Largest Review/Discussion Fansite for Supernatural and SPNFamily Shows! Plot/Character Analysis, Spoilers, Games, News, Gallery, Interviews, Fun!

1 Season 8 title card

Holy crow, batman! Season eight?! One minute your heart is stopping watching the ill-omened glowing eyes of purgatory before the closing card flashes on the screen and the next thing you know there is a great Road So Far recap and a brand new title card is giving you chills. This episode also marked the first episode in a very, very long time that I watched live, without headphones and on a screen slightly larger than an IPhone.  Of course, I say this but the idiot cable provider had yet another "minor" service blackout around the 40 minute mark of the hour. Not impressed. But it did come back after a minute and I got to see that kick ass ending. But, I'm getting ahead of myself - let's talk about this from the start.


A Supernatural Soul-Train


We open in Maine one year from where we left off, joining a couple in the middle of the woods sleeping peacefully in a tent. This all leads to a somewhat Blairwitch-esque camping sequence of creepy shadows and forestry after a curious burst of light in the background. And like a beautiful apparition, after months of speculation, there he is, a bloody and somewhat (and understandably) on edge but FREE Dean Winchester.  This some felt reminiscent of the now classic burst-from-the-grave start in season four. Am I the only one who thought so?


From here we see Dean end up in Clayton, Louisana some four days after stealing the bag from the nice camping couple. Watching Dean dig the hole I expected somehow to see Castiel instead what we got was better - a new "friendly" purgatory creature that Dean not only fails to kill, but parts with on a hug. We've come so far from Mr. Black and White - Monsters should die because they're monsters of season one, haven't we? I cannot wait to see where this "friendship" with Benny ends up. If history is any indication it will probably be with one trying to kill the other.

Whitefish, Montana

SPN 0273

The Sam and Dean reunion felt a bit off to me, I have to admit.  I get it, we've done a number of reunions by this point and the aim is to be different. Nonetheless, this was one area of the episode I found lacking. Firstly, I would have liked to see the phone call where Sam learns Dean is alive. Secondly, Dean doing the demon/leviathan/shifter tests on himself was supposed to be"¦.funny? Meant to be demonstrative of Dean's even deeper intensity after being in purgatory? Whatever this was aiming at it fell short of its mark for me. A great reunion would have been some take on the season one B&E in the pilot.

Nevertheless, the meeting gives us some of the information we've wondered at for a while now: what has Sam been up to and where Castiel is at. Our first look at Sam is in a dark bedroom as he says goodbye to a sweet looking dog and the woman we eventually come to know as Amelia. Oh, and Sam's hair is crazy long. Wow. Later we learn that Sam met Amelia as she was the vet he rushed a stray dog to after hitting it. So somewhere between her guilting Sam into taking the dog and the bedroom scene (was anyone else a bit foggy as to whether Sam had broken in to see her/say goodbye or actually lived there?) these two end up together and living together it seems. That should be an entertaining story. Also, anyone else noticing a pattern in Sam's attractions? So far lots of women not afraid to give an order or an opinion, eh?

Sam seems calm, relaxed and well-adjusted like we haven't seen in a really long time. Both boys have been obviously affected but in Sam's case it appears to be for the better (still out on whether Dean's is at this point). What was remarkable was that Sam did not look for Dean, that he really and truly moved on and lived his life. He's probably the first Winchester to appreciate that despite the tragedy and the constant evil out there, it is not is responsibility forever and always and that the world will keep turning if he doesn't hunt till he's in the grave. That's certainly a healthy new perspective on things there, Sammy. Good to see. I certainly want to know more about the woman who helped Sam get to this spot.

Dean does not share my perspective on this. He seems to understand the practicality of it but remains hurt nonetheless. Having now seen the entire episode and knowing there is something that Dean did in purgatory that seemingly wasn't, shall we say, completely above board I wonder if his response to Sam's new life wasn't something of a projection of his own issues (along with the natural and reasonable hurt that the sun comes up even if you're not there to see it). Only time will tell on this one.

"[B]loody, messy; 31 flavours of bottom-dwelling nasties."

