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Stream of Consciousness, Episode 5.18

end of the hunt

*is bouncing*

How much do I love our show??? THIS MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!

agt_spooky  said it best in her post earlier today: what a milestone this episode was! I never really gave much thought to a show making it to 100 episodes. Many of my favorites (Buffy, X-files) did without me taking much notice while others (Firefly) missed the mark by a country mile and I felt the loss.

But this show, these characters, this story has gripped me harder than I could have foreseen when those opening words: Lawrence, KS 22 Years Ago appeared on my screen. Much has changed in five years, and yet here we are, the whole, crazy lot of us. *grins at fandom*

I’ve stayed spoiler-free for this season—no easy feat, let me tell you—allowing myself only the previews tacked at the end of each episode to help me build anticipation. But they way they’ve crafted this season, anticipation took very little effort. I, like you all, have been twisted up with character-related heartache and have experienced more than one sleepless night thinking of the cadence of this plot.

*tries to collect thoughts*

I’ve written a lot of these rambles since I started posting them by episode in Season 3, and I think this one takes the cake for emotional mayhem. You ready?

 

Okay, I said I wouldn’t make a habit of this—and I won’t! I promise!—but I’ve added the song Innocent by Fuel to my writing playlist and I could not get these lyrics out of my head when watching both of our boys tonight.

Satan, you know where I lie
Gently I go into that good night
All our lives get complicated
Search for pleasures overrated
Never armed our souls
What the future would hold
When we were innocent
Innocent

Angels, lend me your might
Forfeit all my lives to get just one right
All those colors long since faded
All our smiles are confiscated
Never were we told
We'd be bought and sold
When we were innocent

This prayer is for me tonight
This far down that line and still ain't got it right

And while confessions not yet stated
Our next sin is contemplated
Never did we know
What the future would hold
Or that we'd be bought and sold
When we were innocent, innocent
When we were innocent

The opening scene with poor, downsized Zach was humorously disturbing. First? I laughed out loud when the angel introduced himself as “Zach” to the other forlorn drinker at the bar. Heh. His whining about losing the deal of the millennium had me smirking…until his “boss” showed up with all of  his angel might—since I’m pretty sure his boss is Michael and not God—blasting out the windows and setting fire to the eyes of the other bar patrons.

Naughty angel.

Zach implores him to “put me back in, you won’t regret it,” gets some instructions and after plucking a piece of glass from his whiskey tumbler, finishes his drink, exiting the bar with a little bounce in his step singing “Saints Go Marching In.”

*wants to poke him in eye*

Then we fade to Dean in a motel room—and you know you’ve watched too closely when every motel room looks the same…right up to that iron lattice work dealy-bob that is just inside the entrance—packing a box and sipping whiskey. Okay, well, so maybe he’s not so much sipping as POURING IT DOWN HIS GULLET.

Still, it takes a lot to say goodbye. To everything. And everyone. The last time he gave his life for someone—Sam—he fought to hang on to it right up to the very last second. He didn’t really even get to say goodbye to Sam, except for a threat to haunt him if he messed up the Impala. This time, he doesn’t get to say goodbye either because he knows they’ll stop him, even if he feels in his bones that what he’s doing is not only right, it’s the only way.

So, he has to box up the meager things that make his life his own: the leather jacket, the keys to the Impala, his Desert Eagle Colt 1911. He writes a letter (and, seriously, raise your hand if you’re dying to know what that letter said…yeah, me too) puts it all in the box and tapes it up, writing Bobby’s name on the top.

Sam shows up—out of nowhere. He’s just…there. The look on Dean’s face is satisfyingly shocked. Not just surprised, downright shocked. Sam makes some crack about a candy gram that I didn’t get, but then Dean demands to know how he found him.

Sam: “You’re gonna kill yourself, right? Not too hard to figure out the stops on the farewell tour. How’s Lisa doing, by the way?”

No one knows you like family. Even when you don’t want them to. Earlier this week I got a call from one of my sisters, asking if I’d read the book The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. I had—for book club—but told her I didn’t really recommend it. She wanted to know why and I shrugged it off by saying, “Oh, it’s just not really well written. Kinda dull, actually.”

“You’re such a bad liar,” she replied. “You didn’t like the book because it was pretty much our lives.”

