Supernatural


Supernatural is my absolute favorite show. I love the concepts, I love how they don’t scare away from controversy, and I love the characters. Since the new season hasn’t started yet, I’ve been going back through all the old episodes. This is definitely one of those shows where you can get lost if you don’t remember something, so I figured I should reacquaint myself with the earlier seasons.

I’m now back to season 2, and I just watched episode 13. It’s about these people who’ve been committing murders. They turn themselves in claiming that an angel told them to do it. In the episode, Sam is convinced that they’re actually dealing with an angel, but Dean thinks it’s just a spirit. This episode has always resonated with me. Especially since it was released about 9 years ago and I’ve been an atheist for 10.

For those of you who don’t watch the show, Sam is the younger brother. He’s very smart and he’s the moral voice. He’s always asking whether or not what they are doing is right, and he does most of their research on whatever it is they are hunting. Dean sees things as more black and white. Things are either good or evil, human or not. Dean would rather shoot first and ask questions later. He’s also fairly smart, but he doesn’t value knowledge. He thinks that the only knowledge worth having is that which is absolutely necessary. He definitely can come across as proud of his ignorance.

Sam has always been my favorite character because he has the better personality. But Dean’s a better skeptic. Sam has a blind spot where religion is concerned, though his faith is pretty thoroughly destroyed in the fourth season. Sam and Dean hunt ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and even demons. Sam takes this as a sign that all lore is real. He’s willing to believe in all forms of supernatural. But Dean only believes in what he can see.

In this particular episode, Dean says that he loves his job is that it doesn’t require faith. He says that there is nothing looking out for him, there is no God, and there are no angels. This is a very rational view to take: they have no reason to believe that any of those things exist. They’ve seen demons, ghosts, werewolves, etc, but nothing particular to Christianity, or Yahweh. Nothing that couldn’t be explained without Christianity. Sam later reveals that his willingness to believe is out of fear.

Of course, Supernatural does eventually reveal that there are in fact angels and there may be a God. Dean still isn’t sure about God though, and is perfectly willing to kill God if he does exist. Sam is now less faithful, and he seems to be a better skeptic. But Dean still has him beat in that one area.

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8 responses to “Supernatural

  • johnspenn

    It’s really rather humorous to read as you discuss this show as if it had real theological implications. Is that what you’re saying?

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  • Daniel Cornwall

    I really appreciate Supernatural. I do find the show odd in the sense that once angels showed up the show was both iconoclastic and extremely fundamentalist. It’s iconoclastic in the sense that the idea of an absent God and the need to sometimes ally with demons against angels is abhorrent to a fundamentalist Christian.

    On the other hand, the show seems to accept a Young Earth. Cain was real. Heaven and Hell are real. Supernatural even buys into the idea that ALL pagan gods are evil eaters of human flesh, even when the lore says otherwise – i.e. odin.

    If angels as conventionally depicted by Christianity exist, I suspect they weep during most Supernatural shows where angels are featured, especially last season.

    I cannot wait for the new season.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      They don’t accept the young earth idea. In I think season 6, Cas makes a statement about watching fish crawl out of water. They’re also quite accurate about their pagan mythology: they only pick the pagan gods that actually demand blood sacrifices in the ways that they show. The writers do a lot of research.

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  • nikeyo

    I freaking love Supernatural. I’m on Dean’s team, personally. His skepticism, personality, and the plain omg-sexiness.

    When I started watching it as an Atheist and Bible B.A., I was just all drool. I nerded out so hard on all the imagery, the portrayal of Biblical characters, Jewish mysticism characters, and just everything. I was on cloud 9 geeking out, absorbing, and finding symbolism.

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