Supernatural Gets Back to Its Roots

I think it's safe to say that Supernatural's seventh season is off to a much better start than its sixth. "Exile on Main St.," last year's Season 6 premiere, might be one of series' worst episodes ever—a total mistake that took the show away from its roots and, in hindsight, never paid off. But Friday's Season 7 premiere, "Meet the New Boss", was much closer in flavor to the old Supernatural—the one we've known, loved, and written 300-page homoerotic fanfic about—and it succeeded by mixing heavily serialized drama with some seriously twisted humor.

"Meet the New Boss" wasn't just about Castiel; it was also about Supernatural's "new" boss, Sera Gamble. Gamble, who replaced series creator Eric Kripke as showrunner after Season 5, wrote Friday's episode, and generally leans toward the darker side of Supernatural. She also tends to focus more on overall story arcs. But this year, unlike she did at the start of Season 6, Gamble made the smart decision to concentrate less on putting her own stamp on things and more on writing an episode that matches the rest of the series' tone. And that involved turning Cas into one lean, mean, heathen-killing machine.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, I think we can all agree that there are a bunch of chumps out there abusing religion for their own gain. Watching our new God stroll into churches in a trench coat to smite those who didn't act on the Word, or His Word, was awesome. So here's Cas running around the globe doing what he thinks is right, and it works. Early on, I was rooting for him to lay waste to intolerant Bible-thumpers, and I'm sure most of you were too. But his actions walked a fine line, and once Cas started to cross that line, the collateral damage of keeping the faith came to be a bit too much. Seeing a man of faith commit murder is always more frightening when it's obvious he really believes it and takes the Good Book literally. At, least that's what we thought. It turns out Cas might not be Cas at all, but a product of all the bad stuff he ate when he devoured a McSoul Sandwich from the Purgatory drive-thru—including a few Leviathans, which are pre-man beasts that are uglier than a Sam and Dean spat. And BAM!, there's our major storyline for Season 7.

But knowing that Misha Collins has been downgraded from series regular, how much can this story actually drive the season? Unless it consists of a bunch of figuring out how to kill God without showing God that much (in the same way that last year's civil war in Heaven took place out of sight), I'm guessing it will be one of many major goings-on.

Speaking of last season and its events, Sam is still damaged goods and continually redefining the term "splitting headache." I'm not going to complain about a character suffering an epic internal battle, but we spent a lot of time last season on Sam's mental well-being. I just hope there's something of quality left to add to that story. Bringing back Lucifer (yes! All hail Mark Pellegrino!) is a good start, though.

Supernatural is still a long way from establishing which arcs will be front and center in Season 7. But what the show accomplished in the first episode, and what puts my mind at ease, is that it's going back to the formula that hooked me in the first place by being simultaneously bloody, scary, and hilarious. "This is going to be so much fun," Levia-Cas said at the end. I concur!

Notes:
– Who was it that whispered to Cas right before his image turned to stained glass? Was it one of the souls inside him or could it have been... *gulp* the real God?

– Dean: "Excuse me, do you have any Grey Poupon?" I laughed at that probably a lot more than I should have. Ditto for the sounds of Asian cartoon porn. Ditto for the God as "sexy" comment.

– Many of Sam's freak-out scenes looked like they were shot by Sam Raimi. His flashbacks to Hell had the look of Evil Dead 2 all over them, and there's nothing wrong with that.

– I hope the spell Bobby read was written on that piece of paper for Jim Beaver's sake. That was one hell of a mouthful of Latin or whatever dead language that was.

– What do you all think of the new credit sequence, this time in black and white? I'm hoping it grows on me, because I like the blood, fire, and breaking glass motifs of past seasons. I'm not even sure what this one is supposed to be.

– "Slow Ride" as the "The Story So Far" theme was in interesting choice. It doesn't have the same punch as "Carry on My Wayward Son" or "Thunderstruck." BUT it's a song that makes me think of fun, so maybe it's a sign that things are headed in that direction this season?

