Supernatural Season 8 Review “We Need to Talk About Kevin” – What a Difference a Year Makes

Supernatural Season 8 - We Need To Talk About Kevin

In the Supernatural Season 8 premiere, called “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” Dean comes back from Purgatory to find that nothing is as he left it, not even his brother.

Okay so this isn’t the first time that the boys have been separated by time and an alternate dimension, but I’d say that this is probably the most different they both have been when reuniting after said separation.

Let’s start with Dean. In my Supernatural Chat article this week I talked about the changes we were likely to see in him and while we did see some of that, we also saw something I did not expect. I know that Dean was down there for a long time. I know that he had to learn how to survive. What I didn’t know is that he would grow to basically like it. But when he told Sam that Purgatory was “pure,” I could see that’s how he felt. And in a way, it makes sense. Dean after all comes from a long line of hunters, so being a warrior is in his blood. Sending a man like that to Purgatory could bring out that basic animal instinct in him. As much as Dean got used to that life though, I was happy to see that overall he’s adjusted fairly well to being back on earth again. I was afraid he’d be speaking in nothing but grunts and eating his food off the ground.

As for Sam, well, let’s just say I’m confused. You know, I hadn’t thought much about the spoilers that came out saying that Sam had given up the search for Dean. My fellow writer Kelly also did a Supernatural Chat article all about that part of the story, but not being a huge Samgirl, I didn’t really feel one way or another about it. I guess I figured that surely they would give us some HUGE reason that Sam stopped searching for his brother and gave up hunting. But all I can say after this episode is that they’ve still got some serious explaining to do. So far the story doesn’t add up and I truly can’t see why Sam did what he did. We just have Dean once again pissed off at his younger brother and though I understand why Dean’s angry, I’m still not getting what motivated Sam’s actions. I just hope that they come up with a better explanation soon.

Overall though, this premiere was very exciting and I can’t wait to see how the story continues. I am of course sorry that there was no Cas in this one, but since I know he’ll be showing up soon, I can overlook that for now.

My favorite bits..

Starting off with Styx’s “Man in The Wilderness” while Dean was wandering alone. Nice.

Dean and Sam doing the normal slicing, dicing and holy water ritual they always do whenever they’ve been apart.

“I don’t know whether to give you a hug or take a shower.” – Oh man, the fangirls are gonna have a ball with that line.

“I guess standing too close to exploding Dick sends your ass straight to Purgatory.”

Sam pointing out that what they did was the thing that got every single member of his family killed. When he said it like that, him giving up hunting made a little more sense..but only a little.

“Of course we always ignored that, because of our deep, abiding love for each other.” – OH MY GOD, Dean actually said the word ‘love’!!

“He was our responsibility, and you couldn’t answer the damn phone?”

Seriously, how many times is it now that Sam has given Dean the Impala back? LOL.

“I knew I smelled dog.”
“And I knew you’d throw a bitch fit.” – Ha!

Dean admitting that being in Purgatory felt pure.

Dean telling Benny that he wasn’t going to agree until they found Cas. Yes!

“It’s for me, seriously?” – Aw, that was sort of sweet.

“Dude, it’s a burger.”
“It’s a treasure.”

The look on Dean’s face as Sam explained exactly how he tracked down Kevin. Yeah, pretty sure I had the same look on my face as well.

“Cliff Notes? I went to Purgatory, Sam hit a dog.” – Most concise description of the year ever.

There’s a Hell Gate in Wisconsin? Cross that state off my possible vacation list.

Kevin tricking Crowley by reading a passage about how to destroy demons. Nice.

“Closing the gates of hell forever? Yeah, that could be important.” – The grin after he said that was classic Dean.

“So, free will, that’s only for you?” – What the hell? I feel like I don’t know Sam anymore.

“Where’s your angel?”
“Ask your mother.”

Kevin having to watch as Crowley snapped Channing’s neck. Awful, just awful.

Wait. How does Benny know that Dean told Sam that Purgatory was “pure”? Hm..interesting. I’m suspecting some sort of a connection between them.

What did you think of this episode of Supernatural? Got any favorite bits or least favorite bits of your own? I’d love to hear from you!

