In a nutshell: Yes, I loved it. Sure, it was different and felt off in some ways, but it was supposed to. ;)
Hope you enjoy the caps and my thoughts on the first episode of the season. :D
We don't begin the season with the normal "Then" montage, but instead get a glimpse of how last season ended through Dean's nightmare of it, colored in muted blue. He awakes in bed with Lisa and we begin "Now". Typical Dean, hiding his troubles with the usual "I'm fine" and a small smile.
Love the montage of Dean's current life paired with his hunting life set to "Beautiful Loser". Nice ending shots with Dean locking up the house, checking on Ben, and then climbing into bed with Lisa, a shotgun and holy water under the bed. Perfection!
Awesome new title card! :D
Dean effectively describes his life to buddy, Sid. "Pest control" LOL Dean's still attracting the gals! Hee! And ever the hunter, he has to check out a scream after leaving the bar. Did you catch the DJ Sam posters on the door he went through? Cute, show....really cute! :P You can feel the tension as Dean searches the hallways. He even wipes his brow at one point. He's not used to hunting alone, with no backup. He finds some claw marks and blood on a wall, but that's it.
This next scene makes me wonder how much Dean's told Lisa of his hunting life. He lies to her here, but to her credit, she doesn't really seem to buy it, wisely letting it go for now. I think it's interesting that for all Dean's safeguards around the house (and here we see he's got a devil's trap by the front door) we see him barefoot in this scene and earlier only with socks on. This is something I can't imagine "hunter" Dean doing. He'd be wearing shoes all the time, ready to act or defend at a second's notice. So there seems to be some weakening of his hunter instincts. After a year, he must feel fairly comfortable in this home with this new family.
The next day and Dean sees more claw marks, tracking them down to a little Yorkie in a garden shed. LOL I immediately thought of the dog that terrified Dean in "Yellow Fever". :P Sid catches him with his gun drawn and Dean explains it away as a rabies infected possom. "Possoms....possoms kill Sid" He then finds sulfur and goes to the Impala inside the garage to arm up. Nice scene here as Lisa wonders what's up.
Lisa: What's going on?
Lisa: How come I don't believe you?
Dean: I just -- I, uh, I-I got this -- I don't know, spidey sense.
Lisa: Okay. Are you hunting something?
Dean: Honestly? Uh, at first, I thought that I was. But I'm pretty sure that I got worked up over nothing. It's, uh, you know...It happens.
Lisa: Are you sure?
Dean: I'll tell you what -- just because, you know, I have an OCD thing about this, why don't, uh, why don't you and Ben go to the movies, hit the cheesecake factory - you know, hang out with the teeming masses, and I'll do one last sweep just to be 100%.
Lisa: Okay. Be careful.
Dean: Careful's my middle name.
They're so sweet! :D
So Dean's got his leather jacket and John's journal all packed away. Nice to see the journal again. It's been far too long since the boys really used that.
Dean running into the YED is completely unexpected and awesome! Fred Lehne eats up the lines so well. He hasn't lost his touch! All the humor and snark are in place. "You had to know that we were coming for you sometime, pal. You can't outrun your past." Nice bit of drool out of the mouth on Jensen as Dean gets strangled. SAM!!!!!!!!
Dean wakes up to find Sam watching over him. Again, we see this from Dean's POV as he sits up, the camera angle showing us what he sees.
Sam: Hey, Dean. I was expecting, uh... I don't know, a hug, some holy water in the face -- something.
Dean: So I'm dead? This is heaven? Yellow eyes killed me, and now --
Sam: Yellow eyes? That's what you saw?
It's kinda sweet that Dean thinks he died and is now in heaven with Sam. Awwww...
Sam explains he was poisoned and that he's real, doing the normal drills to show that he's not a shapeshifter or a demon. And then we get THE HUG!!!!!! *iz happy* :D I loved it! And I don't care what people say, you can see the small smile on Sam's face. He's happy to be with his brother again. Dean's far more emotional, but that's to be expected because as we soon find out, Sam's been back for a whole year and Dean never knew it.
Dean: You been back practically this whole time?! What, did you lose the ability to send a friggin' text message?!
Sam: You finally had what you wanted, Dean.
Dean: I wanted my brother, alive.
Sam: You wanted a family. You have for a long time, maybe the whole time. I know you. You only gave it up because of the way we lived. But you had something, and you were building something. Had I shown up, Dean, you would have just run off. I'm sorry. But it felt like after everything, you deserve some regular life.
Sam introduces Dean to his new hunting partners, the Campbells: Cousins Gwen, Christian, Mark and oh, yeah...grandpa Samuel...back from the dead. Samuel and Sam neither have any idea why or how they were resurrected and no leads. Sam got poisoned like Dean and some D'jinns are responsible, seeking revenge for the one Dean killed back in Season 2.
And btw, back in S3's "The Kids Are Alright", Ruby had Sam look into his mom's side of the family, her friends. We see him making all these phone calls and finding out that everyone his mom ever knew were killed or died mysteriously. So where did all these Campbell cousins come from??? Kinda fishy. Sure, you could say that even back then Ruby was controlling and leading Sam on, but would she really control everyone Sam contacted for information?
Worried about Lisa & Ben, Dean and Sam race back to the house, but the 2 soon return home from the movies to a very relieved Dean. Dean takes them to Bobby's to be safe, where he learns the old man also knew Sam was alive all this time. Dean is really pissed (understandably). This is a great scene and really is a knockout performance for Jensen.
Dean: How long?!
Bobby: All year.
Dean: Oh, you got to be kidding me.
Bobby: And I'd do it again.
Bobby: Because you got out, Dean! You walked away from the life. And I was so damn grateful, you got no idea.
