Welcome back, Supernatural! After an extended “Then” segment that recapped the season’s major storylines, we were thrust back into the turbulent world of Season 9 with a story that started with flickering lights in the Men of Letters bunker. Based on Kevin’s presence in the recap you could guess what was coming next – our dearly departed prophet has taken up ghostly residence in the bunker. Sam and Dean’s exchange illustrated that the Winchesters were not having this invasion of their privacy:
Sam: “So…”

Dean: “Yep, bunker’s haunted.”

Said with the same urgency one would use to announce a clogged toilet. While I initially thought Kevin’s cell phone was tethering him to the bunker, we find out in the final minutes it’s actually his father’s ring keeping him around. Wait, you’re probably asking, why would Kevin remain on Earth as a ghost? Shouldn’t he be in Heaven? That was my thought. Turns out since the angels fell that Heaven is closed for business and the souls of people who’ve died since then are caught inside the veil between life and death. It’s a pleasant place that Kevin describes as the “DMV times infinity.” I like this excuse for bringing Kevin back better than the one that kept Bobby around for way longer than was necessary. It meshes with what we already knew about this season – Heaven is empty – and adds extra motivation for Sam and Dean to find and kill Metatron. What’s not explained is where the souls that were in Heaven (you know, just those billion or so people) went after Metatron’s spell, but since it’s not relevant to the plot, I digress. Kevin is stuck in a crowded sort of purgatory and wants the Winchesters to find his mom.

In the meantime, Castiel’s quest to sort out the angel quagmire led him straight to Bartholomew, the underdeveloped angel faction leader with model good looks and followers who chose to possess the bodies of terrible actors. I’ll give “Captives” credit for developing Bart as a character and fleshing out the angel conflict. Once the antagonistic nature of Castiel and Bart’s relationship was made clear, I started to get excited for another angel to join the mix this season. Then Castiel stabbed Bart in the gut and yanked away that dynamic right as it was getting interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I was pumped to see badass Castiel (my favorite variation) back in action. Hearing him utter “let me pass” got me all hot and bothered. I just wish the writers better understood when to pull the plug with minor characters. We just spent an entire episode unraveling Bart’s methodology and now he’s gone. That feels like time wasted to me since there are other ways of showing that Castiel is a fierce warrior who forges his own path.

Sam and Dean’s quest to find Mrs. Tran took them to a storage locker that belonged to Crowley, who left one of his minions in charge. This was of course after the brothers communicated with the ghost of Candy, who gave them enough information to track down the exact storage unit where Kevin’s mom was being held. (My local CW station did cut off part of the episode, so forgive me if that sequence I missed explained why the search was so easy.) I’ve never been a fan of Mrs. Tran or the actress who plays her with such a profound lack of subtlety. Hopefully her reunion with Kevin marks the character’s last appearance on the show. She at least got to gank the demon that held her captive before she exited stage left. I’m not sure killing the demon’s host was necessary if an exorcism could’ve been performed, but since the exact dynamics of what happens to the human body during demon possession has never been explained definitively, I’m going to assume it the murder was unavoidable.

Before he departs the bunker to spend his final days on Earth with his mom (sounds worse than life in the veil if you ask me) ghost Kevin makes the brothers promise to let go of the animosity between them. They both agree and Sam does that weird throat clearing thing that means he’s lying, then once Kevin leaves the brothers retreat to their rooms to pout. Glad to see they’re handling this tension between them in a mature fashion. I’m all for fallout and changing the dynamic between Sam and Dean as we head toward what could be the final season, but this ending was frustrating. An hour later and the only major development from this episode is that Castiel now has a burgeoning group of followers. Let’s hope the Ghostfacers can kick things up a notch next week.

Line of the week

“Let me pass.” – Badass Castiel

Next week on Supernatural

How The Flash Just Set Up Cisco's Departure television 5d How The Flash Just Set Up Cisco's Departure Mick Joest
How Will The Flash Explain The Return Of Nora's XS When Bart Allen Arrives? television 5d How Will The Flash Explain The Return Of Nora's XS When Bart Allen Arrives? Megan Behnke
Following Controversy Rumors, Producer Clarifies Why Dominic Purcell Is Breaking From The Arrow-Verse television 6d Following Controversy Rumors, Producer Clarifies Why Dominic Purcell Is Breaking From The Arrow-Verse Erik Swann