Noir is Dead. Long live Noir. 
 
Supernatural has stripped back down to basics. It has returned, in many ways with "Meet the New Boss," to its old flavor and style. This, ironically, makes the series fresh and renewed. Starting with, during the Road So Far, we can already tell that the show is bringing itself back to the basics. Foghat's "Slow Ride" plays us in, recapping the events leading us to here. The title card splatters a black splotch and fades to brilliant white, stark and bare, reflecting the return to the storytelling that has made Supernatural so good for so long.
 
It picks up from where we left off and brings us into new territory. We were warned in Season 6 that there are far worse creatures in Purgatory than the Mother of All or the souls of her children. This season is going to explore that and oh so much more. 
 
Classic lines pepper the script beautifully. And each line is spread evenly rather than going to one single character, upping the enjoyment of each gem. Bobby's questioning of what to do about Cas, with his flippant, "Exactly! What? Miracles? Mass visions? A trenchcoat on a tortilla?" is a delight that brought us right back to the signature humor of this series right away. Dean getting the jump on the guy catching them breaking into a house is classic Dean in every way: "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?" Sam's reaction of "Grey Poupon? Seriously?" gives us the banter the brothers used so frequently in the past right back to front and center. Guest star characters, such as Lucifer, continue the great line parade when he greets Sam with a nonchalant "Hey Sam. Long time no spooning." Death chastises Dean, but compliments on his way out, "Great pickle chips, by the way." 


 
As great as the lines are, the story moves quickly, giving us the chance to wrap up the season 6 storyline and set the stage for the rest of the season in a great fashion. Castiel is running amok. He has turned himself into something far worse than Lucifer himself. Lucifer didn't want to become God. Instead, he wanted to destroy man for replacing him and his brothers. Castiel has taken it a step further, assuming the mantle of God. And the results are as disastrous as his vessel becomes towards the end of the episode. He isn't as imaginative as he claims, either. Two of his miracles: the healing of a leper colony and restoring the sight of a blind man, are two acts attributed to Jesus. He has bought fully into his hype and goes out of his way to punish those he feels are hypocrites, such as the Reverend that rails against homosexuality or the Senator that "keeps people in poverty in my name." 


 
At the campaign office, when Sam and Dean watch the footage, it is easy to see that Castiel has completely lost it. The sick and twisted smile on his face is foreshadowing of the final moment of the episode, although neither brother knows it yet. That was not Castiel at the office, not in that video footage. That was the Leviathan taking control, a flash of what is to come for the season's upcoming big bad. I am pleased that this is how the so called Big Bad is introduced. I wasn't certain how long they could drag the "Cas is Now God" thing, and making him be the big bad that way would have become messy before too long. Having him emerge in the end as the big bad possessed by the monster that he was unable to expel is perfect. It gives this creature the arsenal to KNOW Sam and Dean's ticks, their strengths, their weaknesses, and how to keep just a step ahead of them by downloading Cas's memories. This monster will know, possibly, not to entirely underestimate the Brothers Winchester, something that the other big bads tended to do, which left them dead. 


 
Castiel isn't the only show stopper in this episode. We are haunted by what happened to Sam, now that he has been fully reintegrated at the end of "The Man Who Knew Too Much." He hallucinates about his time in the Cage, seeing meat hooks and chains stalking him. It gets to the point where those chains drop through Bobby's ceiling and wrap around his neck to choke him. Sam has lost his grip on reality, and fallen into old habits. He won't tell Dean that he is struggling, wanting to spare his big brother from seeing the truth. Sam should know better, but Dean already knows, even if he's enabling the denial. It's fairly obvious that Sam has lost his touch on reality, and when Lucifer confronts him at the lab they take Cas to in order to return the souls, he learns the possible truth: he's in the Cage and Lucifer has allowed him to think that he was somehow free. 


 
It might explain, to an extent, Sam's reluctance to tell Dean about what is happening. Lucifer confirmed what Sam might have been thinking all along. Why talk to Dean if Dean is either not real or Lucifer in disguise? The Devil wouldn't bat an eye at using whatever Sam says against him. His grip on reality is so tenuous that he can't logically see that this is a hallucination, not real. It makes Sam's story compelling and tragic. It also gives us the same thought that Sam has had: could Lucifer be telling the truth?
 
Dean's story is connected to Sam's. He has to repair, again, Baby after she was flipped by Crowley's demons. He is using Baby as a stand in for Sam. The Impala can be fixed and he will restore her to her former glory in no time. The scenes where he fixes the car are pure Dean. He is hands on in hunting and life. They're such simple scenes, and they bring back in essence the Dean that we all know and love.
 


It is Sam that he is uncertain of how to fix. That doesn't mean he doesn't try to hide his anxiety. He tells Bobby, who is concerned about Sam after seeing him freak out in the basement.  It's like he said earlier, "And when he wakes up, no matter what shape he's in, we'll glue him back together, too." 
 
