Supernatural 9.01 – Are You Gonna Like It Here?

Warner Bros/The CW
Warner Bros/The CW

The title of the Supernatural Season premiere, “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here,” is much more interesting now that I’ve seen the episode. Who’s gonna like it where? Cas as a human on Earth? The rest of the angels now roaming the planet? Ezekiel inside Sam? Sam still alive instead of downing a few cold ones with Bobby in Heaven?

Excellent questions. And that’s a good thing to be able to say about a season premiere. The episode stirred up controversy, but even that says something about the passion and investment that fans feel in a show going into its ninth season – and also something about its complexity.

Lucky for me, the premiere helpfully coincided with the university’s fall break, so that meant that instead of teaching a lovely bunch of grad students, I got to stay home and watch a lovely bunch of hot actors on my tv screen. No offense, students, but I sort of prefer staring at the Winchesters and Castiel in his underwear.

The weeks of anticipation generally turn me into someone with very little emotional regulation ability by the time the episode actually begins, and this one was no different. In fact, it must say something about a Show when there’s MORE anticipation about its ninth season than there was about its first few seasons – the online buzz in every social media community was palpable, with cast, crew and writers all joining in. We started worldwide trending on Twitter in the morning, and it kept up throughout the rest of the day and evening off and on.

By @gansita60
By @gansita60

So yeah, just “The Road So Far” made me burst into tears. I loved the song choice, mostly because “Who Do You Love?” kept making me want to shout at the screen, “You, Show, I love YOU!” in a rather embarrassing fashion. The opening was technically really well done, and the new title card? AWESOME. I like the addition of Tahmoh Penikett as Ezekiel, though I’m not entirely sure if he’s going to turn out to be the ‘good soldier’ that Cas pronounced him. Of course, Cas didn’t say he was a good GUY, but a good soldier. Hmm.

Anyone who reads this blog regularly or any of our books can probably guess that I loved the emotional struggles that both brothers went through in this episode – because both of their struggles were about their newly strengthened bond. There has been repeated mention of “the promise we made each other in the church” (which always makes me want to giggle a little before it just makes me break into a wibbly smile) – the characters talk about it, Jared and Jensen and Jeremy Carver and Bob Singer have talked about it, fandom has talked about it all summer. That moment brought the brothers together in a way that felt strong and solid, and gave them (and us) great hope for the future. “The brothers chose each other,” Jared and Jensen and everyone else have been saying.

That bond between them, reinstated and re-emphasized, made the news that Sam’s death was “inevitable” absolutely crushing. To me, and to Dean. Not now, not when Dean just got Sam back! Not when the brothers are finally on the same page again, together! I was screaming protests and pleas at my television screen while Dean screamed at anyone who dared tell him Sam’s dying was inevitable. Ackles portrayed Dean’s anguish and panic so well that it amped up my own emotional distress into overdrive. It’s a wonder I don’t just collapse in the middle of this Show, I swear. I saw many Tumblr posts last night that said:

“911? Yes, I have an emergency. I just watched the Season premiere of Supernatural. Please send help.”

I know the feeling. Dean desperately praying for help had me reaching for the tissues immediately. His look of resignation and rage when Cas doesn’t (can’t) come, the way he sets his jaw when he sends out an open call for any angel, promising his IOU. Dean beat up and bloody, taking on the angels to give Ezekiel time to save Sam’s life. (And really, Dean should not look so hot being dragged down a hallway by his collar, beaten and bleeding with bow legs splayed…) There is never going to be a time when Dean fighting to protect Sam is not going to make me cry.

That the fighting part of Sam is personified by Dean in his head is no surprise. The brothers are thorns in each other’s sides, sometimes each other’s worst critics, but they are also each other’s strength. Dean is the part of Sam that wants to fight, and wants to live – because Sam knows that Dean is the one who will always fight for him. Part of that is love, and part of that is need. That kind of need is as selfish as it is selfless – Dean made the deal in Season 2 because he couldn’t live without Sam. Sam was no more able to live without Dean in “Mystery Spot,” and was willing to do just about anything to get him back.

