It's been a year since the events of last season's finale; the 'Then' recap flashes scenes of Sam jumping in the pit, telling Dean to go find Lisa and live the normal life neither of them thought they'd have. Dean wakes up in the 'Now', in bed next to Lisa. Once again, the music for this show is perfection, Bob Seger's 'Beautiful Loser' playing in the background. Dean goes about his day; instead of trunks full of weapons and cutting off vamp heads, he's working construction and having back-yard cookouts. He's no longer in the Impala, he's got a big clunker of a truck and works on the engine with his maybe-son Ben. It would look like Dean's successfully managed to have the normal life he never had, if it wasn't for the sawed-off and jar of holy water under his bed and the super-depressed look he's carrying on his face the entire time.
Dean's out at a bar with his neighbor Sid, having guy night. As far as Sid knows, Dean's travelled the country for most of his life, a traveling 'pest controller'. "You have no idea what's in some people's walls", he tells Sid. A hot waitress with a cool tattoo hits on Dean, who is just realizing that unavailable guys always get the best girls.
Outside the bar, Dean hears a scream; being Dean, he grabs his hidden gun from his truck and goes to check it out, breaking into the shut-down hotel being refurbished across the street. Uh-oh, claw marks on the wall. And further down- blood. Looks like there's definitely something going on.
Back at home, Dean's on the phone impersonating a police officer, trying to find out if there's any missing persons or suspicious activity around the area. Lisa comes down and he gets off the phone, not wanting her to know what he's been up to. I don't think she'd be too thrilled about him looking into a hunt. After promising to be up to bed soon, he goes about his nightly routine of locking the house of for the night. Dean may be playing at being normal as much as he can, but he's still got a Devil's trap under his rug.
Driving around town the next morning, Dean spots another set of claw marks, which leads to even more. Following them, he's led to a shed in his neighbor's yard. Pulling his gun, he's about to kill…a yorkie. Sid spots him before he's got the gun put away and is obviously a little weirded out. Dean makes up a crap excuse about a possum, and is about to leave when he spots sulfur. Something obviously been there.
Dean heads to his garage, where he has the Impala under a tarp. He's loading up some hunting equipment, when Lisa walks in on him. At first he tries to hide what he's doing, but she's on to him (and can I say, completely awesome). Dean comes mostly clean to her about looking into whatever's going on, and she warns him to be careful. Dean sends her and Ben off to the movies for the evening, promising that he'll just look into it and be done.
After Lisa's left the garage, the lights start flickering. Somethings in there with him. When he turns to investigate, someone sneaks up behind him. When Dean turns back around, he's face-to-face with old Yellow Eyes, Azazal. Geez, I had forgotten how much I love that guy.Azazel taunts him as he's got Dean by the throat "You can't outrun your past" he tells him, before being stabbed with a syringe full of who-knows-what by none other than Sam. Dean passes out, and when he wakes up, he's in a run-down house, staring at his brother. Dean immediately assumes he's dead and in Heaven, but Sam tells him that he's been poisoned, and all the things that he's seen have been hallucinations. After a quick 'I'm still human, see!' test, It's time for our awesome, long-awaited Winchester hug. Aww!
Sam has no idea how he's back from Hell. One minute he was in the cage, and the next he was in the field where it all went down. Sam hasn't been able to get hold of Castiel or find out anything about why he's back. He searched "for weeks". Crap. Dean's pissed; Sam's been back almost the whole time and hadn't come for him. Sam didn't want to uproot Dean after he had finally gotten his normal life, but Dean doesn't care about that- he just wanted his brother back.
Dean asks what Sam's been doing without him; he hooked up with some other hunters. Dean can't believe that Sam's been hunting with strangers, but Sam insists that they're "more like family". I don't like where that's going. It doesn't seem like Dean does either. Sam leads Dean into the other room, where hunters he introduces as Gwen, Christian, and Mark Campbell are all sitting. Campbell- as in Mary. As in…really distant relatives.
Dean's a little untrusting, he didn't even know that his mom had any living relatives. Things get even weirder when Samuel Campbell walks out. You remember him, right? The boys' dead grandfather, who apparently is back in the land of the living. He guesses that whatever "pulled Sam up, pulled him down." They don't know why they're back, but it's for a reason, and most likely bad. They've been hunting Djinn, who now look like regular people and can affect people with a touch. That's what dosed Dean, but Samuel has a cure for the poison, which is a little too coincidental for my tastes.
