Supernatural Season Nine Episode One “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” TV REVIEW
Writer: Jeremy Carver
Director: John Showalter
THE ONE WHERE Dean makes a deal with Ezekiel to save Sam while Castiel adjusts to life without wicked angel powers.
VERDICT Off the back of a superb eighth season and a stupendous season finale expectations are higher than ever for the adventures of the brothers Winchester – an incredible accomplishment for a show now in its ninth year. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, this season opener can’t quite meet those expectations.
Castiel provides a consistently entertaining throughline, but the A-plot comes up short as the brothers find themselves in an overly-familiar life and death situation. I’ve lost count of how many times Sam or Dean has been in a coma/hell/heaven only to cheat death and what’s here doesn’t deviate much from a well-worn path. It even ends on a bum note. Keeping another secret from Sam, are you Dean? Bet that doesn’t blow up in your face.
Still, there’s plenty here to prove that Carver and co haven’t completely lost their way. There’s a wonderful moment of hypocritical juxtaposition as Dean decries god only to turn to the nearest chapel for help from one of his angels – a sequence aided in no small part by a powerhouse performance from Jensen Ackles. Meanwhile Sam gets his own complex character turn – the younger hunter seemingly willing to throw in the towel for good until his brother steps in one last time. If it weren’t a season opener I might almost have fallen for it – Bobby and Death returning for a grand send off, Sam looking about as vibrant as a corpse... Instead we get Samskiel. Somehow I don't think Ezekiel is going to leave without a fight.
The real star of this week’s episode, of course, is Castiel, who’s lost his grace but is still as lovable as ever. His naivete is endlessly charming, whether it’s dealing with his first experience of pain after diving out of the way of a moving vehicle, or discovering why you should never tell a biker to hang up. He may only be able to pick up certain channels on Angel radio now (not sure how that works), but even without his powers he’s got an advantage over his heavenly brethren – years of hanging out with humans. It’s a new era for Castiel – something made abundantly clear after he replaces his trademark trenchcoat with a hoodie and cargo pants – and I couldn’t be more excited.
DEAN’S WISECRACK OF THE WEEK “Anybody ever tell you you hit like an angel?”
IT’S WOSSISFACE! You might recongnise Ezekiel’s vessel as Tahmoh Penikett – Battlestar Galactica ’s Helo and Dollhouse ’s Paul Ballard.
LMAO Crowley almost manages to steal the episode without Mark Sheppard actually appearing “Come on, don’t be a pouter.” You can picture Crowley’s sour-puss expression now.
LMAO 2 This:
ANGEL GANK COUNT We’re predicting a lot of angel deaths this season, so we’re going to keep a running tally of all the angels killed. After week one: 2.
BEHIND THE SCENES Jared Padalecki and Mark Shepard live-tweeted during this episode, and the Supernatural Wiki collected their tweets into one handy Storify list. They’re a lot of fun and well worth a read.
BEHIND THE SCENES 2 A behind the scenes look at the Castiel/Hael car crash.
LOST IN TRANSLATION Dean tells Death he would’ve brought “cronuts”. A cronut is a croissant/donut hybrid.
FEATURED MUSIC " Who Do You Love ?" by George Thorogood and the Destroyers plays over The Road So Far pre-title sequence.
FAB FX While there's little doubt Hael actress Grace Phipps' legs are hidden underneath, this is still pretty great.
TITLE TRIVIA “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” is a song from the musical Annie .
Truck Driver: “How about a lift?”
Castiel: “Yes. I would fly, but I don't have any wings. not anymore.”