Supernatural : O Brother, Where Art Thou

Wow! This episode had everything I expected and a little extra. It’s the moment  we’ve all been waiting for since season five, the reunion of Lucifer and his former vessel.  I’m not very good at speculating about the direction of the plots on Supernatural, but I think I called something on this one, maybe.

This episode is also very  mythology heavy, so you have to have some background about past seasons to understand why  the fandom is shitting bricks right now. This episode was very intense for us. Lucifer hasn’t been seen since season five, so …deep breaths, deep breaths, everybody.

Amara spends the first half of the episode looking for God and trying to attract his attention. She visits a park preacher, and once she’s heard his spiel, she offers a counterproposal of: water turned to blood and strategic lightening strikes. This has the added benefit, besides ridding the world of obnoxious Christians,  of showing us what level of power we’re looking at, on Amara’s end.

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Sam and Dean argue about Sam visiting Lucifer in the cage. Sam absolutely insists that God wants him to do it, since Lucifer was present at the Darkness’ timeout ceremony. He prays to God at the park and there’s a burning bush, so yeah! God, right? Uhmm, no!

They go  to Crowley to discuss their plan and he says they need Rowena, the slippery, little witch , who will surely find a way to turn this entire situation to her advantage, somehow. As soon as she hears they want to contact Lucy, she spends the rest of the episode fan-girling over him. It’s hilarious. It never occurred to me, since she is a dark witch, she essentially spends her life praying to Lucifer, and this would be the proper reaction for a witch to have. Rowena says she will need The Book of the Damned and the Codex. Of course, she  has to get in some snide comments, to Sam and Dean.

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The Angels, feeling desperate, make plans to move on Amara. Where is Castiel during all of this?

Amara visits a church and slaughters the parishioners,  when she can’t get Gods attention, through prayer. She does make some highly astute, rationalist arguments, against religion in general, although I think it’s by accident that she sounds like an atheist.

The Winchesters lay out their plan to Rowena. While Dean investigates the massacre at the church, she comes up with a plan for Sam to speak to Lucifer without opening the cage. Sam tries to contact Dean to let him know the plan is in motion, but Dean has been distracted by Amara, who spirits him to a secluded meadow.

Sam, Crowley and Rowena go  the cage, where Rowena lays out some warding and Sam and Lucifer get to talking. I love Mark Pelligrino in this. Once again we get a different Lucifer than the one we met in season five. He’s a subtle blend of that version, and Sam’s Hallucifer, from season seven. He’s dark and serious, yet snarky and upbeat, too. The creepiest shot is our first glimpse of him as a dark silhouette with glowing red eyes.

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Yeah, that’s not good.

Amara explains her purpose to Dean, and why she wants to return the universe to darkness. When he mentions the souls she devoured ,she does tell him that those people are not destroyed or dead. They’re still alive, just a part of her. I kind of thought as much. I had the impression she didn’t believe she was killing these people, but simply taking back  something that she considers hers, anyway. She tells Dean she wants to bring peace and bliss to the world. She tells Dean he’s bonded to her which makes Dean The Bride of Darkness, I guess.

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Sam makes his proposal to Lucifer, who counters with his own. He wants Sam as a vessel again. Did we not say this was a horrible idea, as there’s absolutely no assurance that he’ll take down Amara? The funniest thing Lucifer says to Sam is, ” you passed certifiable, three off ramps ago,” for working with Crowley. Meanwhile, Rowena drools over Lucifer,  in the background. It all turns out to be a trap anyway, because when the wards fail, Sam finds himself in the cage, and  Lucy informs  Sam that he never got any messages from God. When the Darkness came, it opened some cracks in the cage. Lucy has been reaching out to Sam through the breaks in the walls and all the messages came from him. I kind of thought that, as I really doubted Sam’s assurance of Gods text messaging skills.

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On the other hand, Lucifer is The Father of Lies, so  I kind of have to take what he says with a grain of salt, too. He could just be lying to Sam as another form of torture and Sam’s messages could be coming from a third party, like Metatron, for example. Lucy really lays it on thick to get Sam to agree to be his vessel again, though. The entire time I’m yelling at my TV, that this is an incredibly bad idea, and at Sam to say, Hell no!

And yeah, I think Rowena may have had something to do with the wards failing, because she would love for Lucifer to be free, and betrayal is her middle name.

Dean attempts to stab Amara with an angelic blade, which breaks. She  and Dean are accosted by a group of angels, that Amara has no trouble dispensing with, but killing them forces all the other angels to smite her. She removes Dean from danger, returning him to the park where she snatched him,  and the Angels lay down some righteous fury on her.

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So, here’s where we are during the hiatus. Amara is in the middle of being smited…smitten?, Dean is bamboozled, but that’s less distressing than Sam being trapped in the cage with Lucifer again, and Dean not knowing about it.

Once again, I hate to speculate (but I will read the speculations of others) because things may not actually be as they seem. Sam may not actually be trapped in the cage and just because Amara says something doesn’t make it the truth, either. I consider her to be as reliable a narrator as Lucifer, which is to say, not at all. It’s possible she may not even be this season’s  Big Bad, if there is one. It could be Lucifer, God or someone we haven’t seen yet.

Well…

We have until January.

 

 

 

Supernatural Season 11: Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire

Written by Jeremy Carver and directed by Robert Singer, tonight’s episode picks up directly from the season ten finale. So it’s nice to not have some kind of lag of several months between events. Last season, Dean killed death just before Rowena magically removed the Mark of Cain, which was last season’s endgame. But just like in the best of shows, solving one problem, creates a greater, sometimes worse, problem. (Yeah, it’s problems, all the way down!)

By removing the Mark of Cain, Rowena has unleashed a sentient, primordial Darkness, that existed before God made the world. Now Dean and Sam have to figure out what it is and if and how it can be stopped.

Tonight ‘s episode gets me off to a good start with some Creedence Clearwater Revival: Run Through the Jungle. And its kind of appropriate because Cas does quite a bit of this in the show before, as the title kind of says, going from the frying pan into the fire. He makes the desperate mistake of praying for help. In hte middle of his conversation with Dean, his brethren show up ad take him to some undisclosed location fro some fun and games, I’m bettin’.

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When the Darkness hits the Impala, Dean gets pulled out of the vehicle and has a special meeting with The Darkness in the form of a beautiful woman. Its a little confusing, as this happens in flashbacks, as the brothers wake from unconsciousness. Is this really it’s true form? Why is she cozying up to Dean?

Sam wakes up in the car (after having been knocked unconscious) and goes looking for Dean,who is lying unconscious, in a field, half a mile from the Impala. He tells Sam about his meeting with Darkness, who claims she doesn’t even know who Death is. So apparently, The Darkness existed before Death?

