Gaelicspirit (gaelicspirit) wrote,
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Stream of Consciousness review of Epi 9.12

So...just when you think it's going to be a 'filler' episode, they decide to gut you instead. I see how you are, Show.


10:15am CST
I'm writing this first part on Tuesday morning because I wanted to get something down before my thoughts were colored by my reaction to tonight's episode. Based on some comments (here and elsewhere) I wanted both clarify something my rambling review of last week's episode may have made murky and also share my hopes for the potential direction of this storyline. Feel free to skim right over this preamble to the Ramble -- a preramble! -- if you'd like to get to the actual review of tonight's episode. *smile*

Let me just put it out there: No matter how excited I am about Dean's potential storyline, I do not want Dean to be evil, become a demon, go dark, etc., (no matter how much Jensen could rock such a challenge with his performance).

In my opinion (and that's all this Ramble is...one person's opinion), there's a big difference between being in a dark place and actually "going dark." Dean is most definitely in a dark place -- and one might argue has been since Purgatory, or perhaps even since Croatoan...or since being brought back from the brink of death by John's deal -- and he is going to need to find his way out of that place. Or be shown the way out by those who love him. Dean, despite what he might think of himself -- killer, poison, etc. -- is good. To the very marrow of his soul. He is the opposite of a demon.

I think -- and several of you touched on this in your comments to episode 9.11 -- that Dean was deemed worthy of the Mark of Cain not because he was a killer or has darkness in him, but because of his bravery and willingness to sacrifice himself for his brother. Cain commented several times about Dean's bravery, and he was intrigued by the fact that Dean chose to save his brother rather than kill him.

From my perspective (and feel free to disagree, this is just how I see it), Dean is the heart of the show -- the gravitational center point that all the other characters rotate around. That is why he's been so integral all this time even without a key storyline. Because we see through his eyes. We are better able to feel for Sam because of how Dean connects to and reacts to him, since we very rarely get to see why Sam feels as he does. Same for the other characters as well. If it weren't for Dean and his self-sacrificing soul, we would not so clearly see Sam as the hero he is.

So, in my opinion, actually turning Dean "dark" would be a mistake and lessen the importance of the other characters -- unless it is to offer others the chance to bring him back to the light, as they eventually did with Castiel. If they do go that direction, I'll watch and wait for my hero to return, but it's definitely not what I'm hoping will happen.

There are so many different paths they could take this on  and I'm incredibly intrigued by this. Regardless of which direction they step, Dean is now a part of the mytharc in a way he hasn't been since S5. That's exciting! No matter what the burden or "great cost" the Mark brings with it. I mean, if it happens to be a replay of what Cain had to go through (soul in Hell, killing his brother), my money is on Dean breaking the cycle and finding a way out of it. Someone mentioned in the comments to last week's review that the burden could be immortality -- which would be a sacrifice and require significant bravery.

I suppose we'll see soon enough. But regardless, I wanted to put out there one fan's opinion about her hero and hopes for the progress of a very intriguing storyline. Okay, so, with that...let's Ramble On.

RAMBLE: Sharp Teeth

So...I'm going to have to work a bit at this one. And remember...just one person's opinion here.

The MotW with Garth was actually entertaining, if a bit innocuous, and the whole message of family and finding something that fits...even if they are monsters...worked for the place the brothers are in. I didn't realize the boys cared so much about Garth, to be honest, but I suppose when you don't have many friends, you seek out the ones you do have when they surface after six months of silence. But that all kinda faded a bit for me with the last few minutes of the episode.

It's no secret that I gravitate toward Dean (like I'm caught in a tractor beam). But those of you who have read my ramble for awhile know that I have a soft spot for Sam and I hope you see that I do work to see things from his point of view and understand his reasoning. However, tonight..., well, after that end scene, I'm struggling a bit. Maybe if I get through the rest of the ramble I'll see things differently from Sam's perspective. It's happened before. And, we've a long way to go in the season with more episodes left to see than we've actually already watched, so I am, as ever, looking forward to what is in store.