– Honest to goodness question: I'm finding myself really looking forward to the standalone episodes, even more than I'm looking forward to the longer-arc episodes right now. Maybe I'm just not as into the longer arcs since Season 5 ended. Where do you stand on that issue?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (60)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
I am looking forward to all the episodes, especially the ones with Misha in them! Downgraded from a series regular? Pfft.

Opening sequence (black and white theme) was interesting, I like it a lot better than the breaking glass opener of season 6. However, season 4's opening is still by far the best in my opinion.
Reply
Flag
Like this post thanks for sharing this post.





http://www.celebswear.co.uk/products/Distressed-Supernatural-Jacket.html

Reply
Flag
Great episode, it really showed Misha's acting skills. Evil-Cas is creepy, I mean that laugh at the end, I like it, its interesting to see him as the bad guy
Reply
Flag
Great episode. I wish Castiel was staying though.
Reply
Flag
Season 6 had a weird feeling to it, especially in the beginning in, but the last couple of episodes (pretty much everything after "My Heart Will Go On") had me on the edge of my seat. The season 6 finale had one of the best cliff-hangers to date and with that the season 7 premiere was amazing. Looking forward to this season. (LOVED seeing Lucifer back in action.)
Reply
Flag
I marathoned Supernatural going into its 6th season so I was pretty excited. But the whole season was kinda a letdown. I hope we're back to basics now. First ep was pretty good!
Reply
Flag
I spent last season working on a character reference chart to show how everyone's connected, and in the end of season 6, which I haven't even gotten to the 20 odd people they added there, they blew my mind. This season... in one episode added a dozen changes to the list. And I LOVED the scene with Death.
Reply
Flag
Supernatural FTW! I agree; I cannot wait for the standalone episodes, the ones from last season are some of my favourites.
Reply
Flag
BRING ON THE LEVIANTHANS
Reply
Flag
This was definitely Misha Collins' tour-de-force episode! Just watching him crossing from God-Cas to Real-Cas to Leviathan-Cas was so amazing! Each role was so distinct! And I sure hope they are gonna use him as Leviathan wisely and not waste it like last year with the Campbell storylines and Eve storylines. They have a brilliant talent on their hand, use it!



If SPN was an Emmy recognized show, this would have earned Misha at least a guest-star Emmy buzz! But unfortunately, that would never happen for SPN.



I have hope now that things in Season 7 will be okay, but of course I am still cautiously optimistic about everything! I just hope Misha gets to stay around, he brings such a beautiful touch to the SPN dynamic!
Reply
Flag
This was the best season start of any of my shows, but I do want Misha to stay around. I have loved him as Cas, Jimmy, God and now this monster. That laugh at the end was awesome. I am much more concerned about the guys redeeming Cas than I am about Damon saving Stefan.

My favorite line was Dean about Sam being better: I just pray to God that is true. And Bobby saying: We need to come up with a new line for that. I laugh every time I hear it.

All in all, I tip my hat to Sera for an excellent start to the season....if it Friday yet??
Reply
Flag
I fetl the same way when I watched it; that it was back to the Supernatural we knew from seasons past. I am looking forward to seeing if they can keep it up. And I like both the standalone and long-arcs. That's what we've come to expect and helps to maintain the interest in the show. Welcome back Mark Pellegrino! He's one of my favorite badguys.
Reply
Flag
Longer-arc episodes! And a few standalone in between just to break the glass.
Reply
Flag
Love the credit sequence! the past ones seem so early 90's thank god they didn't go with barbed wire 0.0
Reply
Flag
Ahh, Cas. I don't think he's gonna survive all this, and I'm almost certain I'll miss him if he doesn't.
Reply
Flag
I enjoyed the episode. It wasn't the best premiere of the series but it certainly wasn't the worse. That said, I only have two wishes for this season.

