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Stream of Consciousness, Epi 9.17

Color me in impressed.

So, if this was the first time Misha Collins directed anything -- and knowing he did so with his two leads not exactly making life easy, or pie-free -- then I'd say he's a natural. It was one of the first times I got lost in the story in quite awhile. In retrospect, it was a bit of a slow-moving episode, but it never felt slow. I didn't look at the clock and think, omg, we're only 20 mins in?? So, kudos to you, you sarcastic, sly philanthropist, you. The only thing I wish, to be honest, is that we would have seen Castiel in this episode. In both of the episodes Jensen directed, Dean still played a pretty decent role. Can't be easy to direct yourself. I would have liked to have seen Cas under Misha's direction.

Actually, having Cas in this episode would have been nice on a couple of counts, but I'll get there in a second. First, I have to say I got caught by the title of this episode: Mother's Little Helper. I mean, on one hand it could apply to Abaddon as she was 'wearing' Mother Superior and conscripting Agnes to be her soul-catcher. But it could also mean Julia in a way. Her big shame was that she said nothing about what she'd witnessed in 1958. I couldn't help but think of the lives she might've saved had her fear not overcome her. If Henry had known about Josie sacrificing herself for him, about Abaddon possessing Josie...he might have been able to prevent the MoL massacre. Abaddon could have been drawn and quartered as the boys did before right there. How much did she 'help' Abaddon with her silence?

Of course, he could have also died a bit earlier than he was destined to, too. I mean, who knows. Still, I couldn't help but think of what might have happened had Henry known. Not that I blame Julia -- her emotion when she said that she became a nun to make the world a better place but was never taught what to do when faced with true evil was really compelling. And I've always loved that actress. As soon as I saw her I was like one of my Aunts with their handkerchiefs: "Oh, would you look who it is; isn't she a dear? I just adore her."

And were you guys as surprised as me to learn that Josie hadn't always been Abaddon? Not only that, but she loved Henry to the point of sacrificing her life for his? I mean, sure, he's a Winchester. Others have made similar sacrifices for Henry's grandsons. But still, that was a pretty big reveal in a very "full circle" way. And saving Henry, ultimately, meant the death of all of the MoLs. It's the ever-returning theme of sacrifice that always hooks me when it comes to this show and our boys.

Speaking of the boys, typically I'm not a proponent for the boys to be separated, but this season, each time it's happened I've found it was for a purpose and I felt it valuable. This time, not only does Dean get the opportunity to spiral (and boy do I have thoughts about that), but Sam gets to be an actual hunter again. Not that he hasn't been with Dean, but he had a different energy knowing he was on his own. He was smart and savvy and prepared and it was good to see that Sam again. I liked that he asked for Dean's help, but sucked it up and moved forward when Dean was basically like, sorry, man, I got my own crap to deal with.

I half expected Sam to get pissy or at least pull a decent bitch-face when Dean didn't boost the nearest car and high-tail it over to Illinois to help him on the hunt. But I was pleasantly surprised when Sam was like, "Okay, be safe," and did what he had to do. However, I will say that while it showed Sam that he could do this on his own, it also showed how lost Dean is -- and Sam doesn't see it...yet.

After all, it was Sam who dictated this type of a relationship between them. He was the one to declare they weren't -- or couldn't be -- brothers. He was the one to insist they keep it "just business." Until he calls a take-back, that's how Dean's going to behave. And not only that, the longer Sam goes with that mind-set, the further Dean's going to fall away from him until it's going to be really freaking hard for Sam to haul him up out of the hole he's tumbling into.

SO, about that nose-dive...Dean is really struggling. While I was pleased that Sam didn't get angry with his brother for expecting Sam to stand on his own in the hunt he'd gone on, I did get frustrated with him for not seeing what was going on with Dean. Of anyone, Sam should recognize the effects of supernatural power on a natural being. He should recognize the power-craving and the reasons for sleeplessness. He should remember the sullen reactions and obsessive behavior. When he asked, "What's going on with you?" I wanted to Gibbs-smack the back of his silky-haired head. What to you think is going on with him?

Sam's no dummy. He was reading up on Cain and Able. There's no way he hasn't read something about the Mark of Cain. He saw what holding the 1st Blade did to Dean. How -- or maybe I should say why -- is he not more worried about this? Why does he not see what we clearly see? I mean, whenever Dean says "I'm fine" -- especially with that rough-assed tone like he's been chewing gravel all day -- it's code for I'm falling apart inside and I don't know how to stop it but I can't figure out how to tell you and I really need you to see it and help put me back together.

That's how it's always been. But...I guess for the most part, Dean's usually found his own internal duct tape, or whatever was broken just healed slightly mis-aligned on its own as he turned his attention to something going on with Sam. I hope that Sam sees what's going on with his brother before Dean gets so far gone that getting him back will take more than a promise and a strong hand. Now...that said? I'm okay with watching how Dean copes with this struggle for awhile longer. Because this is a compelling story, ya'll.

The one thing I wished watching Dean try to figure out where to put what he was feeling, was that he would have called Cas. He couldn't talk to Sam, not about this, not with the whole "not brothers" edict hanging over his head. But he needed a friend. I know why he called Crowley (and then hung up) -- not only does Crowley have the 1st Blade (which is the conscious reason I believe Dean called him), but right now, Dean's feeling like Crowley is the only one in his life who not only gets what he's dealing with (because he was there when he got the Mark) but won't judge him for not being noble and righteous. Right now? From Dean's PoV, Crowley's the only one in his life who doesn't care that he screwed up and was tricked into allowing Gadreel into his brother.

Crowley doesn't care that Dean's "poison" (or thinks he is) -- in fact he embraces that aspect of Dean's personality. He's thriving off of it. Dean couldn't think less of himself right now if he tried and Crowley -- with all his darkness -- is the only one Dean can stand to be around because he thinks less of Crowley than he does of himself. Around everyone else -- especially Sam, right now -- Dean is a screw-up, not worthy. But not around Crowley. Unfortunately, the things that make him 'worthy' in Crowley's eyes are not the things that will save Dean.

That's why I wished Dean would have called Cas when he was shaking from the memory of the Blade's effect on him. He needed someone who would remind him that he is good and kind and brave and selfless and worthy of an angel's friendship. Of a brother's love. He needs his friend Cas to say to him what Cas was so ready to say to Sam: that nothing is worth losing him. I know Cas is dealing with his own drama with the whole angel war and now having angelic minions and whatnot, but I just wish Dean had felt he could reach out to a friend. A real friend.

This is going to sound sadistic and wrong, but I liked that they showed Dean turning to alcohol to quiet the voices in his head. It harkens back to when he returned from Hell. That whole non-coping coping mechanism was just shoved aside when the angel vessel storyline came to the forefront. There was an Apocalypse to worry about; Dean having post-Hell PTSD and becoming an insomniac alcoholic was the least of their worries. But it's his manner of "dealing" with internal battles and overwhelming situations that he has no guidance on how to handle. And I liked the consistency there.

His behavior was very true to character, I thought, from the way he hid it from Sam, to the way you see him feel the liquor go all the way down with that first swallow, helping to muffle the voices and stop the sensation of his skin being stretched too tight across his bones. Even the way he acted basically sober -- if exhausted -- after finishing the whole bottle of whiskey. And his go-to spot was a hole-in-the-wall bar. It was Dean hiding and calling out for help at the same time. And he wouldn't let himself do that when Sam was there, either. Which is another tell.

You're going to think I'm crazy, but it gives me a strange sort of hope. If Dean copes the way he always has, that means he'll try to stop it the way he always has: sacrificing himself. Like the crossroads deal to save Sam. Or showing up at Stull to nearly get beaten to death to save Sam. And if Sam recognizes this, then there's a chance that when it all comes to a head and Abaddon is dead, Sam will be able to save his brother from yet another sacrifice...this time, perhaps, one that could be way worse than "just" his life.

Yeesh -- can you tell I'm digging this storyline's potential? Sorry. Got a little carried away there. Lists!


  • The weary, almost bowed way Dean carried himself -- every glance, every breath transmitting a distress call for anyone tuned to the right frequency. Even the sound of his voice had me wanting to wrap a blanket around him.

  • The flashbacks -- Dean of receiving the Mark of Cain and the effect of the 1st Blade, Sam of being soulless. I like when they're quick, like true memories, and I liked the shift in coloring/tone so they even looked like memories

  • The way Dean looked through the empty whiskey bottle, gripping the table until his hand shook.

  • Dean. Playing. Pool. I mean, did you see the way he racked those balls? Yes, okay, I know. I heard it as soon as I said it. STILL! There was something about that whole scene with him and the pool table that just...*bites lip*. Plus also, brooding Dean playing pool reminded me a bit of brooding Alec (from Dark Angel) playing pool. *nice*

  • The fact that Sam kept calling Dean throughout his initial part of the hunt and that Dean picked up each time. I was honestly worried he wouldn't.

