Guide to CW’s Supernatural Season 3 for newcomers

SUPERNATURAL -- "Malleus Maleficarum" -- Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR
SUPERNATURAL -- "Malleus Maleficarum" -- Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR /

After the arc that lasted over the first two seasons ended, the third season of Supernatural brought a new story into the mix. Here’s what’s in store for those about to start Season 3.

You might have thought you had Supernatural figured after watching the first two seasons; however, that’s not nearly the case. While the earlier seasons had the brothers with a clear goal of killing Yellow-Eyes – who is revealed in this season to be called Azazel – this time around the brothers don’t quite know what to expect.

Due to this change in setting, the third season offers new characters and a new direction. For one, we have a new villain, and for another, we now have a season arc that focuses on how much the brothers mean to each other.

It’s around this time that we really find out just how much mutual love there is between Dean and Sam, and you know that the bond of family is the message that Supernatural has been going for this whole time. Here’s what to expect from this season.

SUPERNATURAL — “Mystery Spot”– Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
SUPERNATURAL — “Mystery Spot”– Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

The story

Caution: There are minor spoilers in this section.

Dean and Sam continue traveling across the USA hunting monsters of all kinds, but this year, they have a clear focus: to rescue Dean from going to Hell forever. The previous season ended with Dean’s fate sealed to remain on Earth for just one year before going off to Hell after he bargained his soul for Sam’s, and Sam’s not quitting on saving his brother.

More from Supernatural

In Supernatural Season 3, the story really digs deep into the demons being the main antagonists. With Azazel opening Hell’s gate, we now have hundreds of demons on Earth. One of these demons is Lilith, the first demon in existence.

Sam and Dean head out to vanquish Lilith, who seems to have plans to start a war against humanity. Down the line, the brothers begin their plans of finding ways to get back Dean’s soul. For the most part, this season is a character study on how much the brothers are dependent on each other’s presence. While the season does have arcs of its own, the main point here is that Dean and Sam can’t live without each other.

Heroes and supporting characters

Dean takes the main role in this season, after being the supporting hero for the first two seasons, this time he’s the main protagonist. We see Dean first being in denial over his fate to go to Hell, and then accept the fact that he doesn’t want this to be his final year. The season also adds a few layers to Dean by revealing that deep down, he does want a normal “apple pie” life with a special someone.

Sam is the second protagonist in Supernatural’s third season as his main role here is to dig deeper into lore to rescue his brother’s soul. Along the way, however, we get glimpses of Sam’s future plans, according to the demons, over what Lilith has in store for him. His powers are gone for the most part, but there’s a definite hint that it’s not the last we’ve seen of them. If you thought Sam didn’t love Dean as much previously, this season will quell those doubts as Sam’s number one priority is to save Dean, no matter the cost.

Once more, we have Bobby Singer to fill in the regular recurring character and he furthers his father-figure role to the boys by being the person both Sam and Dean can talk to. However, Bobby’s not the fresh supporting character this time around as two more recurring characters are introduced.

Ruby is a female demon who befriends Sam. Of course, as she’s a demon, we don’t trust her straightaway, but Ruby continually conjures up ways to rescue the heroes from sticky situations. You’ll be grossly mistaken to think Ruby’s a friendly, though, as all her dialogues are sardonic and she seems genuinely fed up with her status as a demon. Her scenes are almost exclusively with Sam, and we see the younger Winchester start an unlikely partnership with Ruby. Ruby also introduces the demon-killing knife, which remains a mainstay for the rest of Supernatural’s story.

Bela Talbot is the second female addition to this season. Unlike Ruby, she never maintains a friendly, or even an allied, position with the Winchesters. Bela’s chemistry is more linked with Dean as they have a very love-hate (mostly hate) relationship. Bela is responsible for hoodwinking the Winchesters at every turn, but her role is more than just a femme fatale as she is revealed to have roots that link all the way to Lilith.

SUPERNATURAL — “Time Is On My Side” — Photo: Sergei Bachlakov / The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
SUPERNATURAL — “Time Is On My Side” — Photo: Sergei Bachlakov / The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

The best episodes

The crowning winner has to be “Mystery Spot.” This episode is still considered around the very top over a decade after it aired, and for good reason too. It gave us a Supernatural turn of Groundhog Day where Sam wakes up to the same day, at the end of which Dean dies. The episode has it all: comedy, sadness, determination, and love. “Mystery Spot” is an episode you can watch over and again just to see the multiple sides of it. It has amazing replay value and should be your first choice if you want to watch a Supernatural episode on the fly.

Time is on my side” takes the runner-up position for Supernatural Season 3 by providing us with justification for Sam’s determination to save Dean, and the latter’s courage as he shuns the only way that could save him. The episode has the brothers facing off against an immortal human, who hunts people down to salvage their body parts in order to remain alive. The episode can be seen as straight-up horror, but also provides with the growing tension of Dean’s inevitable fate as it is the penultimate episode. Time is running low for Dean, but he retains his integrity as a person by shunning the villain’s method for immortality.

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SUPERNATURAL — “No Rest For The Wicked” — Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

The baddies

With the departure of Azazel, we needed another towering figure to take the mantle of the main antagonist. While Lilith is hardly more present than Azazel was, she does provide a chilling turn as the villain. You’ll only get to see Lilith in a couple of episodes, but when she’s one, oh does she scare the bejeezus out of everyone.

Making Lilith so terrifying is the mysterious aura surrounding her. We don’t know what she’s after and who she is. Add to the fact that her preferred vessel is that of a little girl, who terrorizes and tortures everyone for the mere pleasure of it, and Lilith is clearly a fitting successor for Azazel.

Remember Gordon Walker? Yup, he comes back in again, but this time his characterization takes a horrific turn. Gordon is still hellbent on killing Sam, believing him to be the anti-Christ, but Gordon undergoes a terrifying transformation that makes his attempt at Sam’s life one of the truly horror-filled episodes of the season. You’ll see Gordon like you never thought you would, and his appearance on-screen will make you uneasy; something that didn’t seem believable in Supernatural Season 2.

Next. Guide to CW’s Supernatural Season 2 for newcomers. dark

What are your favorite episodes of Supernatural Season 3? Which characters do you love the most? What do you think newcomers need to know? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Supernatural airs Thursdays at 8/7c on The CW.