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Reading in the tealeaves of Season 1

Usually I`m pretty good in (for)seeing where a storyline will go on any given show - with SPN right now I have some doubts and fears as well as some hopes - but I have an idea for the basic structure of Season 2. Will not contain spoilers for specific episodes but more general theories. Especially in comparism to Season 1.

Okay, so Season 1 IMO can be roughly divided in three, maybe even four batches.
1.The Pilot till Asylum, other than genuinely introducing the setting and the characters, them learning and relearning stuff about each other and their preconceptions about eahc other/Dad, dealt with the search for Dad and more importantly a griefing Sam being a powder keg with finally exploding in Asylum.

Scarecrow could be seen as a transitional episode. They at least hear from John and we get aftershocks of the Asylum-earthquake and over the course of the episode Sam comes to a new decision: he is in this hunt with his brother for the time being. Not to say he abandoned his long term plans of revenge and going back to school but he gave priority to Dean`s well-being here.

2. The Next batch is significantly shorter: Faith to Benders. In this period we learn a few things about Dean, get some new clues about the myth-arc and the next separation between the brothers is entriely due to outside forces. This is more a couple of episodes together without an overreaching emotional motiv or plotline.

Shadow is a transitional episode again. The boys finally meet Dad in person, must separate again for tactical reason though and Sam and Dean have a heartbreaking heart-to-heart that I`m not sure how it was ever resolved. I guess what Dean took from this was that Sam would go back to his life and frankly the no-contact scenario of Stanford would resume. And I`m guessing Sam would have wanted Dean reintegrated in his life but failed to realize he came across as anything but.

3. Now either we look at the last 6 episodes as one batch with a couple of preludes to set up the finishing trilogy or we divide them again. Anyway like in the middle we have some stand-alones in which we just learn character-related things and a breather ep with Hell House. Followed by the big three closing out the arc and in a culmination of the whole Season we have the trinity of father, son and... son. :) Plus the confrontation with the big D.

Now onto Season 2:

The Premiere actually shouldn`t count here because it clearly is the Sequel of "Devil`s Trap" and conceptually would belong to Season 1.

Then we have ELAC through Croatoan (2-9), quite frankly mostly dealing with Dean`s angst arc. Handled with various degrees of character integrity and success I might say. *cough*
You could actually see a progression and healing until Croatoan through a wrench in it.
We had one myth-arc ep thrown in and Dean wasn`t particularly angst in "Non Existant" (though I sure was) or "Usual Suspect".

Anyway that is pretty much complimentary to Season 1 episodes 1-10 as a "leitmotiv". Which leads me to believe "Hunted" will be a transitional ep, probably kick-starting Sam`s storyline.
It should also by all accounts and purposes have Dean come to some conclusion for himself. Which could be interpreted as sharing the secret. In which case it already started at the end of "Croatoan". The secret has been a huge burden on him and quite frankly either Dean should have told Sam right away to be in character or the day after freaking never.
Whatever is gonna happen in "Hunted" - my guess is the brothers will decide to team up in full, meaning total shared information and total shared danger.

It should also reverse the brother roles to some degree and have Dean protective again. Also good-guy-ish even though yes, the show shot itself in the foot with "Croatoan" and have Dean commited essentially murder. And while I didn`t miss - or enjoy - the Dean the killer anvils, I truly don`t think the show really wanted to make him the bad guy. Always a foil to Sam`s morality? Maybe. But not really fallen. In fact I do believe all this anvils were just that: huge telephone polls, carved with "Dean is not handling it very well", swung at my head.

So far we have spoilers up to episode 15 and this could probably end another Season 2 batch, this time with maybe a few more points about the Myth-arc thrown in than in the mid-Season of Season 1 but generally more of the loosely held togehter Stand-alone variety that serves the function of evolving the characters rather than the plot.
This year`s episode 14 could be tantamount to last year`s episode 14, right down to the title. :) And 2.15 seems to serve a breather function which I don`t if it is supposed to give us room after the episode before it or lets us regroup before the shit hits the fan after it.

Episode 16 could again be a transitional episode and kick-start the Demon-plot some more, or ideally the Hunter-plot and FBI-plot as well. I`d love to see an all-around fox-hunt for our boys.
I also hope and still expect Sam to be Un-Gabrielled which is to say have him get his hands dirty/bloody. Or stop sermonizing about it while never actually carrying the judgement calls out. One way or the other. Thing is, someone like Jack Bauer is probably always going to be the one to shoot everybody in sight but that doesn`t actually mean that Tony Almeida wouldn`t have done it in Jack`s absence.
As long as they keep away from copping out on it by giving it a convenient out like possession or the like it can still be awesome.

Now episodes 17-22 may be this year`s big resolution and be more arc-driven. Unless we get the damn secret (no half-demon, no half-angel or "saviour of mankind" please that only works if you`re doing a documentary about Jesus and any TV character that gets labelled as a "messiah" is a recipe for insta-hate, see also Max, Dark Angel) it`s impossible to say if we`ll get some Sam as Angelus episodes and Dean brings him back or Dean goes after him with other hunters or everybody goes after everybody. Or will Dean try to actively get Dad back and march right into the Lawrence Hellmouth? Will Sam be friend or foe? Will they defeat the Celine Demon at the end? Who knows.

So, yes in my little convoluted mind Season 2 is following Season 1`s example pretty much to a T. :)