Spoilers.

Supernatural Official Site

The Time:
Thursdays, 9:00 PM, The CW

The Show:

Sam
and Dean Winchester are two brothers who roam the back roads of America
in a 1967 Chevy Impala hunting evil.  At first they fought all
of the usual: vampires, ghosts, werewolves and the like, but in recent
yeas they’ve found themselves more and more dealing with the literal
forces of Hell as a demon war has been brewing for centuries, with the Winchesters playing pivotal roles.  Now, through the machinations of both demons and angels alike, Lucifer has been set free to walk the Earth.  Sam and Dean find themselves caught between the angels and demons, but they may be the only two people who stand between humanity and the Apocalypse.

The Stars:

- Jared Padalecki – Sam Winchester
- Jensen Ackles – Dean Winchester
- Jim Beaver – Bobby
- Misha Collins – Castiel
- Kurt Fuller – Zachariah
- Rob Benedict – Chuck Surley
- Rachel Miner – Meg

The Episode: “Sympathy for the Devil”

All hell is finally breaking loose – literally.  Sam and Dean are at ground zero for Lucifer’s reemergence upon the Earth from his prison in Hell.  When they receive some unexpected assistance, presumably from a higher power, they have to regroup and strategize how they’re going to try to deal with him.  But just as important, they have to see if they can continue to coexist as brothers after the events of last season.  That issue gets put on the back burner, however, when some demons show up in the most unexpected of places, including an old acquaintance.

The Lowdown:

This was actually more of a sedate episode than I was expecting.  It turns out that just because Lucifer is loose doesn’t mean that the Earth immediately goes down the crapper.  There are still hoops to jumped through on both sides of the coming war, not the least of which is Lucifer finding a vessel to inhabit on Earth.  After all, he is still an angel and, according to head angel, Zachariah, Lucifer wearing a meat suit is still part of the rules.  What’s more, Ole Scratch can’t just take over some poor slob.  Said slob has to give consent to be possessed.  Lucifer’s intended target is Nick (Mark Pellegrino), a man whose wife and daughter who were recently murdered by an intruder.  Lucifer appears to him as his dead wife and lays out his case for inhabiting Nick and bringing Justice for his murdered family by holding God himself accountable for their losses.  Lucifer tells Nick that he has no need to lie about anything he’s saying because he simply “:doesn’t need to.”  The truth speaks volumes.

Meanwhile, Sam and Dean looked to be facing certain annihilation as Lucifer came up from Hell; but they were unexpectedly whisked away from the scene by forces unexplained, ending up on a plane overhead.  They regroup at Chuck’s place, only to learn that the archangel that was bearing down on Castiel in the Season 4 finale utterly obliterated him.  Sam and Dean each have trouble trying to reconcile Sam’s choosing Ruby over Dean and thus being directly responsible for breaking the final seal and allowing Lucifer to go free.  Sam is no longer feening for demon blood, but he is struggling with the guilt.  And Dean only wants to table the issue of whether or not the brothers are cool.

Both the angels and demons make appearances this episode, with the demons being ecstatic over Lucifer being freed, and the angels, led by Zachariah, being the smarmy bastards we remember.  It’s hard to tell which are actually worse.  Zachariah is every bit as vicious as any demon and there’s definitely no love lost between him and Dean, which is evident by Dean’s censor-pushing language.  The angels have plans for Dean fulfilling his role in preventing Lucifer from bringing the end times, but Dean is less than cooperative.  It turns out that Dean is to be the vessel for the archangel Michael – yes the Michael – and Zach and the other angels need for him to give his consent to be inhabited so the angels’ main badass can do his thing and send Lucifer back to Hell, just as he did before.  When the angels won’t take no for an answer, an unexpected ally shows back up to help the brothers out.

When the demons make an unexpected appearance, they show up in the most unexpected person: Bobby.  And we get reintroduced to an old friend: Meg.  The typical demon / Winchesters smackdown ensues and Bobby is badly wounded in order to save them.  On a side note, how Dean and Sam still have all their teeth after these encounters is beyond me.  Man there’s some lumber thrown in these fights.  There’s also a humorous subplot where Chuck engages his #1 fan, a girl named Becky (Emily Perkins) to help warn the Winchesters where the fabled Michaelsword, the weapon that can send Lucifer back to his prison.  Becky herself is an aspiring author who seems to take the harlequin romance angle toward her writing and who also has a very touchy-feely obsession with Sam that he finds more than a little uncomfortable.

When Bobby was possessed, he told Sam that there’s no forgiving him for letting Lucifer go.  That turned out to be the demon talking.  But in the final scene between Sam and Dean, Dean echoes the sentiment, although not as harshly.  He tells Sam that he doesn’t think they can ever get back to where they were as brothers and worse, doesn’t think he can trust him even more.  The hurt in his eyes when he says that Sam was the one that he relied upon the most and now that’s gone, probably forever, was palpable.

This upcoming Apocalypse looks to be on the slow burn rather than the full on boil, which I guess was to be expected.  Nevertheless, this is yet another solid opening to what could end up being the final season.  Glad that the show is back a couple of weeks early and definitely looking forward to watching the season unfold.

7.8 out of 10