New season!  This is my third new season kick off recap and I couldn’t be happier.  Not sure why, because this is one tough episode to recap.  Forget recap, just re-watching it is really hard.  So many layers, so many possibilities, so much pain, and so many QUESTIONS.  It’s kind of maddening actually and upsetting.  But this is "Supernatural The Sequel" and its a new frontier.  Let’s bravely trudge through it together.
 
ONE YEAR AGO - Sam sacrifices himself and falls into the worst possible place anyone could ever imagine.  As Dean said in “Swan Song,” “Your Hell is going to make my tour look like Graceland.”  What an understatement!  Sam, body and soul, is stuck in a cage in Hell with Lucifer and Michael.  Dean, he’s left to pick up the pieces by taking on a new life with Lisa and Ben at Sam’s request.  So how’s it going?  We’re about to find out.
 
NOW - I can’t describe how much “Beautiful Loser” means to me.  For one, I grew up in Detroit, hometown of Bob Seger.  His music was played through my entire upbringing religiously.  I grew absolutely sick of most of it, but not this song.  This is the original version, not the overplayed live version and that’s really cool because this version has so much more heart.  Lyrically, I can’t think of a better song to describe Dean’s situation right now.  
 
I was already riding the emotionally wrecked train after watching the Smallville premiere and seeing the scene between Jonathan and Clark near the end.  This opening montage managed to keep pushing those buttons.  It's so sweet, sentimental, and tear evoking.  Couldn’t be more perfect.  Dean is in his new life and the brilliant editing cuts forth between the old and the new.  I especially love how the older scenes are shown in black and white to accent the contrast. 

 
Dean wakes up disconcerted, the 7:00 am alarm going off.  I could assume that he’s not happy in his new life, but then again I hate early alarms so that could be his place right now.  On comes the radio and the opening strains of “Beautiful Loser.”  Lisa wakes up and rolls over, asking with sympathy if he’s okay.  Dean uses his programmed line.  â€œYeah, I’m good.”  I take this to mean Dean has had a lot of bad mornings.  She sweetly kisses his hand and gets out of bed.  Dean is left behind with another distressed look on his face.  Not good.  

 
He wants to dream like a young man, with the wisdom of an old man
He wants his home and security, he wants to live like a sailor at sea
Beautiful Loser, where you gonna fall
When you realize, you just can’t have it all...
 
Dean pulls salt out of the kitchen cabinet and salts a pan of eggs.   Cut to a flashback of him salting a corpse and a window sill.  He then serves Ben his eggs in a nice suburban kitchen.  No wonder Dean is so disconcerted!  Dean opens a toolbox now and the loaded trunk of the Impala then.  He closes the box door now, flashback to him closing the trunk with Sam at the end of “All Hell Breaks Loose Part 2.”  He climbs into his Ford pickup truck (an excellent choice in my book, but then again I’m from a Ford family.  Take that Ardeospina! :p ) and pulls away, then is shown earlier pulling out in the Impala.  

 
Beautiful Loser, read it on the wall, when you realize, you just can’t have it all...
 
Dean is nailing boards at his construction job, he’s staking a Vampire, he’s sawing wood, he’s sawing off the head of a Vampire while a troubled Sam watches, he pries off old wood slats with a crowbar, he pries open a grave with a crowbar.
 
You just can’t have it all, just can’t have it all...
 
Okay, this part makes me bust into tears.  Dean gets out two beers for him and a friend at a BBQ, Sam gets out two beers for him and Dean at the end of “Fresh Blood.”  Dean hands friend a beer, Sam hands Dean a beer.  Oh Sammy, where are you??  I miss you so much!!!   Then Dean is showing Ben how to fix the truck and we see Sam’s smile when Dean shows him how to fix the Impala.  Dean then smiles at Ben in approval.  God, I’m a mess now!    

 
He’ll never make any enemies
He won’t complain if he’s caught in a freeze
He’ll always ask, he’ll always say please
 
Dean is at home in the evening now, it’s dark and he’s keeping a watchful eye outside.  He closes the curtains, locks the front and back doors, and checks the perimeter some more.  He checks in on a sleeping Ben, who adorably has stars on his blue ceiling.  Then he climbs into bed with Lisa.  The camera pans down during the ending piano chords of the song to show the holy water and shotgun strategically placed under the bed.  

