Warning: Here be spoilers. If you have not seen the season eight opener to Supernatural, “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” consider yourself warned.
Let’s play a game, Supernatural fans. I’m going to list off a few plot points, and you’re going to guess which season we’ll be dealing with, okay?
1) Dean staggers out of an unearthly, inhumane place
2) Dean suffers obviously from that ordeal
3) Sam has started to see a dark-haired sass-master while his brother was away
4) No matter how pure Sam’s intentions, his manner of coping with being completely and totally alone in the world is Wrong and Sam is a terrible, awful person and brother for his decision.
If you guessed season eight, my friends, congratulations, you read the title of this discussion; you get a virtual cookie. If you guessed season four, congratulations, have a cookie, now get out of my head because that’s just creepy.
While the episode was a strong one –what with the supporting cast of characters being a refreshing change of pace, I find that there were major flaws in the execution. The entire thing reminded me far, far too much of season Four’s premier episode, and I don’t think that’s what the writers should have been going for. We’ve already seen the boys in this scenario, secret supernatural-creature-BFF and all, so what is this script bringing to the table other than man-pain and yet another wedge being driven between our boys?
Also, while I found the flashbacks refreshing to begin with, they got old very quickly when everyone and their dog seemed to have them. However, I will say that Dean’s flashback of Purgatory was a very nice touch. I also like the fact that the writers were actually attempting to address Dean’s PTSD in subtle ways –staring at the snack machine, having flashbacks when triggered – instead of ham-fistedly shoving it in our faces.
An interesting point I found was that during this episode, you really get a feel for how unhealthy this show portrays relationships. Sam is portrayed as a terrible person when he moves on with his life after he thinks his brother has been killed; he is utterly alone in the world and instead of trying to raise the dead, Sam tries to cope in a very human manner. He cuts ties with the profession that killed every member of his family and most of his friends, a profession that led directly to him spending a year soulless and another hallucinating Lucifer at every turn, and he tries to move on with his life to keep from completely self-destructing.
And the show condemns him for this. We are supposed to agree with Dean. I, for one, cannot do that, though I can understand Dean’s betrayal at what he perceived as a lack of “our deep and abiding love for each other.”
Fans are in for a treat when right off the bat, it is clear that the Winchesters won’t be completely on their own. They’ve picked up the prophet from last season, Kevin Tran, as a stand-in for Cas, and behold! Team Free Will 2.0 has been born! On top of that, we’ve been introduced to a vampire named Benny, whom Dean has grown close to in Purgatory, going as far as to smuggle the creature with him back to Earth when he escaped. Whether Benny is playing the Ruby to Dean’s Sam is yet to be seen, but the season is young yet, and only time will tell.