There is always so much anticipation leading up to the Supernatural season premiere, that it’s hard to believe anything could actually live up to it. For weeks, fans have been posting countdowns, fanfiction that picks up where S10 left off and imagines where the Winchesters, Cas and Crowley will go from there, fanvids, fanart, and graphics all in an attempt to get through the long Hellatus without going insane from Supernatural deprivation.
When the big night is finally here, the excitement is palpable all over social media. I might have let my grad students go home a bit early last night. Shhhh…
‘Run Through the Jungle’ was a great way to start. I squeed through the Road So Far and then waited breathlessly to see what would happen next. The first half of ‘Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire’ sort of had me biting my nails more from the waiting for something to happen and having no bloody idea where we were going than from my usual sense of OMG OMG OMG. Then 9:40 happened and suddenly (forgive the Supernatural reference) All Hell Broke Loose!
The first time I dropped the pretzel I was eating and just sat staring at my screen was when someone actually mentioned the CAGE. The Cage?! OMG! And then they mentioned Lucifer. And Michael! Suddenly this episode was getting GOOD. Like, really good. I love it when Show remembers its own history, and its own beloved and iconic characters. Mark Pellegrino and Matt Cohen, are your ears burning??
We had divided story lines once again, but they at least meshed and intersected at times. All the main characters had some good scenes. We had Crowley swapping meat suits (that actress did Crowley justice with how menacing and cheeky she was!) and taking time out for an orgy with the neighbors (and having a hot flash) before returning to the meat suit he loves best – and to Mark Sheppard, who we love best. It struck me that after much talk about Crowley being bisexual, they were only comfortable “going there” with him in a female vessel. Hmm. I guess from Crowley’s pov, it really doesn’t matter though, Crowley was still Crowley. Anyway, I did appreciate Crowley’s reaction to mention of the Cage and the Darkness. And the little bits of humor that Sheppard always adds to what was a pretty dark and tense episode.
Misha Collins really made me feel for poor Cas – and I feel really bad for Misha himself, having to wear whatever sort of contacts cause his eyes to be so horrifically red – it hurts just looking at him. Cas tugged at my heartstrings in this episode, with his plea to Heaven to keep him from hurting anyone and his sad phone call to Dean downplaying his own dire situation. What a Winchester thing to do!
His obvious relief that Dean was finally free of the mark made me reach for the tissues. The last scene with those two menacing angels doesn’t bode well for poor Cas… and neither do the spoiler pics for next episode…
And then there were the Winchester brothers. I actually like it when Show keeps me a little confused – I knew they were going to make the time line a little obscure from what Jensen had said, so I really liked the beginning when it was unclear how much time had passed or where Dean had been. I’m still unclear about when he was talking to the Darkness – was that in the past? In the future? Does Dean remember that conversation or are we seeing something that hasn’t happened yet??
I also liked Dean waking up in a field of flowers, just because what’s not to like about Dean waking up in a field of flowers? I think I might have had that dream once or twice…
All of those dream-like sequences with the Darkness and Dean were gorgeous. (Once again, thanks Serge Ladouceur!) I like the actress playing her too; she had the sort of understated menacing quality that Eve lacked.
But back to confusion. Was the Darkness we saw with Dean the grown up version of that baby, who carries the same mark? Was that in the future or in the past? And why are she and Dean bound? There was some speculation online that the baby was actually Dean’s (and the Darkness), which totally makes my head spin. There was also the wry comment that since Dean released the Darkness and Sam removed the mark, they essentially created the baby. Two Winchesters and a Baby, as EW quipped. But I’m still confused. All that backstory about the mother bleeding out….was that because you don’t survive giving birth to the Darkness? I don’t know where you’re going with this, Show, but I kinda like that not-knowing feeling!
She was right about one thing – Dean did help her. What does that mean going forward?
I also liked the Winchesters TALKING. Sam’s speech didn’t totally make sense to me – the brothers rarely speak clearly to each other, but hey, it’s only a 42 minute Show and this was better than most of the cryptic conversations they have. I loved Sam kinda sorta breaking the fourth wall to reference the Show’s tag line with ‘that’s only half the bumper sticker’. Saving people, hunting things. It was a bit of a heavy handed way to announce the season’s getting back to that mantra, but I’ll take it.
The brothers said some things that needed to be said, that’s for sure.
Dean: “I can’t strap on a time machine and go back and tell Cain to shove that mark up his ass.” “We broke it, we bought it.”
It was inevitable that Dean would feel responsible for bringing on the Darkness, but Sam doesn’t let him take sole responsibility. And I like that. They’re not blaming each other, they’re both taking responsibility for the part each played in this latest apocalyptic disaster.