Last week, Dean told Cain that you never give up on family. Someone in the comments called that out as their new favorite line from Dean and I replied that it's that kind of stuff that spins my head around. Because when it comes to my family, there have been times I wanted to give up. I just wanted to walk away because it hurt so bad to stay connected, engaged, to keep trying when I felt constantly denied, pushed away, ignored. But then, I'll remember something Dean -- a friggin' character in a TV Show for goodness sake -- will have said or done to show that he was willing to turn himself inside out and quite literally always be there for his family...and I'll decide to keep trying.

Taking that kind of emotional state into account, Sam's inability to see why Dean did what he did, or moreover take ownership of the part he himself played in this situation, bothers me. I'm not saying that Dean did nothing wrong. He chose quite poorly, in fact. But the thing is...he's not denying it. He's owned up to it and apologized and offered his reasons why. There were extenuating circumstances and ultimately, all Dean did was save Sam's life -- a fact Sam was grateful of when Castiel did it.

I can actually understand and even accept Sam saying he couldn't trust Dean like he thought he could. It hurt to hear, but it honestly makes sense because I think Sam's trust was a little bit "take for granted." He trusted Dean to trust him. And when it comes to Sam...I think Dean falls into a category I'm a little familiar with called: I know what's best for you better than you do because I've been taking care of you all my life. So, yeah, Sam's right in that he can't trust Dean like he thought he could because Dean will pick the "save Sam" door every time, no matter what Sam might say he wants.

It's actually probably a little healthy that Sam adjust his 'trust' level with Dean because Dean is human and fallible and a little self-destructive when it comes to what he's willing to do for his family. He said it in S1: the things I'm willing to do or kill for you and Dad...it scares me sometimes. That has not changed over the last 8 years. If anything, Sam should 'trust' that -- not 'trust' that Dean will step back and allow Sam to make his own choices, especially if that choice is to walk out in front of a moving train.

But where Sam really got me was when he said they could work together, but when it came to being brothers he stopped, not really needing to finish. I wanted so badly in that moment for Dean to say, no thanks, I want my brother back, so call me when your terms change. I know you all probably want to throw things at me for actually wanting them to be apart, but I didn't want Dean to accept Sam's terms. Yes, there were things that Dean should have and could have done differently, but Sam seems to be acting like he's untouchable and that really...irks me.

I do understand that Sam is upset that Dean keeps making decisions for him -- he wanted to be able to follow through, save the day, "do something right," as he said to Castiel. But the thing I can't get past is that regardless of what Dean said to him, Sam chose to do those things. He chose to stop the trials. He chose to listen to his brother's pleas. He chose to live, thereby (unwittingly) letting Gadreel in. And the reason Dean talked him out of closing the Hell Gates was because it was killing him! That wasn't the deal; that wasn't what Sam promised when he started the trials!

Sam took on the trials with a declaration to Dean that he wanted to live when he saw that Dean was willing to die. He was going to show Dean the light -- that he was more than just a weapon. But the trials affected him, changing him, and he lost sight of that a bit, which is why (I thought) he had Dean there to support him. Dean was Samwise to Sam's Frodo, right? Dean was the one to pull Sam out of Mount Doom (the only problem being that the ring wasn't destroyed). And now Sam's blaming Dean for that? Just...ouch, man.

I do get it on some levels; Sam's still struggling as he has for basically his whole life to be separate and accountable for his own actions. To not be protected by his big brother or have decisions made for him "for his own good." I can respect that. But what I feel Sam is completely missing is the way he is crushing his brother by repeatedly severing ties when he's had enough and wants to stand on his own and then tying them back up again when he needs Dean. I think he's so wrapped up in how this has all affected him (and I can't really blame him for that - getting possessed by an angel is a pretty big deal) that he's blind to how it's affected Dean. And I think that's kind of dangerous for Dean right now. I think Dean is standing in the shadows and really needs someone to tell him, basically, you is good, you is kind, you is important. Or, y'know. Something like that. I may have read "The Help" a few times. *ahem*

Even though I think them working together right now, the way they are, is not the best decision they've ever made, I can't help but recognize that they both reached for that solution pretty quickly. Dean swallowed the accusations and took the hits and grabbed on to having Sam back despite Sam's "not really brothers" terms and despite his own "I'm poison" declaration. Sam jumped right in the Impala (leaving that sweet Charger just...sitting there) at Dean's nod despite the fact that he said he couldn't trust Dean like he thought and wanting to have control over his life. So, I think it's telling that they both needed it, but I still don't think it's a healthy choice.

