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Recap / Supernatural S 04 E 01 Lazarus Rising

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 4, Episode 1:

Lazarus Rising

Dean: Why'd you do it?
Castiel: Because God commanded it. Because we have work for you.

Written by Eric Kripke.

Directed by Kim Manners.

Air Date: September 18, 2008.

Hellish screams are heard before Dean wakes up in his coffin. He shouts for help before clawing his way out of a scorched grave surrounded by blown-over, dead trees. He walks to a gas station and breaks in. In the mirror, he sees that his scars are gone and he has an ominous-looking red handprint/scar on his shoulder. As he robs the store for supplies, the tv and radio come on automatically. As Dean salts the door, he begins to hear a high-pitched ringing that smashes the windows.


Dean finds Sam’s number disconnected and calls Bobby, who does not believe it's really Dean. Dean hot-wires a car and goes to Bobby and convinces him of the truth. He tells an overjoyed Bobby that he doesn’t know how he escaped hell or remember anything. They discuss how Dean’s body was ripped to shreds and wonder how it is that he’s been healed. Bobby also says Sam has gone off on his own. Dean believes that Sam found a way to bring him back, but tells Bobby whatever it was is bad mojo, describing the powerful presence at the gas station and showing Bobby his red scar, assuming a demon yanked him from hell.

Dean and Bobby track Sam to a No-Tell Motel, where he is with a young brunette girl. Sam is shocked to see Dean and at first, tries to kill him. The brunette leaves, and Dean is surprised to learn that Sam knows nothing about his resurrection. Sam says no demon would make a deal to release Dean, and he’s sorry about that. They wonder what ‘’did’’ pull Dean out.


Sam returns the Samulet to Dean, and Dean claims he doesn’t remember hell, but he later has flashbacks. As they drive to a psychic friend of Bobby's, Sam says that Lilith tried to kill him after Dean was dragged to hell, but she couldn’t. He also claims that Ruby is dead or in hell, and that he doesn’t use his powers.

The psychic Pamela flirts with the Winchesters and suggests a seance so she can get a look at the creature that pulled Dean out. During the seance, she learns the creature is named Castiel. Castiel warns her not to look at him, but she does and her eyes burn out.

At a diner, Sam and Dean discuss what happened to Pamela and next steps. Sam suggests contacting some demons he had been tracking, and they turn out to be the waitress and customers at the diner. Flo, the demon waitress, is shocked to learn Dean doesn’t know what brought him back. Dean realizes the demons are afraid of whatever brought him back, and he smacks Flo to prove it.


Back at their motel, Sam ditches Dean and drives off in the Impala. Dean wakes up to the radio being on and the ringing he heard at the gas station, which causes his ears to bleed. Bobby arrives, and Dean convinces a reluctant Bobby to help him summon whatever it is that pulled him out of hell. Sam, meanwhile, goes to the diner and discovers all the demons with their eyes burned out. Flo attacks him. She says she saw it and cries that they are all dead before Sam sends her back to hell using his psychic powers. The girl from the hotel shows up, and it turns out she is Ruby. He asks what is going on, and she says she doesn’t know but it is cosmic. Later, Ruby encourages him to tell Dean he’s been using his psychic power and meeting her. She claims she doesn’t want to come between them. Sam says he doesn’t trust her but he’s stopping demons and wants to continue.

Meanwhile, Dean and Bobby surround themselves with every anti-hex, Devil’s trap and weapon they have before summoning Castiel. After Bobby completes the ritual, they wait for a while. Then, rumbling and high wind starts outside. Lights burst and the door opens to reveal a man in a suit and trench coat. He calmly walks through every trap, his eyes fixed on Dean. Dean and Bobby shoot him, and he does not react. Dean asks who he is, and Castiel says he’s the one who gripped him tight and raised him from perdition. Dean says thanks before stabbing him with Ruby’s knife. Castiel calmly pulls it from his chest. Bobby tries to behead him, but Castiel puts him to sleep. He says he needs to talk to Dean.