There’s no question those weren’t all good decisions. These characters don’t make the morally right choices all the time, and if this were real life, I’d be horrified by some of them. Dean’s controversial decision this time did seem in character to me, though, which is mostly what I expect of fictional characters. I’ve heard people pleading for the life of someone they love, saying “I CAN’T lose him/her, I can’t!” when faced with impending unimaginable loss. If there’s any alternative at all, the panic and desperation of the moment are the set-up for many a bad decision. For better or worse, Dean Winchester has more alternatives than most, and damned if he won’t use every single one of them if it means saving Sammy. It’s not always right, or good, or advisable – but it IS Dean Winchester. It’s that effed up codependence that sucked me into this Show and has kept me here for nine years.

So Dean, I get why he did what he did. It will backfire on him, of course – and it should. You can’t make decisions like that without consequences. Big ones. But what about Sam? Why did he walk into that cabin, where he knew Death was waiting? (And oh hello Julian Richings, how I adore you and that character – for a second, I was even glad to see you!) I was babbling at my television screen trying to talk Sam out of giving up with almost as much zeal as the Dean in Sam’s head was. At first, it seemed like he accepted dying too easily, but then I thought about it more. Sam’s decisions, too, ended up seeming in character for me.

Considering the physical and emotional trauma that Sam has experienced over the past year, he is no doubt drained and exhausted – and Jared once again conveyed that brilliantly. Putting up a fight – against anything, let alone the pull of Death – is a lot to ask of someone in that condition. Sam clearly does not want to die, though. He fights against it, argues with the Bobby in his head, and repeatedly turns to his big brother, asking “what’s the plan?” Sam seems willing to go along with whatever plan Dean has. It’s only when Dean clearly doesn’t have a plan that Sam starts to realize that it’s hopeless. His gentle pat on the cheek as he dismisses the Dean in his head was heartbreaking. Dean’s inability to answer Sam’s question — that’s what makes Sam decide it’s time to go. He does want to fight, but he becomes convinced that it’s hopeless, and increasingly concerned that Dean will do something self destructive to save him. I don’t think Sam has ever gotten over the fact that Dean went to hell for him – to bring him back to life. He had to stand there and watch while his brother was torn apart, and he won’t – he can’t – do that again. His acceptance of dying, and his condition to Death, is all about making sure that this time, Dean will be okay. Both brothers are only concerned about the other.

We’ve seen Sam time and time again say that he’s unwilling to leave his brother out there alone if he has a choice. I think he felt he didn’t have one; Dean found a loophole for him and assumed Sam would want to take it. Assumption is, of course, a very dangerous thing.

Sam is essentially going through the stages of dying here – denial first, bargaining, eventually acceptance when there’s no other choice. Until Dean (and Ezekiel) give him one. At least that’s how Dean sees it.

Of course, this is problematic. Sam isn’t giving any kind of ‘informed consent’ here. He’s saying yes to Dean without knowing what Dean is even proposing – he’s essentially putting himself in Dean’s hands and saying ‘I trust you to save me.’

It’s unclear whether Ezekiel’s possession of Sam was more altruistic or selfish, but his argument to Dean for keeping it secret from Sam are – unfortunately – pretty compelling. If Sam kicks Ezekiel out too soon, he ends up dead, and we’re right back to why Dean did this in the first place. We’ll see how much that guilt eats at Dean, because this time, he at least struggled with the awareness that Sam should have been the one to make a real choice.

I interpreted that moment in the cabin when Dean appears to Sam and asks him to say yes as that being Dean, not Ezekiel. Ezekiel knew that only Dean could get through to Sam and sent him in, and then switched places with him when Sam said yes. That was Dean’s voice, Dean’s inflection, Dean’s mannerisms, in contrast to Ezekiel’s. And Death seemed to recognize Dean – he would have known if it was an angel, right? I’m going with that interpretation, because that was probably my favorite line of the episode. “There ain’t no me if there ain’t no you.” I need that to be Dean.

These boys live and die for each other, which is the most amazing, twisted, tangled up, codependent thing ever. And that, right there, is why I am still in love with this Show after 9 years. Is it healthy? Hell, no. Is it ‘realistic’, in the sense of something that happens every day in ‘real life’? Hell, no. If I wanted realistic, I’d go to work. The brothers’ relationship is overwhelming and over the top in every sense of the word – and so compelling, I may never find fictional characters that captivate me like this ever again.

