Oh, these guys. They are gonna run me down and back up over me before this season is over.
So, I owe ya’ll an apology. Firstly, I saw the previews for this week at the end of last week’s episode and since I start writing these things all juiced up on literally just having seen…, well, I didn’t separate out what was actually in the episode itself and what was in the preview—namely Sam sans soul. So I interspersed my interpretation of episode 6.06 with the ‘knowledge’ that Sam didn’t have his soul. I’m sorry that last week’s ramble was a bit of a spoiler zone if you hadn’t seen the previews. And as a spoiler-phobe, well, I should know better. *bad Gaelic*
Secondly, in my replies to some of you who were aghast at Dean hitting Sam repeatedly at the end of the episode, I said that it was a relief to me for a number of reasons: 1) Dean wasn’t being a doormat, rolling over and giving in and saying it’s okay, Sammy, we’ll work it out, 2) Dean had been ‘wronged’ by Sam on multiple levels, from being kept in the dark about Sam being back from Hell to Sam allowing Dean to be turned into a vamp and finally, 3) Dean was reacting to his brother and the anger he felt there and wasn’t saying, essentially, screw it and putting a bullet in the head of a thing that he figured was a monster—therefore giving me hope that there was a chance for healing in their relationship as brothers.
What I failed to take into account was that at the end of last week’s episode, all we (and Dean) truly, honestly knew was that Sam didn’t “feel anything” and feared nothing. That Sam knew something was wrong with him and had known it for a long time and had basically…ignored it. Which means…Dean wasn’t entirely convinced that the being he was punching into unconsciousness was really his brother. Sam said, it’s me, but Veritas—the goddess of truth—said that Sam wasn’t human. Dean couldn’t bring himself to stab and kill this…thing…that looked and talked and sounded like his brother. But he could beat “it” into submission until he could figure out if it really was Sam….and if all of the tangled, heartbreaking emotions he had when it came to Sam even mattered anymore.
I had that epiphany about Wednesday—after I’d replied to all of your wonderful, insightful comments, and I knew it was too late to do anything about it, so I’m starting off this week’s ramble setting the stage of “this is where my mind was.”
Okay, so we good? Good.
I skipped over the THENs so if there was some kind of kick-ass, classic rock montage that I missed, let me know. We start by literally looking through Sam’s blurry-eyed vision as he comes to after getting his ass handed to him by his older brother. He’s tied to a chair, face bloody, and totally confused. Castiel is peering at him curiously and Dean is staying away—on the other side of the room—looking very serious and grim.
Cas is asking questions, like has he been feverish. Sam’s all, wha?
Cas: Is he speaking in tongues? Are you speaking in tongues?
The answer is no, but it was the delivery that was kinda funny. Like Cas wasn’t sure if he was still allowed to speak directly to The Sam Thing or if he should talk to Dean. And…call me totally naïve, but I wonder why he asked about speaking in tongues? Would that mean…what? Possessed? Angelic? Devoutly religious? Touched by God? Multilingual? *shrugs*
Sam’s all, dude, are you diagnosing me? And Dean turns to him, his entire body tense, his face pulled tight into a frown.
Dean: You better hope he can. You think there’s a clinic for people who just pop out of Hell wrong? He asks, you answer, then you shut your hole.
He’s treating Sam like a case—just like Bobby told him to. Not like his brother who is in trouble and needs help, but like something they haven’t figured out yet and he may have to take down when they do. I honestly think it was the only way he could compartmentalize everything that had just happened—between Lisa handing him her truth and Sam handing him his truth, Dean went into survival mode and down shifted into hunter-gear.
Cas is taking Sam’s pulse and asking him how much he sleeps.
Sam: I don’t. Not since I got back.
Um…holy crap. And I thought my sleep patterns were messed up.
Dean explodes about that and Sam agrees that yes, it was weird, but he just didn’t tell Dean. It’s hard to tell if he means “I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to worry you,” or “I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want you to freak out on me,” or “I didn’t tell you because…it never occurred to me.”
Cas asks him what he’s feeling—not the physical sensation of the beating, but really, truly feeling. Sam’s like, ummmm…. So, Cas gives him a belt to bite on, tells him that “this will be unpleasant” and if he has a happy place, he should go there. Then he does that arm-in-the-chest thing we saw him do to Aaron a few episodes back.
Sam groans and writhes in pain and I even winced. Which…I don’t generally wince when Sam’s hurt. Cas pulls his arm out and Dean faces him, his expression worried. Sam is gasping for breath in the background.
Dean: You find anything?
Dean: Is that…good news?
Cas: I’m afraid not. Physically, he’s perfectly healthy. But his soul is gone.
Not exactly earth-shattering news since we found that out last week, but at least we know that it’s Sam—or as Sam as he can be without his soul—and when he was resurrected, his soul stayed behind.
