Dean enjoys life as a demon while Sam's hunt for his brother is interrupted by a mysterious newcomer.

By Samantha Highfill
March 31, 2015 at 02:53 PM EDT
Liane Hentscher/The CW
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The thing that Supernatural does better than probably any other show on television right now—and therefore one of the main reasons it’s starting season 10—is taking what is a very dramatic story and having fun with it. This show doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that is why it’s successful. For example, this premiere could’ve been incredibly dark. After nine years of saving people and hunting things, Dean became the thing he hunts. No, he isn’t possessed by a demon. He is a demon. But instead of catching up with Dean on a killing spree, we find him at a road house in Beulah, North Dakota. Okay, so that’s pretty depressing, but it’s not nearly as bad as it could’ve been. I mean, he could’ve been in West Virginia.

All jokes aside, this premiere was everything fans have come to know and love about a Supernatural episode. There was humor—mostly thanks to Dean and Crowley—while precious, precious Sam held down the dramatic fort. (Literally, he’s been holding down things in the Winchester bunker for six weeks.) And then, thanks to Cole, the newest cast addition—who sounds freakishly like Josh Lucas—we’ve got just enough new intrigue. If this episode were a recipe, well, it’d create one delicious bacon cheeseburger.

In the premiere, the first thing we see is the face of a strung-up demon who’s clearly being tortured. As she goes on and on about how the rumors are true—that a Winchester is “one of us”—the camera pans to reveal that she’s not questioning Dean’s lack of a soul. But rather, she’s wondering what’s happened to Sam, who stands in front of her with his right arm in a sling and a knife in his left hand. He’s not quite the demon blood-drinking Sam of season 4, nor is he the soul-less Sam we met in season 6, but perhaps he’s worse, because this time, you can see that he’s still Sam. He feels everything he’s doing… and maybe likes it? Regardless, he’s trying to find Crowley and, more importantly, Dean, but the demon gives him nothing.

Cut to four weeks later, and nerdy Sam is back at work, reading books on books and researching weather patterns to try and locate his big brother. All the research isn’t new for Sam because let’s be real, Dean hardly ever opens a book, but still. Plus, I’m not sure what’s sadder—watching Sam read the letter that Dean left him, which says, “SAMMY LET ME GO,” or watching Sam try to throw some water on his face with only the use of one hand. Of all the times for a Winchester to sustain an injury that actually lasts more than one day, right? Also, do we think Dean writes in all caps naturally or was he “yelling” at his baby bro? Who knows, it could play into the whole mystery. Okay, it probably won’t. I’M JUST TRYING TO HELP.

But Sam clearly doesn’t need my help because his luck quickly turns around when he finds his first lead in weeks. He calls Cas to tell him the good news, which is when we get a glimpse at how Cas’ fading grace is treating him. Spoiler: Not well. As much as I enjoy seeing Cas wearing a robe (and nothing but from the look on Hannah’s face), I like my angels at full-power. Sam feels the same. After the two exchange mysterious comments about how the last time Cas tried to help Sam, a demon messed up Sam’s shoulder, Sam decides to move forward without Coughy McCougherson.

Cas doesn’t have much time to argue before Hannah asks for his help to retrieve some rogue angels who have fallen a little too in love with humanity and don’t want to return to heaven. She reports that heaven’s angels are now governing themselves with Metatron permanently locked in angel jail, and as part of their rebuilding, they’re rounding up the angels on earth and bringing them home. Well, except for the few who don’t want to go because heaven isn’t exactly the land of the free and the home of the brave. Also, angels can’t fish in heaven. Cas tries to inform her that humans are so 2014, but she’s still got a ways to go. Perhaps he should take her to North Dakota to show her what fun really looks like?

Well, only if she knows how to appreciate a man who’s too sexy for his shirt and doesn’t mind singing about it. In other words, we find Dean at the karaoke mic, where his moves are, indeed, so sexy it hurts, and some waitress named Anne Marie agrees. Apparently, demon-hood is all about drinking, singing, and sex for Dean, whose biggest change seems to be his hair. And if being a demon means more luscious hair, sign me up! Then again, maybe don’t if being a demon means sleeping in a cheap motel. For Sam and Dean, cheap motels made sense. But really? Crowley cannot use his demon ways to stay in a suite somewhere? I expect more from the man who always wears a suit.