Apparently Show is going to run parallel story lines this season, and I did enjoy the Castiel-as-human storyline, though a few things made me scratch my head. It’s not like Cas hasn’t been dealing with humans and possessing a human vessel for a long time. Surely he knows about washing clothes and eating. I assumed, since he knew he’d had his grace taken, that he knew what to expect about being human. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the comedic bits and thought Misha carried them off well. It was a bit jarring to bounce back and forth between frantic Dean trying to save Sam and then Cas stripping down in a Laundromat. I’m not gonna complain about that scene though. For obvious reasons.

Oh, and RIP trenchcoat. Misha Collins must have been doing the happy dance (in his undies) after that scene. Now there’s a visual…

Warner Bros/The CW
Warner Bros/The CW

I also like the fact that the story will no longer be about what Castiel, as a powerful angel, can do for the Winchesters. He’s human now, more an equal. I liked that Dean was concerned about Cas – and that Castiel’s concern wasn’t for himself, but for Sam. Already there’s a sense of equality, which is an interesting change to the dynamic between the three of them.

One of the best things about this episode wasn’t about the episode itself at all. The anticipation leading up to the premiere was fanned by the fact that so many of the cast, crew and writers were all online and tweeting and posting about it. The writers got together for a viewing party. Osric Chau was online tweeting along with fandom. Guy Bee chimed in on Twitter. By the time the West coast viewing happened, Jared and Jensen were watching together in one of their trailers, sharing Jared’s twitter account to tweet with fans and share tidbits of inside information.

Tweeted by #bodyguard4jandj
Tweeted by #bodyguard4jandj

The last line of the episode made me emotional all over again.

“We’ve got work to do.”

A call back to the pilot, and a line repeated throughout the series. As Jared tweeted, “One of my favorite themes of Supernatural.”

My own conclusion about Season 9? I think I’m gonna like it here.

What about you?

36 thoughts on “Supernatural 9.01 – Are You Gonna Like It Here?

  • Thank you for such a thoughtful analysis of the season premiere! I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said. This piece in particular spoke to me: “These boys live and die for each other, which is the most amazing, twisted, tangled up, codependent thing ever. And that, right there, is why I am still in love with this Show after 9 years. Is it healthy? Hell, no. Is it ‘realistic’, in the sense of something that happens every day in ‘real life’? Hell, no. If I wanted realistic, I’d go to work. The brothers’ relationship is overwhelming and over the top in every sense of the word – and so compelling, I may never find fictional characters that captivate me like this ever again.” I believe it is why so many of us tune in, not only week after week but also year after year. Added to the fact that this really is a family, with cast, crew, writers, producers, etc. joining in with the fans and showing such enthusiasm, and it is no wonder that Supernatural’s ratings were so high even after nine years. I look forward to the rest of the season and more awesome reviews!

    • Thanks! I agree, the enthusiasm and passion that the cast, crew, writers and producers have for the show — and the way they join in with the fans — makes this show something very special. Can’t wait til next Tuesday!

  • Gah! Your reviews are always SO spot-on. I really enjoyed reading this & nodding along constantly to all your points I agreed with. Your insight into the brothers is just so perfect.

    It felt SO good to have SPN back on TV. It felt old school to me. Gave me Season 4 vibes. No other show can glue me to my TV like SPN can.

    Thats said, I did have some issues with the premiere. Mainly, while I do enjoy really Cas, I felt that his storyline got too much attention & screen time this episode. I would have loved to have seen Sam interact more with Death and Bobby [neither got near enough screen time in my opinion] & Jared tweeted that Dean telling an embarrassing story about Sam to prove he really was Dean was cut. I think that would have helped clarify whether or not it was Dean FOR REAL in Sam’s head. It really bothers me that it was not clear, because the “there ain’t no me if there ain’t no you” line was so powerful. But I can’t fully appreciate it & awe about it, because maybe it was Ezekiel (who I LOVED! I hope we get him/the actor back later in the season when leaves Sam).