Heh. Busted. That had been why she’d called—to commiserate with the only other person in her life that would get it. And here I thought I was being so clever. Family can be a minefield, man. And sometimes you almost want to step on a mine.

The look on Dean’s face as he stands in front of that mirror, holding the whiskey and looking at Sam, is of a man who has given in and is warring with himself with each breath that giving in is not the same as giving up. It’s practically radiating from him, an unspoken, weak declaration that this doesn’t make him a bad person. That he’s doing the right thing.

Dean: “I’m not gonna kill myself.”

Sam pretty much calls bullshit and says, “This is how it ends? You just walk out? How could you do that??”

Dean rears back at that, some of the fight returning to his eyes. “How could I? All you’ve ever done is run away.”

Sam: “And I was wrong. Every time I did.”

UGH. It’s such a tangle to be in, this moment. Because Dean had to live through Sam learning that life lesson. It’s so much harder to be the one left behind then it is to leave. Sam may now look back on all of those moments, realize his mistake, see that Dean stayed—every time he stayed—and admire him for that. But Dean’s carrying the wounds from Sam’s departure and he’s done with it. Sam saying “how could you do this” stung a bit, I think, because when you’re left behind…you don’t get to say that to anyone.

Sam tells Dean that Bobby’s working on something, but Dean doesn’t buy it. They’ve got nothing, and they both know it. Sam kinds sags into himself and says Dean knows he has to stop him. Dean squares up, going immediately on the defensive with a, “You can try, but you’re not hopped up on demon blood this time.”

Sam: “I know. But I brought help.”

Hello Cas. Shazam! Annnnd…they’re at Bobby’s. Books everywhere. Sam and Bobby searching for…who knows what. Dean’s pacing and ranting with frustrated sarcasm dripping from every word. Cas is standing back and watching the whole thing as only Cas can do.

Bobby wants to know what happened to Dean.

Dean: “Reality. Michael can ice Lucifer and save a boatload of people.”

Bobby: “But not everyone.” Meaning you Dean, ya idjit.

Dean: “If Lucifer burns this mother down and I could have done something, that’s on me.”

OH, the weight. Seriously—to carry the weight of all the lives he couldn’t save, all the lives he wants to save… it makes me hurt thinking about it. And it’s not just since this whole destiny crap came up. It’s been since the start. Since the very first episode. You saw it in the lines of his face when he shoved (a totally baby-faced) Sam up against the girders of the bridge demanding he not speak of their mother that way.

Bobby: “You can’t give up, Son.”

Dean, lips bouncing up in a snarl and an angry light in his eyes, replies, “You’re not my father. And you ain’t in my shoes.”

Sam gives him the seriously?? head tilt, and I have to say, that was mean. Considering Dean, himself, has said repeatedly that Bobby was like a father to him—because he desperately needed him to be so. But he meant for it to be mean. Because he’s feeling mean. That’s what you do when you’re angry and hurting. You lash out and you make others—especially and specifically those closest to you—feel bad with you. Lord knows my poor husband has been the victim of such a thing. And it’s because of that father-like bond that Dean reacted the way he did to Bobby’s plea.

I know I told you that you’re like a father to me, but I only meant it when I needed guidance, support, or someone to tell me I’m doing a good job, not when I need someone to jerk a knot in my tail or spin me back around. What do you mean I can’t have it both ways? Damn…you really are like my father.

Bobby shocks the room by pulling out a pistol and a bullet, setting both on the table. The boys might’ve been surprised, but I gotta say, I wasn’t. He says that it’s the round he means to put through his skull. He thinks about it every morning, but then he doesn’t do it because he promised Dean he wouldn’t give up.

OUCH. Dean swallows, absorbing Bobby’s reality and his reminder in a breath. I have a friend that reminds me a bit of Bobby. Fights the good fight every day because that’s all she’s ever known to do. But I know she pretty much has to decide every morning to keep going. Her honesty is both a humbling gift of friendship and a weight that I don’t always know how to carry. I rarely have the right words. Maybe I need to make her promise me not to give up.

Before anyone can do much in reaction to Bobby’s declaration, Cas grabs his head in pain, says something is happening, and is gone. The three hunters are left to stare at each other.