Sam’s like, uhhhh….
Dean (not quite able to wrap his mind around this news): I’m sorry. One more time. Like I’m five.
Hee. That and his open handed seriously…help me out here gesture made me smile.
Cas breaks it down for him and surmises that Sam’s soul is still in the cage with Lucifer and Michael…which had me wondering if they were going this route, if they would go the route of his soul being damaged by all this extra time in the cage and what that would mean when it was returned to him (as I’m sure it will eventually be). I mean, his body and his brain have been cage-free for over a year now. What happens when that is meshed with a (possibly) damaged soul?
Also—and this is just an aside—I noticed something interesting that I hadn’t picked up on before. Cas says that his soul is back in the cage with Michael and Lucifer—not in Hell. Almost as if the cage…isn’t in Hell. But in a separate place. *ponders*
Dean asks Cas (with Sam sitting right there, looking all of 12—a beaten, bloody 12, sure, but little-boy-ish all the same) if Sam is even still Sam without his soul and Cas simply says that he raises an “interesting philosophical question.” One that has been explored a smidge here on my journal. And one that’s not really truly answered (at least to my satisfaction), yet, on the show.
Because…Sam has his memories and he does feel—he illustrates that he feels anger and happiness enough to lash out or smile automatically. He feels pride and accomplishment. I think he really is Sam. But…he’s just empty. He’s like…Sam-lite. The confusing part, though, is how they have him act empty inside for some things and reactive with others.
So, if our brains, as some have said, define who we are, then I don’t get why he’s suddenly acting so empty, remorseless, uncaring (as if his essence is gone). If our souls define who we are, then I don’t get why he behaves as if Dean matters to him and that Gramps betrayed them later on in the episode (as if he feels something for them). Maybe it’s a combination of both—logic (the head) and heart (the soul) connecting to make the whole person. With only one or the other, you’re only a shadow of yourself.
Eh, too much to answer right now. I’m sure a true student of psychology would have a field day picking apart my reasoning on feelings and personality and essence of a person. I’ll continue to ponder as I work through this. Plus, I’m confident someone will be able to help me wrap my mind around it with their comments.
So, anyway, Dean wants Cas to just go to the cage to get Sam’s soul back—after all, he rescued Dean, right? Cas is like, it took several angels to rescue Dean and he wasn’t as well guarded. Guess no one wants to go up against Lucifer and Michael. Plus there’s that whole Civil War thing….
Meanwhile, during all of this, Sam is calmly loosening his ropes while simultaneously asking to be untied. Dean’s like, what. ever. He’s not even going to let him out of this room.
Sam: I’m not some…psycho. I didn’t want you to get hurt. I was just trying to stop the vamps. I get it. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.
He sounds more…bored than remorseful. Like, enough, let’s move on and kill more bad things already.
Dean’s still “no way in Hell” and so Sam just stands up—untied—and says that Dean can’t hold him. Here, panic room, wherever. He’s stuck with the soulless guy, so, let’s fix it.
He has barely any reaction to the news that he has no soul. I mean, except for that one moment where he looked like a little kid while the grownups talked about him, he was just…*yawn*. This was one of those good moments when we see how not having a soul affects Sam-the-person. Far cry from the angst-ridden, fear-filled promise he drew out of his brother to kill him if he went darkside back in Playthings.
Dean’s jaw is so tight I’m surprised he didn’t break his teeth.
Dean: I’m gonna be watching every move you make.
Sam: Fine. Sounds about right to me.
Not like, what? Why? Or even yeah, you jerk, I figured you would. More like, I would watch me, too. I know I’m not right. And I pulled you into this…maybe for this very reason. So, do it. I want you to.
Dean tells Cas to heal Sam’s face, which he does and then they shift into, okay, fine, let’s fix it mode. Dean wants a list of the players with enough mojo to spring someone out of the cage.
Cas is like…yeah, I got nothin’. He wants to know what clues Sam might have. Sam says he only has one: Gramps. So, they head to the compound. Walking in, they see a bunch of hunter-types all polishing their weapons and making bullets and other…hunter-type…things.
Dean: Did Gramps throw a BBQ and leave us off the invite list?
Christian comes up to them and is all “Sam!” and *hugs* then looks at Dean and gets all sober with a, “Dean.”
Dean: Hello, Newman.
BWAH! I couldn’t help it. He caught me off-guard. I burst out laughing and scared my dogs. Hee!
Sam asks where Gramps is and Newm—er, I mean Christian motions toward the back. They crash into Gramps’ office with the grace of Lenny and Squiggy.
Total aside, but Mitch Pileggi has been busy lately. He was just on Sons of Anarchy a week ago reprising his role as the white supremacist, Darby. And he’s back again as Grandpa Campbell. No moss on this guy.