I just hope that being together once more opens avenues to work through things and find a way to be brothers again. Because the gutted look on Dean's face there at the end actually made me cry. Real tears. And usually I only cry when I see someone else cry.

Let's blame lack of sleep and not the fact that I'm way overly invested in the relationship of these two brothers. *shifty-eyes*

How about some lists?

LOVES:

  • Dean still having his scruff. There were so many UNF moments I can't even...I'm going to try to call them out in the recap below because good gracious. Also, his voice (especially at the beginning) was rough. Batman rough. I liked it. A lot.

  • The fact that the boys gravitated to 'John Doe' and that's how they found each other again. I thought I wanted Sam to go find Dean, but this is more realistic and put them on more even ground.

  • Truth. Both about the residual grace (though he kinda skimmed over the part about the Big Ass Needle) and the Mark of Cain (though he left out the part about it coming at a 'great cost').

  • "Skinny...Ichabod Crane-looking kinda guy." HA! Pretty sure Crane on Fox's Sleepy Hollow would object to that comparison. That man is very nicely put together.

  • Garth's introductions. Seriously. "This is Dean. He could start a fight in an empty house, but deep down inside he's just a big ol' teddy bear. And Sam can be a bit insecure at times, but for good reason. Bless his heart."

  • Dean having lunch with the werewolf pack.

  • Dean being bad ass once more with the knife throwing and taking out the werewolf cousins all on his own. Smart and lethal.

LIKES:

  • I literally just researched Ragnarok for a story last week. Not only that? But I once wrote a story where it ended with the whole town as werewolves (Wolf and Man). When the sheriff wolfed out, I had to chuckle as I was reminded of that.

  • Werewolves --er, sorry, lycanthropes-- wearing silver bullet necklaces to remind them that life is fragile.

  • Sam once more getting a Dodge Charger (only an old-school one this time) when he was on his own.

  • Dean wearing cousin #1's jacket to hide his scent so that he could sneak into the barn. AND Dean taking out THREE werewolves without so much as breaking a sweat. *bravo*

  • The special effects for Garth wolfing out.

  • Lore that werewolves can be born or bitten (hello, Teen Wolf).

  • "Guess there's enough blame for that to go around."

  • The shot of the brothers leaning against the hood of the Impala at night.

  • The way Dean just watched Sam when the Sheriff called and moved when Sam moved, not needing to know why.

  • "Besides, somebody has to live to tell this damn story someday - who better than you?"

  • The boys leaving Garth, his wife, and father in law to live their lives.

MEH:

  • Y'know, I don't have the energy for 'meh's.

QUESTIONS:

  • Where have we seen Reverend Jim before? I swear he's been  on another episode, I'm just not sure where.

  • Was I the only one waiting to see Dean get attacked by one of the werewolves only to show that he can't be killed? I thought that would have been a clever way to reveal that...if indeed that is actually true.

  • So, here's what I gotta wonder. Garth is in a hospital the next town over for long enough that Sam had time to drive from New Mexico to Wisconsin and his new family doesn't find him first? No...APB, nothing? *scratches head*

  • Am I the only one who thought it was odd that Sam kinda let the whole 'Mark of Cain' thing drop once they had to focus on Garth? Maybe I'm looking through Dean-colored glasses, but I would have thought that would've been a bigger deal than it seemed to be to Sam.