Dean is incapable of giving up on Sam---as Sam was unable to give up on Dean and returned from his soul reintegration to arrive at the lab. This bond being reforged, and hopefully strengthened, in the upcoming episodes, will be their most powerful tool against the creature that has taken Castiel's place. Their reliance on one another, through thick and thin, will be what pulls them above and to the finish line. It is also another basic structure to the Supernatural success. Sam and Dean will do anything for each other, will fight for each other, will die for each other, and when push comes to shove, if something threatens the other will eliminate that threat. It such a basic element and it is a cornerstone of this beautiful show. Seeing them, despite the argument over Sam keeping his memory struggle secret, being on the same page and going in the same direction is just what the series needed right now. 


 
Dean's idea to bind Death is both brilliant and foolish. Sam is often quoted as being the brains of the duo, but Dean often comes up with great ideas and foolhardy plans that work or yield information they need. This is one of those ideas. Death wrongly assumed it was to help fix Sam, but Dean needed Death to reap God, as he told him he could in "Two Minutes to Midnight." It is probably his most foolish idea ever. Dean can't truly think he could hold Death in chains for long. Death is not pleased, but is completely nonplussed by Castiel's entrance, although grateful that he can unbind him. He knows that Castiel is only a "mutated Angel." He also knows that Sam and Dean must stop him if they are to save the world from the coming holocaust at the Leviathan"™s hands, the monsters prior to Angels and man. He tells them he will create another eclipse so that they can get Cas to return the souls. This is up to them, and he will not fix it for them. Death has no concern for the salvation of the planet, as it is miniscule to him. If they want to save it, they will have to do it. 
 
Having Death do it this way is brilliant. It makes the boys have to do the work themselves, another basics moment for the show. It also sets up one of the most beautiful scenes of the episode. Sam, the one most hurt by Castiel's actions and has most reason to hold a grudge, won't turn his back. He was rendered Soulless, his soul was left to rot in the Cage for over a year, and his wall put in by Death was tore down all because of Castiel. He goes outside, amongst Bobby's junked cars, and prays that Castiel will hear him. He gets the beautiful speech: "Hey Castiel. Maybe this is pointless. Look, I don't know if any part of you even cares, but I still think you're one of us deep down and way, way, way off the reservation. But we still have "˜til dawn to stop this. Let us help. Please."


 
It is touching and demonstrates just how big of a heart Sam Winchester has---with his soul intact that is. Sam has always wanted to look at the good side of others, reach out to that aspect, and bring it forward. He does so here. His ability to forgive is possibly what makes Castiel repent later on. 
 
As Sam and Dean are debating what they should do about Castiel, he shows up, weakened and conciliatory. He agrees that they should do as Death has requested and they head to the lab. His answering Sam's prayer is a complete reversal of his behavior in season 6 when he declared that he had a more profound bond with Dean. 


 
Once they get him to the actual lab, they start the ritual to re-open the door to Purgatory. Both brothers are helping. Sam is told to get the blood jar from the other room, and he goes to do so. Castiel takes this chance to apologize to Dean, admitting that he feels regret. It is a bit late, and Dean is cool in response. He may have remorse or simply be upset that his plan to become God failed, but Dean cannot forgive him for hurting Sam. Castiel has accepted that he will most likely die when these souls spill out back into Purgatory where they belong. It's tragic that he has been brought to this point, but it can't be forgotten that he brought himself largely to this precipice against all advice. 


 
As Sam is taking too long to return, Dean goes to find the jar sitting in the middle of the hall, sans Sam. They don't have time to waste, so he returns to complete the ritual. Castiel collapses, almost used up and weak. The door opens and the souls spill back from which they came---but not everyone leaves. As Cas falls to the floor, broken and battered, Bobby and Dean question if he's dead. Dean may have called Cas a child, but his childlike question, "Maybe Angels don't need to breathe," breaks the heart. He may have been angry with Castiel for this mess, but he still cared. 


 
Like a miracle, Castiel heals, but is it him? He is stunned to be alive, still weak. He tells Dean that he will make amends, and Dean brushes it off. He still has to find Sam, after all. Unfortunately, the Leviathan is ready to take control, and Cas pleads to both Dean and Bobby to run. It's left to wonder if he had been revived at all or if the Leviathan were playing a joke on them the way Lucifer did in Sam's form after Sam said yes. He throws them around the room like dolls, and chuckles that it's "going to be so much fun!"


 
This sets up the rest of this promising and young season. We're returned to the basics of Supernatural: Sam and Dean are reunited as a brotherly team. Classic rock plays as intro and set up. Great humorous lines are peppered through out in what would otherwise be a dark episode. The Impala is, as the series itself, being rebuilt and restored. It can't get much better than this. 
 
The acting in this episode, by all parties, was superb. I found myself enthralled by Jared and Jensen's performances---but also thought that of Mark Sheppard's, Jim Beaver's, Julian Richings's, Mark Pellegrino's, and Misha Collins's were excellent. 
 
