As Supernatural passed the halfway mark of season 8, the long promised "return to origins" from showrunner Jeremy Carver finally came to fruition. And if this week's episode, "Everbody Hates Hitler", is any sign of what's to come in the series, Sam and Dean will absolutely be battling demons until season 10, if not longer.
After a magic Nazi escapes an attack from a Golem during World War II, Rabbi Bass, now in the present, tirelessly searches for mysterious book. But when the Rabbi's old foe returns unaged and causes the Rabbi to spontaneously combust, Sam and Dean begin to investigate who (and what) could be behind all of this magic. Fortunately, the Rabbi's grandson, Aaron, along with a Golem, are already on the case. As Sam and Dean close in on the mysterious book, the Golem proves why he could either be great friend or a great enemy to the descendants of the "Man of Letters."
This week's episode, written by fan-favorite Ben Edlund, helped to sell the newly laid "Man of Letters" storyline that Sam and Dean now find themselves on. Although the plot was initially introduced in last week's episode, "As Time Goes By," by Adam Glass, Supernatural's other fan-favorite writer, it was Edlund's episode that took the emotionally-charged storyline and seamlessly weaved it in to an iconic tale reminiscent of the series' best seasons. And on top of that, a new memorable character, the Golem, was introduced.
In true Spernatural fashion, where religion and mythology logically co-exist in a single narrative, the story of the Golem, a protector made out of clay, finally gets modernized. And like most updates to familiar theology on the show, "Everbody Hates Hitler" intrigues as well as informs its audience, all while introducing a new, thoroughly entertaining version of the Golem, who has since turned Jewish mother.
The actual story portrayed in this episode, a sect turned Nazi for the purpose of magical experimentation, is as compelling and enjoying as some of the series' best, where Sam and Dean, like always, are thrust in to a new environment with little knowledge of what's occurring. But as the episode continues, it's the actual theology behind what's occurring that helps to strengthen the story being told, leaving audiences wanting more of the two characters, the Golem and "Rabbi" Aaron, they never knew existed until this week. And, more importantly, the question "Where is Castiel?" never once came up.
Up until Supernatural crossed its halfway mark for Season 8, the episodes, love 'em or hate 'em, always left audiences wondering when Castiel would finally make his return. Not simply because Castiel is a fan-favorite character (which he absolutely is), but because, for the past few seasons, audiences have been trained to know that Castiel's appearance means that something is going to occur, simply because he has the power to do anything.
But in this episode, like Carver originally promised, Sam and Dean stand alone, proving that Supernatural can, in fact, return its series to its origins. While it's true, yes, that the Golem, like Castiel, is a powerful figure that can essentially best anyone it comes across, the fact that it was a newly-created character, along with Aaron, means that the writers and producers behind Supernatural have, too, received a renewed energy. Because when it comes down to it, it's more difficult to create new, memorable characters than to make sure of old ones.
Although it won't be long until Castiel finally makes his return to the series, longtime fans should rest easy in knowing that Supernatural has, for all intents and purposes, redeemed itself for its many past (seasonal) sins, helping to bring back the same entertaining, suspenseful and anticipatory elements that originally made fans fall in love with it.
Supernatural returns next Wednesday with "Trial and Error" @9pm on CW. You can check out a preview of next week's episode below: