Supernatural‭ ‬series 8 episode 1 review: We‭ ‬Need‭ ‬to‭ ‬Talk‭ ‬About‭ ‬Kevin

Supernatural returns for another season. Here’s Caroline’s review of episode one, We Need To Talk About Kevin...

This review contains spoilers.

8.1 We Need To Talk About Kevin

So‭ ‬after‭ ‬seven‭ ‬years‭ ‬of‭ ‬hunting,‭ ‬possessions,‭ ‬family‭ ‬feuds‭ ‬and‭ ‬more‭ ‬levels‭ ‬of‭ ‬hell‭ ‬than‭ ‬you‭ ‬thought‭ ‬possible,‭ ‬Supernatural‭ ‬apparently‭ ‬has‭ ‬more‭ ‬to‭ ‬show‭ ‬us‭ ‬with‭ ‬its‭ ‬eighth‭ ‬season.‭ ‬As‭ ‬is‭ ‬usually‭ ‬the‭ ‬case‭ ‬with‭ ‬premiere‭ ‬episodes‭ ‬of‭ ‬this‭ ‬show,‭ ‬the‭ ‬brothers‭ ‬have‭ ‬been‭ ‬separated‭ ‬over‭ ‬the‭ ‬summer‭ ‬break,‭ ‬and‭ ‬the‭ ‬episode‭ ‬sees‭ ‬Dean‭ ‬brought‭ ‬out‭ ‬of‭ ‬purgatory‭ ‬and‭ ‬reunited‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬broodier‭ ‬Winchester‭ ‬all‭ ‬over‭ ‬again.‭ ‬With‭ ‬a‭ ‬new‭ ‬showrunner‭ ‬and‭ ‬an‭ ‬apparently‭ ‬simpler‭ ‬mission‭ ‬statement‭ ‬to‭ ‬be‭ ‬moving‭ ‬forward‭ ‬with,‭ ‬I‭ ‬wonder‭ ‬just‭ ‬what‭ ‬this‭ ‬season‭ ‬will‭ ‬be‭ ‬able‭ ‬to‭ ‬deliver.‭

Starting‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬aforementioned‭ ‬showrunner,‭ ‬Jeremy‭ ‬Carver‭ ‬isn‭’‬t‭ ‬exactly‭ ‬new‭ ‬to‭ ‬the‭ ‬family.‭ ‬Leaving‭ ‬to‭ ‬run‭ ‬the‭ ‬US‭ ‬version‭ ‬of‭ ‬Being‭ ‬Human‭ ‬at‭ ‬the‭ ‬same‭ ‬time‭ ‬as‭ ‬Eric‭ ‬Kripke,‭ ‬Carver‭ ‬has‭ ‬contributed‭ ‬some‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬most‭ ‬celebrated‭ ‬episodes,‭ ‬characters‭ ‬and‭ ‬story‭ ‬arcs‭ ‬Supernatural‭ ‬has‭ ‬ever‭ ‬seen.‭ ‬Changing‭ ‬Channels‭ (‬in‭ ‬which‭ ‬the‭ ‬brothers‭ ‬are‭ ‬trapped‭ ‬inside‭ ‬a‭ ‬TV-style‭ ‬reality‭)‬,‭ ‬Mystery‭ ‬Spot‭ (‬the‭ ‬Groundhog‭ ‬Day‭ ‬episode‭)‬,‭ ‬and‭ ‬The‭ ‬Rapture‭ (‬where‭ ‬we‭ ‬explore‭ ‬the‭ ‬life‭ ‬of‭ ‬Castiel‭’‬s‭ ‬vessel,‭ ‬Jimmy‭) ‬are‭ ‬all‭ ‬the‭ ‬work‭ ‬of‭ ‬Carver,‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭’‬m‭ ‬truly‭ ‬excited‭ ‬about‭ ‬what‭ ‬he‭ ‬can‭ ‬bring‭ ‬to,‭ ‬or‭ ‬bring‭ ‬back‭ ‬to,‭ ‬the‭ ‬series‭ ‬this‭ ‬time‭ ‬around.‭

