Episode Review – Meet the New Boss

SPOILERS

Quote of the night: “I know God, and you are no God.” -Death

With this premiere I believe I have coined a 2nd law of Supernatural: “The more urgent the premiere, the better the season.”  What do I mean?  (Note: I’ve been spending a bit of time on ScriptShadow of late, and I’d like to thank them for helping me expand my vocabulary.)  Each premiere has 2 jobs: wrap up what happened at the close of last season and set the stage for the season to come.  It’s this latter job which gives us this new law (and season 7 will confirm or debunk it).  The premieres for the best seasons set up the arc for that season with a lot of tension and urgency in the action.  Even though we know the arc won’t be solved right away the next episode, it would be best for the characters the sooner it was solved.  For example, Season 2: The Demon now has their father and is still planning something.  Season 4: God has a job for Dean (and we learn it’s to prevent the apocalypse).  Season 5: Stop Satan.  What was the premiere of season 3?  Dean’s going to hell – but we have a year to fix this so no need to rush.  Season 6?  Monsters are out and about – even if we wanted to there’s no way of solving this in a day.  (Note that season 1 was kind of middle of the road on this scale and note that it was a mix of good and bad.)

Season 7?

Well the creators of the show finally stopped teasing us with the name dropping of last season and played the Lovecraftian “Old Ones” card.  Even adding a bit of a Judeo-Christian twist with calling them Leviathan (hint: look in Job – also a bit of a shout out to Legion from the New Testament).  The second things that existed after God & Death, long before Angels or Man.  Which seems to finally answer our question of what was ‘Eve’ from the last season?  She must be the first and oldest Leviathan.  (Which makes their failure to refer to her as Echidna even more annoying since she’s a bit Lovecraftian in the original myths and especially in John C Wright’s Chaos trilogy.)  At the end of season five, I wondered if the entire story arc was designed by God to test the value of Free Will.  With this revelation of the order and hierarchy, one wonders if the close of this season, we’ll see that God created angels and souls to ultimately solve the problem(s) of Leviathan.

Character wise…

I’m just a little bugged by Crowley’s and Castiel’s interaction.  Wasn’t Crowley already getting the souls that God dictated he would receive?  I wasn’t real sure what the big difference was with the new God’s terms.

Nice to see things between the characters being more within character.  Dean’s just a little less whiny, though I miss his determinator days.  I do like how they’re showing just how bad Sam is, mentally.  Part of me is a little disappointed that they seem to have confirmed that Lucifer put Sam through torture himself in Hell.  I wanted to see it be a case of blowback from being trapped in a small “room” while two of the most powerful beings in existence have their long, LONG brewing battle.  (that could have also been interesting last season – Sam actually did have a soul, but it was so small and beaten down from the battle’s collateral that he had to spend the season healing it)  Or are they going to reveal that once in the cage, Lucifer and Michael actually worked out their problems?  Could releasing them to fight the Leviathans be this season’s end goal?

Finally, very well done on Castiel and I was impressed that the show demonstrated just how hard a job being God might be; even giving us an idea of why God moves in subtle/mysterious ways.  Though part of me kept wondering if all the national attention would eventually identify God as one “Jimmy Novak of Pontiac Illinois”.  (Speaking of which, I hope Jimmy’s poor soul was sent to Heaven long ago and Castiel has just been using an empty vessel.) Kudos also to Misha Collins for carrying this episode and letting us see his demo reel for replacing Heath Ledger as the next Joker (assuming he doesn’t play Bruce Wayne – which I still say he totally could).

So, even though I’m reluctant to score it too high (preparing for season 5 to disappoint me), by my pre-established standards, I can’t help but rank this episode as:

 

Dare I say it but I almost feel… hopeful.

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