Supernatural 4.01 "Lazarus Rising"
This is four months after the events that took place from the third season finale after the confrontation with Lilith and Dean's time ran out with his deal. Here we are following through Dean's POV where in the beginning we see Dean mysteriously get transported back from Hell and is awakened inside his own coffin box. He digs himself out and is trying to understand what happened to him, discovering it's been four months since he'd died. He goes to find Bobby and Sam, both who react as they should realizing that he who'd been sent to Hell is walking around again, and now they're trying to figure out who brought Dean back and for what purpose.
As promised by Kripke both Dean and Sam are in different places; Dean is going to be discovering more about himself and Sam, having spent four months without his brother has already been dealing with some things that he's not sure he's ready to reveal just yet, which can lead to trust issues between these two. Along with startling revelations, things are about to get more interesting this season than in the previous seasons, especially the last one.
Dean Winchester, Back From Hell With A New Purpose
It had been revealed in an interview that Dean would finally be connected with the bigger plot of the series, and at first I thought he already was, since being a Winchester and all that. Until this episode aired, which gives me new thinky-thoughts about what this could mean.
Coming back from the dead or from something so horrific is life-altering, I mean really. I've always considered this like a metaphor for soldiers who come back from war and trying to adjust back into the normal life routine after witnessing and seeing the things they saw. You cannot undo what you've been exposed to or what you experienced, it changes you, and while Dean doesn't remember all those months, which will be revealed to as possibly years, in Hell, it's obvious that during his time back he will start to remember things. What had happened to him, what he experienced and felt. Dean is still Dean Winchester and yet, in a way, he's changed. He's been through something and you can't just go back to your old habits without that haunting you in the back of your head, not really. This is what Buffy went through in BtVS and what Kara Thrace went through in BSG (which I consider the latter a comparison to what Dean's going through), trying to understand their purpose in this life after going through a drastic change. It changes them in such a fundamental way.
In "Lazarus Rising" we're given the startling revelation that Dean was saved from Hell by Cestriel, an Angel Of God, and was brought back to do a bigger purpose in the name of God. Interestingly, the ironic thing about that is Dean doesn't have faith in God or doesn't believe in such things, despite believing in demons and spirits and all of that, so this revelation is a huge step back from Dean's realm of comprehension.
Dean's purpose this season is going to go in the opposite direction in which Sam's journey is heading, since he seems to be embracing his demonic side of his destiny. The yin and the yang, two brothers against each other in the Light versus Dark battle. I'm guessing this is the Big Damn War we've been talking about, not just a plain demon war but the war between Heaven and Hell which could ultimately destroy the world. This could mean a lot for Dean, which is all connected back to the Winchester legacy, meaning coming back to the beginnings of how it all started. Mary Winchester.
But that'll be for a later time of speculation.
Supernatural: Hell and Demons Coincide With Heaven and Angels
I've been reading other people's thoughts and comments about this new revelation, and I find it interesting that many are undecided or indifferent to the religious aspect that has been introduced ever since the beginning of the show. I mean, it strikes me as strange that people would be uncomfortable with such a concept of God or Heaven. I understand that not everyone believes in it, but take it objectively for a moment in understanding the universe and mythos of the show -- wouldn't it make sense that if there are demons and a Hell, that there would be a Heaven and possibly a God-like deity as well? They go hand-in-hand; Darkness and Light; one cannot survive without the other, and if a full-out war occurs between the two sides, then that means it's the end of the world. Literally.
The way I see it, Kripke has created this world where we've been so familiar with the demons and the monsters and spirits that it seems that fans are unwilling to accept the turn of events to going to the other side of things. But seriously people, this is the kind of mytharc the show was built on. We've heard references throughout the seasons of the concept of God and Heaven, of a possible afterlife for spirits though they have no idea where, Dean's lack of faith and whatever is in connection to the Winchester legacy. And it's not like they haven't used biblical references before -- with Azazel, Lilith, the demonology and their belief system of a higher power, being Lucifer; with episodes like "Houses of the Holy" and "Faith". The subject matter has the an underlining aspect of the show, and they're finally dealing with it head-on, which I am liking. A lot.
