Supernatural aired Thursday night with its second episode “The Rising Son” and already explored a lot of character development. 

The episode took the audience for a ride when Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Jack (Alexander Calvert) crashed at a cheap, dingy hotel after a long night with no sleep.  From there, mayhem ensued.  Dean was heavily persuaded into taking a break from driving by Sam, which introduced semi-heartfelt conversation between the trio. Soon after, Donatello, a prophet of God came waltzing into the motel room and asked where God was. The scene cut to Asmodeus, the fourth Prince of Hell, arriving in Hell and assumed the role of King of Hell until Lucifer and his son are rightfully situated in Hell’s reign.  

The situation led to a wild goose chase of finding Lucifer, who is in the alternate reality of Earth with Mary, and Jack, who are with the brothers. Asmodeus presented himself as a powerful authority figure with some baggage that could lead to plot development. Given his terrifying nature, he morphed himself to a version of Donatello to take Jack and trick him into opening a gate to Hell to release the Shedim, or horrendous devils. Thankfully, Sam and Dean found Jack and were able to stop him, and it made Jack realize his part in the scheme.  

Jack became angry and almost destroyed Asmodeus with his powers, showing a semblance of human emotion. The episode came to a chilling conclusion when Dean confronted Jack when he saw Jack stabbing himself several times. It was shown that the wounds healed themselves almost instantaneously, proving that Jack could not be harmed. Dean bluntly tells Jack that if and when the times comes for Jack to die, Dean will do it with no hesitation.

“The Rising Son” is fitting in the series because of Jack’s foreseeable arrival to power.  He is seen as the ‘son’ where his powers are influential and dominant. However, because of his innocence, Sam believes his powers can be controlled and used for the ultimate good. In this way, the notion of good versus evil becomes extremely apparent. Jack is Lucifer’s son, but is not intentionally causing harm where it is not validated. Jack has shown human qualities of mercy, introducing the notion of good outweighing the evil. Dean, on the other hand, does not share Sam’s hope. Dean wants to kill Jack because, as he frankly points out, Jack isn’t Simba — he’s the devil.

The episode introduces the possibility of heavy character development in the midst of obvious grief. Sam is assuming the role of an optimist when the situation is clearly not a hopeful one.  Sam believes his mother is still alive since there is no hard evidence proving she’s dead and gone. Dean counteracts Sam’s positivity with a depressing lack of interest. Dean has given up hope and blames God for the situation. In Dean’s mind, God has abandoned them and left Dean to pick up the pieces of the wreckage. His mom and best friend are dead. It has been made apparent by previous season that Dean cannot do this alone which means if Sam dies, Dean will happily join him in death. 

Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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