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  • I loved it – I loved everything about it.  Dean is so dark now, and unraveling that mystery will be fun!  I especially can’t wait to see how they explain the friendship between Dean and Benny, and how that might play into Sam and Dean’s relationship.  

    As for Sam, I’m also not a Samgirl, but I can understand why he would get out – again.  He never really wanted in so why not take the opportunity to walk away.  I liked that he said that even though he didn’t hunt the world went on.  It made sense, actually.  Shows Dean’s total obsession and dedication to “the family business”.  

    I liked Kevin being back (not a fan of the haircut, though – LOL). 

    Crowley – what can you say?  He’s a gem of a character, even if he did break Channing’s neck.  Cheeky bastard he is.

    To me, this is back to how Supernatural was meant to be.  I like it a little darker, but the humor is still throughout the show.  The burger thing was great!  I laughed out loud quite a few times tonight, but it was the times I gasped that made me love it.  

    My favorite line: “You don’t take a joint from a guy named Don, and no dogs in the car!” Awesome – classic Dean with a great song reference and his defense of Baby. Only Dean would smell dog in the car after a year. LOL

    I can’t wait for next week!

    • Anonymous

      Well I am a Sam girl and this is reiteration 1,462 on why no one should be a Sam girl or care for him whatsoever because he is a worthless human being and a bad brother.  I’m very sick of that version of Sam, but apparently it is now canon and I can just choke on it.

    • Mike

      Hey Lisa,

      I’ve been busting my brain (and google) to find out what the reference is. Any hits ? Pleaaaaase ?

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic start to the season, loved every second of it.

    Dean quite frankly scares me now. What he went through is dark and even from those glimpses of him, at the camp site, chasing those vamps, it’s easy to tell that he has changed quite a lot. He’s jumpy, clearly having flashbacks and his relationship with Benny is insane. He hugged a vampire. Dean Winchester hugged a vampire. I’m sure that Deanny (Dean/Benny) will soon become a part of the fanbase.

    Sam. Well i’m sorry for Sam. What the hell could he have done?? Everything that he ever knew as gone. Dean, Bobby, Cas, even Meg was gone. Nobody in his life was still alive or present to help him. Crowley was dead on when he said Sam was alone. So yeah Sam stopped hunting. What else could he have done for Dean? He didn’t even know where Dean was, if he was still alive or if there was even a way to get him back. I do hope that Amelia and Sam don’t end up like Lisa and Dean.

    Cas…. we miss you. I know he’s not dead but what Dean said was worrying. Cas might not be dead, but I don’t think he’ll be the same angel we all know and love.

    Crowley is awesome as always. I don’t think Mark Sheppard knows how to, or even can play a character anything less than awesome. His murder of Channing was cold, I think that was the first time we’ve seen Crowley kill a human. If so then damn, it was surprising. But that he didn’t lie was harsher, she was alive.

    Kevin, liked him in Season 7 and I still do. The new haircut is cool, and seeing him on the same path as a hunter is definitely going to take his character places.

    Absolutely straining to see the next episode, which from the promo is going to be very interesting. Can’t wait for the “cartoon physics” episode or the “Blair Witch” episode, and the episode “Blood Brother” that has been teased as “emotionally meaty.”

    One thing’s for sure. This is going to be a brilliant season if the premiere is anything to go by.

  • I liked the opening with the Dean’s mysterious escape from Purgatory and his raising of Benny. Does this make Dean a necromancer? This is back to the feeling of some of the best episodes of the show. Then we have Jeremy Carver’s development of these characters from the brothers relationship to the savvy young prophet Kevin, the much darker Crowley, and the charming menace of Benny. This episode worked for me it’s mature, gritty and tight. I hope to see more like this.

