I think I’m gonna like it here in season nine.
I’m not sure how Supernatural does it. We’ve seen characters die, resurrect, and die again. Still it never gets old. This episode raised the stakes and made me fear, once again, that I’m going to have to say goodbye to some of my favorite characters permanently even as they brought back an old character to guest star.
This season’s stakes are raised in “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here”: heaven is locked and all the angels have fallen to earth. Many of them have taken human vessels, but some will have to find new bodies if the first ones aren’t strong enough, which could mean a terrifying epidemic for humans across the globe. This is worsened by the fact that one of the brothers is now saddled with a fallen angel as the only means of avoiding yet another demise.
This wouldn’t be so bad except that the boys have a reason not to trust angels. They can barely rely on Castiel, and to have an angel inhabiting the insides of one brother is bound to lead to trouble sooner or later even if he doesn’t catch on. Will this split the brothers up for good? I’m worried it might.
With Crowley stuffed inside the trunk of the Impala, seemingly powerless, and Castiel with his lost grace (are they both technically human now?), the boys don’t have a powerful ally to help them fight the fallen angels. Is Ezekiel, played by Tahmoh Penikett, the answer? How will Castiel and Crowley deal with another supernatural being taking up space between the brothers?
The dynamics of this season should prove to be fascinating. Castiel’s already shoved a sword through a fallen female angel after ignoring Dean’s advice and allowing his pride to be played. Now he’s wandering around in stolen clothes, starving, and homeless. His laundromat scene was tragic. Now that he is lacking powers he’s a lost and lonely man.
Crowley’s scene in the season eight finale was heart-rending, but it remains to be seen what his agenda will be, if he has one. I would love to see Crowley and Castiel become sidekicks to the boys, with the Winchesters protecting their friend and one-time enemy from the big bad angels. Staying in hotels would provide tons of hilarious interactions between Crowley and Castiel.
The most fascinating thing about “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” is the journey Sam takes in his mind while Dean desperately tries to bring his brother back. While both brothers are inherently selfish they do not view themselves this way. Sam is dying; he’s in a coma, and his versions of Dean and Bobby attempt to reason with him. Bobby advocates for moving on to death while Dean begs him to fight.
Sam doesn’t think he has anything to fight for (what about your brother, selfish?) and yearns for a permanent end. When Death arrives, Sam wants him to ensure that this time, there’s no coming back. He’s done. Exhausted from the fight. Ready to call it quits and go to whatever lies beyond. Bobby commends him by saying that not many people could leave the world in such a good place. Dean, meanwhile, appears and reappears to ask him to care, to keep fighting, to never back down.
While Sam selfishly contemplates a permanent vacation from life, Dean allows his selfishness to find a way, any way, to keep his brother alive. He prays to every single angel, meets Ezekiel, and ends up agreeing to let the angel possess Sam in order to preserve his life. Dean acknowledges that he’s nothing without Sam, but fails to understand that Sam may not want to fight anymore.
Despite their selfishness, the brothers’ love keeps them together, for now at least. I’m sure we’ll have a fireworks show once Sam figures out that there’s an angel living inside him. I’m interested in seeing where the mythology goes from here and if we’re finally going to meet God.