 
Beautiful loser, never take it all
Cause it’s easier, faster when you fall
You just don’t need it all
 
New title card!  Wow, this is the best ever.  There’s an explosion and pieces of shattered glass go flying.  Then there’s the SUPERNATURAL title in blue surrounded by all those tiny pieces.  Oh, poor boys.  Their lives are shattered.  Putting back together pieces of glass is impossible.  



Comments  

elle2
# elle2 2010-09-30 14:07
Great recap, Alice,

Like you, I sorely wanted to see Sam hug Dean back. They did at least two different shots, the one we saw in the episode, and the one that was previewed because in the preview clip it was a wider angle so we saw more of their upper bodies and Sam's arm did indeed come up and hug Dean back. however, the choice here was much more questionable as to whether or not he did...I go with he didn't for his posture seems so stiff.

I'm sure the choice was to keep the ambiguity of Sam going more and more in a disturbing way...I'm disturbed.

As for whether or not Bobby and Sam looked guilty at Dean's rant...I'm going to go with your thoughts that they do look guilty, heads hanging down, not making eye contact.

Twas a great opener, lots of mystery and questions and very few answers...bring on the season of mystery and shadows.

:-)
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-09-30 14:39
Alice, I always love your recaps, this is no exception. However, I said so much about this episode already, in my comments and my article, that I'll just leave it this time with a big Thank you and singing your praises aloud (forgive me). you do such a great job with these - it's palpable that your heart's in it.

Cheers! Jas
Bethany
# Bethany 2010-09-30 15:03
wow this recap was epic!

I totally agree this whole episode just gave me an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach, which is the perfect set up for the season without punching us in the face.

This episode made me feel very off kilter like one of those dreams where everything looks the same but you know something's not right and it's not until you wake up that you realise what was wrong.

So much screamed "something isn't right, somethings off, something has changed" can't wait to see what that is and why.

Bring on Friday.....
Rose
# Rose 2010-09-30 15:09
Hey Alice,

Love, love, LOVE your recaps! I've watched this ep 4 times and your recap made it a 5th time for me.

I was thinking that the beauty of this show is that over the past 5 seasons the writers, cast and crew have all done such a wonderful job of creating this world of Supernatural that we have become so emotionally invested as to physically feel the pain and anguish of our boys (as well as the joy). Why else would the fans respond so passionately, both positively and negatively?

The more I watch this episode, the more I've come to appreciate it and love it but the end result is always the same - I'm sooo depressed at the end, just as I'm sure Sera meant for all of us to be! I am very much looking forward to seeing how the questions and mysteries presented here will be answered in future episodes.

On a purely Dean-girl note, Jensen never looked so good - love how his hair is a bit longer and not so military short. And yeah, the beginning was a bit slow but hey, I was enjoying the view every long, drawn out step of the way!

Cheers! Rose
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-09-30 16:05
Great recap Alice. Yes, the B&W photography at the beginning was very effective at denoting the past, and I love the new title card. The reflection of the SPN lettering backwards in the glass is very symbolic too. …everything in reverse. Really agreed with your last paragraph, too. Time to get the boys back together and back on the road!

As far as Dean’s feeling of protecting Sam being gone, never going to happen. Parents never stop protecting their children and Sam has always been a son to Dean. That makes the hurt of Sam’s not coming to Dean even worst. Sam is Dean’s life, and he will always feel the need to protect Sam, whether he has a second family of not! That’s the old Dean, and I was glad to see it.

The ending scene wasn’t a surprise to me. The impala is for the boys together…it†™s their home. Would have preferred Dean didn’t offer it to Sam, but Sam was right not to take it. He needs his brother, not a car. But cold saying he liked his own car better. Hope the impala gets even with him for that!

And I can’t see Dean just leaving Lisa and Ben, after he put them in danger, that’s not something Dean would do. I would have been very disappointed if he had. Sam was right though, the longer Dean says with them the greater the danger they are in, but I would have like to have Sam say, “Okay Dean, how can I help? My fault you are here, I pushed you to them. What can I do to keep them safe?” Instead of “Nice seeing you again Dean”. Bad….very bad.
Bevie
# Bevie 2010-09-30 16:09
Alice, that was a wonderful recap!

