Supernatural : Paint It Black

Tonight’s episode seems to be a stand alone, so it will be interesting to see how this will play into this season’s themes of the Mark of Cain, family, forgiveness of past misdeeds and a certain amount of feminism, that’s been on display, as well.

The past few episodes, while not great ones, have been very good at weaving all of these themes, into the individual episodes, whether they’re mythology heavy or not and this is to the good. It makes  the season feel cohesive, as if the writers have an agenda and a point to make. It also helps because then the end of the season doesn’t feel as if it was something tacked on and out of left field.

Okay, I’m back!

This isn’t going to be my usual recap. I’ll just list some thoughts and ideas I had about this episode.

Dean insists on taking cases as a way to ignore his problems with The Mark, while Sam remains preoccupied with figuring out what to do about it. This is the best I’ve seen the two of them behave towards each other, in some time. Their relationship isn’t toally mended. They still tiptoe around each other, just not as much as they used to. They’re still getting used to each other again and they’ve made significant inroads to normalizing this. It felt good to watch them bonding and bickering, very much like they used to do.

I really liked this episode, mostly. Where I got bogged down, was during the scenes where the ghostly nun was telling the living nun her sad, romantic story and we saw some flashbacks. The flashbacks were lovely, by the way, but her story was rather cliche. Maybe that’s the point. I know I got bored watching that part and here’s why. I’m thoroughly sick and tired of Hollywoods insistence on the artist/model falling in love trope.

I was once an art student myself. Not once did I ever hear of any of the other students falling in love with any of the models or vice versa, but this seems to be a popular stereotype of artists and painters. Hollywood likes this idea because it can’t conceive of any situation in which someone might be naked in front of another human being and not have sex be the result. For most painters, models are not people-people, they’re not even sexual objects.  In an art class, they’re  just bodies, made up of shapes and lines and angles, and sexual activity is the farthest thing from your mind, when you’re painting and drawing it.

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I was able to figure out pretty quickly,  that the nun was a ghost. I was only confused as to how she got into the church. I was also able to figure out, pretty quickly, that it was her painting, that held the ghost. So, I’m going to take a wild guess and say that this was another episode where the plot was just a hanger, to focus our attention, on the discussions that Dean had, during the show.

I was hoping we’d get Dean into one of those confessional booths and I was not disappointed. Just when I thought his confession might be done, and that the priest’s eyeballs were about to roll right out of his head,  the writers wowed me with Jensen’s beautiful monologue about Dean’s fear of death. It was heartbreaking, lovely and  cements my opinion, that the writers are fully on point this season. In fact, all of the dialogue, this episode, was especially well written.

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Also, this is the most feminist season we’ve ever seen on this show. True, there’s still only one recurring female character but the writers are nailing its depiction of women this season. I especially enjoyed the two women in this episode.  We have two named women, sharing their stories and feelings.  They have backstories and character arcs, even if one of those arcs is the cliche of the jilted lover! And most importantly, they did not make the nun an abstinence joke. I was waiting for it but Dean tiptoed right by it, when she challenged him about making fun of her.

Also, Dean was looking especially vulnerable and Sam’s hair wasn’t as annoying as it was last week. These are good things

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Sam was driving on their way back to the Bunker and since this is a pretty rare event, I think the writers are probably trying to tell us something, for the rest of the season. That it will be Sam calling the shots, plot wise. He’s going to be in charge for a while and making some major decisions that will play out for the next six or seven episodes, I hope.

I liked that Sam explicitly disobeyed a direct order from Dean earlier, which  resulted in saving Dean’s life. Had he burned the nun’s journal, he would not have found out, that it was the painting that the ghost was attached to. Sam made a call that went against what Dean wanted and it played out to the good. Take note of this event for later because I think it might have some bearing on how the end of the season, and the MoC, plays out. Remember, last episode, Dean explicitly stated that Sam shouldn’t bother looking for a clue. This episode Sam says he’s not going to obey that edict.

Well, I hope he’s not.

Oh, and this is a shoutout to the commenters on BellaUk’s website, who insisted that eventually the Crowley/Rowena story line and the Sam/Dean storyline would eventually crash into each other, when I just couldn’t see it. Okay! from now on you guys all get a pass, no matter how wild and crazy I think your theories might be.

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Well, the stories are collapsing into each other and the intersection is, of course, The Bunker and the Men of Letters. I love this idea. Lately, we haven’t been seeing much about the MoL and this is a fantastic way to tie these two very separate stories together.

Are the writers setting up Rowena to be this season’s Big Bad? Will she endanger the brothers? Will Crowley make the sacrifice play and save them over his own mother?

Okay, let’s talk about Crowley for a moment. It’s become evident to me that Crowley is increasingly unhappy about his position as King of Hell. He often appears tired. Not tired as in exhausted, but tired as in sick of being in his position, sick of the other demons and sick of being in Hell. I think he genuinely loves the Winchesters. If that’s Sams feelings about Dean influencing him, through the blood he was given, I’m unsure. He seems to have the most fun when he’s out of Hell, and on the road with them, however much they don’t like him. I’m looking back on the advice he once gave to Kevin, about staying away from them, and he’s definitely not following it. I think Sam’s blood made him far more human than he’s willing to admit. At some point, he’s going to have to acknowledge his emotional  attachment to them and I wonder what form that acknowledgment will take. Will he, again, choose the Winchesters over his mother as she keeps accusing? Is he really their  bitch, as she claims?

Well, I’ll  stay tuned.

Next week: The return of Bobby Singer!

         

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Supernatural: The Things They Carried

Tonight’s episode stars Cole Trenton, played by Travis Aaron Wade. He is very quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Yeah, there’s just a little bit of fangirl swooning over those lovely, blue eyes and soft, Southern drawl.

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Yeah,chose are definitely blue.

This episode also features the return of the Khan Worm, that disgusting little creature created by Eve in the episode …And Then There Were None. It’s a talkative little get, so we should all prepare ourselves to hear some uncomfortable truths, I guess.

Also, Sam has a new haircut, again. And yeah, I hate it. It looks really weird.

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Supernatural has, once again, moved to a new night.  I think, in the past ten years, it’s been on every weeknight, except Monday, which is hilarious. I don’t care how often the CW moves it about, they’re not going to lose me. I’m going to be there to the end.

Tonight:

A man tortures a woman in Fayettville North Carolina. He hangs her upside down ,slits her throat, and drains  her blood into a bucket he brought especially for the occasion.

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Dean comes to Sam with a case, this time. The victim we saw earlier was apparently some kind of Martial Arts Superwoman, who still managed to end up dead. So…case!

In the car, Dean tries to explain to Sam, that it’s time to give up on finding a cure for the Mark and that he needs him to focus on their cases.

Posing as agents, they find that the perpetrator of the crime is dead after having set himself on fire. The third in a string of suicides…and Dean simply cannot resist cake. They  talk to the killer’s wife, who paints a completely different picture of the man, than that presented by the police.  He was a member of an elite military team. She  tells them he was inordinately thirsty for water and that his skin seemed especially dry. She also tells them that a friend of hers is having the same problem with her husband.

They interview this other woman, whose husband has been missing,  all night and find out that he had many of the same symptoms as the previous man.  On their way out, they meet Cole, who decides to tag along, so he can make sure that his friend, Kit, who served with him in the war, comes back alive. He believes the brothers will just kill him. He Says he has contacts and can get things done in a way that Sam  and Dean can’t.  Sam says to prepare himself to have to kill his friend.

Meanwhile Kit ,the  thirsty friend Cole is trying to help, is assaulting a convenience store refrigerator for water. When the store clerk tries to stop him, he slits his throat and drinks his blood. This is very different from the old Khan worm. That one wasn’t especially bloodthirsty. So it’s some kind of cousin, maybe?

Cole’s contact says that his friend and his team had a  mission to rescue some PoW’s in a cemetery, in Iraq. They were attacked and now Kit and the others are acting rabid. Sam receives an alert about what happened in the store.

I’d  like to point out, that standing next to the two tallest people, in the universe, makes Cole look like a shrimp. He’s probably just average height though. It’s Jared and Jensen,  who are freakishly tall.

Cole doesn’t fool the Winchesters for a second, though. They just wait and follow him. Dean chastises Sam for buying him dinner.

At the cabin Cole tries to talk to Kit and finds evidence of a great deal of mis-doing, and some blood. Kit attacks him and Cole is promptly infected with the Khan Worm.  The brothers arrive too late and Kit escapes.

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Now, Dean and Sam have to come up with a way to kill the Worm without killing Cole, who has opted for electrocution, rather than a headshot. That’s entirely understandable.  Dean gets out the car batteries and Sam heads out to follow Kit back to his home. If the batteries work then they need to do Kit next.

Cole almost dies but the Khan Worm stays put. Dean decides  that since the Worm likes water, he’ll create a sweat lodge and dry it out of its host. He then  proceeds to drink a bottle of water in front of Cole. Sam manages to subdue Kit and then spends the next hour or so trying to explain the existence of monsters, to his wife,  while Dean and Cole bond. Cole tells Dean to kill him if necessary. But Dean says he won’t do that because Cole is not gong to give up. This is the complete opposite of the advice he gave Sam about himself, earlier.

Kit breaks free and cuts off the electricity, so that Sam has to hunt him through the house, in the dark. He attacks Sam at the same time Cole attacks Dean. Sam wrestles Kit for his own gun, while Dean almost gets infected by a Worm, but the sweat lodge idea works and the Worm is destroyed. But not in time for Kit, who gets a bullet instead.

Sam apologises for what happened to Kit and Cole promises to go home and hopefully never see them again. Dean tries to explain to Sam, that sometimes that’s just what has to happen. Will Sam have to do for Dean, what he had to do to Kit? They don’t want to, but they’re both thinking it.

I  liked this episode. It’s another solid B, on the meter. The most enjoyable thing about it was Cole and Dean trying to dislike each other in the cabin. I hope they become better friends in the future and that we get to see more of Cole. There’s definitley a chemistry there, Dean and Cole have much in common, and Dean obviously admires Cole.  Also,  the brothers need to start building up another network of hunters and friends.

The Khan Worm didn’t impart any truths, as I suspect this one was some sort of mutation, only vaguely related to the original. I do wish it had the power to fix Sam’s hair, though. Oh, did I already  tell you, I don’t like Sam’s hair? Okay! Good.

What’s  also interesting, is the idea of Sam and Dean, moving into Bobby’s position of being the elder statesmen of Hunting. They can teach and mentor, like  Bobby and Samuel did for them, and with the knowledge to be found in the Bunker, run their own team of Hunters, just as the Men of Letters did.

Things come full circle. A new generation is born.

Supernatural: The Road So Far

We are a little over halfway through the season and I think it’s time to sum up where we’ve been, where we’re going and add some secondary thoughts I’ve had about some of the episodes I’ve reviewed.

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These are good solid openers for the season. Dean is a demon, hanging out with Crowley In Las Vegas, while Sam is on the hunt for him. I already gave a summation of my thoughts on these particular episodes.

See :https://tvgeekingout.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/supernatural-on-deanmon-and-demonic-performance/

Soul Survivor

This episode was written by Buckner and Ross-Leming, who are not two of my favorite writers, as they’ve tended to play fast and loose with the mythology, the plot, and the characters. But it turns out that this is a fairly good episode. It’s definitely in my top ten for the season, which means that maybe their previous mess-ups could be attributed to just laziness. Over the past two years, we’ve seen the show runners pull a tighter rein on these two, consequently, their storytelling abilities have improved. Sam gets to have a couple of moments in this episode, and even though I’m bi-bro, I  still applaud anytime Sam gets the last word. The only real problem I had with this episode is the rather abrupt ending, with Castiel, swooping in to rescue Sam, at the last second

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Paper Moon

Let’s be clear, I don’t hate this episode but its never going to be one of my favorites, despite its many good points. The Pros: it passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. It wraps up a dangling story line. It has a direct bearing on the mythology of Sam and Dean, with Kate having to kill her sister for going all “wild thing”, after saving her life. Kate having to kill her sister, for being evil, is also a direct callback to the Cain and Abel mythology, with Sam making the choice to save Dean and possibly having to kill or be killed by Dean later.

It’s also a callback to the previous episode with Sam being hunted by Dean through the Bunker, (but as I stated in the above essay, I don’t think Dean was trying too  hard to kill Sam. If Dean had really wanted Sam dead, I have no doubt, he would have succeeded.)

The Cons: I hate Kate. I just don’t like her. I was not clamoring for her return, either, although part of me knew it was inevitable. And this episode is strike two for her. The next time she shows up, the Winchesters better kill her, not just tie her up and then leave her alone long enough to escape.

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This is definitely one of the livelier and more touching episodes, this season. I was dubious about the idea of the mixing of musical and fan fiction but the writers managed to successfully pull this off. The music wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be and even produced a little bit of eye irritation, at the end,  and the show does women a solid, once again, passing the Bechdel Test.

I enjoyed the two young actresses and their interactions with the Winchesters and just how completely unimpressed they were. My only real quibble is that Calliope felt like an afterthought.  I’ve noticed that the monster of the week often takes a backseat, to the mythology, in such episodes. Calliope didn’t feel like her presence had any bearing on the brothers relationship or ramifications for later in the season. At least not for me.

And hey! a Chuck/God cameo. It was really nice to see him again. He looked really good.

Ask Jeeves

I think this is one of the weakest episodes this season. It had it’s moments, though but I’m going to put it at the bottom of my list because it was rather boring, plot wise. It started with an interesting premise but ultimately it was just a weak reiteration of the Sam/Dean relationship mythology. The monster was kind of sorry as well. Her family mistreated her by locking her away, so her response, when she gets free, is to choose to be monstrous, and kill everyone, thereby justifying that she should have  remained locked up.

There are a couple of surprising family moments, with the son choosing to commit an evil act to save his family. His aim is off by threatening the Winchesters, but his sentiment is correct and its a  shout-out to Sam “choosing” to commit evil deeds to save his brother. This is also a callback to my Deanmon essay (and indirectly, Cain), repeated in later episodes, about choosing to be a monster and the performance of evil.

Girls, Girls, Girls

I sort of like this episode for the introduction of Rowena. I think she’s a marvelous foil for Crowley and I kind of like her shady ass. (And yeah, she is extremely shady.) I have no idea what her game is. I suspect she wishes to usurp Crowley and become Queen of Hell. I’ll talk more about Crowley at some later date, but I think it will be very interesting if she gets it.

So far, the episodes this season have been very good about showing women as decision makers who affect the plot, have agency, backstories, and something to talk to each other about besides who is dating who, and this episode is no exception. Its also been a pretty good season for tying the plot lines to the relationship and mythology issues of the season, thereby creating a unifying theme and having  the season feel cohesive. And once again, we get a callback to Soul Survivor, with Sam being chased by a raging psychotic and while he’s able to protect himself from the be-spelled woman, he is unable to affect any change in her behavior, just as he couldn’t with Dean in that episode.

A recurring theme this season is Sam being unable to save people, leading the viewers to question if this same theme will play out, between him and Dean, at the season finale. It’s interesting to note that many in the fandom believe that at some point Dean will kill Sam but I disagree. Every opportunity Dean had to kill or physically harm Sam, he chose not do so, including running away from the Bunker, after he became a demon. (See the  Deanmon Essay in the link.)

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The Things We Left Behind

I consider this to be another of the weaker episodes this season as  I’m not a huge Castiel fan, but it was nice watching him go back to see what he could rescue of his host’s former existence. Hanna’s words to him, about how the Angels disrupt the lives of their hosts, is what spurred him to go looking for Claire. I like Claire, okay. I’m not a huge fan, though. I don’t identify with her or her situation and have a difficult time understanding any of her motivations except to think to  myself, ” I wouldn’t have done that.” I’m certain there are viewer who understand her better than I do.

I think the plot, which was rather weak and not especially compelling for me, mainly served to put Dean in  the position of giving in to the Mark of Cain, especially after we’ve had several conversations in the last couple of episodes about him living with the Mark. I was mostly not very interested in it until the end when Dean succumbed to its power.

The Hunter Games

This is another Buckner-Leming episode. This is not a bad episode for them. Once again I disliked Claire and her ability to blame everyone else for her troubles except herself. I Not for one moment did I think the two people she hired to hurt Dean would be a serious threat to him and I”m glad he didn’t succumb to the Marks power again and kill them.

This is an important episode for really only one reason – Metatron’s phrase about the river ending at the source. I think this is his flowery way of saying that Dean can only be saved by the very same deed that resulted in Cain’s damnation – killing his brother.(It ends as it begins.) I certainly hope there is another way besides that. I hope the brothers are able to outsmart it or get around that prophecy somehow

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There’s No Place Like Home

I like Charlie but I don’t think this was a very strong episode. It’s not bad but it could have been much better. Dean was really off his game in this episode because Dark!Charlie just ran rings around him and Dean is usually much, much smarter than that. This is another episode about someone having to deal with the dark side of their personality and is another parallel to the Dean – Mark of Cain story line. In this episode, the option of Dean simply accepting his darkness as a part of who he is and simply trying to live with The Mark,  is what’s being presented. These episodes seem to alternate between the idea of curing Dean through killing Sam, or Dean just attempting to live with the Mark, the way Cain did.

About A boy

This episode is, tentatively, a favorite for the season. I really enjoyed it. I liked the riff on Hansel and Gretel that was presented and it was nice seeing the young Dean again. This is another episode exploring Dean’s options for the future and how to deal with the Mark. Since the Mark disappeared when he was reverted to his teenage state, the idea that he could just grow up agai,n was an option on the table. Sam was totes not down with that idea and made his feelings about that clear, at the end of the episode, when he stated, he was just glad to have Dean back.

I haven’t forgotten the witch’s mention of Rowena and the Grand Coven. It will be interesting to know exactly how she betrayed them, if her betrayal had anything to do with Crowley’s birth and why they are chasing her now. What’s going to happen when they catch up to her and is this the reason she wants Crowley’s crown? After all, if she becomes Queen of Hell, that would effectively make her the Grand Coven’s boss, right?

Halt and Catch Fire

I got nothing. A rather ho-hum episode for me.

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The Executioner’s Song

I just reviewed this one. I think it’s the best episode of the entire season, so far. Every season has that one stand-out that you just enjoy watching, over and over. I really liked Tim in Psyche, and he did a wonderful job as Cain. He and Jensen have great chemistry and watching the two of them, together again, since First Born, was a real treat.

The mythology and story lines are really shaping up this season, there is a definite through-line of the mythology, and the brothers relationship in every episode. We get callbacks, parallels and reminders all the way back to fifth season. No, this isn’t as good as Kripke’s run, but the past two years are shaping up very nicely.

This has been a good, solid season, so far. The writers have kept hitting their themes again and again, without getting sidetracked by minor issues. What would make this season truly excellent, is a great finale and then I can count season ten as one of my top favorites.

ETA: I forgot to add one of my top favorites! How could I do that?

Hibbing 911

I loved this episode for the way the writers approached these two older women. The writing in this episode was superb. I love Jodi and it was so much fun to watch her making friends with a person who is the complete opposite of her emotionally, but is every bit as determined and strong as she is. The show has had a real problem, in the past, with its depiction of women. It’s still not perfect. There’s no show that is, but this episode showed that the writers really appeared to be listening to the fans about those issues.

See: Foz Meadows review, on her website, along with mine at this one.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Supernatural: Halt and Catch Fire

It’s been a while since we had a ghost episode. And tonight’s episode is supposed to be funny so…

In Spencer, Iowa, a young man and woman, are driving the noisiest truck on television, when their online navigator starts telling them the wrong directions and acting bitchy. It tells the girl to get out of the truck, takes over the vehicle and drives it over an embankment, killing the young man.

Dean is eating a croiss-ookie. At least I think that’s how you spell it. Now, I want one. Sam thinks Cas may have information about where Cain might be, but Dean is not optimistic about it. This time, it’s Dean who presents them with a case.

To the Batcave!

imagePosing as Federal Agents, they confront a young woman named Janet, she repeats her story of the night before. The brothers do their usual ghost investigating techniques of asking weird questions of the victims and then head off to the car lot. They find ectoplasm on the truck and think they have the solution. I don’t think so, or this will be the shortest episode  of Supernatural, ever. They burn the truck. It’s a beautiful moment.

A young woman Julie, gets strangled by her computer’s electrical cord after receiving the message 810.

Sam and Dean show up, find ghost radiation, and question the dead girl’s roommate, Delilah. More ghost questions, without actually mentioning ghosts.

Dean has procured a massive amount of food in the school’s self-serving cafeteria. He is definitely giving in to  his appetites.  Sam searches through the victim’s social media accounts. They figure that  810 is an address. Staking out that address, they find a young woman clearing a roadside memorial. Corey says her husband died nine months ago and someone keeps leaving flowers at that site. She describes Delilah.

Now, they have to figure out what connects the victims with the dead man. While they do this, Dean is eating, yet another, massive meal. No. Really, it’s huge. I can’t even guess what’s going on in  his head.

Delilah and her friend Kyle, are arguing about what they should tell people. Kyle tells her to keep her mouth shut. What do you want to bet Kyle will be next? Kyle’s stereo goes haywire and explodes his head. Dying, to such a crappy soundtrack, is a truly horrific experience, for all of us, too.

imageSam and Dean confront Delilah about the 810 reference, and she spills the beans on the not so accidental accident, that killed Andrew, the Angry Ghost.  The four of them didn’t call for help and fled the scene, leaving their victim to burn to death, when power lines landed on the vehicle. Then they all tried to cover it up, because Billy was driving on a suspended license.

The brothers have to figure out how to get rid of the ghost, as it’s not tied to anything. Delilah talks with Dean about what happened, telling him that she has nightmares. Dean can surely understand regrettables.He says whiskey, denial, and trying to make things right, is  his way of coping, but he tells her she needs to confess and deal, not bury her troubles, the way he does. If only he’d take his own advice. But then Dean has always been great at giving it. Not so much, the following it.

imageSam goes to the site of the accident and figures out that Andrew is using WiFi, to do his travelling. Dean says they need to kill the Internet, but how? Sam has an idea. Dean breaks all the wireless electronics in the room, while Sam speaks to Corey. Dean and Delilah run to the basement because there’s shitty reception there.  Corey says Andrew  started contacting her online, after the accident. It was nice at first, then he became vengeful, but she didn’t want to lose him, so she said nothing. She refused to let him go, so his attachment is to her.

Andrew shows up to kill Delilah because someone has hidden a phone, in the couch, in the basement.

Dean tries to talk Andrew down, by appealing to his humanity, while calling Sam, and the ghost attacks Dean instead. Sam puts Corey on FaceTime and she manages to reach him. He disperses when she lets him go.

