|The wait is over. After months of anticipation, we finally get to see the Winchester brothers reunited during tonight's return of Supernatural. In last season's gut-wrenching finale, Sam, Ruby and Dean raced to find Lilith in an attempt to break Dean's contract. After failing to overpower the demon leader, Ruby died, Sam survived, and Dean was mauled to death by Hell Hounds. The last shot of the season found Dean strung up in the depths of Hell, leaving us with the biggest cliffhanger in Supernatural history.
Tonight's episode finds Dean returning to Earth, but the reasons behind his resurrection will shock even the most hardcore fans of the series.
After an awesome recap of the first three seasons set to AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long," Supernatural begins with Dean waking up inside a coffin. I don't know if he's seen volume two of Kill Bill, but it would certainly come in handy right now. Dean Buffys his way out of the ground, discovers that he's been buried in the middle of nowhere, and walks to an abandoned gas station to pick up some essentials. After a quick glance in a mirror, he notices that a hand print is burned onto his shoulder, but his Hell Hound scratches are completely gone. A moment later, a piercing sound fills the building, shattering all the windows before randomly fading away.
Dean wipes off the glass and tries to call Bobby from a nearby payphone. Bobby doesn't believe it's him, so Dean goes to visit him in person. Bobby's hunter instincts tell him that Dean must be a demon or a shapeshifter, but after dousing him with holy water and watching Dean cut himself with silver he finally believes him. Dean doesn't remember anything from his stint in Hell, and Bobby has no idea how Dean got back in his meat suit.
To Bobby's dismay, Sam (Jared Padalecki) has been traveling on his own for the past few months. Bobby wanted to salt and burn Dean's body, but Sam told him that he planned to get his brother out of Hell. Dean thinks he's been messing with some bad mojo. Not only does he have the demonic hand print on his shoulder, but the forest around his grave site looked completely nuked. Something powerful rode Dean right out of Hades, and not in a fun, kinky way either.
Dean hunts Sam down in Illinois by tracking his GPS, then shows up at the door of his seedy motel room. A girl named Kristy answers, but Sam soon appears and immediately starts brawling with his brother, thinking he's a demon. Bobby assures him that Dean is Dean, so they share a hug while Kristy flees the scene. Is it just me, or is Jared Padalecki getting really buff? Sam must have been working out while his brother was six feet under.
Dean wants to know what Sammy did to get him out of Hell, but it actually wasn't his doing. He tried to open the Devil's Gate and played Let's Make a Deal with every demon in town, but no one could help him save his brother. I'm relieved that this isn't another situation where one Winchester sacrifices himself for another. Been there, seen that. Twice.
If Sam didn't pull Dean out of Hell, then who, or what, did? Maybe Lilith has the answers. Sam has been hunting her down for the past four months, and he arrived in Illinois on the trail of some demons who might have answers. Bobby also knows a psychic who might be able to help. After a touching scene where Sam gives Dean his necklace back, the trio head out to visit sexy psychic Pamela Barnes.
Dean hops into the Impala for the first time since his resurrection and is horrified to find that Sam has plugged an iPod into the radio. "You were supposed to take care of her, not douche her up," he tells him. The brothers take to the road, and Sam reminds us that he was immune to Lilith's burning light in the season 3 finale. He also promises Dean that he hasn't been using any wacky mind powers, but for some reason I don't believe him.
Pamela is a lady who likes crystal balls, Ouija boards, and flirting with the Winchester brothers. She's pretty awesome, but unfortunately she's not long for this world. The foursome hold a seance to contact the entity that pulled Dean (Jensen Ackles) out of Hell, but when Pamela looks upon its face her eyes burn right out of her head. She utters the name Castiel. I'd be rather pissed if I did a friend a favor and ended up without eyeballs. I hope they at least pay her hospital bills!
Sam and Dean head to a nearby diner, which just happens to be the home of the demons Sam has been trying to track down. The demonic waitress asks Dean what makes him special enough to get a ticket out of Hell, to which Dean snarkily replies, "I like to think it's because of my perky nipples." Feel free to get a mental image if you like. Dean and Demon Flo have a tense confrontation that ends in a bitchslap, but unfortunately she has no clue what pulled him from the pit. She's just as afraid of the mysterious entity as he is.
After Dean passes out in the motel room, Sam takes the Impala for a spin to go hunt down the diner demons on his own. That same piercing noise from earlier wakes Dean from his slumber, and soon mirrors are shattering all around him. It's dangerous to have mirrors on the ceiling when an unbelievably powerful force is after you. Dean teams up with Bobby and decides he's going to summon whatever yanked him from Hell. Bobby would rather do fun things like keep his limbs and live a long life, but Dean talks him into it.
Sam enters The Demon Diner and finds that the horde of villains have already been killed. They're also missing their eyeballs. Demon Flo comes out of nowhere and attacks him, at which point Sam uses his extremely advanced mental mojo to suck the demonic smoke right out of her. Who's been teaching him such tricks? None other than Ruby, who now occupies the body of Kristy. That sound you just heard was my jaw smacking against the floor. Ruby and her newly acquired lisp tell Sam that no demon, no matter how powerful, could have possibly resurrected Dean. He also has no plans to tell his brother about his souped-up mental tricks.
Dean and Bobby head to a shed and spray it down with every protective symbol imaginable. Bobby summons the entity, who appears in the form of a clean-cut guy in a snazzy suit. He kind of looks like comic book character John Constantine, which suddenly makes me realize that a Constantine/Supernatural crossover would be the best thing ever. Someone please write me that fanfic. Dean tries to stab the guy with Ruby's knife, but it has absolutely no effect on him. Bobby tries to attack him, but faux-Constantine puts the hunter to sleep without even using a Vulcan neck pinch.
In the biggest "holy crapballs!" moment of the episode, Castiel reveals that he's an angel of the Lord. Apparently, he's not familiar with this article of mine where Eric Kripke stated that angels wouldn't be appearing on the show. You lied to us, Kripke! Dean is naturally skeptical of Castiel's tale, so he quickly shows him his massive wings before getting down to business. He's dressed up as Constantine's American cousin because his true form can be harmful to humans, which Pamela learned when she didn't heed his warning. His real voice is also unbearable to us mortals, which explains the high pitched screeching that has been following Dean. Castiel thought that Dean could handle his true form, but apparently not.
Castiel tells Dean that he pulled him out of Hell because God Himself commanded it. "We have work for you," he says as the episode comes to an end. Is your mind blown yet? Is gray matter leaking from your ears? Sound off below with your thoughts on the episode.