Episode 7.1

“Meet The New Boss” Review
By Bekah James

Supernatural 7.01: Meet The New Boss
Written by Sera Gamble
Directed by Phil Sgriccia
Music: “Slow Ride” by Foghat and “These Boots Are Made For Walking” by Nancy Sinatra

Welcome to Season 7! We picked up mere seconds after S6’s harrowing finale, which was just what I wanted to see. I needed resolution after a summer of knuckle-biting and fretting about the new order… what with a new god (or would it be God) in town.

There is no way I could start this review without talking about the masterful performance given by Misha Collins this week. He played each of his roles with such finesse that it makes the possibility of him not being around each week an even bigger heart ache. I have noticed that Misha has been very careful to say that Castiel is not the new Big Bad. He never really said that he wasn’t playing the new Big Bad. The man is a freakin’ genius; towing the company line in such a pervasive manner. SO Misha. I would be more than okay with Leviathan-living-in-Cas being the Big Bad for this Season. I’m hopeful that Cas is alive in there and that the Winchesters will work toward ganking Levi (yeah, I’m on a nickname-basis with Leviathan) without killing Cas. Misha was fantastic at the maniacal monster powerful enough to (potentially) overtake a juiced-up angel. The gleam in his eyes, the creeptastic grin… YES. Let’s see more more more!

The Cas fans out had to be relieved to see our favorite trenchcoated angel redeemed. The “Save Castiel” campaign was a success! Cas felt regret and sought to make amends before he died (well, his supposed death). If Cas is truly gone, at least he went out the same Cas we all fell in love with. So… Cas, if you’re dead… RIP good friend. (But he’s totally not… I’m sticking to that delusion as long as possible!)

It was heartbreaking to see Sam suffering hallucinations about his time in the Cage. I knew it was coming—and that it is surely to be a how-do-we-fix-it theme of Season 7—but I was not looking forward to it. It is interesting to see how Sera Gamble and Phil Sgriccia envisioned Hell since we saw so little from Dean’s time in the Pit. Maybe it’s a little twisted, but I was always curious to see the Supernatural spin on it. The meat hooks were a nice touch, especially with the dangling, uh, meat. I do wish Sam would have been honest with Dean and Bobby about what was happening to him. Hello? Sam? Did your brother not live through Hell? Didn’t Bobby see you through the demon blood detox debacle? It’s frustrating to see Sam fail to realize his strong support system time and time again. Bobby is picking up on the signs, but Dean (as always) is reluctant to be proactive when it relates to his little brother.

It was a shock to see Lucifer back. I saw Mark Pellegrino’s name in the opening credits, but figured he’d take the form of a flashback. I never even imagined he’d be back as an actual character! And what?! Are we about to be Dallas-ed by the producers? Is Sam still stuck with Michael and Lucifer in the Cage? Did all of Season 6 not really happen? (Personal Note Here: That might not be an awful thing.) It’s a shocking idea, but really, I have come to expect to be shocked by Supernatural at every turn. I’m sure there would be a certain gnashing of teeth should that come to pass, but I think it might border on ingenious. That would open up a door for the producers to have a freakin’ second try at this whole thing! Is it the weeny way out? Probably. But I’m up for it.

About Death. I was glad to see him back. I have a great love for Death as a character. It was a ballsy move (even for the Winchesters) to try to make Death their bitch. Nice effort—loved that Dean thought to get Death a happy meal—but they had to know that Cas would cotton on to what they were doing. I mean, hello… he’s GOD. So, nice effort, but no dice. Julian Richings was as divine as he was fear-inducing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… perfect casting there. I thought I was going to choke on my beer when Death asked Cas if they should kickbox after Cas freed him. I would have paid GOOD MONEY to see that go down. Hilariously delivered.

MARK A. SHEPARD. Just the name alone should say it all, but because I’m slightly in love with the man, I’ll say a little more. Nancy Sinatra’s song (“These Boots Were Made For Walking”) was the most perfect choice ever made in Supernatural history (excepting, of course, “Carry On My Wayward Sons”) for Crowley’s grand entrance. Finding Crowley in a beat-up RV in a campground watching antennae’d TV was hysterical. Oh how the mighty have fallen! Crowley is always looking for the best way to survive, and he’s found it in his new (er, old?) post as King of Hell. Technically, King is just an honorific. He has no true say in the souls he gets—and he certainly doesn’t get a voting seat in the Heaven/Hell Parliament. The brothers summon Crowley to find out some answers—in the smallest Devil’s Trap ever—and Crowley seems torn: to conspire or not to conspire… that is the question. In the end, there is only one way that could have gone, huh? Of course he will conspire. I’m not sure that conspiring against God and Death was such a good way to go, but I’m confident that Crowley will snake his way out of consequences. (Yay!)

Oh, here’s something that concerned me. The way the boys looked. I’ve always enjoyed that rugged and dirty quality to their clothes, hair and general air. But in this episode, they looked polished and coiffed. The product in Jensen’s hair was beautiful… but not for Dean. Especially when he’s in overalls to fix the damn Impala! He had, like, NO grease and/or other detritus on him. I date a mechanic. I know that is not in the least bit accurate. Details, people! Supernatural fans need authenticity! Oh, and this goes for Sam, too. He was tortured by hallucinations, but damn, he looked good— and artfully rumpled. Too good for a man battling his own ginormous set of demons (or you know… Satan). I have my fingers crossed that this was a one-off and that the producers are not setting the course for the boys to have that glossed over 90210 look about them. Sweet Jesus, please… don’t… do… it.

The angles in this episode rocked my world. Cas in the politicians office was a particular favorite of mine. Phil Sgriccia astounds me at the best of times—and this was definitely one the best times. The darkness in the episode (both in themes and in lighting) was excellent, and well-balanced with humor. The couple that witness the negotiations between God/Death/Winchesters was a stroke of brilliance. This episode has rocketed to my Top 5 Episodes Ever of Ever.

I guess it is impossible to be in love with this episode without singing the praises of Sera Gamble. I know she has been vilified by some fans, but she has proven—with this one little episode—her worth to the series. It was amazing. The one-liners alone were first-class. The Death/Cas interaction was on the money. The targets of Cas’ smiting… priceless. She even managed to point out Dean’s all-hours drinking without poking at it with a big, obvious stick. Sera… well done. Well done like a son of a bitch.

Bekah’s Back To Drinking:

Well, I pretty much drank this whole episode. I was a nervous wreck about the whole Cas business, so I gave myself a free pass to get rip-roarin’ blitzed. Next week I’ve decided to drink anytime there is an image of Hell and/or the Cage, be it hallucination, flashback or “real.”