is back for season 9, and the first episode sets up some tragic new
dynamics. After the Fall (which the rest of the world believed to be a
global meteor shower), there are angels everywhere looking for Castiel,
but the Winchesters have something more important to worry about: Sam's
life. The lengths Dean goes to save his brother will certainly cause
another huge rift between the siblings.
Inside Sam's Head
Sam is in a coma in a hospital following the agony of essentially completing the Trials. Inside his mind, the eternal internal debate Sam has had since season 1 rages on. On the one hand is Dean, the voice in Sam's head urging him to fight and stay. Then there's Bobby, who represents the part of Sam who just wants to die already and let it be done with.
Sam has always wanted out of the life more than Dean, and this struggle is perfectly embodied in this episode. Bobby takes the upper hand, leading Sam to a cabin and convincing him that he's saved the world enough times that he deserves to go peacefully into the afterlife.
That's when Dean shows up to kill Bobby (or more accurately, kill the part of Sam that wants to die), but it's too late. Sam goes inside the cabin where Death is waiting for him. And Death is quite honored to be the one to reap Sam's soul.Back in the Real World
As Sam's soul ways the pros and cons of dying, Dean does everything he can to bring his brother back. Because that's how this works. He sends a prayer out to Cas, but since Cas is no longer an angel, he doesn't hear it. Instead, Dean sends the prayer out to any and all angels for some assistance.
Be careful what you wish for, because some angry, murderous angels show up, but luckily so does Ezekiel. Played by Battlestar Galactica's Tahmoh Penikett, he's a vacant, nice do-gooder who just wants to help. He offers his services with Sam while Dean fights off angels (or more accurately, gets his ass kicked by angels).
While Dean succeeds in fending off the bad angels, Ezekiel has some bad news. Sam's damage is too severe and the only way to fix him is from the inside, meaning Ezekiel would need to possess Sam, something Sam will never agree to.Dean's Dilemma
This brings us to the huge new twist of the season. Dean, who is always willing to do anything to save his brother, agrees to let Ezekiel go inside Sam's mind posing as Dean to convince him to say "Yes" to a little help, basically tricking him into accepting possession. It's basically the same thing Larry David did on Curb Your Enthusiasm
when he fed cold medicine to a Christian Scientist in a brownie.
This works, but unfortunately the Trial damage to Sam's mind and soul is extensive, so Ezekiel is going to have to stay inside Sam for a long time. Basically, Ezekiel is hiding inside Sam, but Sam is unaware that he's there because if he finds out what Dean did, he'll reject Ezekiel from his body and die because of it.
This is a cool twist. Sam doesn't know that he's also Ezekiel (who can apparently take over control of Sam's body whenever he wants to without Sam's knowledge). And Dean has to keep this huge secret from his brother to save his life. Usually one brother is keeping a secret from the other about himself, but this season Dean is keeping a secret from Sam about Sam. I think we can all agree this isn't going to end with Sam being cool and understanding after he's all fixed up.Human Cas
While Sam and Dean have all of their drama, Cas is learning to be human. He suddenly realizes that scratches hurt and you need money to buy things. He can still hear Angel Radio, but other than that he's 100 percent human.
A girl angel finds him and basically becomes his psycho stalker. She wants to see the Grand Canyon (which she built) and Cas agrees to teach her all the wonders of being human and living on Earth. But she wants more, namely to have her angel spirit live in Castiel's vessel with him. I told you she was a psycho stalker.
Cas refuses and ultimately has to cause a car crash to escape her crazy clutches. He just wants to help all of the angels who he unintentionally locked out of Heaven, but she doesn't care. She promises him that all of the angels will come after him and unleash fiery vengeance against him unlike anything the world has ever seen. If Supernatural season 9 was Pulp Fiction, Samuel L. Jackson would be the angels.Castiel's Dilemma
In the end, for all you Cas Lovers, the ex-angel walks into a Laundromat and strips down to his boxers to clean off the blood. But before he puts the quarters in, he looks at a vending machine. Uh-oh, he has to choose between food and water or his clothes.
Cas chooses food and water, Which means he leaves the trechncoat behind! NOOOOOOO! I can't think of a better symbolic way to represent Castiel's new human status than being stripped of his signature piece of clothing. I only hope this leads to a glorious Pretty Woman shopping montage like Charlie got last season.
Overall, it's a great start to Supernatural season 9. Dean saved Sam, but he did so by violating Sam's personal space (literally) and Sam has no idea. It's kind of like soul rape, I guess. And the angels are all coming after Cas, who no longer has the protection of his mighty trenchcoat.
Next week on Supernatural
: We get back to Crowley and the whole issue of Hell.
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(Image courtesy of the CW)