My favorite scenes, when it comes to acting alone have to be watching Jared and Mark Pellegrino face off again. They brought us back to Detroit fluidly, Sam trying to wish away the Devil before him as a simple hallucination. At times, I almost felt that Sam had adopted some of the ticks Samifer has, almost like a defense mechanism. The way he said certain words, held himself aloof, he was trying to convince Lucifer before him that he wasn't weak or falling for the lies---until the rug is pulled out and Jared shifted effortlessly into distraught and broken Sam, almost shattering in a simple boyish expression as he began to believe that he was still in the Cage. The scene was captivating, heartbreaking, and brilliantly done. I found myself wanting a bit more, hoping to see another like it in the next episode.

 
 
I really enjoyed seeing Jensen put Baby back together, and his scenes with Jim Beaver as they discuss the new mess they're in. They both make such dark conversations seem so natural and true for their characters that if you didn't know any better you'd think they were discussing a weather front. And yet the subtle nature of the emotions bubbling in both as Bobby becomes afraid for Sam and Dean becomes frustrated, afraid, and despondent in the situation they're in shines through beautifully. Jensen sold me a sad and broken Dean right when Cas "dies" after Purgatory closes. Dean might have been rigid in his not forgiving Cas before, but actions speak louder than words. It is Dean that helps Cas to stand, and in that gesture, Jensen sells us a Dean teetering on the edge of forgiveness but not quite ready to take the plunge. He comes close again when Cas is revived, just before being taken over by the monster. Dean goes from childlike to solider to despairing all in fluid motions, and Jensen brings each element in as needed beautifully. 


 
Misha Collins also performed beautifully, both as a deranged God and the new big bad Leviathan. It utterly amazed me that he could turn on a dime essentially and flip a beautiful switch. Castiel as a God didn't really scare me simply because I saw the truth in his performance as he brought that story element alive. Cas was trying to convince himself and anyone who would listen that he was God and Misha sold that indecisiveness and self doubt. I was terrified when he turned into the Leviathan and declared that Castiel was dead. His glee and sadistic nature in this performance made this monster frightening and intriguing. I felt a thrill as he morphed from regretful Angel of the Lord to evil and twisted beast set to destroy. I have no doubt that we'll see his face again as this evil creature. And I'm sure the acting will be just as delicious.


 
I love how Julian Richings sells Death as a likable but frightening character. He's sarcastic, unflappable, and a delight on screen. As Dean sees Cas as a child, Death sees Dean as the same. He does know that Dean has tenacity and smarts, hence his charging him with stopping Cas from sucking Purgatory dry in the first place, but his cool indifference to Dean's struggle is portrayed perfectly. There's just something delicious about how Julian delivers his lines and I can't help but eat it up. 


 
And of course Mark Sheppard, here in this episode less cocky than the Crowley we know and love, gives a wonderful performance as everyone's favorite King of Hell. He makes this character both detestable and loveable all at once. I adored how he brought us downtrodden and beaten down Crowley. He was afraid of being killed, and he didn't want to go down with the ship the boys were sailing, but he is still always looking for the winning side. The way Mark Sheppard delivered the line "Listening" was just amazing. 


 
And to think, we have 22 episodes left to watch. 
 
It is good to be a Supernatural fan.

Comments  

airbat
# airbat 2011-09-25 14:08
Beautiful recap! And needless to say that I agree with it but I don't count cuz I'm not really objective concerning this episode. I love it to pieces!!! What a premiere!!!
ALL the actors performed exceptional and we had all the great guest stars on the red carpet.
Both boys are so not OK, no matter how much they say they are. Curious to see how they make Sam well, because he can't stay this way all Season7. Also I worry about Dean. I hope all this driking isn't going to turn into a problem in Season 7. I do hope they get a break somewhat this season and stay strong together!
The scene with Death & Lucifer both had my socks knocked off. I have nothing to complain about with this epi...but then again, not objective.

Maybe one little thing: Sam&Dean are truly the better persons than I am. I'm not that willing to forgive Cas just now. I know he helped the brother in the past, but he also did a lot of "not so good" things he was never hold accountable for (way before he swallowed the souls). So, I'm still miffed(which only shows how great an actor Misha is) - apologies to all the Cas lover, but that's how I feel.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-25 14:46
I am hoping that since they jumped head first into the deep pool with Sam getting caught in his lie that we see coming through the next episode arc both Sam and Dean talk things out. Dean has been hiding from his own experiences in Hell for a long time, and in season 6 when he asks Soulless Sam, he had a flash of being ready to discuss. Now is the time to follow through, get them to sit down and acknowledge that. I think it's one reason Dean drinks so much, and has done so since his return from Hell. I think that is such a manifestation of his issues still left on the table.