Your love for this show really came through, and your despair at the broken bond of the boys right now. I was left feeling bereft too at the end of the episode. I get that that is what I'm supposed to be feeling right now. After all this is the first episode this season.

I so feel for Dean in his confusion and disbelief that his two most beloved people would deceive him so. How can he ever retrieve the trust he had in them before?

Sam is scaring me a lot right now as I can't relate to him at all at the moment. I don't like feeling that way. I want to be angsting after both boys as in the past, but can't seem to dredge up any empathy for Sammy in that episode. I hope you are right in that his emotions are seething away behind that cold cold facade. I hope he breaks down and lets it all out sooner than later.

Phooey on the Campbells, Gramps included. ( love Mitch Pileggi, but geez!)

Love Lisa and her awesome understanding of her Dean. PLEASE DON'T DIE LISA !

This yellow eyed demon is my favourite demon and it was good to see him in all his glory again.

By the way, what happened to the colt that killed him? Have I forgotten, or was the last time we saw it was when Lucifer flung Dean into a tree trunk. Did Cas take the colt with them when he zapped the boys away? Must be having a memory glitch.

Anyway, Alice your recaps are top notch and I enjoy them immensely. Thank you.
Scarlotti
# Scarlotti 2010-09-30 16:48
One other point of interest I noticed: When the Djinn gives Dean the deadly double-dose of hallucinogenic poison, she repeats the line Dean said to Yellow Eyes' corpse at the end of Season 2: "That was for our Mom/Dad, you son of a bitch."
CitizenKane2
# CitizenKane2 2010-09-30 23:00
Just a short note to say that I enjoyed reading this recap. I especially liked your take on concluding scenes in 6.01 :-)
Karen
# Karen 2010-10-01 09:29
Hi Alice, Elle2, Jasminka and Robin
As always I enjoyed reading all your reviews and recaps.
I love the different perspectives.
I’m afraid my work schedule delayed me from reading and responding to all your articles so I hope its ok to just voice my thoughts on this episode in this one.

I actually liked this episode, it opened the doors to new questions and things to ponder and drive yourself nuts over. A great way to start a new season and new story line, I’m totally hooked.
I can’t wait for the flashback episodes to help explain some of the major questions.
When watching the opening montage, I didn’t get the impression that Dean was unhappy, I mean he wasn’t dancing the light fantastic but he didn’t appear to be just going through the motions. With still having dreams about Sam tells me he is still grieving but he seemed to be contented and adjusted to his new life with Lisa and Ben.

The hug didn’t have me unsettled either. To me Sam’s smile and his little head nod was like it was how he had envisioned his reunion with Dean. Almost like he had played it in his head a thousand times. I think that’s why he commented so quickly on what he expected from Dean, a hug or holy water and why he was so prepared to show him he was real.
Its like he had been waiting for that moment for so long and it was finally happening. I wonder how many times Sam may of secretly checked up on Dean to make sure he was ok.

I really felt for Dean in this episode, so much thrown on him at one time. Finding out Sam was alive and for almost a year, and that Bobby knew as well. Finding out his Grandfather was resurrected and that there was some Campbell’s still kicking. And to put the cherry on top he’s a target for revenge on some super nuked up Djinns.
Just how much can you expect one man to take in a 24hour period?

As for the proverbial question of whether Sam and Bobby should of told Dean that he was alive. It’s one of those no win situations, a two sided coin, that will never satisfy everyone.
Should anyone ever speak or make decisions for anyone else? To take away their right to make there own choice. Does anyone really know what’s best for someone else? Maybe not, but then maybe it all depends on the person and the situation.
If Sam had knocked on Dean’s door, right after being resurrected, told him he didn’t know who or why he was brought back, told him he was going to continue to hunt. Would Dean have even given Lisa and the apple pie life a chance? Is there any doubt that Dean wouldn’t of gone with him, even if Sam had protested against it.
And I’m sure making that decision wasn’t an easy one for Sam. I can’t help but think of the look on Sam’s face at the end of Swan Song. To me looking sad and longing. Torn between either reuniting with his brother or letting his brother go to live his own life. I’m sure seeing Dean with a family, living the dream that he once sought to have, must of crushed him inside. How could he possibly take that away from Dean after everything he had done for him. I can’t help but wonder if that is when he went to Bobby. Needing a friendly face and reassurance he was making the right choice. As it was they both agreed to not let Dean know. But I have to agree they both looked pretty guilt ridden when Dean expressed his side of the whole situation. With both there heads looking down and not even able to look at Dean.