Cas is in the woods…somewhere…and the trees are all blasted down like they’d been around Dean’s resurrected grave site. In the center, the mud and leaves pulsate as if the Earth is…breathing. Before Cas can dig deeper, he’s jumped by another angel. Who looks like a cross between one of the Men In Black and The Geek Squad. The Angels in Black Squad? Cas goes all ninja warrior on them and ‘stakes’ two angel henchmen with those silvery sword thingies. Nicely done! He goes back to the spot and a dirty hand pokes through. Tilting his head in that dog-like curious glance, he reaches down and pulls out a body.

I had my suspicions in that moment, but literally forced myself to chill out and just watch to see what happened.

Back at Bobby’s, Sam’s giving Dean the whole Intervention treatment, blocking the fridge, etc., when Cas shows up with the body over his shoulder and barks, “Help!”

Bobby calls out, “Boys!” and the brothers hurry in. Aside: I love it when Bobby refers to them as ‘boys.’ Don’t ask me why. I couldn’t begin to explain it. The boys stare in shock at the body on the bed. It’s Adam.

Dean: “What the hell?”

Gaelic: DAMMIT!

I didn’t really like the idea of bringing Adam back. I mean one—they cremated the guy. Two—his character always seemed shoe-horned into an already complicated family lineage and storyline. And I didn’t like what his existence did to my picture of John and his already tumultuous relationship with his and Mary’s sons. But…I got over myself and watched.

Cas says that angels brought him back and that he needs to be hidden, so he does that whole Enochian branding thing. Okay, so…angels brought Adam back…and Cas was given a heads up…yet he’s cut off from Heaven…which is where Michael’s hanging out giving orders…so either he caught a stray angel-wave…or someone warned him. Someone powerful enough to speak to Cas and not in Heaven. *smiles*

Adam wakes up, understandably confused at first. I had just wondered aloud if he’d know anything about the boys—since the real Adam had been dead long before they met GoulAdam—when he says that he does know who they are because the angels warned him about them. *writers side-stepped that one* Then, in a very Dean-like voice, demands to know where Zach is.

Come to think of it…Adam’s kinda dressed like Dean: black T-shirt, olive-green/gray long-sleeved shirt. Looked good on him. Maybe they dressed the body in Dean’s clothes before burning it? Or maybe…Adam just takes after Dean. *ponders* They let him get cleaned up a little, give him a drink, and then Dean wants to know the story, from the beginning.

Aside: I like how Dean’s sitting on that chair—straddling the seat, leaning on the back. Oh, shut up. *smirk*

Adam says that he was dead, in Heaven (so…he gets to remember??), except that it looked like his Prom and he was with Christie McGee. Dean, true to form, smirks and asks Adam if he got to 3rd base. Heh. Sam primly clears his throat and Dean’s all, “What?!”

Tiger don’t change his stripes. *grin*

Aside: What the hell is up with Sam’s hair?? Is he going for the MacGyver look? It’s getting freakin’ LONG. Sorry, sorry. I’m done.

Adam tells them that the angels informed him that he was chosen to save the world. He and Michael are going to kill the devil because he’s the sword or vessel or something. Dean calls bullshit, but Cas is all, “Fascinating.”

Cas: “He’s John Winchester’s bloodline, Sam’s brother…”

Hmmm…which, if that had been true, that would mean John = angels, Mary = demons. Interesting.

Dean: “You gotta be kidding me.”

Sam: “Why would they do this?”

Cas: “Maybe they’re desperate. Maybe they wrongly assumed Dean would be brave enough to withstand them.”

Wait, what? Cas, honey, that doesn’t even make sense. If they had assumed Dean would be brave enough to withstand them, they wouldn’t have started on this path in the first place. You’re showing your hand, my angel friend. Dean rolls his eyes and tells Cas to blow him. Heh.

Meanwhile, Sam is having a conniption fit. “After all that crap about destiny, suddenly the angels have a Plan B??”