From Dean we learn that Castiel is dead (yeah right) and that purgatory was a bloody mess of a place. Dean didn't have much to say about Cas' death besides that he didn't see the actual death but "saw enough," which sounds like a god-awful traumatic experience of some sort that remains a haunting memory for Dean. Benny is introduced in the colour-devoid flashback as saving Dean's life, as well. I wonder where during the year this meeting happened, it is obviously before any sort of meeting with Cas. Benny appears to present the first of what will probably many deal-with-the-devil situations as Dean is given the opportunity for help and a way out but with a price. Circumstances are understandable for working with and even helping this creature, though I wonder at Sam's reaction when he learns of this partnership. The flashbacks did a good job of illustrating the warlike atmosphere Dean was exposed to in purgatory and gives us some glimpses into how he survived (luck, reflexes, skill and a really cool weapon, which will be handy later on).

8x01 4

A couple telling indicators that weren't really talked about (yet) but served the audience well: first Dean struggling with the choices at the vending machine - not used to selection but rather necessity driven acceptance of whatever is available. Second is his reaction to the children playing with the toy guns - what was crossing Dean's mind just then? Finally, when Dean questioned whether the entire burger and fries combo was his. Do I need to even talk about that flashing neon sign?

We saw Sam take all this in, in his Sam way, and I'm sure there is an Oprah moment coming about what happened really. I said above that Sam seems calmer and his simple acceptance of things, his almost "come what may" attitude is different in a good way, in my opinion. Quite often a quiet internalizing kind of guy, there was an added layer of peace to Sam that was refreshing and welcome. Lots of anger, sadness, guilt and internal conflict were omnipresent for so long in this character, predominantly last season.

"All good in the hood"

Reinforcing for Dean that Sam made the wrong decision to fall off the hunter grid for twelve months are a series of messages from Kevin Tran. This was a funny part as Kevin's messages became increasingly desperate and then went to drunk and frustrated. Furthermore the relationship between Sam and Dean that we love so much is still there when it takes a mere exchange of long looks between them to convey an entire conversation.

8x01 5

After witnessing a good, old-fashioned possession with Shannon and some always welcome FBI impersonations, the boys track down Kevin in a church in Iowa where he has fortified himself pretty sufficiently. Always a fan of a good double cross (when it's in favour of the heroes, anyways) Kevin's fake-out on Crowley was superb. Not only did he not open a Hellgate, he left Crowley standing in a field of goats, nuked some especially jerky demon minions, scored a Word of God tablet, figured out how to basically close Hell forever and escaped all on his own - round of applause for Kevin, please. Continuing his streak of Hunter-level awesomeness and suggesting Kevin has learned quite a bit in the last year, Kevin makes the very difficult decision to not make a deal for Channing. Personally, I'd say this was the right call. Though a charming and usually well spoken demon, the King of Hell (always delightfully portrayed by Mark Sheppard) is a sneaky bastard so Channing was likely dead regardless. Hence, I'd say Kevin made the right decision.

"Keep your nose clean."

8x01 6

Finally, we finished with one hell of an ominous and darkly vague conversation between Benny and Dean. All we know is that Dean has no regrets and that he and Benny should remain separate until they "readjust" to this world. This left me with two questions: what exactly doesn't Dean regret and why was Benny, whose clearly been away for a great many more years than Dean, at a funeral?

Final Thoughts

As openers go this was pretty spectacular. Let's review: we had reunions, clever twists, mysterious phone calls and unexplained events in missing time with an ominous concluding note. The opening here reminded me of that phenomenal season four opener. In fact, this entire episode felt more like a classic "Supernatural" episode than I've seen in a long time; this includes Sam and Dean somehow feeling more like Sam and Dean, despite the year of changes that lay behind them. 

This episode gave us enough information from the missing year to whet our appetites and leave us intrigued yet left so much room for exploration in the coming weeks, rounded up almost all of our key players whose fates were left dangling in the wind back in May and cast some interesting new players onto the board. This opener, despite some of it's darker allusions to things yet to be discovered, had a lighter feeling too. If this seasons journey is about closing the gates of hell forever, well that is very new. Instead of trying to fix, stop or find this is a more proactive, finally ahead-of-the-ball sort of mission that I welcome.It's a tad early to speculate this, but if this is a taste of the season to come I think we're in for quite the year.