As Sam and Dean investigate what happened they come across a dead road crew and a highly alarmed Deputy, who describes something like the events in the episode Croatoan. She’s injured, so the Winchesters take her to the local clinic which has also been attacked. If the men who were exposed to the Darkness outdoors went insane, then why didn’t this happened to Sam, who says he was in the car? The reason I ask is because the clinic doors were wide open. Were the people in the clinic exposed? Or were the doors left open by the attackers? There were a some elements of tonight’s episode that were mildly confusing for me.

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In the meantime, Cas remembers stabbing Crowley until he smokes out of his body. Crowley finds a female meatsuit, has an orgy with  her husband and neighbors, and then calls for help to get back into his old body. His minions inform him of the Darkness, at which Crowley scoffs. He doesn’t believe in it, I guess. He’s informed that half of Hell is in a panic, and there were screams coming from the cell, in which Michael and Lucifer were imprisoned.  I think that was the creepiest thing said all evening. Crowley’s scenes are, as usual, the funniest part of the show, though, even while he’s being actively evil.

The Winchesters search the hospital and find a man, and his baby girl, trapped in a supply closet being attacked by one of the infected. The infected man eventually collapses and dies. The  trapped man tells them how he got trapped and when they find out he’s infected, he wants the Deputy to take care of his baby for him, to which she agrees. She must be on some tremendously good painkillers, because she just had a major wound stitched up  an hour ago and is smiling adn happy when she agree to adopt a newborn baby.

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The brothers argue about tactics after the hospital is besieged by some infected people. Dean advocates killing everything in sight, while Sam would rather save lives and find a cure. After some argument, they go with Sam’s plan to lure the Infecteds away, while Dean, the Deputy, and the baby, make their escape and it works, except Sam gets infected, while defending himself, and is now exceptionally motivated to find a cure.

The big question is, will he tell Dean about it, or try to keep it a secret? I bet I can guess which one!

In a very interesting epilogue, the young deputy finds a strange birthmark on the baby’s left shoulder. Its the Mark of Cain. What does this mean for the baby? For the Darkness? For Crowley and Rowena, who I don’t think is going to make it to the end of the season? Is Sam going to be sick again and how will we stand it? I mean, we just got used to him being free of all illness, of some kind, in season ten. That’s really not long enough to get used to seeing him in his right mind for a change.

Has anyone else noticed that Sam, in his right mind, is a seriously stubborn son a b****? I know it must be a special kind of infuriating for Dean to have to argue every little thing with him ,every time he makes a decision. He probably has to resist the urge to knock Sam unconscious himself, which has already happened once, just in this first episode. Somebody should be keeping track of that.

Did anyone else think it was deeply creepy when the Infecteds ran up to Sam, sniffed him and then wandered away in disinterest? Yeah, I know. If Sam’s demon blood kept him from being infected in Croatoan, will it come into play for this new, whatever-it-is, too?

How did you like this season opener? Let me know in the comments.

Supernatural: Season 10 Overview

I loved this season and I felt really positive about the finale. I know that sounds really weird but I’ll explain. The brothers chose each other once again, neither of them are dead and because of their bone-headed stubbornness, they have an all new, even bigger problem to solve next season.

(At least a part of this optimism, has to do with not being immersed in the fandom, the way I used to be. Not having to navigate my way through other people’s opinions about how they feel or about how I should feel has been very freeing. I no longer have this insane need to argue with people about their  interpretations of the show..and how they are all exceptionally and indubitably WRONG. I can just tell people what I think, and they have no choice but to accept my opinion or start their own blog. 😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆!!! (BWHA HA HA HA HA!!!)

But really, all gloating aside, this was a very good season and here’s why: my bar is pretty low when it comes to most TV shows. All I require is that they be entertaining, and  mentally and visually stimulating. When I get more than that, I get giddy.

Like now:

Black/Reichenbach/Soul Survivor:

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I consider the first three episodes of the season to be a three-parter. For my views on these three episodes see: On Deanmon and Demonic Performance at:    https://wordpress.com/post/76570149/192/  where I address some of the issues that came up while watching them.

These are really some of my favorite episodes of the season. I know there were some fans who wanted to see more Demon!Dean, but I feel like a little bit of that went a long way and, apparently, there were some other points the writers were trying to make this season, that precluded much focus on Dean behaving badly. I also found Soul Survivor to be very suspenseful, with the hunt through the Bunker and the red herring of fratricide as one of the sub themes this season. See the above link to understand why I feel this was a ruse on the part of the writers.

You’re back! Great!

I think the writers wanted to get back to the first five season arc and the emotional focus on family issues and I think they succeeded. The focus is not just on the brothers, but all the families they came into contact with. For the rest of the season, the brothers meet various dysfunctional people and attempt to fix them, while working to strengthen their own relationship.

As a result, we get some fairly light-hearted, touching, and snarky moments with the brothers, throughout the season, and I enjoyed that. I don’t particularly care for those seasons where they seem to hate each other and there’s little humor between them but I will tolerate that for the purposes of storytelling.

All the families had some commentary on the brothers current relationship, especially the fourth episode of the season titled, Paper Moon. I did not like this episode but it is an acceptable story. The idea of Dean killing Sam is reinforced  and the entire episode is a direct commentary on where the brothers are in their relationship.

Fan Fiction:

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If the previous episodes are a commentary on where the brothers are and where they might be headed then this episode is a chronicle of the brother’s past. I was not really on board with the idea of it being a musical but the writers managed to pull this off very well, without insulting the fans. This is now one of my favorites for the season. The theme song, as sung in the play, is one of the stand out moments of the entire season.

I feel this episode was also a love letter to the fans, as well.

Hibbing 911:

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One of the things the writers got right this season was the depiction of women. In Paper Moon, Fan Fiction, Ask Jeeves, Girls,Girls, Girls,The Things We Left Behind, The Hunter Games, Halt and Catch Fire, Paint It Black and Angel Heart, there are decent depictions of women, who have agency, make choices that affect the plot, usually have more than one woman in them and  these women make efforts to reach out to each other and interact with each other intelligently.

Mostly.

The women depicted in these episodes are all characters in their own right, with motivations and backstories beyond being just girlfriends, wives and mothers. Yes, they are supporting characters (when it comes to the Winchesters, everyone is a supporting character) but their support “just happens” to be in line with what the brothers are trying to accomplish in each episode. Supporting the Winchesters isn’t their only reason for existing. And what often happened, was that the brothers would show up in the middle of a story, where the women were already involved.