THEN reminds us that Dean tricked Sam, Kevin is dead, Dean leaves because he feels he's poison, the Mark of Cain makes the First Blade work, and Garth is, well...Garth. NOW is in Grantsburg, WI, and we see a farm, hear a cow going NUTS, and see a farmer shoot at someone running from the barn. The farmer chases the figure through the woods, but loses it and then we see the figure run out into the road and get creamed by a car...and only then do we see that it's Garth. Ouch.

At the hospital, Sam shows up all suited up and flashes his FBI badge asking for a John Doe that was admitted there, describing him as a "skinny...Ichabod Crane-looking guy." *Holla Sleepy Hollow!* The nurse gives him the room number and says that he's a 'popular fellow.' In the room, Garth is out and Dean is there, plain-clothed, with a gigantic syringe in his hand. When the door opens, Dean tucks the syringe down along his leg, out of sight.

At first, neither of them speaks. Sam goes from looking mildly irritated to basically resigned. Dean looks stricken, then looks away, bobs his head, then looks back of at Sam, expressionless. Sam's the first to break.

Sam: Saw Garth's John Do on the police line.

Dean: Yeah. Where you comin' from?

I just have to say that he looks gooooood in green. Two words: electric eyes. Okay, sorry. Moving on.

Sam: New Mexico.

Dean (nods): That's a haul. Especially considering that I've got this pretty much covered, so...if you wanna go....

Sam: Have you spoken to him yet?

Dean: No. Ass-load of painkillers; he's been out since I got here.

Sam notices that Garth is handcuffed to the bed and asks what he's being charged with. Dean tells him that it's for killing a cow.  Dean was about to find out why when Sam walked in. He pulls out the gigantic syringe and just when I was about to say something about that looking like it was straight out of Pulp Fiction, Dean says it's filled with adrenalin.

Sam (sweeping out his hand to stop Dean): You trying to jump-start him or kill him?

Dean: I want answers. He walked out on Kevin and walked out on us. You got a better idea?

Sam does. He backhands him. Blammo! Garth wakes up screaming and makes Dean and Sam flinch back. He sees the boys, the fact that he's in a hospital, and wonders if he's in Heaven. Dean tells him to take it easy, he's in WI. Sam tells him that he was hit by a car and asks if he remembers anything. Garth says he remembers vaguely...he was on a hunt. Sam unlocks the handcuffs (didn't see how -- key or pick) and suddenly Garth launches out of bed, needing to puke. He makes it to the bathroom and Dean's like, "Good thing I didn't give him the adrenalin."

Garth's puke fest takes awhile, and the boys sit down to wait, Dean on the edge of the hospital bed, Sam across from him in the chair. This time Dean's the first to break.

Dean: Anything on Gadreel?

Sam: Actually, yeah. Turns out he left some grace in me before he bolted.

Dean (nods, frowns slightly): You know how wrong that sounds, right?

Sam (shrugs, sits back): I wouldn't worry about it. Cas took care of it.

Dean: Huh. I'm gone for two weeks and you're like an episode of Teen Mom.

He leans forward, elbows on knees, and calls out, "Just breathe through it, Garth. Work it out." He hangs his head a bit, looking tired. Sam looks over at him, kinda actually seeing him, and notices the tail end of the Mark on his arm.

Sam: What happened to your arm?

Dean (pulls sleeve up further): Oh...that's, uh...a gift from Cain.

Sam: Like...the wrestler?

*laughs* *pets him*

Dean (sideways glance at Sam): I wish. That would be awesome. No...the, uh, Old Testament Dude. He got all Biblical on me and gave me his 'mark.'

Sam: What does that even mean? How did that happen?

Dean (opting for the Reader's Digest version): Crowley and I found him and he gave me this so I could 86 Abbadon once and for all.

Sam's expression goes from WTF to FTW! to WTF in like a flash, and he ends with, "You worked a job with Crowley?"

Dean (his voice like gravel): The devil you know.

...is better than the devil you don't. That could pretty much be their family motto. If they started having a motto.