What were your thoughts, fellow viewers?



Michelle Kinseth
# Michelle Kinseth 2012-10-04 22:03
I agree with your review, almost word for word; I really liked the episode. Though I don't think it compares to Lazarus Rising...not quite. It was a little slow, and both guys were a bit OOC.

I also really loved the new opening titles. I also was left underwhelmed by the reunion of the guys. I can't tell if Sam was expecting to find Dean, or if he was startled by all the tests and that ruined the moment, or what. The way he talked it didn't seem like he knew Dean would be there - yet he left Amelia and the dog for some reason...I guess it doesn't matter, except it didn't seem clear to me. But, I've only watched the episode one time so far so...

There's obviously a lot going on with both brothers, and I'm intensely curious about what Sam's state of mind is. I want to know more about he and Amelia, too.

I crave more of that story, badly! I need to see Sam dealing, or burying his feelings, or whatever. He's dealing with something big right now, and I need to know what it is. So far, we've only been teased that it might have to do with leaving Amelia behind but...

I also am very, very, very uneasy about Benny. I just don't want him to come between Sam and Dean. As I've seen other say, in a Ruby-like way.

As for Castiel? Dead? I don't know...we may only see him in flashback scenes'll be interesting to see where this season goes. There was a lot of setup of some really good stuff, and I'm very optimistic for where things may go.

Okay - off to rewatch, so I may come back with more to say. :)
# maggie 2012-10-04 22:11
You know? I DON'T think that thing about "Sam didn't look for Dean" is true

Dean asked to Sam: Did you look for me?

And Sam didn't answer ... he just stayed silent...

Sam didn't bother to look for Dean, that would be so ANTI SAM

We were all upset in 6.01 when Sam came back from hell and didn't went to Dean to tell him he was alive (that was before we all knew Sam was soulless) then we were: Well that explains all! ,,,,

so I don't imagine the writers actually writing Sam don't caring for his brother ,,, and don't looking for him , like -meh Sam didn't know where Dean was if Crowley had him trapped or I don't know ... that would be so anti-Sam ,,, that would be like: Soulless Sam returned
# Bamboo24 2012-10-04 23:25
I agree with you - Sam never admitted it - until he does so and/or gets a chance to explain his actions (and/or we get to see for ourselves - even better) to me, it's not canon. I'm certain that there are good reasons for Sam's decisions. You are SO right to make the 6.01 connection. It's SO similar to that. We KNOW these guys. The writers know these guys. The writers know we know these guys. JA and JP are excited for this season and have signed on for 2 more under Carver's leadership. And Carver said they were playing with expectations and perceptions this year. All these are excellent signs that all point in a positive direction. 2 + 2 =4
# Samantha 2012-10-27 06:56
You know? I DON'T think that thing about "Sam didn't look for Dean" is true

Dean asked to Sam: Did you look for me?

And Sam didn't answer ... he just stayed silent...

Sam didn't bother to look for Dean, that would be so ANTI SAM

We were all upset in 6.01 when Sam came back from hell and didn't went to Dean to tell him he was alive (that was before we all knew Sam was soulless) then we were: Well that explains all! ,,,,

so I don't imagine the writers actually writing Sam don't caring for his brother ,,, and don't looking for him , like -meh Sam didn't know where Dean was if Crowley had him trapped or I don't know ... that would be so anti-Sam ,,, that would be like: Soulless Sam returned
I really hope not, but if things are to be taken at face value, and from what Sam said, I guess its true. Sam just didn't try, and that makes me sad. :sad: That isn't the Sam we've known for 7 years now. That is Anti-Sam
I've tried to rationalize like you all have.

I'm good at predicting stuff, but I sure hope I'm completely and utterly wrong this time :cry:
# nancyL 2012-10-04 22:17
OMG, Elle, How I have missed this show.

You want to talk about cable problems. In a nut shell, over here in NYC, Cablevision and WPIX (CW) are having a contract dispute. We haven't had the channel since mid-August. No repeats of SPN season 7, until I got the dvd set. So, I was a little nervous yesterday when I couldn't watch my beloved show. But WPIX tonight had it already online, praise Chuck, so I am only a day behind the rest of the fandom.

