'Supernatural' season premiere: Back from hell

Supernatural_lWhat in the name of God is happening with the Winchester boys?  After Supernatural‘s doozy of a cliff-hanger — Dean cast into the pit — I settled in last night for the CW series’ fourth-season kickoff*, primed to see Dean restored, some brotherly badinage, demon slayage. Instead, we got a grand mishegoss of secrets, lies, and a concluding theological debate-puzzle that would tax Locke/Jeremy Bentham over on Lost. Perhaps the ep’s title, “Lazarus Rising," should have clued me in that things were going biblical.

Let me try to recap. Dean (Jensen Ackles) claws his way out of a coffin and wanders into a gas station deserted but conveniently stocked with bottled water, porn, and a newspaper bearing today’s date. Realizing four months have passed, he hotwires a car and tracks down Bobby (Jim Beaver) and then Sam (Jared Padalecki)… who welcome him with less than open arms. After knife fighting and holy-water dousing, the three set off to uncover Dean’s mystery liberator, enlisting the help of a hot, tattooed, Ramones-shirted psychic (Traci Dinwiddie). Following a disastrous séance — Ms. Clairvoyant loses both her Dean-fixated eyeballs — and a greasy-spoon tête-à-tête with a demon waitress, Sam and Dean sneak off separately: Sam to wallop the waitress-from-hell and confer with erstwhile helpmate Ruby; Dean and Bobby to summon the eye-melting angel Castiel.

addCredit(“Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles: Sergei Bachlakov”)

So at least one mystery is cleared up, sorta. We now know who/whatbusted Dean out, disguised as a stubbled "holy tax accountant," as Deanput it. We even have a hint as to why he — or the Almighty — did it.What remains, however, are secrets and deception. Dean is not beingtruthful in telling Sam that he’s blacked out all memory of his staydown below. Sam, for his part, is straightfacedly lying to Dean aboutthe fate of Lilith, the whereabouts of Ruby, and his own use ofextranormal powers.

What do you make of this infernal/celestial tangle, Supernaturalloyalists? Is Castiel for real, or part of an unholy con? Is DeanjustifiabIy going Christopher Hitchens on the divine emissary? If theLord moves in mysterious ways, where do Sam’s demon-vanquishing handmoves fit in? What is with Dean’s hatred of things Apple… productplacement? Lastly, what did you think of the episode as a whole? Do youagree with my estimable colleague Alynda Wheat that "more demonic ass-kicking would’ve been nice"? Or do you think that Eric Kripke and Co. smoothly set up a promising story arc with breathing room for EWwy nominee Jensen Ackles‘ one-liners in lieu of beatdowns?

* Which showed a strong 33 percent audience growth over the third-season premiere back in September 2007.

Comments (110 total) Add your comment
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  • Kerri

    Loved it, loved it, loved it. It set itself up for some interesting story arcs to come and great character development…which is what makes this show so great. I’d be bored if it was just a demon-of-the-week show (cough*Reaper*cough). There’s plenty of time for demonic ass-kicking later on.

  • Kathleen

    A friend of mine talked me into staying tuned to the CW after Smallville’s premiere to check out Supernatural. I had not seen the show before. And the whole episode all I kept thinking was “I have no idea what’s going on, but it’s really really cool.” So now I have a Netflix date with several seasons of Supernatural, because this is a show I can see myself digging.

  • MD

    Loved it!!! I wonder if there will be a show down between Sam and Dean at some point?!? Since an Angel dug Dean back out and we’re still not sure why the Yellow Eyed demon or Lilith was so afraid of Sam?!? Is Sam good or evil?!?
    Liked it better then Smallville. While I didn’t miss Lana at all, I really missed Lex and I hate Tess!

  • Heather

    Holy crap that episode was amazing. I don’t know what the deal was with wanting more demon butt kicking, because quite frankly, who cares about that when there’s a lot more on the line – more and bigger? This delivered a payload of plot to kick off the season. It was suspenseful and intriguing. It was what I normally expect from crime procedurals (which the crime procedurals haven’t delivered thus far this year).

  • Taz

    Apparently, frequent bloody eyeball melting, exploding glass, psychic exorcisms, attempted stabbings and a beat-down demonic brawl in a diner are “subdued” to Ms. Wheat. I thought the episode had a lot more action than I was expecting. But my favorite moment was when Dean flicks the pod jack into the back seat. It was a great opening.

  • RobC

    Loved it – I’m all in for this season’s “Supernatural.” The trust issues between brother, the introductions of angels (finally), and the great homage to John Constantine, Hellblazer in Castiel.

  • Vicky

    This was a great episode. There’s plenty of time for demon ass-kicking action so I’m not broken up about that at all. This episode did it all. Revealed big secrets, asked new questions, and set up the whole season for possible greatness. I’m really impressed with Kripke and Co. and of course Jensen and Jared. The only thing I’m not sure about is the new actress who plays Ruby. Not feeling her yet.

  • TL

    I want to use the word “finally” but he will see it through. Even in the internal fire he has risen. Now the fight on earth is going to get interesting!

  • kristie

    I thought the episode was great. And throwing God and his angels into the mix? Loved it. it’s about time they introduced God and all into the show, b/c there can’t be evil without good. As for Ruby (or Kris from Wildfire)–not really feeling her yet either. Somehow, she doesn’t seem right as Ruby. Hopefully, she’ll grow on me. Loved her in Wildfire, though. Sam looks like he’s been working out, I rather him looking like he did last season. and what is really going on w/ him and the psychic stuff? I think he may be dipping into the bad stuff. But I am so happy Dean is back, apparently sans any demonic-ness! Oh, and I loved the way he b&^%*-slapped that demon! I laughed out loud!

  • kristie

    oh, and please let there be a tv watch on this show now!!?? Don’t make me beg!

  • Annatree

    Great season opener. I had to watch it 2X. Didn’t see the hole “God have plan” for you coming.

  • mtee

    It was a great premiere.
    Two brothers on the same mission, but one using the dark for good (at least in his mind) and one being recruited by the Good to join them in the fight.
    And it’s a good touch that the non-believer is the one who is approached.
    In Faith, Dean was told God has a plan for you – so maybe it wasn’t to vanquish the YED, but to lead this fight. To save Sam from his misguided use of his powers. Save Sam before his powers become too much for him to handle.
    It can’t be easy to tap into something dark and not be corrupted at some point. Will Sam be strong enough.
    In Houses of the Holy — the description of Michael the archangel was made while the camera was on Dean. No, he’s not Michael – but we could see that Dean does fit the fighting warrior of good. Dean’s motives have always been pretty basic. He kills evil sonofbi***es — simple!
    Sam’s motives have always been more complex so why wouldn’t his arsenal be complex as well-using dark powers

  • Nancy

    I thought the whole angel thing was a bit over the top and think their maybe more. The intro talks about all the different religions and their belief in a final battle. So, I think there will be more to the story of Castiel.

  • Amy

    I absolutely loved the season premiere, I can’t wait to see where this season takes us!

  • Dee

    I loved it! It was so awesome and intriguing. I’m not sure about the new Ruby yet either, but other then that, it was by far the best premiere I’ve seen this season. I love the introduction of an Angel, which I’ve always thought was missing in the show. And I loved that all the demons were terrified of him. I’ve always loved this show, but this season they have kicked it up another awesome notch. Now I just wish the CW would actually promote this show so I don’t have to live in fear every year for its cancellation. Instead I constantly see GG or 90210 promos and no one knows about the best supernatural/horror show on t.v.. Its a real shame. Shame on you CW for ignoring your best show!

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