  • Smart Sam being smart and recording an exorcism on his phone -- for those inconvenient times when a demon is choking you and you can't speak. I love when he's clever like that.


  • Dean saving fake!hunter Jake. I mean, even though we found out later that he was part of Crowley's Crew, and even though Dean also saved Crowley (I mean, he couldn't exactly let the only one who knows where the 1st Blade is get killed) with his actions, I liked seeing him step in and save who he thought was a young hunter from being squashed by the King of Hell. Especially when his primary concern seemed to be that when he killed, he killed for a reason.

  • Ex-Sister Julia. She was a good character and it was good for Sam to be the one to encounter her.

  • Sam releasing the souls. Plus also the cool, glowy effect of the souls themselves.

  • Seeing Henry again. I liked having more of his MoL background.

  • The fact that soulless!Billy's attack on the waitress made me literally gasp out loud.


  • Guys, there are no mountains between Kansas and Illinois. I love the shots of the Impala roaring down the road, but seeing that gorgeous mountain vista had me cracking up. Rolling hills? Sure. Mountains? Not so much.


  • So, I guess Dean got the Impala buffed out and repainted, huh? I didn't see any Enochian threats scratched into her side when Sam drove her to Milton.

  • Is anyone else intrigued by what triggers them to think supernatural and not sociopath when they see reports online like a teacher killing her husband? Even if she did -- literally -- beat him to a pulp.

  • I've actually lost track -- do you guys remember if Castiel knows about Dean having the Mark of Cain?

  • In a universe where there are soul-stealing "factories" resulting in soulless!sociopath humans and where Heaven is closed to all souls...I would think the mayhem would be over the top. I wonder if that's something that will come into play in the last 6 episodes...or this spin-off...or in S10.

THEN was basically for all those who haven't tuned in for, well, this entire season. NOW we're in Milton, IL, and some balding dude is watching a golf club infomercial (shoot me now) while snacking on chips or popcorn or something. There are pictures on the wall to Mrs. Young drawn by her first graders. Mrs. Young herself -- Karen, actually, and the crazy thing is, I have an aunt by that name...first and last -- comes home. Her husband demands to know what's for dinner (prompting me to mutter at the TV, are your legs broken? how about you go into the kitchen and figure it out yourself...) and she replies, "Meatloaf."

When he complains, she very calmly and brutally beats him to death. Annnnnd scene.

In the bunker, Dean is searching through a book with the air of someone who has been looking through books for a very, very long time. Sam bounces in all fresh faced and new-hunt jazzed and asks Dean if he's slept, to which Dean replies no. Sam says he guesses he's driving, then. Dean gives him a completely baffled look like he missed a few pages of their script and asks where. Sam tells him about a case he found online where a 1st grade teacher beat her husband to death.

Dean: Maybe she just snapped. Ankle-biters can do that to you.

Sam thinks it's possession, so Dean tells him he should go, and turns back to the papers. Sam, with a very I know I'm playing with fire here but I don't care because I'm freaking bored sigh says, "I want to find Abaddon, too. But we've been combing through this stuff for days."

Dean (moving to a stack of files and going through them, his back to Sam): Maybe we missed something.

Sam: Maybe there are better ways to spend our time.

Dean: Maybe we don't have time.

His voice breaks a bit compelling Sam to cut the crap and actually check on his brother.

Sam: What's up with you?

Dean (his back to Sam, his voice sullen): Nothin'.

Sam: Yeah? Because ever since you killed Magnus you've been acting sort of obsessed.

*biffs him* Hello, Sam! This is your wake-up call. Act now, before it's too late!

Dean (turning to face Sam, looking kind of like, "uh, no duh, Sam"): Maybe because I want an end to this. Maybe because if we find Abaddon and Crowley ponies up the 1st Blade, we kill her and him, both. What you call being obsessed, I call doing my job.

He sounds worn. out.

Sam (giving in/giving up): I get it, Dean. I'm just...checking in.

Dean (sitting back down at the table): I'm fine.

Sam: All right. Hit me up if you find anything.

He leaves and as we hear the big metal door shut, Dean pulls out a bottle of whiskey from a bag on the chair beside him, twists off the cap and flings it across the room on a spin, then takes a long pull and sighs like he can feel this liquor hit every sore spot inside of him. I have to wonder how many "torturer" memories holding that blade triggered for him. He said he was good -- Alistair's star pupil. He hated himself for it. Didn't want to feel a thing. And so he drowned his feelings as long as he could until his job wouldn't let him. But it didn't mean those feelings, those memories went away. And holding the weapon that gave him a rush of power he'd never felt -- made it so easy to kill that bad guy, like he was air -- had to have brought up those memories.

We get a well-meant shot of the Impala on the road, and Sam's in his FBI persona talking to the local cop about the murder. He's getting the low-down on how "straight arrow" the Young's were as he follows the sheriff to the holding cell and finds Karen dead. She'd hung herself with the bedsheets after managing to cut herself and write words in blood all over the walls. Now, the only thing I'd say about that is...it's a police station. All that blood writing took some time. As did the rigging of her sheet noose. And NO ONE saw it?? Tsk Tsk.

Sam digs around some more, finds out only how normal the Young's were according to everyone he talks to, so he calls Dean. He catches him up, says no sulfur, no EMF, etc.

Dean (still at the table, looking like he's pulled another all-niter): What are you still doing there? Sounds like a case of the crazies to me.

Sam: Yeah, if nothing kicks up by morning, I'm outta here. How's research going?

Dean (looks around at the piles of papers a little helplessly): It's...going. (pause) Well, g'luck. (hangs up)

Sam looks part annoyed, part worried when he hangs up, too. This was where I was basically like, "Well, you asked for this, dude. You said no brothers, 'just business' and you got it."

Back at the bunker, though, Dean is in pretty desperate need of his brother. He's staring through the empty whiskey bottle, remembering Cain's warning about the Mark carrying a burden, remembering the rush of power holding the 1st Blade gave him. He grips the table so hard his hand shakes. Forcing himself to release the table, he stares at his hand a moment, then picks up his cell, dials a number and hangs up after the first ring. Suddenly unable to sit there any longer, he grabs his coat and leaves.

Elsewhere (in IL), a kid in his late teens -- Billy, we later learn -- is walking along the side of the road, talking to his girlfriend on the phone about how he got into it with his mom and so he's trying to hitch a ride over to see her. A van pulls up and Billy climbs in, thanking Shady Van Guy for stopping. That's never good. Just then, we hear screaming, see a bright light from inside the van. Oopsie. This has been your anti-hitchhiking public service message, kids. There are people out there who will steal your soul. Literally.

Inside a diner, Sam's just getting his food when Billy walks in looking all broody. The waitress greets him by name, but Billy sits down and proceeds to pick up a handful of left over mashed potatoes from a plate next to him. The waitress calls him on it, but Billy doesn't like that very much.


Sam's all, whoa, dude, dial it down a notch, but the kid is having none of it. He purposely pushes a glass off the counter. The waitress wants to know what's eating him.

Billy: You. My mom. Him.

Sam: Bud. Give it a rest.

The waitress leans over, thinking all she's dealing with is a troubled teen, and tells him she's going to call his mom. Billy's like, no you're not, and proceeds to STAB A KNIFE INTO HER HAND pinning it to the counter. I literally gasped out loud, that took me by such surprise. Billy goes after Sam, but Sam lays the beat-down on the kid, knocking him out with one hard right.

Now, with Billy at the jail, the holding cell is filled with four "straight and narrows" who went buckets of crazy. One is beating his head against the bars until it bleeds, another is cutting himself and writing bloody words on the wall, a third is sitting on the bunk rocking and humming, and then there's Billy. When the Sheriff leaves, Sam tests Billy with holy water and sees he's not possessed. Billy says he's "clear of everything" and is doing what he's doing because he can and wants to. Okay, psycho much?

Sam calls Dean (and it rings a looooong time...making me worried Dean wasn't going to answer). He's looking through files and security cam pics as he talks. Dean, however, is sitting along at a table in a bar, a shot and a beer in front of him. Sam catches him up and says that it's not so much steroids, it's more...basic instinct. The littlest things can set them off. The light bulb goes on then.

Sam: Kinda like me

*cue memories of Soulless!Sam*

Dean: You?

Sam: Uh...soulless me. You remember that?

Dean (humorless huff of a laugh): How could I forget? But...you weren't out of control like these people.

Sam: Maybe everyone has different reactions to losing their soul.

*wonders if that's at all foreshadowing*

Dean guesses maybe a cross-roads demon, but no one is winning the lottery around there. Dean says that was his best guess.

Sam: I hope not, Dean. I could really use your help down here. (silence) Dean?

Dean: Yeah...uh. I, uh...just...I'm getting close, Sam. I can't drop the ball on Abaddon right now.

Sam: All right. Be safe.

They hang up and suddenly Crowley's voice is heard from behind Dean, just over his shoulder like the little devil he is (too bad the angel wasn't on the other side to balance him out), saying, "You're lying to Sam like he's your wife. Which...kind of makes me a mistress." Dean rolls his eyes, already hating himself for that brief moment of weakness where he called Crowley before thinking better of it.

