WARNING: This review contains spoilers
With such a mysterious, cheesy-sounding name, there were many things the Darkness could be. As of ‘Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire’, not much is revealed. We saw smoke, we saw a mysterious woman meeting with Dean and we saw a bunch of possessed rabid human beings attacking people. We keep having more questions than answers.
I was relieved to see that the premiere picked up where we left off last May: It was important to see the immediate effects after the Darkness was released as well as Sam and Dean’s reactions to it. As a matter of fact, we got to see Dean and Sam speculating along with us on what the Darkness could be: did it only effect those who were outside and were touched by the smoke? Is it contagious? How is it transmitted? What is for sure is that Dean has a special connection to the Darkness that no one else seems to have.
Aside from that, this episode saw Dean and Sam helping Jenna, a newbie officer, get to the hospital. In there, they find everything deserted except for some rabid Darkness beings (kind of reminded me of The Walking Dead‘s first episode). We also meet Mike and his newborn baby girl. Through Mike, we learn that the Darkness is contagious as he has been infected with it. Dean and Sam use that time to have some overdue talk. Dean had already made it a point that, this time, they are both responsible (“lock and key”). He also admits that they have both made mistakes, but it’s now time to move on and forget who is at fault for the situation. For a moment there, I thought that the Sam from first seasons made a comeback when the youngest Winchester opposed to their usual “shoot first, questions later” method:
“Saving people means all of the people, Dean. Not just that baby. Not just each other (…) “It’s on us. We have to change“. (SAM)
Change of plans, then: Sam works as bait while Dean takes Jenna and the baby away. Mike’s last words are to say that the baby’s name is Amara, which was supposed to be played by Emily Swallow. Will we see some sort of age acceleration this season? And why did the baby have the Mark of Cain? Going back to Sam, I’m glad that I wasn’t the only one to notice that callback to Season 3’s Croatoan during the Sam vs infected!nurse in a room. Strangely enough, the creatures seem to recognize Sam and walk away. He still got infected though, and it seems like we are going to be dealing with that next week.
MEANWHILE, Castiel… is still dealing with the effects of Rowena’s spell. After a phone call to Dean to make sure he’s alright and to say his goodbyes to the Winchesters, he goes off with two of his brothers to save himself “from doing worse”. As we could deduce from the promos, that wasn’t such a bright idea as the two angels tie Castiel up instead of taking him to Heaven. And it’s seems like there’s a lot of torture in the horizon.
Lastly, we find out Crowley is alive (you can’t really get rid of Mark Sheppard). He changes vessel by possessing a woman and killing all of her family.
Demon: What do we call you?
That didn’t last long as by the end of this episode he is back to his old meatsuit. Crowley is sort of skeptic about the Darkness at first, but that is until he hears about half of Hell freaking out, THE CAGE and either Michael or Lucifer (I’m going to bet the latter) trying to warn them.
Back to the Darkness, we kept seeing the same flashback to Dean and the Darkness’ oneiric-like meeting. She says Dean and her are bound (“we will always help each other”) and she was thankful for setting her free. Surprisingly enough, she doesn’t know Death. I wasn’t too happy with seeing this speaking human representation of the Darkness. I believe that having the infected humans act like irrational rabid beings is the best thing they could have done. The fact that you can’t speak to them like you can/could with demons or Leviathans is something new in the show and something that adds to the feeling of mystery and foreignness. Another mystery that is added is the fact that the Darkness is transmittable, although we still don’t know how it works. Mike said he was attacked 3-4 hours ago and that he could already “feel it” inside of him. His transformation was gradual and I’m sure we’ll see more of it next episode with Sam. Again, Croatoan flashbacks.
On another note, the title card was somewhat boring, or rather simplistic: just the letters and the foggy Darkness in the background. I guess it works as a way to make a statement, but it certainly won’t be remembered as one of the best. Not much else to say about this episode as we weren’t given many answers or explanations. Dean and Sam won the first round by working together and deciding to save everyone, let’s see if they can keep it up. Now we have to see what the angels want from Castiel, where are Rowena’s whereabouts and how is Crowley going to be handling Hell’s reaction to the Darkness. I can say, though, that this season is already looking way better than Season 10.