Open Couch to Exile on Main Street


It runs in the family! 

This seems to be what a passionate relationship with a tv-show must be like - you wait and you wait for the new season to come around, and then you sit there, spellbound, hardly breathing. 

I've had my heart broken before. In real life by twists of fate, by bad choices I made or by falling for the wrong guy. In the fantasy world of literature and movies it happened, too.  I cried my eyes out over Imitation of Life and Legends of the Fall, and hardly survived Anna Karenina. But usually it doesn't happen too often.  I have a tight grip on reality. Or, I try to have!
This show, however, is an exception that proves me wrong. Repeatedly. I felt the familiar cracking inside my chest several times since I began watching this show, and this new episode demonstrated to me - again - that Supernatural will continue to do so. So, it will remain a love-hate relationship of loving the characters, the story, the exploits, hating the pain that barely ever ceases to torture these guys we have enclosed in our souls. Five years and counting. I love my life.
There is no The Road So Far montage this time - just a few glimpses of Swan Song, perhaps to say: "don't enter if you haven't watched the show so far" or to invite newbies and not confuse them with too much information. But we get a fabulous new title card - shattering glass (to me it looked like ice or a mirror and I love the idea of hell being a cold place, very Dante and Milton). Yes, this is a whole new show. And yet it is exactly what we have loved since it first graced our screens: two brothers in a relationship that is filled with pain, angst, loss, in short: glorious drama.
Sam's words before he disappeared in the deep pit of hell echo in Dean's dreams -  perhaps almost every night, and as he wakes up (shortly before the alarm clock hits off) his eyes speak of his troubled mind. A year has passed, but it doesn't appear as if Dean's wounds have healed. Not by far. Perhaps he's found a little peace, living his "normal, apple pie life" -  cooking breakfast, working, showing little Ben the ropes of fixing a car, finding tenderness with Lisa, barbecuing - we see the similarities of Dean using a saw on wood and on vampires, cracking open some wall or a coffin (and I wouldn't be surprised if Dean experienced those montaged pictures himself, memories sneaking up every time he closes the trunk, goes through his tools, opens a beer bottle, perhaps we were given a glimpse of Dean's mind in that sequence).
And the "practically respectable" Dean is unable to relax. Looking cosy on the outside in his sweatpants and t-shirt, he still drinks a tad too much and keeps checking the house. He certainly is not a Beautiful Loser, as the Bob Seger song we get indicates, but he is without doubt beautiful and lost. Like a fish stranded on land. The old instincts are hard to shed, aren't they, Dean? He still is a protector. Holy water and gun under the bed. Devil's trap beneath the front door carpet. Lisa could have given him peace of mind, had he been able to let that happen, but he probably wasn't capable of that - we learn later that he assembled a mountain of books trying to find a way to free Sam. His mind was never entirely free. For moments perchance, when he played with Ben, found understanding with Lisa, got money for work. But his past was his present, too.
His smile hardly ever reaches his eyes. Sitting in a bar with nice Sid, he's acting. Dean is playing the role of the "husband", the inconspicuous neighbour, the guy who used to work in pest control. Telling the truth without actually telling it. Masterly, Dean. And so lonely. 
As the waitress passes him the bill with her phone number on it, he is not aware that he was just touched and poisoned by a Djinn (later, as we meet the Djinns I noticed I've seen that girl before, but only as I re-watched the episode I recognized her in this early scene)  Chicks might dig the unavailable guys but this Dean isn't interested. He is monogamous. The flirty guy from the early seasons is gone indeed. He's tired, on his way home when a scream attracts his attention and leads him to a hotel in renovation (DJ Sam? Nice one, Sera Gamble!). He follows scratches and blood, quite nervous (and why not, he hasn't had much training lately but still enough experience to impersonate successfully a police officer when checking with police later on). And is led by scratches to a shed the following day and almost shoots a Yorkie (I wouldn't have been surprised if it had been the one from Yellow Fever - this episode already (after ten minutes) feels like a surreal journey. Like a mirror in which I find What Is And What Should Never Be in more ways than just the Djinn. I'll get to that in a moment.