Supernatural: Back and to the Future
October 13, 2019 7:36 PM - Season 15, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Sam, Dean, and Castiel are left to defend the world after all the souls in hell have been released and are back on Earth and free to kill again.
posted by oh yeah! (9 comments total)
I thought this was a really exciting start for the season, the writers made a lot of good decisions. The demon possessing Jack was a fun way to go. He's an immediately compelling, funny character, more of a snarky comic relief than a villain (so far), and his unexpected presence complicates things in fun ways. I thought it all worked really well, with a couple of small but glaring exceptions...

The Bob Seger song at the beginning, during the big battle scene, really confused the tone. The song was kind of slow and sad, and the battle was epic and violent, and instead of creating an interesting juxtapozition they just kind of clashed like somebody had put in the wrong tape.

That one's a matter of taste, but there were a couple of plot choices that were just bad. When Sam claimed to be from the FBI and the sheriff just immediately evacuated the town, seemingly without ever once calling the government for confirmation, that was nuts. It actually took me like nine seconds to come up with a better way to make the evacuation aspect work. Like, maybe there are ghosts running around all over town and the police are freaking out, trying to suddenly handle ghost clowns and stuff, and then Sam shows up and says, "Yeah, we hunt monsters and we know how to fix this. You gotta evacuate the town." The sheriff would be desperate and he'd kind of have no choice but to believe them. Maybe it's not perfect plotting, but it took me nine seconds and it's better than the plan they went with!

The other bungled element was how Sam and Cas' rifles could shoot and shoot without reloading. I think Sam fired like 15 shots in a row before he finally ran out of ammo at the edge of town!

But those nitpicks aside, it was a blast to see the old monsters coming back and the pacing on this was really good. It was so fun it just makes me even sadder the show is winding down. Jared Padelicki apparently already has a gig lined up, starring in a Walker, Texas Ranger reboot, and that's so wrong. How could he not be Sam Winchester forever?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 8:55 PM on October 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

I wasn't really feeling this one so much, but I do concur that the demon in Jack was more fun to watch.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:44 AM on October 14, 2019

Yeah, you gotta give Alexander Calvert a lot of credit for so instantly being able to sell a completely different character, make Belphegor seem believable (for a demon), and still make him fun and entertaining right off the bat.

Sam and Dean still trying to playact as FBI interacting with the Sheriff was something I had mixed feelings about; basically they don't seem to grasp just how seriously deep-in-shit they are, so they're continuing on basically their normal modus operandi which means keeping things under wraps when possible. Which seems weird to me but then again, the actual level of devastation I would've expected from "the gates of Hell have been thrown wide open" was not really apparent, either. At least they did mention that yes, the Cage is also open and take a moment to appreciate how ominous that might be (though Adam seems to have been 100% memory-holed at this point) but the overall implications are either totally lost on them, or else I'm expecting too much from this show's budget (probably a bit of both).
posted by mstokes650 at 11:40 AM on October 14, 2019

I'm an ultra lapsed Supernaturaler - stopped watching before they got their underground castle?

Ackles; holy moly it's unnatural how well he's aging. I know there's a ton of makeup and his profession is to maintain his telegenicity, but damn. I used to be Team Sam, but after losing partisanship after his white-suited Devil thing, I'm firmly in Team Dean.

Looks like tons of interesting stuff happened. Glad to see Cas is still around.

The storyline seems to have age-ed up with the crop of new fans over the last seven/ eight years after the kidshow reimagination?
posted by porpoise at 6:23 PM on October 14, 2019

The demon in Jack's body seems like a good character and a smart way to keep Jack's actor in the picture while Jack is temporarily (I assume) dead. Other than that, I thought this one was okay, but not great. Too much time spent watching people we don't know or care about being threatened by random demon-ghosts (and watching the people we do care about fighting random demon-ghosts. That kind of thing is getting boring.)

I was confused about the souls released from hell. I thought all of them were released and then when they started talking about a one-mile containment zone I began to wonder if it was just a small subset that were released and all emerged in this one area. If they were all released, wouldn't all of earth be overrun with them, so fencing in one group would be pointless? I think the answer is that they were all released but had to leave through doors in specific locations and maybe there aren't that many doors. So at this point they're still concentrated near the doors and fencing in that one group mainly served the purpose of allowing Sam, Dean and Cas to escape the immediate threat.