I am not sure I totally forgive Cas, either. I am more inclined to be with Sam on it, but am a bit reluctant like Dean, too. So much has happened to just wipe clean. On the other hand, Cas is getting to an extent his just desserts by being overtaken by this terrifying beast after the boys now. He was warned not to open Purgatory, to find a better way to defeat Raphael, and he didn't. I hope we can see him find a way to come back and fight from within while the boys fight on the outside. I don't see the Leviathan killing him when they can torture him by using his vessel for evil.

We shall see!
purplehairedwonder
# purplehairedwonder 2011-09-25 15:22
I know I don't totally forgive Cas yet, and I don't think Sam is totally forgiving him either. But what Sam is doing is offering him a chance at redemption that he himself really didn't get during his own slide in season 4. Dean and the angels kept telling Sam not to do what he was doing and that he was an abomination which just pushed him closer to Ruby. I think Sam, now and of all people, recognizes the importance of those you care about offering another way out even when everything seems lost. It wasn't until Sam heard the altered voicemail that he went through with his plan to kill Lilith--had he heard Dean's real message, no doubt he would have stopped. I see the prayer as the voicemail part deux, only there was no interference in the signal. And what do you know? It worked.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-25 17:09
I think you have an excellent point about that. The voice mail was totally changed, pushing Sam to do what he did in the church. If he had heard what Dean had really said I think he would have ditched Ruby and run to him in an instant.

I also think Sam can understand Castiel's motivations more than Dean. Dean's just feeling like this is happening all over again and can't really pull back enough to understand that Castiel's good intentions originally are what led them to this moment. If he had, perhaps, tried harder to do a voice mail like message to Cas as he did to Sam, he might not have sucked up Purgatory.

Then again, it's hard to say if Castiel would have listened before the consequences hit.
purplehairedwonder
# purplehairedwonder 2011-09-25 14:27
I think this was spot on on all accounts. I liked season 6, think that noir was an interesting experiment and was an appropriate choice for a reboot season of sorts, but I was definitely ready to get back to the basics that made me fall in love with Supernatural in the first place. And this episode did just that. This was, in fact, the complete antithesis to season 6--where before episodes had veiled hints that would only make sense by the end of the season, we have the season's big bad named within the first half of the premiere. The contrast is striking. It felt like welcoming home an old friend--includi ng many old "friends" like Death and Lucifer.

My favorite scenes were also Sam praying to Cas (and Cas answering!) despite being the one hurt most by his actions and the Sam/Lucifer interaction. I loved seeing Sam reach out to Cas when Dean had given up and refused to forgive Cas for what he'd done to Sam. Sam's always been the one to look for the good in people, sometimes to his detriment--but not this time. And the fact that Cas answered was a complete 180 from his refusal to answer Sam's prayers last season. As for the Sam and Lucifer scene, well, it was brilliant. I loved every scene between Jared and Mark in season 5 and this scene was just as great--if not better. Sam's violent flinch at Lucifer's "pull the wool" motion broke my heart with his instinctual expectation of pain. And of course he's not thinking clearly enough to see the hallucination for what it is--nor should we expect him to. Here's hoping Dean can find a way to reach his brother next week in what promises to be an intense episode.

Also agreed on how nice it was to see Dean getting back to the basics, rebuilding the car since that's all he can do a la season 2. I did get a good laugh at the fact he was watching hentai in Bobby's kitchen and Sam would only drink with him if he turned it off. Oh boys. And the Grey Poupon banter was hilarious as well. These are the boys we've been missing for so long, if with a few more chinks in their armor.

Misha was also brilliant as the various versions of Cas--pretty much agreed on everything you've said. And that's to say nothing about Bobby, Crowley, or Death, who were also fantastic.

Welcome back, Supernatural. We've really missed you.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-25 15:05
I'm glad you liked it.

I think that it is a great change back to the form that makes the show tick to give us the big bad right away. I think this is one frightening big bad, too, and for oh so many reasons. He's cloaked in the shape of a former ally and seems to be extremely clever and unpredictable.

I think Dean only knows how to cope by either denying or doing something with his hands. He has to know what to do and when he doesn't he just gets a little lost.

And yeah, it was like welcoming an old friend back---one I look forward to seeing for another 22 episodes and beyond!
purplehairedwonder
# purplehairedwonder 2011-09-25 15:26
I think that's a very interesting point about the leviathan(s?) being in the form of a friend--that it's already smart and now has access to Cas' knowledge about the Winchesters. And that undoubtedly points to them as the biggest obstacle between the ancients and wreaking total havoc. Knowing the Winchesters are the biggest threat makes them a target and Cas' insider knowledge really does render all their former advantages useless. It's a rather fascinating new take on a villain and I like it.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-25 15:38
Azazel knew a number of things about them, but didn't really realize just how strong their bond truly was. Lilith underestimated the same thing, but really was looking for a way to eliminate Sam so she could live before the Apocalypse hit. Lucifer knew how to play mind games, but didn't think Sam had a snowball's chance in overpowering him and it got him tossed back in the cage. This villain will KNOW things about the brothers that those other baddies didn't.