Long story short. I LOVED THE EPISODE. :D

I loved Dean's reaction to smelling 'dog' in the Impala.
OMG, Elle, the Impala. :-)
When Dean told Sam to 'come here' for his hug, Sam looked like he was five and wanting nowhere else to be then in his big brother's arms.
I don't know which I liked better, Sam getting the hamburger with all the trimmings for Dean or Dean's reaction to Sam getting it for him. You are right, a year apart has not weakened their love one bit.

But I wonder if this year is going to be forgotten like the year that Dean was with Lisa while Soulless was running around being a 'better hunter'.

One episode in and I see great promise for season eight, but than 'Meet the new Boss' had great potential as well, and then the season started to go downward.

Jeremy Carver, more please. :-)
# eilf 2012-10-04 23:23
Speaking of viewing issues....

Don't know if anyone else tried to watch on the CW website and had trouble? I kept getting kicked to a commercial for the next episode - which I have now seen the beginning of about 20 times! Anyway if you have that problem try turning off any ad-blockers (I am using ad-block plus and Firefox) as when I did that the problems stopped.
# Lynx 2012-10-05 05:26
Thanks for the tip eilf, you saved my computer from being thrown through the window! :D
# eilf 2012-10-05 10:44
It's REALLY annoying isn't it? :D Glad I could be of help
# winmomwannabe 2012-10-05 03:10
War makes strange bedfellows. And purgatory was war. Benny kind of creeps me out and I'm not really looking forward to the angst it will create between the brothers. Plus I'm a little frightened to find out exactly what Dean did do down there that he is 'not' ashamed of. But that does not mean I didn't love the episode. The brilliance of Jensen's acting makes it all the more real. Real life sometimes gives you the same fears and reservations, but you go on living. Like I said, purgatory was war. Combat vets form a bond with those they fought with in the trenches. Nothing unusual in that.

And I agree with your Sam conclusions. People can and do change. Tragedy and prolonged crisis can most definitely alter your character. Although he sometimes appeared sad, I thought overall he was calm and at peace with himself for the time being anyway. I don't have an issue with this portrayal. Again, Jared made it so believable.

Time will tell how it will all evolve. Lots of questions and secrets. I can't wait for next week.

Re: TV issues. I had to buy an antennae for my TV so I can get CW. Our local station dropped it last month and DirectTV doesn't have it now. Luckily a local abc station picked it up on a sub digital channel to save my sanity. Then I worked, but still managed to see it live there, online when I got home at midnight, on CW online this morning and again tonight. Yep 4 times in 24 hours. Can't get enough!!!!
# Adeline 2012-10-05 05:07
Great review and great start to the new season. I'm excited to find out how the past year's events unravel throughout this season. :)
# Ginger 2012-10-05 05:25
I thought the episode was brilliant in setting up the new season and presenting the brothers in a way beyond the awful throat-slashing , hand-wringing, emo angsting hole that they had delved into the past three years. I welcomed it.

I thought the warm hug between Dean and Benny contrasted nicely with the 'reserved' hug between Sam and Dean, in that it set the tone of where they brothers are after their year apart. They welcomed seeing each other again, but they are coming from different outlooks now. Good-bye co-dependency, *sigh*.

Absolutely love the Dean/Benny mystery. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop on that relationship, and it will. BTW, I think it was Dean watching Amelia's house.

Something is definitely up with Sam, as he felt 'off' in every way. His own version of PTSD is my guess. I think the brothers are happy to have each other back, but I don't think Dean trusts Sam one little bit. Dean has, after all, been trusting no one for the past year (that first conversation with Benny), and all of his hunter instincts are in high gear at the moment.

Lots of main plot and sub-plots laid out in this episode. I don't feel like I know anything new beyond what we got in spoilers, but lots of questions were introduced. I expect those mysteries to unfold and be solved along the wait. I'm so used to and liked the mini-movie format of the show, but that may be gone in favor of a more serialized storytelling method. We'll see.

I must admit that I'm not too excited by some of the forthcoming episode spoilers I've heard, but I've got a lot of faith in Carver's abilities and that puts me in a 'wait and see' mode.