Dean: Do you have any clue what walking away meant for me?
Bobby: Yeah -- a woman and a kid and not getting your guts ripped out at age 30. That's what it meant.
Dean: That woman and that kid -- I went to them because you asked me to.
Dean: Good for who? I showed up on their doorstep half out of my head with grief. God knows why they even let me in. I drank too much. I had nightmares. I looked everywhere. I collected hundreds of books, trying to find anything to bust you out.
Sam: You promised you'd leave it alone.
Dean: Of course I didn't leave it alone! Sue me! A damn year? You couldn't put me out of my misery?
Bobby: Look, I get it wasn't easy. But that's life! And it's as close to happiness as I've ever seen a hunter get. It ain't like I wanted to lie to you, son. But you were out, Dean.
Dean: Do I look out to you?
Again, Dean is the emotional one here (he's even near tears by the end of the scene). Sam is oddly calm and detached from the entire conversation.
|The next scene between Dean and Lisa is also quite nice. You can tell she probably knows her time with Dean is coming near an end. He's got his brother back and he's going to go back to hunting. Dean tries to blow off the past year and apologizes for being careless and putting her and Ben in danger. Lisa calls him an idiot and points out how good he's been with Ben and that it was the best year of her life.|
The boys head back to the Campbells (who I really don't trust entirely) and Dean decides he and Sam should play bait to draw the D'jinns out. Poor Dean. The cousins really go through his house, even Sam finding his golf clubs, but that's amusing and not creepy like the rest of them. No wonder Dean feels a little violated and goes to wash off his face in the kitchen. There Samuel outlines what's been going on with creatures acting abnormally and others coming out of the woodwork that are totally new. He tries to convince Dean to join them. "You don't know what you're part of, Dean. You know, you had ancestors hacking the heads off vamps on the Mayflower. What I'm saying is that we're your blood and we're out there dying, trying to get in front of whatever this is. Maybe not the best time for golf."
I don't like what Samuel is insinuating here. That last line about golf. Like Dean's been sitting on his thumbs this whole year while they've been off trying to stay alive. It's not like Dean knew his brother was alive and hunting! How was he to know all these new creatures were out and about? Grrrrrr. Another reason to not like/trust grandpa.
Cousin Mark's spotted the D'jinn hiding in some trees and Dean convinces Samuel and the others to clear out. Once the brothers are alone they get a chance to talk a little more and Dean asks Sam if he remembers the cage. He does, but he doesn't want to talk about it. Sound familiar, Dean? "Dean, I don't want to talk about it. I'm back.I get to breathe fresh air, have a beer, hunt with my family, see you again.So why exactly would I want to think about hell?"
Dean spots Sid & his wife getting attacked by the D'jinn and rushes over. Cool how Jensen jumped over that fence! Two of them capture him and poison him again. "You made it through that last trip, so how about a big, fat double dose? Bad news -- it'll kill you. The good news? At least you'll go fast. That's for our father, you son of a bitch."
Meanwhile, Sam is fighting off the other D'jinn with whatever he can find in the house: lamps and Dean's golf clubs. Samuel soon appears and takes out one and urges Sam to take care of Dean while he and Christian take out the female D'jinn. Thing is, they only capture her, hiding her away before the boys come back. Yeah, I really don't trust Samuel.
Dean hallucinates that Ben and Lisa have returned and are soon captured by the YED. It's Dean's worst nightmare with Lisa bleeding and burning on the ceiling (and she's blaming him) while the YED feeds demon blood to Ben.
The brothers talk and Dean says he won't be going back to the Campbell clan with Sam. He put Lisa & Ben in danger when he showed up at their door and now he's going to protect them. Sam says he understands but he wishes Dean were coming along.
Sam: I hear you. I guess I just, wish you were coming, that's all.
Sam: Don't be stupid.
Dean: No, I mean it. I mean, you know plenty of good hunters. I'm rusty. I did something seriously stupid going out there. I almost got us both killed.
Sam: And that's exactly why I want you.
Dean: What are you talking about?
Sam: You just went. You didn't hesitate. Because you care, and that's who you are. Me? I wouldn't even think to try.
Dean: Yes, you would.
Sam: No, Dean. I'm telling you, it's just better with you around. That's all.
Dean even offers the Impala to Sam, saying "she should be hunting". Awwww. But like last time, Sam turns it down, explaining that he has his car set up the way he wants it. You can see it kinda hurts Dean - that further separation when they've just found each other again.
|They have a very awkward goodbye in the driveway with Sam saying he'll keep in touch and then "It was really good to see you again, Dean." which sounds like something you'd say to a friend and not your own brother.|
As Sam pulls out of the driveway, Dean can't even wave goodbye and he looks visibly stunned. You can see near the end how much he was hiding his emotions, wanting to say something more to Sam, but coming up empty. For Sam, it was an easier goodbye and very matter-of-fact for him. Dean didn't want to come along, so he left - end of story.
To hit the highlights:
* Sam is distant and closed-off emotionally.
* The episode was told from Dean's point of view. We, as viewers, experienced what he did and for the most part that left us a little confused and bewildered, much like Dean with his brother and grandfather coming back mysteriously, meeting cousins he didn't even know he had, and D'jinns poisoning him.
* Practically everyone knew Sam was back and alive this whole year except Dean. He doesn't take kindly to secrets being kept from him even if people think they were doing what was best for him.
* Samuel & the cousins are kinda creepy. Don't trust them!!!!
* Sam's new car is cool...and black. It's like his own updated Impala. *g*
* I really like Lisa and Ben. Hope they don't kill them off.
Big Thumbs Up! :D
Awesome episode! I've missed you show!!!!!! *draws hearts around it*