Supernatural:The Executioner’s Song

The title refers to a book written by Norman Mailer, about the execution of Gary Gilmore. Gilmore was executed by the state of Utah, for murder, after he specifically asked the state to do so, after a moratorium established on executions had been in place for about ten years. This title then is a direct callback to Cain’s request that Dean kill him with the First Blade, the next time they met. Cain’s been away for a while, but tonight, he’s back and according to Castiel, he’s been very busy.

It’s highly appropriate then, that we start on Death Row with Tommy Tolliver, who threatens a brutal death to the guard’s wife. Soon after, Cain (portrayed by Tim Omundsun) appears and kills him.

Sam and Dean are on their way to investigate the death of Tommy, posing as FBI Agents. Sam has become a True Crime affianado and knows Tommy’s story. They view the camera footage and Dean recognizes Cain’s silhouette.

I am Dean’s huge sinking feeling.

Castiel is shown torturing a demon hostage for information on Cain’s whereabouts.


Crowley is dealing with Crossroad demon complaints, while Rowena and minions look on. Rowena, apparently, is much less tolerant of whining and complaints than Crowley. Crowley gives in to the demon’s demands but she suggests killing him, so Crowley changes his verdict to please her.

Dean is coping by eating, as he and Sam discuss why Cain would abduct Tommy. Castiel calls and says Cain  killed him, along with lots of others. He is standing in a field of mounds of bodies. He turns to find Cain standing before him. Cain who seems to know everything, of course, knows who he is, too. Cain tells him that he’s killing killers, creatures he created with his existence. He plans to kill every human being who has ever killed anyone. He knows Dean is  not well and that there’s no cure and that he’ll come for Dean soon enough.

Can I just point out that, while Cain is especially good, that killing people, one by one,  and then painstakingly burying the bodies, is an incredibly slow manner of getting rid all of the murderers on Earth. I’m going to take a wild guess that Cain’s true intention was to attract Dean’s attention. These are more of a “cry for help” type murders. After all, the only way he can get Dean to fulfill his oath is to make himself known, but it’s not like he can simply present himself at his doorstep to be stabbed. He has to make Dean WANT to kill him.


Now, Rowena tries to talk Crowley into killing an old rival of hers. Crowley refuses to play and walks away.

Castiel tells Dean what Cain said to him. That he’s wiping out entire families. Austin Reynolds, the 12 year-old son of Tommy Tolliver, is next  on Cain’s list. Dean says he’ll do what he has to do.

Kill Cain.

While Dean gears up, he tells Sam what Cain asked him to do. The  pain and terror in Sam’s eyes is plain to see. He doesn’t want this fight. He wasn’t even trying to mentally approach it, but knows it’s necessary, so he won’t make an effort to stop it. Engaging in pre-event mourning.

Dean calls Crowley for the blade. He lies and tells Crowley that he’s on Cain’s list. Crowley blows off Rowena’s plans, to go help the Winchesters. She says they don’t care about him but Crowley’s loyalty to them won’t allow him to listen to her. He really does desperately want to be a part of their family. As long as he’s a demon, as long as they remember all the horrible things he did, when he didn’t care about their lives, he can never have their love or friendship. Only a massive sacrifice will ever get them to trust him. He can give up being a demon, give up his crown or give up his life and he has to do it for them or a greater good. In other words, he has to perform a spectacularly good deed.

Crowley shows up in the middle of the argument about killing Cain. They’ve staked out Austin’s location, a barn, and will use Austin to bait Cain.  Dean and Sam both think Dean will die in some manner and Dean confesses his fear to Sam, that no matter what the outcome, he will lose.


Cain appears and Castiel confronts him and goes down. Sam locks him away from the boy, but Cain gets in and stabs an illusion of Austin, created by Crowley’s magic, and a devil’s trap holds Cain in place. It doesn’t seem to occur to any them, that killing Cain, may actually cure Dean, though. It is a possibility that none of them have mentioned. I have no idea what the writers will do but I feel as good, about all of this,  as Sam does.

When Dean touches The First Blade, it’s… interesting.  He doesn’t react the way he did before. He seems almost at peace and says he’s good, when Sam, questioningly, calls his name. Sam is the only one who has ever been able to reach him, when he’s holding The First Blade.


