"A Little Slice of Kevin" was the perfect slice of Supernatural heaven.
I'm not sure if it was due to the mythology, featured basically the entire cast, revealed Dean escaping Purgatory or because there were plenty of crazy new twists, but this was the engrossing and exciting episode I'd been waiting for.
The last four installment, while fine in their own rights, seemed to immediately interrupt the premiere/second episode combo that was setting up the tone and direction of Supernatural Season 8. And I've been really looking forward to seeing what that core story arc would involve, considering the more or less dud that was the Leviathan of season seven.
For one, Sam and Dean weren't fighting, arguing or ignoring each other. They were actually talking to one another without jumping to conclusions or judging the actions taken. Dean was open about the horrors of Purgatory and Sam was was sincere with his understanding.
Even their collaboration of working at the hotel was all about them getting things done and trying to figure it all out. They were a team.
Similarly, it was entertaining to see Kevin and his mom work together, despite the fact that Mrs. Tran was in full-on mom duty. Their efforts were great, from Kevin checking out the witch to Mrs. Tran constantly dousing everyone with holy water.
Although, Mrs. Tran getting the upper hand on Crowley's demon pal seemed a little far fetched, even if I didn't want her to be killed off.
That said, Crowley's personality is so amped up with menace and scare that it's actually chilling. I've been so used to him just making cracks all the time that in a way I even underestimated him.
But there was no mistake about his ruthlessness and all around evil. From the torturing of the angel to the snapping of his fingers and his exploding the future prophet - and even cutting off Kevin's finger - Crowley was proving his role as the King of Hell.
I've got far more belief in him as a big bad now than before.
The same could even be said for the brief encounter with the Leviathan in Purgatory. They just seemed so much cooler than last season. Not that I want them to come back, but the attack on Dean and Castiel wasn't full of campy political turducken.
I do find it interesting that Dean was placing all the blame on himself for not saving Castiel, when, in reality, Castiel didn't want to be saved.
It's even an interesting notion that Castiel mentioned to Dean, that Sam even brought up before, about not saving everyone. The brothers really always have taken up the responsibility of the world.
I think Castiel opened Dean's eyes. Now whether Dean will get over his time in Purgatory seems unlikely, but I liked the turn of events that led to their talk together.
And topping off all the character moments, the small name drops from Metatron to Chuck really spiked my enthusiasm meter.
Mentioning that there can only be one prophet at a time is an intriguing concept which really begs the question: What happened to Chuck? And, consequently, was he even a prophet to begin with?
At the same time, who and where is the archangel, Metatron?
The personal note that Kevin read talked about Metatron and his father leaving and letting the humans have responsibility of the tablets makes me wonder about Metatron and God's role in this season.
Is God out there, maybe with Metatron? And why have they not been involved in any of the major problems the brothers have faced?
Those type of questions lead into the other head scratcher of the new angel, Naomi, and why she wants reports on Sam and Dean from Castiel, and at the same time doesn't want Castiel to remember any of it?
And even what was the deal with Super Castiel and his major glow and blue eyes? Is that a new power?
This was the perfect episode to get the show back on track and really proved how promising the new story and direction are looking to be. Not only am I curious as to what will happen, but all of the questions that keep popping up make me excited for what's to come. Plus, you can't go wrong when Sam, Dean, Castiel and Crowley are all at the top of their game in the same hour.
After a fun and packed full Supernatural episode like that, I'm ready for a second helping.
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.