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Tonight’s highly anticipated episode of Supernatural takes place one year after the season 7 ended. This is not the first time Supernatural had featured a time jump but it is the most recent. Another feature that shouldn’t be new to SPN fans; the timeslot change. Initially premiering on a Tuesday, then moving to Thursdays for its second season, the two boys in their vintage car lived on Fridays for the past two seasons but now have found a home on Wednesday nights the eventual lead out of Arrow premiering next week.

Starting tonight’s episode is” Locomotive Breath” by Jethro Tull backing a typically epic montage showing us where we left off. Where we pick up is in Maine one year later. A bright white light appears above a couple in a tent. The woman wakes up first and wakes her partner as something runs past outside. Stepping out, the guy is confronted by Dean (Jensen Ackles) who looks a little dirtier but oddly no more hairy than when we left off. That proves it; purgatory is not in fact the mini-hell people have made it out to be, it’s a vacation from shaving if you can survive.

Louisiana four days later, we see Dean getting out of a mustard orange truck as “Man in the Wilderness” by Styx plays. Stopping under a water tower outside Lafayette, Louisiana we see Dean has an injured arm. Not that that stops him from digging up a yet unnamed Benny by slicing open his throbbing arm with Latin. “Wow that was fast.” Bernie doesn’t seem to think so. The men part with Dean telling vampire Benny to keep his nose clean. (Note despite the setting of Louisiana, this isn’t True Blood; his name isn’t Vampire Benny – he’s just Benny....who happens to be a vampire.)

A new tablet-y opening and then we see Sam in his house in Texas with a dog and a girl whom he leaves in the middle of the night to drive the Impala to Montana where he walks into a cabin and is attacked by Dean who runs all the usual tests on his brother. A big brotherly hug and Dean explains that “Standing too close to exploding Dick sends you to Purgatory.” Unfortunately Cas didn’t make it. Apparently he let go and while Dean didn’t see him die “I saw enough.”

Half of Sam’s numbers are out of service because Sam ditched the phones. Makes it hard for your dead brother to contact you Sammy! Dean doesn’t believe that Sam quit hunting and this does not go over well with Dean. “Did you look for me Sam?” Apparently the answer is no and despite their agreement that they wouldn’t look for each other when they died, Dean is upset his brother didn’t put the same in effort they previously had.

With a box of their old cell phones, Dean passes on food for possibly the first time since this show started. Hell, it takes a lot to kill demons. While Sam eats, Dean goes thru Sam’s cell phones and finds numerous messages from Kevin Tran who after six months assumes Sam is dead. Dean rightly tells Sam that Kevin was their responsibility. After some Sammy technological wizardry, they find out that Kevin was on a bus to Centerville, Michigan to presumably visit his high school girlfriend. Sam tries to make it up to Dean by finding Kevin and letting Dean drive. Baby shows “no visible signs of douchery” unlike the last time Sam took her and after noting his beloved smells like dog, they’re off.

Dean can’t help but faze back to purgatory while two kids play in at the motel across from the gas station. Flashback: Dean comes across as vampire while he’s out hunting Cas. The vamp tells him that he doesn’t know where Cas is and meets his death by beheading. Someone wasn’t thrilled with this as a monsters jumps on Dean. We then see how he and Benny likely got their start as Benny beheads this monster. Back in the present, Dean gives a typical Dean glower before cutting to the first commercial of the broadcast.

Dean is concerned that Sam’s rational for taking a year off is that people would be okay. Sam points out that Dean is okay. Sam tells Dean that he learned that the whole world wasn’t up to him to fix. Dean correctly surmises that there was a girl. “There was a girl and then there wasn’t. Any more questions?” He tells Dean that he found something he hadn’t had his whole life and Dean demands the story. Dean of course throws a “bitch fit” when he finds out that there was a dog in his car even if Sammy did run it over first. Dean tells Sam about Purgatory felt like “360 degree combat” but it felt “pure”.