Dean is in a take-no-prisoners mood and is looking for answers. He barks demands at Gramps, asking him about the day he got back, his tone clear that he has had it up to here with sh*t, thank you very much. Gramps is like, we’ve been over this.
Dean: Recap it for our wingman.
Cas is standing next to Gramps.
Gramps: Castiel, right? You’re…scrawnier than I pictured.
Cas: This is a vessel. My true form is the size of your Chrysler Building.
Guess size matters after all. Plus? I love Dean’s expressions when Cas is around—tells a very clear story of what he’s thinking.
Dean: All right, quit bragging. (Turns his attention to Gramps) So…you were dead. And then….
Gramps: And POW! I was on Elton ridge.
There’s some silent eye-communication and Cas soul-checks Gramps—whose howls of pain bring Christian running with gun-in-hand. Dean stops him, though, saying, “Angel cavity check.”
Gramps reassures Christian that it’s okay—even though he’s gasping from pain—and Christian leaves. Gramps turns to Dean and Sam all, WTF? Cas says he has his soul. Gramps is like, of course I have a soul—oohhhhh. Apparently he knew something was off with Sam, but he didn’t know exactly what.
Either that, or he’s a pretty darn good actor. I haven’t all the way decided if he truly knew about Sam’s soul. I have my suspicions, but I’ll get to that.
He does tell Sam that while Sam’s a great hunter, sometimes he scares him. Meanwhile, Cas is doing that ear-cocked-to-the-sky thing and says he’s gotta go.
Dean: You’re leaving?!
Cas: I’m in the middle of a Civil War.
Dean: You better tear up the attic and find something to help Sam.
Cas: Of course. Because your problems always come first.
My, my, Cas. Learned a bit of sarcasm, have you?
Dean gives him this funny look just as he disappears. But I think he needs to check himself a bit as far as Cas is concerned. I get that he feels the angels owe them (and I don’t disagree), but Cas—while a full angel now—isn’t like the rest of them. He’s the closest thing to a real friend that Dean’s ever had—and I think he should treat him with more respect.
I don’t think he realizes he’s not being respectful, though. And I don’t say that in the “show him deference because he’s a Heavenly creature and very powerful” type of respect. I say it in the way I show all my friends respect: that I’m not more important than they are, and that what they say, feel, and do matters to me.
I think he thinks Cas is an angel, this is happening to Sam because of the angels, therefore, Cas should fix it or turn himself inside out trying. Now that the question has been resolved in Dean’s mind that this is really his brother, he’s right back in the nothing is as important as Sam mindset. And, quite frankly, I don’t think he gives a crap about the war in Heaven. Not that I blame him. I think—and this is just me—that he wouldn’t care if the angels killed each other off in their selfish battle for power and just left the humans alone.
The thing I think he forgets, though, is how that would affect Cas—how it does affect Cas. I think he takes Cas for granted a bit and I’m worried that there’s going to come a moment when that’s made clear to him in a very painful way.
Dean turns to Gramps: What’s with the book club?
Gramps is all evasive about having a hunt and through some narrow-eyed gazing and deductive reasoning, Sam picks up that they have a lead on the Alpha Vamp and are going after them. He’s like, “Why didn’t you call me?” But Dean realizes that it’s because of him—he doesn’t think Gramps trusts him with ‘big game’ like the Alpha Vamp. Gramps says that’s not true, so Dean calls his bluff and says they’re in.
Gramps: I just don’t know you. Not like I know Sam.
Heh. Right. I don’t think anyone can say they know Sam aside from Dean. And I think right now even Dean’s questioning that. He knew Sam. He’s not so sure he knows him now. Dean tells Gramps that he can call the play, Dean will just listen.
Dean: I trust you.
The guys step outside.
Dean: I don’t trust him. (HA!) Dude’s hiding something. I can feel it. And if you weren’t RoboSam, you’d feel it, too.
I yo-yo’d with how some of their dialog hit me in this episode. A little part of me was like, ouch, harsh, Dean. But then I realized…Sam wouldn’t care. He doesn’t care. Not about words like that. The guy that got twisted up about his brother thinking he was a freak for having death visions had left the building. Dean’s method of dealing with an unknown—an unknown that scares him to death because it’s something that used to be a known…a very well-known—is simply accepted as Dean’s way.
Sam: Huh. You. Saying you don’t trust family.
Well…why should he? I don’t get this loose idea from the Campbells (and, apparently, Sam) that just because you have a label of family and share a little DNA makes it so you’re automatically trusted. I can’t honestly say I trust a single one of my blood relatives (outside of my daughter, that is). Love ‘em? Sure. Trust ‘em? Not so much.