Sam: “I unleashed a force on this world that could destroy it to save you…And I’d do it again. In a second, I would do it again.” “This isn’t on you. It’s on us.”
I might have jumped up and down a bit at that point, because I’m still not absolutely positively 100% over Season 9 and I need Sam to tell me again and again that he would move heaven and earth to save his brother and does not regret it. I might have replayed that bit a few times.
Sam and Dean, lock and key. Works for me.
The rest of Sam’s speech, about how they needed to change, how they had forgotten the saving people part of the mantra, and how they needed to save everyone and not just each other, didn’t ring quite as true to me. I have never seen the contradiction in saving your own loved one and also trying to save everyone else, and I have always loved that Sam and Dean will go to great lengths to save each other. I realize Show is trying to re-set the basic plot with that rather clunky bit of the speech – but I don’t actually think it was necessary. Neither Sam nor Dean have ever forgotten about saving people – that’s why they were in that hospital in the first place. Otherwise they just could have holed up somewhere and said screw it, let the rest of the world take care of itself! I’m more invested in their story when they are invested in saving someone they care about – each other, Cas, Jody, Donna, etc. I don’t want that to change.
Both brothers were pretty badass in this episode. Mmmm.
Dean has always certainly been focused on saving people, and he was in this episode too — he just was mostly focused on saving the baby. Hey, that’s been a defining theme of Dean Winchester’s life, from the time John put baby Sammy in his arms and said “Run Dean, and don’t look back!” It’s an instinct at this point.
However, I do love that Sam was determined to get through to his brother, and I do love that Dean listened. He didn’t like the plan (and neither did I – Sam, splitting up is never a good idea!) but he did it. He listened to Sam and respected what he had to say and did it his way. I love seeing the brothers working together as a team and both of them being competent and passionate and oh-so-brave. *swoon*
Of course, they wouldn’t be Winchesters if they were totally up front with each other. We got a great action sequence with Sam running with those long long legs trying to evade the Rabids, and then a great horror movie moment when he’s attacked by a Rabid in the dark room he’s sought refuge in. (By this time, I was screaming SAMMM!!! NOOOO!!! so that everyone in my house was quite certain that Supernatural was back…) When the Rabids took one look at Sam and shrugged and left, we all knew it was bad. We leave Sam hurt and alone and infected, and determinedly NOT telling Dean so that he can concentrate on saving the sheriff and the baby. Self sacrifice is as much a part of the Winchester mantra as Saving People, Hunting Things. Sammmmmm!
Dean and the Sheriff and the baby get away, thanks to Sam. Did anyone else get wibbly when Dean told her, with so much conviction, that “you’re going to help each other”? The way taking care of Sammy has been Dean’s reason to live for his entire life? *sniffles*
The whole ‘save the baby’ thing gave me Pilot feels, NGL. (We’ve already established that I freaking love it when Show remembers its own history).
Btw, what is it with this Show and sassy female sheriffs? She got one of the best lines of the episode.
When handed a baby: “I don’t even own a guinea pig!”
Also, “Show me some skin! Both of you!”
Dean: “Is this a Magic Mike thing?”
Everyone watching: We wish!
Cas got one of the best lines too: “The Darkness is a woman?”
Everyone: That’s what we all said!
The episode reminded me quite a bit of “Croatoan,” which is one of my favorite episodes of all time. I’m very much looking forward to Dean trying to save Sam, and both of them trying to save Cas, and Crowley being their perhaps reluctant ally, and Rowena throwing a (very pretty) monkey wrench into everything. I’m very much looking forward to the rest of S11, and that’s what you want from a season premiere, after all.
Misha Collins tweeted a bit of advice before the Show started:
@mishacollins: when you’re overwhelmed with tears & emotion tonight, calm urself by remembering that some of what you’re watching is fiction. #supernatural
Wait, what? It sure doesn’t feel like that sometimes. And I guess that’s a very good thing.
Sometimes the things that make me feel the best are what happens that’s not on the screen. Like Misha tweeting a picture of a whole bunch of SPN alumni watching together.
@MishaCollins: We are using actors as a screen to project the show on tonight. #supernatural
Or Jared tweeting the cast and crew screening as they set up to watch.
Or Kim Rhodes and Alaina Huffman tweeting NSFW comments back and forth during the West coast live tweeting which were too funny for me to be smart and actually go to bed.
Or the fact that we got #supernatural trending before the East coast airing was even done. Sometimes it just feels so damn good to be part of this #SPNFamily. Welcome back, Show!
Celebrate Season 11 by reading more about Supernatural
And the SPN Family – check out our books at the links
at the top of the page! Including chapters written by
Misha Collins and cinematographer Serge Ladouceur!