"She should be hunting. Take her." Dean told Sam to take the Impala.
Dean, you should be hunting too!
Dean, you should be hunting too!
Before the start of the new season, I had a rewatch of all the season openers of Supernatural including the Pilot, 2.01, 3.01, 4.01 and 5.01. It was the best revision for me to get ready for Exile on Main Street, I was keen to compare this season opener with the rest.
How can you top the apocalypse? You can't. With that comment from Kripke, I was prepared for the aftermyth of the apocalypse story-arc. Like Forrest Gump, it featured stories about soldiers after the war. To me, Exile on Main Street felt like a drama rather than an episode from a genre show, if you know what I mean? While this episode may not be the strongest season opener in comparison to In My Time of Dying and Lazarus Rising, but after a long hellatus, boy am I glad it's back?!
From boys to men, Supernatural is all grown up and so mature now. We have a new season, new story-arc and a new direction under a new showrunner. Change was inevitable. But was as refreshing as Coke? Let's take a look.
New title card
As per previous seasons, Supernatural has a new title card. The breaking mirror has a meaning, I am sure of it, but I just can't put my finger on it just yet. It certainly has the wow factor. I love the cold dark feel it has. It's pretty awesome!
I actually left this section last when I composed this blog post. It was an interesting choice of song, great tune, but I can't help but to Google the meaning of the song to see if it has any hidden meanings that connect to the overall season story-arc or Dean (as he was heavily featured in the montage).
We had a glimpse of Dean's apple pie life before, Exile on Main Street was a nice call-back to WIAWSNB in season 2. What if Dean wasn't a hunter? What if Dean had a normal life? Beautiful Loser was almost too soft as a song choice for the Dean we know, but the song can certainly relate to the current soft Dean as depicted in the song Beautiful Loser.
This is one of the many faces of a hero. I don't think Dean likes himself as a regular guy with a regular family, job and life. He might have dreamt about it, it'd nice to have a home, a wife and a son, but it's just not him. He is going to struggle. Once a hunter, always a hunter, this is the life Dean cannot avoid.
Since when salt is for cooking purposes?
The opening montage was really well done, there was no 'previously on', but the montage was awesome! The imagery was put together nicely to compare Dean as a hunter and Dean as a normal guy. I love how it ended with Dean going to bed and he put his hand out just in case he needed to reach his gun and the holy water. He knew supernatural things would always come after him. If he wasn't Sammy's dying wish, Dean wouldn't go living a normal apple pie life. He now has the obligation to take care of Lisa and Ben and their safety.
When the Winchesters met the Campbells
I'm glad there wasn't a 'This is your life' or 'Who do you think you' are moment in 6.01. While the Mary and John were all lovey dovey in their youth, we always know Samuel Campbell was somewhat cold and not welcoming. We know so little about the Campbells, I don't know what is it but I don't think that's the legit Grandpa. I am calling it now, so that I won't be disappointed later. Things are not what they seem, I don't trust him and the cousins at all. There are so many questions!
To be honest, if it was up to me, I'd rather see Caleb, Pestor Jim or perhaps someone from the Colt family (you know I can't help it!), but too bad Kripke has killed off everyone that was ever mentioned or appeared on the show!
The hug you've been waiting for
I am sure I am not the only one to scream out loud HUG HIM! HUG HIM when Dean was looking at Sam the first time in this episode. We as fans knew the hug was coming!
Sam was different. He was just different in a weird way. Sam was often compared to Anakin Skywalker - how an innocent young man turned darkside for love, the price he paid to go darkside was high. In 6.01, Sam reminded me of the Anakin in Revenge of the Seth, although he still cared about his love ones, he was cold and dark.
I really want to know who brought him back and why? How did he find Grandpa? Surely he knew Grandpa was dead. Sam claimed he didn't remember anything from hell. Liar! They always remember! May be Sam was sent back to earth to have a hair cut?
When Dean went to the garage for the Impala, that was cool! His baby is still there, it's a symbol of the Winchesters. Where there is the Impala, there is the Winchesters. It means family business, saving people, hunting things. I can't wait to see the Impala get back on the road with the boys!
Returning dead stars
While it was great to see Fred Lane back, but it wasn't much. If YED was truly brought back by Lucifer, then yes, it'd be interesting. But it was an illusion, I was expecting a bit more meat to this returning dead star.
The introduction of the Campbells was not as epic as the introduction of young Mary and John. While it was great to see Mitch Pillegi back, I wasn't sure if the Campbells would be strong enough to stick around. And I really doubt Grandpa is legit.
The return of Djinn was weak. I wasn't sure if Djinn was the right choice of monster for a season opener. But it wasn't really the main feature, so I can easily forget about it. I think it'd take more than Djinn to get Dean back on the hunting business.
Did you spot them?
- Being the soccer mum was in reference to Everybody Loves a Clown when the Impala was at Bobby's for maintenance
- BFF with the neighbor almost felt like it was in reference to 'Mister Roger' in Croatian
- The Yorkie was mentioned once and appeared twice now on the show. Dean mentioned it in Salvation "I got a yorkie upstairs and he pees when he's nervous." The yorkie also appeared in Yellow Fever and now Exile on the Main Street
- 'The apple pie life' was mentioned a number of times through out the show by Bobby in When the Levee Breaks, Sam told Dean to have a normal apple pie life; Bobby's wife made apple pies, Dean said "I hope your apple pie is freaking worth it' in Scarecrow. And the apple pie life was the the setting in What is and what should never be
- Golf: Jensen loves golf
Overall, I was pleased with Exile on Main Street, as mentioned it may not be as strong as other season openers, but the new story-arc was set up nicely. It was great to see Bobby, who has now appeared in all season openers except the Pilot. There is one thing I do miss though.. CASTIEL!
In terms of ratings, read TVGuide for more details. It said "both shows averaged approximately 3 million viewers and a 1.2 rating..." I can never understand how rating works, WB tweeted today as well saying "Smallville ratings up +30%, Supernatural boosts time period by +125%, bringing CW into top 3 on Fri nite".
I think basically they are saying both shows did extremely well on their first Friday together! Woohoo!!
6.01 Exile on Main Street was written by Sera Gamble and directed by Phil Sgriccia. Original air date is 24 Sept 2010.
If you are magazine collectors, you may want to buy the latest issue of SciFiNow with Dean and Sam on the cover :)