Supernatural Season 9 Episode One Review: “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here”
“Dean’s gonna be pissed.”
Sam has stated that more than once over the course of Supernatural as a response when there are no good options, just a bevy of bad ones. In the Season 9 opener, “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here,” it’s apparent that when Sam learns of Dean’s machinations and deals, he’s going to be pissed.
“I’m Gonna Like It Here” explores the internal musings of a comatose Sam while Dean seeks angelic assistance to heal him. In his coma, Sam speaks with Dean, Bobby and Death. Dreamlike Dean exists to urge Sam to continue fighting and to remind Sam that Dean needs him in order to survive himself. Bobby and Death serve to remind Sam that each person’s life ends. Dreamlike Bobby praises Sam’s accomplishments on earth. “How many people can say they saved the world?” Death, sometimes an adversary, lauds Sam’s achievements. “Well played, my boy.”
As comatose Sam ponders whether or not to allow Death to reap him, he utters truisms. He asks Death, “If I go with you, can you promise for this time, it will be final. No coming back…and that no one gets hurt because of me?” Sam is prepared to die. He doesn’t want Dean to make any more deals that could make Sam feel guilty or injure Dean in any way. Death nods. Dean, with the assistance of severely wounded fallen angel enters Sam’s mind and convinces him to continue living, by saying, “There ain’t no me if there ain’t no you.”
Of course not. Supernatural needs both Sam and Dean alive and well riding in the Impala through America’s backroads on another quest to fight demons, monsters, the king of Hell and now fallen angels. Ethical issues drive Supernatural as much as do the mythological characters. And Dean, in keeping Sam alive, has once again crossed into some pretty murky moral dilemmas. Not only does he have to look out for wrathful angels, but how long does he think he can keep Sam from learning the truth? What will Sam’s response be when he learns Dean allowed an angel to possess him? What if Ezekiel doesn’t stay compliant as he heals? Will Sam, a vessel for Ezekiel, become a beacon for all angels seeking wrath on Cas? How will Sam be changed from possession?
At the end of Season 8 Sam told Dean in the “Great Escapist” he had never felt clean as a child. He thought the trials were purifying him. Will Sam think Ezekiel’s presence is purifying him? At what cost? The dilemma Sam unknowingly is facing may also be a metaphor for the rest of the human vessels who house angels. Some, like Hale, possess bodies not strong enough to contain them. Others, like the man Ezekiel possessed seem unharmed once the angel departs. Cas, a fallen angel, is now mostly human and retains his desire to “fix” the evils he’s wrought as well as the ones Metatron has created. How much help can he be to the Winchesters when he is so easily distracted by the adjustments he must make as he learns to live in his human body?
“I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” ends with an exhausted Sam waking to Dean’s glib lies and cautious face. What’s Sam going to do when he learns he’s been possessed? What will he do when he learns his brother has betrayed him?
When characters are challenged to select the best decision from a host of bad ones, we know we’re again watching the Winchester brotherly angst which the writers of Supernatural so effectively provide. I think I’m gonna like Season 9. How about you?