Friday, September 19, 2008



On first watching, I loved everything about last night's episode of Supernatural. After discussion with some friends (some of us did a post-show chat last night, and I communicated with a few others about it) and a partial second viewing, I have a few nitpicks or less-than-thrillednesses. But overall, I'd say it was the best season premiere yet.

I recorded to VHS for a friend who doesn't have cable and watched a little as it recorded, taking notes. But the phone rang halfway through so the following thoughts will get less detailed and more sparse as I go. Please comment! I'm sure I'll have more to say later.

The flashes of Dean's eyes was excellently done. The bloody red, the panic, the screech. Then his sudden appearance in a grave.

Let's ignore the practicality regarding someone's ability to claw through six feet of dirt and just note the realistic rasp in Dean's voice. I wondered what Jensen had to go through to sound like that, because it was pretty real, and existed until he drank water in that store.

The blast area, the trees being down, with the aerial shot, made me go "Whoa!"

I don't like the new show logo as much. The wings are kind of cool, though too freak-me-out-ish, but the static reversion to season I much prefer the colors and flames of the "going to commercial" or "returning from commercial" or whatever it is.

OMG, we get Dean in a t-shirt immediately! *hugs Kripke*

And Sam in a t-shirt not too much later! I know, I know, I'm jumping ahead, but let me just say...I love the filmed-in-July episodes!!!

When Dean was in that store...I know a lot of people will have something to say about his complete plundering of the inventory and cash register, so I won't bother. But I loved the detail--the cap from the water bottle falling to the floor when he's getting his drink. Drying his face on his shirt. Those kinds of things. Love it!

Which, of course, brings us to Dean examining his torso in the mirror. Despite my 13-year-old's inauguration into watching live prime-time TV, I rewound that part. I claimed it was to see if he had his tattoo (which of course I noticed the first time). They didn't buy it.

Jumping ahead again...I love Castiel. I hope he keeps possessing that guy. Several times my fellow fans have mentioned how ironic it is that an angel possessed a human in a demon-like manner, and the human is now going to die because he's been shot and stabbed. But I remind those people that Castiel restored Dean's body to near perfection after not only hellhound chew-toying, but four months decaying. He can fix the guy he possessed, easy.

Plus, he said the guy prayed for this. He looked a little rough around the edges. Like the guy he was in was living a bleak, hopeless life, perhaps one tainted by alcoholism or worse. Perhaps housing Castiel is his redemption, or part of it.

Okay, backing up...

When the TV, radio, etc., came on the first time, I thought maybe Dean was doing it somehow. Still thought it the second time. I wonder why Castiel tried a second time, knowing it didn't work? It kind of hints at the reality of the angels. That like demons, they have elements of humanity. Like the ability to make mistakes.

Whoops. Backing up again...

I loved the reunions. Again, it was all about the details for me. Bobby with the holy water cracked me up. Perfectly done. Dean fisting Bobby's shirt when they hugged. When it came to Sam, the hug tightened just a little at the moment when it probably would have ended. Some felt the reunions were a little flat, but I appreciated that they didn't drag it out, that everything kind of clicked. They went into mission mode, wallowing in "bad four months" or whatever. Of course, on Sam's part, some of the glossing-over was due to his development of his abilities.

Why was it a rough four months for Bobby? Yes, he had to bury Dean, and felt the loss, and hurt for Sam, but was that all there was to it? If his wife's death drove him to drink, he was over it at this point, yet Dean's death led to bottles all over the house. So I'm wondering if there's been something else going on with Bobby, too.

I really liked that Dean asked why he was buried and Bobby's answer. It was what I expected, but they could have assumed we just knew that, and not addressing it would have been annoying.

Okay, I can't tell. Is the woman in Sam's hotel room (Cathy/Christie) the same woman with him in the diner (possessed by Ruby)? If she is, did Ruby take her over before Dean showed up, or after? If before, then she probably knew Dean was raised, which means Sam might have known, too, which might account for his low-key response to Dean's accusations (though if it wasn't that way, then I attribute Sam's low-keyness to maturity--he doesn't have to get defensive anymore).

