It’s been a year since Dick exploded. Dean pops up, apparently now out of purgatory, in front of a couple’s tent in Maine. He’s dirty and he has an interesting weapon. He grabs their backpack and they point him towards the road. Four days later, he’s in Louisiana, now all cleaned up. He digs up a grave and holds out his arm which appears to have something wanting to crawl out.
He cuts his arm open, says a spell and spills out whatever was in his arm onto to the bones. Behind him appears a man… er, a vampire. What now, they ask themselves. They say their goodbyes.
“Keep your nose clean.”
They shake hands.
“We made it, brother. I can’t believe it.”
Over in Kermit, Texas, Sam is packing his bag and sneaking out of a home in the middle of the night, leaving behind a dog and woman in bed. He drives the Impala (yay!) to Minnesota where he reunites with Dean. At first, Dean does every demon, Leviathan, shapeshifter test they know to make sure this is really Sam and he asks Sam to do the same to him. Sam says he doesn’t need to and they hug.
“Dude, you’re freaking alive.”
Dean tells Sam he was in purgatory, but not how he got out. He tells Sam that Cas didn’t make it. Are you sure, you saw him die? Sam asks. “I saw enough,” Dean replies.
Dean tells Sam how hard it was to contact him since half his numbers were out of service. Sam explains he doesn’t hunt anymore. He was left completely alone. So he fixed the Impala and just drove.
Dean asks if he looked for him.
“We always told each other not to look for each other. That’s smart, good for you. Of course we always ignored that because of our deep abiding love for each other, but not this time, right Sammy?”
Sam cooks dinner, but Dean passes. While Sam’s eating, Dean turns on their old cell phones. He lets Sam listen to the messages he hasn’t heard over the last year… all from Kevin. In the first voice mail, Kevin says he’s escaped Crowley’s clutches and asks Sam for help. Three months later, he calls and isn’t that happy Sam hasn’t called back. Another three months later, he’s assumed Sam is dead and won’t be calling anymore.
Dean is upset. Kevin was their responsibility, but Sam couldn’t “answer the damn phone.” Later, Sam manages to dig into Kevin’s voice mail to find he might be in Michigan .
They stop at a motel on the way and Dean has a flashback to purgatory. He’s chasing someone, a vampire. He asks where Castiel is, but the vampire doesn’t know. Dean chops his head off and another comes to attack. But in flies another vampire who saves him. The vampire from earlier.
Back to the present Sam tells Dean a little bit about what made him stop hunting. He realized it wasn’t only up to him to stop any of the things they’d been hunting all their lives. The world would go on even if he didn’t hunt. Dean assumes a girl was involved too and Sam doesn’t deny it. Amelia. She was something he never had before, Sam says.
He then asks Dean about purgatory. It was bloody and messy and 360 degree combat, but something about it all felt pure. Flashback to purgatory.
The vampire, Benny, tells Dean he knows a way out. That God has made it so there was a way out, but only for humans. What’s in it for the vamp? He wants to hitch a ride with Dean out of there.
Sam and Dean arrive at the Michigan university where Kevin’s girlfriend Channing is attending. They talk to her and she tells them he hasn’t seen him for a year and that she hates him. And that she only liked him when he was going to Princeton. Later, when Sam and Dean are gone, Channing makes a phone call… to a demon. Turns out she possessed. She tells the demon on the other line that Kevin hasn’t shown up yet and that Dean Winchester is back.
While Dean enjoys his first burger in a year, Sam does some high tech tracking and finds Kevin could be in Iowa. The trail leads them to an abandoned church where they find a very prepared Kevin with Borax water guns and demon seals.
Kevin flashbacks to being taken to a warehouse. Crowley gave him a haircut and fresh clothes and asks him to interpret a new tablet, another Word of God. This time it’s about demons. Kevin reads a part of it saying the tablet talks about hellgates. There’s one in Wisconsin and the tablet has instructions on how to open it. Crowley has Kevin go through the ritual with himself waiting on some Wisconsin farm. But Kevin actually conjures up a demon killing spell and uses it to get rid of Crowley’s goons allowing him to escape.
Kevin tells Sam and Dean the tablet, now in safe keeping, also has info on how to banish all demons to hell and close the gates forever. The Bros step out. Dean is excited, but Sam worries. This is an opportunity to wipe the slate clean, Dean says, to get payback for every single demon that’s made their life… well, hell. Demons that killed their mother, that killed Jess (yay @ Jess mention!). “And you’re not sure?” Dean asks.