Ad – content continues below

But‭ ‬getting‭ ‬back‭ ‬to‭ ‬the‭ ‬episode,‭ ‬I‭ ‬couldn‭’‬t‭ ‬help‭ ‬feeling‭ ‬a‭ ‬great‭ ‬sense‭ ‬of‭ ‬relief‭ ‬in‭ ‬how‭ ‬they‭’‬ve‭ ‬handled‭ ‬the‭ ‬purgatory‭ ‬story‭ ‬thread‭ ‬from‭ ‬last‭ ‬season‭’‬s‭ ‬finale.‭ ‬Honestly,‭ ‬we‭’‬ve‭ ‬seen‭ ‬the‭ ‬brothers‭ ‬trapped‭ ‬in‭ ‬one‭ ‬hell,‭ ‬heaven,‭ ‬alternate‭ ‬dimension‭ ‬or‭ ‬another‭ ‬too‭ ‬many‭ ‬times,‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬was‭ ‬glad‭ ‬Dean‭ ‬was‭ ‬back‭ ‬in‭ ‬action‭ ‬within‭ ‬the‭ ‬first‭ ‬three minutes.‭ ‬The‭ ‬teaser‭ ‬was‭ ‬a‭ ‬lovely‭ ‬twist‭ ‬on‭ ‬the‭ ‬well-worn‭ ‬convention‭ ‬of‭ ‬seeing‭ ‬some‭ ‬beastie‭ ‬killing‭ ‬a‭ ‬mysterious‭ ‬victim,‭ ‬as‭ ‬we‭ ‬discover‭ ‬the‭ ‬beastie‭ ‬is‭ ‬actually‭ ‬a‭ ‬dirty‭ ‬looking,‭ ‬desperate‭ ‬and‭ ‬not‭ ‬at‭ ‬all‭ ‬Dean-like‭ ‬Dean.‭ ‬He‭ ‬quickly‭ ‬tracks‭ ‬down‭ ‬Sam‭ ‬and‭ ‬they‭ ‬recount‭ ‬brief‭ ‬versions‭ ‬of‭ ‬their‭ ‬year,‭ ‬all‭ ‬before‭ ‬the‭ ‬credits‭ ‬stop‭ ‬rolling.

But‭ ‬before‭ ‬that‭ ‬happens,‭ ‬we‭ ‬see‭ ‬Dean‭ ‬bring‭ ‬someone‭ ‬back‭ ‬to‭ ‬Earth‭ ‬with‭ ‬him.‭ ‬We‭ ‬know‭ ‬very‭ ‬little‭ ‬about‭ ‬this‭ ‬new‭ ‬character‭ ‬at‭ ‬this‭ ‬point,‭ ‬not‭ ‬even‭ ‬if‭ ‬he‭’‬ll‭ ‬be‭ ‬friend‭ ‬or‭ ‬foe‭ ‬to‭ ‬the‭ ‬Winchesters‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬long‭ ‬run,‭ ‬but‭ ‬it‭’‬s‭ ‬always‭ ‬refreshing‭ ‬to‭ ‬find‭ ‬new‭ ‬blood‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬mix.‭ ‬With‭ ‬Crowley‭ ‬adopting‭ ‬his‭ ‬pantomime‭ ‬villain‭ ‬act‭ ‬these‭ ‬days,‭ ‬we‭ ‬need‭ ‬an‭ ‬ambiguous‭ ‬player‭ ‬loitering‭ ‬around,‭ ‬and‭ ‬Dean‭’‬s‭ ‬new‭ ‬demon‭ ‬mate‭ ‬fills‭ ‬that‭ ‬role‭ ‬quite‭ ‬nicely.‭ ‬And,‭ ‬by‭ ‬using‭ ‬flashbacks‭ ‬to‭ ‬demonstrate‭ ‬what‭ ‬happened‭ ‬to‭ ‬him,‭ ‬Sam‭ ‬and‭ ‬Kevin,‭ ‬we‭’‬re‭ ‬kept‭ ‬guessing‭ ‬as‭ ‬to‭ ‬what‭ ‬sort‭ ‬of‭ ‬people‭ ‬they‭ ‬are‭ ‬now,‭ ‬and‭ ‬why‭ ‬the‭ ‬subtle‭ ‬differences‭ ‬in‭ ‬their‭ ‬dynamic‭ ‬have‭ ‬become‭ ‬apparent.‭