    I agree that switching back & forth between frantic!Dean/dying!Sam and Cas hanging out at a gas station was exceptionally jarring. I don’t understand why they didn’t bump Cas’ storyline more into the next episode. The entire time he was onscreen, I was way to antsy to get back to Sam & Dean because there was such urgency there. I need to go back re-watch all the Cas scenes because I was too wrapped up in Sam & Dean OMG to pay super close attention.

    I’m also starting this season stressed! Dean is lying to Sam in such a monumental way. I’m not sure how Sam will react other than terribly. And he should react terribly. But I felt that Season 8 broke down the bros relationship so far in order to rebuild it to be stronger. And it did just that beautifully. So starting off the brothers on this foot is just somewhat, ok a lot, nerve racking.

    But then again..when isn’t SPN nerve racking?? 😉

    • We get squee, but we also get screams of agony from our Show 🙂 I too would have loved to see that deleted scene and know what Sam’s embarrassing secret is. Damn! They have alot of storylines going this season, and it will be a challenge to balance them all. Here’s hoping we can follow along with all of them!

  • Great recap of an AMAZING season opener. You always do such a great job of explaining why this show just keeps getting better every year. I also love and understand the codependency and love between Dean and Sam-would not want it to be in the real world-but love it on Supernatural. Jensen’s portrayal of Dean always brings chill bumps-he’s just such an awesome actor. Jared has also been amazing, especially the season 8 finale and season 9 opener. This season looks to be the best in a long time-if not ever. Personally I think the season 8 finale was just about the best finale ever and the season 9 opener was the best, since “Lazarus Rising”, if not better. These 2 boys have affected me like they have you-unbelievably.

    • It is pretty unbelievable, isn’t it? lol Both the J’s are doing an incredible job of bringing Sam and Dean to life — which is really saying something after 9 seasons!

  • Wait..what….Dean’s a fictional character??!! *##*&$!!! Soul now destroyed 🙁 I’m glad it wasn’t just me caught up in the hype, it did seem like the air was buzzing over the past few days. My productivity just limped out the door ashamed of itself and I gave over to it all. Watching I even indulged in uncharacteristic squee..I simultaneously snorted and jiggled at the choice of recap song and knew then S9 was going to be a ride. I clapped at the title card, I gasped and bit my nails and….that was just the first 2 minutes. This is shaping up to be THE most interesting season..these tormented characters always faced with making the wrong choices for all the right reasons (and vice-versa) will not fail me, I know. They’ll probably fail each other, of course. But how lucky are we to have such eff’d up heart-wrenching characters still able to have us dribbling in puddles of emotion after 9 years? So many interpretations and speculations and questions out there being debated (as you’d expect from this fandom) but I’m trying stay open and enjoy the scenery from my seat on the bus…can’t wait to see where they are driving us. Roll on next week!

    • Sorry to burst your bubble – believe me, I wish Dean wasn’t a fictional character too sometimes! Shhhh. This show can pull emotions out of even people who aren’t usually that emotional. That reminds me, I need to stock up on tissues before next week…. 🙂

  • Great review as always. Spot on. I also commented to the friend I was watching with that the back and forth thing with Cas created so much angst for me as I waited to go back to Sam and Dean and that situation. I too wondered why they didn’t save more of that for the next episode. That aside, I did let out several audible gasps. Bob Singer was so right about that.

    I totally understand why Dean did it, I mean do we have to ask? And of course said yes, because he can’t leave his brother alone. Dean had a plan and Sam agreed. But……oh the possible consequences throw me into a tizzy just thinking about them. Part of me knows Sam will be pissed. Another part hopes that since they have a more mature relationship that Sam will understand. If Dean can get past Sam not looking for him(yes, I know this didn’t just happen overnight but he’s accepted it) I hope Sam can get past Dean ‘saving’ him.

    Love, love, love this show!!!! No show I’ve ever watched garnered this much attention after this long. And I’ve been around and watched enough years to know! HA

    • It’s amazing how long this Show has been going on and sustaining this kind of passion! (And yep, I should know too 🙂 Here’s to both of us watching a few years more!

