Tense and tricky, the season premiere of Supernatural had a lot of action and emotion. It seems as though the series has been gone a long time, doesn’t it? Show creator Eric Kripke, who wrote the premiere, picked up right where he’d left off, with the aftermath of Sam having killed Lilith, the “final seal” that sets Lucifer loose upon the world.
SPOILER ALERT: DON’T READ FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED DURING SUPERNATURAL‘S SEASON PREMIERE.
Kripke front-loaded this opening episode with some terrific scenes with characters we wanted to see again, like the hack novelist Carver Edlund (”I have a molar in my hair — this has been a really stressful day”) as well as the grim angels Zachariah (to whom Dean said blithely, “Cram it with walnuts, ugly”) and Castiel. Yes, Castiel’s back… not that I fully understood how. Maybe you more hardcore-knowledgable fans will explain it to me?
As it was, I thoroughly enjoyed the cameo by bad, bad Meg and the entrance of a fan of Edlund’s books, Becky. She’s a ticklingly good creation by Kripke, hunched over her keyboard tapping out fan-fiction in which Sam and Dean are “husky-voiced” lovers. She also served as a messenger for some key information about “the sword of Michael,” Michael being the angel who “commands the heavenly host” and can help defeat Lucifer.
One consistent theme in Kripke’s vision for Supernatural is that his heroes aren’t just flesh-and-blood protagonists we can like or identify with; they’re also — a key term in Supernatural as well as Biblical lore — “vessels” who embody something more powerful than themselves. This season, it sounds as though Dean will prove to be the key vessel.
I’ll keep this brief, but will add one more thing. At the heart of the show now, there’s the betrayal Dean feels toward Sam, something the conclusion of tonight’s episode suggests is going to take a long time, maybe forever, to forgive. When Sam was led astray by Ruby and he killed Lilith instead of heeding Dean, it broke something inside Dean. “I don’t think we can ever be what we were,” said Dean. In Supernatural, as in all good fiction and television, characters and their relationships with each other change and shift.
They may be fighting external enemies, but the brothers also have demons within themselves to come to terms with as well. Did you watch the season premiere of Supernatural? What did you think?