The King of Hell in my trunk and an angel riding shotgun

Welcome back, Sam and Dean! It’s been too long, boys.

The ninth season (ninth!) of Supernatural wasted no time in its premiere episode. Several new threads were laid out for what promises to be an exciting season. I only hope as we dive into a new season that the writers have the focus and the show has the budget to fulfill the promise set forth in “I Think I’m Going to Like It Here.”

Let’s get into that promise, starting with the images we see via news reports of a worldwide meteor shower: thousands of angels have fallen. They’re confused, they’re pissed, and most of them blame Castiel. Having that many angels out there opens up an exciting universe for this season to explore. I hope the encounters Dean had in this episode are the first of many we get this season. Judging by the new title card, it appears this will be the “angel” season of Supernatural. I’m excited to see Heaven and its inner-workings explored more this season, and I hope this will lead the show to address the absentee God issue its struggled with since Season 5, when the Winchesters were supposed to meet God but the writers backed out and gave us Joshua instead.

Ezekiel’s possession of Sam is the second biggest development to come out of the premiere. While I’m tired of seeing the Winchesters at Death’s door (literally) on such a regular basis, I’m genuinely excited about this storyline. We don’t know Ezekiel’s agenda but he appears to have good intentions based on his actions in this episode. Then again, when has an angel ever acted without an ulterior motive on this show? I don’t think Ezekiel has nefarious intent the same way Metatron did, but I do think he has a plan that includes using Sam as his vessel. Say, fighting against Heaven’s new landlord once he and Sam regain their strength?

I’m not crazy about the idea of Castiel as a human, but I’m willing to give this storyline a shot. The writers have had no idea what to do with Castiel since he became the new god, so my hope is that this arc will allow the writers to give Castiel a purpose once more. He sure seems determined to make a difference and I think that will manifest in two ways: 1) helping angels adjust to human life 2) hunting with Sam and Dean. The idea of Castiel as a hunter was floated last season and I think that thread will be revisited now that Castiel is sans-powers.

In addition to setting up this season’s major storylines, this episode also felt like a reunion tour. Death and Bobby showed up, and Crowley kinda made an appearance. I loved Death’s “Well played, my boy” during his conversation with Sam because it encapsulates the respect all beings have for what the Winchesters have accomplished. Bobby reiterated that message to Sam and urged him to let go, once and for all. While it was nice to see Bobby again, I hope this is his last appearance for a while. It’s difficult to appreciate his great legacy when he’s popping up multiple times per season.

The previews for next week make it appear the conflict with Abaddon is taking center stage. I’m happy to see that storyline revisited given the way Season 8 pulled a switcheroo at the last second, but I hope it doesn’t take up more than two episodes. I enjoy watching the demons scramble with Crowley in custody; I just don’t care for Alaina Huffman, the actress playing Abaddon. She was a guest star on Smallville and fails to bring any real gravitas to her roles. The less we see of her this season, the better.

One final note: has Dean not learned how idiotic it is to keep secrets from Sam? Does he think Sam is going to respond well after learning that he’s been lied to yet again? This show has made the answer clear time and time again: NO.

Line of the week

"I’ve got the King of Hell in my trunk." - Dean

Catch the rest of my Supernatural recaps this season over at TV Blend. I’ve been recapping for that site since the beginning of Season 7. Stop by and share your thoughts on the website or on Facebook!