Back in the IL police station, Sam overhears a woman telling the front desk cop that the demons are back. Of course, the cop talks to her like she's a harmless loon, but Sam steps up, shows her his FBI badge and takes her away to talk. After realizing that he wasn't looking at her like she was "nuts on toast" when she mentioned demons, she quickly deduces that he's one of the MoL's -- which sets Sam back on his heels a bit, the fact that she knows what the MoL's are.

Her name is Julia Wilkerson and she's a former nun. She tells Sam that in 1958, two of the MoLs came to the convent where she lived -- Henry...and Josie. You could see the words son of a bitch floating around Sam's head when she said Josie's name. For the sake of time (mine) I'm going to summarize a couple of scenes here in a group, but just know if you're reading this without having first seen the epi that as per usual, the episode shifted between what was going on with Sam and what was going on with Dean.

Basically, back in '58, a nun name Sister Mary Katherine killed two people and then jumped from the bell tower. Two people -- a priest and a nun (Henry and Josie) -- showed up claiming to be from the Office of Inquisition. Julia took them to Mother Superior and Sister Agnes for "approval" and then showed them Mary Katherine's bedroom -- the walls still smeared with blood and the symbol of the Knights of Hell carved into the wall. Henry assumes demonic possession, but both he and Josie look a bit afraid.

That night, Julia hears a noise and goes to investigate even though she's forbidden by the Mother Superior to leave her room after 10. She sees Mother Superior with demon-black eyes, gets knocked out, wakes up in the basement of the convent tied to a chair with a bunch of other people and sees Mother Superior and Agnes drag one of the people back to another room. She can't see what they're doing, but she's terrified. Henry and Josie burst in to save them and begin to exorcise all of the demons from the nuns. However, Mother Superior's demon is, well...superior and not only does the exorcism not work, Henry gets himself thrown against a wall and knocked out. Whoopsie.

The demon in Mother Superior wants to trade up with Henry, but Josie begs the demon to take her instead and spare Henry. She loves him, despite knowing he has a wife and a son and only loves her like a sister. Her sacrifice is noted and the demon says, "Abaddon takes what she wants and right now she wants everything." She black smokes into Josie, tells Agnes to keep doing what she's doing, says she'll destroy the MoL's after she's learned what she can from them, wakes Henry with a believable waver of nervous triumph in her voice, and the rest, as they say, is history.

When Henry and Josie leave, Josie admonishes the nuns to keep what happened quiet -- which is why the poor terrified young nun never said a word and what she's been punishing herself for ever since.

Meanwhile, back in KS, Dean is trying his best to stay buzzed and ignore Crowley, but the demon won't be ignored. He haunts Dean's pool game (and I've already told you how watching Dean play pool...did things to me), endlessly talking about why Dean called and hung up, why he's in this bar and not looking for Abs, etc. He finally lands on the fact that Dean is scared.

Crowley: Cain gave you his Mark for a reason. Rather than embracing it as the gift that it is, you're sulking like you lost your Knuffle Bunny.

Ha! Mo Chuisle loved the Knuffle Bunny books! Still does, truth be told. Even at seven.

Crowley: Why are you fighting what you really are?

Dean (finally looking at Crowley, his eyes dangerous): I'm a hunter.

Crowley: Who's a chip off the old Mark of Cain!

Dean (looking like Crowley was giving him a pretty good reason): When I kill, I kill for a reason.

Crowley: Who are you talking to? I know you're not talking to me. I saw you. I saw the two of you together. Nothing like Ca--What's in that bottle? Delusion? I'm really starting to worry about you, Dean.

Dean: Worry about yourself.

Crowley: Like it or not, we're in this together.

He then tells Dean that he's off to "water the lilies" and before I can get indignant about demons not having that particular human need, Dean is distracted by a young, nervous looking guy holding a rosary at the bar. The guy turned and pulls what's clearly a hunting knife from a sheath beneath his coat and heads after Crowley. Dean stops the hunter before he goes into the bathroom.

Dean: I'm Dean Winchester. And I know a hunter when I see one. You don't want to do what you're about to do.

Hunter: Why's that?

Dean: You're packing a knife to a demon fight and you don't stand a chance.

Hunter: I'll go down swinging.

Dean: Any other day I'd be right there with you, but you gotta trust me on this one.

Hunter: Or...you could grow a pair and come with.

Dean: When he's done with you, he's gonna go after your family, friends, hell, he'll go after your prom date. If you want to damn anyone you've ever loved on the slightest chance you could win, then go right ahead.

The kid relents, saying he has a kid sister who doesn't deserve that, shakes Dean's hand and introduces himself as Jake (I couldn't help but interject mentally "from State Farm") and Dean says he'll see him around. When Jake leaves, Dean pounds on the door and tells Crowley they had to go. Outside, Dean is waiting for Crowley with an impressive scowl folding his mouth into a frown.

Dean: Demons don't take leaks. Next time you want to shoot up, find a better excuse. Thought you were cleaning up your act.

Crowley: I was going to, but after very little soul searching I decided to embrace my addiction. What about you? Takes a junkie to know a junkie. You just want to touch that precious again, don't you?

Dean (shoving the instant, very real need  from his expression, his eyes dangerous once more, and his jaw so tight I thought he was going to break teeth): I want to kill Abaddon. That's what I want. Whatever happens with the Blade, I can't worry about that.

Crowley: Whatever helps you sleep at night.

Dean: What I want...what I fear, none of that means squat because this is the one chance that we have to kill Abaddon. I'm all in, no matter the consequences.

Crowley: So the plan remains the same.

Dean says yes, then walks off, curling in against the cold of night and the chill of his apparent new destiny. Any wavering he might have had after feeling the effects of the blade were gone now that Crowley backed his pride into a corner and taunted it with a stick until it came out barking and snapping and daring anyone to call him scared again. Damn if he wasn't going to use the blade to take out Abaddon even if it burned him up from the inside out...even if it destroyed his humanity, at least he will have done what he said he was going to do when he got the Mark in the first place: kill the bitch.

Yeah, Crowley played him once again and this time there was no reveal for Dean to kick himself later. He fought from the ropes and managed to get himself back in the center ring in a fight that could kill him and it's exactly what Crowley wanted. *grits teeth* Man, that demon is a clever bastard. I hope he meets the wrong end of someone's blade before this is all over.

Jake (from State Farm) walks up to Crowley saying that he was afraid Dean had 'made' him, but Crowley rightly says Dean had other things on his mind. And of course Dean saved him, he says. "We're besties. And now, he's ready."

Back in IL, Sam goes to the old convent. At night. Alone. In the dark. With only a flashlight. That's not dangerous at all.

Making his way to the back part of the basement, he sees a shelf with a bunch of glass jars filled with some glowing materials -- souls. He's jumped by Shady Van Guy, but stabs him with the Demon Killing knife (good thing the dude was a demon) and kills him. Just then, a demon nun clocks him good, sending him sprawling and he loses his knife. She picks it up and we see it's Sister Agnes, still doing Abaddon's bidding. She's been mining souls for Abs to turn into demons and create a demon army.

Yeah, that's really not good. Apparently, there are factories all over doing this. Sam gets hit again, but manages to get to his feet and starts to recite an exorcism, but Agnes chokes him until he can't breathe let alone talk. He manages to get his phone from his pocket and plays a recording of the exorcism. Brilliant! She releases him, trying to get to the phone and stop it before it reaches the end, which she does, but Sam manages to get his Demon Killing knife and buh-bye Agnes. Then, he releases the souls from the jars and we see Billy get his groove back and watch the others in the holding cells become themselves again as well.

Now they just have to cope with the fact that they did whatever they did...including writing bloody words on the wall of their cell. Years. Of. Therapy.

Sam says a sweet goodbye to Julia, absolving her of guilt of not telling Henry about Abaddon by saying that what she shared with him saved lives and he couldn't have done it without her. She watches him drive away, remembering how elated Henry had been about saving lives and making a difference with their noble work while Josie looked downright evil with her parting, cold smile.

Back at the bunker, Dean is once more at his table, looking through files and papers when Sam returns. Without much preamble, Sam grabs a beer and a stack of files and takes them to the other table, sitting down to start digging in.

Sam: You were right.

Dean (glancing over): About what?

Sam: Finding Abaddon ASAP. She's mining souls.

Dean (gaping with a W.T.F. expression): Why?

Sam (grimly): To create an army.

Dean looks a bit shell shocked, his shoulders sinking a bit as he looks down at his stack of paper. It's really on them now -- even if Crowley mentally manipulated him into being totally and completely sure that he was going to do this, damn the consequences to himself, now with the soul mining and demon army news from his brother, Dean really is all in.

I just hope they find a way to do it without losing him in the process. And I mean him him. Not just his Dean-shell. But everything that makes him Dean from the childlike sense of humor to the co-dependency issues to his selflessness. His humanity. *pleaseohpleaseohplease*

So, there you go! We have a two week break and the previews I saw had me wishing the time away. Two words: shower. scene.