I mean, angels aren't all that white and fluffy. Some can be really motherfucking scary. Remember Raiders of the Lost Ark? Or Good Omens and Legend (thanks to my sister for citing these almost immediately)? The Good versus Evil in terms of the holy and unholy is just, motherfucking epic man.
Needless to say, I'll probably be talking more about the angels and demons and the whole mythology of the show later, perhaps in a separate theories and speculations post. Because this shit is TOO DAMN GOOD not to talk about. Also, my brain is still kind of fried from last night's squeeing. I also don't claim to be an expert on this kind of topic (I leave that to my very own Walking Encyclopedia of Weirdness, a.k.a. my sister), but yeah it just makes so much sense they'd be getting into this now. Everything's at stake and it's just going to be FUCKING AWESOME.
Sam Winchester: The Boy King Antichrist Will Rise
I'm pleasantly surprised to see Sam practicing and training to use his psychic abilities. The whole exorcism without the exorcizing bit of sending the demon back to Hell with only his mind? Now that's something I think should be used. Less sloppy, gets the human host unharmed without the killing or stabbing or the difficult Devil's Trap/Latin exorcisms. However, because it's been four months we're seeing a completely different Sam, much like we're seeing a completely different Dean. Except, not really.
Sam has been out of touch with Bobby all those months, he's been secretly practicing and learning to acquire his abilities from within with the help of Ruby, and he'd tried every which way to get Dean out from Hell. From some of the descriptions of interviews it seems like he's been kind of reckless in his hunting, as from what he's said he's tried everything from reopening the Devil's Gate to bargaining with other demons, to tracking down Lilith. He's truly becoming a real badass and accepting his nature of who he is, and he's totally thinking that using this kind of power will only things in the long run. For whatever's to come.
However, one has to remember Ava. She believed she could control her powers too, but she fell in too deep. Our little Sammy might just go down the same morally gray path, as we've seen too many glimpses of this during the past season. Besides, Sam did come back from the dead different. This could lead to a brother versus brother, something I'm completely stoked for. They've both changed significantly, and time is closing in on what this upcoming war means and this new revelation of what brought Dean back and everything. I also have theories about that, and I'll get to that in a second, but they're going to be keeping more secrets from each other. Sam has already been doing that prior to this episode, so I'm betting the brotherly rivals are going to be very nasty, perhaps violent.
Also no, I don't believe Sam and Ruby are sleeping together. I think they're just rooming and traveling together as allies instead of being fuckbuddies. Though you never know. I still prefer Katie!Ruby than new!Ruby, which I wouldn't have minded but with new!Ruby IDK.
Speculations and Theories: God's Plan and the End of the World
Obviously I've said I'll be talking more about the angels and demons aspect of the show later, but after what Castiel said about God and all over holy beings having work for Dean to carry out, I felt this meant something important. They brought him out from Hell so he could do God's work on the surface, and the question is what kind of work? I can only imagine it has to be connected with our little Sammy Winchester and his supposed destiny as the leader of the demon army. Perhaps Dean's duty is to stop him from becoming the Antichrist for this coming war, and knowing Sam he'll refuse this and thus the conflict between brothers is going to happen.
We know that Sam is powerful, but just how powerful? He thinks he can do good if he's careful and moderating what he does, but is that really what he's been chosen? Remmeber, the YED favored Sam over all the other "special children", and we saw that he has demon blood inside of him, so perhaps there's a bigger plan for Sam and Dean has to stop this plan from taking place.
Which also leads to more questions. What is Ruby's place in all of this? We know that this season, if what I've read is true despite Katie Cassidy no longer playing her, we're going to learn a bit more about her involvement and why she's taken such an interest in helping Sam achieve in his powers and to rise to his destiny. But is there another motive to all this? Does she believe because she remembers what it's like to be human that, if she prepares Sam to fight in this war, that she can finally ascend to the Heavens or something? Or is she really taking advantage of Sam in this manner? It's all very vague at this point, even if I still think Ruby's character kicks ass
There's also the backstory of Mary which we will finally be getting to this season. I suspect that due to her belief in angels, saying that angels were "wathcing over" Dean when he was little to whatever possible secrets she was harboring of what she'd gotten herself into is the start of this whole thing. I also believe that she was also behind getting Dean out from Hell, somehow.
