A quick note by way of introduction may be required here. For quite some time now, certain members of the Richmond WriMos have been trying to persuade me to watch the CW show Supernatural. I have relented and am now embarking on watching Supernatural via the wonders of Netflix. This series of posts will simply be my first impressions, almost stream of consciousness style, presented in the form of the time elapsed in the episode and my thoughts expressed as bullet points. It’s effectively live tweeting the episodes except I don’t have to stick to 140 characters or fewer. So without further ado here’s my take on:
Season 4 Episode 01 – “Lazarus Rising”
- 01:38 – The “Road So Far” previouslies are soundtracked by AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” and I’m immediately hyped up for the season. A lot of the focus initially is on Sam’s terrible hair and Sam having badass moments. Of course the last 30 seconds deal with Dean’s current hell-bound predicament and end with Dean screaming for his little brother to help him.
- 02:00 – Lot of stroberiffic close ups on Dean’s eyes whilst on the soundtrack as the close captioning puts it “[SCREAMING INTENSIFIES].” It’s not Dean screaming though, I have to assume the caterwauling is the other damned souls in Hell.
- 02:03 – The screaming stops (can you hear the silence, Clarice?) and Dean coughs and sputters. He flips his lighter on and appears to be underground somewhere dark.
- 02:39 – The dark place is more or less confirmed to be Dean’s grave as we get a very Carrie-esque shot of his hand and arm poking through the soil to the surface. So, Dean has somehow come back from Hell. I doubt that bodes well for him or Sam.
- 03:41 – Dean looks as confused about his resurrection as I am. Plus we got a nice aerial shot showing that all the trees and such around his grave have been flattened outward in a circular design.
- 04:58 – Dean’s broken into a gas station, stolen a bottle of water and done the old “check the date of a newspaper” trick to establish that we’re now in September 2008.. Which I think means that he’s been in Hell for about five months.
- 05:19 – Dean lifts his t-shirt up for a bit of utterly gratuitous fan service. Okay, it’s actually to show that all the scars from where the hellhound attacked his chest last episode have healed.
- 05:38 – But he now has what appears to be a blistered handprint burned on to his shoulder.
- 06:22 – Dean proceeds to rob the gas station, taking drinks, candy bars, coins from the cash register and an issue of Busty Asian Beauties magazine. This is interrupted by a TV screen coming on with LOUD-ass white noise/static.
- 06:52 – The loud TV static is joined by random radio white noise and an incredibly high pitched whine. Dean reacts in the only logical way, by spilling salt all around the gas station. Well, it’s logical within the universe of Supernatural anyway, in this universe it just means that his food will be slightly more bland.
- 07:09 – All the noise stops in an orgy of broken glass as what appears to be every single window in this gas station explodes.
- 07:28 – Our recently undeaded Winchester brother finds something that I thought was as dead as he was, a phone booth. He attempts to use his first life line and Phone a Friend, but unfortunately, the number is disconnected.
- 07:47 – Dean deposits more of the purloined coinage into the phone booth and dials a different number. He gets a hold of Bobby, who promptly hangs up when Dean claims to be Dean.
- 08:18 -Dean calls Bobby back. Bobby still doesn’t believe it’s Dean, going so far to say: “This ain’t funny. Call again, I’ll kill ya” before hanging up. This prompts Dean to hot wire a conveniently parked old beater of a white car and hit the road. Disappointingly, there’s no rock music to accompany the car theft and driving.
- 08:51. – Dean’s driven to Bobby’s place. He knocks on the door and introduces himself with a “Surprise!” Bobby reacts as most Hunters would when confronted by the recently deceased and grabs a knife.
- 09:09 -Dean defends himself before Bobby can get all super stabby, and justifies himself by reciting a few facts about Bobby that include the fact that Bobby “is the closest thing [Dean has] to a father,” which seems a little harsh towards Daddy Winchester. Sure, he’s currently dead and probably in Hell, but Dean is kind of proving that he shouldn’t let little details like that get him down.
- 9:47 – Bobby steps towards Dean, puts a reassuring hand on his shoulder and then slashes at him with the knife. the blow doesn’t land, and as the two briefly get their Itchy & Scratchy on as they fight and fight and fight, Dean disarms Bobby. To prove that he isn’t a shapeshifter or revenant, Dean use the knife, which is silver, to cut a bloody line in his arm. I have to wince and look away at that part, which is weird because I don’t have to for any of the murdery-ness or demonic torture hell bits in the episode so far.
- 10:12 – Bobby seems to buy it. Hugging and manly tears ensue. Bobby asks Dean how he escaped Hell and just as Dean is explaining that he has no explanation, Mr. Singer slings a bunch of (presumably holy) water in Dean’s face.
