Supernatural 6.01 “Exile on Main St.” Review

Oh, boys, how I’ve missed you. It’s been a long summer of spoilers, anticipation and Comic Con videos. There’s been discussions of where the show can go after the Kripke’s original plan was done and whether the changing of the showrunner would mean a big change for the show we loved.

I’m happy to tell you that despite the fact that long-standing producer, Sera Gamble, has taken over as showrunner, the show has not really changed. There’s been talk that the season would be darker, and while the premiere was primarily serious, there were still traces of humor.

We opened on a light note, in fact – seeing scenes of Dean living his new life with Ben and Lisa in suburbia, cut with similar seasons with Dean and Sam in earlier years. Let’s be clear: Dean may be happy with his new family, but he never stopped grieving for Sam. In fact, we learn that he spent the last year researching ways to get Sam out of hell, despite his promises not to do so.

But before we get to that, we start in a nice blue house, where Dean uses salt for omelettes instead of lining doors. Where he works in construction, plays poker with the boys and goes out for a beer with a neighbour named Sid. Until this peaceful life is interrupted by a scream in an empty building. This leads Dean to scratches on the wall, blood, and strange sightings around his neighbourhood. Finally, after hallucinating Azazel, Dean is rescued by Sam.

After proving he’s not a demon or a shapeshifter (although not really proving he’s NOT Lucifer), Sam and Dean reunite with a hug. To be honest, I found the scene less moving than the brothers’reunion after Dean returned from hell back in the season 4 premiere. Maybe it’s because we knew this was coming and we had already done this before.

Sam admitted he had been hiding his return from Dean for almost a year and for exactly the reasons I had predicted in my season 5 finale review – because he wanted his brother to have a happy, normal life. While Sam has readily admitted that his desire for a normal life disappeared after five years of hunting with his brother, Dean has always hung on to this wish, even if it took longer for us to realize that it’s what he wanted. Of course, he probably wanted that life WITH his brother, not because of his death.

Then we’re introduced to the extended Campbell family – three distant cousins and Grandpa Samuel. This is really the only weak part of the premiere. Samuel says they suspect whatever resurrected Sam brought him back too and I had to roll my eyes at that. Really? That’s all we’re going to get, even in just the premiere? I hope the writers have a better explanation planned. Sam’s return I can buy (in terms of his importance in the world and as a reward for his sacrifice) – but Samuel’s return is going to require a better explanation.

The family meeting reveals that a djinn has been behind Dean’s recent hallucinations, which leads him rushing back to Lisa and Ben, believing they’re in danger. He immediately packs them off to Bobby’s house for protection. But Bobby doesn’t seem all that surprised to see Sam. As it turns out, he knew that Sam had returned. Dean is understandably upset, but Bobby agrees with Sam – he wanted Dean to have a normal life too, even if it meant keeping Sam’s return a secret. For a few minutes, there’s a tense scene between Lisa and Dean. Until this moment I thought Lisa had been very understanding of the current situation – but you can tell she’s not happy to be giving Dean up to a life of hunting. After all, she’s been happy with him, and particularly happy with having a good father to Ben for the last year.

Continued on next page…

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