Light and Darkness, Hell on Earth, battle between Good and Evil. Oh boy, this season is going to be bringing in the intensity, like whoa. And I'm prepared to be blown away.
Shiny Things From The Premiere:
++ DEAN BB IT'S BEEN FOREVER, MISSED U!
++ Dean digging himself from his grave. Very much like Buffy, and even Kripke has mentioned the brilliance of Buffy and of Joss so, perhaps this was an homage to it. Although it's what one would do if they were buried six feet under and had just woken up. And you know what I loved about that whole little sequence? The fact that Dean's voice was hoarse. Not only had he not been in his physical body for four months, but he'd been screaming in Hell for Lord knows how long (and it's definitely longer than four months downstairs, that's a fact Kripke has confirmed). So going to the machine to drink from the water bottle and continue sounding hoarse a little afterwards is just frakking awesome. I mean, talk about Jensen being a fantastic actor in general, damn.
++ Dean going after teh snackies and teh porns (Busty Asian Beauties returns!)
++ The whole thing about the screeching beyond human hearing level, which is basically an angel's voice that human beings cannot comprehend no matter how hard they try, really creeped me out. Although once realizing that HOLY SHIT BURNING EYEBALLS meant angels, because you're not supposed to see holy beings (thank you Raiders of the Lost Ark).
++ Both Bobby and Sam having the same reaction of stabbing/attacking Dean as soon as they see him. Never can take any chances for hunters, y'know.
++ I was actually kind of surprised that Kristy is actually new!Ruby. Kripke really kept his mouth shut about that, even at Comic-Con, didn't he? He mentioned something about Sam being with a new girl and decided to fuck with us. Oh, Kripke. Anyway, at first I thought that she was going to be some kind of helpful hunter or something with that kind of knowledge after seeing her at the diner before Sam mentioned Ruby's name. I still don't know, I want Katie back since she'll always be Ruby for me. There's not enough snark with Genevieve and Ruby's supposed to be snarky and a bit of a sarcastic bitch, as demons are. But IDK, we'll see. This is her first episode so perhaps her acting will improve.
++ Castiel, the Angel of the Lord that brought Dean back from the Pit, IS SO FUCKING HOT. I DON'T CARE, HE'S A HOTASS AND IT'S NICE TO SEE NEW EYECANDY ON THE SHOW! YAY!
++ Also, there must be something in the air for actors because Sammy's hair is all slicked back. The same with Sylar and Mohinder's hairstyle that I've seen in some of the Heroes S3 promo pictures. Srsly television peoples, WTH?
++ AWESOME TITLE CARD IS AWESOME! It's all red and pretty, and according to some there's angel wings that appears in it. I need to see this again and if so, HOLY SHIT this show is awesome.
++ Dean reunited with the Metallicar. They are the ultimate OTP! ♥
++ BOBBY FTW! :D :D :D :D
++ "Are you two like, together?" Hee! Even if Ruby was playing her part as Kristy it's totally the amping it up for the fangirls.
++ They are back to the dark grittiness of the show! No more bright filters! YAY!
++ Totally forget to mention this earlier -- that demon chick in the diner, TOTES WAS SELIX FROM BSG! U GUISE THAT WAS SELIX! OMGOMGOMG! The thing about filming in Canada, you'll get some fine actors from other series. They seem to be using a lot of BSG actors quite a bit. *is praying for a Katee or Grace or Mary guest-spot* :D
Overall: Is it too soon to say that this is the best episode so far? Because this premiere is like, for the fucking win entirely. So much epicness that's about to be strung along for this upcoming season, and I'm really anticipating everything. Last season was kind of lackluster aside from Dean's deal, and now we're going further into the mythology that's going to lead us into some heavy mojo for the boys. It's going to be awesome, but also intense, and possibly scary. Mysteries unfolding and more questions rising, and I'm just REALLY excited.