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Supernatural Season Premiere Review: The Boys Are Back In Town

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Break out your flannel, turn up your classic rock and grab your hunting knives - because Supernatural is back for an eighth season.

Gone are the Leviathan (I want to say good riddance, but I'm sure they're still lurking out there) and the brothers are reunited after a one-year absence. Cliff notes: Dean went to purgatory and Sam hit a dog.

I know we've had the separation/reunion before from Dean going to Hell and Sam trapped in Lucifer's cage, and even the typical expressions of shock and relief of "you're back!." But rather than for the most part ignore what happened, viewers were treated to what took place during that hiatus after Dean killed Dick.

Brothers Back Together

Flashbacks are an interesting device to use and, for some shows, those glimpses don't do much for the story. Except here we saw the bloody, cutthroat war zone of Purgatory; we saw Kevin and how he was able to handle himself against demons; and we saw Sam with even longer hair looking desperately for someone to save a dog.

A lot has taken place in one year's time.

I loved getting to see the muted colored world of Purgatory, as it added so much to Dean's new harder edge in the present day. He really is like a soldier coming back from war, having to cope with the real world. He's very focused on the tasks at hand and while he seems bad ass, I wonder when we'll start seeing the negative effects hit him.

I'm sure character Benny will have something to do with it. Benny has an old school charm surrounding that monstrous interior. It's interesting to see him team up with Dean and I'm curious to see where that partnership went in Purgatory, but also how it will work on Earth. There's so much more I'm excited to learn about him, especially because as a monster, he's bound to stir up trouble.

With the inclusion of Benny, I'm hoping that the flashbacks for Dean keep going, as we've never really gotten lengthy times to explore the areas outside of Earth before. Mostly, it's been either Dean or Sam telling us the experience was beyond awful rather than us witnessing the horror.

And I'm glad Kevin not only has more to do, but is essentially now a part of the team. His discovery that there is a way to close the gates of Hell really sets the stage for a season endgame, something that Supernatural Season 7 really lacked. Giving the brothers a goal helps facilitate a more solid arc and allows something larger to look forward to.

I know it sucked that he lost his girlfriend in the process of helping save the world, but this new Kevin is nothing like the one we met last season. He's not only learned a few tricks, there's more courage in the guy.

With Kevin

I'm a little disappointed that Sam's backstory seemed so bland. It's not that I didn't buy his reasoning for quitting hunting - after all Dean did it too at one point - but it just seemed tossed in. And I know that compared to seeing what's in Purgatory, watching Sam rush in to save the pup just wasn't as interesting.

As for the doctor/potential love interest? Maybe it's too early to tell, but I'm not feeling it. She was rather pushy and matter of fact, but perhaps with Dean's absence, that's what Sam needed? I don't want to jump the gun too soon for her. I look forward to seeing how she adds to the show as her own character, a and to find out how she effects Sam.

Of course, the show wouldn't be Supernatural without its bad guys and, like the rest of the show's regulars, Crowley too arrived to the party. And was it me or did he seem more ruthless?

Crowley's usually been one for wisecracks and playing in the background, but easily getting rid of Dean's knife and snapping Kevin's girlfriend's neck like it was nothing? I did not see that coming. I guess when the threat of eradicated demons everywhere is on the line, you've got to up the stakes. Even if Crowley exudes that charm, he's still the evil King of Hell.

The episode felt somewhat low key for a premiere, but it had plenty of elements that made me think that season eight and new showrunner Jeremy Carver will be the resurgence this series needs. Sure, Castiel may have been gone (and we all know he'll return at some point), but "We Need To Talk About Kevin " solidly focused on the brothers, gave us plenty of great Supernatural quotes, upped the ante with a new journey focus and delivered an enjoyable hour of Supernatural.

Sam and Dean Winchester, you keep saving the world, we'll keep watching.

What did you think of the premiere? Are you glad the brothers are back? What's with Purgatory? Can Sam and Dean actually defeat the demons once and for all? Sound off with your comments and theories below!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
  • 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (197 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Dunno if thats just me but season 8 sucks big time. I was a big fan of this series and I stilll watch hoping it will improve but it is not getting any better :( it's so boring and and sam's and dean's flashbacks plain suck. Did they cut the bugdet or what? Very dissapointed

Fifty

Mark Sheppard I noticed was introduced in a guest starring role. Hopefully he will be involved in most of the stories as he is one of the best villans in Supernatural.

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I really enjoyed the season opener. I am really glad that Dean is so much more bad-ass and ruthless, it's going to be really interesting to see how everything plays out with him and Benny in future episodes. I think Benny is a great addition to Supernatural, it's only the first episode and I already love him :) A few people have mentioned that Dean was too hard on Sam, but I think because Sam completely ignored Kevin's calls, Dean's reaction was exactly what it should have been. I am really excited to see what Jeremy Carver does this season!! Looking forward to the next episode :)

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@Lord of the Night I saw the ratings, too. Thats an encouraging sign. And it had some tough competition that night. It had to go up against the first Presidential debate.

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Yea, I think Dean was a bit hard on Sam....but at the Sam time Sam deserved some of it. Not taking any calls and leaving Kevin out there on his own was not cool! I would have been pissed about that too. I think Dean's anger on that was justified. We've always known that Sam wants a 'normal' life.
I wish Dean would have someone to 'talk' to about his issues.

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Actually the viewer ratings for Supernatural this episode were the highest they've been since 2010. The move to Wednesdays has done the show good and will hopefully continue to do good things for it. Though the CW president has said he loves Supernatural and does not see the 8th season as being the last in any way. And since Carver has said the new Word of God storyline will take until at least season 10 to finish we must hope that Supernatural will last for a good while longer.

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Great season opener! I still miss Bobby and Castiel here's opening for them to show up at some point. :) Dean is more bad-ass which is great, Sam still needs to get a haircut, and Kevin is looking clean with his new look, Crowley, agreed, more ruthless than ever. Wonder how the next season would be if they decide to close the gates of Hell at the Finale. Tuning in for next week!

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@Tyler It's still as popular as ever. Whats happened is that more of the shows fans are watching it online rather than on television. And having the show stuck on Friday last season didn't help ratings.

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I love Dean, but the way he talks to his brother is unnecessary. Dean neer cuts him any slack. He was there for Cass and looks like he and Benny bonded. But Sam only gets his contempt and anger. After the way Sam has been treated the last few seasons, when every one disappeared, I wouldn't have felt alone, I would have felt relief.

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Tyler, you are correct. I guess what I meant to say is that it is gaining more attention for the reasons I mentioned.