Synopsis of 11×01: Sam and Dean have released the Darkness, and now they must deal with the consequences. As black-veined killers go on a murder spree, the Winchesters must rescue a baby while Cas and Crowley deal with the fallout from Rowena’s attack.

Rating: ★★★★

It’s time for Sam and Dean to get back to basics.

The Winchester brothers have spent the last 10 years honing their hunting skills, but as Sam says, that’s only half of the bumper sticker. In their effort to take down some of the world’s most sinister supernatural threats, the boys have forgotten that saving people – all people – is what they’re really about.

Now that they’ve popped the lock on the Darkness, however, it’s high time the brothers reassess their methods as they look to clean up their mess.

The premiere opened with a series of flashbacks. Last we saw the Winchesters, they were facing down a Darkness tornado with only the Impala as shelter. It’s lights out for Sammy as he smacks his head against the window, but before he slips into unconsciousness, he sees Dean vanish into thin air.

Dean is more than ready to fight the Darkness [Source: Diyah Pera/The CW]
Dean is more than ready to fight the Darkness [Source: Diyah Pera/The CW]
Where did Dean go? Well, Sam eventually finds him face down in a field over a mile away, and the elder Winchester sure has a story to tell. (Side note: We don’t know how Sam happened upon his brother. Logic would dictate that he tracked Dean’s cell phone, but we prefer to believe he has some sort of Winchester homing beacon). Unfortunately, Dean doesn’t fill Sam in on all the dirty details. Viewers, however, get the full scoop:

The Darkness, played by Emily Swallow, pulled Dean out of the Impala. Free for the first time since before Genesis, the Darkness wants to thank her savior. Dean, however, is more interested in showing her the edge of his knife. The Darkness finds his antics amusing. He won’t kill her for the same reason she is letting him live – they are connected. How? Well, lets just say the Darkness is sporting a familiar Mark in the same place the Winchesters general reserve for their anti-possession tats.

With this secret in tow, Dean rejoins Sam on the road.

Miles away, Castiel is alone and in trouble. Still under the influence of Rowena’s attack dog spell, the angel reflects on the killing blow he dealt to the King of Hell. Cas is no fool, however. He knows Crowley smoked out before Cas’ angel blade found a new home in his back. Secure in the knowledge that the demon is alive and kicking, the addled angel is free to deal with his own problems. Possessed by an overwhelming desire to kill, Cas prays to his brothers and sisters for help.

The Winchesters, meanwhile, have encountered the Darkness’ first victims. It appears the smoke storm affected anyone who wasn’t indoors, and it left some black veined killers in it’s wake. An entire road crew was afflicted, and the brothers soon find their bloody corpses strewn across the blacktop, their victims only steps away. Their executioner, a young deputy by the name of Jenna, injured herself diving for cover and the Winchesters bundle her into the Impala before speeding off for the local hospital…

The local hospital is strewn with bodies [Source: Diyah Pera/The CW]
The local hospital is strewn with bodies [Source: Diyah Pera/The CW]
…which has become an absolute war zone. Members of the possessed/infected/insane road crew already paid the ER a visit, and lets just say things got bloody. There’s no one left alive, or so Sam thinks until he hears the unmistakable wail of a newborn. Under siege from one of the possessed, a father and a baby huddle in a janitor’s closet. Inexplicably, their attacker suddenly keels over heart-attack style, leaving Sam free to get the whole frightening tale from the grieving widower.

Born at the height of the Darkness tornado, his little baby girl is the last thing this man has left in the world. His wife died in labor, just before the road crew pulled up to the A&E, and the man’s paternal instincts kicked in immediately. In an attempt to save his daughter, however, he acquired his attackers disease Croatoan style. Entrusting his newborn to Jenna, the doomed man leaves to die.

Cas, meanwhile, calls to say goodbye. He’s expecting an angel extraction team to come acquire him at any moment, but first he wants to make sure Dean is sans Mark and Sam is aware of Rowena’s escape. Upon learning the Darkness has been released, Cas is baffled, a level of confusion that is only exceed when he learns that this nightmarish entity is really a woman.

Thanks to Sam and Dean’s decision to have this convo on speakerphone, Jenna is now fully aware that the boys are not with the FBI.

As soon as he hangs up with Cas, Dean immediately switches into fight mode. Unpacking everything from a shotgun to a machete, Dean is ready to mow down anything that stands between him, the Impala, and a safe haven for baby Amara (Yes, the previously teased femme fatale is not even a day old…). Slow down, Dean. Take a deep breath. You don’t have the Mark anymore, there’s no need for mass murder.

Dean's armed to the teeth, but Sam has other plans [Source: Diyah Pera/The CW]
Dean’s armed to the teeth, but Sam has other plans [Source: Diyah Pera/The CW]
Sam quickly becomes the voice of reason. They can’t keep attacking cases this way – mowing down the baddies in an effort to save a sole entity. Black veins or no, their attackers are victims as well. When did they stop trying to save everyone? The simple answer – sometime after the Apocalypse. Now, it’s back to “Saving people, hunting things” in it’s purest form.

The Plan: Sam will stay behind and look for a cure to the black-vein syndrome; Dean will get Jenna and Amara to safety.

The Problem: Sam is quickly infected and Jenna discovers that Amara has a teeny tiny Mark of Cain on her chest.

Sam's good intentions bring him nothing but trouble [Source: Diyah Pera/The CW]
Sam’s good intentions bring him nothing but trouble [Source: Diyah Pera/The CW]
Bonus Problem: The angels don’t take Cas to heaven – they want to torture him instead.

Extra Bonus Problem: Crowley, meanwhile, spent the episode as a woman while a witch worked her magic on his immobilized body. Now that he’s back in his preferred meat suit, however, he’s received some terrifying news from Hell. Now that the Darkness is out, either Lucifer or Michael is causing a racket in the Cage, presumably trying to warn anyone within earshot that there is serious trouble ahead.

Catch Supernatural’s second episode, “Form and Void,” Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

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