And this brings us to Hibbing 911. I love the writers for introducing me to the show I didn’t  know I wanted, called the Donna and Jodi Power Hour. These two are an awesome team and I hope we get to see them again next season. Everything about the relationship between these two older, professional women was just lovely. From Jodi’s initial reluctance to get close to Donna, to her full (and physical) support when Donna gets bullied by her ex-boyfriend, to their conversations about their families, this is an example of what women talk about when men are (or sometimes aren’t) around, guys.

About a Boy:

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I found the idea of Dean reduced to his childhood again very ticklish. I also enjoyed the mythology of Hansel and Gretel, most of which is in line with what I learned in mythology books, but given a modern twist. It also answers the idea of the witch being able to procure lots of children. She’s a lot less likely to get caught, and its a much more elegant solution. It’s a lot easier to  transform adults into kids rather than stealing  lots of actual kids.

Executioner’s Song:

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The return of Cain was much anticipated. Yeah, sure theres every kind of plot hole but I don’t care because its always fun to watch Tim Omundson go to work.

All season long, the writers have been setting up the idea that Dean will kill Sam but I was only half buying it because every time there’s some set up or prophecy for what the brothers MUST do, they mostly seem to break it, defy it, or do some kind of end run around it. They almost always choose each other and I mostly expected that here. I prepared for Dean to kill Sam but I never really believed one of them would die.

Inside Man:

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Is largely notable for the return of Bobby Singer. It was nice to see him again and he was not ill used. I also enjoyed seeing Metatron turned  human. I totally didn’t see that coming. The following episode was notable for watching Castiel get his groove back. That was pretty awesome, but somewhat mitigated by Boogertron’s escape.

The Prisoner/Brother’s Keeper:

I mostly viewed these two as one long episode. They were notable for the introduction of the Frankenstein Family, their destruction at the hands of BAMF!Dean, now fully in thrall to the MoC, and for finally getting to see Crowley’s red-eyed demon face. We often forget Crowley is a demon because he’s so likable but yeah!  demon!

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Sam’s tearful pleading with Dean, that he was a good man and that he should choose him, really got to me. Hell, it still does. I haven’t been so emotionally affected since Crowley’s plea to be loved. Sam so desperately needed to save his Dean, (and himself) that it was truly heartbreaking to watch. It was not elegant or eloquent or articulate at all. He had only pure, raw anguish at his disposal and he used it to powerful effect.

He was cast in the role Dean occupied during season nine, only his role was much, more difficult than Dean’s. Sam couldn’t rely on trickery, demons or Angels to save either of them. He had to rely entirely on his own emotions, words and actions to convince Dean to choose life for them both. I thought, last season, he might have to eat the words he said to Dean, about not doing the same for Dean. I remember saying, “No, he won’t  do the same thing. He is going to do brand  NEW, shitty things instead”, and I was right.

While Dean’s condemnation of Sam’s words, from that time,  was entirely appropriate, his condemnation of Sam’s actions felt a little false. I didn’t get the feeling he was very upset about the things Sam did to try to save him, until they argued about The Book of The Damned and its destruction. That felt more genuine.

I mentioned before that this season was very enjoyable for me. The writers kept their shit on point, this season, with every episode hammering home the idea of family, duty, and sacrifice. Sometimes a little too heavy but that’s to be expected. This is really their first try at this sort of deeply focused storytelling.  The writers were on their game with the subplots and sub themes as well. There were many layers this season. A lot of depth. I have to give the writers the ” Golden Shizznickle” for effort.

We were introduced to several new characters and will be seeing more of them next season, although we lost Charlie. Dont get me wrong, I  loved Charlie. I loved her from the  moment she started dancing in that elevator, to what is now, one of my favorite songs,  “Walkin’ on Sunshine”, (when I’m having an especially good day, this is often the song floating through my head),  but I knew she’d die eventually and I knew when it happened it would not be pretty.

None of the Winchesters family or friends ever dies pretty. Hunters, as a general law, do not die in bed. The moment Charlie decided to become a Hunter, that was her death sentence.

I knew Charlie would have a brutal death, so I was not shocked by that. It was inevitable and just like Bobby, Rufus, Meg, Kevin and numerous others, it would be largely unexpected, meaningless and in service to the Winchester’s story.

Every guest on Supernatural gets “fridged”. One day it will be Jodi’s turn or Donna’s. One day Cas will stay dead.

If you think about it, for the brothers, it must be like living in a little slice of Hell. Everybody dies but them. Everyone who gets close to them goes away and they are only ever left with each other. They can’t ever be released from the torment of watching all they love, get carried away from them, and their only companions are pain, suffering and the demons and Angels who cause it.

This show has been a ten-year long paean to loss and mourning.

I can’t say I liked any of the Angel themes this season. I was mostly bored with Castiel’s story line but Hanna’s defection back to Heaven was a surprise. Really! It was a complete surprise. It came out of nowhere. I really could have used a little more foreshadowing on that.

Crowley’s story..well, that deserves its own post, so stay tuned. Crowley and Rowena was a very rich story line and we are going to examine that one in more detail, at a later date, in order to do it justice..

Still, over all, a very likable season. I don’t normally like to assign numbers but I’d give it four out of five stars.

Favorite episode was really, really hard to choose, but I’m going to go with a tie of Executioner’s Song and Fan Fiction.

What did you think about the season? Let me know in the comments?

Yeah, okay! You can argue with me, too.

See:

https://tvgeekingout.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/supernatural-the-road-so-far/

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

Supernatural: The Prisoner/ Brother’s Keeper

Tonight is the season 10 finale of Supernatural. There’s always some major fan-wankery going on just before the end of the show, and I have no patience for that kind of thing, so I’m going to try not to engage in any of it here. We will find out if Dean will be cured, what the price of that cure will be and whose life is going to undergo a   significant change. And that’s as much  as I’ll speculate now.

The Prisoner:

In Louisiana , the youngest Stein is accosted by bullies, but totally owns them before  his brother shows up to interrupt. The Steins use the bully for parts, later.

Sam and Dean bury Charlie. Dean blames Sam for Charlie’s death, while sad songs and memories play in the background. Sam’s eulogy is just not enough. He feels bad but I think Charlie was a sacrifice he’s willing to make to keep Dean, as horrible as that sounds. Dean vows to kill the Steins.

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The Steins plan to steal the magical artifacts of The Bunker. Lil’ Stein gets drafted to accompany them. He hates his family but he does kill his bully, that was kidnapped earlier, and laid out in their lab. So, not quite so innocent after all.