The brothers drop Delilah off at Corey’s  home. She wants to confess.

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Dean says he plans to take his own advice. He’s finished with trying to find a cure for the Mark. Sam disagrees. He thinks Dean is just going to give up. Dean says he’s  going to fight it’s influence by being as good a man as he can, and that he chooses to be at peace about it.

Finally! WooHoo!

Okay, not a great episode because I found the plot kind of boring and it wasn’t really all that funny. Just the usual quiet chuckles at Dean’s  behavior and the two brothers teasing each other about tech stuff. But I liked the ending. What Dean said sounded really positive. He talked a lot about making peace with the past and letting stuff go, this evening.  Unfortunately, Cain shows up next week and completely undoes all of Dean’s emotional progress.

It’s gonna be wild. So, stay tuned, people.

ETA: What Dean is eating, at the top of the episode, is called a Crookie. A croissant with cookies in it or so it appears. Okay, that’s going on my Bucket List. Judging by the looks of it, that will probably be the last thing I do.

Supernatural: About A Boy

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Tonight’s episode  has been much anticipated as Dylan Everett, the  young actor from Bad Boys, reprises his role as Lil’ Dean. I really like him and I’m glad to see him again. Tonight’s episode is not about the mythology, but like so many of this seasons episodes, I expect it to resonate with this seasons major theme and  sub-themes. So far, this season has  had a coherent narrative through-line in every episode and I like that. (Family, specifically parental issues and vengeance,  along with the ongoing Mark of Cain storyline.)

Even though this season hasn’t given us a lot of Deanmon, I’m okay with that,  because the surrounding storylines all share the same themes. This is something that was much less clear, for me, in seasons six and seven. It’s not a great season. I think a few more episodes will determine that, but it’s a very good season, so far.

Two guys are fighting, in a bar, over money. Well, one of them is fighting and  the other is getting his drunken ass kicked. After he gets thrown out, he challenges a homeless man who witnesses his incineration by a large attacker.

Montage of Dean researching  the Mark of Cain and being haunted by his past behavior. His  room is a shambles, there’s books and old food containers everywhere. He’s been holed up here for some time. Sam comes to him, with a case, to get him out of the bunker. They argue about The Mark, Charlie, the Easter Bunny and how hiding out from the world isn’t helping him. This is a change. Sam arguing that he should get back in the game is a  different dynamic.  Dean agrees to go.

The homeless witness says he smelled flowers during the attack and believes the man was abducted by aliens. Dean just has no patience for it. He just knew the man was going to go there. The Winchesters split up to search for clues. Dean meets Tina in the bar and she and  Dean hit it off, while the attacker from last night, eavesdrops in the corner.

Dean spots the attacker (Hansel from Hansel and Gretel), following Tina and gives chase. He finds Tina’s clothes and is attacked and dismayed to find he’s been turned into a teenager. He encounters Tina who also has been de-aged. They are being kept in some kind of holding cell in a basement, with cake.

Sam runs into the bar frantically looking for Dean. He beats up the man who is in possession of Dean’s jacket. Sam begins his search. He finds Dean’s clothes and weapons covered with flower dust.

Dean tests his holding cell for weaknesses. I expect young Dean to be every bit as clever as adult Dean. It is the same person, after all. Tina provides a distraction while Dean escapes.

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He goes back to the motel and Sam doesn’t immediately recognize him, which is weird and hilarious. Of course it doesn’t help that Dean is  dressed like a member of a boy band.

Now, here’s the real test. Dylan has to act like Jensen Ackles’ current Dean, only shorter. He explains to Sam that  he has to go save Tina. On their way to the car he gets mistaken for Sam’s son. This episode gets stranger and stranger. When Dean got aged up in The Curious Case of Dean Winchester, he got mistaken for Sam’s father, which is in keeping with the character dynamic, so it didn’t feel too strange.  This is an interesting parallel to the relationship they’ve established since the middle of last season, with Sam care- taking Dean, instead of the other way around.

imageSam keeps staring at him in the car so he’s very weirded out, too. Dean is embarrassed about liking a Taylor swift song. He does not want to go through puberty again, which is a sure sign that a person has become a grownup, as far as I’m concerned.

Dean shows Sam that the Mark is gone but if the spell is reversed, the Mark will come back.  Dean argues he could grow up again without the Mark. Sam looks worried by this statement and argues that Dean  can’t drink again for seven years.

They reach the house where Dean and Tina were being held. Dean enters the basement, where he is promptly recaptured by Hansel and then saved by Sam. Hansel says he works for the wicked witch by  offering up children for her to eat. He says he will help them, so he can be free of her. He also says Dean’s cure is in the hex bag he wears around his neck. He’ll give it to Dean, if he’s allowed to kill the witch.

imageYeah, the witch is disgusting. She plans to roast Tina in a massive oven. Dean and Sam stealth their way into the kitchen but get betrayed by that lying liar, Hansel, and both end up captured. At least the writers are listening to the fans about them getting knocked unconscious all the time. That whole thing was starting to get a bit worrisome.

The witch drops some exposition about why she doesn’t hunt actual children. Dean’s sarcasm remains undiminished. The witch name drops Rowena and The Grand Coven, but before we can get that information Hansel attacks Sam, who pulls out a knife. Sam gets knocked out ,almost. I’m not sure if partial consciousness counts. Hansel then attacks Dean who steals his hexbag. When Hansel tries to turn Sam into a child, Dean doesn’t hesitate to reverse his spell, to save Sam’s life. All grown up, he stabs Hansel and stuffs the witch, along with her hexbag, into her oven.

imageTina decides she doesn’t want the spell reversed because her adult life was so awful that she wants a do- over. Once again, Dean gave up another  “second chance”,  to be with Sam. And yeah, the Mark came back, too.

Sam claims this as a win because he says he wanted Dean back, the bad guys are dead,  and the girl is saved. He assures Dean the they’ll find a way to cure the Mark of Cain. Dean turns  on the radio. Taylor Swift is playing. Even Sam has to wince at that noise, but Dean just smiles and lets it go.

I really enjoyed this episode. It’s going to make it into my top ten for this season, I think. It was also surprisingly funny. I say surprisingly because I expected more pathos, maybe a few tears and also because most of the laughter was incited by Dean’s antics. Dylan Everett makes an excellent  Dean of any age, because, after a while, I forgot that it wasn’t Jensen Ackles and that’s a feat.

Okay we’re halfway through the season. It’s time to begin stringing together all these dangling threads. The Grand Coven has been mentioned, in relation to Rowena, at least a couple of times. They kicked her out and she implied that they were hunting her. Will there be any more of the Cole storyline or is that finished? Will there be more Deanmon? How does Crowley’s story play out this season? What will happen with the Angels?  So far this season, they haven’t gotten into too much mischief. Will Metatron be back? And what did he mean with his last cryptic statement? What will happen between Cas and Claire?

We’ve got another five or six episodes to start bringing some clarity and answering some questions.

Supernatural : There’s No Place Like Home

Well, we’re halfway through the season and a definite theme has emerged at this point. Also, tonight showcases the return of Charlie Bradbury and I I got a bad feeling about this. I’m probably one of the few people who actually likes Charlie.  I think I fell in love with her just a little bit, the first time I saw her dancing to “Walking on Sunshine”, in an  elevator. That song has since become one of my favorite “happy dance” songs.

Tonight is Dean vs. Charlie and since I do not enjoy  seeing  family members beating the crap out of each other, I’m going to go out on a limb, and propose the idea, that this isn’t actually Charlie. (C’mon! You know you were thinking it.) If it is her, then SHE has gone horribly wrong.

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There’s a frantic chase scene, as some guy stumbles through his house. He’s confronted, in his front yard,  by someone who looks like Charlie Bradbury, who promises to torture him.

In the Bunker, Dean claims he’s on a 12-step program of goodness, featuring egg whites, lack of drinking and early bedtimes, all of which, he hates. He’s taken Sam’s advice to heart about fighting The Mark, at least. It’s good to see him at least trying to follow Sam’s advice. In the past, he almost never did and look at the outcome. Is Dean is finally learning? Maybe the reason he’s listening to Sam now, is because heeding only his own advice, since Bobby’s death, has been a huge disaster.

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While researching the Mark, Sam comes across a video of Charlie assaulting someone. Dean actually acknowledges, that, taken out of context, what they do looks very much like assault and serial killing, too. I’ve always wondered about that myself. And, off they go.

Charlie is investigating the death of her parents. Dean threatens to assault her assault victim,  until the guy gives up a name.

It turns out that Celeste Middleton is Charlie’s real name.

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They visit the name on their list. The woman isn’t cooperative, so they stake her out. When they hear screaming, they run to the rescue and find Charlie, with a blade pressed to the woman’s throat. They ask her what happened to her in Oz and why she’s doing what she’s doing and she just taunts them, which is kind of creepy, because this person claims to be Charlie but isn’t even trying to act like her, at all. She sounds  like a demon. She escapes by beating up Dean, who I guess is holding back. He’d take off after her if she hadn’t slashed his tires.

And SURPRISE!! The real Charlie rides up to help lead the chase. So…shapeshifter? Demon? Or something new?

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At a bar, Charlie explains that the other is her double and evil. She claims Oz was awful and she made some kind of deal with the Wizard,  to unleash her inner demon, (so not a shapeshifter or demon, exactly. Just Charlie’s bad side.) It was Dark Charlie who, singlehandedly, won the war in Oz  and when Good Charlie got mad at her for the way she did it, she decided, the way to win good Charlie back, was to avenge their parent’s deaths. Neither of them can get back to Oz because Dark Charlie broke the key.

Dean has promised himself no liquor but he’s experiencing obvious withdrawal, whether from the Mark or alcoholism, is unclear. It probably makes little difference. The Mark has always been coded as an addiction.

The investigation leads to another name. The drunk driver who killed her parents. Sam takes Charlie back to the bunker, to find a way back to Oz or repair the key, and Dean stakes out the next name on their list, waiting  for bad Charlie to show up, while posing as a Mr. Presley. The  man is pretty shitty to him and Dean barely holds back from killing him, when the lights go out.

Sam and Charlie’s investigation leads them to another name on the list, a former Man of Letters.

Yeah, this is angry, mad, hurt Charlie. And Dean can’t hurt her. If he does, he hurts Good Charlie. Dark Charlie confronts her parent’s killer. He seems genuinely contrite but, I still suspect,  he’s only sorry because he thinks she might hurt him and is only saying what she wants to hear. She locks Dean out of the room and kills the man and escapes through the window. So, there’s Dean, trying to be Mr. Good Guy,  suffering from some kind of withdrawal and underestimating Dark Charlie’s willingness to be a dick. It’s exactly the sort of thing Dean would have done, but because it’s Charlie, who he has attached himself  to and romanticized, he keeps getting blindsided by her ruthlessness.

Dean calls Sam. They agree to meet at the former Man of Letter’s home. Bad Charlie meets him in a bar and isn’t he supposed to be on his way to see Sam, instead of sitting in this bar, trying to resist drinking.  Yeah, Dean, you’re an alcoholic. Dark Charlie walks in, senses something different about him and I guess her purpose on  the show tonight, is to tempt him to the dark side and give voice to Dean’s inner demons. (This seems to be a tactic, the writers like to engage in, when a character goes bad. Have someone else dictate what they’re thinking,  during their moral crisis.) Dean tells her the plan to get rid of her, so predictably, Charlie sneaks off to kill the guy. He is so off his game tonight, that she’s just running rings around him. In his effort not to engage his own dark side, he just doesn’t see any of her shit coming. Hell, I saw that coming, so I guess I must be fully integrated with my dark side, unlike Dean.