See ya'll on April 15th!



( 75 Tall Tales — Tell Me A Story )
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Mar. 26th, 2014 11:06 am (UTC)
it's code for I'm falling apart inside and I don't know how to stop it but I can't figure out how to tell you and I really need you to see it and help put me back together.

My thoughts? This 'unspoken' behavior is what Sam was targeting with his 'we're not brothers' mindset--he wants Dean to say what he needs, not rely on their patterns of just guessing what the other needs because that has worked out so well in the past...not.

The only problem is, while Sam is probably aware that Dean is struggling, I don't think Sam is in an emotional state where he can see just how badly messed up Dean is, and Sam is trying tough love to get Dean to change his usual pattern.

This show better give us one phenomenal 'Sam saves Dean's soul' scene at the end of this season!!!

Why I loved Dean setting up the pool table scene--it was clearly something he did without conscious thought, implying that it is a routine action for Dean and it's a bit of wordless backstory into the character...It put me in mind of how heavy-handedly the writers stuck in the 'annual pilmgamage to Vegas' when they needed the boys to be there and it was clearly something just made up, whereas the pool bit was organic. I'd love to know if the physical direction came from Jensen or was Misha's idea.

When Sam walked into the convent I was internally shrieking 'no, bad idea, where's your backup?!' How far gone is Dean that he let Sammy keep going on this case alone?

I think Crowley is setting Dean up to become his First Knight. Crowley knows Dean will never see Crowley as his BFF, but he is manipulating Dean to see Crowley as his BAF (Best Adversary Forever.) So he is psychologically bonding Dean to him as the only person who understands...and I wouldn't be surprised if Crowley knows something else about the blade that he will be able to use to bind Dean to it in his service.

I repeat, we better get one hell of a Sam's saves Dean's soul scene at the end of this season!!!

Side note--the novice sister Julia Wilkerson was named after Jules Wilkerson who runs Superwiki :)

Re: the next ep preview--Kripke's avatar was Chuck. Jeremy Carver's avatar is the megomaniacal Metatron? Insert your own side-eye here...

On a personal note, how are things going with your mom and sibs and your own state of mind? Hug!
Mar. 26th, 2014 01:11 pm (UTC)
Misha did a cracking job and I loved this episode, great to see Henry back too. I always like your take on the episodes and I couldn't agree more with this:-
'However, I will say that while it showed Sam that he could do this on his own, it also showed how lost Dean is -- and Sam doesn't see it.........
I mean, whenever Dean say's "I'm fine" -- especially with that rough-assed tone like he's been chewing gravel all day -- it's code for I'm falling apart inside and I don't know how to stop it but I can't figure out how to tell you and I really need you to see it and help put me back together.'

Dean is in such a bad place, he's so open to being manipulated by Crowley, c'mon Sammy wake up! Like you I was really hoping Dean would call Cas for help. Again you expressed it so well:-

'He needed someone who would remind him that he is good and kind and brave and selfless and worthy of an angel's friendship. Of a brother's love.'

I really think this season is now shaping up to be one of the better recent ones and Jensen's acting is just outstanding. He just radiates pain, confusion and need so well.

Finally on a flippant note, Billy looked like Zachary Quinto! And yes, Dean in a shower scene next time woohoo! What a shame we have to wait!
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Mar. 26th, 2014 01:47 pm (UTC)
I loved this episode for all of the reasons you did. From Dean looking absolutely gorgeous to smart Sam making a return. I was struck by how beautiful Jensens jaw is, Misha has an eye for Jensen's photogenic qualities. I mean that in the respectful way not a creepy Misha is stalking Jensen way. He certainly got a great performance out of both Jared and Jensen.
I am sad that we have to wait so long for Dean's shower scene. Angsty and wet.
Mar. 27th, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
Misha has an eye for Jensen's photogenic qualities. I mean that in the respectful way not a creepy Misha is stalking Jensen way.

This really made me laugh! But it's totally true.
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Lata Ahuja
Mar. 26th, 2014 02:47 pm (UTC)
I loved this episode as well - I like the way the writers are building up Dean's Mark of Cain storyline. I can't wait to get to the point where Sam realizes the effect it is having on Dean and actually gets around to saving his big brother!

I found myself wishing that Cas was around to comfort Dean too, but I don't think he knows about the Mark of Cain. Since Dean got the Mark in "First Born", the only time we have seen Cas is in "Captives" - and he did not meet up with the boys in that epi. I wonder if Cas knows what the great burden is that comes with the Mark. I remember him narrating in some episode (back in season 6) that he watched Cain kill Able. Maybe he knows why Cain did it, and what the Mark of Cain signifies.

Sam: Maybe everyone has different reactions to losing their soul.
*wonders if that's at all foreshadowing*

I wonder if there is more to the effect of the blade than the power rush/ addiction. Dean's comments about not having time, or just wanting all of this to be over - seems like there is an internal deadline he is trying to meet. What Dean knows in some way that the cost of the MoC is him slowing losing his soul? (Is that is the reason Dean is not sleeping? Soulless!Sam never needed to sleep). I would think with Dean seeing how Sam was without a soul - this idea would probably terrify him.

Well...now we just have to wait for 2 weeks until the next episode. I am sure I will end up watching the promo multiple times, just to get that glimpse of Dean's shower scene to keep me going :)

PS: Hoping you will post more on "From Yesterday" to keep me distracted. I apologize, but I have never posted a review on that story - but I wanted to let you know I really enjoy reading it. I promise to post a full review once it is complete!

Edited at 2014-03-28 12:59 pm (UTC)
Apr. 14th, 2014 07:04 am (UTC)
I can't wait to get to the point where Sam realizes the effect it is having on Dean and actually gets around to saving his big brother!

You and me both, sister.

seems like there is an internal deadline he is trying to meet

Yeah, I thought about that, too. Like Dean is feeling the Mark burn through him, burn him out, and he wants to get this done, kill Abbadon, pay Cain back, and be done with it all...he just doesn't quite know what done means.

So..."From Yesterday" is finished. :) Hope that helped you pass a little of the time. I'll be posting a PDF sometime next week.

See ya soon!
Mar. 26th, 2014 04:54 pm (UTC)
I actually think that Sam is aware that Dean is in trouble and in what way. He saw the effect of the blade in Blade Runners, and he looked worried at the beginning of this ep. He knows, however, that he can't make Dean talk to him. Confrontation only leads to denial with Dean. I'm not sure what Sam could say at this point that would have changed anything for Dean.

The problem I see is that Sam telling Dean at the end that he was right about killing Abaddon only reinforces the direction that Dean is currently headed in.
Mar. 27th, 2014 08:29 pm (UTC)
It did look like Sam was worried, but it may be too little too late. Sam has boxed himself into this 'tough love' lesson since finding out about Dean having tricked him into that Gadreel possession. And now, whether it's the MoC's effect on Dean, or Sam's pushing Dean away earlier, or a combination of the two, Sam seems at a loss as to how to help Dean without backing down. Or is it that Sam's not sure WHAT he should do?

Grrrr... I wish we'd get ONE season from Sam's POV just to get an idea of where he's coming from and his motivations.

Either way, if they manage to kill Abaddon in the season finale, I think Dean will skitter off with Crowley to become his knight of hell and do his bidding. We'll spend season 10 breaking the MoC's hold on Dean and subsequently, Ruby's--- er.. Crowley's control. Interesting idea...

Edited at 2014-03-27 08:31 pm (UTC)
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Mar. 26th, 2014 05:56 pm (UTC)
What are you wearing, Jake from State Farm?
She sounds hideous.

I liked this episode. I did feel like it moved a bit slowly but at least the story is finally progressing. And another episode with no ugly words between the boys is a win for me.

I missed having more Dean in the episode. I've seen that they gave Jensen a little time off but I'm selfish and think he should not have time off! ;) The pool table. Racking the balls first with his arms. Holy....

I really love the actress that played older Julia too! She's good in everything I've seen her in and I thought she was quite good here.

It was good to see Sam hunting on his own. I agree that going to the convent alone wasn't the smartest but I felt like he really didn't have another option. The souls in jars was a bit cheesy for me, all tidily stacked on the shelf, but I don't have a better suggestion for visuals on them so good enough!

It looked like Sam might've had a problem with his not brothers edict this ep. I know he cares about his brother, now he just needs to stop being so stubborn and show that he cares. And you're right, where the hell is Cas? As far as I can recall, he does not know about Dean having the MoC - that should be an interesting exchange.

Great review as always!! April 15 and the shower feels so far away. :)
Apr. 14th, 2014 07:11 am (UTC)
Y'know what's funny? I didn't even notice that Dean was in this one less. I guess b/c the time he WAS in it was so captivating it didn't strike me.

It looked like Sam might've had a problem with his not brothers edict this ep

I sure hope so. Because if he doesn't let that go, he's going to lose his brother forever.

