Spoilers ahead for the Supernatural Season 15 winter premiere on The CW, called "The Trap."
Supernatural returned to The CW with its final winter premiere ever, and it was a doozy of an episode that revealed another big death and left me seriously concerned that Castiel's demise is on the way, for real this time! It picked up after the fall finale that saw Sam and Eileen fall into Chuck's hands while Dean and Cas faced a return to Purgatory to retrieve a Leviathan Blossom, and it was in Purgatory that Dean (and fans) got some bad news: Benny is dead.
Of course, Benny's odds of survival weren't the best ever since he decided to return to Purgatory not too long after he escaped, but Dean went to Purgatory expecting to find his old vamp friend reigning as king. When a Leviathan dropped the bombshell that Benny died long ago, Dean didn't take it well, and Cas wasn't exactly rejoicing either. Apparently, the appearance of an alternate Benny earlier in Season 15 wasn't a sign that the real Benny would be back. R.I.P. Benny.
His death and the subsequent desperate Purgatory mission to retrieve a Leviathan Blossom are what leave me more worried than ever about Castiel, not to mention what went down in Sam's storyline! The tension between Dean and Cas finally broke in "The Trap," after Cas was seemingly killed after being snared in an angel trap set by Leviathan. Dean recited a desperate prayer, confirming that of course he forgave Cas, that Cas is his best friend, and that they still have a profound bond.
Castiel of course wasn't dead (this time), and he heard Dean's prayer, leading to the boys sharing a touching hug in Purgatory before returning to the bunker with the Purgatory Blossom. Something good happened to the extended Winchester family? Consider me concerned that one of those involved will bite the dust sooner rather than later! Benny's death is a sign that characters are going to keep dying, and the Purgatory survivors are dying off.
Then, in Sam's storyline, Chuck took Sam on a twisted version of It's A Wonderful Life, showing him the future if he and Dean were successful in trying to stop Chuck, with the goal of breaking Sam's sense of hope. In the future Sam saw, Castiel had gone mad after taking the Mark of Cain and was no longer around to help the Winchesters. In the present, Cas took the Mark because Dean couldn't do it again. Having the Mark of Cain is dangerous enough; throw in the future where Cas is absent, and possibly dead or doomed, and why shouldn't I worry?
Honestly, the only characters I'm confident will survive to the series finale are Sam and Dean, and I won't be surprised if one or both are dead by the time the final credits roll. No spinoff is in the works, and Jared Padalecki has a new series lined up that will not involve playing Sam Winchester. There's no reason that Supernatural can't kill off the leads and leave them dead, and each episode that passes makes me more and more worried about Cas. The Empty is still waiting.
Still, anything can happen. Unlike the other long-running CW series ending this year, Supernatural still has a bunch of episodes left before the end in the spring. For now, you can look forward to new episodes of Supernatural on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. The next episode promises to finally show the boys dealing with Chuck taking away parts of their lives, so be sure to tune in on January 23.