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The old man can’t help Good Charlie. He also  says there’s no way back to Oz and  claims the same thing happened to him when he was there. His id was released and became the wizard of Oz, who is now ruling in tandem with Dorothy.  He proposes to summon the Evil Wizard by hurting himself and in the process save Dorothy from whatever Evil Wizard is up to, in Oz. So now, everyone is in place, the Charlies, the Wizards,  Sam and Dean, even though Dean lied about the location. (So, he hasn’t completely lost his senses, altogether.)

Naturally Sam gets subdued and tied up, but at least he’s not unconscious or been hit on the head, yet again, while Dean dukes it out with Dark Charlie in the front yard. Good Charlie has to make a decision to do a bad thing. She kills the Good Wizard, which kills the bad one, (who was totally Vadering Sam, btw). I think I see where this might be going. If Dean doesn’t stop himself, he’ll kill both Charlies.

He stops himself. Barely.

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The second key they retrieved from the Evil wizard is used to mend Charlie’s two selves back into one body, but both she and Dean are traumatized by this experience. She has all of Bad Charlie’s memories now, so is intimately familiar with both brothers mental states, saddled with memories of having done horrible things, in horrible places to the occasional horrible person. Sam and Kevin, DemonDean, and now Bad Charlie.

Sam and Dean are back in the bunker, with Sam giving Cas the lowdown on what just happened with Dean. (Once again, Charlie doesn’t get to meet Cas. One day, the two of them are going to be in an episode together and the universe will cave in on itself.) She goes to Dean and says she forgives him and sweet talks him that he’ll get through this because he’s Dean,  but he’s not buying it.  He’s still no good, but at least his hands have stopped shaking and that’s a good thing.

Right?

I guess I’m one of the few people who actually liked this episode. Once again, not a favorite, but watchable and coherent. Some nice parallels were made between Dean and Charlie’s situation, the nature of addiction, including Dean’s reference to AA’s 12-Step Program, and the plot stayed on point with minimal holes. Not a great episode but not bad either. Although, once again Charlie saves Sam and I know some of the fandom hates that. I’m alright with it though. I’m alright with this episode, really.

I’m  looking forward to seeing more of Little Dean, next week. That should be very interesting.

Supernatural: Hunter Games

Tonights episode deals with the aftermath of Dean’s massacre, at the ranch, in the last episode. Sam and Castiel are both desperate to save him, and they try to come up with a plan. Claire, Castiel’s daughter, has it in for Dean, for killing her father-figure at the massacre, so I wonder how long she’ll last. I could definitely do without seeing Metatron, so I hope he gets beaten up really, really good, as I still hate him for what he did to Cas.

Rowena and Crowley are still toeing around each other. I wonder  if her game is now to be Queen of Hell? Crowley isn’t blind to her manipulation. C’mon, it’s Crowley. But I wonder what this particular storyline means for his future.

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Ooh! we got a nice long “road so far” flashback this week.

We open on a scene with a frightened Crowley. He’s having a nightmare about being killed by his minions, but Mommas there to wake him up. No, he doesn’t trust her, though she wants him to. He shouldn’t because her hex bag caused his nightmare.

Dean Is alone and flashbacking to the ranch massacre, while Cas complains about being unable to emotionally reach Claire. Sam, Dean and  Cas all acknowledge that the killing at the ranch was too far over the edge. Dean wants them to get rid of The Mark. Cas suggests finding the demon tablet or …

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Rowena gets caught rummaging through Crowley’s things by his majordomo, Guthrie. Betraying others is a common tactic for her. And yes, she is shamelessly sucking up to Crowley, too. Apparently, she has a long history of deception, which is why she was, so often, on the run from various groups. I can see she is not the schemer that Crowley is. She’s really not as good at playing the “long game” like him. She’s too ham-handed.

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Castiel goes to Metatron to ask for help. (Did I say how much I hate Metatron’s smarmy grin?) Sam and Cas tie him up in the bunker and state their request. He takes such glee in delineating Dean’s problems, that even I want to smack the piss out of him. Metatron requests Dean be kept from him and part of me thinks this is a ploy to get Sam to do the exact opposite. Of course, Sam does the exact opposite. So, now Metatron can needle all of them together and I get to hear more of his self-ingratiating bullshit.  Yippee!

At the Astoria hotel, Claire is running out on Castiel. Of course she is. That’s her superpower. She’s also given up on accepting Cas help or having a normal life. She insists that it wasn’t Randy who was the monster, but Dean for killing him. She has to be on her own. The girl is a train wreck waiting to happen. She refuses any responsibility for the part she played in Randy’s death. After her father left her, she made one bad decision after another. A series of decisions, which left her locked in a room, about to be assaulted, by a man who bargained for her, in return for her beloved mentor’s debts. She’s not to blame for her mentors bad decisions , but she has to accept responsibility for the decisions that landed her in the presence of this lowlife,Randy, who used her and cared nothing for her safety.

So now, we get another scene of Metatron blabbing at the brothers, and he’s not saying anything helpful, of course. I wouldn’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth, after what he did to Cas and I wonder whatever possessed any of them to believe he would help them. He tells them they need The  First Blade.

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Rowenna is still buttering up Crowley, when Dean calls him to ask a favor. When Crowley leaves, Rowenna starts a locator spell.

Claire is in a bar being talked into doing something stupid by her friends, while Cas repeatedly calls her. Claire does not strike me as the brightest penny in the wrapper. I understand where she’s coming from, but still, it’s really difficult to watch dumb people make one dumb decision after another. Claire’s situation is a mirror to the Winchesters and Crowley. They’re continuing to trust people who mean them harm. Claire in trusting Randy,  Castiel’s trust of Metatron and allowing him to live to cause problems later, and Crowley’s trust in his mother. They know these individuals are dangerous snakes yet refuse to remove these problems. I guess I’m a lot more pragmatic and hard hearted than these characters, and that’s saying something, when you consider the people I’m talking about.

The brothers present Crowley with their request and promise to keep Dean away from The Blade. Crowley is incredulous. Rowena’s spell involves spying on their conversation, so when Crowley says The Blade is in a crypt with his bones, Rowena now has ammunition. Rowena gets Guthrie to retrieve The Blade.

Cas suggests Dean reach out to Claire to bring her back into the fold. That’s a mistake I can see a mile coming.

Crowley returns to his crypt to find The Blade missing. And yeah, I saw Guthries death, at Rowena’s hand, coming from a mile away too. Jeebus, but she’s a horrible actress. And I’m screaming at myTV not to trust her, man!

Okay, I don’t trust Claire’s friends. They are entirely too interested/disinterested in Randy, Cas, Dean,Claire’s personal problems. And their offer, to kill Dean for her, is all I need to know they’re probably pretty dumb, too.  It’ll probably be their last, worst decision.

The Winchesters get the blade from Crowley and Dean goes to tell Metatron, who wants them to do his bidding, in return for information. Dean offers to torture the information out of him. Please proceed, Dean.

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Yay! There’s  the old-school Demon!Dean, torturer, I remember. (Oh, alright! There are a handful of shows that bring out my bloodthirst. I refuse to apologize for that.)

Metatron tries to make  a moral equivalence between the horrible things he did for his self- aggrandizement… to the Angels, to Cas, to the Prophets and the world,  and the decisions Dean has made to save lives, but I call foul on that. It’s not the same thing. He’s trying to place everything that went wrong on Dean, but I’m not buying it, because while intention may not be magic, it is certainly a significant factor in whether or not someone can be called actively, maliciously evil  or just stupid.

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Sam and Cas get there in time to save Metatron. But Metatron left one clue. “The river is the source.”. I think he meant Cain. Sam lays out his thinky-thoughts to Dean: Cain has lived with the Mark for years and if he can do it, so can Dean, if he deals with that part of himself that Sam believes is helping power the Mark.

Claire calls to set up a meet with Dean. On boy. This is gonna be bad. Claire’s dumb friends are gonna try to take out Dean. But he spares their lives, at Claire’s plea and then of course she runs away. Cas finds her and they talk about the little monster inside her. Cas is, I guess, going to leave her by the side of the road after this little talk. This is still not a resolved issue for me but maybe it is for the writers, I guess.

I guess the take-away from this scene is that the Mark can be controlled. Dean doesn’t have to slaughter, so maybe, he actually was listening to Sam during that scene and not just watching Sam’s lips move. Unfortunately, Dean is in a job that requires killing and I don’t see him giving up hunting any time soon.

I give this episode a 3.5 on my crap-o-meter because of the repulsive presence of Metatron. Of course I’ll watch this episode again because I got my wish. (Ftr, I’m only a fan of TV torture. Not a fan of real-life torture. Get it! Fake violence vs real life violence…oh, never mind.)

Supernatural : The Things We Left Behind

Tonight is the eagerly anticipated mid-season hiatus, or Hellatus for season ten of Supernatural. Hopefully it’ll be momentous and have me screaming at my television by the end. We may or may not get to see the return of Deanmon. I hope we get more information on Rowena and Crowley and find out what Castiel has been up to since Hanna left him.

Dean is dreaming about killing. He’s covered in blood but holding a regular blade. Not the First one.

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A teenage girl gets picked up by the police for shoplifting. Her name is Claire Novak. She’s being held in a group home, when Cas comes to see her. Flashback to him telling her he’s not her father. They discuss, because she’s got questions and Cas tells her Jimmy is in Heaven. So , at least we got the big question of Jimmy out of the way. Naturally, she resents Cas for taking everything from her. Claire’s mother left her with her grandmother and now she lives in the home. She tells him she wants out of there and they hatch a plan to get her out. The scene where she fixes his tie, before their meeting with her caseworker,  is both cute and heartbreaking. Because.

Cas tells the caseworker he wants custody of his daughter, now. She wants to know why and he says he was traveling for work and wants to be her friend.The caseworker is reluctant to let this happen and denies his application for custody.

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Dean is watching the Three stooges and …laughing! It’s so good to see him feeling and looking so happy… and eating. It’s interesting that we’ve seen Dean eating so much since he regained his humanity and he really seems to be enjoying it. When he first got the Mark of Cain, he mostly stopped eating and  I don’t recall him eating much as a demon. He did drink a lot, then, but now, not so much.

So there’s Dean and Sam enjoying old sitcoms, together, but there’s still a sour note as Sam looks worryingly at the Mark on Dean’s arm.

Cas breaks into the home to get Claire.

Rowena, still being held prisoner, pleads with her guard to let her see her son, Crowley.

Claire is eating her vegetables, while she and Cas talk about how he’s different from the douche he used to be. (She’s right.) Claire says it’s time for them to split and doesn’t need a babysitter, after Cas says he’d like to stick around. Of course, she ditches him the moment she goes to the bathroom, after stealing his wallet. Since his wallet  and daughter are both gone, who does he call? Dean.

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Cas needs help finding her and keeping her safe. The brothers disagree. Dean sends Sam off to do some detecting, while he talks with Cas. Once again, Cas is having an important conversation with someone while watching them eat French fries and I wonder what’s the significance? They talk about the Mark, and Dean flashes back to his nightmare. He tells him that he wants Cas to kill him if he should ever become a demon again. The same directive that Cain gave to him. He says he can’t, won’t,  go back to being a demon. He mentions letting go of life’s disappointments to Cas and I wonder if this advice has anything to do with all the self loathing that comes from being a demon.