Just then Sam realizes that it's quiet in the bathroom and calls out Garth's name. Nothing. They break open the door. Empty - and the window is open. Cue Dean's Son of a bitch! They run outside wondering how Garth escaped from them.

Sam: Did you test him?

Dean: He was unconscious. No. Did he steal a car?

Sam (spying the hospital gown): Did he steal a car...naked?

Dean sees the security camera and says he'll get the footage and tells Sam to interview Farmer Brown. What I liked is that when he did it, he did that familiar, back of hand, smack to Sam's chest to get his brother's attention. So...Sam, talks to the farmer and finds out the it wasn't just the cow, it was goats and chickens, too, and they weren't just killed, they were eviscerated. Sam calls Dean and Dean (who is looking at b/w shots of Garth getting into a car) tells Sam that the camera was pointed the wrong way.

Dean: What can I say, Sammy, we lost this one. Send me a postcard.

Only, whoopsie, Sam's right there waiting for him as he turns the corner around the ambulance. Sam grabs the pictures and sees that Dean has the make, model, and license plate for the car Garth got into.

Sam: Really, Dean?

Dean (mask in place): I told you we can't hunt together. It's for your own good.

Sam (sets jaw): I hear you and after we find Garth and get to the bottom of this, I'm gone. But until then, no more games.

Dean frowns, considers, then agrees, telling Sam the car belonged to Bess Myers, one town over. So, they break into Bess' apartment, guns drawn and Garth is there, hands up, all everything's cool, just a misunderstanding.

The boys aren't picking up what he's putting down and decide to check out the rest of the apartment, guns first. Garth's urging them to calm down, but they aren't buying it and Sam opens a closet door only to be jumped (kinda) by a female werewolf. In what felt like a fight in slow-motion, Sam cuts her and and Garth jumps between them, protecting her and revealing that he's a werewolf, too. Wait, what??

Garth patches up Bess' arm, introducing her as his wife, then introduces the boys to Bess in probably the most adorable description of both of them ever. Dean stands with a serious scowl fixed in place, unblinking as he stares at Garth. Sam smirks a bit as Garth is describing Dean, but sobers when Garth describes him and looks, perhaps, a teensy bit offended.

Garth:  This is Dean. He could start a fight in an empty house, but deep down inside he's just a big ol' teddy bear. And Sam can be a bit insecure at times, but for good reason. Bless his heart.

He tells them that he was on a hunt 6 months ago, was bitten, and knew the deal. No cure. So he accepted his fate. He ate his favorite dish (Egg Fu Yung), watched the world's greatest movie (Rocky III) and was ready to eat a bullet when Bess found him (by smell, natch). They've been married for 4 months. They don't hunt people, just animals. This is where Bess reveals that werewolves can be born, not just bitten. In fact, she's second generation werewolf. Dean and Sam are all, *head tilt* huh? at this, but I liked the shift in lore. It matched with other werewolf shows I enjoy.

Dean wants to talk to Garth alone, so Bess leaves the room. Garth tells them that he's checked out the rest of the pack and they're clean. Sam's like, hello, your wife attacked me.

Garth: 'Cause you two came bustin' in here like a house afire. Guns waving, the jawlines and the hair... it's very intimidating!

*laugh*

Garth wants them to trust him that no one wants any trouble but Dean's like ah, yeah...no. Not happening. So, Garth invites him to come pray with them. Interesting. A bit later, Dean's pulling up the a house and Sam's at the sheriff's station. Dean gets into the trunk of the Impala and grabs a weapon (I missed which kind...something silver and pointy, though I'd imagine).

Dean: Nothing too sketchy yet.

Sam: That's a good thing, right?

Dean: Not bettin' on it.

Sam: Or are we just that jaded?

Dean trusts his instincts, though, which ultimately turns out to be a Very Good Thing. Sam's waiting for the sheriff to show up. He's standing next to a blue Dodge Charger...'70's model, with spoilers on top. Nice boosted car, Sammy. Even though he looks kind of bigger than the car. We never see him inside of it, either. I wonder if his head hit the roof.