I do think the Leviathan will be a nasty foe with that knowledge that Cas has, but I also think it'll underestimate just how powerful a combined Winchester Brother force really can be. They won't have an easy time beating this entity, but it won't be the end for them, I don't think.
Jedaqia
# Jedaqia 2011-09-25 16:44
I've forgiven Cas. Bcos as a 'Winchester' (Dean says so!!!) he's bound to make mistakes. Love everything about this recap. :lol:
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-25 16:49
Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.

I want to forgive Cas, but I'm not quite there just yet. We'll see as the season goes along what he does to redeem himself.
purplehairedwonder
# purplehairedwonder 2011-09-25 17:36
The thing about being a Winchester is not just making mistakes, but owning up to them and working to correct them. Sam and Dean are flawed and screw up regularly, but they always (eventually) own up to what they've done (and usual taking on more guilt than necessary) and work to make amends. Up until now, Cas has made a lot of mistakes but never owned up to them (letting Sam out of the panic room, anyone?). This, I think, is the first time he's ever admitted to a mistake and actively wanted to make up for it, only he couldn't because of the leviathan's presence in his vessel. I haven't forgiven him yet, but there's definitely the potential for him to redeem himself and I hope he gets the chance.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-25 18:35
If he can somehow fight from within in, that's how he can do it. And when they do defeat this enemy, Cas will have to do some apologizing perhaps.
alysha
# alysha 2011-09-25 21:53
In the absurdest way, I feel like season 6 never happened. Even the "The road so far" had bits and pieces from season 5! Weird. I think we are on a good path now! Go season 7 !!!!! :)
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-25 22:30
I enjoyed season 6 immensely, but I find that noir is a very acquired taste in a lot of ways and either it works for you or it doesn't.

I do think we're going in an excellent direction by going back to basics, but I'll be curious to see how some of the season 6 issues are resolved in this new and young season while giving us new issues that will hopefully carry over into a season 8.
cd28
# cd28 2011-09-26 07:34
I enjoyed reading your review. There were a few points that I disagreed with, the first being that this episode brought things back to basics. The action still seemed centered around the powerful supernatural guests, rather than San and Dean, but the episode paved
the way for us to get back to basics soon. Second thing is that I don't think Cas was worse than Lucifer. He was trying to improve things rather than destroy them. Third thing is that I think the impala stood in for Cas, not Sam. Sam seemed to be at least partly functioning as far as Dean knew, and Dean thought he could fix Sam, but it was Cas that Dean couldn't reach. But overall, nice review.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-26 17:24
Interesting points, and I can see your side of them, too.

I think, in a lot of ways, it is still a back to basics in the sense that the foundation is being set more or less for the rest of the season to shift back towards Sam and Dean and away from the supernatural beings they encounter. It's so very hard to tell just what a season's shape will be in one episode, but I've noticed that premiere episodes often hint at things to come in both tone and story. This one certainly had a feel of shifting the show back to its traditional flavor and scope.

I can see why you would think that Cas was not worse than Lucifer, too. He had good intentions going in, but the end result was far worse than what Lucifer had even done, and that's partly why I drew that conclusion. If he had someone pulled back and not gone God Complex, he wouldn't be doing something a bit worse than Lucifer in my opinion. His heart was largely in the right places, but his actions dug him deeper into a hole over time.

I think it's fair to say that the Impala can stand in for both to an extent, too. Cas was something Dean couldn't do anything about, so he fixed the car. He was also more aware than his indignation at being lied to about being fine would suggest. He couldn't fix Sam's issues, so again he went to the car and worked on that instead.

Thanks for your comment!
cd28
# cd28 2011-09-26 20:59
I take it you're not much of a fan of Cas? I think we're just going to disagree on most of these points. Lucifer created the demons, was indirectly responsible for everything that happened to Sam through YED, wanted to destroy the world as seen in The End, and tortured/raped Sam in Hell, so I have a hard time agreeing that Cas was worse.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-26 21:45
Oh no, I love Cas.

He became worse than Lucifer when he went God complex. His intentions were good, keep free will in place, it's what he let himself become that makes him end up unintentionally worse. Lucifer, by intent, is still worse, but never wanted to be God. As you said, he wanted to destroy the world, probably still does. He's evil through and through and in that regard, I agree completely with you. I just think what Cas morphed into before he answered Sam's prayer put him just one step above what Lucifer had intended to do with the Apocalypse. That's all.

I think Cas is utterly redeemable if they haven't offed him for certain. He's already reversed the God thing, so he's not (Cas, not the Leviathan) worse than Lucifer any longer. He was almost old Cas again before being possessed.

Does that make sense?
cd28
# cd28 2011-09-26 22:52
I see where you're coming from. I'm not sure I agree, but thanks for explaining. :-)
Ginger
# Ginger 2011-09-26 08:21
I was among the harshest critics of S6 and had set very low expectations for this premiere. It was a solid and plot-driven, and moved so fast that the hour flew by.