As Dean tends to Bobby, Castiel reveals he’s an Angel of the Lord, which Dean does not believe. Castiel replies that Dean’s problem is that he has no faith, and in shadow massive wings appear behind Castiel. Dean confronts him about Pamela, and Castiel expresses mild regret, saying his true form can be overwhelming. He explains he’s in the vessel of a devout man who prayed for this.

Castiel realizes Dean doesn’t want to be saved. Dean asks “Why’d you do it?” and Castiel replies: “Because God commanded it. Because we have work for you.”

Body count

For this episode = 2 demons and 2 humans.

For the series so far = At least 262 humans (of which 3 were witches), 14 demons, 19 ghosts, 10 vampires, 6 changelings, 3 gods, 2 shapeshifters, 2 werewolves, 1 crocotta, 1 djinn, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 shtriga, 1 wendigo, 1 zombie, and 1 dog.


  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Dean knows that monsters, demons, and pagan gods are real, but doesn't believe in angels.
  • Attack Hello: Bobby and Sam's response to Dean turning up on their doorstep. Also, Dean and Bobby's reaction to Castiel's arrival.
  • A Threesome Is Hot: Pamela certainly thinks so.
    Dean: [to Sam] You are not invited!
  • Back from the Dead: Dean is resurrected from Hell thanks to Castiel.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Castiel blocks Bobby's decapitation attempt. Extra points: Bobby is behind Castiel and Castiel doesn't even break his stare down with Dean who is standing in front of him.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Dean comes back from the dead to find that all of his scars healed. Bobby himself is pretty confused by this since, even if Dean were somehow able to escape from Hell, is body should be a torn up, bloated mess.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Pamela tries to get a glimpse of the unknown, powerful, and presumed hostile entity that brought Dean back from Hell, and keeps commanding him to reveal himself to her even after Castiel warns her to stop. She gets her wish —and gets her eyes get burned out for her trouble.
  • Big Bad: Subverted with the entity that brought Dean back from Hell, is Castiel. The whole episode seems to paint him as some new high-level demon or unknown threat no one has ever seen before. By the end of the episode, Castiel is revealed to be an angel and brought Dean back to life to serve God.
  • Big Blackout/Dramatic Shattering/Dramatic Wind/It Won't Turn Off: What happens when Castiel uses his true voice.
    Dean: Buddy, next time lower the volume.
  • Buried Alive: Dean wakes up in his coffin and claws his way out.
  • Call-Back: In previous seasons, the Wham Line has been Sam and then Dean saying that "We have work to do." Here, Dean learns that God has work for him.
  • Came Back Wrong/Deal with the Devil: The obvious explanations for Dean's return, which cause a certain amount of suspicion.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Castiel's wings - the only part of his angelic form we see, if via shadows cast by the real things - are black.
  • Daylight Horror: Dean rises from his grave on a bright, sunny afternoon, all the better to showcase the obliterated trees, the shadow of his grave's cross and his isolation. The light is also clearly hurting his eyes.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Dean tests the theory that the demons won't dare hurt him by slapping Flo. Sure enough he succeeds but Dean and Sam decide to leave before testing their luck too much.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Bobby's reaction to Dean's death.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: When Dean calls Bobby up and tries to explain that it's him Bobby is not amused to think that someone is pulling a cruel prank on him and tells Dean "call this number again and I'll kill ya."
  • Escaped from Hell: Dean has escaped from Hell, having no memory of how he did so. This doesn't just scare him, it scares Sam, Bobby, and the demons they meet. Turns out he was rescued.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Castiel gets a good one. He uses telekinesis (or just the power of his presence) to break open the sealed door of the barn where Dean and Bobby are waiting, and then proceeds to walk slowly over the line of salt (which would keep a demon or normal spirit out) and past every single binding circle Bobby drew without breaking stride while Dean and Bobby repeatedly shoot him, the entire building is shaking and the overhead lights are exploding (the last two are direct results of his presence). Despite the chaos, he never flinches or even blinks, only seeming mildly curious about the sigils on the walls.
