Supernatural Pre-season Prep: A Season 7 Refresher, Plus Our Wishlist for Season 8

A shot from this week's Season 8 premiere, "We Need to Talk About Kevin."

Oh my gosh, you guys, are you ready for WINCHESTER WEDNESDAYS? Have you successfully recovered from last season’s emotional trauma? Or have you completely blocked it from your memory?

If you took the latter approach to coping, you’re in luck, because I’m a TV masochist and when the going gets tough, I just stare longingly at Jared Padalecki’s luscious, just-begging-for-a-L’Oreal-commercial locks and carry on (my wayward son?). Join me now for this quick-and-dirty refresher on some of the most awesome and important events that transpired last season with the Brothers Winchester and their AWOL angel.

It’s going to be okay. We can get through this together. Probably.

Kneel Before

“Meet the New Boss” (Season 7, Episode 1)

Season 6 left us in the middle of a stand-off between Dean, Bobby, and a supercharged—and super crazy—Castiel. “Meet the New Boss” picked up right where we left off, with Castiel opting not to smite his old allies because he was a benevolent God and all that. Armed with the power of Purgatory, Castiel set off on a campaign to smite corrupt religious leaders and with both Sam and the Impala out of commission, Dean was totally down with staying out of Castiel’s way. With his vessel burning out and the souls he sucked down gaining more and more influence over his actions, Castiel eventually went back to the Winchesters for help. Of course, that didn’t end well.

I Love Luci

“Hello Cruel World” (Season 7, Episode 2)

So, Mark Pellegrino is awesome. I know, I know, this is old news. He’s rocked the hell (literally) out of the Lucifer role since Season 5, but Sam’s return necessitated the addition of a new angle for everyone’s favorite Prince of Darkness (other than Ozzy). We now fondly refer to him as “Hallucifer,” Sam’s subconscious souvenir from his time served in Lucifer’s cage. With Death’s handy-dandy memory-blocking wall in ruins and Castiel unable to repair the damage, what with being “dead” and all, Sam and Hallucifer spent some real quality time together. It was creepy. It was sad. It was awesome. Dean eventually managed to snap his brother out of his reverie, but we all knew it was just a matter of time before Luci popped back in for some terrible fun.

A Cuppa Jo

“Defending Your Life” (Season 7, Episode 4)

Alona Tal resumed her role as dearly departed hunter Jo Harvelle when Dean’s chronic guilt trip took a turn for the worst—wasting your brother’s childhood friend behind his back will do that. In Dearborn, Michigan, the Egyptian god Osiris put Dean on trial for his guilty feelings and ex-Stanford pre-law student Sam stepped up to be his council. Osiris summoned Jo’s ghost and grilled her about the details of her Season 5 death, hoping she would blame Dean (who already certainly blamed himself). She refused, but let’s face it, Dean Winchester’s massive guilt is legendary and it wasn’t much of a surprise when Osiris found him guilty anyway. Sentenced to death by Jo’s hand, Dean faced his execution—an explosion clearly meant to mirror Jo’s own demise—with the sort of horrifying willingness that usually gets you a Prozac prescription. Or in Dean’s case, a cherry pie and two bottles of Old Crow.

Invasion of the Buffy Veterans

“Shut Up, Dr. Phil” (Season 7, Episode 5)

James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame guest-starred as a pair of centuries-old witches taking out their marital strife on a whole town. From the chick who got fried by a salon hair dryer to the dude boiled to death in his hot tub and the porta-potty nail gun accident, the carnage left in their wake was some first-rate gore—like, “My Bloody Valentine” levels of gruesome. I have to admit, though, the part that made me gag the hardest was the bleeding cupcakes. Some amatuer couples counseling by Dean and Sam of all people saved the Starks’ union and since the snarky witches ultimately made a quick getaway from their would-be slayers, I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll see them again someday.

Psycho Road Trip

“Slash Fiction” (Season 7, Episode 6)

Two sets of Winchesters? Oh boy, that sounds like naughty fanfic. After swiping some hair from the shower drain of the last motel our boys stayed in (eww), the Leviathans flexed their shapeshifting muscles and began a smear campaign to ruin the real Winchesters' already crummy reputation. Retracing their old hunts, the Fakechesters left a trail of dead bodies and incriminating evidence leading right back to the real Sam and Dean—who once again found themselves on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. While Bobby and Sheriff Mills managed to unlock the secret of borax, finally finding SOMETHING that could injure the seemingly indestructible Leviathans, the damage was done and Dean was forced to put the instantly recognizable Impala in storage. Man, NOBODY puts Baby in the corner! Though it was still a ton of fun to watch Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki act like total douchebags for an entire episode, right?

Bobby’s Swan Song

“Death’s Door” (Season 7, Episode 10)

One of the finest episodes in the entirety of Supernatural’s run. Hands down. After taking a bullet to the head at the end of the previous episode, a comatose Bobby Singer dodged a reaper by hiding in his own memories, fighting to keep them as they faded out one by one. We visited the night Bobby was forced to kill his demon-possessed wife, as well as the night he accidentally killed his own father after the abusive alcoholic went after his mother. Again. His reaper used the unhappy memories as leverage to encourage Bobby to accept his death, but for every awful moment in his life, Bobby countered with something good, like playing catch with a pre-teen Dean Winchester. Coming out of his coma just long enough to give Sam and Dean a clue as to the Leviathans’ plan, Bobby retreated to the last memory in his arsenal: a random, boring movie night at his house where Sam and Dean, his boys, argued over whether or not liquorice was gross. Then that too faded away. We were used to seeing the crotchety side of Bobby, but “Death’s Door” gave Jim Beaver the opportunity to show us the softer side of the character that we always suspected was there as well. So does anyone want to join me in pretending that entire awful ghost storyline never happened?