Sam informs Castiel of Charlie’s death, who naturally blames himself. Sam receives Charlie’s last email and keeps trying to interpret the book against Dean’s orders. Sam makes a deal with Rowena, to use one of her spells, to kill Crowley, in exchange for an interpretation of The Book,  and sends Castiel off to stop Dean. His desperation to save Dean is so palpable.

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Dean gets arrested by the police, who are in the pay of The Steins.

Crowley gets a call from Dean asking for his help.

Dean totally Jason Bournes one the cops, and escapes to go visit the Stein family home.

Sam tries to kill Crowley using a Devil’s Trap bullet and a hex bag from Rowena. The hex bag doesn’t kill him. Crowley confesses he’s been trying to do good for the past year, but Sam doesn’t forgive. All the spell does is make Crowley  angry.

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Dean gets captured by The Steins. They prepare to use him for parts but he breaks free and kills the entire clan.

We get to see Bamf!Dean. It’s awesome, terrifying, horrifying and awful. This is the relentless creature he’s going to become if Sam doesn’t save him.

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The leftover-Steins break into the Bunker and trash it. Dean interrupts and kills them, including Baby Stein, who pleads for his life.

Sam informs Rowena that her spell didn’t work and that Crowley is now hunting her.

Castiel tries to talk to Dean, at the Bunker, but Dean thrashes him, threatens to kill him and walks out. Cas could easily defend himself, but takes the beating. Probably as a punishment for Charlie’s death, which he blames himself for.

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Brother’s Keeper:

Castiel expresses doubt about using the Book of the Damned. Sam makes an eloquent argument to save his brother, no matter the price. His desperation is heartbreaking.

Dean works a case. Badly. Rudy, another Hunter, shows up, but Dean tries to send him off, which makes Rudy angry. Dean is mostly being a first class shit. Wow! Even I don’t like this Dean. What a dick!

Sam threatens to shoot Rowena. But she wants to renegotiate their deal. She knows which spell to use. Castiel cautions.

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Rowena reads off the ingredients, for the spell, which sound impossible. One of the ingredients is the sacrifice of something Rowena loves. Rowena loves herself but mostly a peasant boy, named Oscar,  whose been dead 300 years, she says.

Dean causes Rudy’s death. He saves the girl he was hunting, but this is a pretty shitty way to Hunt. Its a good sign that he still experiences pangs of guilt about the things he’s done since giving in to the Mark, though.

Castiel summons Crowley. He tells Castiel to beg him for assistance. Castiel does and he keeps his word.

Dean summons The Horseman, Death. He wants Death to kill him. This is interesting. Where is this plot going?

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Death informs him that The Mark, The First Curse, cannot be destroyed. So he can’t die. He gives the history of The Mark, which is also a key to the Eternal Primal Darkness, that God banished from Earth. If it should be destroyed or removed, the Primal Darkness would be set free. Dean must make a decision. Pass it on or isolate himself.

Dean calls Sam to say goodbye. I need tissues already.

Crowley finds Oscar working in a Biggersons diner. The diner and young man that he’d visited earlier.

So. Not dead, after all.

Dean tells Sam he needs to kill him Before going into exile because Sam would disrupt the universe again to save him and Death can’t have that.

It’s hard to watch the show with blurry vision, girl. Hang in there!

Dean tries to convince Sam and makes a compelling argument. Sam tries to convince him they’re not bad men.

Crowley meets Rowena. He brings Oscar along for the ride. The only thing she ever loved.

The brothers duke it out. But Sam changes his mind and pulls out his trump card. Photos of Mom. He agrees to die for Dean. Death hands Dean his scythe and Dean, surprisingly, uses it on Death.

I think the brothers have just disrupted the universe again.

Rowena sacrifices Oscar for Dean’s cure.

Dean is cured but Rowena’s spell makes her more powerful, sets her free and she  turns Castiel into a rage monster who attacks Crowley.

Now that The Mark/Key has been destroyed, the Primal Darkness, that God banished from the Earth, has been set free. Wow!

Yeah, the Winchesters broke the world.

Again.

Analysis: 

Well, I didn’t see that coming.

Tonights episode was notable for not killing either of the brothers. Something I continued to believe wouldn’t happen, no matter how hard Dean beat Sam. I actually thought he would change his mind and give Sam the Mark of Cain. I totally didn’t see the death of Death, though.

So now, Dean is cured, the Primal Darkness has been set loose and the entire Earth is in jeapordy.  Death is dead. Castiel is insane. Must be Wednesday.

I’m not even going to guess how they get out of this one. They’re either gonna need God for this (and he’s on vacation), or they need  to get The Mark back.

I did like this episode, a lot, even though it felt like the writers pulled a few of these things out of their ass. Like Oscar and the history of The Mark of Cain. But overall, I liked this season. It was nice and tight and had some clear themes.  Even the MotW episodes managed to stay on point.

The season is done, but  I’m not.

Stay tuned for a full season analysis by next week.

Supernatural:Dark Dynasty

Only three episodes left in the season and the writers have only just introduced some interesting, new, heavy hitters to the game: The Stein Family,  although, we had already been introduced to the idea of a Grand Coven with the introduction of Rowena.

Tonight, I’m very excited because we get the whole gang. Charlie, Rowena, Castiel, and Crowley and what will be the most fun is seeing all these characters, who’ve mostly never met before, interacting with each other.

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C’mon writers! I expect to see a lot of juicy stuff, tonight. If we’re good then the next two episodes will go in all our top ten lists, for this season.

Omaha Nebraska

A pretty young woman, another redhead,  volunteers for a research study of eyesight and gets her throat cut  and eyes stolen, instead. Her killer jumps out of a third story window and survives.

Sam berates Rowena for not living up to their bargain. She’s having no luck and says she needs another book to decode her book.

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The eye-knapper, who I’m going to call The Stein from this point forward,  is being chastised by his family for leaving a witness. His excuse is that his brother died and he can’t seem to control himself. He gets demoted and given the task of hunting the Winchesters, who murdered his brother. One of the other brothers is tasked with finding Charlie, who is still magically cloaked, I’m guessing.

Sam is as bad a liar as Dean ,who suspects Sam is up to something, just not what. Dean has been investigating The Steins and tells Sam  their next case is the woman whose eyes were taken.

Charlie calls the Bunker,  The Death Star. That’s hilarious to me.

Sam meets with her, so she can work with Rowena to decode their books. Charlie expresses exactly my feeling when it comes to the brothers lying to each other. Again!  This is exactly the kind of shit that got the demons released from Hell and landed Sam in Hell himself. Sam’s whole idea that Dean has given up and Sam must protect him at any cost. He’s doing all the same things he did before but with a witch instead of a demon, I guess.