Trust is tough, man. Once it’s lost, it’s the hardest thing in the world to gain back. And it’s not something you can get back and be set. Once you’ve lost trust, you are forever in the reclaim game. Doubt will always linger. No matter how much we may want to deny it, doubt is there. Sam’s done a lot to lose Dean’s trust—and the Campbells never had it in the first place.
Dean says they should blend in and see what they can find out. So, they go back in where the Scooby Gang is getting all weaponed-up and Sam sits down with one of the peeps while Dean causally makes his way down a hall to a locked door. He picks the lock and starts to go in, when he’s busted by Christian. *snarl*
C: You lost?
D: Needed to make a phone call…looking for privacy.
C: In Samuel’s locked office?
D: Wasn’t locked.
C: Who are you calling?
Jeeze! Nosy, much?
D: Your wife. Let her know I’m not gonna make it over tonight.
Christian approaches and is all “I’m done playing nice” and Dean fires back a “you mean you’re a bigger knob than you’ve been letting on?” They snarl at each other, Christian poking at Dean by saying he’s been doing his job and the only action Dean has seen is between his slut of a girlfriend’s legs. Annnd, that’s enough for Dean. He slams Christian against the wall and his jaw muscle is doing that dance thing that just has me…unf.
Christian: You sure you want to come with us tomorrow? Accidents happen.
Dean pauses just long enough for me to fill in the silence with a shout at the TV something to the effect of, “Bite me.” Dean’s reply was much better, though. “Don’t worry. I got your back.”
So, pre-dawn, they all fire up the cars and head out. They stop just over the hill from a house that Gramps had tagged as the Alpha’s hang out. Knowing what I know now, I’m wondering if he’s been handed these locations, or if he really is as good of a hunter as he claims he is. Gramps splits everyone up and hands out the orders—making Dean and Gwen stay behind to pick up the stragglers. Dean visibly resists this and Gramps challenges him.
G: You got a problem with that?
D (practically biting off the words): No, sir.
Gwen: I’m in the rear with the reject?!
Dean gives her a really?? look. Sam pauses as they head out and says, “Don’t worry. It’s fine.”
See, this is one of those head-tilt moments for me. Was he just saying that to try to keep Dean from doing something stupid? Tactical maneuver if you will? Because OldSam would have done that, too, but it would have been out of concern for his brother because he wouldn’t want him to worry. But if Sam can’t feel those things, then…. *sigh* Not that it matters to the plot or storyline, really. Just…I’m trying to connect to Sam’s character and it’s hard!
Dean: It’s not fine. You’re not fine. Nothing’s fine.
He pinches the bridge of his nose. It’s hard to stay on guard all the time. *pats his tired shoulder* “Just go.”
Gwen apologizes to Dean for the reject comment and says she’s tired of getting left behind just because she reminds Gramps of Mary. Dean’s like, “Well, you do speak your mind.” Gwen smiles slightly and decides to take that as a compliment. Just then a twig snaps and as they turn to the sound, they’re jumped by a vamp. Dean’s knocked down and Gwen beheads the vamp.
He’s really not having luck with the vamps lately.
She’s all, “You’re welcome,” when they hear gunshots. Dean takes off while Gwen stays where she’s told, protesting the whole time. He gets to an iron gate that is locked, but when he looks up to see if he can get over the top, he sees a weather vane with a stone crow on top and has a flashback to that Freaky-Assed Vamp Dream. We knew it would come into play again, right?
He makes his way around the dilapidated brick wall and finds another way in through scattered bodies—with and without their heads. He hears someone yelling and follows the noise around to the side of a shed where he sees the Campbell crew leading a man with a hood over his head out to the A-Team van. He sees the man’s hands—black man with long fingernails and again flashes to his dream. The Campbell crew—including Sam—are carrying jars of dead man’s blood (hereafter known as DMB because it’s hard to write ‘dead’ and not ‘dean’).
He hurries back—just missing being seen by Sam—and gets back to Gwen just as the crew returns to them. Gwen doesn’t know where he went, but she covers for him, then asks how it went.
Gramps: One Alpha down.
Dean: Where is it? Want to pay my respects.
Gramps: Already on the pyre.
Gramps is a lying liar who lies!
They get in the car and head back. Dean’s all 20 Questions in the car. How’d it go? Fine. Anything weird? No. Sam is a lying liar who lies, too! Dean pulls over, having had ENOUGH and gets out of the car. Sam steps out, leaning on the door, his face totally blank.
Dean: I saw you walk that Alpha out the door, Sam. Call me crazy, but…that seemed weird.
Me: Oh? OH??!?!
Sam: You weren’t supposed to know about that.
He says Gramps has been taking them and grilling them somewhere. Grilling as in torturing them for info…not as in, like, eating them. *laughs at self*
It was Sam’s idea not to tell Dean because Dean would mess it up.
