didn’t have the impact of the last.  We know now that Cas will not be villain of the piece which is a shame as Misha Collins played it so well – but I suppose you can’t fight God for a season – you would lose in two seconds.  So that is understandable however with Misha out it means the show has lost one of its outstanding talents.  While Jared and Jensen do a phenomenal job, Misha’s introduction was a very welcome one to the show and he will be missed.

I would say it that it is hard following the awesomeness of the episode before it but while it doesn’t reach that level, it’s not too bad either.  Jensen does some really good emotional work, especially in his ‘goodbye’ to Cas and when he thinks Bobby has gone. Jared is solid and Jim Beaver (Bobby) is reliable as ever.  There is some clever call backs to past seasons with Dean referencing his time in Hell (not mentioned much past season 4) and “Dr Sexy MD” (would love Loki/Gabriel to come back).  While there are some great elements it just doesn’t quite hit the beats of the last episode and with mysteries and cliffhangers set up you have to make sure they pay off and I am not sure all of these will but it’s still early.  A solid episode.

Best lines: “Mothra down main street”, “dumb son of a bitch (the delivery rather than the line itself), “Couples yoga”, “I really think Prince William has found the right girl”, “Don’t let Satan change my pre-sets”.

Rating: 3/5
Steven Stone

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