They keep making bad deals to keep each other alive and someone else pays the price. Now, Sam is in the same position Dean was in, during season nine, with Gadreel.

I wonder what fresh Hell will be unleashed at the end of this season because of the crap he’s pulling now.

Rowena’s and Charlie’s first meeting is not going well. When Castiel walks in, we have a grand trifecta of awesome. He does not want to be there, either. Rowena is hilarious and they all yell at Sam for lying to Dean and going behind his back. But since he manages to talk everyone into going along with him, they are, now,  all complicit in his lying.

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Demons interrupt Crowley’s torture session to bring him the news that his Mum is missing. Now the search for Rowena begins.

Sam and Dean, in their best suits, investigate the killing and watch videos. They notice the Stein tattoo.Cas calls while they’re detectiving and Sam lies to Dean about that too. One of the Steins shows up the very  moment they leave and kills the man who rented the office.

Castiel cracks jokes about blood sugar and brings pork rinds. Good job Cas! Rowena explains, to cure one curse, another has to be inflicted. Rowena, in an attempt to manipulate Charlie, gives her a good reading. She tells Charlie that her devotion to the Winchesters will get her killed. Sadly, she’s probably right.

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So, they may find a cure for Dean, but something worse might happen, in place of The MoC.

Sam and Dean discuss the case. Dean still thinks the book has been destroyed, while Sam deflects the conversation. They’re being followed by The Stein. Every time Sam lies I just wince. The writers are really laying it on thick and sooner or later that shit is going to come to a head. But this is Leming -Ross and Co. I do not expect subtle from them.

Cas calls Sam again, while Rowena and Charlie bicker in the background. Dean picks up the phone this time, but Cas is a far worse liar than Sam. OMG, is he awful! Dean is circling closer and closer. He questions Sam about the call. Sam deflects again and sends Dean out for pizza.

Crowley is talking to the Olivet -Rat, to find some dirt on Rowena. Olivet is snitching like a…well…you know.

Dean gets ambushed by The Steins and drops his pizza.  He kills one of them and abducts the other and imprisons him. The Stein knows about the MoC. He claims their family is a global empire, that influences world affairs. Could destroying The Steins  be the brother’s next goal?

Charlie tells Castiel that Rowena is driving her crazy and she needs to go be alone.

Cas calls again, in the middle of the interrogation. While Sam is out of the room, The Stein tells Dean about harvesting human body parts to enhance their own and says they use to be the “Franks” and had to change their name because someone wrote a book about them.

You know who I mean.

Cas’ dilemma is that he can’t leave Rowena and Charlie can’t be alone either and nothing is getting done because the gingers are too busy fighting.

Dean parlays with his hostage, who informs him that the BoD cannot be destroyed. Dean now knows Sam is lying but before he can ask him about it, the Stein rips his own arm off and is now dying somewhere in the Bunker. Luckily for Sam, the Book of the Damned is not in it.

Cas solution is to take Rowena into another room. She tells Cas that Crowley is her son. I wonder what Cas will do with that information.

The Stein, who is on Charlie’s trail, calls his brother, who has escaped The Batcave. He says  he’s found Charlie’s motel, at the same moment,  Charlie has run out on Cas. I can pretty much see where this is going. The only question is will the brothers or Cas save her first.

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Dean has called Sam on his BS and is, rightfully, mad as Hell about  his lies. Cas calls with the news that Charlie is missing. She’s  at the motel and The Steins are coming. She’s trapped in the bathroom and calls Sam as they find her. She  decides to upload her notes from The Book. To where? The Winchesters scream at her to give The Steins whatever they ask for, no matter what it is. She decides to fight instead. Sam and Dean speed to the motel, but are too late.

Her devotion to the Winchesters, will be her downfall.

Castiel is the worse babysitter. Ever.

NOTE:

I know some of the fandom didn’t like Charlie but I don’t care. To me,  Charlie is a perfect illustration of not being able to please everyone. And I liked her immensely. When Becky was on the show, White women hated her, because they felt she was a mockery of the fandom. As a WoC, I was not insulted by Becky, but then the mockery, if that’s what it was, wasn’t aimed at me and I have different criteria for what constitutes a bad, female character. Charlie wasn’t anywhere close to problematic for me as a character. And I don’t get outraged, about Mary Sue characters, in the same way others do. Either I have very low standards or whatever social issue, was pinged, in the minds of the people who hated her, passed right over my head.

That said, I’m really going to miss the Hell out of her, but I’m not surprised either. I kind of expected this to happen again.

Everyone. And I mean everyone, who gets close to the Winchesters, dies.

Just like Crowley warned Kevin.

And of course, this is Supernatural. Charlie has died before. She might die again.

Or, Hell,  maybe she’s not dead, at all.

Hope to see her again soon.

Supernatural: Book of the Damned

Alright, SPN Fans! We are in the homestretch at the eighteenth episode of season ten. We are all on the edge of our various seats, to find out just how this season will end. Will a cure for the Mark of Cain be discovered, and if so, what will be the price for the Winchesters? Will Castiel get his grace back? What part will Metatron play in this finale? Who is going to die?

Whatever happens, I can pretty much guarantee we probably won’t see it coming (and for the handful of you who think you know- you won’t know how.) The writers always manage to surprise us, somehow, and they have the benefit of knowing what’s  been given to us in the last nine finales.

Tonight is going to be another mythology-heavy episode, with some major revelations as Charlie, in her second appearance this season, has found the Book of the Damned, which will supposedly shed some light on how to get rid of the Mark of Cain.

Charlie is being pursued by men in black leather with guns, but she gets the drop on them with a short sword and a garbage bin. They tell her they’re after the Book. One of them has a strange Mark on his wrist. So is this a new player in the game?

Metatron is annoying Cas as he tries his best to ignore him. Does that man ever shut up? Cas calls Sam and asks permission to kill him and Metatron keeps babbling until he finally punches him. Twice. But that only lasts a second because his mouth opens up  again as if nothing had occurred.

Dean finally confesses to Sam what  Crowley told him last week. That the Mark was a curse that protected him from Rowena’s attack in the bar. So he  does comes clean about what happened last week but I don’t like that he waited so long to do it. Too busy pranking Sam’s room, I guess.

Charlie calls the brothers for help. She tells them she has the Book, it’s language is unknown and that it can undo any kind of spell or damnation. She tells  them  about her marked pursuers and the brothers guide her to a safehouse near her location. The brothers pack and head out.

Driving to get Charlie, have you ever noticed the Impala is always wet. It’s like she carries her own personal humidity around with her. I know she looks great wet, but still. The brothers plan a beach vacation if they get rid of the Mark. Somehow, I don’t think that’s in their future.