It did seem more like another S6 finale, and I agree with cd28 that the focus was centered on the supernatural more so than the brothers. It appears that the writers found a way to keep Cas in the show and end the angel storyline, but all the buzz is still about Cas. Still, it was a very good episode.

I disagree that the Impala represented Sam or Cas. I think the Impala represents Dean and where he is at now (like it used to do in earlier seasons. Even after Dean fixed it (and I assume that the car peeking out of the treeline when they drove up to the Dr.'s house was the Impala), shows Dean's state of mind. He was taking part in the hunt, but Dean is not really into the game yet, and he's not ready to forgive (and thus redeem) Cas yet.

Stellar acting from everyone. My, what good support guests this show gets. Even the tied up and gagged Dr. and his wife added to the binding Death scene.

I think Death likes Dean, don't you. I love how tolerant he is of him.

After a mindwiped S6, but having such a good premiere, I am now hoping that the execution of the stories set up for S7 is as good as what was done with this episode.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-26 17:33
That's a totally different take on Dean and the Impala, and I have to agree in part there, too! Dean and the Impala are very much connected to one another, and I do like the image of him rebuilding her as he's rebuilding himself. I like that.

I agree that it came off as another season 6 finale type episode, and part of me wishes they would have bumped it to the end of season 6, but to open with this for season 7 isn't half bad, either. I think it sets a strong tone, and I can only hope as you do that it will be things to come. I enjoyed season 6, but I am looking forward to a shift back to focusing on the boys more than anything else.

Death does like Dean, otherwise he wouldn't have brought Sam's soul back or given him the rings in season 5 or now created another eclipse so they could open Purgatory. I do hope he'll be back again in some capacity.

I think they focused on the supernatural creature so much in this episode so we would know what the boys are up against before giving them their full attention again, too. It has to be more than Sam dealing with the wall collapse or Dean dealing with his shift back into the hunter's life full time with no side trips to Lisa and Ben. I also think it's a fitting and logical end to the angel storyline overall. Besides Michael and Lucifer, it looked like Cas wiped out Angels in one temper tantrum proving how powerful he is. I'll be curious if any other random Angels suddenly pop into place, but I doubt it.

At least we have 22 more episodes to see where they take us, eh?
Ritu
# Ritu 2011-09-26 08:24
Thankyou Far Away Eyes for your detailed Review. I have been reading the episodes review here before i actually saw it and yesterday i caught up with the episode and what an episode it was...It had everything i was looking for form past 4 months..i now again i cant wait for next friday.

Misha was the star of it..his last 1 minute of portrayal was so much different and convincing and awesome that for one second (out of one minute of that sequence) i could not believe i can hate Misha..but he nailed it fully and from the loving Cass to Godstiel then to ultimate Big bad was just out of this world...Last scene of Castiel as Leviathans taking control was creepy and true he is making Lucifer look more humane..i just Wish our dear old Cass be back as he promised Dean that he will make amends..to see him make peace with his frds i want him to come back plssss


Sam suffering after Hell experience, his hallucinations and Lucifer encounter are much interesting (and i am as curious to know further as i am to know what happened to Castiel)...Wher e did Sammy go?? Has he believed his imaginations or was it really a imagination? is it possible that with his wall breaking, Lucifer or part of him managed to breaking inside Sammy (OMG cant think it further)??..I just cant wait to see what happens from here on and how Sammys mental state will play on..Wish he will come back on time to save his dear brother and Bobby from Leviathan possessed Castiel..Btw his hallucinations part was very well executed, this was required from first episode itself.
The best part of Sammy was his trust for his frds and his belief to see Cass..This extra goodness has always been Sammys quality..he can never harm anyone..i love him for that

Dean although was broken completely had his game face on. His top priority is his brother but he choose to show that everything is fine and he is fully into his baby (classic scenes of Dean repairing his baby 8) ). I can understand his mental collapse to loosing Cass completely and getting to know abt Sam from Death..he is the only one left to tackle his family always..he is the only one to lookout for them always and this burden is enough to crush anyone in his shoes but he is the Dean..
But i was saddened by the fact that he considered binding Death to kill Cass..not to repair him :cry: But in the end he felt the pain of loosing cass when the angel was lying on ground not breathing (but he wasnt sure if angels need to breath at all)..In future i wuld want him to see how he helps his Brother and frd to come back form their respective troubles..its a tough job for him to handle both but Booby is there right...

But I felt Dean and Sam were looking tiring due to their trials and constant fight and felt the chemistry lacking somewhat (during their first encounter after Sammy gained his senses back or when Dean was confronting him after Death scene or maybe i wanted to see them more after long gap :lol: )or not enough time was given to their reactions...Bob by was given much of funny lines and i love him like this..caring and humorous. Crowley appearance was cherry on cake...And Death coming back completed the masterstroke episode...