  • Agreed! The mixed up, tangled,codependent angst that is the boys is the core of the story for me & always has been. The thing that resonates and brings me back to enjoy the show for everything it offers. I liked the parallel story lines – it upped the drama & propelled things onward. And with Cas, it makes sense to me that we’re seeing how it FEELS for him to make those choices that he’s OBSERVED for millenia. It’s one thing to know you have to take care of your physical body, but another thing entirely to experience making those choices. Poignant. Another facet of free will ;-). Unfortunately, not that I want reality, but I do have to go to work, so ending comment now. Will pop back later to catch up on reading other comments.

    • Haha, I need to go to work too….shortly….no, really. That’s a good point about Cas, feeling is different than observing. Tho he does have some limited experience with being human before, right? And Jimmy Novak certainly did. But I’m going with your explanation 🙂

  • I should have expected, but like any fan I was hoping that maybe but … Of course – as always disappoint. Dean has been pushed back even for a second and a third plan . We will be watching the whole season performances Sam and his alter ego and in addition probably like to know what Dean did for him, offended , as always : P
    Dean will watch over poor little Sam, Castiel and others and did a background .

    Give him some minor episodes and once again the highlight of the program will be Sammy :/ .
    After eight seasons were finally able to break out of this vicious circle .

    I only watch Supernatural Jensen , but not worth the bother because you can see the main theme that will be focused as ever on Sam .

    I will never understand the writers who have the disposal of such a great actor like Ackles , the most interesting threads give Jared .

    The only positive thing that resulted from this episode is that I never have to see this coat.

    • LOL to the coat being gone – I think half the fandom is crying and half is relieved (along with Misha). I love the dynamic of Dean being protective of Sam, but I’d welcome a meaty plotline for him too — Jensen could handle just about anything thrown his way, I think. So yes!

  • I agree with your review! I loved it, even though the consent issue, and possession of Sam upsets me. I just hope they give it the reflection it deserves. I know Jensen will do an amazing job of Dean reflecting on it – his performance is what sold me on the story, because the desparation he showed, and the reluctant fall into that decision, were so poignant, I couldn’t resist.

    I do have one worry, and that is, the writers really need to balance the relationship out more. Dean will always do anything good and bad, for Sam. But we really need to see again, like in the old seasons, what Sam will do for Dean. S8 left questions about Sam’s POV that the finale did not entirely resolve. Now Sam will be rightfully pissed at Dean’s overriding his free will. But how the writers have Sam respond will be important. There needs to be some plot arc for Dean, so at some point, it needs to be Sam unambiguously worrying, fighting and choosing Dean, as well.

    • I’d like to see that too — I absolutely believe that Sam is just as wrapped up and tangled up with Dean as Dean is with him, and just as protective, but we need to SEE it sometimes. I love Mystery Spot for showing us Sam’s agony over losing his brother, but that was a long time ago. Let’s hope they’re headed in that direction 🙂

    • I get what you’re saying about seeing Sam fight for Dean, but I think that’s kind of what we got here. Sam is tired. He has suffered and sacrificed more than any human being should have to, and he’s tired. The last year and going through the trials simply compounded the issue. Before Dean made his plea, Sam had chosen death because he needs (and deserves) a rest. Sam chose to go back with Dean for the sole reason that Dean asked him to. Sam chose to walk away from an opportunity for some peace for Dean. Sam chose to fight to live for Dean. I know it’s not selling his soul or making an (ill-advised) deal with an angel, but that’s not nothing. Especially not after everything Sam has been through. And I don’t think Dean needs or wants grand gestures from Sam. He just wants to know that Sam has his back.

  • Amazing episode! Sam’s going to be very angry at Dean for allowing the angel possession, especially if Ezekiel turns on both of them and uses Sam’s body in a vengeful way. Loved Cas choosing to spend his change on water instead of laundry. It gave us a chance to see Cas standing in nothing but briefs. Didn’t he think his undies needed washing. . .? Love, Robin

    • Haha I thought the same thing – actually his undies probably needed washing the most. lol. And Ezekiel, oh yes, I have a bad feeling about this…

  • Excellent review and I wholeheartedly agree with you. I think this summer was the worst hellatus for me since season 3 because I haven’t anticipated the show’s return so much since then. The season 8 finale was one of the most powerful of the series, and I really just wanted to hurry up and jump in the Impala with the Boys. Coming back with a season premiere like this just reminds me why I fell in love with this show in the first place. The action, copious amounts of angst, and humor are what solidified Supernatural as my favorite tv show. Well, that, and of course the messed-up, twisted, co-dependent, yet powerfully loving relationship between the Winchester brothers. A relationship that, sadly, looks like it’s going to pushed to its limits this season.

