When we last left the Winchester boys Dean was dead and stranded in hell leaving Sam as the last Winchester standing. Lilith managed to snag Dean's soul for hell but was unable to do anything against Sam, in fact, she high-tailed it out of there like she was running for her life.
Supernatural's back and in very fine shape. Season three was all in all a bit uneven and you could tell from the very first episode. If the premiere sets the tone for the season, year four is going to be amazing both in the development of the boys' relationship and in deeply layered mythology.
Dean's been in hell for four months, leaving Sam and friend of the family Bobby in bad shape. In a sequence that had me having season six Buffy flashbacks Dean wakes up six feet under and claws his way out of his coffin. After a few attempted stabbings and tests to prove he's really Dean, Sam and Bobby welcome him home with open arms. Of course things aren't quite that easy, they have no idea who or what yanked Dean out of hell, only that it seems to be following him around and left him with a nasty hand print shaped burn. A trip to the local psychic to find some answers got them a name, Castiel, and the psychic a trip to the hospital sans eyeballs.
It's very clear over the course of the episode that there's going to be a lot of tension between the brothers this year. From the very first scene together the boys are lying through their teeth about all sorts of things from Sam's powers to the little bits Dean does seem to remember of hell. Sam tells Dean that he's not using his "demon killing ESP" but later exorcises a demon with his mind. The visual differences between a regular exorcism and the Sammy Winchester special are very interesting and may point towards Sam's abilities being demonic in origin. Other lies include not telling Dean that Ruby is still around and has been "helping" Sam out. I'm still very wary of her intentions, but she's very interesting as a character and I'm glad to see she's still around.
The big reveal of the episode is the identity of Castiel and Dean being pulled in as a major mythological figure. Castiel is an angel and he pulled Dean out of hell because God commanded it. Big man upstairs still has work for Dean to do. This is a major change from that last three season where Sam has been the major mythological figure with the big destiny and being pushed and pulled by outside forces. Welcome to the club Dean Winchester, it should be a very interesting ride.
Castiel is the angel of Thursday. I refuse to believe Kripke did that one on accident.
Shook Me All Night Long - ACDC
Fight Song - The Republican Tigers
Vision - Jason Manns
Wrapped Around Your Finger - Martyn Laight