Is ‘Supernatural’ Overdoing the Sam/Dean Angst?

Supernatural, Jensen Ackles and Jared PadaleckiThe CW

This current season of Supernatural is centering on the animosity between the Winchester brothers, Jensen Ackles‘ Dean and Jared Padalecki‘s Sam. I’m going to try to sum this up in a way that even non-viewers of the show can understand it and not feel like they just read something while on a strong drug: Sam was dying after trying to complete some trials that would enable the brothers to close the Gates of Hell. Dean secretly tricked Sam into allowing an angel to take residence in his body. Once Sam found out, the foundation of their relationship collapsed. Now they only maintain a professional rapport – not even the ghost of one of their friends could convince Sam to forgive his brother again.

Got it? It just seems like the angst between these two has been going on for way too long through the run of the show. Yes, I know that there has to be some kind of drama that propels the plots along and that it would be absolutely mind-numbingly boring if everything was hunky-dory all the time. That said, there is such a thing as overkill.

The thing is, this whole issue of Dean keeping secrets from Sam has been played over and over. Every time that it’s happened, Sam’s been spitting mad, relinquishing their brotherly bonds. Then, after a while, he starts trusting Dean again. And then… well, you can see the direction that I’m going in here.  Sam’s obstinate behavior here is reaching supremely annoying levels. Dean’s not off the hook by any means; he just keeps repeating mistake after mistake after mistake. There’s also only so many times I can see Padalecki scrunch up his face after a foul up or Ackles just stare off into the distance, brooding. I’m just surprised Misha Collins’ angel Castiel hasn’t slapped him across the head into another dimension by now.

With such great world building, a spin-off (Supernatural: Tribes) on the way, and the fun inherent in the offing of demons, it’s a shame that the series has adhered itself to constant close-up shots of the two sulking in silence. I’d rather be watching a standalone Ghostfacers adventure than rolling my eyes and saying, “C’mon… GET OVER IT ALREADY!”

I’ll still watch it, of course, but I just don’t want to think that it could have ended so very differently.