There's a door between Purgatory and Hell, right? So presumably that one was opened too, allowing everyone to escape Purgatory by way of Hell. That could potentially allow every monster they ever fought to show up again. And also Benny, one of my favorite characters, who deserved something better than what happened to him. I'd like to see him come back and join the team.

Last we heard the angels' ability to keep Heaven running was tenuous, so all the souls up there could potentially get dumped back on earth too. I wouldn't be surprised if that happens at some point. Then we can get cameo appearances by everyone who was ever important to the Winchesters - monsters, demons and good people.
posted by Redstart at 7:01 AM on October 15, 2019

Yeah I'm betting Chuck opening all the gates is a good plot device for all the old favorites to show up in this final season. _Our_ Charlie, Jo, Ellen, Ash, Bobby, etc.

The action later in the episode definitely felt lacking compared to the 3 of them fighting a horde of zombies in the beginning. But it's hard to create tight action when your setting is a few people in a big empty suburban street in broad daylight. The ghosts are way more menacing in the dark.

I also enjoyed Belphagor. He really brings a new life to Jack's body. Although I'm just waiting for him to turn on the team like any demon would.
posted by numaner at 2:40 PM on October 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


- New season, new title card! Here's all the images that flashes through it.
- Jovanna Burke, who played Mary Worthington in this premiere and season 14 finale Moriah, also portrayed her back in 1.05 Bloody Mary, as Jovanna Huguet.
- The Woman in White, Constance Welch, is played by Shanae Tomasevich (in her first Supernatural role) in 14.20 Moriah and this premiere, but she was first played by Sarah Shahi.
- When Belphegor mentions that he worshiped a phallic rock as a human, he may have been referencing the Rudson Monolith, the tallest standing stone in the United Kingdom which dates back to the Neolithic era (10,000 - 4,500 BC), and does look like a huge rock penis. In lore Belphegor was often times depicted and worshiped in the form of a phallus. Belphegor's remarks about how much better looking people have become, and how he considers Dean to be gorgeous, also could be a reference to Belphegor being associated with licentiousness and orgies.
- This is the first time it's shown that Cas' healing powers also repairs clothing.
- This is the first time the Winchesters add jackets labeled FBI to their disguise instead of wearing suits.
posted by numaner at 3:15 PM on October 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


Belphegor: There we were, minding our own business, you know, flaying people for eternity, like you do, right?

Sam: What's one more apocalypse, right?

Dean: [on the phone with Rowena] Yeah. God. No. No. Rowena, we need your help, so move your ass. What? No, I'm not... Move your exquisite ass, please. All right? Great.

Belphegor: So, people are, like, crazy good-looking now, eh?
Dean: What?
Belphegor: I mean, the last time I was on Earth, I mean, I was human. Ah, it was a while ago. I mean, but, you know, we were all worshipping this giant rock that looked like a huge penis, and... Anyway, folks back then, you know? Had a lot of humps. I mean, a lot. Look at 'em now. I mean, look at you. I mean, you're, uh, you know, gorgeous.
Dean: What? Okay.


On March 22, 2019 Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Misha Collins posted a video revealing that Season 15, which will air in the 2019-2020 television season, would be the show's last. On March 31, 2019, Ackles and Padalecki took the stage at a Supernatural convention in Las Vegas where they addressed the decision. "This was a community decision," Padalecki said.

The sheriff mentions moving the townspeople to the high school that's located "about five miles up 281 (two eighty one)" which is the name of a state highway which runs through Jared Padalecki's hometown of San Antonio, Texas.

When Sam picks up the little girl to run behind the ghost barrier she's missing both her shoes for 2 seconds then they're miraculously back on in the next second.

The Woman in White says Dean took her home, when in fact it was actually Sam that took her home in the Pilot episode.

When Castiel enters a house, he passes a thermostat showing the temperature in Celsius (because filming was done in Vancouver, Canada). A thermostat in the U.S. would show temperature in Fahrenheit.
posted by orange swan at 2:39 PM on April 9, 2022

Why on earth couldn't Castiel just zap Sam, Dean, and even Jack's body out of that crypt back to the bunker? We've seen him do that sort of thing before.

Alexander Calvert did a really good job of playing a completely different being. He was so effortlessly and casually... not Jack.
posted by orange swan at 2:40 PM on April 9, 2022

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