No cable issues here. Our local station stuck with the CW, and that's a good thing, since Amazon still doesn't have S8 of Supernatural available forvideo watching, and that's who I have relied on for my repeat episode viewing, so I'm ticked off with Amazon at the moment. And here I financially supported them when WalMart was making that big move on them a few years back! iTunes and Hula do, so I'm not understanding thiis at all.

The CW website, however, put the episode up for viewing the very next day, so for those of you who haven't been able to see the show, you may want to check them out. (In past years, it took the CW forever to post a full episode.)
# percysowner 2012-10-05 06:02
The episode is on Amazon here ( I couldn't find it through Amazon, I used Google with Supernatural season 8 amazon and it appeared on the list, although it is not at the top. It didn't come up until late yesterday, so Amazon may be getting it after 24 hours.
# Ginger 2012-10-05 11:46
Thanks for this, percyowner. I'm going to contact Amazon again and tell them something is screwed up. This should come up on their site, or the help people at Amazon I've been live chatting with should be able to find it on their site.
# dinkwerks 2012-10-05 08:54
Ok....the boys have to grow up sometime soon....after all they are in their late 20's and early 30's....and I can see Sam going off and trying to have a life of his own. Of course, Sam has had it much easier than Dean...being in constant combat for your life every day does tend to make you jittery and on edge....I did think the reunion hug between Sam and Dean was reserved....but the point of view from each one has to be taken into account. all in all a good start....I've been watching the season on dvd...this one may take me a while to get into watching week to week
# BeccaB 2012-10-05 09:18
Great episode - and extra great setup for the season. Just unraveling all the little tidbits presented could take much of this season.

I agree Elle that the hug was at best anti-climatical (is that a word?). But I think Dean saying "Let's get this done" was a shout-out? dig? nod? to fans because it is expected. Although for a second, the expression on Dean's face said "I'm home" to me.

And did anyone notice Dean's subdued reaction to Baby. No eyes lit up this time, just glad she wasn't douched up. I mean he hadn't seen her in what almost 2 years. Maybe he is just numb to earthly pleasures - and small things like a hamburger and fries will begin the acclamation of being human.

But one of the biggest mysteries for me was -- when Sam left the house in the Impala (hi baby) we saw the scene over someone's shoulder. Someone wearing a trench coat(?) with the collar turned up. I don't think Cas ever turned up his collar. Was Same being watched all this time, and if so by whom and why?
# Niamh 2012-10-05 10:26
Quote: "Firstly, I would have liked to see the phone call where Sam learns Dean is alive"

See, this is confusing me, and you're not the only recapper or blogger to say this.

For me, there was no indication in the episode that there was a phonecall. From what we were shown, the moment Sam walked into the cabin was the moment Sam found out that Dean was alive. Why else would Dean ask about all of Sam's phones, thereby leading to the revelation that Sam had gotten rid of his phones.

From my point of view this is how it happened. Sam left Amelia. We're not told why yet, but there's no indication that it was because he knew Dean was back. It stands to reason that he would go to Rufus' cabin because he had nowhere else to go. It also makes sense that Dean would go there too if he couldn't contact Sam. So that raises the question of why Sam left? Amelia was obviously awake when he left, yet didn't say anything and didn't stop him. This ties with information we were given that Sam's relationship was over by the time Dean got back from purgatory.

It makes Sam's storyline more interesting that he left for his own reasons, rather than because Dean was back.

I don't know, thats the way I saw it, but I will be watching the episode again to make sure.

Anyway, I thought the episode was excellent and very compelling!! It has certainly made me very excited for the rest of the season!! I agree with you that it felt a bit like Lazarus Rising, especially at the beginning.
# KELLY 2012-10-05 15:25
I noticed Dean's lack of reaction to Baby too. I do think that was suppose to contrast his reaction in Lucifer's Rising.

I personally think that was Cas, but I seen several people say they thought the shadow figure was Dean.

Yeah the hug was anti climatic, but I think that was a deliberate contrast as well.
Susan Ladigo
# Susan Ladigo 2012-10-06 18:02
Dean has definitely come back with some heavy, dark issues and I can hardly wait for the flashbacks to dig into this much more. He is fighting some internal demons from purgatory because he is very reserved when it comes to Baby, food and even Sam.

