Supernatural is back for a tenth season. Holy crap. As much as I hope they hang up the gloves after this season, I was still excited for the premiere, and it delivered.
“Black” kicks things off to a rip-roaring start. Written by Jeremy Carver and directed by Bob Singer, it interweaves several plot threads. Two are compelling and the third is...angels. Damn, and we were thisclose.
“The Road So Far” rocks out to “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar: Gadreel, Kevin being killed, Metatron, monsters, Castiel’s stolen grace...need I go on?
“NOW” A comely female demon is trussed up for our first season’s taste of torture porn. A gaunt, furious Sam, his right arm in a sling, is slicing and dicing her for answers. He slashes her throat to “make the call” to Hell. I was hoping he’d gulp down the blood. Instead, he grabs her face and yells:
"WHERE'S MY BROTHER?"
“Four weeks later”. Sam is back to being regular Sam, a massive disappointment, especially because he won’t be a BAMF for the rest of the episode. Come on, guys! After that scene? I want Sam kicking down doors and strangling people! Stabbing demons in the back! The good stuff! Not reading books on demonic possession (which Sam, of all people, should know about) and eating cereal. Dean has been gone for six months, as Crowley mentions later. Sam doesn't know if Dean is even Dean any more. Where that comes from, I have no idea. It's lampshading, but unnecessary, because we already know Dean is a demon.
When Sam finds a clue, a guy who’s probably been possessed himself who was killed in a local Gas n' Sip, he calls Cas.
Castiel is starring in his own version of La Boheme as Mimi, the consumptive heroine, lying in a creaky iron bed in a garret, coughing.
Any minute now, Rodolfo and his friends are gonna bust in with wine and a baguette.
Cas wants to help out, but it’s obvious he needs to stay in bed wearing that yummy blue robe and exposing a nipple while talking to Sam. As Cas lies coughing out of a lung under a shot of an overhead fan, the disco sound of Right Said Fred kicks in--
Yeah, baby! It’s Karaoke Night at the Black Spur! Dean is mangling “I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt,” enjoying himself far more than the other patrons. Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!! Dean really cannot sing. I could have watched an entire episode of Dean gargling out bad 80s covers.
Everyone's ears are bleeding, and it's not because of angel radio.
Demon Dean is happy happy happy. He beds the waitress, when Crowley busts in. “That’s my bed!” What, Dean and Crowley are staying together and they’re not in plusher digs? Although it might not be as much fun if they were in a luxury hotel and Dean was growling songs at a sophisticated dinner establishment. Then again...
"Care to join us, my Queen?"
Unlike some reviewers, I don’t think Demon Dean is hiding reservoirs of pain. He doesn’t give a shit about anything. Crowley has finally landed the man of his dreams (well, the other man of his dreams, if last season was anything to go by). They’re living up to the long-promised idea that Crowley is bisexual. By implication Dean is his occasional sex partner (“We’ve done extraordinary things to triplets,” Crowley mentions). Dean shrugs his shoulders at being in Crowley’s bed. “Bitch,” he says. “Jerk,” Crowley responds. I giggle. Fandom goes into screaming outrage mode.
Sam visits the police station in the little town and watches surveillance footage of a guy killing another guy in a Gas-n’-Sip. The police officer refers to the killer as "Porn Guy." We see the guy quietly reading Busty Asian Beauties. Then the second guy approaches “Porn Guy” with a knife. Oops. Idiot gets himself carved up with the First Blade, after which "Porn Guy" picks up the magazine, dusts it off and leaves. Sam recognizes Dean, and freaks when he sees Dean has black eyes.
"Shit oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit"
After the commercial break, we have the well-worn trope of some crazed guy doing a crazed workout, plenty of muscles on display. Unfortunately for all of us, it’s not Sam, it’s some tiny ex-Marine who has a gazillion weapons. He’s after Dean, for reasons so far unknown. And frankly, I don’t care. Crazed Marines are sort of...over. And Travis Aaron Wade is an inch shorter than Mark Sheppard, for God's sake! AT 5'9", he's almost a foot shorter than Jared Padalecki.