Sam: You’d shoot first and ask questions later. We needed to ask questions.
Dean: I don’t care if you’ve got soullessness or the mumps. You know better than this. Have you been there? What does he want? Why? Did it ever occur to you that this is really shady??
Sam: It’s our grandfather.
The thing I find interesting about this was that Sam didn’t even know why they needed to ask questions. Just that Gramps said they did, that’s all that mattered. He had an order, he had a mission. He had a job to do that he knew how to do well, and he was ready, willing and able to do it. In that way? In that small way? He reminded me of Season 1 and 2 Dean. The Dean that was “downright scary” when he was hunting. The obedient soldier that followed John’s orders with “blind faith.”
Which is so weird thinking about the Sam that rebelled against everything John stood for—and therefore, by proxy, Dean as well—when he left for school.
But the thing is…there were still so many more layers to that Dean back then than there are here with this Sam. I know Dean told Veritas that Sam was acting like him, but Sam’s only acting like a piece of him—a piece that isn’t really the same anymore. He will eliminate the evil, yes, but he’s not the same hunter anymore.
Dean: He talks a great game. But you can’t assume that family means the same to him as it does to us. He’s not Dad.
For a heartbeat, I hurt for Dean with that sentence. Because I honestly don’t think family means the same thing to anyone else around him as it does to him. We saw that evidence pretty clear in Dark Side Of The Moon. Sam’s definition of ‘family’ differed rather greatly from Dean’s. Yet…at the same time, Sam followed Gramps because he was family. Doesn’t really seem to be any other reason he chose to go there to find a unit when he came back from the cage—he could have gone to Bobby, for example. So…maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Sam has changed his definition of family. I kinda hope so.
Sam listens to Dean’s words, then just looks down. Blank.
Dean: Wow. You don’t see it, do you? You’ve got no instinct.
Sam’s silent, looks away.
D: I mean you are seriously messed up.
He almost looked hurt there—which the words were a bit mean…I mean, Sam knows he’s messed up, right? No need to rub it in. But I think it’s just starting to really sink in for Dean, the impact of what it means to not have a soul. How it’s more than just loss of emotions or compassion or remorse. Or sleep.
It’s the loss of his gut. The thing that made Sam the one to play the good cop to Dean’s bad cop. His ability to feel when something was…off. That’s…kinda big.
But the thing is, why would it hurt Sam for Dean to say those words? If he can’t feel those things, as they claimed, was he just being a smart ass? Poking back at his brother?? They made my head tilt a lot in this one, is all.
Dean: I’m not kidding. No one is forcing you to work with me. (His face stayed stoic but his eyes flinched a bit with this.) Okay, but if we do this, I call the shots and you tell me everything whether you think it’s important or not because trust me, you clearly can’t tell the difference. Or…you go with Samuel. See how that goes. Your call.
So…we started out with Dean being the ‘bossy’ big brother, and then after Hell, demon blood addiction, going their separate ways, and finding out they’re to be vessels, we get onto a more even ground with Sam calling the shots equally with Dean. But now…because Dean can’t trust him (understandably so) and Sam’s instinct is on the fritz, we’re back to Dean in charge again. I’m not saying I mind it. I’m not complaining. I’m just observing the pattern we’ve got going on here and wondering where it might lead us…knowing what we know now.
Back at the Campbell compound thingy, Sam walks in on Gramps loading weapons into a bag and says that Dean left—they’re not seeing eye to eye. I actually found myself feeling disappointed. It was interesting. I don’t know how I feel about Sam, really. I’m not sure how invested I am in his fate in and of itself—since the start of this it’s been (for me) more about how his fate is going to affect Dean. But at the thought that he chose to go with Gramps instead of Dean? I was let down. Huh.
Sam tells Gramps he wants in on the Alpha interrogation—that they are his family, and all he’s got left now, and he wants to help. Gramps is all, sorry, kiddo, but no soul means no help. This made me think that Gramps must have been telling the truth—he knew something was hinky about Sam…and perhaps he’d been told that Sam’s fate hung in the balance with his decision to follow orders…but he didn’t know it was Sam’s soul.
So, Sam heads out of the building into the night and I actually felt this pang. Like…did he have no one now? I surprised myself. I didn’t want him to be alone. He sneaks into the van and grabs a cell phone and then…heads over and climbs into the passenger seat of the Impala. Hee!
Dean’s half-grin is relieved and pleasantly surprised and his “Hey” is almost…gentle. And happy. Definitely happy. *grins* His whole being took a breath. *rubs heart* Ya’ll…this guy…..
Sam, giving Dean a side-ways glance: You didn’t think I’d come back.
Dean: I figured…60/40.
