Ah, it feels like fall has really started now that this show is back. For us, it's only been a few months. For the characters, a year has passed. Dean Winchester miraculously escapes from Purgatory one night and hightails it to Louisiana. Once there, he digs up a grave, slices open his arm and bleeds some glowing goop all over the bones. This brings a vampire named Benny back to life. Benny and Dean are all hugs and "We made it!" like this is high school graduation. Through flashbacks, we learn that Benny saved Dean's life in Purgatory. He also offered to show Dean the way out, on the condition that Dean take him along for the ride since only humans are allowed to escape.
Dean reunites with Sam, who didn't look for him once in the past year. There's some kind of half-assed excuse about how they promised they would never look for each other or whatever. Dean is very pissy about it and guesses correctly that Sam must have found himself a girl. Flashbacks show us that Sam accidentally ran over a dog and brought him to a lady vet for emergency care. The dog survived and the lady vet berated Sam for not adopting him on the spot. Romance was born! The part that really disturbs Dean though, is how Sam seems to have given up hunting because he doesn't feel like saving people is really his responsibility. When Sam asks about Castiel, Dean is pretty vague about what happened. Castiel just "gave up" at the end, which you can't really blame him for after the steaming pile that was last season.
When Dean goes through Sam's old voicemail, he finds a series of increasingly worrisome messages from newly minted prophet, Kevin Tran. He managed to escape Crowley, but now he's alone and on the run. The brothers track him down and learn that there's another Word of God out there, this one about how to banish demons from Earth forever. Of course, Crowley tracks Kevin down, too, but Kevin's gotten better at protecting himself since last year.
At the end of the episode, Dean gets a call from Benny. He lies to Sam about it, because they're back to that whole rigmarole again. Dean and Benny talk almost like they're each other's AA sponsors. They're taking things "one day at a time" and kind of miss Purgatory in a weird way, so they'll probably visit it a lot in flashbacks. Stay tuned for the full recap.
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The Road So Far. Dean's gravelly voice reminds us of the show's original premise: Two brothers driving around in an awesome car, hunting monsters and saving people. Jethro Tull's "Locomotive Breath" kicks in. Some Leviathans got out of Purgatory when Castiel was on that whole "I'm going to save Heaven... oops, now I'm on a power trip" thing season before last. The head Leviathan was named Dick Roman, because that afforded the writers many an opportunity to make dick jokes. Bobby Singer died, tooled around as a ghost for a while and then died for good (maybe) when the brothers burned his haunted flask. Castiel laid hands on Sam and fixed the craziness that he let loose, then became kind of crazy himself. Dick dug up a stone tablet containing the Word of God and it triggered the activation of a teenaged prophet named Kevin Tran. The alpha vampire explained that monsters go to Purgatory when they die. Castiel and Dean boned Dick with an old nun's leg bone. Dick died explosively and took Dean and Castiel with him. Crowley, the King of Hell, nabbed Kevin for his own nefarious purposes, leaving Sam all by his lonesome. Dean and Castiel wound up in Purgatory, but Castiel fluttered away somewhere while Dean faced down the searing red glares of monsters in the dark.
Now! We start off in 100 Mile Wilderness, Maine, one year later. It's a dark, misty forest. It looks kind of like Purgatory, but with campers instead of demons. Two of these campers are sleeping snug in their tent when a burst of bright light cuts through the darkness. It's accompanied by an otherworldly humming sort of sound. The girl camper sits up and wakes the boy camper. "Get up! Something just happened!" The light collapses in on itself. The boy camper, now awake, sees something shadowy moving outside the tent. The girl impels him to go do something about it, so he grabs a flashlight and starts shouting, "Hello? Hello?" into the darkness. Goodness only knows what he plans to do with that piddling flashlight if danger should present itself. He peers into the woods and sighs with relief: "It was a deer." He glances back towards the tent to give the girl the good news when a bloody, dirty, but clean-shaven Dean Winchester appears before him. "Where am I?" Dean asks. The boy is stunned. It's not a deer, but a fine, young buck! It's easy to make the mistake in low light conditions. The girl emerges from the tent, possibly sensing the close proximity of a hot Winchester. Dean, startled, pulls a gun on them. The campers are too frightened to answer. "Where's the road?" Dean tries. "Twelve miles that way," the boy says. Dean glances around, spies the campers' backpack and grabs it before scampering off into the woods. The campers gawp after him as "Man in the Wilderness" by Styx begins to play.