April 15th is soon now! :)
Mar. 26th, 2014 06:19 pm (UTC)
Excellent review, and such a good ep! Mr. Collins stepped right up. :)

Reading the Twitter feeds (and me being old, this was the first thing that came to my mind when hearing the title) - it was based on the Rolling Stones song 'Mothers Little Helper', which is about the sudden popularity of valium in the early sixties for mostly homemaking women. And if you read the lyrics, they are very, very apt for the whole ep.

Kids are different today, I hear ev'ry mother say
Mother needs something today to calm her down
And though she's not really ill, there's a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day

Mothers Little Helper. (Yes, they mis-punctuated it on the original release.)

And that's Dean, tranquilizing himself with liquor and the bar and pool - familiar distractions to keep himself from *thinking*. Because Crowley is right - Dean *is* scared. And who would blame him? I think the 1st Blade made him feel powerful - invincible (Cain certainly was) - made him remember Hell, and Purgatory. And Dean knows *exactly* how far down he can go - how dark he can get. And the 1st Blade can take him there, I think, pretty easily and painlessly and Dean. Is. Terrified.

Sam was Terminator without a soul - Dean, i think, is Lucifer. Absolute, lethal, and unstoppable.

I loved all the backstory - the origins of Abaddon, seeing more of the MoL - seeing that the demons *knew* about them! And poor, poor Josie - I wonder how long she stayed in Abaddon, seeing everything? Knowing everything? I hope she was released when Sam burned her body up in the trials and Abaddon left.

Sam did good, on his own, but yes - he was floundering a little without Dean, and I, too, hope he realizes how bad things are getting for Dean.

And Jenny O'Hara! (Old Sister Julia) She is awesome. It was so great to see her.

Hate that we have to have *another* hiatus until we see what's to come. But this was an excellent, excellent episode.
Mar. 28th, 2014 12:30 pm (UTC)
I think you hit the nail on the head
Dean IS scared. He's so afraid that he could turn into that the thing he most fears he's only good for: the blunt instrument, the efficient killer, that you can see it in the stiff way Jensen has Dean behave around Sam. Maybe he's afraid Sam will be his "ceremonial" kill and that after that the Blade will have him and he will loose all his humanity to it's power. ---shivers---
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Mar. 26th, 2014 06:20 pm (UTC)
before I go on I have to say ...... SHOWER SCENE .... bring it on. Can't beleive TptB are making us wait 2 weeks for it ;)

I really enjoyed this episode, it fact I'm really enjoying this season as a whole, it seems that Carver is finally getting his feet under him. And I can forgive him for giving Sam the trials cause now looking back you can see it leading to the Cain storyline. My hope now is that the Cain story will continue into S10 (making Dean have a relevent story in S10)

I enjoyed the boys being apart, I think that they need it for growth. But Sam's worried/surprised look when Dean told him to go alone ... c'mon Sam this is what you told Dean you wanted, why be surprised.

Misha hit it out of the park and he can certainly direct again, just make sure Cas is in it :) I actually thought he was going to be in this one, but I obviously got that one wrong. I am missing our Angel.

Well better get off to work. See you in a couple of weeks

Apr. 14th, 2014 07:17 am (UTC)
But Sam's worried/surprised look when Dean told him to go alone ... c'mon Sam this is what you told Dean you wanted, why be surprised.

Yep! Exactly.

Thanks for reading and as always for commenting. See you soon!
Mar. 26th, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
I'm going to ignored plots and stuff because I dont have the strength to even care atm. But I'll say that I'm liking what they're doing with Dean.

So, Ima just be shallow:
 photo tumblr_n30vb04Qor1spqk3ho6_250_zps07bf0934.gif

Idk if everybody who plays pool does that. But man, that was sexy.

We've to wait three weeks for the next episode and they give this in the promo to...torture us...(spoilery if you havent seen the promo)

 photo tumblr_n316yeCWq91s4slzko1_400_zpsb98644b2.gif

Seriously >__> how dare they. /iz dead

all those gifs come from tumblr

Mar. 26th, 2014 10:02 pm (UTC)
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Mar. 26th, 2014 07:22 pm (UTC)
Here via your link on spn_bunker, and I really enjoyed reading your 'ramble'. :)

I'm with borgmama1of5: I definitely get the impression Crowley is lining Dean up as his personal attack-dog. (I don't think I believe Crowley is back off the wagon, either. He's using the possibility to suggest that he understands, and to keep the boys underestimating him, I think.) And while I definitely need that to come back and bite him in the arse at some point, I do appreciate seeing a bit of full-on Magnificent Bastardry from him.

It really would've been nice to see Cas here. I mean, if anyone can understand being seduced by power and working with Crowley against his better instincts... But I absolutely believe Dean's self-loathing is capable of making him forget all that and see himself as The Worst Person Ever, Nobody Else Has Ever Screwed Up More Than Me. Especially with Crowley poking at all those fears about himself he's been keeping bottled up since Hell and using them to push him into defensive mode. Just, ouch.
Apr. 14th, 2014 07:24 am (UTC)
Thanks for letting me know how you found the 'ramble'! :) I'll keep posting the link over there.

Crowley is a manipulating lying liar who lies. And if Dean weren't so caught up in the effects of the Mark, I think he'd see right through Crowley's ploy. Now I'm mainly afraid of how much Dean will let the Magnificent Bastard play him.

But I absolutely believe Dean's self-loathing is capable of making him forget all that and see himself as The Worst Person Ever, Nobody Else Has Ever Screwed Up More Than Me.

HA! Yep, totally agree. Which is why it's going to take something big to haul him out of the hole inside of him that he's free-falling into.

Thanks for your comments! :)
Mar. 26th, 2014 08:17 pm (UTC)
I don't know if I'm going to get to sign in or not. At least it's let me get to your ramble. Just so you know, it's qultng1. :)

This was definitely a full episode, but I did keep looking at my clock. I'm glad we had this particular epi right now as it did answer some questions...and created more, of course.

I love that acress that played the ex-nun and her statement about being an ex-nun and knew all about complicated or whatever it was she said. Me: Ha!

I'm thinking that maybe with all the stuff that went down this week, maybe Sam will realize that he needs his "brother" as much as he needs a hunting partner. It almost seemed like he was getting there. It's just got to come before the end of the season!

I forgot that Misha directed until you mentioned it. He did do a very nice job of it. :D

My reaction to Dean playing pool was the same as yours. *whew*

Really looking forward to the remaining episodes!!!
Apr. 14th, 2014 07:26 am (UTC)
Hey, Nana. I am totally with you on Sam getting to the realization that Dean needs his brother back before the end of the season. Even if the Mark isn't completed by then, I really hope the brotehrs are back.

See you soon!
Mar. 26th, 2014 09:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks, as always, for such an interesting, comprehensive review. I enjoyed reading it.
Apr. 14th, 2014 07:26 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading and commenting! :)
Mar. 26th, 2014 10:23 pm (UTC)
I also started watching this episode not liking the fact that the brothers were separated but I must say that the way the episode developed was worth seeing. They managed to keep the two of them connected through the phone calls and making the hunt about Abbadon. I'm never satisfied with them not working together but this time I'm okay with it, we managed to see how dean is reacting and how sam is facing it wihtout loosing some sort of connection. It was nice to see how dean didn't want to answer the phone but did it anyway, I was sure too that he was going to hang up.

What I don't agree with is Sam not realizing what's going on. I think it's more not wanting to see because he should have to worry and that would mean seeing Dean as his brother again. He really is worried at the beginning and the way he asks for Dean's help and saying "be safe" even when it's clear Dean doesn't want to help him looks like he really sees there's something wrong but it's easier not to try and get to the bottom. Hopefully they will get there.

I have to say that I didn't understand the scene with Jake and Crowley about being besties with Dean, it was obvious that he tried to save the kid's life because evidently he wasn't going to be able to kill a demon with a knife. I don't think he was worried at all about Crowley. But yes, he played Dean again and he left the bar set on not caring about the consequences. Good for the show, bad for my heart. I'm guilty of having liked Crowley from the beginning but I'm gonna enjoy the moment Dean uses the blade on him.

All in all I liked the episode (much better the first few minutes getting to see Dean alone at the bunker. (Santa Madre de Dios! that face is gonna be the death of me, I swear, ejem.)
Apr. 14th, 2014 07:35 am (UTC)
I think it's more not wanting to see because he should have to worry and that would mean seeing Dean as his brother again.

That's a good point. He does see...he just has backed himself into a corner, so to speak, by saying they're not brothers, etc. If he would just come out and explain himself to Dean, or point out to Dean what he needs Dean to see that he apparently does....

Yeah, what was up with that whole Jake and Crowley bit? I mean, I get that they were setting Dean up...testing him or something. But it seemed a bit out of the blue.

(Santa Madre de Dios! that face is gonna be the death of me, I swear, ejem.)

This. :)
Mar. 26th, 2014 11:16 pm (UTC)
I was grateful the boys were in this episode more than I thought they would be.