Atta boy, Sammy. You just keep asking questions. It’s what you’re best at. Adam, however, is rather bored with the pondering and musing going on around him and is all, “this has been fun, ya’ll, but I got a thing, so…”

Gotta say, at this point? I kinda liked GoulAdam better. It really took me a bit to see things from Adam's perspective. Sam gets Adam to wait, to listen. Bobby is watching Adam closely, but I can’t tell what he’s thinking. Sam tries to tell Adam that the angels are lying and Adam, understandably, is all, “whatever, they’re angels,” which of course = truth. You’d think. Sam tries to go with the “there’s another way” theory that he’s been unsuccessfully pitching to Dean.

Dean doesn’t help by slipping in a sarcastic, “We’re working on the power of love…”

*rolls eyes* Not. Helping. Dude. Although, the quick back-and-forth between Adam and Dean in that moment showed another way those two brothers were similar. Very similar, in fact. Sam asks for more time and Adam wants one good reason he should.

S: “Because we’re blood.”

Dean looks doubtful, watching Adam from the tops of his eyes.

A: “You got no right to say that to me.”

Bobby: “You’re still John’s boy.”

A: “John Winchester was some guy who took me to a baseball game once a year. I don’t have a dad. We may be blood, but we are not family. My mom is my family and if I do my job, I get to see her again. She’s the one I give a rat’s ass about. Not you.”

Huh. Interesting yet again. In another time, Adam and Dean could really bond. Dean looks down with a half-grin of grudging respect on his face. ‘Cause he just heard his own heart with different words.

Sam tries again, begging for more time. And I really like the way he says, “Please.” He spits the word out of him, like he’s trying to say it and swallow it at the same time.

Adam agrees and next thing you know, he’s eating a…mystery sandwich in the kitchen, notices that Bobby turns away, and tries to sneak out only to be caught by Sam. He correctly assumes that the “dewy-eyed bro-mance” was just another ploy for “lockdown” and Sam and Adam have themselves a chat. Honestly? Until this moment? I was trying to figure out how I wanted them to kill him off.

Sam: “Dad was trying to protect you.”

Adam: “Guess the monster that ate me didn’t get that memo.”

Ewww…he remembers that. How horrible. Just... ack. As they continue to talk, I found myself wanting to flick Sam in the forehead.

Sam: “Only thing worse than seeing {John} once a year was seeing him all year.”

Really, Sam? After all you’ve been through, all you’ve learned, all you’ve seen…after telling your father in his youthful form that you forgive him…after knowing what you know of how your brother lived…that’s what you pick to go with for a bonding ice-breaker? *shakes head*

Adam calls bullshit and says he would have taken anything. It was just him and his mom, and he would have taken anything of his father. This humbles Sam a bit, as well it should. John won’t win any ‘father of the year’ awards, but anyone who has a child knows that’s an achievement very few can claim. It’s tough being a parent. You screw up every day. Some days worse than others. And no matter how hard you want this moment to be different from any moment you experienced yourself as a child, you end up repeating things you swore you’d never do.

But if you love your kids…if you work your ass off loving them…then you make it through. And John loved those boys. And he had it a little tougher than most, what with the monsters out to get them.

Sam says that if they had known about Adam, they would have found him. But now that he’s here, everything’s gonna be different.

A: “What? We gonna hop in the family truckster? Pop on down to Wally World?”

Okay, that was a little funny. He made me grin. Mostly…’cause he reminded me a lot of Dean.

Sam tells him that with an attitude like that…he’d fit right in. Made me feel a bit sorry for Sam; he’d really enjoyed being a big brother for awhile, teaching GoulAdam how to shoot and the ways of a hunter. *rubs heart*

Dean, meanwhile, is wearing a hole in the panic room floor. Sam opens the door and he and Cas stare in at Dean.

Dean: “Cas, not for nothing, but he last person who looked at me like that…I got laid.”

He winks at Cas. BWAH! Okay, so it pissed Cas off even more, but that wink? Was freakin’ adorable. *sighs*

Dean wants to know if the panic room is really necessary, but Sam tiredly says they have their hands full with a houseful of flight risks. I really feel for Sam in this moment—but it occurred to me that he was so busy keeping his bros from becoming angel hosts that he didn’t have time to worry about becoming Lucifer. Hmmm…

Dean says he’s not going to let Adam do it; Sam replies that he’s not going to let either of them do it. Dean sits down slowly, as if he weighs a thousand pounds and I was acutely reminded of the moment in Croatoan when he wouldn’t leave a blood-infected Sam. “I’m tired, man. I’m tired of this life…this weight on my shoulders…” *rubs heart again*

They have the world’s softest argument, their words swinging like slow-motion blows. Dean asks Sam to think about how many people he’s gotten killed: Mom, Dad, Jess, Jo, Ellen…

Sam: “It’s not like we pulled the trigger.”