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Metatron eats like a pig, but those Belgian waffles look delightful. He tries to form an emotional connection with Cas, through the senses of  humanity, but Cas won’t forgive him for killing Dean. The two of them are  being watched and pursued by another angel.

When  Charlie hands him the book, Dean has a reaction, of some kind, not unlike the reaction he had to the First Blade.

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The angel, who is very angry with the two of them, for breaking Heaven,  attacks Cas and Metatron in the parking lot and Metatron saves Cas’ life when the attacker gets the drop on him. Metatron is trying hard to suck up to Cas becasue he knows that as soon as he produces Cas’ grace, Cas will kill him.

The brothers are now in possession of a book that is unreadable and in code. Dean tells the two nerds they can handle it. Sam puts the book in a special lockbox after seeing Dean’s reaction to it and apparently that was the right thing to do because now the people tracking the book can’t see it anymore.

Metatron finally admits he has no idea where Cas Grace is. I still think he’s stalling and lying about its existence, though. He’s got something up his sleeve. He always does.

Dean says the people following Charlie are called The  Stein Family, a seriously old family of sorcerers and witches. He also admits the book is, itself, evil and has been calling to him. That it wants to be used. But the price for using the book will be extremely high. Sam says he doesn’t care. He won’t lose Dean again. He can’t.

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Dean is good enough to remember what Sam said he wouldn’t do last season. And he’s right to say it because this is how the two of them keep getting into trouble and breaking the world. It’s their complete inability to let each other go, that keeps going horribly wrong.

Metatron challenges Cas about what he’s going  to do with his life. He then works a spell on Cas that weakens Cas enough for him to make an escape, with one of the demon tablets he’d hidden, earlier.

Charlie asks what Dean meant and Sam  has to come clean about last season’s events and how he hurt Dean’s feelings  as a result. (That is not a debate that’s ever going to happen on this site.) Charlie calls them the Dread Robber  Pirates of Hunting and Sam confesses he loves this life and he can’t do it without his brother. He needs to tell Dean everything he just told Charlie. Of course he won’t do that because they are both complete lunkheads, who need a good, sharp smack. From Bobby, ideally.

Metatron escapes. Cas takes his  grace back and it is awesome. He was very powerful, beautiful moment, but it’s a bittersweet. Those sad, burnt looking wings, that shadow upwards, on the light of his grace, are not even worth showing off. They’re the wings of The Fallen.

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Dean, having stormed out of the cabin, is confronted by the Steins in a convenience store. They have Dean’s knife but know not to use it on Dean because they know about the Mark. The standoff ends in a shoot out and the Steins pursue Dean to the cabin. Dean  orders Sam to burn the book and  Sam appears to do that, but remember what happened last time Dean gave that instruction?

Back at the bunker, Charlie and Cas meet for the first time. Huzzah! It’s a great moment. Dean shows up with beer and pizza and they have a party. Dean laughs a lot. Sam just looks shamefaced throughout becasue the lies from him and Cas flew fast and furious. They didn’t tell Dean about Metatron’s escape or the Book that Sam didn’t actually burn and  his subsequent meeting with Rowena.

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Of course not.

So! We can see disaster shaping up for the end. Sam lying about the Book and giving it to Rowena, who is out to avenge herself against Crowley, and now has the power to do it. Metatron now has one of the demon tablets and is on the loose. Dean doesn’t know any of this. Castiel has his Grace back but is no longer welcome in Heaven.

What do you wanna bet that this year’s horrific mistake will belong to Sam, and as always will involve Hell?

Next week:  The Return of Benny! Yay!!! I really missed that warm, Louisiana drawl. Also, he is totally mackin’ on Dean and that’s always fun to watch.

Supernatural : Inside Man

Tonight looks like a really good episode. It  looks fun and dark. Buffy was really the only other show that could get away with that kind of dichotomy. There’s going to be some Bobby-Fu, along with Castiel. I’m not a huge Cas fan, as I’ve said before, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen him do more than stand around and look angelic, so it’s time. ( Okay! I miss him, alright?)

Also, all the  separate stories are beginning to collapse into each other tonight. Rowena and Dean get to hook up. Sam and Castiel, a dynamic I’ve geen itching to see more of, will have an adventure together.

Unfortunately, there will be some Meta-Booger, too. I really hate that character, but he’s great for the show, so we’re stuck with him, until the writers figure out where they want to send him. (Please Jeebus, don’t let Rowena and Metatron meet! Please!)

So strap in!

Sam and Castiel are holding a seance to contact Bobby, who is sitting in heaven, drinking some fine whiskey and listening to Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler. I like that song. I don’t feel an ounce of guilt about knowing all the lyrics.

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Flashback to : Dean has nightmares. Sam runs to his room, gun drawn, and observes while Dean clutches the Mark, screaming his name, in the night. Dean then lies to him later about how well he slept. Sam, in turn, lies  about going to see some obscure French film, with mimes. He’s actually made plans with Castiel. I get the impression that Dean knows he’s lying and has plans of his own.

Sam meets with Cas and tells him Dean is getting worse. I really had no idea what that meant, but looking back on season nine, Dean is in the exact same situation he was in then, when he didn’t have the First Blade.

The Mark will make him sicker, until he dies. Again.

And turns into a demon. Again.

Sam is frantic to stop this cycle as he may not be able to save Dean a second time and forewarned is fore-armed.

Rowena is painting sigils on her body when Crowley makes the mistake of  walking in on her. Since she hasn’t spoken to him, for several days, he’s naturally suspicious. She says she has a date with a guy named Trent. An obvious lie. Who the Hell dates a Biggersons employee named Trent?

Dean is trying to cadge a hunt with a guy named Rudy, but no luck. He looks in the mirror. He lies to himself about his health. He is not okay. He decides to go get drunk.

Apparently, Cas is banned from heaven so he has to beg to get in. The guardian host, now occupied by Hanna, manages to suss out their plan to ask Metatron for help, to get rid of the Mark. Hanna won’t play, so they’ll have to break him out.

The Inside Man for their little Angel-Heist? Bobby Singer.

Rowena is trying to find out where Crowley was being held by the Winchesters, when he called Hell. Unfortunately, this introduces us to the only conscientious demon in all of Hell. The Blood Phone Operator.

Dean needs to stay away from bars and all alcoholic beverages, but that ain’t gonna happen. What do you wanna bet that a fight breaks out, and Dean kicks ass, after he drunkenly challenges a gang of Frat boys, to a game of pool?

