The current season of Supernatural has been a steady downhill decline in quality since its strong opening, but I thought the appearance of ex-Buffy stars James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter might turn things around.
I'm sorry to say: it didn't. Supernatural used to be about consequences. Bad people did bad tjhings and they paid the price. That no longer seems to be the case.
Shut Up, Dr Phil had the Winchester brothers arriving in Prosperity, Indiana, to investigate some impossible deaths only to discover that it's the work of powerful 800-year-old witch Maggie Stark (Carpenter).
However, before they can move to stop her, her husband Donald Stark (Marsters) reveals himself to be a powerful 800-year-old witch as well and the deaths - and other problems plaguing the town - are the result of marital tensions between the couple.
A lot of this is played for dark laughs, and while Don ultimately saves the Winchesters' lives, the witches get away with with multiple murders without any consequences.
It's also worth pointing out how easily Don overcomes the Leviathan that shows up in town (Sean Owen Roberts). Given how much head-scratching the Winchesters have been doing about how to defeat these seemingly unstoppable season foes, you have to question why they don't (at least attempt to) recruit Don to their cause?
This might seem like a trivial thing but setting up an unbeatable foe that a random guest star can then beat down with the wave of a hand is pretty shoddy scriptwriting. This doesn't bode well as the team of Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming have penned a number of upcoming episodes as well.
While the last couple of episodes have seen a return to the structure of early seasons - the brothers turn up in a town to investigate mysterious events - they lack the visceral thrills of those halcyon days. Everything's feeling a bit tired at the moment.