Dean has a bit of a freak out- if the Djinn were after him, that means they could get Ben and Lisa. Sam drives him home in his little douchey car, and they search for Lisa and Ben. The guard that Samuel posted at the house is dead, and Dean can't find his family. Whew, they're back- Dean's so freaked he forgot they were at the movies.
Dean packs up his family and takes them all to Bobby's. Bobby looks surprised to see them. "If you're here, something's wrong." I agree Bobby. While Lisa and Ben get comfortable upstairs (with a warning to not touch any of the weapons, chances are they're loaded), Sam comes around the corner. Bobby doesn't even cock an eyebrow, he's known Sam's been back…all year. If Dean was pissed before, he's even more so now. Dean spent the last year drunk and out of his mind, trying to find any way to bring Sam back. Bobby isn't taking Dean's crap though- he was so glad to see Dean be able to walk away from hunting, he didn't want to tell him. That right there is why Bobby is cooler than all the Winchesters.
Dean has an uncomfortable break-up talk with Lisa; she takes it really well, but then again, she's taken everything that's been happening well. She's pretty much the most awesome girl to stay alive on Supernatural this long. Dean sucks at goodbyes, apparently, and apologizes for everything. "You're an idiot', Lisa tells him; she's not wrong. She just wanted someone that Ben could look up to like a dad, the last year had been the best of her life. Dean now feels like a huge jerk, but is on the road nonetheless.
Back with the Campbell's, they're preparing for the hunt, Christian tells Dean to "leave it to the professionals." Wrong move Christian, Dean's "almost like a professional" and suggests that they use him for bait rather than sit around and wait. Christian shuts up, he knows when he's been owned.
We're back at Dean's house once again (there hasn't been an ugly themed motel room yet, and I'm pretty sure withdrawals are kicking in). With a bunch of hunters in his house, you can see how they don't fit into his new life, as Sam gives incredulous looks to golf clubs and Gwen makes fun of the fashion magazines laid out on the coffee table. Samuel comes into the kitchen where Dean is possibly hiding from his relatives. While he understands that Dean wants a normal life, something bigger than just Djinn is going down. Samuel tells Dean about all the things happening- nocturnals out during the day, half-eaten hearts, monsters that they've never even seen before. They NEED Dean; he's got hunting in his blood, so far back that he had "ancestors hacking the heads off vamps on the Mayflower." Whatever is going down is big, and they need everyone they can get.
The Djinn are just sitting outside the house, waiting. Dean sends the Campbells packing, bait's no good when it's surrounded by hunters. Alone in the house with Sam, Dean is anything but okay. He doesn't understand what would bring back his brother and grandfather. Sam refuses to talk about Hell, even though the only person who would understand is standing across from him.
Dean glances out the window and sees his neighbors getting attacked by the Djinn. While he goes rushing out to save them, one of the Djinn is already inside the house and goes after Sam. Dean's too late to save his neighbors, and the remaining two Djinn- one being the waitress from the bar- gives him a double dose of poison, more than enough to kill him.
After Sam beats in the skull of one of the Djinn with Dean's golf club, the other two show up, having finished with Dean, whose now hallucinating that Lisa and Ben are back at the house. He sees Azazel waiting for them, and then he's in Ben's room, with Lisa on the ceiling and Ben's drinking Azazal's blood. As she's being ceiling-ed, Lisa keeps repeating "It's all your fault". Looks like Dean's worst nightmares are the things he's been dealing with his whole life.
Samuel shows up just in time to help Sam with the Djinn; after he sends Sam to help Dean, he bags the waitress Djinn and puts her in the van. Something is so not right here.
Sam saves Dean, and when they get back, the Campbells are gone. Dean tells Sam that he's staying with Lisa and Ben; Sam wasn't expecting that. He wants Dean with him because unlike him,Dean tries to save everyone no matter what, while Sam doesn't even think to try anymore. Dean tries to give Sam the Impala, but Sam's pretty happy with his own super douchey car. The boys say their good-byes, and Sam leaves Dean outside his house.
The entire time I was watching, there was something that just felt 'off' about the episode. It wasn't until it was over that I realized what it was- it felt like a pilot. Supernatural and it's creator Eric Kripke had a five year plan, which was wrapped up last season. With Sera Gamble now at the helm, it makes sense that the show would be going in a different direction.
It feels very similar to when Doctor Who changes production teams; it's still the same show, but it's reinvented itself into something a little bit different. The slight change in the show is inevitably going to cause a stir amongst its fanbase, but it just might be for the better. It's evolving into something more than just it's 'Monster-of-the-Week' format, even more so than it has before. I'm very excited to see where this season is going to take us.
Also, I don't trust Sam Winchester. It needed to be said.