At the house, Dean is greeted by Joy, Garth's (step) MiL. She's all welcoming and smiley, telling Dean he's safe in her house and only asks the same of him...since he's packing silver. Uber-suspicious and mega-reserved, he heads in to where a semi-large group of people are singing hymns, and Garth's playing the piano. When Bible study is over, Garth kinda bounds up to Dean all, hi! and introduces Dean to Bess' father, who happens to be the local pastor, Reverend Jim. Dean practically snarls at him and refuses to shake his hand, but agrees to have lunch with them.

Everyone gathers around the table. Dean's steak is cooked, but the others...well, let's just say a good vet could probably still save them. Their hands and face were all bloody from eating and as they're noshing on their raw animal organs, someone mentions that there is pie for desert. The look on Dean's face made me think he might've just sworn off of pie.

The talk about how they each wear silver bullet necklaces to remind them of the fragility of life and Rev Jim reveals how a hunter killed Bess' mom and he wanted revenge.

Rev Jim: The road to revenge is a dark and lonely one you never get off and the hole in the pit of your stomach...you never fill it.

Dean processes that, saying I get it. I find it interesting how many times Dean is shown something or told something he really needs to hear or see about himself -- but it comes from a source he's instinctively disinclined to listen to.

They find out the Joy's father was the previous Reverend and that Joy is a 4th generation werewolf. That rocks Dean a bit. Meanwhile, Sam's getting reassured by the sheriff that the Myers' are a little "hippie-dippie" but are pillars of the community. He promises to call Sam if he hears anything weird. Back at the farmhouse, Dean is poking around inside a (bloody, organ-filled) fridge and is surprised by Bess' two cousins (pretty much thing 1 and thing 2 b/c I didn't catch their names.

They more or less back Dean up against the wall and tell him that the sooner he believes nothing is wrong, the sooner he'll leave. Because that'll convince him. Garth steps in and wants to talk to him. Dean tries to tell Garth that not all of this is what it looks like and Garth is like, yeah, I used to be like that, waiting for the other shoe to drop, butt then I accepted the truth.

Dean: Got another truth for you. We were left in the dark when you went AWOL. Didn't know if you were dead or worse. You should've reached out and sent someone a message.

Garth says he was embarrassed, didn't know what to say, and it didn't mean he didn't miss Dean and Sam and Kevin-- At the mention of Kevin's name, Dean's mask slips and pain slips across his features. He tells Garth that Kevin is gone. For good. Garth wants to know what happened and Dean's face crumples for a moment.

Dean: When he needed me, I wasn't there. That's what.

*rubs heart* Oh, Dean.

It's night, and the boys are leaning against the hood of the Impala, in some parking lot, Sam's car parked next to the Impala. It's actually a really great shot of both of them -- screen-cap worthy. Sam wants to know what they're still doing there. Dean's like, you're right, Garth's good. You can go if you want. Sam just points out that this wouldn't be the first time they came across a friendly monster. Dean listens without replying, clearly deep in thought.

Sam's phone rings and he answers, identifying himself as Agent Perry. Hee. Probably as in Steve, but thanks to my 7 year-old, my mind went right to Phineas and Ferb and Perry the Platypus, Agent P. *ahem* Sorry. Moving on. Again.

Dean just watches Sam, not asking what's up. When Sam stands and moves, Dean stands and moves. I liked that synchronicity without the necessity of explanation.

The Sheriff has called them to check out what killed a deer that is basically shredded. He hangs back as the boys inspect the body. Dean notices that the body is still warm -- meaning it was killed after they got the call. They stand and turn -- Dean having pulled his knife in one fluid motion and was holding it down along his leg out of sight. The Sheriff has all wolfed out and is growling, "you didn't know what you were walking into, but you won't be walking out."

