Supernatural has returned for an eleventh season, and while it’s crazy to think that the series has now been on the air since 2005, it’s even crazier that the show is somehow just as enjoyable now as it was a decade ago. In some ways though, that’s the problem with the season eleven premiere. It’s neither better or worse than what’s come before; it’s exactly the same. It seems silly to complain about the show being consistently good, but it wouldn’t have hurt Supernatural to have the same kind of shake up that Arrow has seen in its fourth year.
For example, it’s equal parts disappointing and infuriating that Sam and Dean are once again lying to each other. We’ve been here before so many times that it’s become a trope in Supernatural, and viewers are now left to count down the episodes until they inevitably find out about each other’s deception and probably end up falling out as a result. Hopefully that won’t be the case, but it’s certainly looking that way so far, and to put it bluntly, it’s boring. Sam being infected also feels like a retread of old ground (must one of the brothers always have something wrong with them?), but it’s far too early to judge how that’s going to play out at this point.
That aside though, there’s a lot that this premiere does right. Castiel has been put in an interesting predicament which is sure to keep fans of the character hooked on what happens next, while it’s good to see that Mark Sheppard’s Crowley will continue to be a big part of Supernatural moving forward, even if the way his story arc from the season ten finale wraps up feels a little like a cop out on the show’s part. With a new foe seemingly looming in the form of The Darkness, it was great to see both of these characters react to that in such a unique way and for old foes like Lucifer and Michael to get a mention as a way of emphasizing just how ancient and dangerous this mysterious force really is.
This episode doesn’t delve too much into that though, but teases us enough to ensure that we’ll all be coming back to see how this one plays out.
Instead of revealing a big bad (though there are some very interesting teases about that thanks to some compelling flashbacks focusing on Dean), we’re instead treated to the Winchesters taking on zombie-like infected townspeople who don’t have a huge impact, but do feel pretty different to what we’ve seen before. There’s some real emotional stakes here, too, and Sam and Dean’s disagreement over how best to handle the situation results in a conversation and disagreement which is in many ways long overdue.
While it’s a shame that Supernatural hasn’t really done as much as it could have in a bid to keep things fresh, it could also be argued that it really doesn’t need to at this stage. Fans of the series are in it for the long haul, and with “Out Of The Darkness, Into The Fire” proving that The CW show is as entertaining and enjoyable as ever, it’s good to have the Winchesters back for another year and (hopefully) beyond.
With an intriguing new threat and the return of the same great characters, Supernatural season eleven may not be a radical departure from what's come before, but it's as enjoyable as ever, and that alone is reason enough to keep watching.