Another woman has been paired with Rowena in her cell. She’s a demon who is not supposed to be on earth. So she smuggled her way up top. For that sin, she was imprisoned. Rowena says her sin was being a horrible mother.

Crowley is bitching about that but still reluctant to kill her.

Sam questions the caseworker about Claire and one of her friends from the home named Justin.

Claire apparently is Dodgering for some guy, named Randy, who owes a loanshark. Cas cash is not  enough money to pay the debt but he’s got a plan for her to commit armed robbery. Sam, Dean and Cas find Justin and reach her just in time. Cas gives her some Angel stink eye.

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And here we see Dean eating again. We almost never see Sam eat or drink anything, since the beginning of this season.

Claire does remember the brothers, calling Dean “Hassehoff”. (Why is that, even remotely, funny to me?)  We’ve got, yet another,  person with Daddy issues. Cas killed her father. Maybe she should team up with Cole. The gun she was going to use for the robbery, she now points at Dean. For the third time this season, Dean is being held at gunpoint for killing someone’s dad. Claire’s had enough. She’s out of here.  I do wonder why the writers are bringing up all these Parenting issues this episode. Is it just because of Cas’ storyline, or is there some payoff later in the season?

Tonight’s show is all about family. Most especially, absent and neglectful parents, I  guess. Rowena is taken to see Crowley and they talk. It’s a momentous conversation. She’s a master bullshitter just like him. Crowley says she hated him and abandoned him when he was eight.  I’d still like to know where did she come from and where she’s been? Crowley claims he has a family and doesn’t need her and I wonder who he’s referring to. If he means Sam and Dean, I  don’t think I can express just how pathetic that sounds. If he means the demons, then that’s even worse. She says she can help him and he can trust her.

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The brothers and Cas visit a  bar and discuss Claire. There follows a beautiful interaction of the three of them with Sam and Dean recounting their trip to New York with their dad, where Dean sneaks off to CBGB.  John finds him, high on something and  managing to somehow straighten out a room full of punks, just by showing up. Moral of the story: John, ” It’s not my job to be liked. It’s my job to raise you right.”

The  loanshark has caught up with Randy. Claire shows up and  pulls her gun on them. I guess it’s easier to pull it then to shoot it because every time she’s pulled it, she hasn’t. Randy sells her out to have his loan forgiven. Color me completely unsurprised. He just looked like a giant weasel to me, anyway.

Rowena and Crowley are not bonding. I guess Crowley wasn’t buying her crap. Rowena tells Crowley that it’s the guard who is smuggling souls up from hell and the other prisoner corroborates her story. When the guard tries to kill her, Crowley intervenes. In return for her information, he sets her free.

The loanshark comes to Claire to get his payment. She fights back but doesn’t stand a chance. The three stooges  get there, just in time to prevent her possible rape. Sam and Cas hustle Claire to safety, but Dean gets ambushed. He’s flashing back to his nightmare again as he warns the shark and his henchmen not to “do this”.

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Sam returns too late. Dean is reliving his nightmare, covered in blood in a room full of death. Sam runs in and grabs him. He doesn’t seem especially surprised by this. He’s just been waiting for this to happen, but still doesn’t want to believe it. He demands Dean tell him it was in self defense, but Dean has no answer. He appears to be in shock.

I guess the Mark of Cain wins this round.

This episode was not as awesome as I thought it would be, but it’s not bad.  A lot of questions from the fandom got answered. Where’s Jimmy? Where’s Claire? Will Dean go dark side? The loose ends of Cas life got tied up.

I did not scream at my TV, but I am satisfied with the meatiness of this episode. We got to see the brothers enjoying each other’s company. They still look uncomfortable because the Mark of Cain is just hovering there between them but at least they’re trying to reestablish. They’re laughing just a little too hard and loud but at least they’re  making progress. We might even get a genuine hug by the end of the season.

Baby steps, people! Baby steps!

Supernatural: Hibbing 911

Tonight, two of my all-time favorite characters, Sheriff Jodi Mills and Donna from The Purge are guest starring. (Marge Gunderson from Fargo is one of my favorites, too,  so I immediately fell in love with Donna, although I could’ve done without the rest of that episode.)

Expect the usual. The women will save the day and at some point, at least one of the brothers will be taken hostage, maybe tied up and there will be some classic Bro-ment in the last ten minutes.

A teenager sprays some stencils on a building in Hibbing, Minnesota, while being watched by a creature In the shadows, that decides to beat, kill and then eat him.

Jodi is trying to psych herself up for the mandatory Sheriff’s retreat. She gives a homeless, Hippie girl some money for lunch, goes inside and the first person she encounters is Donna.. I love her! She’s  cheerful, chummy, welcoming and makes Jodi take a sucker. A jerky sheriff, Donna’s ex-husband, insults Donna, which wins Jodi’s immediate sympathy, even though she doesn’t seem  too keen on being Donna’s new best bud.

imageDean is in the Bunker, bitching to Sam, about how the Men of Letters have no information on the Mark of Cain. It’s incredible to him, how much useless information they’ve amassed, outside of that.

At the Sheriffs retreat, the host Sheriff Len, decides to partner up all the participants and Donna chooses Jodi, of course. There’s a nice touch with Jodi calling Alex and bantering with her for a minute. Their relationship is a typical of Mom and daughter one and it gives me a happy to hear it.

While choosing a topic for  a panel, Donna hears about a dead body. Jodi is supremely interested. (Her new nickname is now Jodes. Guess who gave it to her?) Jodi calls Sam and Dean. She’s happy to hear that Sam found him. Sam tries to reject helping her out but Dean gives him puppy eyes until he acquiesces. That was pretty funny and I have one of my first real laughs of the evening as I’ve never seen Dean give Sam puppy eyes before. The change in their dynamic is made up of such subtle moments. If you blink, you’ll miss them. In this episode, they at least feel like they’re finally getting comfortable with each other, although Sam’s permanent worry lines, indicate that all isn’t perfect between them.

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Jodi tries to get information on the body by herself, until Donna finds her and one of the funniest moments in tonight’s episode is when Jodi tries to strong arm information out of the dispatcher in her usual brusque manner,  and Donna, in a loud stage whisper, tells the woman Jodi left her manners in Sioux Falls. Jodi gives her the stink eye for saying that.

That night, a man gets pulled into a public garbage bin and eaten. Great monster mystery, here.

Donna and Jodi gang up on the local sheriff for information on the first body after which Donna spots her ex on the dance floor with another young sheriff. Jodi calls him a dick but Donna isn’t comforted. She just misses him. Jodi bullies her way into Sheriff Len’s  investigation. He is surprisingly uncooperative/cooperative. He tells her about the second body but not the video footage of the attack.

Jodi goes outside to argue with Alex on the phone,  when Donna finds her. Again.

Jodi tells her about the second body. She also asks for advice on teenage girls but Donna suggests that like her Ex,  Alex is , maybe, just a dick. They talk about Alex, their childhoods, the kind of things women talk about, when men aren’t around, and sometimes when they are around, but apparently ignore, since male writers act like they don’t know what their female family members talk about. (Aren’t writers supposed to be all, observant and shit?) The ladies are bonding , though, and it’s a thing. I can imagine Jodi doesn’t have any female friends. She is over forty, in  a traditionally male profession, a widow and she has a new kid, so there’s probably not a lot of opportunities for her to make friends, at all, so she doesn’t seem to recognize that’s what she’s doing with Donna. I think that’s kind of cute.

(Seriously, Baby needs a new muffler or a tune-up or something. She sounds like an angry lion.) The brothers arrive and  greet Jodi.

The flesh, a wallet and a belt are missing from the two victims. Donna shows up (she has incredible timing) and Jodi (hilariously) refers to her as her stalker. All of them are trying to keep Donna in the dark about the supernatural, but she can tell something  hinky is going on.

The Sheriff’s deputy seems to have a lot of attitude for an episode extra. I’m immediately suspicious when he starts ragging on the FBI, (namely Dean), for being interested in their case.

imageDonna and Jodi are admiring some weaponry when Donna’s ex shows up and starts making cracks about Donnas weight. Again. But Jodi  gives him no quarter. She shuts him down hard and fast for fat-shaming Her friend and tells him he’s a douche. (Jodi is awesome! Who hasn’t wanted to do this to their best friend’s ex-something? ) Donna is pissed that she did it and tells her off. She’s a great reader though. She immediately senses that she struck a nerve when she mentions Jodi’s husband and she’s sorry. See! This is how mature adults behave when they inadvertently hurt each other. (Sam and Dean, I’m looking at the two of you. Watch and learn!)

Dean confronts the deputy, who confesses that the Sheriff changed the password on the server so that no one but him could access any video footage of the first murder. Okay! now I’m suspicious of Sheriff Len.

Donna, now outside, follows a blood trail and witnesses Sheriff Len attacking another cop, the one her ex was dancing with earlier. Did I say she has incredible timing? Well, yeah.

So, I guess the deputy was just being a regular ass and not a monster, who is  an ass. But  now there’s no point in trying to keep monsters a secret from Donna, I guess.

Jodi asks Dean how he’s doing. She and Sam have been talking about him and he claims to be fine. Donna shows up (again) and confesses, to Jodi, what she saw. She’s trying cope and is doing an admirable job. Of course, Jodi believes her. She calls Sam to give him a heads up and then she and Donna decide to handle the situation themselves. They go to the Sheriff Len’s room and the brothers surprise them there. They give Donna the talk about vampires. She’s still coping quite well.

The clue from the Len’s room, leads to a farmhouse in the boonies. Donna shows real backbone, when the brothers try to get her to stay behind, so they all go the farmhouse. Dean hands her a machete. She looks nervous, though.

Well, this is her first hunt.

imageOkay, this time, the women get taken hostage and the brothers get knocked out by the vampires. (Bingo!) I’m betting on the women having to save themselves, maybe.

The vampires, the same Hippie Jodi gave money to,  plan to turn all of them. The female vamp explains that they are scavengers, Len claims he doesn’t kill and Donna refutes this. He says he found the dead sheriff and had to fight away his impulses. The vampires monologue amongst themselves,  giving the brothers time to work themselves free. Then, the vamps try to push the sheriff into killing their hostages but he refuses and they behead him.

imageDean manages to break free and it’s TwiHard, all over again, as Dean puts his shit down. He kills all of the vampires while  Sam frantically tries to get free and help him, (you can tell he’s thinking about The Mark of Cain) but it’s Donna who  gets there first. It’s her first kill and wins Dean’s complete approval.

The women are bonding over Donna’s first kill, while Dean confesses how he felt when killing the vamps. He says he felt like himself. Sam’s good with that,  Donna has a new mentor, everybody rides off into the night.

Okay, I’m a little disappointed that the only mention of the Mark of Cain was at the beginning and end of the episode but otherwise it wasn’t a bad episode. The plot gets about a “C”, though.

There was a lot of female bonding and can I just say, I hope to have Jenny Klein’s love-child at some point in the future. She wrote some of the most authentic sounding dialogue, between women, that I’ve ever heard on this show. The episode passes the Bechdel Test with flying colors.

I love that Alex, Jodi’s ward gets a shout out. Apparently, she’s fully recovered from having been a vampire and is acting like a typical bratty teenager.  I love the relationship that developed between the two sheriffs, even though Jodi was dubious at first. In fact, that was my favorite part of the show with an all time high reached when Jodi comes to her new friends defense. This is how women behave as friends.

I’d love to say it’s an all time favorite episode but the plot was just too weak to make it ultra-watchable. There were some lovely, charming moments between the brothers, but still not enough of them. However, that was more than made up for by watching the development of a beautiful female friendship.

And writers, if you’re paying attention,  The Jodi and Donna Show, would make a most excellent spinoff!

Supernatural: Girls, Girls, Girls

Tonight, we get another seemingly, light hearted episode, maybe and we finally get to meet Rowena and find out what her story is. At least I hope we get a mythology episode tonight. And if we’re lucky, we’ll get a confrontation between Dean and Crowley. Their first, since Crowley took away Dean’s toy.

Prologue: A pretty blonde sex worker is being chased down an urban street by her demonic pimp, who breaks her neck, when he catches her.

Sam and Dean are eating steak, and Dean sounds like such an old man, discussing steak prices, when he keeps receiving phone alerts. It turns out it’s from a dating app. Shayleen is really digging Impala67 and Sam just can’t let that slide at all.

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It’s strange to watch Sam needling Dean. We haven’t seen it in so long, it’s bizarre to watch it, now. It also feels  just a tiny but forced. They’re still tiptoeing their way around each other’s feelings and teasing is a much easier habit to fall back on, I guess. Sam thinks she looks  very, very,  available and possibly too good to be true. Until Shayleen shows up. A detour of 8 hours, so Dean could get laid. He is definitely trying to get back to his old self.

Hanna and Cas are in a hotel discussing rogue angels and how to find them. Hanna puts the naked moves on Cas. He has no idea how to react but he blushes handsomely. Gosh, Hanna is cute. Its a move that comes out of left field,  though. I wasn’t expecting to see Hanna naked either.

It turns out, Shayleen is a woman of the evening, and Dean’s code is “no cash, for ass”, which is definitely one of the most “assholyish” statements I’ve ever heard him make about sex, so I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear it. (Besides, there will be more than a few fans on Tumblr who will give the writers Holy Hell, for that line, so I don’t have to.) Shayleen doesn’t want cash but she will take his soul.  Boy! did she pick the wrong guy. Dean confronts her about that and she looks more than a little shamed.

Hanna is confronted by the husband of her host body.

Sam and Dean confront Shayleen’s demon pimp. He insults her and she stabs him. Now, their lead is dead but hey! he’s  got business  cards, with addresses.

Two of the demon pimps at the brothel, are met by Rowena. She kills one of them,  named Raoul. The ladies they were terrorizing are invited to accompany her and they are more than happy to do so. I like Rowena’s style.

Hanna and her husband fight about Cas at the hotel. He thinks they’re together and Hanna doesn’t disabuse him of the idea. She kisses Cas to prove it to him.

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The brothers show up just in time to find the bodies in the brothel. They Sherlock their way to Rowena’s next crime scene, a restaurant.

Rowena and the girls are not welcome at whatever snobby restaurant she’s  decided to eat at. When the waiter complains, she enslaves the entire waitstaff through him. She tells the girls it’s magic.

Crowley confronts  one of brothel pimps that escaped. That one tells him about  Rowena. Now Crowley and his demons are hunting her, too.

The brothers figure out that the spell used to take out Raoul was created by  a witch named Rowena. Who is, even now, explaining to her rescues that she was born with the gift and all other witches are borrowers of magic  or students with mentors. Her spell on the waiter wears off and melts the waiter. She and her new acolytes run away.

Now, we’re with Cole, torturing a demon for information on Dean.

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At a gas station, Cas and Hanna discuss her husband. Cas discusses Jimmy with her and talks bout the necessity of snatching their vessels. They discuss the effect this might have had on their hosts families. Hanna has reached a momentous  decision. She’s decided to leave Cas because she is having some kind of emotional crisis involving her host.  Once again, this comes out of nowhere. Up until tonight she hasn’t expressed one ounce of interest in her host body or it’s former life.  She departs Carolyn, who knows and remembers Castiel. I didn’t see that coming at all. There are genuine surprises, and then there are contrived surprises. This feels like one of the latter.

imageRowena gets captured by Crowley’s demons, who get taken out by the Winchesters. Rowena sacrifices the blonde with an attack dog spell and runs off with the other. Dean gives chase but gets ambushed by Cole, who has incredible timing. As always.

Sam is still duking it out with the bespelled prostitute, while Dean gets to punch it out with Cole. Dean gets the drop on him but won’t kill Cole. He explains he’s not a demon, nor was he a demon when he killed Cole’s dad. He says Cole’s dad was some kind of liver-eating monster,  masquerading as Cole’s father. Sam’s attacker has her meltdown, just in time for him to find Dean and overhear him talk Cole down from killing him, and it’s a beautiful and heartbreaking speech about his possible future,  but it remains to be seen whether or not Cole will choose to be a Hunter.

Hannas host, Carolyn, goes home. Her husband accepts this happily but they have a lot to work through. And just like that, Hanna is out of the show. And possibly, so is Cole, in a move I did not see coming, leading me to believe Cole’s existence was just an excuse for Dean to make that lovely speech. Hopefully, we will see Cole again in the future.

(Oh, and by the way, writers- Cole’s adventures as a hunter, with a family,would make an excellent spinoff. At least, that way, his existence wouldn’t be entirely wasted. Just, whatever you do, do not use that Vampire Diaries, Originals, template in a misguided effort to be different from Supernatural. Supernatural fans, as a whole, are not into the “rich and pretty, soap-opera, monster” shit.)

Rowena was actually captured by the demons after she escaped Dean. Crowley goes to meet her in his dungeon, but she doesn’t recognize him. He recognizes her, though. It would explain Crowley’s, rather unique among demons, ability to do magic, if he got it from his mother.

Okay this episode could have been much better. I liked meeting Rowena and Dean’s speech was pretty cool. I sort of liked seeing the brothers doing something ordinary like having dinner together, but I do miss the Batcave. We haven’t seen them together, there, since Dean was un-demoned. (Yeah, I just make up my own words.)

What I didn’t like was all the stuff that came from nowhere, like Hanna leaving for no damn reason I could fathom and Cole, who has spent his life hunting the man who killed his father, just walking away from revenge, because Dean gives good speech. I would’ve liked  to see more come out of these two characters, whom we were forced to spend so much time with. Right now, it just feels like the writers are throwing things at a wall, to see if different plots will stick and that shit is  just annoying.

Well, hopefully next week’s episode won’t be as weak as this one, becuz Mills!

Supernatural : Ask Jeeves

Tonight we get back to business, after last weeks delightful and charming episode. I gave high marks to that one. It’s not an all time favorite but it is in my top twenty. Last weeks episode was pretty mythology heavy, but mythology from five years ago, and I am wondering how long it’s  going to take for the writers to quit playing around and give us a little meat.

A butler is giving the rundown to a couple of maids at the household of an heiress in New Canaan, Ct. One of the maids is attacked and falls to her death at the hands of the dead heiress, Ms. Bunny LaCroix. The butler seems totally unsurprised and I’m not surprised at that.

Sam and Dean are drinking itty, bitty coffees and complaining about the radio silence on their scanners, just when they’re ready to jump back into the game. Dean tells Sam about a phone call Bobby received, to go to New Canaan, for the reading of a will.  They should go, as they qualify as his heirs. Maybe Bobby earned them some beer money.

imageThey meet the heiress’ family. They are a tad underdressed, but  are immediately accepted as adorable. (Cougars on this show all have excellent taste.) The butler takes them aside and explains that all of the family present are poor as churchmice, money grubbing and greedy. He gives them an envelope.  Inside is a large iron cross studded with four large jewels, which turn out to be fake. But the cross is a key, so the brothers are now on a case, more or less.

That evening the brother of the dead heiress is killed. Axed by Bunny’s husband, Lance, also deceased. When the brothers return, the butler acts as if he doesn’t know them, (He’s  pretty snotty. This is a clue) and they are now considered suspects in the brothers death, and can’t leave the house til morning. The family argue about whether or not ghosts did it.

imageDean investigates upstairs, while Sam chats with the sniping family. It’s a nice touch, when Sam mentions that he and his brother like each other just fine, when asked what family likes each other. Dean finds a secret room using the key. He also finds a body and the maid, who blames the butler for killing another guest. Everyone keeps thinking it’s spirits, but I don’t think it’s spirits. And, I think the maid may be lying about the butler.

Sam and Dean discuss it and set off to investigate but Sam gets accosted by one of the guests. Sam is not into cougars, apparently, since he tells her yes! then runs away. (Good move! Sam. Get to duh choppa!!!) Dean encounters the weird butler again, who still acts as if they’ve never met before. Sam finds a blood trail. Of course the butler is dead, stabbed in the back . He texts this news to Dean and the fake butler attacks him and runs away, leaving shapeshifter residue behind…and can I just point out – Eeewww!

(One more time. Just because.)

Eeewwwww!!!

imageWhile discussing this, the maid wanders in and Sam and Dean explain the situation to her. They tell her they need silver and she brings them a case of flatware. Sam and Dean go test the other family members. Sam unconvincingly puts the moves on two of the  lovely ladies in order to test them with silver and they pass.This scene would be hilarious if it weren’t for the faint specter of non-consent in it. Dean finds two of the guests making out in the closet, they too, pass the test. He then walks in to find Sam having  his hands and hair thoroughly examined by the two cougars, who discuss him as if he was the neighbor’s prize- winning poodle. (Who doesn’t envy these two women, right now?) and Sam takes that as an opportunity to run away again. Dean loves that sort of attention and it just now occurs to me that Sam hates it when women admire his looks. He just hates the attention, I think. Probably all those years of avoiding attention, while feeling as though he’s wearing the worlds largest neon sign that says FREAK.

Then the maid finds yet another body. She just keeps finding them. I think she’s probably making them. This time the  guest drowned in a toilet and everyone gathers around and begins to argue about blame until Dash, one of the heirs, takes  both brothers hostage and locks them in the security room. (At least, theyre not tied up. ) While they’re locked in,  the family speculate that the brothers are low class, gay, murderers and I would like to point out, that technically, they are murderers. From a mortal, non-supernatural point of view, they’re both serial killers.

The brothers discover that the flatware they’ve been using isn’t actually silver and yeah, it’s definitely the maid.

The maid starts Monologuing. She’s really Bunny’s daughter, whose been living in the attic. She also explains why she killed each guest. (Thaaat’s right, keep talking and give the brothers time to get free.) So, they do get free and end up in a shootout with the maid. The biggest laugh tonight, is when one of the guests quietly asks if anyone else wet themselves. Now the maid is Monologuing again about her shifter father and how Bobby killed him and came after her. Her life was spared because Bunny agreed to keep her locked away. She gets the drop on Sam who can’t kill her because he has no silver bullets. But Dean does. He shoots her in the back. Several times. Several, several times. This is the first kill I’ve seen him make, since he lost the First Blade.  And things happen just as Sam fears, as Dean’s eyes go completely black.

Afterwards, Dash apologizes to the brothers for locking them up and they give him the key they inherited. Dean tells him to forget they were there and he’s  more than a little gruff about it. During the Bro-ment in the car, Sam asks about all the shooting, but Dean denies it had anything to do with the Mark.

And now the lying begins. To himself and to Sam. I was wondering how long the honeymoon would last. Apparently, about three episodes. Dean is pathologically incapable of Not lying to Sam and always for the same reasons. He loves him and doesn’t ever want to hurt him or he’s in denial about something.

