The CW's longest running series returns with a slow and predictable episode.
He couldn't believe his eyes when he saw her but Dean's mother, Mary Winchester, has returned from the dead. Since she's been dead for thirty three years, she didn't recognize her son all grown up or remember the events that lead to her death but it all comes flooding back to her when Dean fills in the blanks. Elsewhere, Sam has been shot and taken prisoner by Lady Antonia (Tony) Bevell, a member of the Men of Letters, London chapter. She wants answers from Sam and intends to make America safe but after getting shot and shackled to a chair, he is a tad less inclined to help. Tony wants the names of other hunters, dead drop locations, and everything else that Sam knows but the only words he has for her are "Screw you". Meanwhile in Texas, Castiel comes crashing down to earth after being sent away by Tony in the bunker and needs to get back to Kansas as soon as possible. After Dean and Mary get back to the bunker, they see a trail of blood but don't know what happened. After Castiel shows up, he tells them that someone has taken Sam. If they have any hope of saving him before Tony's patience runs out, they have to find him and fast.
For its twelfth season premiere, Supernatural comes up short with Keep Calm and Carry On. For an episode that seemed like the perfect opportunity to for fast pacing and urgent stakes to get to Sam as fast as possible, the entire hour felt like it was at a jogging pace at best. After learning that Sam had been taken, Castiel, Dean and Mary went for coffee and pie while they were searching for Sam. I repeat, they took a dessert break after finding a trail of blood in the bunker and no Sam. Sure, cell phones and computers must seem insane to someone that just came back to life but was this really the episode to take it easy and get us excited for what's to come this season? I get the impression that those moments were meant to be the break from the intense torture scenes but running cold water over someone in a basement doesn't exactly translate into exciting television.
Speaking of Sam, his scenes were easily the highlight of Keep Calm and Carry On but not without fault. Sam didn't give an inch to Tony and held his ground after the blow torch to the feet and the truth serum or whatever it was that he was given. Playing up the hallucinations and playing dead was a great touch but then I wondered, why didn't he kill Tony when he had the opportunity? She just had him tortured and had no intention of setting him free so why didn't he do it then? Alas, Sam's line "I've been tortured by the devil himself, you're just an accent in a pant suit" summarizes the scene entirely. We've seen Sam in far worse situations than this. Just last season, we saw Sam shot, bleeding, kill four monsters on his own and drive himself back to the hospital before Dean woke up from pills. It happened. As a loyal fan of the show, Tony having Sam in a basement doesn't hold up. Lastly, Tony's arguments were pretty weak to try and convince Sam that there is a better way to be a hunter. Sure, they kill demons pretty quickly and save people but Sam and Dean save the world every year...so there's that.
Overall, Keep Calm and Carry On had some good moments but wasn't the season opener that I was hoping for. Then again, knowing that Lucifer is still alive changes everything and gives us something to look forward to now that the tables have turned and Crowley is hunting him. We'll see what happens in next week's episode, Mamma Mia.