He has his gun on the brothers, but before he can do more than posture, Dean throws the knife, hitting him square in the chest. Done and done. They find a silver bullet like the preacher's family wore, only written on it is the word Ragnarok, which Dean immediately connects to Thor and Loki. Hee. Dean thinks that a homicidal werewolf sheriff is enough to eradicate the whole bunch, but Sam reminds him that means also killing Garth and says they should do it right. Dean agrees, tells Sam to clean up the body and go find Garth and hide him while Dean goes to the church.

This church looked familiar, too. Like the one the boys jumped out of the window in S4 and even the one where Sam almost completed the trials in S8. At first it looks like a regular church, but when Dean picks the lock to the office, he finds an ancient looking werewolf history book with Ragnarok written in it. Sam calls him as he's about to look up the word on the computer and tells him that Garth and Bess' place is tossed and they're missing.

Dean tells Sam what he's finding on the computer -- Fenris is a wolf deity and he killed Odin right before the world ends. Ragnarok is an action plan for Total Werewolf Domination (picture my voice echoing impressively as I say that). Dean says he has to track down Reverend Jim and tells Sam to find Garth. But before Sam can do anything except hang up the phone, Thing 1 and Thing 2 jump him and knock him out with a tire iron. Ooopsie. Poor Sam.

Rev Jim shows up at the church to practice his sermon and Dean confronts him. I liked this confrontation because of how real it made Dean, reminding him, and us, how very human he is, in the most basic sense of the word. Rev Jim can smell Dean and hears his heartbeat.

RJ: You must have done this countless times and you still get nervous.

Dean: Nothing wrong with a little fear. It's what makes us human.

Dean tells him he knows all about his Ragnarok plan, but Rev Jim says that's old news, he stopped it. Dean's like, beg to differ since your sheriff just tried to kill them. Turns out Rev Jim's bullet doesn't have Ragnarok on it and suddenly he puts it all together. I assume he connects the dots for Dean because next time we see him, he's burning rubber away from the church toward the preacher's farmhouse.

The cousins are dragging an unconscious Sam into the barn to tie him to a tractor tire. Bess and Garth are both tied -- with chains, even -- separate from each other. Joy is rambling about how she's the last of her bloodline, and how a hunter killed her brother, but her hubs, the good Reverend preached co-existence, not dominance. She proceeds to beat the crap out of poor Garth. Really bloodies him up. *frown* Sam wakes up and is trying to get untied (discretely) as Joy goes on about how man destroys and blah blah blah. Meanwhile, outside, Dean puts his coat out as a decoy to draw Thing 1 by the scent, then sneaks up behind him and kills him. Clever boy.

Joy talks about how she's going to set it all up so that Ragnarok actually begins with the peace-loving preacher. She'll kill Garth and Bess and make it look like it was Sam and Rev Jim won't be able to take it after his first wife. Garth, however, goes completely NUTS at the threat to Beth and starts to wolf out. He was pissed, ya'll. Joy starts to point the gun at Bess, but Sam, with his wicked long legs, is able to kick the gun away and Joy wolfs out, ready to go for him.

Just then, Dean shows up, catching them all by surprise. He has his gun pointed at Joy, but Thing 2 jumps him from the rafters and they fight, Dean managing to stab and kill him. Joy notes that he's wearing Thing 1's coat to mask his scent, saying that was smart.

Dean: I'm full of surprises.

Just then Joy and Dean dive for their separate guns at the same time, both firing. Dean's bullet hits the mark. Joy's doesn't. I love smart, clever, bad ass Dean almost as much as I love broken, angsty Dean. I'm not exactly picky when it comes to Dean. *laugh*

Next morning, they're all in the preacher's house. Dean's leaning against a wall, watching Sam and Garth say goodbye. Sam tells him to be good and gives him a hug. He just kinda nods at Dean as he walks past and Garth comes up to Dean, who tells him that his father-in-law seems like a good man.

Garth: You were right; everything around here wasn't ok. I screwed up again. First Kevin, now this.

Dean (looking ten kinds of amazing even as his expression is tragic): Hey, that's on me. I'm the one that pulled him into all this. I'm the one that should've been there to protect him. *rubs heart*

Garth: Guess there's enough blame for that to go around.