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To contact Bobby, Sam and Cas need a genuine psychic, Oliver Price, who already knows they’re coming. Castiel totally destroys Oliver’s atheism when he announces he’s an Angel and that heaven has a jail. Sam produces Bobby’s old trucker cap, as the personal item that will be used to call him. I had no idea he still had it. I’d forgotten all about that thing and I’m surprisingly moved by its reappearance.

The tension, in the bar, begins to amp up, as Dean pretends to be too drunk to play pool and ups his bets, the little, bow-legged shark. He is totally hustling them. It’s a joy to watch.

And,  there’s no need for a bar brawl because Rowena shows up.

Dean sees flashes of his demon face, in a bathroom mirror, after he takes a break from duping young rubes.

Its so good to see Bobby again! Cas explains to him that the Angels don’t like souls wandering about freely, so he’s going to have to be good, if he’s going to find a door, to let Castiel in, so Cas can kidnap Metatron.

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We do get a bar-brawl, after all,  care of Rowena,  after she casts that same  animal spell on the Frat boys and sends them after Dean. He subdues them, then has some sharp words with Rowena, after the other spell she tries to cast on him with her body paint, fails.

I won’t repeat Bobby’s lines. He gets some really choice ones, too. You’ll have to go watch the episode. I’m having nostalgia problems. Just moment…I’m a little verklempt! <Sniff!>

I’m okay now.

Rowena, covering herself with bloody cuts, now goes to Crowley and claims the Dean did it, in an effort to manipulate Crowley. He tells her about the curse of The Mark of Cain. She claims she can find a way to remove The First Curse. Her manip doesn’t seem to be working, as she tries to get Crowley to hurt Dean on her behalf. She  gives him an ultimatum, I knew was coming, sooner or later. It’s either her or the Winchesters.

Bobby is out. (Cue Mission Impossible theme music.) He’s released all of the nearby souls from their personal paradises and causes a riot. The souls, apparently, are revolting. Hilariously, the Angels are totally ill- equipped to handle their little ghost riot. Bobby gets the door open in the melee and Cas jumps in.

Crowley confronts Dean. He just asks Dean about what happened over drinks. Crowley’s has a tiny umbrella and pitchfork in it. (Nice touch!) He tells Dean what Rowena said about the curse and his life. Dean tells him he has gone soft and suspects it’s the human blood. (I agree.) He tells Dean he supports her because she’s his blood, his family. Dean tells him what family really is and that Rowena ain’t it. Once again, he’s influencing Crowley, to the good. Offering the same advice that Bobby once gave him. Not because he wants something from Crowley, but for Crowleys own good.  In other words, treating him like family.

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Bobby, surprised, refers to Metatron as a Fraggle. He retorts with a colorful rejoinder about Cas, calling him the B-Team. Did I tell you I really hate that smug little bastard? Cas wraps him up and takes him to Sam.

Then he slits Metatron’s throat and takes his grace!

Holy Fuck!

I didn’t see that coming. Good for you, Cas! That’s our ruthless badass!

Metatron, now humanized, says its old God-level magic, from Lucifer’s time and he can’t undo it. His “river source” remark was just him spewing crap. He offers Cas his grace back, though.

Crowley kicks Mum out of the house. He is awesome! He raps like Smaug. He’s the King of Hell, baby!

Well, now Rowena has one more person to take revenge on. And just like that, the show has created two or more, brand new storylines, from the previous ones. Somebody’s got the writers in check this season. We’ll see if they can nail the dismount in the finale.

Sam returns to the Bunker to find Dean none the worse for wear. They lie to each other about their adventures that day. Sam goes to his room to read the note Bobby wrote to him, where he implores Sam to tell Dean what he’s done and doing. The rest you’ll have to hear  for yourself. I’m certain it will have you in tears, too.

This episode was very rich. It was everything I was hoping to get tonight. Let’s go over this again.

The return of Bobby Singer.

Crowley and Mommy part ways.

Rowena could be the key to curing Dean.

Metatron is now completely human.

Sam is still committing dubious behavior to save Dean. He’s right back where he was at the beginning of the season, with the same dilemma that ended season nine. This was all very neatly done. Essentially, what we will have is a kind of Groundhogs Day version of season nine, where Sam gets to do it all over again, but make different choices. This  time, however, in his favor, he has a mended relationship with his brother and full knowledge of what’s going to happen. Oh yeah, we also have two extra players on the board, Metatron and Rowena. They are the  wild cards in this scenario.

This was an excellent episode. There was a lot of forward movement and a few surprises, which is my favorite part of watching this show. It’s not just the plots I see coming,but the plot twists that I never would  have predicted, that make this show worth watching. I also got to watch Bobby being his usual acerbic self. Jeebus, but I miss him so much! And we all got to see Cas be a ruthless BaMf. Again.

This episode is definitely going on my favorites list.

ETA:  One of the reasons it’s going on my favorites list, is the scene where Sam tells Dean he’s going to see a movie about a mime , that’s  a cockroach. If Dean had been paying attention he would’ve realized this was a lie, because mimes are too much like clowns and Sam is scared of those. He then tells Dean to stay out of his room. The next time we see Dean he’s in Sam’s  room, pranking  him by putting things under his mattress, taping his phone, and corrupting his toothbrush by rubbing it under his arm.

Its  also a nice change to see where Sam and Cas are in their relationship, considering that didn’t even want to touch him him when they first met. Now, that’s growth.

It’s a bittersweet moment to see they’ve gotten to the point where the brothers can play pranks on each other, again.

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: 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: 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: 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.

Supernatural 10×2: Reichenbach

Reichenbach is a reference to the episode of Sherlock Holmes where he returns after his death at the hands of Moriarty. Sam finally meeting up with Dean after he’d though him dead at the hands of Crowley is pretty much the only resemblance between these two episodes.

A young boy hears a struggle going on in his house. He goes downstairs to find that Dean Winchester has murdered his father. Cole.

Sam is still Cole’s prisoner and trying to stress to him that Dean is not Dean. He tries to tell him about the existence of monsters. The supernatural kind. But Cole just thinks Sam is crazy and prepares to torture him.

Dean is spending some time at the Strip Club and beating up a bouncer while Sam feels Coles wrath. But Sam is defiant and it’s kind of nice seeing this level of spirit from Sam. It’s been a while since we’ve seen him express anything much stronger than fear or exhaustion. Okay, I’m not happy about the torture though. image
Cole is about to get serious when his phone rings. It’s his wife. While he’s having family phone time, Sam manages to free himself. Of course he does because that’s one of Sam’s superpowers, I think.

Dean and Crowley confront at the bar. Crowley is concerned about Dean’s anger issues.

Castiel and Hanna are still hanging out and it’s becoming very obvious to him he has no more juice. Cas tells her that her willingness to help him is very human. She’s puzzled by the compliment. Hanna has no experience being human or being around humans. She’s pretty much where Cas was when we first met him, only cuter and less intimidating.