  • they could have had the setting in Purgatory for at least the full episode… soon as it started it said “One Year LAter” 

    and i hated when they fought Dick it only took 1 minute 

    they way they were making out the conflict with the LEviathans when Bobby died seemed like this would be a long, ensuing battle, but instead only took mere minutes to dissolve 

    but the Purgatory setting should have been in the present instead of used in flashbacks

    Also, I dont like that Kevin Tran has the ability to lock up all the demons in Hell for good, because it seems like this is the perfect way to end the series for good…..and I want Supernatural to stay on TV for another 2 years at least….I really dont think they have “jumped the shark” so to speak….there are numerous episodes and conflicts you can create from the paranormal, i can see this show on TV for another 5 years at least

  • Pig-n-a-poke

    Looks like more of the same – AGAIN from Supernatural. LOOK – Im a big fan but come-on! How many times can these clowns re-use the same tired scenes and storylines! When sam left to go see dean – this was a combination of the last scene in the season 5 finale and the Exile on Main Street scene from season 6. Sam was watching the house where Dean had a normal life  – now its someone else watching. The reunion – another repeat of Exile on Main Street. (but poorly done) Gee ONE of the TWO Winchesters disappears to Hell or Heaven or Purgatory in a finale and returns the next season – a rebuilt impala enters the scene as one of the two brothers harbors a secret from the other… anyone getting de-ja-vu here also??? Now on to the rest of this awful opening – Carver and company just dont listen to the fans do they? the Fans wanted a few basic things in order to give these folks a second chance. 1) Funny – everyone said they missed Deans humor 2) CASTIEL CASTIEL CASTIEL – when is Carver going to get with it – the fans want Cas back. 3) Plot – we’d like one please! stop the monster of the week crap – get back to the saga of seasons 1-5. 4) Answers – this isnt LOST guys! Close up the loose ends. Who is God – where is he? What about Bobby? Was that really it for him? Where is John Winchester who escaped from Hell 4 friggin years ago? – while Im at it where is Mary? Continue with the Heaven / Hell bit that got us all addicted to your show. At the rate youre going why not just bring Sara Gamble and Dick Roman back. Oh and STOP letting “Dean” direct too please.
    This show used to be clever with subtle humor that we miss. Titles using classic rock references and even one Happy Days reference that I think most didnt catch. “Jump the Shark” As in when a show adds a new kid when the originals arent so cute anymore like the family shows of the 70s and 80s did… Or how about “Dr Sexy M.D.”, Sam as Kit… “Cas get outta my ass!” “That Pizza delivery man really loves that woman…”
    If this is the final season – wrap all the loose ends up and give Sam and Dean a choice – start life over (memory wiped) with John and Mary – or to go to heaven. Monsters dont scare us anymore. They are all “Stunt demon number 3” now. YOu turned a great saga into a bad soap.


    Oh and for the record – Sam has always been a weak character. He is a helpless whiney sap who evidently spends too much time highlighting his locks. Hunting never was for Sam. He has no drive (unless he is soulless – which was wierd because if he had no soul then why care about hunting …) anyway back to the present… Kevin: where is this going? is he going to play “Aang the Avatar” now? They presented us with a season goal – close hells gates forever. like last year we will get a year of weak episodes that dont get us close at all to the goal because the goal probably takes 30 seconds to achieve – like killing Dick. Gee the spell to close hell is going to take a year???

    Used to LOVE this show. Dean was a GREAT character, but his character is empty now. Weak attempt at the burger joke – been done before too many times. Crowley – good character and likeable – too likeable to be the villian for a whole season – been there done that one too (season 6) Cas – gone Bobby Gone – Sam – SAP – Kevin – whatever – Kevins girlfriend – oh was this the Meg Masters episode??? no??? Ruphus – great character – Dead, Gabriel, Dead, Luci – Dead, Baltezaar – GREAT – but dead… Ben and the hottest mom ever – mind erased – as good as dead i suppose…Death – Reapers… no need for them on the show… Ghosts, Vamps, demons, blah blah blah – not scary anymore. Angels – what angel – all dead…or negotiating their contracts with Carver and company.

    Good news – the Car isnt dead!!! Wanna bet they crash it like they do EVERY season???

    Wish they would just put it outta its misery already. This was their one last chance to revive the show – BIG fail because they just couldnt listen to the fans. Ladies – I know you all like the guy-talent on the show – go watch porn or soap network or something and stop letting SN get away with stringing along a show that shouldve ended two years ago as a classic.

