Posted: 22 May 2011 11:06 PM PDT
The Winchester brothers' relationship is tested to the max in the sixth season of Supernatural.
WHERE do you go after venturing along the apocalpyse route? That was the question that automatically came to mind when it was announced that Supernatural was renewed for another season – its sixth.
Eric Kripke who created the series that made its debut in 2005 has said that he mapped out the story of the Winchester brothers (played by Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki) in a five-season story arc.
Anyone who has watched season five knows – what with the seven seals being broken, the appearances of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the brothers discovering they are actually the vessels for the Apocalypse – Kripke didn't apply any brakes to hurtle the show to its climactic finish.
Every episode in the last season built up to the plot detailing Lucifer's grand plan of wanting to walk on Earth and, ultimately, deliver it to destruction and demons. Then, at the end, through our tears and our hearts beating at a normal pace again, the series throws in an interesting piece from a totally new puzzle.
Okay, can we just say, whoa?
Supernatural is, undoubtedly, a series that isn't afraid to walk on dangerous terrains – it has been upping the ante every season. With a strong foundation based on the Winchester brothers' relationship, the series has explored from things that go bump-in-the-night, fairy tales that may be based on not-so-nice folklores, to finally going big with the Bible-old fight between angels and demons.
It doesn't pull any punches in the surprise department either; for example, in the last five years, Dean and Sam have died so many times that we've lost count and yet, when they come back, we never ever quite know where it's heading.
The latest surprise sees season six opening with Dean – get this – living the white picket fence life with his former girlfriend Lisa Braeden (Cindy Sampson) and her son.
After what happened at the end of season five, Dean kept to his promise to Sam to retire from this dangerous line of work.
In a transcript provided by AXN, Ackles, who portrays Dean, says: "It's definitely a unique colour for him, you know? Driving a pick-up truck to the construction site and having dinner and falling asleep in a normal bed.
"I think there was always a piece of Dean that wanted to make an effort to live a normal life, and Lisa was the closest thing that he had to that.
"I think that's really what he was hung up on, the idea of what she could bring him. And, you know, she's not unattractive!"
The new season opens a year after the events of season five. Dean is resigned to leading a normal life, but this doesn't mean he has forgotten all the lessons he's learned about hunting demons.
"It's interesting for a character with that kind of past to be domesticated the way he has been, it's this odd balance of normalcy with complete and utter oddity.
"He's got the white picket fence but at the same time he still has a shotgun underneath the bed, the silver amulets above the door and the Devil's trap underneath the rug," says Ackles, 33.
Well, it isn't long before he notices something is amiss in the suburbia which leads him to getting a surprise visit. And pretty soon, he's pulled into killing evil that dares to lurk in the vicinity of the people he loves. In a way, the episode is a reminder of how this series started all those years ago.
In season one, Sam was living a normal life when Dean came along to ask his younger brother to join him in the fight. This time around, it's Dean with the normal life and with the tough decision of whether he is willing to give up all that he's had for the past year and go back to hunting.
"There's definitely an inner battle between wanting to stay out of the game and wanting to live a life, wanting to be there for this woman and child that he has now become a family to, but there's also that undeniable urge to being a hunter – it's in his blood, it's what he does, it's what he has known.
"So there's that battle of wanting to protect his family and keeping them as far away from it as possible but in doing that, he's getting deeper and deeper back into it."
The series – now helmed by executive producer Sera Gamble – also acknowledges the result of the near-Apocalypse. And that is, heaven and hell are not hanging in perfect balance anymore as the angels in charge are battling each other – the good side led by the renegade angel, Castiel (Misha Collins), who helped the brothers avert the apocalypse. Thanks to the war, some of the most powerful weapons previously housed in heaven end up in the hands of men on Earth. Worse, demons and monsters from hell have made Earth their home.
"Since the end of season five, the world of the evil, the monsters and the demons has had a bit of an upturn. There are monsters turning up in areas that we shouldn't be fighting them in, and they're acting out of character, like vampires that are walking around in the day, everything's turned upside down.
"So for the first few episodes it's a lot of trying to make sense of what is going on," explains Ackles, who doubles up as a director for the episode Weekend At Bobby's in this new season.
In the end, however, the series' superstrength lies in the brothers' complex relationship. Demons and scary things are nice plot fillers but they are just tools to put the fragile relationship of the Winchesters under a microscope.
In this season, new complications arise – along with a whole new set of questions – thanks to the appareance of Dean's family members. Much credit goes to Ackles and Padalecki who've given their characters a level of cohesiveness and interaction that people can latch on to.
Ackles concludes: "I like the balance of the two characters, just as far as them playing off each other. People can say it's chemistry or whatever as actors, but I really think it is the characters that are such a good blend, because Dean's the gruff, tough guy who is also a smart arse and stuff, whereas Sam is more the straight and narrow, with his head in the game. So I think that balance is what makes it work."
> Supernatural Season Six premieres tonight on AXN Beyond HD (Channel 720) at 9.50pm. The series is aired from Mondays to Fridays.Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
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