NEXT: The Misadventures of Crowley and Squirrel: Volume One

However, maybe I should adjust my expectations considering that Dean and Crowley don’t exactly spend their days challenging strangers to deadly duels. Instead, they challenge strangers to games of foosball—one of the more magnificent twists of the hour. The even better twist? They’re not very good at it, especially when Dean gets distracted by the forceful arrival of Anne Marie’s boyfriend, whom he then pummels to within an inch of his life. And with that, we have our first official reminder that this is not the same Dean who once LARPed.

Not long after we get that reminder, Sam gets one of his own. After following his lead sans Cas, Sam finds himself looking at the surveillance footage for a gas station beating. In the video, Dean can be seen reading porn—as he does—before defending himself against one of Abaddon’s groupies. Let’s just say they’re none too happy with Dean having killed Abaddon, and it’s in that footage that Sam gets a glimpse of Dean’s black eyes. However, Moose doesn’t get the full story until he hops on the phone with Crowley who—twist—sent the demons after Dean in the first place.

Crowley then fills Sam in on the whole, Dean-is-a-demon thing. Well, sort of. I’m not entirely sure Sam gets it. But regardless, Sam does get one thing: He’s all kinds of jealous. As Crowley puts it, “He’s my best friend, my partner in crime. They’ll write songs about us, graphic novels: The Misadventures of Crowley and Squirrel. Dean Winchester completes me.” Sam’s comeback? “I will save my brother or die trying,” which is also the alternate title for this entire series. By the time they hang up the phone, Sam has traced the call… and Crowley knows it. (P.S. Sam tracing his phone call with the king of Hell sums up everything I love about this show in 5 seconds or less.)

Back at the bar, Crowley confesses to siccing the demons on Dean. He claims it’s to keep him sharp. Apparently, the Mark of Cain needs to be sated or else, Dean goes full demon. As for letting Sam trace the call? Well, Crowley is ready to leave the karaoke behind—no!—and move on to more productive things, like, you know, crafting the perfect Hell with Dean by his side. In Dean’s words, “Pass.” Instead, Dean hits the bar—and the karaoke machine—a few more times before Anne Marie eventually puts him to bed. For a moment, we see a sweet side of Dean when he asks her to get out there with him, but after she calls him a bad guy, well, he acts like one. The word “skank” is involved.

Speaking of bad guys, Sam’s car seemingly dies on his way to North Dakota, but we quickly realize that it didn’t so much die as was killed via a kill switch planted by new guy Cole. And despite Cole’s significant height disadvantage, he manages to knock Sam out and tie him to a chair at some old abandoned place. Needless to say, without a brother and a right arm, Sam is significantly less effective.

Now tied to a chair, Sam proves that what he lacks in physical fight, he makes up for with his sharp tongue, telling Cole to “run back to that army recruiting ad that spit you out in the first place.” Good one, Sam! Only, Cole’s story seems much more interesting at the moment. After Cole admits to being a hunter of sorts—he seems to only hunt Dean—he claims that Dean was a “monster many, many moons ago. But now he’s prey. I’m the monster now.” I would make fun of his height again, but I love this guy.

So with Sam tied up and Dean back on the road with his baby, now leaving North Dakota, Cole calls Dean on Sam’s phone, which reads “Sam Calling” instead of just “Sam.” Just FYI.

You can guess what happens next: Cole threatens to kill Sam if Dean doesn’t show up. Only, now, Dean doesn’t care as much as he used to. As he puts it, he told Sam to let him go, so any jam he’s in is his problem. But fear not, even Demon Dean can’t totally turn away from his baby brother. Before he hangs up, Dean makes Cole a promise: a 100-percent guarantee that somewhere down the line, “I will find you and I will kill you.” And if Dean/Deanmon is one thing, “I am a man of my word.” And cue Dean’s crazy/sexy/evil face.

Now the question is, who is this Cole character? Dean didn’t recognize his (very distinctive) voice right off the bat, so perhaps that should tell us something? Could Cole have met Dean during his torturing stint in Hell? Or perhaps Dean was a monster when he was a teenager? Finally, why does Demon Dean say “say my name” so much, do we think he’s ever karaoke’d the Destiny’s Child song, and why was that sex scene so short?

Be sure to check out our post-mortem with showrunner Jeremy Carver to get a little more on the mystery of what happened to Sam’s arm and what Crowley’s got up his sleeve.

Episode Recaps

Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki star as the Winchester brothers, hellbent on battling the paranormal forces of evil.
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