I'm not buying that she was Ruby already. Ruby's too hard (though the actress didn't exactly try to emulate her attitude the way every actress who played the crossroads demon did, for example), and she wouldn't be interested in a physical relationship with Sam, so she wouldn't be hanging around in her underwear. And Sam's not that good an actor. He'd be behaving a little more weirdly, because Ruby wouldn't hide her presence, or he wouldn't expect her to, at least. I'm thinking, if that was the same woman, Sam just knew it was Ruby in there, either because of proximity or because of his abilities. Though he didn't seem to know the waitress was a demon, so maybe I'm way off and if I am, I don't think they did that whole element all that well.

Moving on...

I find it amusing and sad that Dean's all for going to the psychic for help, but Sam's a freak and he doesn't want him even thinking about using his abilities.

It bothers me (not in a "bad show!" way, but in a "boy, they're doing a job on me" way) that the boys are already lying to each other. I think Dean remembers more of hell than he's admitting, and Sam made a big mistake telling Dean flat out that he didn't go down that road. Things will be soooo much worse when Dean finds out now.

Okay, best part of the episode, bar none, was the iPod. The look on Dean's face when Sam said "I thought it was my car." The sheer JOY (in me!) when Jason Manns came on! And Sam's sheepishness at Dean's reaction. I loved it!

Speaking of looks on faces...Jensen nailed this episode. Every emotion was perfect, portrayed with subtle flickers of facial muscles or the look in his eyes. Where Jared seems to need a few episodes to feel Sam again, one would think Jensen had spent his summer in a pine box in the dark, waiting to get back with his crew.

Okay, here's where I get more vague 'cause from here I only watched it once...

If Pam knew Castiel's name, knew who he was (and I got the impression she did--at first, I thought he was trying to keep her from seeing some other being), why did she have to insist on seeing him? A name was better than a face. A face could be anyone, anything. A name can be researched. Though I do admit, the thing with the eyes was very effectively horrifying. Poor Pam.

The geography was kind of confusing. Dean drove his stolen car from Illinois to the Bobby Dimension (portals to every part of America!) and then had to go back to Illinois to get to Sam. Pam was four hours down the Interstate, but when Sam snuck out, he went back to Illinois to stake out the demons. Where did Bobby and Dean go at that point, to conjure Castiel? Were they near the hotel in Pontiac? Four hours from Sam?

I liked that they didn't drag out the question of who hauled Dean out, especially after hints about the beginning of season four implied that Dean was searching for answers for a while. His exact mission, what God and Castiel (if, indeed, it was at God's orders and if Castiel is really an angel and/or if angels really report to God) want from him, might go unsaid for a little while. But the mystery being at least partially answered right away is a good thing.

Best line of the episode: "You're not invited." We declined to explain that to Number One.

Evidence that Mommy needs to adjust pretty quickly to having a kid watching with her: When the mirrors over Dean were about to shatter and come down, I said "Shit!" rather audibly. It's not like she doesn't hear it at school, and possibly even say it (though I'm reasonably sure her profanity runs to milder words), I still strive hard not to curse in front of the kids.

So I think that covers it. I'm very happy. I can't wait for next week, and I'm soooooo glad it's only six days instead of four months!

Now please excuse me while I go check for Dean's *ahem* tattoo.


Victoria said...