    • Anonymous

      If you don’t like it then don’t watch it. It’s as simple as that.

      You judge this season when it’s only had one episode, saying that the entire plot will be bad and it seems like you lost interest in this show around S6. So why are you still watching it then? If it’s just to have material to complain about then nobody is interested.

      As for your loose ends the show did deal with them, you likely just didn’t pay attention. Chuck was God, and he has left. John and Mary are in Heaven somewhere. Bobby is dead and in Heaven, though he might be returning. The show has addressed these a long time ago.

      But you seem more interested in blasting the show so have at it, but don’t expect anyone to take your complaints seriously. I myself consider Supernatural to be the best show on TV now and for quite a long while, it’s universes beyond most of the crap that passes for TV nowadays.

  • ptjackson

    I loved the premiere.

    Put me down in the camp of “what could Sam have done, everyone else was gone.” I mane, he had no one to turn to, Bobby was their biggest source of info, and without him, well, I honestly don’t see what Sam could have done. 

    No one has mentioned that poor roommate of Kevin’s girlfriend. I mean, seriously, it was horrible that the girlfriend had her neck snapped, but what about having your throat cut and your blood collected as you watch? I did laugh at Kevin’s comment to her “you are at your safety school” however…

    I’m glad that they are giving us flashbacks, I am enjoying watching them.

    Even if they can close the gates of hell, that still leaves other supernatural creatures to plague us, so I don’t think that will end the series, I mean, aren’t the leviathians still around too?

  • Hi Michelle! Great review. Now THAT is what I call a season premiere! I was a little (ok, A LOT) bummed that SPN wasn’t coming back until October, but this was very much worth the wait. It looks like Jeremy Carver and Co. have some really great things in store for us this season. But before I get ahead of myself, here are my thoughts (this might get a little long b/c I LOVED the premiere): 

    1. Holy goodness, Dean Winchester! For the last couple of seasons, Dean has been floundering. He’s been wallowing in depression and despair; drinking so much that I got cirrhosis just watching; and carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He lacked focus and purpose. Losing Cas and Bobby just made the situation worse. It seems like Purgatory has cured Dean of what ailed him. The Dean Winchester we saw last night was clear about who he is and why he’s here. He’s found his purpose again. That’s not to say that whatever happened in Purgatory isn’t having a profound effect on him. I wasn’t at all surprised that Dean grew to basically like Purgatory. He’s always had a lot of darkness in him, but he works very hard to keep that in check. When he went to Hell, he gave in to those darker natures and tortured other souls. This situation is kind of the same. He’s in a hostile environment and he’s got to do what he’s got to do to survive. He had to nurture that darkness that makes him such a skilled hunter topside in order to survive down there. Unlike Hell, however, Dean doesn’t feel guilty about killing things in Purgatory. He not only feels justified, he feels good about it. However, I think total reintegration into society is going to be difficult for him. He doesn’t have to continually be on alert the way he was in Purgatory, and it’s going to take some time for him to smooth out the rough edges he developed down there. Just as an aside, Jensen Ackles did a fantastic job of conveying Dean’s PTSD. He was jittery and on edge throughout the whole episode. Ackles is such a master of non-verbal communication.

    2. I am very intrigued by the Dean/Benny relationship. On the one hand, I can totally see Dean looking at Benny as a comrade in arms. Dean was all alone in Purgatory and Benny stepped in to have his back. But on the other hand, Dean should know from experience that monsters/demons never change their colors. They are what they are. Aside from that, I kind of liked Benny. I don’t trust him very much, but he does look like he’ll be an interesting addition to the Winchester universe. Could he be Dean’s Ruby? I’m looking forward to watching this storyline unfold. I want to find out how exactly Dean’s relationship with Benny developed and how it’s going to affect his relationship with Sam. Speaking of Sam…