As for the Campbell’s I have many issues with them, but I’ll only comment on two for now. First of all they didn’t seem very bright. They have been hunting all their lives, but yet it took Dean(who is suppose to be the rusty one) to suggest the necessary plans to take down the Djinn’s. To me with there experience they should have at least been on the same level as Dean.
Second is how did Sam and Samuel meet? How did they fall into each others paths? Since they had never met each other before, for Sam to believe him and trust who he and who the others were, has me very unsettled and curious. Just how bad was Sam’s state of mind.

And the ending, wow talk about having your heartstrings being torn at.
There is so much pain and grief between these two.
Dean deciding to stay with Lisa and Ben instead of going with Sam and offering the Impala as the last gesture that he was done hunting and Sam rejecting it for that very reason.
And Sam accepting Dean’s decision in a mature and almost professional manner.
To me though, I believe it was killing him. If he didn’t behave that way, he would of fallen apart.
Randal
# Randal 2010-10-01 10:30
Uneasy is good, instant hugs would only ruin a month or so of potential angst, you crazy fangirls. :-)

Well, at least we'll probably have some kind of tie-in at last with the whole stupid 'Azazel killed all of your mom's relatives to cover stuff up 'cause nothing doesn't attract attention like an entire family butchered, no, heaven would never notice that." D in covert ops, man.
nancyL
# nancyL 2010-10-01 18:30
Alice,

I enjoy your recaps. You seem to say the same things that I am yelling at the tv.

I do not trust the Campbells, since when do the good guys take prisoners? :-? Reminds me of the Initiative from Buffy, and we all know how well that turned out. :twisted:

I think Sam didn't really think that Dean would commit to his promise to connect with Lisa and Ben. So, now he is back in Dean's life, he thought that Dean would just come back to him no questions asked, but that is not the case. Dean wants to, but he now feels a connection to Lisa and Ben that he cannot walk away from, even for Sam. Poor Dean, his is torn between his two 'families'. :cry::

But, we have to have faith in Sara, that the trio of Sam, Dean and Impala, will soon be on the road again soon. :D (with visits from a certain angel).
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2010-10-01 22:39
As usual, Alice, I really enjoyed your recap. Except for the part where you CALLED ME OUT!! The power, it goes to your head!

So instead of posting thinky-thoughts about the episode, I'll just explain now why I am so anti-Ford and you can judge for yourself if the reasons are valid.

First, when I was growing up, we had two Chevy station wagons that I loved, loved, loved. One was silver and the other was blue with wood paneling. They lasted forever and really got the crap beat out of them. I even took the blue woody wagon to college my freshman year it was so reliable. But when the silver finally broke down, my dad got a Ford Taurus SHO. It was fun for a while because it was powerful and a manual and all that, so it was great to ride in and my dad liked driving it. That is, when he actually COULD drive it. That car broke down so often it was ridiculous. So he had to use my car instead, a Chevy at the time, because his was always in the shop, and I was left carless in high school. Not cool!

Second, my first car was a Chevy Cavalier that we got for $700. It never broke down even though my brother and I drove the hell out of that thing. I loved that car.

Third, in my high school, all the rich kids got Mustangs for their 16th birthdays, and we're talking the late '90s ones that are really ugly. So having a Ford Mustang was really a status symbol and a way to make the kids whose parents couldn't afford one feel even worse about themselves. That's high school for you.

Fourth, I personally think Chevy has way more cool muscle cars than Ford does. I don't like the Mustang at all, for reasons mentioned above, and my favorite muscle car is a '69 or '70 SS Chevelle, like Bobby's but not as junked out. Go, Chevy muscle cars!

Lastly, I'm from Cleveland, and we don't like anything so heavily associated with the dreaded state of Michigan! Go Bucks!