This was a pretty good season opening episode, especially compared to the lameness that was the season 7 finale. We watched it immediately before the new episode aired, so it was easy to compare. I was relieved to enjoy it so much, and I'm now really looking forward to the rest of the season.
Dean was back, the bad-ass Dean I've missed for a few seasons now! The Dean who pushes his brother, and TALKS to his brother. They actually talked! Like for-real grownups or something, *gasp* I didn't feel the need to immediately go write fix-it-conversation fic like allll of last season. They were so closed off from each other last season, sure they were grieving and Sam was messed up for most of it, but the number of conversations that we actually got to hear between them were pretty sparse. (Absence of the Impala!) But Dean expressed his hurt, and his jealousy and his "deep abiding love" just straight out. Sure he was being snarky, but he completely meant it (not in a shippy sort of way obviously), but still, how cool was that, Dean saying it straight out for once! And Sam listened and responded. If this is what they meant in the spoilers about the boys maturing, then I'm all for it.
But Purgatory Dean is hot like burning hot hot, I had a really hard time not making comments about it in front of my husband and all the teenagers watching with us (we had my son and four of his friends over watching, one of whom had never seen an episode before, boy did he have a lot of questions!). God, I loved how dirty hot he is, with his leather jacket and homemade weapons and kill-first-ask-questions-later attitude. And when he comes back, he's not instantly back in the bottom of a liquor bottle, Purgatory is apparently a very effective detox, who knew? Well he said it felt pure. That made so much sense to me, that he would enjoy that purity of the hunt, of survival, kill-or-be-killed, without all the grey areas that always confuse him so much in our reality.
The worst thing about the episode was that Sam was completely out of character for me, I still don't buy that he wouldn't look for Dean AT ALL. Just no. It doesn't make any sense based on the previous 7 season's worth of characterization or how things were left at the end of season 7 and his explanation sounded pretty half-hearted to me, like he knew it didn't add up as he was saying it. I really really hope that there is a twist that shows that Sam had to make a deal not to look for him. But they also want us to believe that Sam didn't go around and clean up the Leviathans? Really he would just let all that go, or was that just a dropped plot line? He didn't follow up to make sure the Leviathans evil coffee creamer wasn't actually going to get distributed? Really? Because he was the ONLY person who knew about that left! Jut because Dick was killed didn't mean that the Leviathans were going to give up. And we're supposed to also believe that he didn't try to find and rescue Kevin? Really? When has Sam ever given up on one of their "clients"? I honestly can't think of one.
After the introduction of the Amelia character I said well it looks like Sam got bitched at and ordered around for a year, awesome. Which I guess is probably what he truly needed, a Dean replacement. But I just don't think a real vet would guilt-force a wounded animal onto someone that just said they can't handle a pet, just no. Honestly in the flashbacks it seemed like Sam missed the dog more than her. I did love how outright jealous Dean sounded though when he was pushing Sam to explain himself.
How about the secrets Dean's already keeping from Sam? Will they ever learn? I kind of hope Sam has a secret also just to balance things out. In this scene, Sam instantly knows something's up when Dean gets a call. Just like I dunno, when your mistress calls when you're having dinner with your wife? Awkward. Funny dynamic set up already which will be good for the rest of the season. Sam will have his chance at jealousy when he learns about Benny. I can't wait to hear Dean explain why he let a vampire's soul ride out of Purgatory inside him. Good consistency in having Benny's soul be that sick red-orange of slain demons vs. the white light of angels or blue-purple of humans. My bet is that Dean's reluctance to spell out what happened with Cas means that he either had to kill him to power their escape from Purgatory, or had to choose to selfishly leave him behind. There was a whole lot of guilt on Dean's face when he was skirting around the issue. I liked the continuity of Sam caring about Castiel that carries over from the last few seasons.
Seriously Jensen, you're killing me here.
The scene with the hamburger was adorable. I just can't get over the look of love and gratitude on Dean's face, and Sam's embarrassment about it, precious. But I was mad that Dean had to be dumb about the internet speak that Sam was rolling with, remember last season, when Dean was trained by Frank and out-computer sleuthed Sam in Time After Time. I hate it when they make Dean dumb like that, because c'mon, he's not!
Crowley was snarky and awesome as usual, he got so many great lines in this episode! I still am holding onto my maybe he's actually God in disguise theory. (I promise I'll write this down and post it this week so you know what I'm talking about). But if Crowley is supposed to be the Big Bad, then he's got to get bigger and badder as we go through this season and what kind of awesome twist would that be if he turned out to indeed be God. This was the first time we've seen him straight out kill a human, and I'm telling myself it is still possible he resurrected her once the Impala pulled away. Poor Kevin having to see that! I liked how competent they showed him to be, especially in comparison to Sam. SuperSoaker with holy water, finally! That was a good conversation between Sam and Kevin about college and the hunting life, (It gets better/You know I'm not gay got a huge laugh reaction in our viewing audience!). I'm hoping maybe Kevin will end up being closer to Sam so he'll have a friend that is his and not Dean's first.
So in summary the boys are back on my TV! Hurrah!
The boys are talking! will wonders never cease...
They're not suicidal, they're back together, and in Baby, plus they have a great new sidekick in Kevin, and a good story arc to deal with in maybe getting to close the gates of hell.
Sounds good to me.