*grins again* Okay, I’m better now.
I don’t want Season 1 boys back. I don’t want ANY previous season’s boys back. We’ve already had that. This isn’t then, this is now and too much has happened to replay anything from before. But, that said? I still want them together. And by that, I don’t mean living-in-each-others-pocket-tangled-up-c
Sam says that Gramps didn’t take the bait, so he went to Plan B.
Dean: We had a Plan B?
Sam took the GPS from the cell phone and is tracking them to see where the Alpha Torture Place is. Dean’s, like, the old man won’t notice?
Sam: Trust me. He thinks Velcro is big news.
So, they follow the A-Team van to an abandoned warehouse, wait until Gramps and Christian go inside and then head over to the locked door covered in DMB as “vamp repellent.” They get inside and Sam has a machete and Dean his gun. They sneak down a hall, hear Christian open a sliding door and duck inside a room, hiding. Christian pauses, pokes his head in the room, but leaves without seeing them. Whew.
They head down to the room they saw Christian leave and see that Gramps has Alpha Vamp (who totally reminds me of Andre Braugher, by the way) chained to a chair behind bars and is questioning him. It’s a fruitless exercise. Gramps is all bluster and the Alpha Vamp is totally unimpressed. The charge of electricity Gramps doses the vamp with does absolutely nothing to him, and the DMB he has flowing into his body is just enough to barely control him, but not sedate him or make him sick as we’ve seen it do to others.
Gramps demands to know where “it” is and how can they find “it” – but Alpha Vamp ain’t talking. It frustrates the hell out of Gramps and he ends up leaving in a bit of a huff while the Alpha chuckles.
Alpha Vamp: Are you two going to hide all night? C’mon out boys.
Well, duh. He can smell them. C’mon, Dean. You should’ve remembered that. *bops the back of his head*
The cage is in the center of the room ala Hannibal Lector and as the boys approach we see (but they don’t) that the vamp has extended one of his fingernails and is calmly cutting through the leather strap tying his right wrist down. He keeps his eyes on the boys, though, and they look back at him. He’s very polite, eerily so. Dean’s brash, saying that the DMB leaves him without enough juice to, “fire up your psychic bat signal.”
The Alpha knows Dean’s name—because Dean was once his child for a time. *spooky*
Dean (disturbed by the reminder): I’m asking the questions, Fright Night!
He zaps the Alpha with the electric charge and in a voice that sounds completely powerful and completely evil and kinda gave me a shiver, the Alpha says, “When your kind first huddled around the fire, I was the thing in the dark. You think you can hurt me?!”
Dean shuts down the charge.
AV: I have all night, boys. You? Do not. Anyway, I’m happy to tell you want you want to know because soon I’ll be ankle deep in your blood and sucking the marrow from your bones.
Um…eww? The calm delivery of those words was just…yeah. Evil.
Sam: You’re really it. The first of your kind. But…if you’re the first…who made you?
Oh, good question, Sammy! *is impressed*
AV: We all have our mothers.
Dean accurately guesses that the sudden increase of vamps means they’re going to war. The Alpha Vamp tells Sam that he’s smells cold—he’s realized that Sam has no soul.
AV: Can you feel how empty you are? The thing about souls…if you’ve got one…is if you die you go up or down. Now when my kind dies, where do we go?
Sam (with a sort of awed realization): Purgatory.
Dean: Purgatory’s real?!
AV: Yes. Now. Where is it? That’s the real mystery. And that’s what Gramps wants to know. But he’s only doing what he’s told.
Dean: If the old man’s Kermit…whose hand is up his ass?
*tries to erase disturbing mental picture*
Just then, the sound of a round being chambered rings out and the boys turn to see Gramps, Christian, and some random hunter who should have been wearing a red shirt standing behind them. Gramps takes them out in the hall and they empty their (rather impressive pile of) weapons on the ground. Dean and Gramps go head-to-head with the what the hell are you thinking argument.
Dean says he thinks Gramps has the rest of these “pheebs” convinced he’s John Wayne but whatever he’s hiding is gonna put everyone around him in the ground. Gramps goes to hit Dean, but Dean takes him, disarming him, and Sam backs his play by disarming Christian. Dean—moving lightning quick—goes for his .45 just as another gun being cocked sounds from down the hall and there’s good ol’ Gwenie.
Meanwhile, Random Hunter is watching the Alpha. He flips the electricity switch for no good reason, and the Alpha gets free of his leather restraints and is out of his chains and out of the cage before the hunter can say cannon fodder. The Campbells and Winchesters hear the screams and Gramps tells the boys to grab their stuff and they head in to find an empty cage and a whooooole lotta blood.
Dean’s face is all I told you so! While Sam’s expression is more Yeah, what he said!
