I guess if you’re going to change things up, why not do it on Season 15? This episode opens up with the usual “The Road So Far” recap but with a different song in the background (Bob Seger’s “Famous Final Scene”) – not a huge fan of change, however the new ditty does provide a kind of amusing juxtaposition once we return to the present with Sam, Dean, and Castiel fighting a horde of zombies. Well, not zombies, souls from Hell that found good enough corpses care of the cemetery where God released them after he killed Jack. Team Free Will, carrying Jack’s corpse, reach sanctuary in an empty crypt, but then they’re stuck. There’s seemingly no way out until a demon takes possession of Jack’s body.
Demon Jack (Belphegor, but I’m gonna call him DJ for short) is by far my favorite element of this premiere and given my less than enthused reception of actual Jack this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. But, aside from the introduction of my favorite Jack, DJ also has a connection to Sam and Dean – turns out he goes way back and recalls Dean from his stint in Hell as a tormentor (remember that’s how the first seal was broken). This gives me promise that our present season will indeed tie into my favorite season (5)!
DJ isn’t like most of the demons Sam and Dean have come across, he’s not interested in making deals or hurting people above ground. He’s your average worker drone in Hell who enjoyed his job and isn’t happy all the souls are gone. He wants things put right just as much as Team Free Will does – twinsies! OK, not really, but still…
DJ uses a spell in the crypt to provide an escape for Team Free Will, but the bad news is that all those souls are now out, free to haunt the surrounding areas. All in total? 3 billion souls escaped from Hell, though this episode only shows us a handful (the Woman in White (Shanae Tomasevich), John Wayne Gacy, and Bloody Mary (Jovanna Burke) to name a few). It’s, in truth, a pretty weak premiere. Once the immediate set up is established there’s nothing new happening. Sam, Dean, and Castiel go to a nearby town to evacuate it once learning that DJ can enact a barrier about a mile wide to trap any souls in that range – a temporary stop-gap while they try to figure out how to get all those souls back into Hell. People die, ghosts are shot with rock-salt, and the survivors of our haunted town get to play a game of tag for their life (the boundary line of the spell is obviously safe!).
Aside from the usual Supernatural hijinks – a mix of false threats and laid-back humor – this episode does show a few kernels of promise. As mentioned DJ has an indirect tie to Dean, we also learn from him that all the doors in Hell opened including Lucifer’s cage (that explains why half-brother Adam is coming back), and an interaction between Castiel and Sam reveals ole Sammy isn’t quite right after taking a bullet from the “Equalizer” – the gun God provided the boys to kill Jack. Exactly how these tidbits will factor into this season is something of a mystery though there’s a good chance Sam’s wound and Adam’s (read: Michael’s) return are bound to be heavy hitters.
An additional curiosity surrounds DJ himself: who is Belphegor, really? We’ve seen angels lie about their identity to get the boys to work with them (looking at you Gareel and Metatron) is it possible Belphegor is a larger figure than we’re aware of? Initially, I wondered if it wasn’t Lucifer himself (despite the Empty), but he’s never showed much patience when it comes to deception. Another clue is how old Belphegor is hinted at being – he’s amazed by the attractiveness of people (making mention of the monolith scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey as how it was when he was alive), any demon that old can’t possibly be some lightweight. I really hope DJ turns out to be a VERY significant figure!
We end the episode with most of the townspeople safe and evacuated (sorry Sherriff (Sean Tyson), but at least we have a heart for the sacrifice! And RIP sleepover girls), Sam showing Dean his God-level injury, and a delightful call-back shot to the pilot care-of baby’s trunk. We also know what the mission of this season is: Get rid of God. Sam argues that Apocalypse Michael was right, God treats the world as an experiment. He diverts from AM’s viewpoint since he doesn’t want to destroy the world God is fucking with, rather, take God out of the picture entirely, have true free will. Is it possible? Will Sam and Dean become new gods??? Or maybe Castiel will give it another, less evil, shot. I’m interested in seeing where this is going, though I definitely have some predictions:
- Jack will become the new God – we saw Death (ala Billie) talking to him in the Empty, plus, as much as I love DJ I know this show isn’t going to keep Lucifer’s real son dead for long
- Castiel will become the new head angel – promotion to Archangel status here he comes!
- Sam and Dean will die and get to finally live happily ever after in a special Heaven with their Mom, Dad, and Adam (let’s face it he’s not likely to survive all this), or, at the very least, Mom and Dad.