    Dean has done a lot to save Sam. I mean A LOT. Some of those things were brave. Some were monumentally stupid, and some were just downright selfish. But this is unlike anything that Dean has ever done. I don’t even know that there is just one category this can fit into. Dean has done something that he would never forgive Sam for doing to him. And that’s my primary problem with Dean’s choice. If Dean were in Sam’s position, Dean would rather die. He knows Sam would too. It’s not just that Dean lied (and will continue lying) to Sam. It’s that he straight up manipulated Sam into doing something that he would NEVER do. While this may have been in character for Dean (and I think it was) that doesn’t make it any less selfish. Even more selfish than selling his soul. At least in that situation, Dean made the choice to give up his own soul. Dean knew all the terms of the deal before he agreed. Dean knew what he was getting into. Basically, Dean had a choice. Here, Sam had no choice. Not really. When Sam decided to say yes to Dean/Ezekiel, he was essentially honoring the statement that he made in S6 when he said that he’s “not leaving (his) brother out there alone.” This may sound like Dean bashing, but I assure you it is not. I love Dean a great deal, but I’m just so disappointed that he’s made this decision. I totally get why he did it. I do. But this is the one time that Dean has made a decision that I think is just flat out wrong.

    I’m sure Dean’s decision to do this and to lie about it will come back to bite him in the butt. It always does. And I know that Sam is going to be furious when he finds out. What I don’t know is whether the brothers’ relationship will be able to withstand it. When you think about it, how can Sam ever really trust Dean again? This isn’t just about lying. If it were just that, I think the Boys’ relationship could survive that. But this is…much worse. This is betrayal of the worst kind, and it comes right on the heels of them opening up and being honest with each other for the first time since forever. Furthermore, I don’t know that we can really trust Ezekiel. Cas did vouch for him, but Cas doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to trusting angels. This is going to be the Grand Canyon of obstacles for the Winchester brothers and only time will tell how/if they’ll be able to get past it.

    • I agree, I’ll be surprised if it turns out that Ezekiel’s motives were purely altruistic and he’s ready to just hop out of Sam when it’s feasible. You reminded me of the original deal Dean made, and that Sam didn’t have a choice there either (different because Dean did it to himself, but it impacted Sam so horribly and completely). Oh, the angst of this Show….is it next Tuesday yet? 🙂

  • Yeah, I agree with everything you said about this show, and explains for me a little why I’ve been drawn in so completely – it’s all about the brothers and their relationship. Seriously, I only started watching Supernatural this JULY and I have no idea what has happened to my once normal life! I watched 8 seasons in three months – TWICE! I’m off the deep end here and just love it. I’m incoherent about it, so I’m thrilled someone can put it into words for me. Can’t wait for more!

    • Welcome to the SPNFamily! We know what you mean — we’ve published three books on Supernatural and its amazing fandom because it turned our lives upside down and we had to figure out WHY! (See top right of page for details, in case you’re still trying to make sense of it for yourself). And in the meantime, enjoy the wild ride!

  • I thought Dean’s actions were completely in character. Saving Sam at all cost has been hardwired into him since he was four, and as early as season 1 he said: “The things I’m willing to do or kill for you and dad–it scares me sometimes.”

    Sam, I have problems with, because Carver never shows him giving any thought to what it will do to Dean if Sam goes gently into that good night and leaves Dean behind. Maybe we can extrapolate from his “it can’t be undone, nobody will get hurt because of me” that he’s giving up because he doesn’t want Dean to make a deal to save him, but that’s never made clear–and anyway is belied by his actions since Sam asks Dean for a plan, and then says yes without any clue whatsoever to what Dean will do to save him. This is a sore point for me because of Carver’s decision to have Sam abandon Dean to his fate in Purgatory last year, otherwise it might not bother me so much. But in these circumstances, it bothers me a lot. I want to regain trust in Carver that he’s not going to assassinate Sam’s character again, and this is not helping.