Dean confronts Cain with The Blade. Cain says he introduced murder to humanity and needs to extinguish that genetic line, (apparently, in the least efficient manner). They fight and Cain could very easily take The Blade from Dean but doesn’t. Though Dean gives it a good try, he seems weakened and Cain accuses him of holding back, of not fully giving in to The Blade’s power.

He says he let Castiel go, knowing that Cas would bring Dean and Dean would bring The Blade. I’m not buying it. I think, now that he sees the Blade, he wants it and this is the story he tells himself. That he wanted the Blade all along. No, he let Castiel go because he knew Castiel would bring Dean, and only Dean can kill him. Cain wanted to die but I think proximity to the Blade made him change his mind, just a little.

But not too much, though. Cain outclasses Dean by several millennia and could very easily kill him, (we’ve seen Cain take out whole roomfuls of demons, so we know he can seriously kick ass), but he doesn’t. He’s trying to give Dean a chance.

He says he’s saving him, though. That killing Dean, will save Dean from having to kill Sam later. Because he is living Cain’s  life in reverse. At the end of his story, Dean will kill his brother, Castiel and everyone else.


He takes The Blade and when he tries to stab Dean, Dean cuts off the offending arm,with his other knife. When Cain doesn’t promise to stop, he fulfills his oath. There is the bleakest expression I’ve ever seen on his face. He just knows he’s totally lost,  but when he walks out to his friends, it does lift my heart to watch him willingly give up The Blade…to Castiel. I’m heartened by that but I don’t feel any better about Cain’s death or Dean’s future.

Or Sam’s.

Crowley returns to Hell and Rowena tells him, she’s leaving. She says she was forced to leave him before and that she was proud of his accomplishments but now she feels disrespected and untrusted. She’s angry he ran off to help the Winchesters and says he’s their bitch and walks out on him. I would say good riddance to her, but she’s a trouble magnet and being out of Crowley’s sight is not a good thing.

For him.


Sam tells Dean that what Dean did was incredible and he puts on a positive face for him, but when Dean exits the room,  Sam confesses to Castiel,  that he believes Dean is in trouble. I knew there was a reason I wasn’t feeling too happy. If The Mark didn’t go away with Cain’s death, then Dean really is in trouble. Does this not make him the new Cain? Will he still become a demon again and will he kill Sam as Cain predicts?  The last time Dean was kept from The Blade, he went through withdrawal and Crowley told him that the withdrawal would kill him. That peaceful look on his face when he handled The Blade, probably just means acclimation to The Blade’s power.


I liked this episode. I walked away from it, however, feeling worse than I did going in and although that’s a great thing story-wise, it’s not a great thing me-wise. (Yeah! I said it. That is, too, a word!)

It was definitely a Dean-centric episode.  I don’t have a lot of deep thoughts about it, yet,  but I did enjoy the writing, immensely, even if Cain’s revelations were especially bitter. I’m going to seriously miss him. I’m still confused, however,  about whether or not the Winchesters are part of his bloodline. I’m going to cautiously say “yes, they are”, even though Cain claims that not all killers are of his blood.

I know my feelings sank when Cain told Dean that the endgame was Sam’s death and I sincerely hope that’s not true. Though most of fandom has played around with the idea, I refuse to even look at it. I have a feeling the season finale is not going to be the “feel-good movie” we all hope for.

3 thoughts on “Supernatural:The Executioner’s Song

  1. barb

    I hate the whole you have to kill Sam trope-like when John told him that way back when I hated it then too. Dean could NEVER kill Sam. I think even as a demon he was never really going to kill him.


    1. I agree. He’d never do that. I never got the impression he was really trying to hard to kill sam. Terrorize him certainly but he never actually physically hurt him and I believe he actively avoided doing so. So yeah, I don’t particularly care for the trope.

      But if things play out the way things did for Kripkes five yr arc then that means one of them is going to die. There were moments in the first five yrs when I didn’t think the writers would do a certain thing and they did so although I hate it, I wouldn’t entirely rule it out. They’d do it just because they know we’d hate it.


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