‘Supernatural’ Season Premiere Review: “We Need To Talk About Kevin”
‘Supernatural’ season 8 burst out of Purgatory with its first episode of the season "We Need To Talk About Kevin," as Sam and Dean reconnect following Dean's escape, and search for the missing prophet Kevin (Osric Chau), who may hold the key to an important new tablet that will rid the world of demons permanently.
Last season’s ‘Supernatural’ finale “Survival of the Fittest” saw Sam and Dean taking the fight to Dick Roman with a little help from Castiel and Meg, while Bobby faced a difficult decision in answering for his violent ghostly behavior, so what does the season 8 premiere bring? Will the Winchesters finally be able to rid the world of Crowley's demonic scum?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Supernatural’ season 8 premiere “We Need To Talk About Kevin!”
In the wilderness of Maine, one year after the events of “Survival of the Fittest,” two teenagers camp when they're disturbed by a bright light nearby, and sounds of a figure outside. When the boy goes to investigate, he’s startled by the appearance of a bloodied and stoic Dean, training his gun on him! Uncertain of where he is, Dean takes the boy's bag and runs off toward the highway.
Four days later, Dean makes his way to Louisiana, and wanders around looking for a very specific spot, seemingly suffering from some kind of arm pain. When he believes he’s found the right spot, he digs up a human skeleton, before cutting open his pulsating, and glowing arm to bleed over it. After an incantation and a bit of spellwork, a figure appears behind him, though Dean only seems surprised the spell worked as quickly as it did. The figure reveals himself as a vampire, whom Dean identifies as Benny, and the two agree to part ways like they talked about. But who can resist a hug, after all they’ve been through together escaping purgatory? What the what?
Elsewhere, Sam packs a bag in the dark, and says goodbye to a dog, before leaving a woman alone in bed, oblivious she witnesses him departing. She isn’t the only one watching, either as someone outside observes him driving off! Sam later arrives at a Montana cabin, but rather than greet his brother Dean throws Sam down, tests him for demons, Leviathans and shape-shifters, and doing the same for himself. Convinced, Dean explains that he spent the year in Purgatory, but Castiel doesn’t seem to have made it out. When Dean questions why Sam was so difficult to get in contact with, the younger Winchester reveals that he’d given up the hunting life, as everyone he loved who pushed him to hunt had either died or disappeared.
Later that night, Dean goes through the piled messages on Sam’s old phones, revealing that the prophet Kevin Tran had escaped from Crowley’s grasp, and made numerous desperate attempts to contact Sam, a responsibility Dean resents his brother for shirking. Sam cleans up the audio of the messages, working his computer magic to find that Kevin most likely ended up in Michigan visiting his college girlfriend.
The next day at a motel en route, Dean watches as some children play with toy guns, flashing back to a Purgatory memory of hunting vampires with a strange looking bone-axe. Dean kills one in search of Castiel, and nearly dies facing another, before he’s rescued by Benny. Back in reality, Dean seems anxious to leave the hotel, in spite of Sam’s protests that Kevin will survive another couple of hours if they don’t. This irks Dean, Sam’s new attitude of letting things go, but the younger brother reveals that he kept abreast of things in the paper, reasoning that the world seems to have spun on without his help. More than that however, Sam found something he’d never had before in a woman named Amelia.
Dean does his best to describe the scene of Purgatory to Sam, “pure” and crawling with creatures to combat at every angle. He then remembers how Benny offered him a way out of Purgatory through a humans-only portal, but at the cost of riding Dean’s body along with him. Dean agrees, though only if they find Castiel first.
Back in the present, Sam and Dean dress in their FBI best and visit Kevin’s old girlfriend Channing, who claims not to have seen him and not to have been interested in him anyway after the boy declared himself a prophet of the lord. When the boys have gone however, Channing’s eyes go black and she slashes her roommate’s throat to make a Demon call, explaining to an unseen figure that while Kevin hasn’t appeared yet, Dean Winchester has returned from Purgatory.
Alone at a local eatery, a dog reminds Sam of the night he brought a helpless, bloodied dog to a vet’s office, demanding that a doctor fix the damage he’d caused. And who should that doctor be, but this Amelia we’ve heard so much about! Back in reality, Dean basks in his first post-Purgatory cheeseburger, as Sam reveals that he’s traced Kevin’s location to an Iowa church.
Arriving at the church, Sam and Dean pick the lock, before they’re greeted with holy water out of a squirt gun courtesy of the prophet himself! Kevin managed to demon-proof the church well enough with his new-found Godly knowledge, as he explains his escape from Crowley. Crowley had previously brought him to translate yet another stone “Word of God” Tablet, which the boy claimed would open a Hell gate in Wisconsin. With Crowley dispatched to another state to await its opening, Kevin sneakily puts together a spell that doesn’t open the gate, but rather incinerates the Demons keeping guard and allows him to escape! For you see, the tablet also contains a way to banish Demons from the Earth forever. Might be important.
Outside the church, Sam and Dean debate whether or not to involve Kevin in all this mess, but Dean insists banishing demons will avenge everyone they’ve ever put in harm’s path. That night, Sam apologizes to Kevin for never answering his cries for help, though the boy understands needing a break from their crazy lives. The conversation causes Sam to remember how the dog in his flashback pulled through, and Amelia guilted him into looking after the animal permanently given he’d caused the accident.
Back in reality, the church trembles as a number of Demons arrive! Sam and Dean manage to take both foot-soldiers out, before Crowley himself enters with Channing. The Hell King offers up Channing’s life in exchange for Kevin, which the boy reluctantly accepts. When he seems to disappear from the scene however, Crowly and Channing follow him to the other room, only to be doused with holy water! In the confusion, Kevin manages to escape with Sam and Dean in the Impala, only to watch helplessly as Crowley orders his demon to vacate Channing’s body, snapping the girl’s neck for good just as she regains awareness.
The next day the trio stop at a local gas station. Kevin is still guilt-ridden over Channing’s death, but Dean advises him to buck up before departing the car. Rather than taking a leak, Dean answers a missed call from Benny, who marvels at the advances in phone technology over the last 50 years, while overlooking a nearby funeral. Dean claims he has no regret for the things they did in Purgatory, though they likely shouldn’t keep in contact. Benny smirks that he wishes he’d appreciated Purgatory’s “purity” as Dean had, and the two men brotherly advise one another to stay out of trouble.
With a snazzy new title sequence, and a pure focus on Angels and Demons, 'Supernatural's premiere certainly starts things on an optimistic, intriguing note. We're a bit concerned that Sam and Dean's respective flashbacks have a tendency to bog up the narrative flow, but we're confident the stories will develop well enough that they won't disrupt too many future episodes. It's no secret either that Dean's time in Purgatory ranks far more interesting than a backstory of Sam's new love interest, but all in good time, right? The Winchesters are back, and that's what counts.
Did you get your fill of spooky ‘Supernatural’ action? What did you think about the premiere? Join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘Supernatural’ thriller “What's Up, Tiger Mommy?” on The CW!