Supernatural Review 9.01 - 'I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here'
Posted by Joseph Lee on 10.09.2013
Welcome back, Winchesters. TV hasn't been the same without you.
The Road So Far: Where to start? Sam and Dean started season eight on a quest to close the gates of Hell. As soon as they got right at the finish line, curing Crowley of being a demon, Dean learned that Sam would die if they completed the trial and forced him to stop. However, Sam still collapsed and suffered the ill effects of the trails as the season closed. Meanwhile, Castiel and Metatron are trying to shut the gates of Heaven, but Metatron has double crossed Castiel. Cas is now human and trapped on Earth while all of the angels have been cast out. I think that about sums it up.
Season 9, Episode 1: I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here Directed By: John Showalter Written By: Jeremy Carver
Welcome to season nine! Supernatural remains one of my favorite shows on television, and last season seemed to reinvigorate the show after a seemingly directionless season six and a good season seven. Season eight went back to the core of the show, the Wincesters vs Demons and the relationship between the brothers and that made it better. Sam and Dean seemed closer than ever as we headed into this season, but how long will that bond last? What's Castiel going to do without his grace?
The episode opens with Sam and Dean riding in a car with everything seemingly normal, when Dean reveals it's all in Sam's head and he's dying. Well...that's certainly a crazy way to open your season. The rest of the episode has Dean in the real world trying everything he can to keep Sam alive (even contacting every fallen angel, who are not happy about their predicament) while Sam decides if he even wants to stay alive while still in his mind.
That's really all I can say about the A-story without spoiling anything, and trust me, this is an episode you want to watch spoiler-free. The B-story focuses on Castiel, who is adapting to life as a human and learning that every single fallen angel has it in for him in one way or another. He soon learns he has to make some hard choices in order to stay alive in his new condition. If this is Castiel's story over the course of the season, then I'm fine with him now back as a regular.
Going back to the A-story, it was great to see Sam and Dean back on the same page at the end of season eight, which means that this obstacle happening so quickly sort of ruins that, but only in a selfish "I just want the Winchesters to be happy" sort of way. It makes sense there would be some fallout from season eight and I'm glad that Sam wasn't able to just "let go" the damage he was causing to his body as a result of the trials. Speaking of letting go, once again Dean shows that he'll never be able to let go of Sam, even if that means making the same mistakes.
There were some surprises this time around in terms of cameos (which may have been spoiled if you saw any of the pre-season footage) and the story went along from point to point almost in the only way it could. It makes sense for Dean to make the decisions he made, and it makes sense for Sam to make the decisions he makes. It's certainly a lot better than last season's blunder of having Sam not looking for Dean while he was in Purgatory. I was more forgiving of that plot point more than many of the longtime fans.
Castiel's story is going well too. He makes claims that he wants to help all of the angels, but now that he's human he's having more human traits, like hunger, pain and selfishness. It will be interesting to see if and how Castiel loses his more naive and noble traits over the course of the season now that he truly doesn't have to answer to any higher power. I like the direction that story took this time and I suspect it will get better. I've always enjoyed the Castiel character, and he's had some rough treatment in season 7 and 8.
This was a great start to the season. We have solid plot development, already clear stories set up for the remainder of the season and enough new twists to make even the eventual monster-of-the-week episodes new and fresh. Instead of fighting vampires or demons for the umpteenth time, now they can tackle an angel one week (or perhaps a Leviathan again).
Next week looks more like a part two to this story, as we deal with the Hell side of the fallout, as Crowley is the Winchester's prisoner and Abaddon is still on the loose. See you then!
The 411: Even in season nine Supernatural is still finding ways to take the Winchesters in new and interesting directions. "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here" is a great season opener setting up what will hopefully be another fun season that goes somewhat back to form. The Impala still has some gas in the tank, and I'm excited about what's to come.