Supernatural: The Complete Sixth Season [Blu-ray]

Supernatural: The Complete Sixth Season [Blu-ray]
Much like the season three finale of Supernatural, the fifth season ended with one of the Winchester brothers being whisked off to hell for endless torture and, presumably, some clever quips. And, just like season four, this sixth season starts with the brother left behind – this time Dean (Jensen Ackles) – grieving by embracing the status quo with standard gender coupling. The main difference is that Dean's grief doesn't involve quite as much demon blood and decapitation as Sam's (Jared Padalecki). Of course, since the show wouldn't really be much of a show without both brothers brooding and making smartass remarks, Sam pops back into Dean's life pretty quickly, as does long-dead grandfather Sam Campbell (Mitch Pileggi), inexplicably. The first part of the season arc revolves around trying to establish just what is different about Sam and who pulled him up from hell. Castiel (Misha Collins) has no idea, but it seems to have something to do with the oldest vampire to walk the Earth (indirectly), leading to a hilarious and exceedingly bloody spoof on Twilight. Once all is revealed, the issue of trust comes into question while the brothers play bitch to someone else's needs for the greater part of the season. It leads to some interesting character dynamics and disturbing scenarios, making this season surprisingly strong throughout, maintaining its nasty sense of humour and propensity for boundary pushing gore. Some episodes of note involve Sam and Dean entering an alternate reality, where their names are Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, who play characters on a show called Supernatural, as well as one where forced truth-telling leads to murder and suicide rather than the expected comic mayhem. Thematically, the season-long trajectory of the implicit characteristics that give us humanity, represented by the notion of the soul, is actually extremely astute and dark, making for some challenging viewing for those paying attention. Included with the set are an abundance of special features, including two commentary tracks on key episodes, along with a behind-the-scenes look at the "French Mistake" episode and an analytic breakdown of the nature of the soul. There's also a brief look at Jensen Ackles' first dalliance with episode direction, along with some bonus episodes from the anime series. As usual, it's a solid package for the fans of Supernatural that have come to know the series as far more than a silly diversion with two pretty boys. (Warner)