    I have no problem with Cas and his foibles with humanity though. I’ve always taken it as, just as some humans suck at social skills and adaptability while others have it in spades, so it is with angels–they have different personalities, idiosyncracies, weaknesses, just as we do. So I have always just taken it as Cas is very awkward, not because he’s an angel, but because he is Cas, and that’s just who he is. Also, although he was in a human vessel and among humans, that’s not the same as being human. When he was an angel, his vessel didn’t have human functions–it didn’t need sleep, food, water, it didn’t get tired, cold, sick, etc. And seeing other people do something is not the same as doing it yourself. You can spend years in a car with someone else driving, but that doesn’t mean you can then just hop behind the wheel without having to learn how to do it yourself. (I did wonder how it is Hael knew how to drive, but maybe she had done a tour of duty on Earth before and had learned it then.)

    Besides my problem with Sam not showing any concern for leaving Dean behind, I thought it was a very strong premiere that set up a lot of great stories. Ezekiel is a great addition, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the Zeke-in-Sam story plays out.

    • I also had a problem with Sam not considering what his death would mean to Dean. I’m actually ok with Dean’s decision to let Ezekiel possess Sam, because if that’s the only option and there’s really no time to waste, pissed off angels at their heels, Sam flatlining … of course that’s what Dean is going to do. In fact I’m surprised he hesitated even a moment once he saw what was going on in Sam’s head and how close Sam was to going off with Death. Dean is hardwired to save Sam, regardless of what Sam wants. Think back to the church in 8.23 — Sam was perfectly willing to die to close the gates of Hell, and Dean wouldn’t let him.

      I don’t, however, like the trickery involved, with Sam thinking he’s saying yes to Dean’s pleas for him to fight, when in fact he was saying yes to angelic possession. (Incidentally: “angelic pacemaker” — brilliant!) Is it really a Yes under those circumstances? I’m not talking about ethical consent issues, but rather the mechanics of it all. If it’s not a sincere and informed Yes, can an angel actually take possession like that?

      Can someone clarify for me: did Ezekiel erase some memories of Sam’s? Because he was in a coma, and it’s not like he was going to remember anything that happened during it anyway.

      • Yes, Ezekiel erased ALL of Sam’s memories from the point of collapsing as the Angels fell to waking up in the Impala. Sam asks Dean if he’s just been driving around all day. So coma memory debate aside, he has been wiped, just like Lisa and Ben were by Cas.

      • Has anyone ever stopped to consider that Sam has enough faith in his brother to be able to carry on without him? It’s not as if he hasn’t done it before. While his life with Lisa and Ben may not have been perfect, Dean has shown in the past that he was at least on his way to carving out a life for himself without Sam. Plus, after listening to that doctor giving his prognosis, it didn’t seem as if Sam was in very good condition to me. If he chose to “fight” like everyone wanted him to, he probably would have stayed in a coma, or worse yet, in a vegetative state. Either way, he’s not at Dean’s side, so why not choose to cross over and finally be at peace? He’s more than earned it, in my opinion.

      • You have a point here. Dean DID live his normal, apple pie life for a year with Ben and Lisa, but he was dragged back in again. He will always be pulled back in, just as Sam will, because of their legacy as Men of Letters/hunters. It’s irrevocable. I think the reason they haven’t died permanently all this time is part of a much larger picture only God knows, wherever He is. They have work to do, work they need to do together, and their bond of love, sick and co-dependent as it may be, is tied into that big picture and the work they are doing. So while it may appear Sam deserves a peaceful death, he needs to stay alive to complete his task with Dean. I hate to say this, because it would kill me to see it, but it believe that, when Supernatural ends, both brothers will die–together.

  • Like everyone else here has said, this was an emotional ride. I think the shots back to Cas were a little jarring, but at the same time, I was kind of glad for the emotional peace (relative to Sam/Dean) of the time with Cas. I do like how the writers are portraying Castiel so far. He may have been around since Creation, and watched all of human history, but we don’t know how long ago (if ever) that Castiel took a vessel, so some things are not going to be natural to him yet. He knows what food and water are, but he’s never had to eat. He’s going to learn a lot the hard and fast way about being human.