Dean nods and turns to go, but Garth stops him, asking if he could come back and hunt with them. He wants to make this right; he never should have left. Kevin was his friend and friends don't do that.

Dean: Hey, you said it. Who cares where happiness comes from? We're all a little weird, we're all a little whacky...some more than others. If it works, it works. You got something here; don't let it go. Besides, somebody has to live to tell this damn story someday. Who better than you? Now, shut up and come here.

Garth: Really?

Dean: Hurry up before I change my mind.

Annnnnd hug. *smiles*

Dean drives Sam back to his car and after a beat, Sam gets out saying, "I'll send you that postcard."

Dean: Yeah.

But then he can't just let it go. He gets out and calls to Sam, even though I was mentally chanting at him, no no no, you don't want to do this, not yet, not like this...what about staying away from him to protect him...you don't need this bond that bad...you both need some space...oh, never mind, you never listen to me anyway.

Dean: Hey, that night that we went our separate ways--

Sam: You mean the night you split?

Okay, OUCH. Do we really need to talk about the number of times Sam 'split' on Dean? That was kinda harsh.

Dean (looking slightly surprised, but accepts it): Fair enough. I was messed up. Kevin was dead and I...I don't know what I was.

Sam (giving him nothing to work with): Okay.

Dean: Hell, maybe I still don't. But I took a piece of you in the process and for that... (helpless, frustrated) Somebody changed the playbook, man. Right is wrong and wrong is more wrong. I just know that when we rode together....

Sam: We split the crappiness.

Dean: Yeah, so....

Sam (still giving him nothing): Okay.

Dean: Okay.

Sam: Something's broken here, Dean.

Dean (hopeful...almost desperate): I'm not saying it's not. I'm just saying...we put a couple of W's on the board and we can get past all this.

Sam: I don't think so. I wish, but...we don't see things the same way anymore. Our roles in this whole thing. Back in that church...talking me out of boarding up Hell...or tricking me into allowing Gadreel to possess me. I can't trust you. Not the way I thought I could. Not the way I should be able to.

Dean looks like Sam punched him. He takes a stuttering, gutted breath and says, "Okay, but...whatever happened...we're family."

Sam: You say that like it's a cure-all.

Because, for Dean, it is. It's had to be. It's the only way he's been able to cope with what his father put on him, what his brother has done to him, what he's done for and because of both of them. Family -- the concept of it and the connection created because of it -- is the only thing that keeps Dean grounded, sane, and out of those dark corners that are ready to eat him alive.

Sam: Like it can change the fact that everything that has ever gone wrong between us has been because we're family.

Well...I mean...duh. For me, that's kind of par for the course. Family messes you up and puts you back together. Family breaks you and heals you. Family knows all your buttons and the right order to push them in. Family is your last line of defense and your first friend. And Family is the only thing you can hold onto when the world is coming to an end. Family doesn't have to mean blood -- Bobby taught them that -- but however you create it and whoever you include in it, it's precious and critical and necessary.

Dean (looking at his brother with broken eyes...seriously, this is where I teared up): So...we're not family now?

Sam: I'm saying, you want to work, let's work. You want to be brothers.... (looks away, looks back) Those are my terms.

Ouch, my heart. *rubs it* I'm looking for time together to create space for a negotiation in these terms. For them to realize how necessary they are in each other's lives. For Dean to allow Sam to be Sam and for Sam to see who Dean is again.

Dean just nods, a little breathless, and turns to get into the car, Sam joining him.

C'mon, boys. You can do this. I believe in you! *grabs pillow and hides behind the couch*

So, I saw that we have a new episode next week (Feb 4th) and then there's a two week break until Feb 25th. I actually have to travel to Sydney for work the week of the 25th, so that particular ramble will be late (and most likely written on a 22 hr plane ride). I look forward to seeing your thoughts and then seeing ya'll next week.

Thanks for reading.

Slainte!
Tags: episode review, ramble, stream of consciousness, supernatural, what do you think?
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