1) I hope the Leviathan storyline has a bigger payoff than Eve had. Last season there was all that build up with the collection of the monsters and Purgatory, and Eve was around for maybe 3 episodes? And she was killed in an unceremonious way. It really was a let down.

2) I hope that this entire season isn't about the characters trying to heal/ distressing over Sam's hell-wounds. I know that it has to be dealt with but I hope it doesn't become THE storyline. Am I asking too much?
Reply
Flag
i thought the scene where cas looked up at the security footage camera and just smiled after killing all those people was just creepy and well shot. def an awesome episode.
Reply
Flag
"we spent a lot of time last season on Sam's mental well-being. I just hope there's something of quality left to add to that story."



I can't help but to be a little sick of the Sam story lines. It always seems as if there's something mental going on with Sam, even back in the very beginning with his Demon Blood psychic powers and all. And it seems like this soul/headaches issue was played out last season.



The Lucifer returning was a nice surprise though, so hopefully we're heading somewhere new and exciting with that!

Reply
Flag
Loved the season opener, gives me a lot of hope for the series back. Seeing Cas go on a rampage was awesome (Dean listening to the radio about the KKK being routed and say "can't argue with that one" was great). My favorite moment was Dean getting drunk and watching hentai. Laughed my ass off. Great start!
Reply
Flag
I absolutely love this episode, i completely agree that it feels like the old supernatural is back which I love!!! But theres some things in ur article that I wanted to address.....





"But knowing that Misha Collins has been downgraded from series regular, how much can this story actually drive the season? "



ok first misha wasnt made a series regular till last season and he was in a very small number of episodes last season compared to the season before. And bobby who isnt a series regular is in almost every episode so i dont think misha will be in less episodes than last season.



"Unless it consists of a bunch of figuring out how to kill God without showing God that much (in the same way that last year's civil war in Heaven took place out of sight), I'm guessing it will be one of many major goings-on. "



also this doesn't make any sense because Cas is no longer "god" because he put all the souls back in purgatory. He would have just gone back to being an angel, sadly though now hes the leviathans wearing an angel suit.
Reply
Flag
Maybe the new title card (something as a Supernatural Fan i look forward to seeing how it changes each season) has something to do with the Leviathan and it's blood (its veins looked black)



Definitely a step up from last seasons premiere. Although I enjoyed season 6, hopefully season 7 will continue the good buzz
Reply
Flag
The premiere was AWESOME, totally made up for the last lame season, which as you said had the worst season premieres/episodes ever and got way off the right track of the series. But this one, was a hard core, loved that Sera G. finally made effort and headed to the right track, now my faith is restored, season7 - so far - is going to be legendary, new story line, new monster, Cas went wild which was epic to watch, I only want them to get the whole Sam wall thing over, I've always thought that should have come and ended in S6, took forever actually. It still needs a little push, but sure enough this is way better.. Can't wait for next episode :)
Reply
Flag
OK, this isn't a personal attack since this isn't exclusively your opinion, asya155, regarding the Sam/wall storyline, but I find that first people hated the way Sam was acting in the first half of the season, then loved the reveal as to why. THEN, they hated the fix after the winter hiatus and were waiting for the wall to come crumbling down and when it did, they loved that. THEN, when it was so easily resolved they were upset again.



Personally, I was glad that Sam got worse again in the premiere to show that it wasn't a one-episode quick-fix in the finale for the wall with all that build up and Sam being all better. People complained about "Dean went to hell" and how fine he was and then Sam got the same storyline essentially. I like that Sam isn't fine. It makes it more complex and different.