My thoughts on the shadow of someone watching Sam is I think it was Crowley all along hoping he would lead him to Kevin since Kevin stole the Word of God.

I agree with Niamh's thoughts on the phone call. Dean never reached Sam by phone because Sam was not answering any of the phones thus he missed Kevin's numerous calls. Hopefully we will find out why Sam decides to leave Amelia but I'm pretty sure it was not because of Dean. He had no place else to go but Rufus' cabin so it is no surprise that both boys would end up at the only place they had left to call home.
This is season is going to be awesome if it keeps going like this first episode has. I sure didn't want the hour to be up as soon as it was and I keep playing it over and over on my DVR. In fact, I'm watching it again right now.
# Niamh 2012-10-06 18:51
Thank you!! I thought I was losing my mind. It's nice to have somebody have the same thoughts :lol:

It's so nice to be back to wanting to watch and re-watch episodes! I only wish I could watch them on my tv instead of my computer!
# cd28 2012-10-05 14:06
Had a thought about the dog scene. Putting aside the overly literal reading of the scene and the outrage over a vet scolding someone for not taking a stray home, maybe this exchange was supposed to mirror what was going with Sam at the time. Sam feels like what happened to the dog was his fault, but he's shucking his responsibility for it (in Amelia's eyes anyway). Does Sam have a reason to feel responsible for what happened to Dean and Kevin (maybe something we don't know yet)? His shucking responsibility for the dog would be a parallel to not looking for Dean or Kevin.
# Vanda 2012-10-05 15:11
I'm glad there are fans like you around to analyse things so thoroughly. My attention to detail is way too shallow. I did see a lot of division of opinion about this episode & a lot of hate directed at Sam. You picked everything to the bone & made complete sense of it all. Season 8 is off to a great start, & I'm buckled up & ready for the ride! Well done!.
# Bevie 2012-10-05 19:49
Loved your review Elle!

Just want to say I loved the episode. Loved the feral smokin' hot Dean and Sammy without all his Lucinations or guilts or blood drinking. Just loved them both and am looking forward to the mysteries unfolding.

Loved the burger and fries Sammy got for Dean. Like it used to be, Dean is so happy for so little. Hope he gets pie for him too.

I'm trying to stay out of the ooc wars going on here and mostly other sites. I agree Sam was enigmatic and there is more to it, whether he looked or didn't look for Dean. Don't want to know everything in the first episode anyway. And I'm sure there is a big story for Cas to be played out. Why does Dean think he is dead and did he think he had anything to do with it or what went on in purgatory he is keeping secret? And then there is Benny!!! :o
# percysowner 2012-10-05 20:14
Just like Sam never said he didn't look for Dean, Dean didn't say that Cas was dead or that he thought Cas was dead. He said, Cas didn't make it. In The End Future Dean told Our Dean that "Sam didn't make it". Future Dean had to have known that Lucifer was in Sam. So I'm not certain Cas didn't make it means Dean thinks Cas is dead.
# Bamboo24 2012-10-05 20:24
Good point, percysowner! I hadn't thought of that.
# E 2012-10-05 23:48
Very nice review. It's an interesting thing about perspective though. You felt that Sam seemed calm, well adjusted, and perhaps healthier than we've seen him in a while. I didn't see him that way at all; I found him edgy, cagy, and incredibly sad. He seemed to be hiding something, and his reaction to hitting the dog in his flashback was way over the top, like, he's loosing it over the top. I found his line "I did this" at the vet's office strange and telling. It's kind of refreshing that the story they are setting up is so layered and complex that it will support a variety of interpretations .
# percysowner 2012-10-06 00:04
I've been thinking about Sam's actions and his less than emotional reaction to Dean being alive. What if he had a breakdown and he ended up on heavy duty anti-psychotic meds. If Sam broke enough to be committed and he actually talked about the reality of his life, he would almost certainly be diagnosed as very mentally ill. I have read that drugs used to treat schizophrenia can make the patient fell like they are wrapped in cotton. Heck, with everything Sam has been through, I would expect him to be on a cocktail of anti-psychotics , antidepressants , and anti-anxiety meds. Medications could be dulling Sam's reactions and emotions. If he came out heavily medicated he might not have been able to summon the will or the desire to find Dean or Kevin. It would explain his distance from the world and why he didn't need to test Dean. His instincts could be buried by the treatments that are making him behave calmly and seemingly well adjusted, while still having an undercurrent of sadness. I didn't pick up on edgy, but cagey I can see and I can see Sam not telling Dean that he is basically normal only due to psychiatric drugs.

