Great return from Supernatural. Made even more great by the fact that we weren’t expecting much from it… The show can be quite hit and miss at times, and to come back this strongly bodes well for the coming season. We hope.
Frankly worrying, however, was that credit sting. As you devout members of the Supernatural fandom will no doubt have noticed by now, every new season is accompanied by a new title screen. This season’s? Angel wings. That tells us what we’re going to be focusing on this year and, devout PHG fans that you undoubtedly are, you know that’s not going to make us happy. We’re always wary when Supernatural strays too far into the religious. But, as long as Kripke et al. handle it as well this year as they did last – a profoundly heaven-and-hell season that somehow still felt monster-of-the-week – we should be okay.
The episode picked up just a few days after we left off at the end of the previous season, and really set the stage for a fantastic run. It opened with a standard Winchesters-on-a-roadtrip scene then cut to a Winchesters-in-hospital scene. For the majority of the episode, Sam is in a coma. And this is fantastic television. You wouldn’t think there’d be much scope there, but the combination of Sam’s internal debate over whether to keep fighting and Dean’s mounting despair at the thought of losing his brother was great. A stellar turn here from Tahmoh Penikett (Dollhouse, Battlestar Gallactica) as the angel Ezekiel brought some heightened drama and somberness to the episode. Sam’s coma dreams also brought guest star spots from Death (Julian Richings) and Bobby (who, as always, we were delighted to see).
The resolution of Sam’s coma arc will obviously play a huge part in the rest of the season. Ezekiel, needing to repair himself and with no other way to help Sam, is now riding piggyback on our favorite Moose. But, of course, it can never be as simple as a mutually beneficial relationship working without flaw. There’s one slight snag. Dean can never tell Sam that Ezekiel’s in there in case Sam kicks him out. If Sam ejects him, they’ll both die. So welcome to another season of one brother lying to the other brother. Things just might get a little bit tense. The other snag? If Ezekiel’s inside Sam, that means we don’t get to stare at Tahmoh.
On the plus side, we just realized that we were a little bit right (but mostly wrong) in last season’s predictions. We guessed fairly early on that Sam was turning into an angel and that that was the eventual result of the trials. Looks like we got some of that right. Sam is surrounding an angel, and it is as a result of the trials. Do we get any points for that?
The other major arc of the season will be Castiel’s. Kicked out of heaven along with all of the other angels, Cas is the only one walking the earth without his grace. That makes him deliciously human and insanely vulnerable. Not necessarily a problem, unless you’re the most hunted man on the planet. The fallen angels are fairly well divided – the ones who still support Cas and the ones who want to kill him. The season should be largely spent with Cas (disturbingly without trench coat) running from the latter and trying to find the former, perhaps for a storming of heaven? We doubt Metatron will be retired from the show any time soon.
A side arc will likely concern Crowley and the battle for hell. The Winchesters are riding around with the king of hell in their trunk. That gives us a few possibilities. First and foremost, it means that the option is always there to complete the trials and close hell forever. If Ezekiel can heal Sam, it puts Sam in the unique position of being able to complete the final trial as if it were only the first. We’re not sure if Sam knows that Crowley is traveling everywhere with them, but we’d nearly bet that, when he finds out, that will be his first instinct. The other likelihood is that, with Crowley in the trunk, the Winchesters will be dogged by demons wherever they go. Even if Crowley’s place is taken – by Abadon, most probably – he will always have his followers, and they’re no one the Winchesters want to be facing.
All in all, it adds up for an exciting season. For the first time in a long time, we kind of can’t wait. – K
Quoteworthy: “There ain’t no me if there ain’t no you.” – Coma Dean, to Coma Sam