There is a hilarious scene in the Gas n’ Sip where Sam interviews Mickey the Convenience Store Guy (Zachary Gulka) , whose re-enactment of the murder can’t be topped. “Say my name! Say my name! Say! My! Name!” the kid yells gleefully. Great “Breaking Bad” reference.
Give this guy a spin-off!
Mickey gives Sam the dead guy's phone. Sam calls Crowley. When Crowley realizes that it’s Sam, he wonders, “It took you long enough. Your brother and I were beginning to wonder if you’d hit another dog.” Oh, snap! He informs Sam that Dean is not possessed, that the only twisted soul is Dean’s own.
"You're good. But I'm Crowley."
“He’s my best friend, my partner in crime,” Crowley says with relish. “They’ll write songs about us, graphic novels: The Misadventures of Crowley and Squirrel. Dean Winchester completes me. And that’s what makes you lose your chickens.” Oh, Crowley, I love you. Never change.
Problem is, Dean is digging the never-ending road trip. And he doesn’t care if Crowley takes off without him. Crowley has been sending Abbadon loyalists after Dean to keep the Mark of Cain sated. Crowley is pissed. He nursed Dean back to "health" and has been trailing along after his mancrush, waiting to get down to business, making Hell Hell again. Dean radiates "fuck off, lil' dude".
One distraction: Crowley keeps standing directly in front of Dean. Who has shown his deftness with the First Blade. What if Dean decides, on a whim, to off the King of Hell?
Hannah shows up on Cas’s garret doorstep. Coughing and looking like shit, he agrees to accompany her to capture two rogue angels who are refusing to go to Heaven. Haven’t we seen this enough? Wasn’t Castiel the first rogue angel? Not only that, Hannah tells him that Heaven is holding meetings, reorganizing, and reconciling. So what do they need a dying Cas for?
Cas is righteously pissed when he discovers it's not Dean who was knocking.
Long story short, rogue angels, philosophizing about freedom, blah blah, angel killing, Hannah and Cas talk about free will. There, that's out of the way.
Back in Sleazy Town, Dean is drunk, slurring his way through “Imaginary Lovers”. (Goof alert: when he punches out the bouncer, the screen shows “I’m Too Sexy".) He ends up back at the motel with the waitress. He calls her a skank. GOD, did I want Ellen Harvelle to come in and kick his ass from here to next week!
"What the fuck did you just call her, boy?"
Is it just me, or did the misogyny in this show dial up to 11 after Sera Gamble left? The waitress whimpers, “part of me feels I deserved that.” She should have shoved a shot glass up Dean's ass.
Sam’s car stalls on a dark road. In a moment of sheer (if convenient) OOC stupidity, he lets a short guy in combat boots offer to help. It's Tiny Crazed Marine, who punches Sam unconscious. I was amazed TCM could reach that high. Tiny Crazed Marine looks at the massive man lying on the ground and grins, “I guess you’re a rightie.” And I guess you were standing on a box.
Sam wakes up in a barn for the first of this season’s Sam-Tied-Up scenes. The fans love this, everyone except me. It's getting to be as old as crazed muscle men working out. When TCM tells Sam that Dean is his prey, “I suggest you turn around and run right back to the army recruiting poster that spit you out,” Sam snarks.
Tiny Crazed Marine stands on a box and threatens Sam.
TCM calls Dean with Sam’s phone. Dean is driving. He answers and says, “I left an open bar tab. Knock yourself out.” Tiny Crazed Marine tells him that he is going to kill Sam.
Dean shrugs. Whatever’s going on, it’s Sam’s problem. “There’s no trade. There’s no meet-up, no nothing except the 100 percent guarantee that somewhere down the road I will find you and I will kill you.”
Tiny Crazed Marine holds the phone in confusion, Sam tied up nearby. Dean drives through the night rain, no expression on his face. He really doesn’t give a shit. Hoo-boy!
That's it 'til next week, kidlets! When we find out why Tiny Crazed Marine wants to kill Dean (I think), Dean and Sam meet (I think), and stuff.
P.S. Metatron is still in Heaven's prison. At some point, shenanigans will ensue.