- 10:27 – Dean points out that he is not, in fact, a demon. Bobby responds with what seems to be his credo: “Sorry, can’t be too careful.” Bobby is the smart one so far.
- 10:43 – Based on dialog, I was slightly off at 04:58 in that Dean’s been dead for four months, not five. Neither Bobby nor Dean can quite understand how the latter is in such a pristine condition and not looking like a desiccated, dilapidated zombie.
- 11:43 – Exposition time! Dean claims he can’t remember anything between being a Hellhound’s chew toy and waking up in the coffin. I strongly suspect that he’s lying about that, but we shall see. Also, it sounds like Sam has gone dark and has basically been off solo hunting for the last few months without even contacting Bobby. On top of that, Sam insisted that Dean be buried rather than the more usual salt & burn treatment we’ve seen dead Hunters get. Apparently this was because Sam knew that Dean would need a body when Sam somehow got him back. Since Dean’s currently using his body, hard to say Sam was wrong. Though I don’t think Sam was involved in this resurrection.
- 12:33 – Dean thinks otherwise, and assumes that Sam made a deal to bring Dean back, because that’s what Dean would have done. (Lest we forget, that’s exactly how Dean ended up in Hell in the first place), and that the signs we’ve seen (Felled trees, exploding gas station and the burning hand brand thing on his shoulder) point to it being some serious bad juju. Since we’re talking about this show, I feel like I have to clarify that I’m using bad juju in a slang, and not literal sense.
- 13:32 – Dean uses cell phone GPS to track down Sam to Pontiac, Illinois, not far from Dean’s grave. I’m amused that the alias Sam’s been using for the cell phone account is “Wedge Antilles,” but then I’ve been on a bot of a Star Wars kick lately.
- 13:57 – Bobby and Dean knock on a hotel room door, and are answered by a rather fetching brunette in her tank top and underwear. They’re about to find a different room when a similarly under-dressed Sam wanders into the doorway and spots Dean.
- 14:15 – Continuing a minor running theme of the episode, Sam lunges at Dean with a knife and fighting ensues.
- 14:39 – It’s apparent that Sam had nothing to do with Dean’s resurrection. Once Bobby clarifies that they’ve done all the testing already and that it really is Dean, a brohug happens.
- 15:20 – The brunette wants to know if Sam & Dean are a couple. After clarifying that they’re brothers, the brunette leaves. Sam calls her “Kathy,” but she corrects him to “Christie.”
- 17:06 – It turns out that Sam did try and get Dean out by making deals, but not a single demon would take him up on it. None of the other resurrection methods Sam tried worked either. Right before we get the fade to black implying commercials, Dean and Bobby raise up an important question: If Sam didn’t get Dean out of Hell, what did?
- 18:28 – Turns out the reason sam’s near Dean’s gravesite is that he’s been trying to hunt Lilith. solo. that seems like a very bad idea, which Bobby calls out. Apparently a whole bunch of demonic activity was diverted to this area at roughly the same time Dean had risen from the grave. That seems suspicious. Almost as suspicious as the bra that Dean finds, which I assume Kathy/Christie left behind. Bobby decides to get in touch with a local-ish psychic to find out what she knows about demonic activity and how it connects to Dean being in a general state of not-deadness.
- 19:29 – Sam returns that funky amulet thing of Dean’s to its rightful owner, and then asks Dean what Hell was like. Dean stammers something about not remembering, which I still don’t believe. Especially as he gets a bunch of quick screaming flashbacks while looking in the bathroom mirror mere seconds later.
- 20:09 – As Bobby leads them down the interstate, Dean is reunited with his one true love, the Impala. Though Sam has disfigured her with an iPod. Also, from a 2017 perspective, the iPod looks freaking huge. Amazing what 9 years can do to technology.
- 21:36 – A brief brotherly conversation establishes that Sam, for some reason, was immune to Lilith’s burning light power thing, which is why he’s not dead. I’m pretty sure we saw that last episode. Per Sam, Ruby, who’s body Lilith had hi-jacked is currently either dead or in Hell. Dean also asks if Sam’s been using any of his psychic abilities (which really didn’t come up very much in season 3 for some reason). Sam says he hasn’t because that was practically Dean’s dying wish. Dean seems to approve of that.
- 22:08 – We meet the psychic, Pamela Barnes, who seems to have a bit of a “thing” for Bobby. The actress looks maddeningly familiar, but I can’t quite place her.
- 23:01 – Pamela hasn’t been successful using a ouija board to find out who brought Dean back, and suggests a séance, but definitely NOT a summoning. During the set up, we see that she has a “tramp stamp” that reads “Jesse Forever,” she uses the fact that the forever part was inaccurate to pretty blatantly flirt with Dean.
