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!

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Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (197 Votes)

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

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@Tom D. Not really, the amount of viewers has been steadily going down since the first season (except for season 4, which went up)

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Obviously Jeremy Carver is trying to change things up this season as was apparent with Jethro Tull's Locomotive Breath as the recap song vs Kansas' Carry on My Wayward Son. Also we usually have to endure 2 or 3 episodes of "distance" between Dean and Sam before they resolve their differences whereas they resolved it in about 10 minutes even if it might only be temporary.
Supernatural seems to be gaining viewers as the seasons go because I'm seeing more and more review sites writing about it. Hell there are more websites writing about it than there are ones writing about NCIS which is the number 1 show. Supernatural is definitely a great show that could go on for years if they choose. Here's hoping they do!

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Season 1, they never truly show an demon till the middle of the season. As well as how to trap them, until Meg. So the show will work, even without demon, last season they barely show demons. They just have to find other bad guys, like they did during the first season.

Sp mckenna

@Emma - It really is an interesting comment about it not being up to the boys to save the world. The brothers have always had the attitude that it is up to them. I'm interested in seeing where they take that concept. @Amber - I'm not sure if closing the gates would end the series. I'm pretty sure that closing the gates only stops the demons, not the vampires, shifters, or variety of other monsters. Granted, the demons as enemies have always been great, but I'm sure the show would find a way to bring in another baddie (or re-open the gates, etc.). I do wonder when the show will end, but I'm hoping not too soon! The Winchester bros provide for entertaining TV. @Richard - Dean really got some great lines this episode. Love his two rules!

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I THOUGHT THE NEW SEASON OPENER WAS GOOD. AS BEN EDLUND (WRITER) SAID AT THE COMIC CON IT IS A ROLLER COASTER RIDE. DIFFERENT STORIES OF EACH PERSON HAS TO BE ESTABLISHED TO EXPLAIN A YEAR. IT CAN'T BE DONE IN ONE EPISODE, GIVE IT TIME

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1) It wasn't as good as last seasons opener, but then again I doubt last seasons opener will ever be topped. It had the Death/Cas showdown and the return of Lucifer. Hard to beat that. But last night was still a very good opener. 2) Kind of surprised by Sam. He didn't even lift a finger to try to find out what happened to Dean. And during their reunion hug, he didn't seem happy at all to see Dean was back. 3) Dean was angry because Sam violated "Baby" by having a dog in her. That was funny. 4) Crowley. He always seemed content as the company CEO type. He would give the orders and his employees would carry them out. Last night he was different. He easily disabled Deans knife by making it too hot to hold. And the cold, ruthless way he dispatched Kevins girlfriend. I think we will be seeing a much nastier Crowley this season. 5) Dean: "The rules are simple, Sam. You don't take a joint from a guy named Don and there's no dogs in the car!" Hilarious! No idea what he meant about taking joints from guys named Don, but it was a classic Deanism!

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I like how they are kind of setting Kevin up to be like the younger brother to these two (and how conflicted Kevin always looks..he likes and is more like Sam, but a lot of his recently developed world view is more like Dean's, and Sam totally chose to abandon him whereas Dean went looking for him when he got back.

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Supernatural is back and for one thing I was just glad to see Jensen Ackles back on my tv. I love how he's so hostile and cold towards Sam. It reminds me of when Sam came back from Lucifers cage but Dean is playing this much better. Oh and how he got out is even more interesting (can't wait for that to unfold). I am a Cas fan like everybody else but I just really want to know what happened to him! And if they do pull off closing the gates then that would have to be the end of the series. I am and will always b a SPN fan but when will it actually end?

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I know we've been through the whole 'brother missing for a year, so go into an apple-pie life as per agreement' before with season 6. But, this time, I found it really interesting. When Dean went to Ben and Lisa he was fueled by grief and just wanted to forget EVERYTHING. With Sam, I'm getting the impression that things were different. As he said, for the first time, he had no-one to turn to. At least Dean could have gone to Bobby, he just CHOSE not to. Sam couldn't do that. Also, the comment Sam made was really interesting: "I realised it isn't up to me to save the world." For me, that comment really stood out. It's something the Winchesters have never accepted before. As for Dean? Jeez the guy's ruthless! I know Dean has always been very opinionated, but he always either stormed off, or accepted it with a lot of griping. I can't remember him ever completely shooting down everything Sam has done and said before (Well, other than the demon blood and all decisions he made around it, that is). What the hell must he have gone through to be clinging so tightly to his morals and to Hunting in general? It'll be interesting to see that unfold. Also. Since when has 'seeing enough' ever been confirmation that a character is completely lost? We already know that Castiel is gonna appear in a lot of flashback moments, but I'll be shouting "I told you so!" from the rooftops if he shows up outside of Purgatory, even if he's still fruity as a loop.
You'd think the Winchesters would know that by now, especially where Cas is concerned. I mean, considering he came back from being blown up three times - TWICE actually in front of them - they're awfully quick to pronounce him as dead. All in all, I'm SO excited for this season, it's unreal. ;)

Ilkvomit

Great season opener..
Crowley is the best villian on the CW..