Supernatural premiere recap: The beginning of the end
As much as we all hoped that Supernatural would defy the odds and somehow never end, we knew this day would come: It’s time for the final season premiere. Could I cry just thinking about it? Duh. Did I cry at the pilot callback at the end of this episode? OF COURSE I DID. But we will get through this together, and I have to say, I’m a big fan of what this final season seems to be setting up. Let’s get into it!
We pick up right where we left off, moments after God has welcomed the boys to the end, and they’re fighting off zombies in a cemetery. When it becomes clear that there are just too many zombies, Cas calls for Sam and Dean and grabs Jack’s body, and together, they run to a nearby mausoleum and lock themselves in. They’re hoping the iron doors will hold the zombies because they’re not really zombies. They’re souls from hell who’ve jumped into the nearest body.
Once they have a second to think, they struggle to, well, think. No plan that they come up with will work to get them to safety. Then again, Castiel is fine to wait this thing out considering that he, as he points out, wouldn’t starve in here. But the same can’t be said for Sam and Dean, and the second Sam thinks he’s found a way out, they realize it’s actually just a way in for the zombies. So once again, they’re at a loss … until Jack wakes up. Sort of.
It’s not really Jack. It’s a demon named Belphagor who has taken up residence in Jack’s vessel, and as much as Castiel hates it, Dean wants to hear the guy out. Because Belphagor, who puts on a pair of sunglasses to cover up Jack’s burnt out eyes so that he can better “blend,” claims he has a way for them to escape.
Belphagor tells them that they have a shared interest in restoring hell to its former glory because he enjoyed his job of tormenting souls and would like it back. “We’re twinsies, guys!” this new demon explains. To prove himself, Belphagor does the spell, which successfully blasts the souls out of their zombie bodies and gives the guys a chance to escape. But now they have to figure out just how much of the world has been affected by Chuck’s move.
Thankfully, after a bit of Googling, it doesn’t seem like a ghost apocalypse has taken over the entire world. At least not yet. (Considering that there are 2-3 billion souls in hell, it’s only a matter of time.) So the boys craft a more immediate plan: Before they can look into closing the rift, Belphagor over here — a truly snarky demon in all the best ways — tells them about a spell that essentially works as a mile-wide salt circle: no ghosts in, no ghosts out. It could help them contain the problem. But seeing as how the town of Harlan, Kansas, is less than a mile from the cemetery, they’ve got to evacuate the town.
Before they do that, they come upon a car on the side of the road. It’s bloody. It’s empty. And it looks a lot like the car the boys found on the bridge in the Supernatural pilot. Both brothers recognize it immediately, and they quickly connect the dots: What if this is their Woman in White? If she’s back, everything they ever killed could be back. Suddenly, “we got work to do” has never been truer.
Sam and Dean put on their FBI jackets to spread the news of a pipeline leak that will get everyone to evacuate while we get glimpses of Bloody Mary and the ghost of John Wayne Gacy spreading havoc around town.
Castiel joins Sam in going door-to-door — he can’t stand to look at Jack as he is now — leaving Dean to deal with “Crowley Jr.,” who can’t get over how crazy good looking people are nowadays. Back in his day, he says people were ugly, had a lot of humps, and were “all worshipping this giant rock that looked like a huge penis.” Yep, I love this guy.
Once Dean explains that Jack “was our kid … kinda,” Belphagor reveals what he needs for the spell: A lot of salt and a human heart. Should be easy, right?
Elsewhere, Cas and Sam split up to cover more ground, a plan that goes horribly wrong when John Wayne Gacy’s ghost shows up to poor Sam, who’s scared of clowns, and cuts him with a knife. Cas shows up just in time to heal him, but here’s where things get interesting: While Cas is in a healing mood, he takes a look at Sam’s wound from the moment he shot God with “The Equalizer,” a.k.a. the special gun that Chuck made to kill Jack. But not only can Cas NOT heal the wound, when he tries, Sam has a vision. Let me repeat that in case you think this is season 2 or something: SAM HAS A VISION! In it, Sam is looking a lot like Samifer — read: evil — and we can hear Dean begging, saying, “Sam, please.” Castiel explains that the wound contains an energy he’s never felt before, because remember that the gun didn’t use bullets. It used waves of multidimensional energy, whatever that means. And now, who knows how it will affect Sam. Whatever it is, I’m very intrigued and could definitely get behind a return to Sam and Dean’s “brother roles” for the final season. But that’s all we know for now.
While we’re talking about callbacks, there’s also the moment Belphagor tells Dean he’s a fan of the work he did with Alastair while in hell. Dean glosses over the long-buried emotions about that and instead asks what happened when God opened the gates. As Belphagor puts it, “every door in hell sprang open all at once.” And yes, that included the cage. But Michael hasn’t left yet. (Why not?!)
Back to the task at hand, Dean and Belphagor come up against the Woman in White — who wrongfully remembers Dean as the one who took her home … it was Sam — while Cas and Sam come face-to-face with Bloody Mary, John Wayne Gacy, and a handful of other spirits. They fight them off while Belphagor works on the spell. (He stole the human heart from the local sheriff, who was killed by the Woman in White.)
One of my favorite moments of the episode goes to Sam shooting a spirit with salt, the salt going through the spirit and hitting Cas, only for Cas to look at Sam and deadpan, “You shot me.” They did a great job of sprinkling humor throughout an otherwise very dire episode.
Long story short, the spell works, and Sam delivers a mother and her daughter to safety. As for Dean, he checks on Cas but only briefly. He’s still not ready to forgive him for what happened to Mary.
The brothers then meet up back at Baby’s trunk. They realize that once word gets out about the gas leak, they only have a few days before the real FBI shows up. Dean cleans up Sam’s bullet (but not bullet) wound while Dean wonders what their lives have meant if they were just rats in Chuck’s maze this whole time. “It meant a lot,” Sam tells him. “We still saved people.” And as Sam points out, Chuck is gone, and as he sees it, that’s a good thing. “If he bailed, it’s just us,” Sam says. “For the first time, it’s just us.” Well, them and about 3 billion ghosts, as Dean points out before Sam follows that with what might as well be a Winchester motto at this point: “Yeah well, what’s one more apocalypse, right?”
Sam gets serious, telling his brother, “When we win this, God’s gone. There’s no one to screw with us, there’s no more maze. It’s just us. And we’re free.” Dean responds by saying, “So you and me verse every soul in hell? I like those odds.” And that leads us to one final exchange:
Dean: “Well you know what that means.”
Sam: “We got work to do.”
And just as Sam goes to close the trunk, we flash to the same moment from the pilot as a young Sam Winchester shuts the trunk and embarks on the adventure of a lifetime with his older brother Dean. And now I’m crying.
Overall, this won’t go down as one of the series’ best episodes, but as a premiere, it set the tone for a great season. I loved the opening, the dialogue was great, and it launched a number of very intriguing mysteries. But more than anything, it made it clear that Sam and Dean are in the fight of their lives, and I, for one, can’t wait to watch it.