    All of Dean’s decision making, even though it seemed to be what Sam wanted, WILL bite him in the butt. No two ways about that. They have to deal with the fall out, and I hope Sam realizes where Dean was coming from.

    This seems to be as fantastic a ride as we have been hoping for. The actors have said that if the writing is strong, they will continue for a couple or three more seasons. I hope Carver and the rest don’t let them down.

  • “i think i’m gonna like it in here”you’ve done good analysis of THE ROAD SO FAR.:),me too have the same feelings seeing spn that i’m gonna need ambulance becoz of my excitement,ackles truly doing a great work,he is so completely into DEAN that i think he himself is feeling the same pain as dean feeling as a big bro,watching Sammy in trouble.salute to him and of course to Sammy/Jared too. he’s awesomely doing his job making spn a great show to watch,keep on boys! we love you and you too fangasm for sharing your views with us:) thank u:)

  • Thanks for giving me back my squee for the first episode of the season (that and knowing better things were coming in 9.02, which is so far my fav eppie of the season)! I much prefer your initial reaction to the eppie than my own.

    I had issues here, minor niggling concerns, that stunted my joy for 9.01. Mainly the feeling that Show was again showing me Dean’s concern for Sammy as the ONLY thing that mattered. I KNOW how far Dean will go to protect Sam, I want the other side of that relationship expressed! After Sam not looking for Dean as his brother ran for his life in Purgatory, I’d really like to see the Deancare from Sam for a change. This first episode felt like a retread of story, most especially with Jared again getting to play OtherSam. Jared is doing a magnificent job with that and I don’t want to detract from his good fortune and kickass acting but I want to see Jensen have that opportunity too! Jensen has EARNED his time in the spotlight and Dean is the most intriguing character EVER and I’d like to see the writing giving him more than that solid support role he is so terrific at.

    9.02 settled many of my reservations and I’m hoping The Carver will follow through on that promise. I want the bond between Sam and Dean to be reciprocal and most importantly I want to FEEL Sam’s love and frantic need for Dean. S2 & S3 were my fav for that reason, stripping away so many of the misconceptions Sam and we had about Dean and showing Dean just how much his little brother not only respected him, but loved and needed him. I want more tangible evidence of that from Sam, more speeches that resonate like the ones he offered his bro when he was desperately trying to ease his pain from Dad dying to save Dean, and then stopping his big brother from ending up in Hell. I want ACTION from Sam, follow through on all those lovely promises and speeches! Sam deserves that chance to prove his love.

    I’ve never cared about plot points or who’s the ‘chosen’ one. I’ve always felt that both brothers were chosen and both were equally important in saving the world. But even I have begun to see a pattern where Jensen gets to brilliantly react to all that is happening with Sam. Jensen is a master at that, but nine seasons in, I’m really hoping this is the season to turn everything on its ear and take us in a new direction. One still firmly entrenched in the history and passion of the brothers, one that is still driven by family and loyalty and unimaginable love and sacrifice…but different, from the other side or angle.

    So thanks again for showing all the good things in this eppie because there were many glorious moments. I hate when the small issues are a thorn in my side and overcome the good, when the hope for ‘more’ is thwarted by the fear that ‘this’ is all they seem to want to give. I want the writers to surprise me with more than I already knew and 9.02 gave me that promise.

    Here’s to another wild ride because I never want to be able to predict where Supernatural will take the Winchesters and us…aside from knowing whereever it is, Sam and Dean will take us there together!


  • Dean seriously broke my heart in the episode and not only did I understand his choice to allow Ezekial to possess Sam I sympathized with him too because I couldn’t stop thinking about my Big Sister who was in a similar situation as Dean having to see her beloved nerdy goofball of a little sister lying there on the hosptial bed pale and tired from having to go through chemo/blood transfusions I had Aplastic Aneima back in August 2015 and the only real cure is a Bone Marrow Transplant it turns out that My Big Sister was a perfect match and my Bone Marrow donor I’m doing well now incase you are wondering

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