Every Black Friday, I splurge on
myself a little. It's never a big splurge, but there has been one constant that
has lasted more than a decade. Like clockwork, I buy the latest season of the CW
paranormal hit, Supernatural, on DVD. This time around, I decided I couldn't
wait until after Thanksgiving to pick it up, and opted for Blu-Ray as well, because
future! So let's take a look at the latest season of one of my favorite shows,
along with all the accouterments the Blu-ray includes.
In case you have been stuck inside a circle of
protection and unable to watch the series lately, Supernatural Season 14 picks
up with Michael still in control of Dean and causing havoc, while giving Dean a
stylish fashion upgrade. Jack is learning how to adjust to being a powerless
human. Sam and Cas are searching for Dean, and Sam has stepped up to lead the
AU hunters. Throughout the season, the gang deals with Nick trying to survive
not being Lucifer’s vessel anymore and solving the murder of his family, Dean
struggling to keep Michael locked up in his brain, and most importantly, Jack
regaining a version of his powers, and the battle for his soul, and as usual
things going terribly, terribly wrong. This all leads up to a final showdown
with an old familiar face ready to reign destruction down upon the world.
Standout episodes from the season are the
Halloween episode, “Mint Condition,” where a ghost inhabits action figures and
a life-sized figure of one of Dean’s favorite horror movie characters.
“Byzantium,” which introduces us to The Empty, the place where Angels go when
they “die.” In “Absence,” Jack loses control leading to heartbreaking consequences.
“Moriah,” the season finale, where Jack’s fate is revealed, and Cas and the
Winchesters meet the real big bad of the show. And finally, possibly the most
important episode of Season 14, “Lebanon,” featuring the return of John
Winchester and the family reunion everyone has been waiting for.
“Lebanon” is probably the biggest
standout of the season. It’s episode 300. We get to see what the Winchesters
look like as a happy family, but we also see what happens if Mary had never
died, and they had a chance to grow up together. It's not as perfect as the
boys imagine. It’s the perfect mix of happy, heartbreaking, quirky, and filled
with the usual Winchester action and vibe of “how the heck are we going to get
out of this?”
But the episodes I have a soft spot for are
“Mint Condition,” because I’m a collector, and seeing Panthro come to life is
hilarious, plus I like seeing all the Mezco products, and “Peace of Mind.” Sam
and Cas investigate a case of a man’s head exploding. The town is filled with people
acting like they live in the ’50s, and Sam falls under the influence of
whatever is happening and takes the place of the dead man. Sam isn’t usually
the comic relief, so it’s great seeing him in a sweater and glasses with his
hair tied back, acting like he’s all prim and proper.
The Blu-Ray is in HD, comes with
three discs, and has subtitles in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. It
does say the special features may not be in HD. Video and audio quality are
great, with 5.1 surround sound available for viewers watching in English. I’m
used to watching the DVDs or streaming online on the CW app or elsewhere, so the
video is brighter and clearer than those options, and coupled with the
exceptionally clean audio, it creates a truly immersive viewing experience.
But let’s talk about the most important part
of this set, the special features. The Blu-Ray set comes with two audio
commentaries, the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con Panel, unaired scenes, two
featurettes, and the Season 14 gag reel, a staple of these season sets.
The Comic-Con Panel is fun to see but lacks
some of the magic of being in the room where it happened. They’re talking about
Season 14, so if you’ve already seen it, you’re not going to learn anything
new. However, it is nice to see how much fun and love everyone has for each other.
The featurettes are The Winchester Mythology: The Choices We Make and
Supernatural Homecoming: Exploring Episode 300. Mythology explores how the
choices made regarding or by Nick and Jack led to devastating consequences.
Homecoming explores the Winchester reunion, and what that means to all the
characters. Just about anything related to “Lebanon” is emotionally charged, so
you may get the sniffles.
The unaired scenes are nice but other than a
conversation between Sam and Charlie, where relations with Rowena are implied,
they don’t stand out; the same with the commentaries, they’re cool if you like
that kind of thing. And as usual, the gag reel is hilarious. I feel like they
may have given other people more of a chance to shine than in previous reels.
There's a lot more of Jodi, Rowena, Bobby, Charlie, and more.
Supernatural Season 14 is a solid
season. For a show that’s been around for as long as it’s been, it’s impressive
they’re still putting out quality material, but you can also feel a little
fatigue. As much as it pains me to say, it’s probably for the best that they’re
ending with Season 15. But 14 does its best to keep things lively and
interesting. Seeing Dean as Michael is a treat, and some of the familiar faces brought
back are welcomed.
So, the question is whether or not this is worth adding to your collection. If you’ve been buying the sets, then absolutely, but if you’re on the fence, then I would say it depends on how much you like special features and video/audio quality. The digital code that came with the set does not include the special features, which was a big disappointment. I like the featurettes and gag reel. I like being able to see them without an internet connection, so for me, I was going to own this no matter what. If you’re also into that, then get the set. You’ll be happy you did.
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