Supernatural S4E1: "It's good to see you again, boy."
First off, a very brief recap of the story of Lazarus (translation “God (has) helped”) from Wikipedia. In the Gospel of John, Lazarus was a man who lived in the town of Bethany. His sisters sent word to Jesus that he was ill, but when Jesus finally arrived Lazarus had been in a tomb for four days. Martha reproached him, and when Jesus assured her that Lazarus would rise, she thought he was referring to resurrection on Judgment Day. To this Jesus replied, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” In the presence of a crowd of Jewish mourners, Jesus had the stone rolled away from the tomb and bade Lazarus to come out. This he did, still wrapped in his grave-cloths.
Fourth season of SN feels different right off the bat. Dean wakes up in a coffin and manages to dig himself out, only to find the landscape around him decimated (in a perfect circle, natch). He breaks into a convenience store for some essentials, including water, food, and the latest issue of Busty Asian Beauties. He discovers a red hand print burned into his shoulder. Suddenly, all of the electronic devices in the store switch on and a sustained high-pitched shriek sounds, paining Dean and shattering all glass in the vicinity. He escapes and finds Bobby, who puts him through a number of tests to ensure that he’s really Dean. Bobby hasn’t spoken to Sam in months.
Through the magic of charm & GPS tracking, they find Sam in a hotel room with a brunette girl. Sam is skeptical about Dean’s reappearance, but is easily convinced. Dean is sure that Sam “worked some bad mojo” to get him out of hell, but Sam swears he had nothing to do with it. He gets Dean up to speed: he hasn’t been using his psychic abilities, Ruby is gone, and Lilith tried to kill him but he was immune to her powers. No big deal.
Bobby takes them to see a psychic friend. I was kind of hoping it would be Missouri, but instead it is a hot rock ‘n’ roller who hits on both Dean and Sam. Unfortunately, when she has a séance to see Dean’s rescuer, her eyes liquefy and she is blinded for life. Ouch.
Sam and Dean track down a group of demons in a diner. They don’t know who saved Dean, but they’re spooked. Later, Sam sneaks out to kill the diner demons. Dean is attacked by the high-pitched shriek again. He is convulsing on the floor, blood streaming from his ears, when Bobby rescues him. Then, Sam and Dean start lying to each other.
Dean calls Sam, asking where he is, and he claims to be getting a hamburger. Lie # 1. Sam asks what Dean’s doing, and Dean says something innocuous. Lie # 2. Really, Dean and Bobby are going to summon the being that pulled Dean from hell. At the diner, the demons all have their eyes burned out, and Sam kills the one left alive using only his psychic powers. Lie # 3. The brunette from the hotel appears, saying that his powers have improved. It’s Ruby, in a new body. Lie # 4.
Back to Dean & Bobby, who are summoning the mysterious being. A young man appears, wearing a suit and tie. He knocks Bobby out with a wave of his hand, and none of Dean’s weapons work on him. Uh-oh. Then, he drops the bomb: he is Castiel, an angel of the Lord. He had thought that Dean was special, able to hear his true voice (the shrieking), but he was wrong. He squints, reading Dean’s mind, and realizes that Dean doesn’t think he was worth saving. But he’s wrong: God has a plan for Dean, and he has work to do.
Hmmm. I have high hopes for this twist, although bringing God into the show in this capacity kind of implies that this is the final season. I mean, when God himself gets involved, you gotta figure it’s the final “epic battle.” But this does portend interesting character development for Dean, who we’ve seen time and time again doubt the existence of God or angels. Regardless, I was pleased to see the brotherly strife flare right back up again. All this lying can’t be good, and what’s with Sam’s powers?