Sometimes, Dean is one of the hardest headed- nincompoops in television history. Sam gets schooled by fate and only has to learn one damn  time not to do whatever the feck he did again. Dean keeps making the same mistakes over and over again until the world ends bloody. Sometimes I just want Sam to punch Dean, really hard,  in the neck.

I’m satisfied with this episode tonight. It’s not ever going to be a favorite as mostly it’s just a setup for us to see what effect The Mark still has over  Dean. Quite a bit, I guess. I was hoping, after last weeks episode, we would get back to the mythology this week. So, I’m good.

Once again, we have the overall theme of family and how far a person is willing to go for it. For the shifter, she’s willing to become a monster she doesn’t need to be. Bunny is willing to lock up her strange child for her entire life ,so that Bobby won’t kill her. Dash stands up to Sam and Dean for his family. This dovetails nicely with Cole’s mission of vengeance against Dean and Castiel’s perpetual infighting with his own.

You do notice that all this fighting for  family nearly ends in disaster for everyone. Bunny’s history of lies resulted in tonight’s murder spree. Dash, deciding to take charge and save the women, nearly got them all killed.  A couple of weeks ago, Hanna was ready to make a deal with the MetaBooger, to save Cas. I hope this is not some kind of message about the way this season ends for the boys.

I don’t normally like to speculate on these reviews but I’m thinking about the future. By the sixth episode, you start to notice something of a theme. I’m guessing, it’s family ties.  Is that mysterious woman we met earlier this season related to Crowley? Hey! everyone else has family issues this season, why not him? What happens the next time the brothers meet Cole, and The Mark is still there?

Supernatural: Faniction

Tonight marks the 200th episode of Supernatural. Titled Fan Fiction, this episode is a Love Letter to the fandom that made this show such a massive hit, for ten years. One could argue that I’ve been a fan of this show since before it aired, and I’m surprised and delighted, that it’s lasted as long as it has. Most of the shows I fall in love with, don’t last nearly this long.

This is also the very first TV show I’ve ever geeked out about, that got me involved in fandom. I’ve loved a lot of shows over the years, (Now and Again, The Invisible Man, Farscape), with the Original Star Trek being my first love, but even that didn’t get me to reach out to others about it, or start a blog. The solitary reading of  books about all these shows was as far as I was willing to go. So,  the existence of Supernatural is, inadvertently, responsible for this  review.

When I first heard that the episode would be a musical I was initially very excited,  but then I heard, it would also be based on a musical stage play,  and since I’m not a fan of Glee (I have Teenager Trauma) or stage musicals, (because when I hear the music, all I can think is that the performers are messing up perfectly good songs with their inadequate warbling,) I was a lot less enthusiastic to hear that. I hope, even if I hate the music, that it brings the fee-fees and sets the course for the remainder of Sam and Dean’s relationship for the rest of the season.

Unlike a lot of fans, I’m not watching this episode for what I don’t see. Just like everyone else, though, I have hopes to see certain things, but I will take what’s given to me by the creators and look at it from a positive angle, rather than what I feel I should have been shown. What I expect, is for it to address a couple of issues, make me laugh or cry and move the brothers story forward, and so far this show has not failed in that regard. Not for ten years. It’s why I’ve kept coming back.

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———————-SPOILERS GALORE———————-

We open on a rehearsal and the young actresses are  fighting about being inaccurate in their portrayal of Sam and Dean. Apparently, there’s too much drama, in the Drama Department. The teacher who made that statement, is doing some more bad mouthing of the truth of Supernatural on her way home and, of course, she  gets eaten by trees. (Serves her right. Don’t sasstalk the show!)

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It’s really nice seeing Dean fixing up baby outside the motel. Baby has been neglected for a while, and one of the most disturbing traits about Deanmon, was his lack of concern for her.  His theme song is Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot, who is not my favorite singer, but I do love that song. The song choices this season, have been alright. Dean tells Sam, he needs to work, that he’s found a case. That it’s his only normal. Sam goes along with this.

Alright! We got the FBI suits back from the laundry and there’s banter. We’re already off to a good start.

Sam and Dean arrive at the school and witness, yet another, awful rehearsal of a badly portrayed Bobby, Castiel and Azazel, although the singing isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The young lady playing Dean can  carry a tune, fortunately. Sam and Dean are flabbergasted. That’s the only word to describe their reaction.

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Right away, Dean goes off about  the music. There should only be classic rock in Supernatural. I agree. Sam is intrigued by the director’s  interpretation but Dean is incensed. Sam thinks all of it is perfectly charming. Needless to say, Dean does not.

While showing Dean around the set, Marie explains the Wincest subtext. Dean ain’t for that. Sam’s  host, on the other hand, is completely disinterested in showing him anything. She’s also completely disinterested in him. Marie  explains about transformative works to Dean ( i.e. fan fiction) with spaceships, robots and a little crack!fic, gender swap. When Dean tells her what really happened after season five, it’s hilariously short, sweet and also some of the worst fan fiction she’s ever heard. She laughs in his face, and to top it all off, she throws in some  Destiel action, vis a vis the actresses, who are an actual couple.  She keeps calling all of it, erotic subtext. Sam, intrigued, wonders why not  “Samstiel” and Dean says he needs to shut the Hell up and get in the car. I can sort of understand his reaction. I’d be more than a bit discombobulated, to find out someone was writing erotic fiction involving me and a member of my immediate family.  Sam just thinks all of it is funny, though.

That evening, Maggie, another actress, threatens to shut down the play, because some things just aren’t canon.  She gets grabbed by a monster and dragged away. Marie chases after her but she has disappeared.  Apparently, anyone who bad mouths the show is in trouble.

The next day, Sam and Dean find a purple flower near the scene. Marie confesses that Maggie was leaving the show and says she saw a scarecrow drag Maggie away. She now believes in ghosts and beasties. Sam and Dean confess who they are and once again get laughs in the face.  (I’m not sure how I feel about this mirth.) Of course, there are some scarecrow legends in the  town and the play might have created a Tulpa. Killing  the  creature’s symbol, should kill the monster. The prop for the scarecrow is in the boiler room.

Sam believes there’s a connection between the scarecrow and the flower, while Dean asks to see the boiler room. Dean finds the prop scarecrow and burns it only to have Sam say, it’s not a Tulpa . It’s a god named Calliope. They’ll have to kill her to save Marie,  who will be eaten by Calliope at the end of the show. Marie, of course, has a panic attack about being eaten. Who wouldn’t? Sam leaves Dean to deal with the emotional young women, while he gets some supplies, from the car. Dean rallies Marie to fight and she turns out to be a Sam- girl. Dean is disappoint.

It’s  showtime. Marie’s wig, as Sam,  is horrible, the girl depicting Castiel is just adorable, the young woman playing Dean, is suitably scruffy  and Dean is speechifying the cast and it’s a great speech… from Rent. Instead of telling everyone to break a leg, the cast all yell/whisper , “Ghostfacers”, with hand gestures.

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Now, we’re all disappoint.

While the play is on, (and the music is not too bad, probably because these are all original songs), Sam and Dean hunt around the set, in case Calliope shows up. Sam finds her when she snatches him. He also  finds Maggie and the teacher with Calliope, waiting for her cue, in the basement.

But, Calliope plans to kill both Sam and Dean because she recognizes the two of them as the true inspiration behind the play, not Marie. So really, it’s Sam in danger…again. Why do I find that funny? Well, at least he’s not tied to a chair.  While Sam distracts the goddess,  the teacher and Maggie scheme to kill her and Dean fights the scarecrow onstage. But it’s Marie who slays the scarecrow when Sam stabs Calliope. The audience, covered in blue goop from the exploding scarecrow,  does that slow clap cliche and …intermission. Afterwards, the show goes on uninterrupted.

Sam is told he’d make a good Deanif he cut his hair. (Okay, that sound girl, needs to take all the seats! Need I speak on disappointment? ) Dean and Marie reach a detente about the Sam and Dean story and she gives him the Samulet prop. ( You can see that Dean has no idea that’s what it’s  called and says he doesn’t need it to symbolize how he feels about Sam. Aawww!) I think she knows it’s really Dean Winchester, because when she calls him “jerk, his “bitch” is automatic. During the BM (Bro-ment) scene of the play,  Sam and Dean start to have a BM scene, just before they stop and notice what’s going on,  which I find entirely too funny.

During the real BM moment on the actual show, Dean takes the Samulet prop and hangs it from Baby’s  rearview mirror. Nice!

And Chuck, who has made a delightful, surprise appearance,  sums up all my feelings for this particular episode.

“Not bad.”

Yeah, I loved this rendition of “Carry On, My Wayward Son”.

And yeah, I cried.

Will The Real Sam Winchester Please Stand Up

I have a confession to make.

I used to be a Sam-Girl.Now, I’m what’s called Bi-Bro, (which sounds vaguely obscene.)

Wheww!

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, we can talk.

I understand Sam. I always have, up to a point. Not being a cis-gender, straight, White guy, while dealing with the Supernatural, my understanding of some things is going to be somewhat limited. But I get Sam. At least I thought I did.

Let’s back it up here for a second.

I’d heard about this show, about a year before it actually aired. I’d read about it, in Fangoria magazine, of all places, and knew it would be one of the top Fall shows I’d be watching. Other than the premise, I knew nothing about it. I had never heard of the actors and sort of vaguely knew some of the writers from other shows.

But I loved  Sam from the moment he beat the shit out of his brother, in the dark  room where we first met Dean. I hated Dean from the moment he opened his mouth, though. Outside of being heroic, he had every quality I ever hated in a man. It  took me nearly three seasons to figure out what all the “hoopla” over Dean was all about. (It’s definitely the lips!) Up til then, I mostly just tolerated his presence. But I’m all fixed, now.

I  loved Sam, though. That boyish smile and those soft, dewy eyes – he was pretty, earnest (Faith), passionate (Dead in the Water), and he cared about people and doing the right thing (Croatoan) and he argued for compassion (Heart), even for the monsters and I admired that. But now…I’m not sure that was really Sam.

How much of Sam’s earlier persona, was just  Sam trying hard not to be a freak, or give in to whatever dark impulses the demon blood encouraged in him? ( Sam, Interrupted) How much of that, was just him trying to find out who he was and what he wanted to be vs. how he actually felt (Nightmare), vs. how he thinks he’s supposed to act in order to seem normal to everyone else (The Pilot)? Of course, quite a few of us go through that,  but how much of that was just him trying to get as far away from his, then unknown, destiny?

Sam is introspective, self-reliant, quiet and contemplative, and smart as fuck (when the writers remember that). He is a serious ass-kicker, has a cast- iron will, he’s stubborn, compassionate, stoic, and relentless.

And now, he’s different, again.

I’d  noticed a change in his overall attitude since his time in Hell and since his purification from the demon blood in season eight. When he came back from Hell, outside of being soulless for a while, it seemed as if something had been burned out of him. He seemed tired even before he went insane.  Just how much of his earlier behavior, his fire, in season one,  was him fighting  against the pull of the  demon blood in his system? His compassion? Maybe he felt a strong urge  to not be compassionate, so he overcompensated. The cast – iron will? He had to develop that in order to assert control over those feelings. He certainly had to develop that, to fight Lucifer. The relentlessness, and stoicism? How much of that was the demon blood expressing itself through other avenues of behavior? Exactly how long has Sam been fighting the battle for his autonomy?