- 23:15 – And with Sam at the same time, which Dean is not down with.
- 23:41 – The séance begins in earnest. Pamela has to touch something the target touched, so she grabs Dean in an intimate area. Dean protests that he wasn’t touched there and unveils the hand-brand on his shoulder. Sam seems very shocked to see it.
- 24:16 – We get the ringing and white noise similar to the earlier gas station stuff. Pamela also gets a name – Castiel. Who is apparently warning her to stop.
- 25:06 – She doesn’t stop and Castiel (presumably) shows Pamela its face as she commands. this doesn’t go well, as her eyes burn out and start bleeding. She’s now blind. Sam calls 911 but I don’t see how that’ll be of much help.
- 26:30 – The brothers Winchester are in a diner, and as is often the case, arguing. Dean wants to face this Castiel and take it out because of the damage to Pamela (who’s now stable in ICU). Sam thinks that a creature who burns people’s eyes out of their skulls just by being looked at is too much to go up against. I agree with Sam this time. Sam’s alternate solution is to track down the demons he was chasing and ask them a few questions. Turns out they don’t need to track them down, because the other three people in the diner are those demons. They demand to know what makes Dean special enough that he got to walk out of Hell. Dean’s answer? “I like to think it’s because of my perky nipples.” It’s a working theory, but I have my doubts.
- 28:34 – Dean’s realized that the demons have no more idea who or what Castiel is than the brothers do. He also realizes that whatever got him out of hell is much more powerful than these demons, rendering their threats ineffectual. This is punctuated by him throwing two right hooks at the demon-possessed waitress, who only barely reacts by turning her head. It’s also an incredibly poorly shot couple of punches, as it’s incredibly, visibly obvious that the punches don’t come close to landing, despite the foley artist’s best efforts to sell them. They leave, but not before Dean manages to pay $10 for pie in an incredibly contemptuous fashion.
- 28:57 – The boys scarper from the diner. Sam doesn’t want to leave the demons in there. Dean rather reasonably points out that there’s at least three demons and they only have one Knife of Demon Stabbiness between them. Sam says he’s been killing more than that lately, which, ominous much?
- 29:45 – Sam sneaks out of the motel room whilst Dean sleeps. I’m guessing no good will come of this.
- 30:20 – Dean is awoken by the familiar static/high pitched noise combo. He grabs a shotgun, and aims it at the door. He also notices Sam’s absence from the room as he does so.
- 30:50 – The ringing gets louder, driving Dean to the ground and to cover both ears (meaning that he has dropped the shotgun). All the glass in the hotel room shatters and explodes again, just as Bobby bursts through the door and yells Dean’s name.
- 31:32 – Short time later, Bobby’s driving Dean down the highway. Dean calls Sam, who lies about wanting a burger. In return Dean lies about grabbing a beer with Bobby.
- 32:25 – Dean is actually planning to summon whatever the hell Castiel is, since he’s going to have to face it eventually, and he’d rather do it on his own terms (which involve the Knife of Demon Stabbiness, Bobby’s trunk arsenal and Sam not being there to stop them.) Dean thinks that Sam is better off where he is.
- 33:11 – Where Sam is, of course, turns out to be the demon-occupied diner from earlier, where at least one of the demons is now deceased and has had his eyes burned from his skull, much like what happened to Pamela back at 25:06
- 33:40 – One of the other demons (the waitress from earlier) jumps Sam, and they have an old-fashioned bout of fisticuffs. The demon waitress has also had her eyes burned out, but doesn’t appear to be as dead as her compatriot.
- 34:07 – Demon waitress saw whatever the heck Castiel is. Sam asks what she saw and is told “It’s the end. We’re dead. We’re all dead.” Sam isn’t satisfied with that and presses for more. Demon waitress tells him to go to Hell.
- 34:38 – Sam retorts that he was going to say that, and holds his hand out. Apparently he lied when he said he wasn’t using his psychic abilities, because he just used them to exorcise the demon from the waitress and send it to Hell.
- 35:18 – Kathy/Christie from earlier congratulates Sam on getting better all the time at this exorcism thing. Sam then identifies her as being Ruby, the very persistent demon from last season. I guess they’re an item now? This seems like a very, very poorly thought out decision, and I can’t imagine Dean will take it well if and when he finds out.
- 35:48 – Ruby is very certain that isn’t a demon that resurrected Dean, as there are no demons powerful enough to do that, not even Lilith. It’s nothing Ruby’s ever seen before, and since she’s got several centuries of experience, that seems like a big deal.
