Now that Castiel is back, it's time for him to become a hunter! In this week's loony, toony episode of Supernatural, "Hunteri Heroici", cartoon physics take over the real world, leaving a trail of comedic crimes and deaths in its wake. But as Castiel begins to brush up on his cat interrogation skills, a call to Heaven forces him to stop running from his past mistakes.
As Sam and Dean begin to investigate the death of a man whose heart beats out his chest, anvils and large frying pans begin to make their way into the real world. With no real lead to follow, Castiel takes it upon himself to become Sam and Dean's third wheel, interrogating (or smelling) everyone (or anything) he can. When the string of deaths and crimes leads to a senior citizens home, Sam and Dean find out that an old friend of their father's, Fred Jones, is unknowingly being used to help aid in bank robberies. And while all of this is happening, Sam's past relationship with Amelia is further explored.
Although there may have been a brief reference to Kevin and the Word of God, this episode, thankfully, continues the seasonal attempt to return the series to its roots. Largely successful in its own right, though still containing its fair share of flashbacks and odd foreshadowing, this week's episode manages to use its over-the-top comedic flare to smooth off a few of this season's weaker elements, including – and most importantly - Sam's romantic flashbacks.
This season of Supernatural has had more than its fair share of flashbacks which, unfortunately, haven't been as successful as producers (probably) had hoped. Although Supernatural needed to explain what had happened to Sam and Dean during the time-jump between seasons 7 and 8, the dueling flashbacks were too awkward in their implementation, leaving audiences to piece together some form of emotional connection, or general interest, in what had occurred in the past. Thanks to Castiel returning, Dean's forestry flashbacks were put to an end. Sam's flashbacks, however, keep on coming.
Fortunately, this week's episodic flashbacks, though still brief and quite awkward when they do appear, contain more of an actual story. By bringing in Amelia's father, who isn't a fan of her and Sam's relationship, Sam is able to have one of the first uncomfortable "fatherly" conversations the series has seen since Sam and Dean's dad, John, was a part of the series. And although common ground was finally found between Sam and Amelia's father, an unexpected twist sets up Sam and Amelia for eventual heartbreak.
Still, one has to wonder how everything that we've seen this season is going to come together. Castiel has his brief trips to Heaven, Dean has his vampire friend, Sam has his past love, and Kevin has the Word of God. Perhaps not as awkward as last season's Leviathan storyline, but it's still quite the number of story-arcs to juggle at once, let alone having to bring them all together for an enjoyable (and logical) conclusion. Although Supernatural has had its missteps in the past, and even a few in this season, the series appears to be righting itself. And while there are a still story elements from last season that fans must continue to live with (no Bobby), seeing Supernatural reach season 10 in an enjoyable fashion now feels completely achievable.
Now fans just have to figure out what's going on with that whole Heaven thing. And what happens next?
Supernatural returns next Wednesday with "Citizen Fang" @9pm on CW. You can check out a preview of next week's episode below: