Supernatural and the Winchesters return for a thirteenth season that sees Sam and Dean become the unwitting guardians of Lucifer's son.
Supernatural kicks-off season 13 right where season 12 left things. That's not too surprising, considering the situation that Sam and Dean found themselves in: stuck in a house with the rapidly maturing son of the devil, moments after they lost their mother, Castiel, and Crowley – though, his having been a backstabbing demon and all that's not too much of a loss when you come to think about it. As far as set-ups go, though, putting the Winchesters in the same space as the spawn of Satan before cutting to black is a guaranteed attention-grabber – season 13 or not. And as the series demonstrates with 'Lost and Found', those rather peculiar circumstances lead the brothers to and even stranger situation – potentially acting as guardians to one of the most powerful (and hypothetically evil) beings in existence.
To be fair, the brothers aren't exactly on the same page when it comes to dealing with Jack, but then it wouldn’t be Supernatural if Sam and Dean saw eye-to-eye. But while the series introduces some familiar brotherly conflict early on, it also adds an interesting variable to the equation that could take things in as close to a new place you could expect from a series that's run for as long as this one has. Sam and Dean were confronted with the season 13 Big Bad at the end of season 12 – or so they thought. Being the son of Lucifer, Jack (Alexander Calvert) certainly has the requisite DNA to be the season's primary antagonist and as he demonstrated time and again throughout the episode, he's powerful enough to cause the sort of large-scale problem that would take a season to solve. But Supernatural's not going to let nepotism decide who is and isn't the Winchesters' primary adversary, so although he literally has the makings of a Lucifer-level baddie, the show presents him as something of a blank slate. In other words, Jack's future is now in the hands of the two men most likely to kill him.
Putting Jack under the watchful eye of Sam and Dean and tasking them with making sure he doesn't follow in his biological father's footsteps is an interesting scenario for a show as long in the tooth as Supernatural is. That's especially true as it was made clear at the end of the episode that season 13 is not done with Mary Winchester or Lucifer, meaning the parents of both sets of characters are still present – though dimensionally displaced at the moment. Whether or not that means parenthood will be a theme for the season still remains to be seen, but the potential is there, and as the brothers Winchester aren't getting any younger, nor are they slowing down to have a family (fellow hunter or not), spending a little time with Lucifer Jr. might give the show a necessary thematic jumpstart from the get-go.
'Lost and Found' covers a lot of familiar territory, mainly because, after 12 seasons there's not a lot the show hasn't seen or done. As such, the hour spends the majority of its time introducing its bouncing baby Beelzebub and illustrating how he's not so bad once you get to know him (and feed him some candy bars). Jack makes for a fine focal point, as the brothers argue over what to do and postpone grieving over their lost loved ones. Dean naturally thinks Jack's got to go, while Sam is a bit hesitant. As is usually the case, there're some angels hell bent on making a mess of things, and here they're adamant about getting their hands on the kid, since he can do "almost anything". It leads to a another scuffle in yet another small-town sheriff's station, but it also leads to the discovery that an angel blade to the heart does bupkis to Jack, meaning, even if the brothers wanted to kill him, they're going to have a hard time doing so.
Supernatural is no stranger to impossible situations; after all two mortal Midwesterners have triumphed over demons, angels, and all sorts of paranormal baddies time and time again. But the situation presented at the beginning of season 13 could make for welcome change of pace, as Sam and Dean (especially Dean) will have to go against their nature to make sure the son of the devil doesn't succumb to what is presumably his nature. What the endgame of that scenario will be is anyone's guess, but with Chuck not answering the celestial hotline and Castiel out of the picture for the moment, heaven and earth's best chance at for the present and maybe even the future may be determined by how well Sam and Dean can reenact My Two Dads with the nougat-loving Jack.
In all, for a show that's been around the block a dozen times, Supernatural still manages to entertain. At times, 'Lost and Found' felt more like any other episode of the series, but that may be due more to its narrative proximity to the season 12 finale than anything else. Surprisingly that didn't rob the premiere of its chance to set up something that feels a little different and has the potential to keep the season headed in an unexpected direction.
Supernatural continues next Thursday with 'The Rising Son' @8pm on The CW.
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