I have to admit, I almost forgot that this episode was coming on. Not that I had any intention of missing it, but I honestly thought it was going to air next Sunday. I was pleasantly surprised to see the episode air.
There will be some spoilers if you haven't seen the episode yet so you may not want to read this review if you don't want to spoil yourself.
Overall, the episode was surprising and thrilling and as usual, raised quite a few puzzling question right from the start. The humor, surprising, was quite light in this episode. Certainly at the beginning, which was a slow build after the flashback portion, was slightly funny trying to see the boys coup without Charles and manage themselves but otherwise, the episode took a quite serious tone and actually delved a bit deeper into the boys past.
The first shocker was that there was apparently another member of Deathklok and that Toki apparently didn't come until later: it shows the boys signing with their current record label (this is very important in the episode as a whole) and all the members are present and slightly younger, save Toki: there is another older brunette in his place. Major Spoilers at this Point!
The second is immediate: apparently Charles died from his encounter in the season finale. This where a lot of the suspense comes in: the boys get into a serious delima after squandering their money on frivious things and becoming pretty much broke. Their label, led by a jerk who has it out for the band ever sense Nathan punched him in the face for insulting him back when they first signed (Note: he's actually the current head's son but had to take over once his father got sick), wants them to sign a new contract that will pretty much mess the band over. The label threatens to shut down their concert and the band decides to call their bluff...only to have them actually do it in order to make them sign. I'll admit, I was actually yelling at the television at this point: it was the first time other then in season finales that the boys were actually in a dire situation that could impact the band negatively. And for once, there didn't seem to be a way out of it.
Then: enter the not so dead manager after all. I love Charles and I'm glad to see that he didn't die. But it's the credits that actually give the entire episode an ominous feel: like something big and bad is coming and Charles seems to know and they need to prepare for it. We see the major is still being controlled and the main antagonist (or is he?) is building something or other...
Though one of the more touching moments of the episode was between Toki and Pickles, when it showed that the band seemed to actually miss Charles (Pickles even had his picture in a locket he wore.) and Toki realized that they sucked at managing themselves and really needed him.
By far, the best season opener in the show and it was a full half an hour, which was great. I'll admit, I deducted points for the slowish start but once it really started picking up, it was amazing.