Back inside, Sam apologizes to Kevin and explains that he should’ve been there for him. Kevin can’t believe this has been Sam and Dean’s life. Ever since he realized he was a prophet, it’s been hard to believe that this is his life now.
“Trust me on this, it gets better.”
“You know I’m not gay right?”
Sam says if they can pull this off, there’s a world out there where no demon would be chasing after him anymore. Kevin knows, but he just isn’t sure how he’s going to “get from here to there.” Sam says he thought that way too before, but there’s hope. Kevin asks for five minutes.
Sam has another flashback. He brings in the dog he’s run over to an animal hospital and a snippy doctor convinces Sam to take the dog himself after he’s been treated.
Back in the present, the church begins shaking. Dean pulls out his purgatory weapon just as two demons arrive. They finish the two off just as Crowley arrives with Channing.
Crowley tries to get Kevin to come with him and allows the real Channing to speak up.
“What’s going on?”
“There’s a demon inside you and you’re going to your safety school.”
The Bros tell Kevin that Crowley is lying, but Kevin agrees to give himself up in exchange for Channing to go back to her normal self. No fighting, no nothing. I’ll go grab my stuff, Kevin says and goes into the other room.
But Kevin’s gone for a while, so Crowley and Channing go see what’s up only to find themselves getting holy water poured on them. Kevin yells for Sam and Dean to run and they all hop into the Impala. Crowley tells demonChanning to find another meat suit. The demon flies away and just as the Impala is driving away, Kevin sees Crowley snap the real Channing’s neck.
Next day, they stop for gas. Dean gets a call, but tells Sam it was a wrong number. Kevin is still a little shocked about Channing dying.
“You’re in it now. You do what you gotta do,” Dean says.
Dean steps out to head to the restroom but actually calls back Benny who had just called him. Benny tells Dean how things have changed in 50 years, that he can get a phone at a convenience store for example.
“I don’t regret what we did down there,” Dean says. They should take things one day a time and for now, they shouldn’t talk to each other just yet. Benny says he agrees with Dean’s feeling that purgatory was pure and that he should’ve appreciated it more while he was there, like Dean apparently did. Dean tells Benny to call in case of emergency.
“You keep your nose clean too brother.”
Did anyone ever think we’d be at this point? Supernatural, season 8? Some would say the show has overstayed it’s welcome, and there are some episodes in seasons 6 and 7 that would make me feel the same way.
But I think overall there’s lots of stories to tell and I’m happy to see the show still doing well. In fact, so well it is now one of the CW’s few anchors, evidenced by the network moving the show from Fridays to Wednesdays.
With Jeremy Carver taking over as showrunner and him being someone who’s worked on the show for years, I’m definitely excited and hoping Supernatural gets injected with some fresh energy. And I think it will. Plus Jared and Jensen, just two guys who carry such a diverse, complicated series so well. They are awesome.
Now with our season premiere, it was a little déjà vu since we’ve seen a Sam and Dean season premiere reunion a few times before. Not to mention the “I moved on while you were away so we’re going to have rebuild our relationship and reaffirm our love for each other” situation the Bros have already gone through, sometimes even twice in one season.
Nothing really new there. What was new and what’s definitely more interesting moving forward is Dean’s time in purgatory. All this “pure” talk is very intriguing. The season 7 finale made it seem like purgatory was darkness with wildbeasts behind every bush. But in this episode, purgatory was presented as something less so. Instead, it was a mysterious wilderness that didn’t really match up with the growling shadows in the season 7 finale nor the fact that Dean was all roughed up when he pops into that couple’s campsite.
That makes it all the more intriguing to see just what happened the last year as well as getting to know Benny a lot better. Definitely more interesting than seeing Sam’s life with Amelia right now.
And Kevin, definitely great to see him back and possibly with a bigger role this season. Osric Chau is great in the role and the character is definitely a welcome addition. I hope he gets a lot of material to work with. There’s definitely lots of things they can touch on, especially what appears to be a downright miraculous last year for him being able to hide from Crowley.
So overall, a solid season premiere that sets up what should be, at the very least, a very intriguing next couple of episodes of half of the season.
And again, it is so great to see “Supernatural” and “Season 8” in the same sentence.