    3. There are a lot of folks who are pretty upset with how Sam was characterized in this episode. But I think Sam made a reasonable choice that was completely in character for him. Sam has always wanted a normal life. I think he wanted it even more than Dean because he (Sam) never had it. Back in Season 5, Sam kind of reluctantly accepted the fact that he was never going to have normal, but at least he still had his family. At the end of S7, Sam had absolutely no one. Dean and Cas disappeared. Bobby was dead. Crowley took Kevin. Ellen and Jo are dead. Rufus is dead. He had absolutely no one and nothing. One of the things S7 made abundantly clear is that Dean kept going for Sam, and Sam kept going for Dean. Dean was gone. Why would Sam keep going? For all he knew, Dean and Cas died when Dick exploded. Where was he to start? Who was he to call? How was he to know that non-monsters could even end up in Purgatory? Was he supposed to just drive himself insane (again) grasping at straws? Sam was alone, lost, scared, and filled with grief. If he had kept hunting in that state, he would not have lasted very long. Hitting that dog and finding someone to help him find his center again saved Sam. I don’t think he would’ve survived otherwise. And after all the sacrifices he’s made and the loss that he’s endured, I don’t begrudge him some happiness.

    4. In addition to a different Dean and Sam, we also got a different Crowley. He was much more cold than we’ve seen him in seasons past. He was so nonchalant about snapping Kevin’s girlfriend’s neck. Furthermore, Crowley’s got a lot at stake here. It’s very personal. Not only are Kevin and the Winchesters trying to wipe out all demons from the Earth; Kevin bested Crowley. Crowley cannot let that go unanswered. Since the stakes are so high for him this season, I have a feeling we’re going to see a much darker, more sinister Crowley than we’ve seen in seasons past.

    This was a fantastic season opener. It set up some interesting character relationships, and a few storylines that can be very meaty over the course of the season. It also set up a season long goal, and I’ve found SPN works best when they have one goal for the season. I’ve always liked Jeremy Carver’s episodes because he has a very firm grasp on Sam and Dean’s voices, and he does a great job of combining drama and humor. For all of the emotionally heavy parts, we got some pretty good chuckles (you’re going to your safety school. ha!) and a few awwws (yes, I said awww when Sam ordered Dean a burger). Some folks are concerned that if they find the tablet and banish demons forever it will be the end of the series. I don’t think that’s the case at all because, c’mon. When has anything ever gone exactly according to plan for these guys?

    • Anonymous

      On the Sam part I wholeheartedly agree. All the hate for him is baffling. Sam made a choice to move away from the life that took everything and everyone he had from him, and into a safe normal life.

      Dean had a normal life and messed it up, and then walked away from it. Sam had a normal life and had it taken away by Yellow-Eyes, and he was actually able to last in a normal life unlike Dean who is a hunter through and through.

      My opinion on Sam’s muted response to Dean returning is that the answer why is obvious. He knows what it means. His brother has returned, and he expects Sam to return to the life, abandon the girl and get back to the family business that killed their family, friends and allies and has seen them through horrific times. Is it any surprise that he isn’t overjoyed to see Dean again knowing that this is what come of it if he says yes to Dean, and if he says no it’s as good as abandoning Dean to hunt alone and eventually be killed by some monster and die alone.

      I think that Sam actually could live a normal life. Dean can’t. Maybe once he could when Sam was gone but now after Purgatory there’s no way in hell that Dean could ever live an “apple-pie” life every again. He is a hunter, now and forever. But Sam can switch it off, and so I hope that nothing happens to that Amelia girl and that she doesn’t end up like Jess, or that she and Sam don’t end up like Dean and Lisa.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Jessica! It just isn’t officially a new season of SPN until I’ve read one of your epic comments. Love it! Agree with everything you said.  :o)