I'm probably wrong, but if Sam was living in the real world, the one way to deal with his mental issues would make him ineffective as a hunter and possibly disinterested in saving anyone.
# lala2 2012-10-06 00:33
Good theory on the reason for the flatness of his reactions to everything, Percy. I suspect that is far too interesting or logical for these writers though.
# kaj 2012-10-06 04:21
I've been thinking about Sam's actions and his less than emotional reaction to Dean being alive.
I pick up the same things too.

Your thoughts have merits percysowner because Jared's acting is at stake here.

If it turns out that there's nothing behind it then I will question whether Jared lost the talent that he has.
# E 2012-10-06 10:08
Someone said on another thread that the things that they perceived to be going on with Sam's character seemed too deliberate to be merely bad writing and/or bad acting. I agree with this too and feel that this is an important point. There's a plan here, and all of Sam's strange reactions are part of it.
1) His lack of emotion or surprise that Dean is alive
2) His overreaction to hitting the dog
3) Not looking for Dean and leaving Kevin to fend for himself
4) Seemingly ditching his new girlfriend without a word
5) His intense interest in where the word of God is hidden
6) His unwillingness to provide any real detail or POV about how he spent the past year (at least so far)
7) His inability to defend himself against Deans anger
8) His overall cautious attitude and shiftiness
These are the ones I could think of anyway.

He's being written this way on purpose for some relevant reason that we will find out about later. I remember at the start of season 6, Jared was absolutely brilliant at showing the audience that Sam was 'off' without giving too much away too soon. The pacing of how he revealed that something was seriously wrong was so fantastic.. from week to week there was this creeping feeling of wrongness that grew more intense until we finally learned what was really going on. I think that something like this is going on here as well. It really plays to Jared's strength as an actor, and I am sure that the PTB know this too.

While I really like perceysowner's theory about a possible mental collapse (how nice would it be to have some continuity to the dreadful season 7 hell wall non-story) I am hoping more for the 'Sam's been up to something' idea as it would tap into the overall myth arc for the season. While I agree that it's high time that Dean be the focus of the mythology for a while, I don't think it services the story well to leave one brother's plot line completely cut off from the overall crux of the season. That's because any details that we get will seem like a waste of time in regards to the larger issues, which then undermines the power of the season as a whole. Example: Dean's depression arc in season 7; what purpose did it serve? How did it relate to the overall Leviathan story? It didn't. Dean's purgatory story fits in nicely with the overall Hell Gate mythology for the season, and I'd like Sam's Amelia story to connect at some point too, although I don't mind waiting a bit to find out.
# KELLY 2012-10-06 12:49
So far I'm pretty pleased with how they are working in last season. I think Dean's depression could easily be seen as being apart of this new attitude after purgatory. The contrast between the apathetic, depressed guy last season and this new Dean, who is anything but apathetic is pretty cool. Especially when you consider that he got his new "improved" attitude by the purity of the killing in Purgatory.

I too would love it if they picked up Sam's crazy storyline, had that be at least part of the reason for HIS new attitude. But I do think/hope there is something going on beyond that that does link him to the overall season arc and mythology as well. Even if the link is just through Dean.

I know some Dean fans complain because his link was "always" through Sam. While I dispute that for most of the seasons, that does seem to mostly be the case for the last two. (still a quibble of two with that but ...) But at least he was connected through Sam if nothing else. Since Sam and Dean are so disconnected at this point, Sam really wouldn't be linked to the season arc much at all.

So I would really like/hope/pray that there is something to all those things you listed and a few others. Ideally it is something that shows he didn't just abandoned Dean. That somehow he was working towards getting him out. But barring that at least something that at least connects him more to Dean and the arc.

But I kind really think there will be, all those things did feel deliberate to me. It didn't feel like just bad characterizatio n. And since it is only the first episode I do expect there to be lots of reveals.