For the First time in a LONG time I liked Sam. Did I like the way he was blind to Dean's dilemma? No. But Sam never seems to be wise to Dean's problems so that did not surprise me. But I was grateful for none of his dumb snide remarks about/to Dean. And he did a good job on his hunt. He acted and thought like a hunter and that has been missing for quite awhile. Just shows me that the REAL Sam Winchester is still out there and I have to hope he someday returns for good.

Glad to finally see some rash effects of the mark on Dean. Now that the blade has come into use we should be seeing more dangerous side effects on Dean. I look forward to that.

I, personally, did not find the background story on Abaddon and the MOL that important or interesting. And I thought the idea of "soul factories" around the world as ridiculous and unnecessary as the Leviathan's 'farm factories'.

For me the greatest evil, the biggest bad of this season is the crap going on between the brothers. I don't fear Abaddon at all and I do not understand why Crowley does. To me she is no different than Eve; big build-up, weak outcome. I actually dislike Metertron more than Abaddon (sorry for the spelling) and I would rather see Dean and Sam go after the evil angels rather than the demons. I was glad to see in the previews the two AssAngels are back.

Dreading the long break again. Hate when TV shows do this.

I wanted to let you know there is an hour-long radio interview with Jensen out there that I listened to the other night. I was glad to see Jensen views the show very much like I have and he makes some interesting thoughts and comments about Sam and the evolution of the show over the last 9 years.

My Best to You and Yours always
Mar. 27th, 2014 09:01 pm (UTC)
I, personally, did not find the background story on Abaddon and the MOL that important or interesting. And I thought the idea of "soul factories" around the world as ridiculous and unnecessary as the Leviathan's 'farm factories'.

Nailed it!! In addition to your mention of the leviathan farm factories replaced with soul-mining; insert Crowley instead of Ruby; insert Dean with addiction instead of Sam; insert MoC instead of demon blood. So like Abbadon mining souls, Carver and Co seem to spend a great deal of time mining previous seasons for material, so much so that I miss any nuance that show tries to communicate. How is it they've run out of original material?!

I miss Kripke. Since Revolution is likely going to be cancelled, perhaps he'll come back for season 10? That would be wonderful.

It was nice being reminded that Sam can hunt solo and not need rescuing, but it was sad seeing him worry about Dean and not know what to do about it. It's like he's boxed himself in with the tough-love edict and can't decide if he should drop it and try to reach out to a struggling Dean, or he just isn't sure what to do at this point.

For a smart guy, Sam's coming across awfully thick with regard to his brother because if he doesn't figure this out soon, it may be too late to reach Dean at all. *sigh*

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Mar. 26th, 2014 11:19 pm (UTC)
Sorry. The interview was at SupernaturalWiki.com. It is in transcript form also if you don't have time to listen to it. I wanted to hear the man's voice so I waited until the kids were in bed and I closed my eyes and imagined myself sitting across from him as he spoke :)
Mar. 27th, 2014 01:00 am (UTC)
This...this was a beautiful episode and it relieved me in so, so many ways. I'll take a puzzled Sam over a hostile one any day. He should know better, but I'd like to think that he is blinded by the fact that this is DEAN (and Dean can handle anything he is Big Brother) rather than Sam is Dense. But we'll have to see how that plays out.

Misha did an awesome job!! I am amazed and proud!

Apr. 14th, 2014 07:39 am (UTC)
He should know better, but I'd like to think that he is blinded by the fact that this is DEAN (and Dean can handle anything he is Big Brother) rather than Sam is Dense.

I could get on board with that. :)

Hope you're doing okay!
Mar. 27th, 2014 01:51 am (UTC)
Great Ramble! And I agree, this was a great episode. I was a little annoyed at Sam that he left Dean, when Dean was clearly not doing well. But I guess Sam is sticking to his guns. Although I did get the impression that he might be regretting it a little. He sure seemed to want Dean with him. I thought the asymmetry was interesting, last time it was Dean leaving and Sam jumping to go with him, but this time it was reversed and Dean wasn't interested in going with Sam. It is like the wheel has turned. Sam is getting what he wanted, I wonder how much he will like it. I liked the way it was directed. Everything flowed nicely, with good connections. I half expected some crazy stuff, this being Misha! I hadn't thought about the comment about everyone reacting differently to losing their souls. I hope that isn't what is happening to Dean. I wish we didn't have to wait two weeks to find out!
Apr. 14th, 2014 07:42 am (UTC)
Sam is getting what he wanted, I wonder how much he will like it.

Yep, exactly. :)

Thanks for reading and commenting! See you soon. :)
Mar. 27th, 2014 08:20 pm (UTC)
This episode was a very pleasant surprise to me. I was afraid we'd get much less Dean (yes, shallow me!) than we actually did, and damn he looked fine!

What really pleased me though was the whole Abaddon/Henry and Josie/Julia plot. There were no dull or boring moments, no empty places. I love it when SPN gives me good stories!

The only thing that bothered me a bit was that issue you also mentioned - Sam not realizing what's going on with Dean. (Or is he just not caring? Or waiting for Dean to admit it out loud?) But that aside, I actually liked Sam in this episode, which hasn't really happened much lately, and I missed liking him, so overall I'm very, very happy.

And of course, I enjoyed reading your review :-)
Apr. 14th, 2014 07:43 am (UTC)
Thank you as always for reading and commenting! So sorry it took me a bit to reply. I was trying to use the mini-hiatus to finish my last story.

Looking forward to seeing you after the next epi! :)
Mar. 28th, 2014 08:37 pm (UTC)
Hi Gaelic, great ramble. I certainly loved parts of this epi to bits; others less so. Sad to say, I find I'm simply not interested in anything Sam does or says these days. They really have managed to ruin the character for me. So since the episode was in two parts - Dean's story and Sam's - I really just focused on Dean's. I must add that I also liked the back-story on Henry and Josie, but that didn't have anything to do with Sam directly.

I thought that Misha directed this episode very well; loved his close-ups of our hero. However, I think that separating the boys in the story was for Misha's benefit - keeping the interacting groups small. It's the same thing they did in Jensen's first directorial endeavor - Bobby and Rufus together, and the boys together. This time it was Dean and Crowley together and Sam and OCs together.

But I digress. Jensen knocked it out of the park again showing Dean's pseudo-cockiness, weariness and fear of the Mark's consequences in equal measure. Like you, loved the flashbacks and Dean's desperation. And of course, everyone loved the "racking of the balls" Heh! Actually the whole conversation between Crowley and Dean in the bar was excellent and very well-shot.

I don't think Castiel knows about the Mark, and I like you, missed seeing him in this episode. Actually, I've missed seeing him interact with Dean in several episodes now. It seems like Castiel's story and the boys' are separate more often than not. They need to bring them back together again, but then I'm sure that Cas wouldn't appreciate Dean's involvement with Crowley now or with Cain in the past. So much potential friction!

Thanks for the wonderful ramble. I always love to read your thoughts. So, a short break and then we're on the road to the finale. Can't wait to see where they go with Dean's story and whether or not it will be a cliffhanger or resolved this season. I'm thrilled to be excited about our show again.

See you in a couple of weeks. Take care.
Apr. 14th, 2014 07:46 am (UTC)
Re: --
However, I think that separating the boys in the story was for Misha's benefit - keeping the interacting groups small.

Oh, I hadn't thought about that. Well, it worked for the story, too. :)

Thank you as always for commenting as you do. I'm sorry it took me so long to reply; was trying to get my story "From Yesterday" finished during the mini-hiatus.

Looking forward to seeing you after the next epi! :)
Mar. 28th, 2014 10:49 pm (UTC)
hey gaelic-it's meggin
Loved your ramble as usual and I am so jazzed that we finally get to see Dean struggle with a inner supernatural power that is as great a force as he is!

Dean is on such a downward spiral that I don’t think he would want to talk to Cas about what he’s going through right now, especially after the hard time he gave the angel about his working with Crowley, I think he’s too embarrassed to admit that he’s working with the smarmy KoH. It makes me think of the conversation they had when Cas asked Dean where were you when I needed your opinion (about working with Crowley) And Dean said, “I was right here.” But Cas told Dean he didn’t want to pull him back into hunting ( an excuse) coz Cas thought he could handle it...and also was a bit ashamed. And now Dean’s telling himself his angel buddy’s too busy with fallen angel/heaven civil war on earth to be interrupted by this problem Dean’s having. (an excuse) And so he pulls away because he doesn’t feel worthy to have a friend who is an angel. Just when he needs Cas most too.

I keep remembering that Dean's three worst fears are 1. abandonment 2. not being able to save Sam and 3.turning into a soulless killing machine. Right now Dean feels Sam has abandoned him as his brother. Right now Dean fears he cannot save Sam because Sammy’s new rules told him not to. And right now Dean fears that he could be taken over by the power of the Blade.