And of course, I presume that a Mark Pellegrino reunion is something we can all rejoice in! Oh and one other little point we agree on, the premiere was friggin' AWESOME!
Reply
Flag
Also looking forward to the stand alone ep's rather then the arc
Reply
Flag
Brilliant, BRILLIANT. this season is going to be awesome
Reply
Flag
Great start to the season, and it looks like we have alot to look forward to. Crowley is now back as King of Hell, Death makes an appearance (LOVE HIM) Lucifer shows up and messes with Sam's head (is Sam still in the cage? has Lucifer been playing with him this whole time?) So much going on and I can't wait to see what the year brings. I know people are upset that Cas was downgraded but reality is he needed to be, the focus of this show has and always will be about the brothers.
Reply
Flag
I loved this episode! Misha was amazing and I'm sad to find out that hes not going to be a series regular any more. Whats wrong with the writers Cas is the best character. IMO
Reply
Flag
Awesome start to a new season! I hope it was the real God who whispered to Cas, that would be cool to explore. Love the Sam Raimi type scenes of Sam flashing back to Hell. I just can't wait to see how things play out. I wish Cas would have had more time to right wrongs in the world. I can't wait to see more!
Reply
Flag
"Honest to goodness question: I'm finding myself really looking forward to the standalone episodes, even more than I'm looking forward to the longer-arc episodes right now. Maybe I'm just not as into the longer arcs since Season 5 ended. Where do you stand on that issue?"

Completely agree. I guess it's just hard to beat the Apocalipse;)
Reply
Flag
I really-really-really didn't like the episode! Awful, gross.. nothing interesting, nothing like old-classic SN that I adored once... I loved this show so much but I almost hate it right now. And it's very difficult for me 'cause of big love I felt long ago.
Reply
Flag
HMMMM, were you watching the same show I was?? I have not talked to anyone that did not rave over this ep. Had Death, played perfectly by Julian, Crowley was back, and Lucifer. Misha was awesome, as usual, and of course my favorite brothers & Bobby. Loved the humor, I have watched it at least 9 times and there is just no place to fast forward, the ep was fast paced and back to being the old Supernatural.
Reply
Flag
Seriously? you cant honestly think that a show can remain the same for 7+ years! Personally i thought the first couple seasons grew boring and repetitive.
Reply
Flag
wow you're like the first person i see that hated this episode , all my friends loved it.
Reply
Flag
Misha Colin was great. I don't think it's emmy worthy ( next year gotta be Cranston...Again ), but he deserves a nomination...
Reply
Flag
So yea, there you have it folks another human suit wearing monster who's just about to do some tricks again by flipping his fingers and such. Can't wait.
Reply
Flag
I really hope Cas doesn't die because the show wouldn't be as much fun without Misha Collins. As for the new opening sequence I thinks it's all right. It's kind of raw somehow. The one thing I didn't like was that they didn't play Carry On My Wayward Son. I kind of identify the show with that song at this point. And removing the song feels a bit like removing the heart.
Reply
Flag
Man, that Micha Collins is quite the actor, now, isn't he?!? Why isn't he series regular anymore?
Reply
Flag
Probably the greatest season premiere of all time :D
Reply
Flag
Carry on my wayward son was always used for final episode of the season--->they better have it this season also!!!



