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- DVD: Supernatural (Season 3)
- Rating: Unrated
- Starring: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Katie Cassidy
- Written By: Various
- Directed By: Various
- Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
- Original Year of Release: 2008
- Extras: Episode introductions by writer/director, three featurettes. Gag Reel
DVD Review of Supernatural Season 3
Dean's life is on the clock
By Tim Janson
September 22, 2008
Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Katie Cassidy of Supernatural
© Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Two major plotlines shape season three of Supernatural. First, Dean has sold his soul to the Crossroads Demon to save Sam’s life and has one year to live before the demon collects on the bargain. Second, the Winchesters open up a Devil’s Gate and release hundreds of demons into the world. Season three runs at a breakneck pace, largely to Dean’s impending doom. His deal is referenced in nearly every episode and you get the sense of being on a trail speeding headlong into the unknown.
Two new recurring characters are introduced in season three, both of them female. First there is the demon Ruby (Cassidy) who becomes Sam’s guardian angel (so to speak) looking after him for her own reasons. Bela Talbot (Lauren Cohan), sometimes ally but usually foe, appears in six episodes. Bela deals in stolen magical talismans and the like but is hiding her own dark secret.
Season three is the darkest and grimmest season so far. As time ticks away, the Winchesters become more desperate and careless to find a way to free Dean from his deal. With hundreds of demons on the loose you might think that the season would become one-dimensional but that is not the case. The writers did a good job of sprinkling in side stories into the writer’s strike-shortened, 16-episode season.
Among those shows that separated themselves from the main plotline were “Bedtime Stories” where a comatose girl brings the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales to life and the wonderfully amusing (and gory) “A Very Supernatural Christmas” in which the boys encounter a pair of Pagan Gods disguised as average suburbanites, who are feasting (literally) on their neighbors.
Among the best episodes of the season (in addition to A Very Supernatural Christmas) are “Jus in Bello” as the Winchesters are captured by the FBI and are jailed in a small town Colorado jail until they can be moved. The show is inspired by Fort Apache: The Bronx as dozens of demons converge upon the jail intent on killing everyone inside. For the first time we hear about the demon’s new leader, Lilith.
In “Fresh Blood”, the Winchester-hating Gordon, also a hunter, escapes from prison and begins hunting the boys down again but has a fatal encounter with a vampire, turning him into a creature of the night.
People are receiving calls from the dead loved ones in “Long Distance Call”. While the people are overjoyed to hear from their deceased family members, the Winchesters do not believe whatever is calling them are benevolent spirits.
The season and Dean’s fate concludes with “No Rest for the Wicked” as the clock strikes midnight on the last night of Dean’s deal. While it was a solid season finale, it felt very rushed. The last episode would have been better served as a two-hour finale but that probably was not possible due to the strike.
One of the major developments of season three was Sam’s development as a stronger character. When Dean tells Sam that they have to kill Gordon before he kills them, he surprises Dean by agreeing. Sam becomes more forceful and takes the lead on several occasions as Dean tries to prepare him for life as a solo hunter. The only disappointment about season three is that Cassidy will not be back for season four as Ruby, as her contract was just for one season. She is replaced in season four by Genevieve Cortese.
While the five-disc set does not feature any audio commentaries like the first two seasons did, it does come with episode introductions by the various directors or writers. Other extras include three featurettes on special effects, Dean’s Impala, and the “Ghostfacers episode” along with a gag reel.