Supernatural season 8 premiered last night with "We Need to Talk About Kevin," which saw the brothers reunite after a year apart, caught up with what Kevin had been up to, introduced the new mission, and gave a glimpse into life in purgatory for Dean. If you missed any of it, read a full recap here.
"Closing the gates of hell forever? Yeah. Yeah, that could be important."
The premiere did do a good job of doing what it should do: establish a starting point for the rest of the season. It introduced a new mission, but with Sam seemingly not really whole-heartedly into it, the season already has a different feel to it. While Sam wanting a normal life is nothing new, is that even realistic anymore given everything that has happened? Depending how long that continues to be part of the show, it could be a detriment to it. After all, no one really wants to watch one brother off hunting and the other shacking up with a girl and a dog.
"We always told each other not to look for each other. That's smart, good for you. Of course we always ignored that because of our deep abiding love for each other, but not this time, right Sammy?"
There is the issue of Sam not looking for Dean at all. When one of them goes missing, the other one looks for him. It might as well be a rule, right up there with the Winchester Reunion Hug that comes when one comes back from the dead/purgatory. It's what Sam did when Dean went to hell. It's what Dean did when Sam went to hell. It's what they doÂ—but not this time. There was at least a sweet brother moment when Sam ordered Dean a burger. Hopefully something's coming up to redeem Sam, because he's not doing anything to win any awards at the moment.
Sam also abandoned Kevin, whose change was one of the better parts of the episode. Remember when the poor kid was "I'm Kevin Tran. I'm in advanced placement"? Well, now he's leaving messages for Sam telling him "eat me" and killing demons while sending Crowley to a farm with goats. Go Kevin (and go Osric Chau for his portrayal)!
"I had no one, no one. And for the first time in my life, I was completely alone."
Let's talk about Sam. Sam's distraught behavior over hitting the dog and getting it help had to at least somehow be connected to the loss of his brother. Yes, that dog was cute, but really. You have to hope that part of Sam's behavior in that year was about Dean being gone and that they'd show that in the premiere. While Sam's behavior over the past yearÂ—not looking for his brother, ditching his phonesÂ—was just plain wrong (and his explanations didn't help much), what they do next is very important. The premiere didn't offer enough to properly judge the Sam/Amelia relationship, but the show does need to tread lightly here; female characters (and especially love interests) can be very tricky on this show.
But let's take the other side. Sam was alone. Last he saw of his brother, Dean just disappeared. He didn't have any leads, and he didn't go seeking out this normal life. It just hit him once he hit the dog. He did pack up and leave Amelia and his dog behind to rejoin Dean on the hunt.
"It was bloody, messy... There was something about being there, it felt pure."
Meanwhile, the Dean/Benny/purgatory storyline was one of the best parts of the episode. Something clearly happened in purgatory to make them so close; Dean hugged him goodbye, after all. The dynamic has been intriguing so far, between their interactions in hell, when they got out of purgatory, and on the phone in the end. The only problem is this is becoming another secret between the brothers, but as long as it doesn't end up feeling too parallel to Sam with Ruby in season 4, this could be fun. Like after Dean came back from hell with some torturing skills, Jensen Ackles stepped it up as Dean back from purgatory (and in the flashbacks to purgatory as well). Ty Olsson is bringing something new to the table with this role, and more scenes between those two can only be a good thing as more is revealed about what exactly went down in purgatoryÂ—and why Dean called it "pure."
Overall, this was a solid premiere for Supernatural season 8Â—and a good 150th episode for the show. There were some flaws, but this could be one of the strongest seasons of the series if done right, based on what has been set up in "We Need to Talk About Kevin." It set up the exploration of what happened to Dean in purgatory and how that's going to change him, what happened to Castiel (who will be showing up in episode 2, "What's Up, Tiger Mommy?") and, though there are some concerns about Sam's behavior now, Sam getting back into the life. As long as the show continues along these lines and there's the payoff when there should be the payoff, there's no reason to worry about season 8.
What did you think of the Supernatural season 8 premiere, "We Need to Talk About Kevin"?
Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/The CW
Â© Meredith Jacobs 2012