great episode and sarah "took" over in season 6 as showrunner.
Reply
Flag
Hands down my favorite moment was when Dean, Sam and Bobby bound Death. That conversation was amazing and I hope we'll see the Horseman again.
Reply
Flag
They can easily get the Leviathans out of Castiel through some deus ex machina, have them as independent entities, and take Misha Collins out for the rest of the season.
Reply
Flag
I loved this episode. It gave me faith that this season will be a lot better than the previous and inconsistent one. I'm sad that Mischa Collins won't be around as much, but I see that Sera Gamble is just going back to the brothers as the meat of the show. I really hope that this is a set-up to a great season.
Reply
Flag
What an awesome first episode! The old Supernatural is back! I'm really excited for this season now.
Reply
Flag
Great start to the season. Castiel, Bobby, Death (I love that guy), Crowley, and even Lucifer made for an awesome premiere. Last season's cliffhanger was resolved nicely. and this year's big bad has been already established; and the Leviathans are scarier than Eve, Granda Jerkface, and demon Parker Lewis combined....Between Sam's Luciferitis and Cas' Leviathan Syndrome--Dean and Bobby have their work cut out for them....
Reply
Flag
The opening reminds me of dripping ink or Venom from Spider Man.
Reply
Flag
Personally, I'm glad the whole "new God" storyline got removed so fast, that would have been an annoying arc.. now it's getting interesting.. I hope Cas isn't actually and doesn't die though, he was great. and yes, this new season is already better than last years, which suuuucked.
Reply
Flag
Since Misha/Castiel/God/Levithian was downgraded to special guest star, I don't think that it is a problem. Heather Locklear was always a special guest star on Melrose Place and she carried the show. I am so looking forward to the development of his charactor. Misha really has a wide range of acting skills. He needs an Emmy fast. I love seeing Crowley, Death, Lucifer, and Bobby. Please develop these further before killing off Misha. In an e!online interview, Jared and Jensen said that Misha is no longer part of their family. BUT he will be back. SAD!
Reply
Flag
Technically the boys said that Misha is still part of their family and always will be, they just don't know how his story is going and he's not on set with them all the time anymore.



But yes, Misha needs an Emmy! He really carried the role and made it all work! Special Guest Star status is quite interesting since SPN has never had that before, so hopefully maybe it means they do want to keep Misha around as much as they can.



I just really want the family to stay together, I mean, Ben Edlund called it as much, he said the family was "two boys, an old drunk, and a fallen angel"
Reply
Flag
I have always preferred their stand-alone episodes to their longer-arc storylines.
Reply
Flag
RE: the title card with the ooze -- There's a new promo out that shows the leviathans using the water supply/piping, etc. to come into contact with people... It looks like a black oozing substance like the one in the new opening sequence, so I think that might be what the new look is about. I don't really like it as much as the previous openings, but it's sort've growing on me now that it looks like it matches the story of the season.

Reply
Flag
It was great. Can't wait to see Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters on the show later this season!!!
Reply
Flag
I'm pretty sure the title card is the exploding person effect ala exploding Cas and exploding Raphael. Loved this episode and looking forward to the stand alones as well. My top ten list is all stand alones!
Reply
Flag
Staff
Standalone episodes are what made this show great. I too am looking forward to more of them. Last season had lame long-arc episodes. Love the Supernatural soundtrack and Dean's sense of humor. I was so relieved that this season got off to such a great start. I agree with Death, those fried pickle chips are delicious.
Reply
Flag
As someone who cried foul on keeping Supernatural going past an awful season six, I am definitely eating crow after watching the premiere. It had everything I came to love about the show and then some. Winchester family drama, no-win scenarios and an excellent mix of darkness and humor. Mark Pellegrino -in another great turn as a dead echo coming back for a chit chat- provided the fodder for what could be a great overall arc and the reveal that Castiel is dead (or pulling a Jimmy) and being ridden by some badass creatures was superb, both in writing and execution. It gave a much needed out for the writers, since no one can kill God and opened up a plethora of plot possibilities for the future. Hopefully, this trend keeps up and the whole of season seven is just as exciting as its premiere was. Though, with an episode slated to air with the title 'Slash Fanfiction', I fear we'll be served up with something even worse than 'The French Mistake', which I didn't think would ever be possible.
Reply
Flag
I thought the French Mistake was one of the best episodes of the season, and up there with the best of the series.
Reply
Flag
AWESOME!!!! I thought that the new credit sequence was dripping blood, but I don't what the heck it is either.
Reply
Flag
Great episode. Ah Cas you and your smiting. I think we might finally see God this season, I mean with the Leviathans and all.
Reply
Flag
Load More Comments

Like TV.com on Facebook

  • 9:00 pm
    What Would You Do?
    NEW
    ABC
  • 10:00 pm
    Dateline NBC
    NEW
    NBC
  •  
    20/20
    NEW
    ABC