Were all of Sam’s finest qualities, the qualities I so admired, were they simply Sam’s fortress against the demon blood in his veins? And what kind of person would he have been without that? Would he have been genial, affable, lazy? Without the demon blood, would he have been a slacker? And if most of his life has been spent trying to be whoever he thinks he  should be trying to be (and how could he begin to know who that is?), while fighting against what or who he thinks he might turn out to be, I have to ask… Who is he when he’s NOT fighting something or someone to be that person?

He’s been possessed multiple times by angels and demons, he’s been soulless, he’s been insane, he’s been too ill to care about who he is. Throughout all of that,  there was the demon blood.  His life, who he could’ve, should’ve, would have been, was derailed from the moment Azazel walked into his bedroom that night and neither we nor Sam will ever get to know that man.

Sam is a person who prefers to think through his problems. And once he’s been burned, he learns from that mistake and makes an  effort never to repeat it.  (He likes to make all new, horrible mistakes.) Trusting a demon? Never again! Not looking for Dean after his disappearance? He learned!

He’s not normally rash and we’ve seen why. When Sam makes rash decisions, they are almost always awful. And how much of that was the demon blood clouding his instinctual responses? Sam has never behaved well, on his instincts, and he knows this.  Hell, he doesn’t do well without Dean as his anchor, period. (Neither of them do.) Considering the nature of their profession, this is a good thing. We have enough rash behavior to deal with in Dean.

When Sam isn’t quietly brooding over his issues, then he’s running away from them. When he was a child he ran away from his family several times, according to Dean. When he fights with Dean he would rather walk away. When he fought with his father, he ran away to college. After he raised Lucifer from his cage, he tried to run away from the Apocalypse. When Dean went to Purgatory, he ran away from everything, including himself. (I suspect that is the real reason for the anger fans have for him not looking for Dean.) He runs away from his own life. This same man, has no trouble running INTO a burning building. We’ve seen Sam stand and fight to protect everyone but himself.

And now,  he’s stopped running.

Even during his possession by Gadreel, we witnessed a Sam who is a lot less passive and angsty about who and what he is. He was calm and sometimes even content, in a manner we’ve not seen before, as if he’d found something or reached some sort of peace in himself, laughing, making friends again and hugging people.

Sam used to chafe at everything, his family, his life, his destiny. I  know a lot of fans didn’t care for it but I  love the way he stood up to Dean last season because he was doing it for himself. He stated his case and then he stood his ground. Not only did he stand his ground but no matter how much Dean tried to distance himself, in an effort to not talk about the things he’d done, Sam wouldn’t let him run away.  (Well, not after he got Dean back in his orbit, again.) This was a new tactic for Sam and I enjoyed it. Yeah, it didn’t work because Dean’s a pretty stubborn bastard too, but when Dean walked into danger, Sam had his back. When he called out for him, Sam came running. I would argue that last season was the best fight they’ve ever had. They worked together better than they had at  anytime after Swan Song.

Is this the real Sam? Or as close as were going to get, considering what he’s been through? Or is this some new iteration of ____!Sam? Will the writers give us some more of this version (who I happen to like), or derail it with another possession, illness or who knows what?

I’m not asking for the old Sam back. Season one through three Sam, (the character I first fell in love with),  is long gone. But I’m okay (so far) with this new, standup, brutally honest, sharply snarky version of him that sometimes even smiles. I think the writers are doing a fair job, (so far),  in trying to repair this character. Their attempts, right now, are slow and tentative. Perhaps, they’re not sure where they want to take him but they are listening to the fans and they’re, at least, trying to learn from their mistakes,too.

I’m looking forward to whoever this version of Sam is, we’re trying to rediscover.

I’ve been looking forward. I’ll keep looking forward, with one caveat-I hope they don’t screw it up, and please! no more Dumb!Sam.

I’ve never liked him.

Supernatural: On Deanmon and Demonic Performance

The depiction of Deanmon is a subtle layering of physical and emotional performance by Jensen Ackles that results in one of the most complex examples of demon-hood I’ve seen in Supernatural.

Are Knights of Hell really so different from your basic run-of-the-mill demon? Except for Abadddon, I think so. Abaddon was a great villain, but she  only had one note. The most complex demons we’ve seen outside of Abaddon are Crowley, Meg and Cain. I’m not sure what Abaddon’s  backstory is. Was she a human that Cain chose to be a demon or was she a demon he elevated to Knighthood?  We don’t know. Will never know, I expect.

The most disturbing aspect of all these demons  except Abaddon , are  the unsettling glimpses of  their humanity. Meg’s empathy, Crowley’s likeability, Cain’s love. And now Dean.

Our first up close observation of Deanmon is in Black and what we see is that  this is not your typical, mustache twirling, one note villain. For one thing, he doesn’t seem to have any goals beyond self gratification. True, most demons are strict adherents to that philosophy but what they find gratifying seems to be causing as much pain as possible. Dean doesn’t even seem to be trying to get humans to debase themselves. He resides in a place where humans are already living according to the worse part of their nature, so there’s no need for corruptive tactics in such a place. He’s not interested in taking over the world or ruling over all the demons, which he could easily accomplish. He seems to be entirely focused on pleasing himself.

Except occasionally, his mask slips.

For example, the drinking. In the past Dean drank as a response to extreme stress.  If he’s enjoying himself so much, what possible stress could he be under? He’s certainly not getting falling down drunk for enjoyment. Deanmon is drinking to forget his fear, to forget what he is, and possibly, drown out the song of that Blade. The fighting is to release the tension that arises from The Blade and the whoring, and the singing, well that’s to help pass the time until Sam finds him. These are all typical Dean reflex actions, just on a demonic scale.

From time to time in Black, Ackles facial performance shows that Dean is conflicted or troubled by his new freedom. And there’s a frantic desperation to his activities that seems to preclude any enjoyment of them.

And this Dean is afraid. This terror informs every one of his pleasures.

He’s too tense. He’s too quick to take offense and too intense in his response to offense. Now, I don’t know if that’s the influence of the First Blade or if there’s still a tiny spark of human Dean, huddling inside the demon, that occasionally peeks out and is appalled at what this particular version of Dean is doing. I suspect that  Dean knows his earthly pleasures can’t last. That they won’t last.

Sam is coming. Sam will save him.

After all, how can he not know that writing that note to Sam, telling him to let him go,  would’ve been like issuing a challenge to him. Perhaps even be seen by Sam as a cry for help.

Ya, know what? Let’s talk about that note. Not the words in the note. We’ll disregard those and focus on why the note was written at all. Dean could’ve left with Crowley and while Sam would’ve known something was up, he would’ve been none the wiser. In fact, I’m going to argue that the note was completely unnecessary.  Some people will ascribe evil motives to that note because hey!demon, but I’m not going to do that because that’s too easy. I’m going to call a bluff here.

If Dean wanted to cause the maximum amount of pain, he would’ve confronted Sam with his blackened eyes and taunted him as soon as he was up and running. As a demon, that should’ve been his first act or he could’ve just disappeared, without a trace. Writing that note actually caused Sam the least amount of pain. Rather than guessing where Dean is, he knows Dean is alive and with Crowley. Dean knows that Sam would see the note as a cry for help or a challenge and would hunt him down, and the most important part of my argument…Dean ran away.

Now let’s talk about the words of the note. “Let me go.” is a callback to the discussion they had at the beginning of season eight. How not looking for each other was a non-agreement agreement. The phrase sounds a bit cryptic at first but Dean knew, when he wrote it, that Sam would do the exact opposite of what was in it. I mean, they TALKED about this. Dean spent all of season eight bitching and moaning about Sam’s decision to NOT look for him.. It’s the death-note version of “Poughkeepsie”. Only in this case it means, “Haul ass and come get me”.

This would also account for why Dean doesn’t actually appear to be enjoying himself, while he’s supposedly enjoying himself. It’s all a performance. And he’s trying not to hurt anyone too badly while he waits for Sam to come save him. He’s trying but it’s a battle he’s starting to lose, evidenced by the one human we’ve actually seen Dean kill with little provocation – Crowley’s client.

Dean ran away because there’s a part of him that still loves and protects Sammy. The part of him that left that note in the first place. He’s spent a significant amount of his life loving and protecting his brother and if who they  are as a humans informs the personalities of the demons they become (and I believe this is true), then that part of Dean would be just as reflexive in it’s response to Sam. All other parts of his nature being consistent, the drinking ,the whoring, the fighting, well then certainly the love and protection of Sammy is certainly going to be there too. Dean isn’t nearly as monstrous as he would like Sam to believe. What we’ve seen so far is a rambunctious, cocky biker guy, (who is probably slowly losing his shit – example, Crowley’s client again), who is displaying some disturbing elements of regret and compassion.

Coles’ phone call. What difference would it make to Deanmon, whether or not Cole betrays him by killing Sam? Why would a demon care about proof of life? And watch his expression when Sam finally confronts him in the bar. He sighs. He  looks  almost relieved that his wait is over. And he was waiting there, idly poking at piano keys. What song was that again?

In both episodes, there’s a element of busily standing in place to Dean’s actions. Even after he’s informed that Sam is on his way, he makes no effort to leave. But the waiting is chafing at him. The First Blade wants blood. So far he’s managed to satisfy it with some demon blood and fistfights, and even the human he did kill,  had  a demon deal with Crowley to have his wife killed, so he was already on his way to Hell.

But to get back to his behavior towards Sam. In Reichenbach he threatens to cause Sam pain but I’m not buying it. He says he doesn’t want to be saved. I say, that’s the lie. That’s Deanmon’s performance talking. He says he left Cole alive to cause maximum suffering but I’m not buying that either. I say, he left Cole alive because Cole is an aggrieved innocent. I think he remembers Cole and remembers leaving him fatherless. And above all else, Dean does not kill the innocent.

I believe that a lot of what demons say and do is to mask, distract and deflect from their own pain. And yes, they do feel pain.

Look at Crowley, who has shown time and again, all through season nine, that he just wants to be loved. A greater cry of pain has never been uttered by a demon in this show.  Most importantly, however,  he wants to be loved by the two people he most admires in the world – the Winchesters. In fact, I would argue that Crowley loves them. I think everything he says and does throughout the entirety of season nine is informed by this need and the more forthright he became about his emotions, the more human he appears to the viewer.

Above all else, demons must behave demonically. After all, any sign of vulnerability is a weakness to be taken advantage of by other demons. Crowley’s blood addiction, Cain’s love for Colette and Meg’s devotion to her cause, were all used against them. And because Dean is a demon now, he must perform too. He can’t afford to be straightforward about his thoughts and feelings either, lest the other demons see that as a weakness.

The irony here is that it is demons who keep other demons towing the party line if they don’t want to be betrayed. Demons help keep each other evil. And they keep performing even when other demons aren’t anywhere near. It’s compulsive. At what point does burying all vulnerability and pretending to be evil, for those demons who have embraced their debasement, become your real self? How long does that take, exactly? The worst part of being a demon is not that you’re a demon or being removed from Gods love, or maybe even not receiving love but being able to feel love and never being able to express it for fear of punishment. Is it their performance of hatred that keeps them being demons?

Dean’s weakness is Sam. So, he can’t stay with Sam. He might slip up and show he cares.  He might deliberately hurt him. He has to run away and wait for Sam to give chase. People like to say Dean’s worst nightmare was becoming the thing he most hated. I argue that his worst nightmare is not becoming the thing he most hated, but something that would not love  or protect Sammy.

This is Dean’s grand performance piece and Jensen Ackles is astounding. But Deanmon isn’t where the performance ends. The real performance will be in the emotional repurccussions of having been a demon. I think,we are all in for a real masterclass in acting this season.