Review: Supernatural: The Official Companion: Season 2

Supernatural: The Official Companion: Season 2 by Nicholas Knight

Review by Paula R. Stiles

Knight, Nicholas. Supernatural: The Official Companion Season 2. London: Titan Books, 2008. 159pp. US $14.95/CAN $16.95/£9.99. ISBN: 1 84576 657 1.

Supernatural season five begins filming today in Greater Vancouver amid a flurry of spoilers, foilers and down-and-dirty rumours. And we bring you another season companion review – only, ours is of season two.
Season companions tend to follow a similar pattern due to their focus on the episodic nature of a show. Supernatural: The Official Companion Season 2 is no exception in this respect. It follows the same pattern of sections as Supernatural: The Official Companion Season 1: an introduction, a general chapter about the show, a section devoted to the episodes and MOTWs, a section devoted to the recurring characters, a “Meet the Crew” section, “Do You Believe” and fan reaction sections, and a final humourous essay.

Not all of the differences are in the details, however. The forward this time round is written by Robert Singer (one of the show’s producers) not Eric Kripke. Instead of being an introduction to how the series was created and pitched, the second section, “Escalating Supernatural”, is all about the changes in plot and characters in season two (and there were many). The MOTW pages are more explicit in the episode sections, while the incidental music descriptions have been heavily (almost too heavily) cut back. The recurring cast section is much longer, with more characters. “Meet the Crew” covers the hair and makeup department (including the priceless comment about Jensen Ackles’ hair being “like a Chia pet”), editors and writers. And the final section this time is “22 Helpful Hints for Aspiring Monster Hunters by Dean Winchester”.

This all rather neatly reflects the major changes in season two. Jeffrey Dean Morgan left in the season premiere (except for a brief return in the second part of the season finale), but the recurring cast expanded considerably (for Supernatural, anyway). Season two introduced the Roadhouse, a watering hole for hunters like Sam and Dean, and mother-daughter barkeeps Ellen and Jo along with ill-fated computer whiz and fan favorite Ash. The season also saw the more permanent addition of superhunter Bobby Singer, who first appeared in season one finale “Devil’s Trap”. Another major sea change came in the shift in angst from Sam’s grief over Jessica in season one to Dean’s grief over just about everything from season two onward. These things are hashed over pretty thoroughly, especially in the “Escalating Supernatural” article and the character interviews later on.

Actors’ perspectives on individual episodes are still a bit lacking, though there is some good insight from Sterling Brown (Gordon) for “Hunted” and Jim Beaver (Bobby) for “Tall Tales”. Little extras like the Purple Nurple recipe on page 85 are also fun (yes, this reviewer has tried it). Overall, it’s another solid effort with info for fans and “making of” enthusiasts alike.

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