Dean: “We may as well have.”

Dean is tired of fighting who he’s supposed to be. They’ve worn him down. He’s giving in. No one else has to die because he’s stubbornly fighting against the inevitable.

Sam: “Can you take half a second and stop trying to sacrifice yourself? Maybe we could actually stick together?”

Aw, Sam. God, what a tough position for him—to be yet again faced by a brother who is willing to die to save him. And others, too, but also him. He didn’t have a choice before—he was dead, he couldn’t stop him. But this time he can. He can try, at least.

Dean: “Don’t think so.”

Sam: “Why? I really want to know.”

Me too.

Dean: “Because I don’t believe…in you.”

OUCH. It wasn’t said maliciously. It was just honest, and his eyes looked weary as he said it. His whole being looked weary. Demon blood, demon chick…sooner or later, Dean’s sure they’re going to find a way to turn Sam. And while it hurt to hear him say that, I couldn’t blame him. Dean may have given in to baser instincts—whiskey, women, fast cars—but he’s spent his life resisting evil.

Even if he did ‘forgive’ Sam for succumbing to Ruby’s temptation, even if he takes on equal share of the blame for the apocalypse, he’s still worried. Because Sam gave all the way in. He beat Dean to a pulp to go with Ruby. His eyes went black. He was all the way there. That’s scary to know and hard to trust that it couldn’t/wouldn’t happen again. And then when Famine came, Sam wasn’t able to resist the hunger for blood. Sure, he used his powers to eliminate the Demon Secret Service, but…I don’t blame Dean for doubting.

Sam’s tears hurt my heart, because it’s the last thing you ever want to hear. That your hero doesn’t have faith in you, when all you can do is hang on to your faith in him. But Dean saying that it isn’t that Sam isn’t strong enough—it’s that he’s angry…he’s self righteous…and that it was only a matter of time felt honest. Painful, but honest.

Sam: “Don’t say that to me…you of all people.” *tears*

Dean: “I don’t want to.” *voice breaks, but jaw tightens* “But it’s the truth. And when Satan takes you over, there’s gotta be someone there to fight you and I can’t be some kid.” *looks away* “So it’s gotta be me.”

Okay! I surrender! I am waving my flag. At this point I just wanted them to do it and get it over with. One more edge and I was going to tip over. Sam leaves and heads back up top. Bobby asks how Dean is, and Sam can only frown. Softly, Bobby asks how Sam is, and his eyes reflect the pain his brother’s words dug up. *sniff* Cas heads down to the panic room—presumably to talk some sense into Dean—but Dean tricks him and uses the Angel Banishing Symbol to send Cas away.

He sneaks out, grabs one coat and discards it, then grabs another and exits through the storm cellar door.

Adam is sleeping (and dude, seriously, the kid sleeps like the dead) and Sam hurries in saying that Cas has been “blown to Oz” and Dean is gone. He tells Bobby to watch Adam.

B: “How? You may have noticed he’s got a slight height advantage.”

Heh. Oh, Bobby. Don’t ever change, man.

Adam, meanwhile, is dreaming. Zach, of course, finds him and fills him with confusion. They’re at the park Adam’s mom used to take him on her days off. Zach dangles his mom like the proverbial carrot, practically sing-songing, “Do want I want and you can seeee heerrrrr…”

He says the Winchesters are psychotically, irrationally, neurotically co-dependent and can’t be trusted. But…Adam has doubts. Zach says that the brothers would rather save each other than the planet. What he doesn’t realize is that that’s the whole point. By saving each other? They DO save the planet. They save the whole reason why the planet is WORTH saving in the first place.

Angels. Bah.

Outside somewhere, we have a street preacher spouting that it’s the End of Days. The angels have told him, etc., etc. Dean walks up—totally looking like 2014Dean in the borrowed jacket. Seriously. Toe. Curl.

Dean: “I’m Dean Winchester. Do you know who I am?”

Preacher: “Dear God.”

