Supernatural 6.01 "Exile on Main St." Review
The Campbells and Winchesters return to Dean and Lisa's house (we learn Dean plays golf!), where Sam and Dean agree to act as bait to catch the djinns. When Dean spots a djinn killing his neighbours he runs off to save them. He gets poisoned again and hallucinates Azazel coming after his new family. Sam manages to kill and a djinn and go save Dean, but Samuel (who rescues Sam at the last minute) is hiding something. He and one of the cousins only capture the last djinn and he hides this fact from the boys. What, exactly, is Grandpa up to?
At the end, Dean elects to stay behind, despite Sam's desire for his brother to join him again. Sam admits that he's different now. That he's not so eager to save people like Dean's neighbours, who he thought were a lost cause. Despite this, Dean refuses to go with him, saying that he brought this trouble to Lisa and Ben's door and he needs to stay and protect them.
If I had to pick a season premiere that was my favorite, I would pick the fourth season premiere, 'Lazarus Rising'. That episode was brilliant from the opening of Dean in the coffin to the ending and Castiel's first appearance. This episode felt more moderately paced. Sometimes disjointed. Like the show was bringing us up to speed after a year had passed in the Supernatural verse. The quiet goodbye between the brothers in the end felt anti-climactic, but the episode felt like it was building to something. Things can progress from here and it left a lot of questions - how did Sam get out of hell? What is Grandpa up to? What will it take to get Dean back on the road? Why couldn't Bobby get more screen time?
I know we've read a lot about how Sam's become harder and this is certainly true. But, as my friend Tamara and I discussed after the premiere, Sam realizes that there's something wrong with him. At the end of the episode he asks Dean to go with him, as if he recognizes the deficiency in himself and wants Dean to help him be a more caring person again - to balance him out. Therefore, one could argue that all hope is not lost for Sam.
The question, of course, is what it will take for Dean to leave his suburban life to go back on the road. While I don't mind seeing him with Lisa and Ben, I never believed this was the life for Dean. He's a hunter, and he'll always be one. Golf and barbecues will never be the life for him. I argued to Tamara that he's staying with Lisa and Ben now out of duty. After all, the person he loves most in the world is back, but Dean's always been one to take responsibility seriously. That's not to say he doesn't love his new family, but it cannot compare to what he feels for Sam and their old life. Hunting is in his blood and he's going to leave suburbia once he feels Lisa and Ben are protected - or maybe even before that.
I like how the relationship between the brothers feels better. There was awkwardness, but not mistrust and almost-hatred, which we've seen before. The events at the end of season 5 went a long way in healing the rift between the Winchester boys. While Sam's new attitude might cause cracks in their relationship, I don't think we'll see an all-out battle between them again. At least, I hope we don't.
Overall, this was a decent start to a new season and, as Tamara said, I'm hopefully optimistic. Most of my fears have been put to rest and I want to know why the monsters are acting differently (chaos in hell because the world is off-balance after the failed apocalypse?) and especially what Mitch Pileggi is up to. B+