The opening scene was fantastic. (except I do wonder why he had his lighter, but maybe Sam wanted him to be prepared for when he brought him back)(I'm ignoring how he managed to crawl out of his grave too, but they at least gave him wounds from it) Dean walking down the road, his voice, pulling up his shirt (omg, squee).
I really like the logo. And I like Castiel, too. A lot. Jensen was absolutely brilliant the whole way through.
I think he doesn't really remember his time in hell. I think he gets flashes and that the memories will come back as time goes on.
One of my biggest fears is that Castiel's purpose is to stop Sam from doing what he's doing. I don't want to see brother-against-brother extended throughout the season. I could probably handle it for one episode, but only if it ended with them on the same side. I don't like that they're lying to each other and I really wish Dean would accept Sam's powers. Like you said, he had no trouble going to the psychic.
I wondered the same thing about Bobby. For one, even though they tried to save Dean, he had to know it wasn't going to work and he would have been at least partially prepared for Dean's death. Also, he wouldn't have been surprised by Sam's disappearance because he would have known what Sam was up to. So, I wonder what else is up with him.
Holy water in the face was hysterical. Dean's reaction was perfect. There were so many great lines.
On Sam's reaction to Dean's accusations...I think it was his guilt at not being able to find a way to get Dean out. And Sam's harder now, more mature. (I love it!)
I absolutely love Castiel. I'm not sure I believe he's who he says he is. I want to believe it. The wings rocked. (but I'm a sucker for wings)
I can't tell if Ruby was the same woman at the beginning of the show either. Maybe they did that on purpose to make us question things. Because if she was, she would have recognized Dean and Bobby and I can't believe she, or Sam, would be able to fake their reactions. Yeah, she would have already known and so would Sam, but if Sam knew Dean had been raised from hell would he really be "occupied" with some chick when his brother could need him?
OMG, there's so much more!! I love it! I've only seen it once though, with a you tube viewing of the last four minutes. I'm so glad the boys are back!!!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Here's the queen of rationalization:

Lighter: People in grief do kinda odd things sometimes. If Sam had found a way to bring Dean back, he'd have planned to dig him up first; he wouldn't intentionally leave him in the grave like that. BUT I think he would have left the lighter as a traditional thing--burying prized possessions with the body--or as a symbolic thing--being unable to leave Dean completely in the dark.

And of course, if anyone could dig themselves out of six feet of dirt, it would be the Winchesters. LOL It didn't look like it was easy, either. :)

A lot of people have said Castiel might be trying to put Dean against Sam, but Sam's still going after evil, destroying demons. Castiel's methods are equal to Sam's--he burned the eyes of those people the demons were possessing, after all, and didn't really show remorse for Pam.

I guess the setup of episode one could be taking them down either road: brother-vs-brother, or same-goal, different-methods. I don't think it's going to be that linear and simple, though. I think they'll be a lot more complex about it.

but if Sam knew Dean had been raised from hell would he really be "occupied" with some chick when his brother could need him?

Exactly! So I'm not buying that she was Ruby at the start, unless they specifically tell us otherwise, and if they do, I'm going to be disappointed.

I'll tape the episode for you today and drop it off asap!

MJFredrick said...

Maybe Dean WASN'T 6 feet down, if Sam was thinking he could bring him back, maybe he didn't bury him as deep.

Does Bobby know about Sam? Maybe as Sam learned to use his abilities he got hurt or drained himself and Bobby had to help him.

It was my FAVORITE season opener, except for the series premier.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I did think that, Mary, until Dean said he found himself 6 feet under--though that could have been just a saying.

I don't think Bobby knows about Sam. I think that's part of the reason it's been "months" since he saw him. I don't think he'd have kept it from Dean, either, and Sam wouldn't have said "By the way, if Dean ever comes back, don't tell him about this." :)

BUT, his sort-of estrangement from Sam could be part of the reason it's been a difficult summer.

Victoria said...

THANK YOU!!! And I actually got to watch it today when I didn't think I'd get to until Tuesday!
On being buried...if Sam had managed to make a deal to bring him back, would he have been close enough/had time to dig Dean up? I could see him making the deal and then rushing to the grave site to help him get out, but if the demon's making the deal, would Sam really ask for time to dig him up? Idk.
After watching it again, I think you're right, Nat. Sam distancing himself made everything harder on Bobby. They're a family and Sam pulling away would really hurt Bobby. Poor Bobby. I love him.
I haven't read the comments about Dean pillaging the gas station, but I was thinking about it while I watched it again. Here's how I see it...He has no idea what kind of world he's in now. Things could be totally different than when he died.
Thursday can't come soon enough!!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

THANK YOU!!! And I actually got to watch it today when I didn't think I'd get to until Tuesday!

Woo hoo!

On being buried...if Sam had managed to make a deal to bring him back, would he have been close enough/had time to dig Dean up?

Good point. I was thinking more rituals. Deals wouldn't be done nearby, likely.

He has no idea what kind of world he's in now. Things could be totally different than when he died.

True. I had to remind myself that he's always been a thief. It's just a little different for him to be raiding a till than committing credit card fraud. And grand theft auto! Though that's not really new for them. :)