I had one more issue apart form Sam/Dean short screen presence (was not dynamite but i love them so cant complain) that i felt there was some discontinuation or fast paced scenes transition that made it look disconnected at places...proble m might be due to loads has to incorporated in single episode and thats why the rush ..but dont know if anyone else felt it that way??? Would quote one scene which left me asking for more - During the Death binding scene, Godstiel came in to kill Dean and Sam but he comes to know he cant as Death is bounded to them in addition when Dean told Death to kill Cass (oh dean why such a brutal decision...snif fing ) Godstiel looked pissed at Dean (or cass was taken aback by him?) but soon he unchained Death he left without warning Dean whereas a moment ago he was ready to kill dean for calling upon Death?? i mean was their any editing or it was done in rush? Anyways whatever be the case here i really liked the way story moved from Cass to God-Cass to new Big bad to Sam disappearing to Dean remaining to fix everything up in coming episodes...


I have written this in other review post and repeating it here also -
On final note, i dont know who is better actor or char cater in SPN...is it Jared or Jenson or is it Sam or Dean coz i equally love these 4 S&D and J2.
But the other thing that has grown on me during my short span of experience with SPN is Castiel..Cass is very loyal character so far..Loyal of his father, loyal to his frds and till this end also he remained loyal...with few wrongs that he made.. but he mend his actions in past and i hope he does it in future too..for that please dont kill his character plus Misha is an asset to SPN. I wont say his importance in SPN is as much as Sam or dean but his character is like Booby who if killed will left me (or any other Sam dean fan) in devastated state...

Added to that i am just in awe of the last 1 minute of Mishas acting..his change from Castiel to Leviathan possessed is marvelous..i cant take my eyes off from his laughing face...Ohh this is gonna be so much of fun..

Ques: Leviathans are many soul or one single bad soul. I cud not get a video witrh subtitles so had some problems understanding all the dialogues...Spe cially in the end after Booby said they are pretty much saving the world..and then cass says something??? Would appreciate if anyone can just quote the end dialogues for me...thanku


PS: i am new to SPN fandom so i guess i am not crossing any Sam or Dean or cass fans line..I personally love all of them and i myself dont know whom i like more.for me Sam and Dean and pillars of SPN and Bobby and Cass are the roof to protect them..Anyways thanks for reading teh reply and hope to read more of the wonderful reviews of coming episodes of SPN...
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-26 17:42
I'm glad you liked my review of this first episode. I think the acting on this show is largely underrated by the establishment. I am with you on how wonderful each actor they have on the show on a regular basis really is.

I, too, cannot choose between the brothers, though I do like them a bit more than I do Cas. He's an integral part of the show the past three seasons, and I do think he adds a lot in his acting and the story they provide. I do think we'll see him in the future, though I am not sure how they intend to redeem him.

I don't think Cas decided to follow through on his death threat to Sam and Dean largely because I think a part of him couldn't after all this time of protecting them. I also think Death, bound or unbound after Cas snapped his fingers, would be a bit upset at it and he knows Death is a far more powerful being than even he was at that moment. It's hard to say, or if they'll return to that in a later episode.

I'm glad you're here and getting into the fandom. It can be a lot of fun!
Ritu
# Ritu 2011-09-26 08:52
Just missed pointing it out..Your posted pics are just awesome...telli ng half the tail by itself...Last three pics of Sam- Dealing with his won problem and his future, Dean- broken to the core seeing his frd dead and Castiel- Fighting for his existence inside himself...all three chalking up the future in SPN...i am loving it all..I started with this series this march..ended up becoming a nutcase fan of SPn and now i think i cant live without the SPN dream..Thanks for making this WFB one of its kind where i learned to love SPN more....
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-26 17:43
You will have to thank Alice for these pictures. I am pleased with her choices, too.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2011-09-26 09:22
That was a really good recap. I loved this episode so much, now I can't wait for Friday to come around again. The acting on this show is so good, how is it that Emmy doesn't pay attention? These guys can express so much just with a look, it's stupendous.

I especially loved the scene between Sam & Lucifer. Poor Sam thinking he can just close his eyes and everything would be normal again. When Lucifer tells him that he is just making him think that he escaped and he just has to pull the wool off of his eyes...Sam's reaction to that one broke my heart. And I believe Sam was ready to tell Dean & Bobby about the hallucinations, but then when he overheard their conversation, he just decided to keep it to himself to spare Dean more pain. Not a good idea, but I can see why he would do it. As for Cas, that is going to be the dilemma. Should he be forgiven? I think so. And I think Sam probably will forgive, because after all, he feels responsible for the apocalypse and releasing Lucifer from the cage in the first place. He's always tried to go the extra distance for the so-called "monsters", because he's always seen himself as such.

You know, it's incredible how much we all invest into this show. I love TV and a whole bunch of shows, but this one? I feel (I'm sure as you all do) like I know these people. Crazy? Yeah, I've been called that for loving this show so much. So thanks to you all for feeling the same way.

