I am going to enjoy the 2nd half of this season SO much more than the first. I can feel it already. There are so many potentially meaty plot points still to cover, so many answers to seek, and at the close of this episode, I just felt…better. I mean, we don’t have a lot of resolution, but…. Well, it’s like this.
Looking back, I felt like we had been standing on the edge of a very tall precipice since the moment in the S6 premiere when Dean woke up in the compound after the djinn attack with his brother’s unfamiliar, calculating eyes watching his every move. Each episode pushed us a bit further off-balance until by the end of episode 11 we were pin-wheeling to keep from going over the edge. Our breath was held, our stomach muscles tight, everything in us was willing ourselves to stay on that edge, to not fall over. But we were so close.
And then tonight, I felt the hand at my elbow, pulling be back. We’re still on the edge, but we’re not tipping over. And we have enough balance to look over our shoulders and seek solid ground.
I’m out of practice—I usually jot down notes during the commercials, but I didn’t write fast enough this go-round. So, if I’m light on the details, I hope you’ll forgive me.
The THEN was ironically chronicled to Aerosmith’s “Back in the Saddle.” *high-five for classic rock* It was basically a catch-up of all 11 past episode's crucial plot points. And then, we open with a scene that in real life would fill me with complete and utter terror: a two-seater prop plane flying through a thunderstorm. I think my pulse began hammering immediately.
Stan the pilot is trying to comfort his pretty, dark-haired, terrified girlfriend (I never caught her name, so if you can, fill in the blank for me) as they fly for “just a few more minutes” looking for a place to land. She glances out through the side window and sees a quick flash of what looks like gigantic wings.
I was totally reminded of that Twilight Zone with William Shatner: “There’s…something…out on the…wing!”
Anyway, Stan is telling her to relax and think of some place peaceful and suddenly BLAM! He’s grabbed through the window and the plane is going down and the girl is screaming her bloody head off. Yikes!
Title card and we break to a close up of Dean’s hand, his fingers nervously bouncing on his arm as he waits for Cas to emerge from the panic room. When he does, we can see Sam, same clothes, lying on the bed with an IV hooked up to him. He looks asleep—and peaceful. It’s unclear at this point how long he’s been that way, but the IV is a clear indication that it’s been awhile.
Later, Bobby says something about 10 days; no wonder Dean was uber-stressed about him ever waking up.
Dean asks Cas if his brother will wake up and the angel replies with a surly, “I’m not a human doctor, but probably not.”
Dean snaps at him about sugar-coating the news and Cas reiterates the fact that he’d told Dean not to do this he says that Sam's soul, “felt like it had been skinned alive.”
My first reaction was a knee-jerk as if Dean doesn’t know what that feels like. But then, I realized that I’d inserted being skinned alive into a fanfic; we hadn’t gotten any canon confirmation of that aside from Dean’s skittish, horrified glances at animal skins strung on a rack in Samhain’s office in Season 4. Whoops.
Cas: “If you wanted to kill your brother, you should have done it outright.”
And with that painful slash of words, he leaves Dean to stand there round-eyed and hurting.
OUCH. Seriously, I didn’t know what to make of Cas this episode. I am hoping for more answers on what’s been going on with him and the Civil War in Heaven, because I thought his words to Dean were unfairly harsh. I wasn’t sure what he expected Dean to do, really.
Dean asked the same question: “What was I supposed to do, let T-1000 walk around and hope he doesn’t kill somebody?!”
Not only that, but Sam’s soul was in Hell, right? In the Cage? Getting its glowy little ass kicked for 100 non-Earth years? Did Cas expect Dean to just leave it there? If Dean had killed Robo-Sam, he wouldn’t have freed Sam’s soul—it would still have been down there, suffering. If he just let Robo-Sam walk around all hollow and faking it, again, his soul would have been in the Cage. I don’t see that Dean really had a choice.