The Chicago Way

“Time After Time After Time” (Season 7, Episode 12)

A hunt for a time lord (no, not the awesome kind) flung Dean back to 1944, where he teamed up with Eliot Ness of The Untouchables, to hunt Chronos and somehow get back to the 21st century. Battling outdated slang and a 60-year separation from his brother, Dean channeled Back to the Future III to coordinate with Sam and save the day... and he did it all in a FABULOUS suit. Dean traded his leather and sawed-off for a trench coat and a tommygun and it was kind of the best thing ever.

“If it bleeds, you can kill it.”

“Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie” (Season 7, Episode 14)

I had my doubts when I first read that episode title, but “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie” provided some welcome levity after “Slice Girls” took whatever modest happyplace Dean had managed to find while working with his idol, Eliot Ness, and stomping all over it. Or maybe stabbing it would be a more appropriate visual? Ugh. Sam was forced to face his well-documented fear of clowns (seriously, bro? You spend how long in a cage with Lucifer and CLOWNS are still an issue?) but Dean got to eat awful pizza and terrorize kids in an arcade. And who can forget, at long last, our first official Supernatural unicorn sighting—with rainbows shooting out of its butt and everything.

I (Still) Love Luci

“Repo Man” (Season 7, Episode 15)

He’s baaaaaaack. The fifteenth episode of any season of Supernatural tends to be the point where things get dark, and the case of the formerly possessed mailman who REALLY liked being possessed was very much that episode. While it had been implied all season long that Sam was SO not okay, even armed with his various coping mechanisms, Hallucifer finally made his grand reappearance, pontificating in Sam’s ear at all hours while Sam resolutely ignored him. However, when Dean went missing during their search for Creepy Jeffrey, Sam gave into his imaginary frenemy because, well, Hallucifer was oddly helpful. Unfortunately, that helpfulness ended once Dean was safe and sound and Sam wanted to take a nap. Hallucifer didn’t have an “off” switch.

Castiel Strikes Back

“The Born-Again Identity” (Season 7, Episode 17)

Sam’s inability to keep dealing with Hallucifer landed him in a psych hospital and Dean struck out to find a solution. Following one of Bobby’s old contacts, that solution turned out to be Castiel. His apparent death at the hands of the Leviathan left him an amnesiac, shacked up with a pretty wife and going by the name Emmanuel, unaware that his mysterious healing abilities were the byproduct of being an angel. On the run from Meg (HI MEG!) and her fellow demons, Dean and Castiel reached Sam’s hospital, where Castiel remembered his real identity, but still couldn’t rebuild the wall in Sam’s mind. So he “shifted” the effects and took Sam’s hallucinations on himself. Or something. My own thoughts regarding Castiel’s decision still lie somewhere around “boo” and “hiss,” but at least Nurse Meg was priceless.

What Happens at Comic-Con STAYS at Comic-Con

“The Girl With the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo” (Season 7, Episode 20)

It could have been awful. It really could have. Need I remind you of Supernatural’s in-universe fangirl, Becky Larson, and all of the problematic aspects of her character during Season 7 in particular? I approached Felicia Day’s geek extraordinaire, Charlie Bradbury, with a healthy dose of apprehension, expecting another Becky. So I ended up pleasantly surprised when she turned out to be awesome instead. A computer wiz employed at the Leviathan stronghold, Richard Roman Enterprises, Charlie didn’t want to jeopardize her job or her life to give Dean and Sam the in that they needed, but changed her mind after learning what a monster her boss literally was. From her on-the-fly flirting lessons with Dean to her concession that her Princess-Leia-straddling-a-twenty-sided-die tattoo was the result of getting drunk at Comic-Con, Charlie was everything Becky could have been if Becky wasn’t a horrible caricature. And she lived! Does that mean we get to see her again? Please?

Purgatory Part 2

“Survival of the Fittest” (Season 7, Episode 23)

Everybody showed up for the final smackdown, including a slightly loony Castiel, his demon keeper Meg, honor student/prophet Kevin Tran, our old pal the Alpha Vampire, and Crowley, the King of Hell. While their combined efforts managed to defeat Dick Roman—apparently—Crowley stayed true to form and kidnapped Kevin for his own plans and may or may not have had a hand in stranding Dean and Castiel in Purgatory following Dick’s explosive death. Oh Crowley, I’ve missed you being the head dick in charge. Kisses!

Whew! And there we have it, everything you need to know (and a few things you probably don't) heading into Season 8, which kicks off this Wednesday at 9pm on The C-Dubs. Here’s my Season 8 wish list:

– Less emo-Dean, more awesome-Dean. Let me repeat that: LESS EMO-DEAN, MORE AWESOME DEAN.

– Hallucifer. Always.

– Someone to take a Tide pen to Castiel’s trenchcoat. I bet that thing smells like pond water. It makes my skin crawl just looking at it.

– Mr. Fizzles.

– Frank. I know, I KNOW it was beyond heavily implied that he became Leviathan chow, but we didn’t SEE him get eaten and it’s Frank, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he escaped, decided “screw those Winchesters,” and hid in a bunker in Antarctica for the rest of the season.

– Amy’s angry orphan from “The Girl Next Door.” Even though this point may conflict with the aforementioned LESS EMO-DEAN, you can’t just let him run off into the night vowing revenge and then never show him again. You just can’t.

What’s on YOUR wish list for Supernatural Season 8?

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