Dean: “I’ll take that as a yes.”

Hee.

Dean tells the preacher to pray and tell the angels he’s there. Cas shows up, does the whole Vulcan sleep grip on the preacher saying he prays too loud and then proceeds to BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF DEAN. Seriously, he goes all out. Dean doesn’t even have chance to block a punch or return a blow. He’s bleeding and weak and staggering.

Cas: “I rebelled so that you could surrender to THEM?!”

Oh, Cas. Seriously, at this point, I had my hand over my mouth.

Dean gasps a broken, “Cas….please.” It cannot be easy getting wailed on by an Angel of the Lord.

Cas: “I gave up everything for you and this is what you give to me?!”

Cas kicks him—wicked hard—and sends him sailing back into a chain link fence. Dean is down, bleeding, beaten, and looks up weakly. Cas stands over him, fist clenched in fury.

Voice shaking, Dean demands that he, “Just DO IT.” Kill him. Deliver the ending blow. Take this all away from him. Please. Let it end. Let there be an end.

But of course, there’s no such mercy. Cas relaxes his fist, then puts Dean to sleep with a touch. Back at Bobby’s, Sam is freaking out. Adam’s gone. One minute he was there, the next, nothing. Cas shows up, Dean slumped in his arms, face bloody, and says that angels took him.

Sam gapes at his brother. “What the hell happened to him?”

Cas: “Me.”

Heh.

He drops Dean on Bobby’s make-shift bed and says that Adam had to tip the angels off in a dream, then realizes where he went: Heaven’s Green Room. And tiger/strips analogy plays out once more as Adam sits in the Green Room noshing on burgers and beer—ala Dean—and asks Zach if they’re ready. Y’know, for Michael.

Zach: “Yeah…about that…”

I KNEW IT!! I knew that slimy bastard was just using Adam as a ploy. A way to get Dean over the edge to say yes. Okay, that? I could handle. Using him as a ploy, as bait, worked for me because it was ultimately still about our boys and their fight. If Adam had been a plausible vessel it would have made this whole year a pointless struggle through heartbreak and exhaustion. And I’m talking about my own!

Zach’s all smug about having to ‘terminate’ Adam’s position and that he’s not the chosen one so much as bait.

Z: “The Winchester’s have one blind spot: family. Sam and Dean will put aside their differences and come get you and that’s gonna put Dean riiiiight here.”

Poor Adam. He tears up declaring, “I’m not gonna let you do this.” And then he starts to throw up blood. Whoops.

Dean wakes handcuffed to the bed in the panic room. “Word to the wise,” he groans to Sam, “don’t piss off the nerd angels.”

Sam tells him that Adam’s gone—the angels have him—and Dean’s game face slides on seamlessly. Sam says he knows Adam’s in the Heavenly Green Room, but that’s guarded heavily. Pretty much a no shot in hell, Hail Mary sort of thing. As usual.

Dean wants to know what he’s gonna do and Sam says he’s taking Dean with him. Cas and Bobby don’t think it’s a good idea, but Sam doesn’t agree. While Dean does a very good impression of a five-year-old, saying, “I’ll say yes! I’ll do it! I will!” I couldn’t help but cheer inside.

This is what I was talking about. When Dean dropped that amulet in the trash, he was begging someone to SHOW HIM they had faith in him. SHOW HIM he could do this. Not tell him they couldn’t do it without him. Not expect him to “do the right thing” because that’s just what he does. Not expect him to resist because they promised him they wouldn’t give up or because they gave up everything for him. Not put their burden on him.

But SHOW HIM that he was enough. Just because of who he was.

Sam: “No you won’t. When push shoves, you’ll make the right call.”

Dean: “If tables were turned, I’d let you rot in here. Hell, I have let you rot in here.”

Sam: “Yeah, well, I guess I’m not that smart.”

Dean: “I don’t get it. Why are you doing this?”

Sam: “’Cause you’re still my big brother.”

Gaelic: WHAAAAA!!! Okay! Group Hug! Seriously, boys, I’m completely verklempt.

Okay, I have no idea how to spell the city they were in in CA, so feel free to point and laugh and correct me. Venice, CA? VANnice? Apparently the Beautiful Room, as Dean called it, was in an abandoned warehouse in CA, not, as he’d wondered, on Jupiter or a blade of grass. Hee. He makes me laugh. Cas has to go in first and take out five angels. Which…um, yeah. Suicide mission much?