  • Gretta

    Hi Michelle, Loved your review, and love your play by plays on Twitter (although I’m East Coast and have to wait until the next morning to read them!)
    Personally, I’m still not sure exactly how I felt about last night’s episode. I guess after all the wait, hype, sneak peaks and interviews about it, the one hour just flew by too fast and didn’t answer any of the questions. Maybe they should start off the season with a two hour episode!
    I was really hoping for some more, I don’t know… emotion when the brothers were reunited. Dean began by throwing Sam to the ground, dousing and slicing him, then getting mad because Sam didn’t reciprocate, then a rather unfeeling hug, (even Dean said, “let’s do this”, like the hug was something they just had to get out of the way), then almost immediately they were arguing. They whole reunion just felt rushed, much like the whole episode did to me.
    And why did Sam seem so detached. When Dean went to Hell and Sam couldn’t do anything to get him back, he was pretty torn up about it. This time he was like, ‘oh well……sorry.’  It’s very out of character for him. He seemed way more upset about hitting the dog with his car.
    Why did Sam sneak out on his girlfriend? Did he leave her forever, or just to go meet up with Dean? Does she even know he was leaving? He pats the dog goodbye, but doesn’t even wake her up? What the Hell? Again, very unsettling.
    Dean hugging a vampire has to be the most glaring contradiction EVER! Um, does ‘if it’s a monster, we kill it.” sound familiar? I get that they were in Purgatory together, so that makes them war brothers, but still….I’m wondering if somewhere down the road Sam kills Benny. Can’t help but think it may be a possibility and a good reverse back to the ‘Girl Next Door’ episode that started an all out war with the fangirls.
    Speaking of which, how does one kill in Purgatory? Isn’t this where monsters go after they already die? Wouldn’t it be like Hell or Heaven where they can’t be killed? Where did Dean get a knife down there? Does hair not grow that much in Purgatory? lol!!
    Liked Kevin, Loved Crowley, although I have to agree with the other comment here that I believe this is the first time we’ve seen Crowley actually kill a human, and it was horrible to witness. He’s so snarky and charming that it’s hard to see him as a truly evil character, but as King of Hell I suppose it was inevitable.
    Two scenes that I thought may have been relevant but now I’m thinking may not be….When Sam left his house with the Impala, there was definitly a figure watching him. At first I thought it was Dean, but he met up with Dean at the cabin, so who was it?  Second, when they were at the motel, were they in a back parking lot or something? It didn’t look like it, as there were vending machines and a big parking area that looked like the front, but the big Palm Motel sign on the roof was backwards? They showed it twice, and maybe I was just being weird, but it looked strange to me. Not sure what that could possibly mean, but it seemed off.
    So, aside from being completely confused by this first episode, I’m eagerly waiting for next Weds. I love the show, will always watch it for as long as it’s on, but just really hope that they don’t leave the lack of explanations for too long.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Gretta! Thanks for commenting! Glad you enjoyed the review and my wacky play-by-plays on Twitter. LOL. And yes, there are some questions that need to be answered but I have a feeling that The Powers That Be are going to make everything clear as the season progresses. I think they’re keeping us in the dark about some things on purpose so that they can reveal details later. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see if I’m right. 

  • Kwstas14081992

    for me supernatural ended in season 5.but i still watch the show.but supernatural is never gonna be what it used to be.eric kripke was the creator he wanted this to be over with Sam in hell. perfect ending.the man who didnt want to be a hunter gave his life to save the world.we saw the apocalypse and now just some weak monsters come on

  • I don’t know this maybe the last episode of Supernatural I watch. I found the whole thing very frustrating. The show has been in a tail spin since they tried to revive the show after season 5. This episode kind of hit bottom for me. The fascination is gone. The past two seasons were horribly written and got on my nerves at times. This episode just made me angry. I fine with flashbacks and I get being in Purguratory for a year would change a person, but did they have to turn him into such a dill hole. The whole time I was watching I just wanted to punch him. Dean gets out of purguratory and goes back to giving his little brother orders and yelling at him for no good reason. Sam had a point it’s like Dean is the only one allowed to have free will. Like the world revolves around him and the job he does and if doesn’t get done the world will implode. If I were sam I would have dropped by to say hi and keep that door open because he’s family, but firmly let him know that hunting was out for good and leave.
    Sam finally found some happiness. He finally achieved a normal life. Something he thought he would never have and giving up on that left him severly deppressed. I can only think his depression got worse with the loss of everyone. At some point he must have realized his life didn’t have to be a living hell and got out of the game and looked for happiness. If anything I could see Sam eventually really showing anger towards dean for always trying to get him to give up what makes him happy. It’s like if Sam is happy Dean’s world crashes. It’s time Dean moves on and hunts on his own. He’s just ruining the life of someone he cares about.