Year of the Deanmon.
Desperately searching for his brother, Sam's patience has run out and he has taken to torturing demons for whatever information he can get. Four weeks later, Sam is no closer to finding Dean than when he had a demon at the end of his knife. While searching the web for any trace he keeps the police scanners and gives Castiel a call. Castiel is holed up hotel and hasn't heard anything about Dean and is looking worse for wear. After getting off the phone with Sam, he has a knock at his door. It's the angel Hannah, asking Castiel for help now that the angels are back in heaven and left to pick up the pieces on their own. The angels are trying to lead themselves but freedom of choice has never come naturally to them. Elsewhere in Middle America, Dean is getting drunk and singing karaoke in a dive bar while Crowley sits back and watches. Since becoming a demon, Dean and Crowley have been on a bit of a party break; one that has Dean killing the odd demon follower of Abaddon seeking revenge. After Dean takes down a demon in a convenience store, Sam plays the FBI agent card and finally sees his brother on camera for the first time in months, slaying a demon that was after him. Sam heads over to the convenience store, talks to the clerk and gets the cell phone of the dead demon. On the call list he finds Crowley's number and makes the call. Crowley answers and Sam has more than a few choice words for the King of Hell. Crowley tells Sam that this isn't just some demon wearing his brother's skin, it's Dean in there. Elsewhere, Dean has popped up on someone else's radar and though Dean is used to being the hunter, he may now be the prey.
First of all, thank you CW for my tag line. I'm not sure I could have come up with something so edgy on my own. Now, on to the review. After ten years, just how was the season premiere for Supernatural? It definitely will not be remembered as one of the more memorable season premieres but it did everything it needed to in order to get us caught up with the show and moving on what's to come. What the episode lacked was a stronger pacing and sense of any urgency behind Sam's search Dean. The opening demon torture scene and then the quick time lapse to one month later felt lazy and a cheap way to get out of telling more of Sam's story. Sam was alone without the other hunters, Bobby, his ex-girlfriend or anybody else that has ever been there for him while he hunted demons down to get some information on where his brother might be. The other off piece of dialogue was when he was speaking with Crowley on the phone and referred to his Dean's body as his "meat suite". I know that the term "meat suite" is common for Supernatural but this is Sam's brother we're talking about here. I would have expected him to show a bit more respect for Dean.
Speaking of Dean, besides a slightly longer hair style, this wasn't the demon transformation I was expecting. Deanmon (this just might catch on, or not) is an unhinged version of Dean or Dean when he's been having a lot of bad days in a row. In one instance, he defended the waitress from her abusive friend but went too far. In the next, he called the same woman a skank when she tried to be there. Lastly, after the new hunter took Sam hostage and wanted to set a trap for Dean, he didn't budge. Instead, Dean kept driving and left Sam to the mercy of whatever this new hunter may be. The old Dean would never do that, which means that the new one must be willing to do things we can't even think of.
Tying us back to heaven is Castiel. Dying as he continues to lose his grace, Castiel's help is still sought by Hannah after he helped to get the angel's back into heaven. Although their mission to retrieve the two angels, Daniel and Adina, went horribly wrong, Castiel doesn't want to sacrifice another angel to prolong his own life with their grace. The guilt of causing the death of so many of his brothers and sisters weighs heavy on Castiel's shoulders but I also wonder how long the diminishing grace plot can keep going. Eventually Castiel will retrieve his grace or get more because a human Castiel isn't all that interesting.
So while Black was as good as it could have been, it was more of a 'set up' rather than a 'contained story' type of episode. What it did do exceptionally well is make us question what is to come. Who is the new hunter? How else has Dean changed since he became a demon and can Sam trust him? Let's start with next week's episode, Reichenbach and see where the Winchesters will take us.