  • Eye Scream: What happens to Pamela when she tries to spy Castiel's true form. The demons at the diner also suffered from the same fate.
  • Girl of the Week: Subverted. Pamela gets her eyes burnt out, and the girl in Sam's hotel room turns out to be Ruby.
  • Hassle-Free Hotwire: The filling station Dean discovers not only is conveniently closed but well-stocked, there's a functional classic car that Dean is easily able to hot wire.
  • Immune to Bullets: Castiel shrugs off shotgun blasts and being stabbed by the anti-demon knife.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Subverted. After Sam tries to stab Dean and then they hug, the girl Sam's with asks, "So, are you two, like...together?". It turns out that she knows they're not.
  • Naughty Under the Table: Pamela needs to touch something the unknown entity that brought Dean back touched.
    Pamela: Right. Take each other's hands. And I need to touch something our mystery monster touched.
    [Dean jumps and the table wobbles]
    Dean: Whoa. Well, he didn't touch me there.
    Pamela: [laughs] My mistake.
  • The Nth Doctor: Ruby has a new body. It's her second one after coming back.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Castiel. Dean and Bobby hit him with everything, and he doesn't even slow down.
  • No-Sell: Dean and Bobby are already a little freaked after Castiel shrugs off salt, iron, multiple anti-demon sigils, and dozens of bullet rounds, but they're most surprised when Dean stabs him in the chest with Ruby's knife and it doesn't bother him at all.
  • No-Tell Motel: Where Dean and Bobby find Sam and "Kristy".
  • Offhand Backhand: Castiel catches the katana that Bobby swings at the back of his head. With his bare hand.
  • One Steve Limit: We've had a Pamela before, although that one went crazy and tried to kill Sam.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Their first appearance in Supernatural.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Castiel, and angels in general, to demons.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Dean bleeds from the ears the second time Castiel tries to speak in his true voice.
  • Real After All: Contrary to what Dean thought the last time the topic was brought up angels actually do exist in the Supernatural world and Dean meets one that drags him out of Hell to serve God.
  • Rescued from the Underworld: Dean got out of Hell with help from Castiel.
    Castiel: I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from Perdition.
  • Rise from Your Grave: Dean, who claws his way out of his grave after waking up in his coffin four months after his death.
  • Running Gag: Dean finds a Busty Asian Beauties magazine in the store.
  • See You in Hell
    Demon: Go to Hell.
    Sam: Funny, I was going to say the same thing to you.
  • Serious Business: Dean isn't happy that Sam installed an iPod in the Impala.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Sam is a lot more aggressive in hunting down demons. Turns out it's because his powers have increased.
  • Unflinching Walk: Dean and Bobby summon Castiel to a barn covered head-to-toe with every kind of warding they can think of and grab an entire arsenal of weapons to take down this new monster. When Castiel does show up nothing the hunters use even slows down his stride.
  • Wham Episode: It's a season premiere of Supernatural, what do you expect? It introduces angels, Castiel in particular, gets Dean out of Hell, and shows Sam has started using his full range of psychic abilities.
  • Wham Line: "I'm an angel of the Lord." And When Dean asks why he was rescued from Hell: "Because God commanded it. Because we have work for you."
  • Would Hit a Girl: Upon realizing "Flo" isn't going to fight him, Dean hits her, disregarding the fact he's also hitting her innocent host.
  • Wrong Name Outburst: Subverted. Her actual name is Ruby, not Cathy or Kristy.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Castiel explains that an angel's true face and voice are only perceptible to certain special humans. Anyone else will suffer some backlash hence why Pamela's eyes burnt out when she tried to spy on Castiel's true form and why Dean was left in pain whenever Castiel tried talking to him.

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