Sam calls Cas and tells him that Dean is a demon. Cas is incredulous and they plan to meet up at Crowley and Dean’s (which sounds like the name of a 70’s rock band) last known location. Hanna comes along for the ride even though Cas says she doesn’t have to.image
She tries to tell Cas that the Winchesters are bad for him but he don’t wanna hear that and defends his relationship with them. He then passes out at the wheel of their vehicle and nearly hits a semi-truck and crashes off the road. I totally didn’t see that coming and I’ve been pretty good about predicting all kinds of things in my favorite shows this week. (Apparently I’m awesomely psychic. Or maybe the writers are just lazy.)

Crowley and Dean discuss the Mark and The First Blade. Crowley talks to him about addiction and he of all people should know. But he’s not scheduling an intervention. If Dean is going to keep killing he wants Dean to kill for him. He gives Dean an assignment named Mindy. Dean says this one time only. And once again I thought I knew how this scene was going to go and got it wrong. image

I guess Cas and Hanna ain’t gonna make it to the meet up. They’re now stuck in the cabin of the tow truck driver, in the middle of no and where, as their car is taken away. Hanna really does care for Cas and I’m very much liking the dynamic I see developing between the two. I think she loves him, but having never been human, she has no idea that’s what she’s feeling. She tenderly covers him with a blanket after he falls into an exhausted asleep.

Dean goes to find the woman Crowley has assigned him to kill and finds the husband, who hired him, watching outside. He goes to talk to the man and when the guy starts spouting some evo-psych bullshit about how husbands cheating on their wives is in the natural order, Dean kills him instead of the wife. Now that is classic Dean. The only difference is that in the past, the old Dean would’ve settled for just punching the guy and calling him a douche. This Dean is compelled by the First Blade to kill anybody who gets on his nerves.

Sam is still on the hunt. The bouncer Dean beat up earlier identifies him to Sam and promises to contact him if he sees him again but Cole has been following Sam. He knows Sam will lead him to his prey. This is,interestingly, Cole’s first Hunt and he’s about to regret it.

Cas wakes up in the cabin to find a little girl watching cartoons. She is the tow truck driver’s daughter. She is darling and seems completely unafraid of Cas. They have a mo. The two truck driver thinks Cas and Hanna are a couple. Hanna is flustered and puzzled by the assumption. Hanna spends a lot of time being puzzled.

Crowley is in the middle of what is, quite possibly, the most boring meeting of demonic entities in the universe when he receives a call from Dean, who says he killed the client. Crowley’s mad as Hell but Dean doesn’t care and pops the spit out of him. Crowley questions how demonic Dean really is. Dean challenges him and Crowley, because he’s the ultimate survivor, wisely backs down and says their partnership is over. There are still some disconcertingly human aspects of Dean in his body language and facial expressions. It may not be Dean but Dean isn’t far below the surface.

Crowley meets up with Sam. He says he’ll give him Dean because he can’t control him and that Sam is welcome to him. What’s his price, though?

Hanna goes back to Heaven to try to bargain with Metatron to save Castiel. She wants his grace back. But Metatron asks a high price. He says he has Castiel’s grace and promises to never be seen again if he is freed. Hanna smacks him around a bit because he’s disgusting and I’m fervently hoping she’ll smack him around a little more. Cas catches her and tries to warn her against making deals. He doesn’t want whatever bargain she would make on his behalf. Metatron then tries to make a deal with Cas because he really does have some of his grace left but the answer is still no. Metatron then vows to get free and kill everyone. Are we talking a new Lucifer somewhere down the road, maybe?

Crowley’s words about not being a demon are haunting Dean, when Sam finds him at a bar. It’s heartbreaking to watch this scene between them. I’ve never seen Dean display this particular attitude towards Sam. He claims he left because he didn’t want to be cured but I suspect it’s because he didn’t want to hurt Sam. He acts as if he doesn’t care about Sam but I’m not buying it. I know he cares and is still trying to protect Sam. You don’t just give up doing something that’s been the major impetus of your entire existence just like that. He warns Sam away which is something he doesn’t have to do but Sam is having as little of it as I am. He’s says he’s there to take Dean home and breaks out the demon cuffs. That’s when Cole makes his move. Tear gas knocks out Sam, and Dean and Cole have it out. Okay, my psychic powers are way off when it comes to this show. I should’ve seen this coming.

Cole tells Dean his story. He fights with Dean but has absolutely no chance against something like him. Dean is really enjoying himself, though. He quotes some Princess Bride (guess which lines) which is always a win. Dean shows Cole what he is but doesn’t kill him. Then Sam blindsides him with the demon cuffs and some holy water.

Dean is captured and Crowley has the First Blade. That was the deal, apparently. Cole has decided to research demons. Sam is driving Dean back to the Bunker. He says Dean was merciful to Cole but Dean says it wasn’t mercy at all. That beating up the man who’d spent half his life searching for his father’s killer was the worst thing he could’ve done to Cole and that Sammy is going to get it worse. I don’t believe that really. Without the Blade goading him on, I suspect Dean is going to be a lot less demonic than he has been. And this ties in perfectly with my belief that he really doesn’t want to hurt Sam. The worst thing in the world for Dean would be harming the one person he’s spent his life protecting. Is he really going to cause himself that much pain?

MY TWO CENTS

This weeks episode was a little better. Everything happened much as I expected it, except for some minor details, like Cas not making it to the meeting and Hanna’s meeting with Metatron. I knew Dean and Crowley would part ways but didn’t have a clue how that would come about. I’m still disappointed in Demon!Dean though. Sam was much more frightening when he was soulless. Dean really isn’t that dark. There’s a lot of human left in him. So it makes me wonder what Sam got up to in his search for Dean that makes his story arc darker than that.

And we know one more important thing, if Metatron is to be believed. Cas still has some grace left somewhere. If Cas is to be returned to his normal state, he needs to find it or make a deal with Metatron and, of course, he can’t possibly be trusted, can he?

If this keeps up I’m going to think the writers are being timid with these guys. Too scared to show the two of them being total d’bags.
Hey! It’s okay to make them unlikeable from time to time. Hell I didn’t like Dean for most of season one.

ETA: Dean does one significant thing during the episode, which should be noted. He kills a regular human being. As a general rule, Dean does not kill regular, non-possessed humans, except under the most extreme circumstances. Later though, he doesn’t kill Cole, which might lend some credence to the things he says to Sam later.

Here’s hoping that the beginning of this season is really just a slow burn leading up to some serious megashit at the finale.