Welcome back to the show that, like its characters, never really dies! It just keeps coming back with slightly different variations on a theme. We begin, as we sometimes do, with something being Very Wrong with Sam Winchester. The human giraffe is dying on account of all those boring Hell Gate trials from last season. To heal him, Dean prays first to Castiel, then to all available angels when he doesn't get a response. For some reason, the execrably named "angel radio" is still operational even though all the angels have been cut off from Heaven. The good news is that a helpful angel named Ezekiel hears Dean's pleas and comes to his aid. The bad news is that a bunch of really pissed off angels also hear him and decide to beat him up until he tells them where to find Castiel.
Dean doesn't tell them, of course, but it's not like Castiel would be of much help to the angels. He's mostly human now, and trying to contend with things like food and beverages and sweet, sweet nudity. He's also got a crazy angel named Hael who really wants his guidance. When he opts instead to take Dean's advice and hie himself to safety, Hael loses her shit and takes him prisoner. Castiel tries to explain to her that self-determination is super awesome, so she determines that she wants his body. Because seriously, have you seen it? When he doesn't fork it over for possession, she threatens to tell all the angels where to find him. He has to kill her to keep safe, which is kind of understandable, but it's still sort of a shitty first day as a human being.
Meanwhile, Ezekiel is too weak to heal Sam in the "good touch" ways... which means he has to resort to the "bad touch" ways. He has to take possession of Sam in order to heal him from the inside, but he can't do it without Sam's consent. Sam, who's been chatting with imaginary versions of Dean and Bobby in his comatose state, has just met with Capital-D Death. It's not clear whether or not Death is real or if he's another facet of Sam's imagination, but he's convinced Sam to pass on. That's when Dean kind of tricks Sam into consenting to Zeke, which isn't actually consent in the technical sense. Or in any sense, really. Let's wrestle with that in the full recap.
Welcome to the ninth season! Holy crap, right? The Winchesters have been battling demons and each other for eight whole years. Hopefully you're ready for another round of brotherly angst. If you're not, just grab a drink (or ten) and try to enjoy the snark.
The road so far: "There's nothing the Winchesters can't do if they work together," Charlie Bradbury reminds us. Dean sure did hug a lot of people last season, didn't he? That was nice, at least. The brothers also beheaded a lot of people, and threw a lot of firebombs. Kevin Tran figured out how to close the Gates of Hell, which involved Sam wearing nerdlinger glasses and getting Flashdance splashed with hellhound blood. He also had to rescue Bobby Singer from the tamest manifestation of Hell outside of a kindergarten Halloween party. Oh, hey, and then remember when they got the Lair o' Letters that warded against all evil, but for some reason they didn't invite Kevin to stay there? (That last part isn't in the intro, but it was so fantastically silly that I thought it bore mentioning).
Castiel and Dean hit a lot of rough spots in their relationship, starting with Dean feeling characteristically guilty for his angel getting stuck in Purgatory, and ending with Castiel flitting off with the Angel Tablet. Sam's conversion of Crowley was interrupted when badass Abaddon showed up to kick both his and Crowley's asses. Alas, Sam dispatched her and things got a lot duller. Meanwhile, up in Heaven, Metatron tricked a gullible Castiel, stole his Grace and then sent him back to Earth just in time to watch all the angels fall from the sky like fiery, winged bombs. Sam saw this, too, because Dean dragged him away from that last trial before he could kill himself. Sam survived, but he was exuding a serious amount of mucus.
That brings us to the present day, where a far less oozy Sam rides shotgun in the Impala with Dean, as ever, at the wheel. "This makes no sense," Sam says. "I mean, how many angels fell? Hundreds? Thousands? And nobody sees anything?" He checks the news on his phone. "They're calling it a meteor shower! Seriously?" Dean says nothing. Sam notices that his brother seems even steelier than usual. "What's going on, man? Are you okay?" he asks. "Yeah, it's just..." Dean starts to say, but Sam finishes for him: "We got a bunch of super-powered dicks touchin' down and we got no idea where to start." The first part of that would also make a fun sales slogan for a dildo company. But super-powered dicks aren't their problem right now. "Look, there's no easy way to say this," Dean says, "but something happened back there in that church, and I don't know why...[but] you're dying, Sam." The camera goes all tilted like gravity has no bearing on the Impala right now. Sam scoffs, but he can hear a faint heartbeat, and the even fainter pinging of a heart monitor.