Flashback: Benny tells Dean he has a way out for humans. Dean asks him to prove it but this is one of those things that you’re either in or out. Benny wants to hitch a ride on Dean a “soul train” if you will but: “First rule of purgatory, you can’t trust anyone.” Dean wants to find Cas first and after a minor objection, Benny agrees.

Kevin’s girlfriend tells the boys that she hasn’t seen Kevin since he stole his mother’s car. Dean is a more than a little appalled that she ditched Kevin because he wasn’t going to Princeton any more. Of course all is explained back at the dorm room when the girlfriend uses a demon phone call (slicing the throat of a human into a silver bowl with a silver blade and chanting more Latin).

Sam sees a chocolate lab that looks nothing like the dog he hit with his car and flashes back to the memory. Dean returns with nothing. A hamburger arrives, Sam pushes it to Dean and the audience is treated to more footage of Dean eating. Is it just me or can he make anything look good? Sam informs Dean that Kevin’s been using the same router for the past few months in Iowa. The gas alone on this trip must be making them wish this were any other stay-at-home case.

They walk into the decrepit church that Kevin’s been staying in and are sprayed by Borax. Kevin offers them towels and explains that when Crowley kidnapped him, first he was taken to a warehouse, then he was told “the sky’s the limit for you and I” providing he interpreted another tablet. Dean wants to know how many words of god there are. Kevin is looking at the tablet but all he can see is bits and pieces, but after noting the heat, Kevin starts to translate about hell gates. Specifically one in Wisconsin and how to open it. God’s recipe book; I think it’d be a best seller. You? Kevin conducts a spell from another chapter of the book: how to destroy demons. Crowley is left in a field in Wisconsin being eaten by goats. Kevin stashed the tablet but before he did, he read the part about how to close the gates of hell forever. And thus, our season is set.

The guys agree that Kevin is doing pretty well so far but then they disagree. Dean wants to take Kevin to the tablet and close the gates of hell but Sam thinks he’s been thru enough. Dean wins out so Sam goes to apologize to Kevin for neglecting him all summer. Kevin tells him that he’s having trouble believing that he’s a prophet and Sam gives him the “it gets better” speech. Kevin rebuffs it but Sam tells him that there’s a way for Kevin to live a life free of demons and Levis.

Way back when Sam hit the dog, the vet tells Sam that the dog should pull thru. Sam wasn’t going to take the dog but Amy guilt trips him into taking the dog.

In the present time, the church starts shaking and Dean has a new toy to use against the pair of demons on the other side. No matter though, we’re back to the demon killing knife Ruby gave them five seasons ago. “Hello boys” Crowley doesn’t think Dean looks as nice as we do. Kevin is tempted by the idea that he could get his girlfriend back but Sam and Dean point out she could already be dead. Kevin tries to trade himself for the girl, the guys are against it, and Kevin runs to a room in the back of the church which is booby trapped with demon stopping liquid. Probably salt water. Crowley orders the demon inside the girlfriend to “find another meat suit” because as the car speeds away with Kevin, Crowley snaps the girl’s neck.

Kevin is taking the news about as well as expected that the King of Hell just snapped his girlfriend’s neck but Dean is unimpressed. He calls back the supposed wrong number he just got outside the car and wants to know how Benny got a cell phone. Dean says that they shouldn’t talk to each other until they’re settled but Benny doesn’t play fair reminding Dean that purgatory was pure.

Next time: “The word of god is for sale.”

To learn more about the two boys from Lawrence you can follow Jared Padalecki (@jarpad), Misha Collins (@mishacollins), Mark Sheppard (@Mark_Sheppard) tweets protected, Osric Chau (@OsricChau), The CW (@CW_network), SpoilerTV_SPN (@SpoilerTV_SPN), SpoilerTV (@SpoilerTV), and of course me (@FireflyTARDIS).

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