by Billie Doux
That was awesome. A year apart, and the brothers changed again, big time.
It was like Dean went to hunter marine boot camp. A year in Purgatory turned him into a clear-eyed, hard core monster-killing machine. His voice sounded rougher and lower, and I could swear that his hair was a quarter-inch shorter. He ate a hamburger and drank a beer at the cabin, but he appears to have kicked his alcohol addiction. No booze in Purgatory, perhaps? Was there food? It sounded like Dean was a huge target for the vamps, so someone must have been eating something. I'm guessing there was no sleep in Purgatory, because Dean wasn't sleeping.
Interestingly, Dean befriended a good old boy vampire named Benny in Purgatory, and teaming up got both of them out. I liked that Dean kept his word to a monster, since he sometimes feels that he doesn't have to. Were they together the entire year? Are we going to get more flashbacks? (Loved the colorless flashbacks; the photography was outstanding.) They must have seriously bonded if Dean was calling him "brother". And they actually *hugged*. Are they keeping each other "sober"? Is Benny off the blood?
While Dean got back in touch with his inner warrior, Sam went soft core. A girlfriend named Amelia, a dog, and a long vacation from hunting. It was a new look for Sam, and I'm not just talking about the uberfluffy hair. After causing an apocalypse, spending a hundred years in a box with the Devil, followed by losing everyone he ever loved, I'm not surprised that Sam chose to check out. But Dean was deeply disappointed that Sam didn't search for him, in spite of their pact. Even worse, Sam ignored Kevin's phone pleas for help.
Did Sam know that Dean was coming back? It appeared that he did. Why else would he leave Amelia and turn up at Rufus's cabin just as Dean was released? Who was watching Sam from the shadows? If Sam knew, who told him?
Kevin changed, too. He not only lost about five pounds of hair, he also acquired some clarity and guts, too. He even had a sense of humor about it. I wasn't surprised that he didn't surrender to Crowley to save his unfortunate girlfriend, Channing; the stakes are very high, and Crowley is not what I'd call trustworthy.
And yay for the return of Crowley, and the monster hints that he's about to become a major adversary this season. Yes, please, give me the stuff I love best on this show: angels, demons, gates to Hell, and God Rocks, one for Leviathan, one for Demons. How to close the gates of Hell forever? Hey, that's end of the series stuff; Sam and Dean could actually retire.
Big questions remain. What happened to Castiel? Is it really possible to close the gates of Hell forever? And how did Sam know that Dean had gotten out of Purgatory, if he knew, and I think he did.
This episode featured what was probably their personal best in number of locations.
-- 100-Mile Wilderness, Maine
-- Clayton, Louisiana
-- Kermit, Texas
-- The cabin in Whitefish, Montana
-- What's the Point U, Channing's safety school (was that the University of Michigan?)
-- River Bluff Veterinary Hospital. Where was that?
-- Fairfield, Iowa
-- Wherever Crowley was holding Kevin
-- Crowley in Wisconsin in the middle of a herd of goats
Bits and pieces:
-- This season's credits are the God Rock. Love it.
-- I thought those kids camping in the opener were toast. I am so not a gun person, but after seven seasons of Supernatural and a ton of horror movies, I'd never go camping without several guns and a guard dog.
-- Loved Dean's homemade (or purgatory made) beheading implement.
-- Did they intentionally add a dog because Jared Padalecki is a dog lover? Did Crowley call Sam "Moose" because Jared refers to himself that way? That was nice.
-- This week's dive was the Palm Motel. It took its name very seriously. That was a lot of palms.
Quotes, and I had to be selective so feel free to add any I missed to the comments:
Sam: "I don't know whether to give you a hug or take a shower."
Do they do this stuff deliberately for the slash writers?
Sam: "Dude, you're freaking alive. I mean, what the hell happened?"
Dean: "Well, I guess standing too close to exploding Dick sends your ass straight to Purgatory."
Sam: "I don't hunt any more."
Dean: "Yeah, and Sasha Grey's gone legit. (looks at Sam) What?"
Sam: "Nothing. She did a Soderbergh movie."
Dean: "The rules are simple, Sam! You don't take a joint from a guy named Don, and there's no dogs in the car."
Anyone know what the Don reference means? I have no idea.
Crowley: "Where's your angel?"
Dean: "Ask your mother."
Crowley: "There's that grade school zip. Missed it, I really did. Moose! Still with the pork chops?"
Was that a reference to Sam's hair? Or did he mean the muttonchop whiskers?
This season opener made me very happy. I love the direction and I love the possibilities. Three and a half out of four homemade vampire beheading implements,