Following the trend of the last two seasons, Supernatural Season 13 Episode 1 picks up immediately after Supernatural Season 12 Episode 23 (which I've found myself repeatedly referring to as the "Red Wedding episode of Supernatural").
After "The Road So Far" recap video with Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" for its soundtrack, we find ourselves once again with Dean kneeling next to the lifeless body of Castiel as Sam runs to find Jack, the newborn teenaged Nephilim.
While Sam attempts to take the non-threatening approach to a clearly confused Jack, Dean decides the best possible course of action is to run into the house and try to kill him. Obviously, this doesn't go well; Jack knocks them both unconscious until morning and takes off in search of his father.
Somewhere in his head Dean clearly knew shooting Jack wasn't going to do any good, but he seems to be hovering somewhere between shock, grief, denial and a complete breakdown.
It comes as no surprise that Sam wants to give Jack a chance and see what kind of person he is before taking any drastic measures. Sam has never wanted to believe anyone is born evil. He tries to convince Dean that they don't know anything yet, but Dean just comes back with this:
I'm sorry, are you defending the son of Satan?Dean
Meanwhile, a lost and wandering Jack in search of his father has been picked up by the local sheriff and taken to the police station after showing up naked to a local pirate themed fast food joint. He gets clothes, some light interrogation and bonding time with the sheriff's son complete with candy bars.
Jack's childish delight for free candy certainly helps to humanize him, even while his angelic powers are freaking out the bystanders, and his literal interpretations and clear misunderstandings of jargon, slang, and innuendo are reminiscent of the early days with Cas.
Sam and Dean start to catch up pretty quickly and find themselves at "Pirate Pete's Jolly Treats" where Sam goes inside to ask around about Jack, and Dean sneaks off to punch things and get his hand a little bloody.
This off-screen scene is followed up by an awkward mostly one-sided conversation with some random woman in the parking lot who seems to be taking way too much interest in Dean and Baby.
Invasive questions aside, this woman's rambling about her roommate Becky and punching an Elsa poster is maddening, and frankly, I'm surprised Dean entertained it for as long as he did, even if he was terse and curt towards her.
In fact, terse and curt seems to be Dean's main mode for this episode.
When Sam comes back to the car with Jack's location, they quickly ditch the rude woman in the parking lot and make it to the police station just in time to catch Jack freaking out about the voices in his head while all the lights short-circuit.
Sam knocks him out with a taser and gets thrown into a cell with Jack while Dean gives the sheriff "the talk." And he is not gentle about it.
After laying on the "we hunt monsters" as his introduction, the conversation basically goes as follows:
Dean: You ever seen a horror movie?
Dean: Like that.
I'd feel bad for this woman, but things have been moving pretty quickly in this episode, and it doesn't leave a lot of room for empathy towards random sheriffs thrown into a world they don't understand. Like Dean, I'm pretty much at the "get on board and let's move on" point.
There's a small break for an exposition scene between Sam and Jack where we get a nice explanation of why Jack is already a walking, talking teenager, but the real gem of this scene is when Jack says he needs to find his father because his father will protect him from the big bad world.
Sam tries to explain to Jack that Lucifer isn't really the protective sort, and then Jack comes back with the slightly-but-not-completely-unexpected revelation that Lucifer is not, in fact, the father Jack is looking for.
My father is CastielJack
I'm pretty sure the weird strangled sob noise I heard after that actually came from me, and not Sam. Sad and hopeful is an odd combination to be feeling in regards to the son of Lucifer, but that's pretty much where I've settled on him for now.
This is basically the point where the rude, invasive woman from the parking lot comes back to reveal herself as an angel hunting Jack.
There are some typical threatening gestures exchanged between her and Dean, she verbally stabs at Dean's softer spots for a minute, and then, thankfully, gets an angel blade to the heart.
Sam and Dean agree to take Jack back to the bunker with them, and while Sam wants to give Jack a chance to prove he can be good, Dean has a different motive.
Until I figure out a way to end him, we bring him home. At least the only people he can hurt there are you and me.Dean
While the fast-paced nature of this episode makes it hard to really feel everything that's going on, the last ten minutes of the episode slow enough that it hurts all over again.
Upon returning to the house to give Castiel a hunter's funeral, we not only get the scene of Dean's desperate and unanswered prayer to Chuck/god to fix everything culminating in Dean's violent outburst of punching walls, we also see Dean preparing Cas's body for the funeral pyre.
It isn't an exaggeration to say that Dean's pain in this scene is one of the rawest moments of agony this show has seen.
It may be brief, subtle and understated, but it is powerful.
If you missed the original airing on the CW or simply need to see it again, watch Supernatural online.
Michelle Lietz is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.