Dean spoke if his fear of being daddy's little blunt instrument before he went to hell. Then in hell he was encouraged to ply the trade of torturer and guiltily confessed to Sam that he kinda liked it. And finally in purgatory his skills as a hunter were honed to their sharpest point- no guilt just kill or be killed and he said it felt "pure". So I can see why all this training could make him "worthy" to wield the first blade.
But with all that inside him I think Dean fears that he will loose his thin grip on humanity and become the perfect killer if the blade takes him over. And if he becomes a soulless killing machine then yeah, Sammy's life just might be in danger ( at his hands no less!) and that has him freaked out! And you saw it too the way Jensen is playing Dean with stiff movements, like he’s barely holding on. And the way Dean is going back to all his old coping habits, booze, cheap bars and playing it all down in front of Sammy. Jensen is kicking this in the ass! Like you I’ve been on the edge of my seat and I can feel the stress ooze off Dean each time he’s on camera.

That pool table scene...the only thing that could have made it better would have been to have Dean in a T-shirt so we could have seen those biceps bounce when he grouped the balls with his forearms -Unf!

Oh, and I loved that Crowley referred to the Blade as Dean’s ‘precious’. I’m in the same camp as others who feel that Crowley is grooming Dean to be his personal enforcer. Since being Alastair’s star pupil Dean has hell’s street cred. So when Dean told Crowley he’s all in no matter what the consequences I winced. What if it binds him to hell’s ruler? That would be Dean’s worst nightmare!

Oh and the ex-nun was played by Jenny O’Hara and I loved the chemistry she had with Sam too! I love that Sam still has that kind of face that makes people open up to him!

A nice little side note was that the cool looking black car that Henry was driving was also an Impala-WOOT!
Apr. 14th, 2014 07:49 am (UTC)
Re: hey gaelic-it's meggin
I keep remembering that Dean's three worst fears are 1. abandonment 2. not being able to save Sam and 3.turning into a soulless killing machine. Right now Dean feels Sam has abandoned him as his brother. Right now Dean fears he cannot save Sam because Sammy’s new rules told him not to. And right now Dean fears that he could be taken over by the power of the Blade.

Yep. This whole storyline is a weight on Dean (that Jensen bears amazingly well). As long as they do it right -- meaning, don't make him go full-on evil, or kill him -- it could be pretty profound.

I didn't realize Henry was driving an Impala! That's awesome. :)

Thanks as always for commenting. See you soon!
Mar. 29th, 2014 07:31 am (UTC)
As to your preamble: It is interesting how in the lives of the Winchesters there always seems to be someone sacrificing themselves for the greater good, but also to keep a Winchester alive to be a part of that greater good, for however long necessary. It seems it has happened with Granpa, and father and, of course, the sons. Kinda makes one think that the whole family has quite the destiny to undertake and have guardian angels to watch over them until such time that it is time to pass the torch.

It does seem a little frustrating that Sam hasn't visibly noticed for us that Dean is falling down a very deep rabbit hole. I think subconsciously he sees the problem, and he is outwardly manifesting that with his pointed questions and in the tone that he is addressing Dean with. Sam's tone seemed less harsh, more brotherly to me in this episode than in previous ones, which gives me hope that Sam's conscious mind will eventually catch up with his unconscious mind and put two and two together that Dean is in real trouble here. You would think that Sam would see the signs of a rapidly sinking Dean given that he witnessed them back in S4 after Dean came out of Hell. Sam called him on his behavior then, so why doesn't Sam call him on it now. He is behaving in the same manner. I just hope Sam sees it all before it is too late. And if Sam knows his brother as well as he professes that he does, he should also realize that Dean is not someone that is going to come out and say, Hey, I'm sinking emotionally, or I'm dying here, and I need help, or make any kind of such comment. That is just not Dean. I am very much the same way. I will give hints to my family that I am troubled and would love some help/support or something, but to actually go to them and ask for said support, I just have a hard time doing that. I think I would rather be silent and suffer through my angst and pain than ask for support, love and help. If they don't pick up on my cues, then oh well, I say. And I do think Dean is exactly like this. Someone needs to approach him, but once someone does that, I think Dean will be more than wanting to open up. And if Sam thinks that Dean will change and be different - that's not going to happen either.

I'm not quite sure I agree with the assessment that Dean called Crowley for more than wanting to know if he found Abaddon. I don't see Dean as reaching out to Crowley because he might be the only one Dean can stand to be around. I just think Dean wanted to be alone in his misery and him calling Crowley and then hanging up was just wanting to see if Crowley had more info on Abaddon's whereabouts. And the quicker they find Abaddon, the sooner he will get the blade back because I think Dean just wants the blade again, he wants to feel that power, and someone has to find Abaddon for him to get the blade back in his hand.

Loved all your LOVES - and yes, I was also worried that Dean wouldn't pick up when Sam called, in fact, the way Dean grimaced the one time I feared he didn't pick up, but he did - much to my relief.

Questions: I would bet that one of the first things Dean did when they got back home was remove the scratches on his car. I don't think he would let his car sit like that for longer than was necessary. I don't think the Winchesters have even seen Castiel since Dean received the Mark of Cain. If you look at the episodes, not one of them has them together. So, unless they had a phone conversation where Castiel was told about him, I don't really think Cas knows. As for the souls, one review I read today remarked upon Death's comment to Dean back in S6 about the worth of souls and commented about how his foretelling about the value of a soul may eventually play out in the end of this season and possibly next season. That thought really intrigues me.
Mar. 29th, 2014 07:31 am (UTC)
*biffs him* Hello, Sam! This is your wake-up call. Act now, before it's too late! See, subconsciously Sam knows Dean is not right in the head and needs some help. This was Sam's opening, he should have stepped through the door. Instead he allowed Dean to slam it shut, and then Sam left, or should I say - walked away - just like in the past. Maybe Sam is just not ready to help Dean. Maybe he is still healing himself and just needs a little more time, but if he waits too long, it may be too late. Dean may be too far gone for anyone, including Sam, to save him.

I hadn't thought of Dean reliving some of his Hell memories when he was holding the blade, but the power he received from the blade and the power Dean felt while dishing out the cruelty in Hell could be much of the same. So, with that in mind, I am even more worried about Dean and where this is all going to take him.

Sam looks part annoyed, part worried when he hangs up, too. This was where I was basically like, "Well, you asked for this, dude. You said no brothers, 'just business' and you got it." My sentiments exactly. Sam can't have it both ways. Either you are brothers, and you act like it, or you aren't brothers and you stop asking personal question and you keep it strictly business. Again, the door was opening and Sam didn't walk through it. Too bad.

The whole interchange between Dean and Crowley was very interesting. The fact that Crowley called Dean on being afraid, I didn't think about that. Dean always has fear in him, but he moves forward nonetheless to complete the task at hand. Crowley was baiting Dean though, and his last comment that he has Dean right where he wants him has me very worried. I also think that Crowley knows a lot more about the blade and its affects, and that he is wanting to mould Dean into becoming his new pet and weapon in Hell, or should we say, his Knight of Hell. But, I also think that Dean is of the mind that he doesn't believe he will survive the fight with Abaddon. I think he is thinking he will either die from the fight or he will end up going to Hell as a result, either way, he is dead. And as borgmama so poignantly pointed out, we really do need to have us "one phenomenal 'Sam saves Dean's soul' scene by the end of the season."

I really do think that that is where they are going with this. Each brother came into this season with their own POVs. And when Sam received his own faculties back, those individual POVs broke the brothers apart. So, I think that one of the ways in which the brothers will be "put back together" so to speak, will be that they will see each other from the other's POV, meaning Dean will be in Sam's shoes and see Sam's POV and the same goes for Sam. And given their new viewpoints, it will put a whole new perspective and enlightening in their relationship, and instead of trying to get the other brother to "change" to their way of thinking, they will learn to accept that that is the way their brother is, you can't change him, so they learn to work with what they have and deal with and try to heal their relationship from their newly formed perspectives. I could be totally wrong about this, but who knows. It kinda does look like they are heading in that direction though.

So, I'm with you, whatever direction they take with this SL, I do hope that we don't lose the essence of who and what Dean is in the process. I just hope that there is enough of that Dean still deep down buried inside that Sam can bring him back to the forefront before it is too late when Crowley might own Dean's soul. As good as an adversary that Crowley is, and as much as some people love him (I don't though-I loathe Crowley) I do hope that Dean kills Crowley very soon. Crowley needs to be gone. I said it at the end of S8, and then all of a sudden he becomes a little more sympathetic, but I haven't forgotten how evil, twisted and manipulative he is, I just hope Dean and Sam don't underestimate him either and concoct their own plan to rid the earth of Crowley and send him to Purgatory where he belongs, and hopefully, where Benny will be waiting for him to completely rid the universe of Crowley.
(no subject) - metallidean_grl - Mar. 29th, 2014 07:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gaelicspirit - Apr. 14th, 2014 08:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 29th, 2014 04:48 pm (UTC)
I see the icon proceeds me ;)
The first thing I did after watching this episode was get all those awesome shots and make icons. Didn't the boys look good though?! And brooding Dean is just wonderful.

