Sam’s story set up may be gutsy, but it also feels dangerous. Dean and Benny both need something from the other. Dean and Castiel both need something from the other. I need to know Sam also needs something from Dean, or why would I hope to have Sam back riding shotgun in the Impala? There are other choices Dean can make in hunting partner. Sam and Dean’s relationship has always been special—not just because they are brothers but also because they each need the other to stay in touch with their humanity. I think the story needs to keep it that way.
I’m not particularly drawn yet to Sam’s girlfriend, Amelia. It’s difficult to like someone who responds to an accident with: “Maybe if you were such an upstanding guy you wouldn’t have hit him in the first place?” As we learn more about her, however, we may understand why Carver chose to introduce her this way. I really enjoyed Kevin Tran and of course Crowley was his usual wonderful self.
I think the premiere was very strong and I will reserve judgement on Sam’s story. I love the quest structure of the season—I’ve always seen this show as a character study wrapped up in a hero quest narrative which is deconstructed as much as constructed by the story. Quests on Supernatural are never simple or simplistic. I’m on board for the ride.