The‭ ‬episode‭ ‬is‭ ‬called‭ ‬We‭ ‬Need‭ T‬o‭ ‬Talk‭ ‬About‭ ‬Kevin,‭ ‬and‭ ‬we‭ ‬sure‭ ‬see‭ ‬a‭ ‬lot‭ ‬of‭ ‬chatting‭ ‬during‭ ‬these‭ ‬41 minutes.‭ ‬It‭’‬s‭ ‬not‭ ‬exposition‭ ‬talk,‭ ‬either,‭ ‬but‭ ‬good‭ ‬old-fashioned‭ ‬pondering‭ ‬over‭ ‬each‭ ‬brother‭’‬s‭ ‬twisted‭ ‬moral‭ ‬compass.‭ ‬Discovering‭ ‬that‭ ‬Sam‭ ‬not‭ ‬only‭ ‬didn‭’‬t‭ ‬attempt‭ ‬to‭ ‬rescue‭ ‬him,‭ ‬but‭ ‬gave‭ ‬up‭ ‬hunting‭ ‬entirely,‭ ‬Dean‭ ‬isn‭’‬t‭ ‬best‭ ‬pleased‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬younger‭ ‬Winchester‭ ‬but,‭ ‬hearing‭ ‬several‭ ‬messages‭ ‬from‭ ‬Kevin‭ ‬on‭ ‬one‭ ‬of‭ ‬the‭ ‬abandoned‭ ‬hunter‭ ‬phones,‭ ‬they‭ ‬set‭ ‬out‭ (‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬revamped‭ ‬Impala,‭ ‬yay‭) ‬to‭ ‬find‭ ‬their‭ ‬missing‭ ‬prophet.‭ ‬He‭’‬s‭ ‬already‭ ‬managed‭ ‬to‭ ‬escape‭ ‬from‭ ‬Crowley‭ ‬and‭ ‬has‭ ‬a‭ ‬plan‭ ‬to‭ ‬close‭ ‬the‭ ‬gates‭ ‬of‭ ‬hell‭ ‬forever,‭ ‬thus‭ ‬setting‭ ‬up‭ ‬the‭ ‬boys‭’ ‬mission‭ ‬for‭ ‬season‭ ‬eight.

Which‭ ‬also‭ ‬means‭ ‬we‭ ‬have‭ ‬a‭ ‬new‭ ‬passenger,‭ ‬and‭ ‬I‭ ‬sincerely‭ ‬hope‭ ‬Kevin‭ ‬sticks‭ ‬around‭ ‬for‭ ‬more‭ ‬than‭ ‬a‭ ‬couple‭ ‬of‭ ‬weeks.‭ ‬After‭ ‬eight‭ ‬years‭ ‬and‭ ‬an‭ ‬endless‭ ‬array‭ ‬of‭ ‬cannon‭ ‬fodder‭ ‬tagging‭ ‬along‭ ‬with‭ ‬the‭ ‬boys,‭ ‬it‭’‬s‭ ‬nice‭ ‬to‭ ‬have‭ ‬someone‭ ‬new‭ ‬on‭ ‬the‭ ‬demon-fighting‭ ‬team,‭ ‬and‭ ‬Kevin‭ ‬seems‭ ‬as‭ ‬popular‭ ‬a‭ ‬choice‭ ‬as‭ ‬anyone‭ ‬with‭ ‬long-time‭ ‬fans.‭ ‬It‭’‬s‭ ‬important‭ ‬to‭ ‬note‭ ‬that‭ ‬we‭ ‬don‭’‬t‭ ‬see‭ ‬Castiel‭ ‬this‭ ‬week,‭ ‬name-checked‭ ‬only‭ ‬to‭ ‬suggest‭ ‬his‭ ‬gloomy‭ ‬fate,‭ ‬but‭ ‬spoilers‭ ‬for‭ ‬next‭ ‬week‭ ‬prove‭ ‬he‭’‬s‭ ‬alive‭ ‬at‭ ‬least‭ ‬in‭ ‬flashback.‭ ‬Dean‭’‬s‭ ‬time‭ ‬in‭ ‬purgatory‭ ‬really‭ ‬seems‭ ‬quite‭ ‬interesting,‭ ‬so‭ ‬I‭’‬m‭ ‬glad‭ ‬it‭ ‬hasn‭’‬t‭ ‬been‭ ‬glossed‭ ‬over‭ ‬in‭ ‬favour‭ ‬of‭ ‬stand-alone‭ ‬weekly‭ ‬demon-fighting.

In‭ ‬general,‭ ‬this‭ ‬episode‭ ‬strongly‭ ‬indicates‭ ‬a‭ ‬lighter,‭ ‬leaner,‭ ‬Supernatural‭ ‬that‭’‬s‭ ‬thankfully‭ ‬shed‭ ‬a‭ ‬lot‭ ‬of‭ ‬unnecessary‭ ‬baggage‭ ‬from‭ ‬seasons‭ ‬six‭ ‬and‭ ‬seven.‭ ‬With‭ ‬a‭ ‬veteran‭ ‬writer‭ ‬back‭ ‬in‭ ‬the‭ ‬fold,‭ ‬some‭ ‬interesting‭ ‬new‭ ‬characters‭ ‬introduced,‭ ‬and‭ ‬a‭ ‬genuine‭ ‬love‭ ‬interest‭ ‬for‭ ‬Sam,‭ ‬I‭ ‬predict‭ ‬we‭’‬re‭ ‬in‭ ‬for‭ ‬a‭ ‬treat.

You can read all our Supernatural episode reviews here.

Ad – content continues below

Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here.