- 36:37 – Bobby & Dean have sprayed their location (looks like a warehouse) with every ward, trap, talisman and sigil they can possibly imagine, Dean’s gotten all the possible weapons and banishment accoutrements available to kill anything they’ve ever read about or encountered, and with those preparations, they begin the summoning ritual.
- 37:27 – Ruby & Sam have a brief chat in the diner about if they’re going to tell Dean about what they’re up to. Sam says that they will, just not yet. Sam also says that despite not trusting Ruby (so he isn’t entirely stupid) he’s saving people and killing demons and he wants to keep doing that, despite knowing that Dean will object.
- 38:21 – Back to Bobby & Dean, and something’s definitely coming, as the entire building starts to shake and rumble. Suddenly a gentleman cosplaying as John Constantine walks in, the barricaded doors parting before him, and each light bulb shattering as he walks beneath it.
- 38:51 – The new arrival walks over all the wards as if they weren’t there, and carries on slowly walking without flinching as Bobby & Dean unload their shotguns into him. Dean grabs the Knife of Demon Stabbiness and asks the stranger who he is. the response? “I’m the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition.” Dean does thank him for it.
- 39:28 – Such politeness is rather canceled out when Dean drives the Knife of Demon Stabbiness into the stranger’s chest. The stranger just looks at the knife, pulls it out and drops it on the ground like it ain’t no thing. After that, he renders Bobby unconscious by gently poking at his forehead and tells Dean that they need to talk. Alone.
- 39:48 – Dean asks the stranger who he is. To no one’s surprise he answers “Castiel.” Castiel’s answer to the follow up question of “What are you?” is certainly a bit more surprising. “I’m an Angel of the Lord.”
- 40:20 – Dean is disbelieving, saying that there’s no such thing as angels. considering he’s literally just spent time in Hell, you think he’d be less skeptical about mythological/religious beings. Castiel reveals his wings, which are black in a really neat effect to prove the truth of his angelic status.
- 40:49 – Apparently the burning out of eyes is what happens when humans see Castiel’s true form, which is why he tried to warn Pamela from seeing his face earlier. also, those explodey things at the motel and gas station are side effects of Castiel talking in his true voice.
- 41:12 – Apparently certain special people can see Castiel’s true form without harm. Castiel had incorrectly assumed that Dean was one of those people. He explains that his current form is a “vessel,” and that the owner of the body was a devout man who prayed to be occupied in such a way, so it’s a little bit different from your run of the mill demonic possession.
- 41:59 – Dean demands to know why he was rescued from Hell. Castiel appears to read him and discovers that Dean doesn’t believe he deserved rescuing. Nevertheless, Castiel answers Dean’s question about why: “Because God commanded it. Because we have work for you.”
Well, okay then. Dean Winchester is back from the dead, and so is this “Lost Limey Watches Supernatural” series, that was effectively on hiatus for the entirety of 2016 and most of 2017. Still, it’s back now, and I will try to be on a more regular schedule going forwards. This time, I actually mean that, too.
This was a damned good episode to come back with, as it sets up a lot of stuff for the future. We have our first glimpse of angels in Supernatural with Castiel. I haven’t watched ahead, but I’m generally aware enough of the fandom that I know he’s kind of a big deal, so that’ll be fun.
Now, let’s take a look at the raft of questions I had after the Season 3 finale, and see if any of them have been answered:
“How will they get Dean out of Hell?”
Apparently, by bringing in angels, which is a whole new section of mythology for them to play with. Incidentally, a little bit of research tells me that Castiel (or sometimes Cassiel) is a pre-existing angel also known as “The Angel of Thursday,” “The Angel of Saturn,” or “God is my Anger” mentioned in the Third Book of Enoch among other sources. Not sure if any of that will prove relevant, but it’s interesting to me.
In a new body, and apparently pursuing a working relationship (at the very least) with Sam Winchester
“Where’s Lilith?”, “What is Lilith’s plan? Does she have plans for Sam and/or Dean?”
All we know for now is that Lilith is still at large despite the Sam and Ruby dream team trying to hunt for her while Dean was dirt napping.
Like pretty much all of the Kripke/Manners episodes, this was a blast to sit through, had a lot going on, and has set up a bunch of ongoing plot threads that intrigue. The obvious ones that I want to see are Dean finding out about Ruby, more on Lilith. Why was Dean allowed out of Hell? If God and the angels have a plan for him, what is that plan? And does that mean we’ll see God on this show? If so, how on Earth will they portray Him?
Hopefully we find out sooner rather than later, and equally hopefully, I keep abreast of this show/blogwatch series with something approaching regularity.