Cas: “Maybe, but then I won’t have to watch you fail. Sorry, Dean. I don’t have the same faith in you that Sam does.”

That’s okay, actually. Because Sam’s the one that counts. Sam’s always been the one that counted when it comes to Dean doing his job, feeling his worth, surviving just one more day.

Cas pulls out a box top opener, grimacing.

Sam: “What the hell are you gonna do with that?”

Oh, boy. *watches through fingers*

Cas goes in and there’s a building w/in the building that looks like it might’ve maybe been and office? Dunno. They really get their money’s worth out of sets, though, because I think this was the same warehouse where they trapped Gabriel in the burning ring of fire. Not same location, just same set. He quickly takes out Angel Henchman #1 leaving two of the shiny swords on the ground. Four more Angel Henchmen surround him and Cas challenges them to charge, which they do. But not before he rips open his shirt and exposes that angel banishing symbol CARVED INTO HIS CHEST.

OUCH. He touches it and banishes them all—including himself. Oh, boy. Well, he’s been banished a time or two before. I doubt he’s dead. I imagine he’s probably worse for the wear, but I’m confident we’ll be seeing our favorite Holy Tax Accountant again before all is said and done.

Dean goes in alone, enters the Beautiful Room, sees Adam on the floor, bleeding, and makes a beeline to him. Adam’s surprised he came, but Dean’s like, “we’re family.” It’s a trap, though. Which Dean figured. They start for the door and Zach shows up.

Z: “Did you really think it would be that easy?”

D: “Did you?”

Sam lunges with one of the shiny angel swords at Zach’s back, but Zach flicks him across the room, crashing him hard against the wall. Dean calls out Sam's name, but is still holding Adam. Zach yammers a bit about patients and suddenly Adam is throwing up blood again, falling to the floor. Dean demands he let them go, but Zach is too busy talking about how he should have trusted the boss-man (Michael, I assume) and that it’s all working out like he said.

Zach: “You, me, your hemorrhaging brothers…”

Dean looks over at Sam, horrified, as Sam doubles over in pain, coughing up blood. Dean’s eyes go wide, almost luminous with fear, pain, and helpless rage. Sam’s curled on the floor, gasping, coughing up blood. Adam’s curled up at his feet in the same condition. And Dean stands there, practically trembling from the need to fix this.

His face fisted in unspoken pain, he demands Zach stop it right now. “Please! I’ll do it!”

Sam looks at Dean, gasping Dean’s name in denial.

Dean: “Call Michael down, you bastard!”

Zach: "How do I know you're not lying?" 

Dean: “Do I look like I’m lying?”

Zach starts to chant something and Dean looks down at Adam, the tight, pained expression on his face deepening. He looks over at Sam, who is weakening, his face screaming the “NOOO!” that his voice lacks the strength for. His eyes beg Dean to take it back. And the look on Dean’s face as he stares at his brother breaks my heart. So much pain and loss and regret…and then….

Subtle, almost imperceptibly, something shifts in Dean’s eyes. There’s a sudden light there and the lines at the corners smooth out. His brow relaxes, and his lips tip up.

And he winks at Sam.

*THUD*

That was my heart falling out of my chest. I love this character beyond what is probably healthy. That moment is cemented in my top five favorites in the five years of the show. AWESOME!!

Zach’s busy calling down Michael and Dean interrupts.

D: “Of course, I have a few conditions. People whose safety you have to guarantee…but most of all, Michael can’t have me until he disintegrates you.”

Zach’s all, “I’m sorry, what?”

Dean: “Before Michael gets one piece of this sweet ass, he has to turn you into charcoal.”

Zach gets up in Dean’s face, gripping his shirt, all, DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! “Michael’s not going to kill me.”

Dean: “Maybe not. But I am.”

WHAMMOO!! Out comes the 2nd silver sword thingy that Cas left behind when he bamphed out of there. Dean thrusts it through Zach’s jaw up into his head and the blinding white light illuminates everything—turning Dean’s eyes silver for a moment—and Zach falls dead, the ashes of his wings spread out on either side of him.