Anyway, enough chit chatting, I'm ready for the next episode, and I'll see y'all here next week.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-26 17:50
It's a misfortune of genre. It seems rarely that a genre program manages to get the awards or recognition that it deserves, and Supernatural is no exception. It's a shame, but we can only hope that the buzz the fans have created for it in the past year will translate into more recognition by the establishment.

I do think you're right. Sam was going to spill and then heard how Dean didn't want to upset any apple carts. It's a mistake on Sam's part and on Dean's part for not pushing what he saw in front of his face. I think it also explained some of the aloofness they had when Sam came in all dressed and upright. Dean was stunned and Sam was uncertain and they seemed unsure where each stood. Outside of the hallucinations that Sam had prior to the lab or after Castiel left, he hadn't really had too many flashes of them yet, either. I do hope that now that it's going to be thrust into the open more or less they find that equality that Dean expressed with that gun and note.

I'm also pleased to see so many who love this show so much. It tugs at the heart, doesn't it?
MetamorphicRocks
# MetamorphicRocks 2011-09-26 14:42
Very nice recap! I always enjoy reading the essays you post on here. I too loved this episode. I think there was something in it for everyone-tons of action, beginning storylines, moving scenes, the return of familiar guest stars-it had it all.

I agree about the moving scenes in this episode-when Sam called out to Dean (and then Bobby) for comfort, Sam praying to Castiel, Cas' apology to Dean, Dean's sorrow when he thought he lost Cas for good-they were all very powerful moments. Though I liked most of season 6 (though it was not my favorite at all), I think it mostly lacked those moving scenes between the characters that we have seen in seasons past. To already get those types of moments in the premiere episode was a real treat.

I totally agree with you regarding the acting, also. Your statement regarding Jared during his performance with Mark Pellegrino when you write "Jared shifted effortlessly into distraught and broken Sam, almost shattering into a simple, boyish expression as he began to believe he was still in the cage..." was exactly what I thought he conveyed as well.

This happened again with Dean's comment about angels maybe not needing to breath. Both of those moments to me, were somewhat childlike, and showed the vunerability of Sam and Dean in a way we haven't seen in a while. I have to say overall, all of the actors brought their A-games,conveyi ng so many varied emotions, often only within seconds and with just facial expression changes.

Now sadly, I will be wishing time away again as I want it to hurry and be Friday all the time...
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-26 17:54
I'm glad you liked it. I think thoughts on it will shift over time with some rewatching and more puzzle pieces from episodes down the road coming in, but overall I think it was a great start and getting us back to Supernatural as it was prior Noir.

I'm glad you liked that description of Jared's acting. It just really caught me when I watched the first, second, and third times putting this review together.

What I love about this place is just how each review and comment teases a layer or thought about a moment that I hadn't thought of before. The nuances in this show are endless and such a joy to discover through discussions.

Is it Friday yet?
Bookdal
# Bookdal 2011-09-26 20:44
Great recap, Far Away Eyes. I too agree that the acting was superb and also the writing. It was fluid and I love the interplay and set up of Sam's breakdown, his loosening grip on reality.

I think Misha hit it out of the park for this one and proved how diverse an actor he truly is. I was heartbroken at the Dean/Cas scene because it was another brother, in a way, lost to a hole in the wall, a rip in the fabric.

I would like to pick up on one observation that I kind of agree with but I'd go a little farther with. I think that Dean's "child" comment to Cas reveals a characteristic of Dean's personality that Death plays on, capitalizes on. He "fathers" Dean in a way that Dean feels compelled to "father" others, which puts a unique spin on the interaction. I don't think Death unwilling was bound; he would've known what was happening - he's omnipresent. I think he let it happen so he could again interact with Dean, who is really the only character that he seems at all interested in. From a reading standpoint, I'm curious about that and it could be a nostalgia for himself, younger? He did, after all, make Dean become him for a day, to get Sam back. So what thing does Dean have in common with Death? I'm pondering this...sorry for digressing.

Great review, as always.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2011-09-26 20:57
Wow. That's an interesting thought. It's one reason I love this site. Even when we disagree sometimes the things that others see that we don't can be so neat.

I think, besides the fast, greasy food thing, Dean and Death shoulder burdens. I got the sense that Death doesn't like his job somewhat. He serves a purpose to keep the balance, but I don't know that he entirely enjoys it. Dean seems to be the most fascinating creature to him, and I think you're right. He's fathering him.

I think you might be right, regardless of his threat to kill Dean if he should ever try it again, that Death let it happen to talk to him. I think, while he's pretty much an all powerful figure, he can't just appear to Dean at will necessarily. Or if he can, he chooses not to, waiting for Dean to figure a way out to reach him, see how smart he is this time.

What a nice twist and idea to chew on. This show never ceases to have layers, and as we get further away from this episode and deeper into the season, some of these things might be revealed or refuted. It's all a neat thing, indeed.