Proving that Supernatural is still able to best many a network series (even in its seventh year on the air), the season 7 premiere brilliantly sets up what may very well be the series’ best year yet, with masterful storytelling, rich character development, and the introduction of a seasonal story-arc that beautifully incorporates mythology that is centuries old.

Picking up where last season’s finale left off, the Supernatural season 7 premiere, entitled “Meet the New Boss,” forces Sam, Dean, and Bobby to somehow prevent the power hungry Castiel from smiting the entirety of the human race and, more importantly, destroying the world with the evil that’s contained within him.

Seeking out the help of the once-thought-dead Crowley, The Winchester brothers attempt to enslave Death and force him to kill Castiel, who has given himself the title of god. In what may be one of the most captivating scenes in the series history, the presumed showdown between Castiel and Death not only represents the immense talent that drives this series, but also introduces the extremely intriguing season story arc involving the seven princes of Hell.

While only the Leviathan was mentioned in the season opener, one can only assume that (in typical Supernatural fashion) the intent to delve deeper into the world’s mythos and provide a modern day telling of these stories will be followed with the rest of the demonic princes: Asmodeus, Beelzebub, Belphegor, Mammon, Satan and Lucifer (though he’s currently stuck in a cage, in Hell).

When viewers passionately state that Supernatural is their favorite television series currently on the air, it’s because of that aforementioned attention to detail and interest in exploring all facets of supernatural lore. What appears to simply be a television drama about a pair of demon hunting brothers, Supernatural beautifully juxtaposes this premise with all of the many tales that the history of the world contains (from Greek mythology to vampires).

By logically presenting all of these stories (which are largely contradictory to each other) into a single, cohesive plot that remains true to the core premise that the series originated with, Supernatural serves to not only elevate itself with each passing year, but to also elevate the expectations of its viewers.

In a sense, Supernatural wonderfully does what many of the more touted series on television cannot seem to do: evolve. While it certainly can be said that there have been a few slight bumps in the road along the way, those errors were never egregious, nor were they long-lasting.

As Supernatural season 6 was generally an unplanned continuation of Eric Kripke’s intended storyline for the entirety of the series, there were more than enough signs last season that the producers were trying to not only figure out where they’d like to take the series from here on out, but also how to do so while maintaining the high level of quality.

That being said: even if certain storylines felt forced or elementally incomplete in regards to the caliber of storytelling one expects from the series, Supernatural has more than earned itself the coveted “wait and see” approach in television. As the story progresses and more information is revealed, the series has continuously vindicated itself from any presumed wrongdoing – whether intention or simply a “fix.”

This dedication to the fixing of errors (and I use the term “errors” in the most loose sense possible) is just one of the many signs that Supernatural wholeheartedly respects its viewers, and why the series has earned the trust of its audience, while other more well-known series have not.

With Castiel now “dead” and the Leviathan taking over his human vessel, it’s exciting to see where things will go as the season progresses – especially since Sam is battling the presumed hallucinations of Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino).

If the Supernatural season 7 premiere represents the caliber of storytelling that will be executed for the remainder of the season, there’s no doubt that this may very well be the best year that the series has presented yet.

Supernatural airs Friday @9pm on The CW

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