YESSSS!!!! *does happy dance*

ETA: I have to put this in here as I was reminded below by erinrua that up until now we've been told that only angels can kill angels. I registered that when watching but failed to capture it accurately while rambling. This. Is. Big. Not sure how big or why big, but it's BIG. *squeeee*

Meanwhile, Michael is still on his way down, so Dean helps Adam to his feet, determines he can walk, then goes to Sam, lifting him up and half-carrying him out of the room, calling over his shoulder to Adam to hurry…only Adam gets trapped inside. And Michael descends. All we see is blinding white light beaming from every crack in the room. Dean sets Sam down and tries to go back for Adam, but he can’t get the door open.

Then the light is gone. Dean opens the door and it’s just an abandoned office. No Adam.

Later, in some truck they apparently stole (since Cas beamed them to VanSomething, CA), Dean’s driving. Sam wants to know if he thinks Adam’s okay, but Dean doubts it. Cas either. “But we’ll get them,” he says. With utter and complete confidence. With his old voice. The voice infused with the strength that got him this far.

Sam: “I saw your eyes. You were totally rocking the ‘yes’ back there. What changed your mind?”

Dean: “Damndest thing. World’s coming down on us. I look over at you, and all I can think is, ‘that stupid son of a bitch brought me here.’ I didn’t want to let you down.”

Sam: “You didn’t.”

Dean: “I owe you an apology. Maybe it’s part of being a big brother…but to me, you’ve always been this kid I’ve had to keep on the straight and narrow. If you’ve grown up enough to find faith in me, at least I can return the favor.”

Sam’s grin is buoyant.

Dean continues: “Screw destingy. I say we take the fight to them. Do it our way.”

Sam’s grin widens. “Sounds good.”

The music is appropriately rocking—not a classic rock song, but heroic and very “into the fray.”

It’s hard to recognize the moment when the person you’ve been raising actually becomes the person you raised. It’s hard to let go. But the moment you do, you realize you’re not really losing anything except the weight of obligation. You’re actually gaining a friend and keeping a partner.

I know Cas will be back. I mean, I don’t know know it. But I know it. His faith must also be restored for this story to truly come full circle. His faith in God, in himself, and…in Dean.

I don’t really care if Adam’s gone or if he comes back down the road. They gave him enough of a tough personality that he won me over in the end—and he realized that the boys were his family. Not just blood. If they bring him back, I hope it’s not to rub John’s name in the mud again. We get it. He screwed up. But he also managed to raise some pretty amazing men. Somehow. Chuck survived contact with an arch angel—but he was a prophet. Maybe the fact that Adam was literally Phoenixed back to life will aid in his survival. Maybe he’s another casualty of this war. I don’t actually care either way in this moment. He served his purpose: he was the catalyst that got Dean back in the fight.

Really in the fight. Not just going through the motions. Not just desperately asking, “Are you with me?” Not moving forward because he doesn’t know how to quit. But believing that his brother, whom he spent his life watching out for, actually has faith in him. That he’s worthy of Sam’s faith.

I haven’t felt this good at the end of an episode in months. We’ve got four episodes left and a lot of ground to cover. They may be united; they may have passed this test; but I’m not sure we’re out of the woods quite yet. We have some weary, battered warriors on Team Free Will. And they’ve gotta keep their strength up if we’re going to end this fight this season. There’s still another horseman yet to come…and we haven’t actually seen DEATH yet.

But now we have our boys standing side by side, looking in the same direction. *rubs hands*

Wait…what is that? Do you feel that, too? Is that…dare I say it…hope?

*wink*



 


Comments

aacoustical
Apr. 17th, 2010 05:12 am (UTC)
;) If it makes you feel any better I'm a total nerd about their weapons too and Dean's Colt 1911 is just so damn pretty with its mother-of-pearl grips.
laurie_bug
Apr. 18th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
Gun geeks unite! (grins)

Yeah, as a child of the '60's, a good portion of the tv shows and movies were Westerns, so I've always had a thing for shiny guns - and the handsome guys who wield them.

If I had a few hundred spare $$$'s, I'd love to have a replica of the gun Clay Mosby is pointing in my icon -- a nickle-plated 1875 Remington Outlaw. Niiiiiiice.

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