Supernatural, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles

Ed Araquel/The CW

New season. Same Supernatural.

Wait, before fans of the CW fan favorite misinterpret that, we mean same Supernatural as a compliment. After a slightly underwhelming seventh season, we're happy to report that season eight is a return to form for Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles).

We were lucky enough to screen "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and because we're so generous, we rounded up five (non-spoilery) things to expect from the season-eight premiere, including Dean's new BSFF (Best Secret Friend Forever!), Sam's guilt and more...

Emotions Run High: Something the premiere did really well was give both Sam and Dean interesting and complex storylines. Call it equal opportunity emotions, if you will. While Dean is bitter that Sam did not look for him and has given up hunting while he fought his way through purgatory nonstop for an entire year. (And possibly enjoyed it?) While Sam feels sorry, he seems pretty content to leave the life behind, even after Dean's return. He's sick of the weight of the world on his shoulders and is coming to realize they don't need to make every problem their problem. 

Car Rules: Obviously Sam can't be trusted with Baby (aka the Impala) as we all know what happened last time he had her while Dean was away: Putting an iPod jack in, "douching up" the car. This time around, Sam breaks one of Dean's two rules: Allowing a dog in the car. While it seems minor, this tiny pet peeve of Dean's is nice to see, as is his love of hamburgers later in the episode. These little reminders are refreshing after seeing the hardened warrior Dean has become post-purgatory.

New Blood: Shockingly enough, Dean made a friend in purgatory: Benny (Ty Olsson), a vampire. Though we see the duo's contentious meeting in flashbacks, they seem to have developed a close bond in their journey out of purgatory (Benny also escapes). Benny calls Dean "brother" and they share a Winchester-esque parting hug. It'll be fun to see how these two went from reluctant allies to bosom buddies via the flashbacks, which will be used throughout the first 13 episodes of the season, per showrunner Jeremy Carver. We're also interested in seeing Sam learn about Dean's new ally. (For us, there are some parallels between Dean and Benny and Sam and Ruby, though the friendships are not quite the same.)

Kevin Remains Awesome: Sam is brought back into the hunting fold when they learn Kevin is on the run and all alone because the younger Winchester brother never answered his phone. Ouch. Of course, the boys feel responsible for the young prophet, so they set out to find him. And when they do, they find their new mission…and the arc for the rest of the season (and beyond). By episode's end, Kevin will have delivered the line of the night and will remind viewers of Sam at the end of the pilot. 

Crowley Remains Awesomely Evil: Does Crowley (Mark Sheppard) calling Sam "Moose" ever get old? Don't answer that, because no, no it does not. Crowley, the eternal thorn in the Winchester brothers' side, pops up to drop a few one-liners of the hilarious variety and to take back his title of Supernatural's Big Bad. He has a pretty lofty goal and needs Kevin to achieve it, let's just say that. 

Supernatural premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on the CW. 

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