I really enjoyed this episode because I actually felt for both brothers - which I haven't been able to do for a while. And I really wanted to know what that blade made Dean feel and the Dean scenes were ONLY about that (and of course how Sam can't figure it out while Crowley can) which was perfect.

And all during Sam's hunt my heart was thumping like crazy. Is he going to get out of this one without Dean? Will Dean decide to go all of a sudden and end up rescuing Sam? etc. Which was thrilling and fun ;)

I loved finding out about when Abbadon took Josie over and the little story behind that - how she sacrificed herself instead of Henry.

Still, I couldn't help but think of what might have happened had Henry known.

Of course Julia is not to blame... but Henry? And the other men of letters? Henry was so naive... and neither Josie or Henry were up for the job they were assigned. Henry did not even question Josie/Abbadon when he was woken up. Did not check why the exorcism did not work. Did not look up the Knights of Hell and realize they couldn't have killed it.

He must have learned a bit more before he met Dean and Sam though. He seemed a lot more competent then :P

And saving Henry, ultimately, meant the death of all of the MoLs. It's the ever-returning theme of sacrifice that always hooks me when it comes to this show and our boys.

Wow... do you think that that was a theme the writers were trying to include here? That sacrificing ones self for another only breeds trouble? But what if Henry was possessed instead? Would that have changed things? Would Josie have been able to warn everyone? Abbadon could have killed her to shut her up.

Huh. That's another thing that's a question mark in my mind. Abbadon let Julia live with the secret and the demon left in charge even let her leave the order which seems rather un-demon-like ... I guess they knew she did not have it in her to tell? Or that no one would believe her? Wouldn't that be just awful to be in the convent knowing that the mother superior was a demon though...

The soul-going-back scene was beautiful but a little long for me. I'd have liked them to wiz back - knowing exactly which body where.

Dean's close-up as he gazed at his bottle on the desk at the bunker though.... awesome - as was of course the pool scene.

I've got a few other screencaps and gifs at HERE as usual and the icons in the previous posting.

Apr. 14th, 2014 08:04 am (UTC)
The icon = win. :)

Did not check why the exorcism did not work. Did not look up the Knights of Hell and realize they couldn't have killed it.


Thank you for the screen caps and for commenting and for throwing out some interesting questions to ponder and mull over. :)

See you after the next epi!
Apr. 3rd, 2014 02:04 pm (UTC)
Considering there is no episode this week, I am filling in the blank space by waiting until now to read your Ramble.

This was another good episode that gives me hope for a strong ending and a good start to next season. The story wasn't packed full of action, but the pacing made it work, balancing Sam and the case and Dean struggling with the Mark. Misha indeed did a good job with his directing!

Jensen knocked it out of the park as usual, especially as he didn't do that much, but you could see the struggle and his fear. (And yes on the shallow end of things, the pool thing - guh!)

And as much as I don't like the boys separated, Sam going off on this case by himself was actually nice. I missed seeing smart, competent Sam, and he delivered. The exorcism app is brilliant! And I think at this point, as much as Dean is struggling, I think they needed the time apart. Sam has sort of found his feet and self confidence back, so he's in a position to be able to help Dean when things get dark. And they will. As much as Dean is clearly suffering, there wasn't much Sam could do at that point. Dean isn't going to admit to it yet, and pestering him about it wouldn't get either of them anywhere. It's extremely frustrating that they both have to be pushed to the absolute edge before they admit that they have problems, but that builds drama, yeah?

I don't trust Crowley at all. The boys really shouldn't either, even with "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" thing they have going on. He's just too conniving, and there is a reason he's still here and other baddies aren't.

I enjoyed the flash backs with Josie and Henry, as learning back story is always good. And Henry is rather adorable (as well as showing where Sam and Dean got their bone structure from, cuz it wasn't from Grandpa Campbell). I also liked the little bit we saw of the Mother Superior / Abbadon before the demon swapped to Josie. Even if we hadn't known it was Abbadon because the exorcism didn't work, that actress had the inflections that Alaina uses as Abbadon, which was fun to watch.

And where is Cas, seriously?

I am very excited for where the rest of the season. And thank you for your Rambles again!
Apr. 14th, 2014 08:06 am (UTC)
Considering we had two weeks off...I filled the space finishing my story, "From Yesterday," and am just NOW getting to replies. *shifty eyes* So, um...you're forgive. ;)

Exorcism app! HAH! I didn't even think to call it that -- I love it. I want one!

It's extremely frustrating that they both have to be pushed to the absolute edge before they admit that they have problems, but that builds drama, yeah?

Agreed...and yes. Le sigh.

And Henry is rather adorable (as well as showing where Sam and Dean got their bone structure from, cuz it wasn't from Grandpa Campbell).

Laugh. Out. Loud. Literally.

Thanks for reading and commenting! See you after the next epi! :)
Apr. 4th, 2014 10:03 pm (UTC)
And here I am, two weeks late. I finished my super busy time with an over-the-top birthday party to wrap things up, and promptly got sick. Urgh. I'm on cold #2, and no end in sight.

There's one thing that has stuck with me this episode. It's a weird little thing. It's the nun's statement that she quit the order because they never taught her what to do when faced with real evil. That made me so sad! I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around why I feel this way, mostly because of the cold medicine. But I think if you have real faith in something good, that is EXACTLY what you rely on when faced with real evil. And she didn't have it. So sad.

I love ya, Lady! Thanks for being patient with me!
Apr. 14th, 2014 08:08 am (UTC)
How are you feeling now? Has cold #2 abate a bit?

It's the nun's statement that she quit the order because they never taught her what to do when faced with real evil.

It's so interesting that's what stuck with you. I didn't give it much thought until you said this, but the hubs and I are watching "Vikings" now and there's an arrogance about Christianity (as the story is being told from the Viking POV) -- as if the mere fact that they are Christians protects them from evil and when confronted with it, they find out that they are as vulnerable and powerless as anyone else.

When I saw that, I thought about what you said. And it made me ponder things. And life. And stuff.

I love hearing from you, be it the next day or two weeks later. :)
(no subject) - primrose_1 - Apr. 14th, 2014 12:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 5th, 2014 01:14 am (UTC)
Just need to say this:

Is anyone else intrigued by what triggers them to think supernatural and not sociopath when they see reports online like a teacher killing her husband? Even if she did -- literally -- beat him to a pulp.

I'm also part of the Criminal Minds fandom, so when I see things like that in a show, I think sociopath, too. I don't know how they differentiate. The two series should so do a crossover episode. Have real FBI agents encountering fake ones.
Apr. 14th, 2014 08:09 am (UTC)
A crossover Criminal Minds and Supernatural. That's just brilliant enough to be scary.

Although...with our boys' luck and track record, they'd be on the UNSUB list first. LOL!

Thanks for reading and commenting!
Apr. 11th, 2014 06:56 pm (UTC)
Hi, Gaelic! I'm sorry that I'm posting so late--it's not because I didn't enjoy your ramble, because I did, as always, love it! It's not even because I didn't like the episode. I thought it was well done, really, and Misha did a beautiful job directing it. Plus, Dean racking up the pool balls, damn! :-) Another image that will never leave my brain.

In spite of all that, the episode left me curiously drained. I actually had nothing to say--which my husband will attest, is almost never the case. Storywise, the show is at a tipping point with this episode. There's so many different directions they could go, and since they took me completely by surprise with last year's finale, I'm not even going to speculate on any of those nebulous future destinations.

I've been thinking about Dean now and then over the last couple of weeks, though, and I do have one thing to say about him. I miss him. Or rather, I miss the part of him that is currently being suppressed by the Mark, by his depression, by his feelings over Kevin's death and his broken relationship with Sam. I know you know what I mean--the goofiness, the unexpected tender spots--your final paragraph really hit home for me, you see.

It's almost worse, too, because of the fact that towards the end of season 8 and then the beginning of 9, we caught a glimpse of who Dean could be in his world. To me it seemed that until the angels fell, he was beginning to find some peace and growing into a leadership role. Sometimes he did remind me of John, but rather than closing himself off for protection as his father did, Dean was opening up. He was forming new relationships and respecting Sam in a way we didn't always see before(most of the time!). He was becoming a leader, a protector, even sometimes a teacher.

But now, it's all come crashing back down on him and he's not dealing. Sam I think is starting to realize what's going on--but I worry that he won't be able to get over his own (justifiable) anger in time to save his brother.

Sigh--I, too, just want Dean back. All of him. Is that too much to ask?

Apr. 14th, 2014 08:11 am (UTC)
I went back and read my last paragraph after I read this comment by you and I realized that you're right -- it's all I really want. Dean to make it out of this. He doesn't have to come back right now -- not for me, anyway. I mean, he can play through this storyline. But at the end of it, I want our hero back, not his shell, not an evil versioin of him.

And now, I don't think that's too much to ask.

After all, even after all his soullessness and demon blood addiction, Sam came back, right? So.... Tit for Tat. ;)

Thanks for commenting -- see you after the next one!
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