They only have 2 syringes of DMB left and about an hour until the Alpha is at 100% capacity. Gramps still wants to catch him and cage him and Dean’s like, screw that. We did it your way and now a random hunter is dead. I’m in charge. Only y’know, he didn’t say it exactly like that. He does hand out orders, splitting them up to search the building saying, “We take his head or he kills us all.”
Dean: And if we make it through this, you and me and Sam are having one helluva family meeting.
Hee. I like in-charge-Dean. I know. Shocking.
The hunt is on. Sam, Christian, and Gramps go one way; Dean and Gwen go another. And did anyone else think the music in this section was kinda…weird? Like so purposely spooky it kinda wasn’t? I usually only notice the classic rock and then what I’ve started to call the “Brothers Theme”…but this just caught my attention.
Anyway, Sam’s crew finishes their sweep and end up back in the cage room. Christian says, “Think he ran out?”
And BAM! Alpha is there, snaps Christian’s neck, tosses Gramps hard across the room, knocks Sam’s machete out of his hands, and slams Sam against the wall, a hand against his throat. Whoosh!
I didn’t really even get a chance to think YAY! No more Christian!
Alpha Vamp is in Sam’s face while Sam struggles for breath.
AV: Boy with no soul? I’ve got big plans for you. Amazing how a pesky soul gets in the way.
Huh…so…wait. Vamps do or don’t have souls in this ‘verse? ‘Cause…no one said anything about Dean losing his when he got turned into a vamp. But, while tied up in the cage, the Alpha said that souls go up or down, but ‘his kind’ go to Purgatory when they die. So if that’s true…that means when vamps get turned they lose their soul, so…why would a soul get in the way? Am I over thinking this? I think I’m over thinking this. *go with it Gaelic*
AV: You will be the perfect animal.
Demon!Christian—complete with black eyes—doses the Alpha with DMB and THEN! A bright light flashes, causing Sam to squint and flinch away and more demons show up and grab the Alpha Vamp and THEN! Another flash and they all—including the Alpha Vamp—disappear just as Dean and Gwen come running in. Whew! The only sound after all of that is clapping. And if clapping could sound mocking? It does.
I’ll admit, I was happy to see the evil little bugger. He amuses me greatly. And I think his involvement adds an interesting level of complexity to this storyline.
Crowley: Well. That was dramatic.
Gramps: Bring Christian back! Now!
Gramps: My nephew that you just shoved a demon into!
Crowley: I had him possessed ages ago. Samuel, really. Keep an eye on my investments.
Well! That certainly explains a lot! And! It makes me wonder something. I still think Sam told the Campbells about Dean being in Hell—mainly because he didn’t look surprised when Christian started poking Dean about it—but now I wonder if Christian was possessed even then and if he had a level of knowledge about Dean’s experience in Hell that added to the cruelty of his words.
Sam could have said very little about it, in fact, and Christian just pulled the rest from his memory. Not sure we’ll ever know, really, but it does make me wonder. And I’m willing to bet that we’ll see Demon!Christian again. Dangit. But now at least I feel justified for disliking him so vehemently.
Anyway, Dean follows the Crowley-Gramps exchange with a shocked, wait, what? You two know each other??
Crowley: Not in the Biblical sense. More of a business relationship.
Sam, venom in his eyes, looks at Gramps: You’re Crowley’s bitch.
Crowley’s like, basically, yeah, but is all coy about details until Sam says they know he’s looking for Purgatory. Crowley finally says, yeah, he is because he’s looking to…expand. *frowns* Riiiiight. I’m thinking there’s a bit more to it than that. Crowley says he knew that the boys were so hung up on family loyalty that if Gramps said jump, they’d “get frogging” and Gramps was an encyclopedia of the creepy and crawly, so…win/win as far as he was concerned.
Turns out, Crowley pulled both Sam and Gramps out of their ever-afters. Kudos to anyone out there that called it. I, for one, didn’t see it coming. Dean calls bullsh*t and says that Cas told him only someone with serious mojo could do that and Crowley is just a punk ass crossroads demon.
Crowley: Was a punk-ass crossroads demon. Now the King of Hell.
So, not only did he pull Sam out of the cage, but, “I snap my fingers, Sam gets his soul back, or you can be you and Sam goes back into the hole.”
Dean’s face is set in Pissed Off and he looks, guh, just tough. *bites lip*
Crowley: We clear? Me, Charlie. You, angels.
Crowley: Bring me creatures. High on the food chain. Everybody wins.
Crowley disappears and Dean looks like he can’t decide if he wants to pummel something or throw up. Gwen’s all, “You’re letting a demon call the shots?!”
Gramps basically tells her to hush and go get the van, that nothing has changed, they’re still hunting. He also says he’ll take care of Crowley. Uh-huh. Sure you will, Gramps.
Sam (to Gramps): You’re not who I thought you were.
Gramps: You don’t know anything about me, Son.
Which is true and exactly what Dean had been trying to point out to Sam all this time. Dean just looks…angry. Not even pissed. Just fed up and angry. Like he was mad that he’d been right not to trust his own grandfather.
Dean: What’s so important that you’re the King of Hell’s cabana boy? What did he promise you? Girls? Money? Hair?
Gramps: I got my reasons.
So, I’m thinking that only part of his reasons is Sam. I think Crowley told Gramps that he brought Sam back and that Sam’s actions and behavior scared Gramps, like he said, and Crowley said that he brought Sam out, he could put him back in or some such thing, and held that over Gramps’ head…but I don’t think Gramps knew about the soul thing. However, there’s obviously something else driving his obedience. I wonder if there’s someone in Purgatory….
Gramps goes to leave and Dean’s like this brick wall of I don’t think so in his way. His face holds that same Not To Be Effed With expression he wore in the motel kitchen when he was a vamp. Unf. Again. My toes just curled thinking about it. There’s something about the power in that expression that just…well, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of it, that’s for sure.
Gramps says he’s not going to do anything to Dean. The boys are his family (there they go, tossing that word around…I’m sorry, but you don’t treat your family like this and then get to slap that label on it as a Band-Aid).
Gramps: You got two choices—put a bullet in your grandfather or step aside.
Sam’s reaction is immediate—he pulls out his gun and cocks the hammer, aiming it directly at Gramps’ head. Dean smoothly, and almost without looking, reaches up and eases the gun down, then looks over his shoulder at Sam. Interesting. Now who is shoot first ask questions later, hmm?
Aside—the “Brother’s Theme” music I was talking about? Was playing during this part.
Sam: He sold us out.
Dean: I know. Let it go.
Interesting again. Sam sounded and looked…betrayed. Angry. So, he feels that. He feels wronged. But when he asked ‘why’ it was as if he might truly not understand why it would be a Very Bad Idea to shoot his grandfather in the head. This whole soulless thing is really taking some getting used to. I’m ready for them to deal with Crowley and get it back. I need Dean to have Sam back. They’re gonna have plenty to hash out after that to fill a half a season.
Dean tells Gramps to get out of there, but can’t bring himself to look at him. Gramps leaves and the brothers face each other.
S: What now?
D: We can’t work for Crowley.
It’s not an ultimatum or declaration…it’s more of a how did it come to this? Which I was thinking, too. But…back when they were fighting a destiny as angelic vessels and Crowley was working with them…I had a bad feeling that nothing good could come from trusting a demon…even when there was no other choice. Just seems interesting that Crowley pulled Sam out of the cage almost immediately after he went in. And why Sam? I mean, I get Gramps—what with all his bad guy knowledge.
But why grab Sam, too? Did he just need Sam to get Dean into the mix, knowing Dean wouldn’t fight without his brother? Because apparently he wanted both of them and their “family loyalty” in the fray. And…hmmm…I wonder if he sicced the djinn on Dean because Sam’s year-long avoidance of Dean was putting a crimp in his plans? *ponders more*
Sam: You sure?
Dean: Demons bone you every time.
Sam: Oh, I get it. Believe me. But…doing the math, do we have another choice?
Dean (petulantly): We could stab him in the neck.
Sam: And get my soul back…how? I think we gotta play ball. For the moment.
Dean: I have done some stupid things in my time…but punching a demon’s clock?
Sam: Just until we find another way.
Dean looks at Sam, this expression of…want…in his eyes. Wanting to trust, wanting to believe, wanting to…make it right.
D: And then?
S: We track him down and give him what’s coming to him. You with me Dean?
We close on that question, not getting Dean’s answer, but c’mon. Of course he’s with you, Sam. When has your brother not been there for you, to the ruin of all else, even himself? He doesn’t know how to not be there for you, with you, having your back.
Doesn’t mean he trusts Sam. Doubt will be there despite what Sam says because Sam has lied to his face—about big things—lately. And it’s gotta be hard to believe someone on face-value when you know they don’t feel remorse. But you can love without trusting. And one thing I do believe about family, you pretty much always give them another chance to win back your trust. Even if you’re sure it’s gonna get you hurt, you let them back in. Over and over.
Hmmm…okay, so Civil War in Heaven. Baddies on Earth increasing in number because they’re going to war. The King of Hell looking to expand to something ‘Hell adjacent’—Purgatory. I’m pretty sure this is all going to clash in some big mess and our boys? Are going to once again be right there in the middle of it.
I didn’t watch the previews. I didn’t want to make the same mistake. LOL!
Thanks for hanging with me. I look forward to your thoughts!