Yes, it was a risk, and yes Sam’s soul is damaged, but Dean loved his brother enough to take that risk. It was Sam’s human soul that overpowered Lucifer. And back in the panic room in Season 4 when they were trying to dry Sam out from demon blood, Dean knew that detox could have killed him then, but that at least Sam would have died human. So he risked it all to save Sam’s shell from continuing on as an empty husk of a monster and become human again and save Sam’s soul from continued torment.
With all of that, I can’t figure out why Cas was so strongly opposed to Dean doing this. It just feels like more than simply caring about if Sam lived or died. Maybe I’m looking into it too deeply, but I’m ready for some more levels of Cas’ onion to be peeled away so that I can understand him a little better. And not be so irritated with him for saying what he did to Dean.
Anyway. Moving on. Dean heads upstairs to Bobby’s study and just looks…tired. Drawn. Weighted. He sits slowly on the chair across from Bobby’s desk and Bobby pours him a drink.
Bobby: “Like my Daddy said, just ‘cause it kills your liver don’t mean it ain’t medicine.”
Dean is worried that Sam isn’t waking up. He’s just…worried, period. Bobby says Sam’s been through a lot and he always manages to bounce back. Dean’s like, “He’s never been through this.”
He kinda shakes himself and peers at what Bobby’s up to. He's needing a job, a mission…something. Bobby starts to tell him about the report of the plane crashing—dude was scorched but the girl was never found. Just *poof!* disappeared. Before Dean can do much but comment on the weirdness, we hear Sam’s voice behind him.
And it’s remarkable. It’s Sam’s voice. The cadence, the emotion, the weight of it when he says, “Dean?” is totally OUR Sam. It’s so different from the last 11 episodes. I applaud Jared for that. I seriously do.
I couldn’t connect with Sam all season. I tried; I felt like I should just for the sake of those Sam fans who read this ramble and so that I could further sympathize with Dean’s misery and fear of and for his hollow brother. But there was just…nothing. By episode eleven? I was wavering between annoyance and disinterest.
And with one word, I felt my whole self sigh. Because Dean had his brother back. No matter the potential angst to come as memories surface and as penance is attempted and absolution given, Dean had his brother back. I know it’s totally cheesy of me and I don’t mind if you point and laugh, but it’s making me kinda teary right now just typing those words.
Dean, hearing his name, flinches slightly, turns slowly, his face registering total and complete surprise. He stands and almost whispers, “Sam?”
Sam barely pauses; he crosses the room and wraps Dean in a tight, genuine hug. *rubs heart* It was really good to see that. The difference between that hug and the one-sided hug from the premiere was palpable. I didn’t even bother to think things like Sam must have removed his own IV or anything close to random details. I was just a nice, happily dorky mushball with my hand to my chest and my eyes all stingy.
Bobby stands, his body, face, his whole being totally wary. And for good reason. Sam moves to him and grabs him up in a hug saying it was good to see him. Bobby chokes out an emotional, “Good to see you, too.” But then Sam’s all, “I saw—felt—Lucifer snap your neck!”
Bobby says that Cas healed him and Sam’s jubilant. “Cas is alive?!”
Okay, so right there, we’ve established that Death’s Mind Wall has done more than block out the memories of Hell—it’s blocked out the memories of everything. All that our Sam has Robo-Sam amnesia. Dean asks him if he’s okay and Sam’s like, yeah…and I’m starving! *laugh*
So, over what looks like PB&J and beer, Dean and Bobby find out that the last thing Sam remembers is the field, then waking up in the panic room. Bobby is rather grumbly, but Dean shuts him up saying he’s glad. Sam wants to know how he got back—was it Cas?
Dean’s like…not exactly.
Sam: “Dean, what did you do?”
Dean starts to tell him about Death and Sam’s incredulous that he went to a Horseman, but Dean tells him he had leverage and it’s all done and over. Bobby grumbles again, “Isn’t this just real neat and clean?”
Dean glares at him with a, “Yes. It is. For once.”
Sam: “Anything else I should know?”
Dean is all, nope! More beer!
His need to protect Sam is screaming all through that room with an echoing don’t ask don’t tell. He can’t bear to take his calculated risk one step further and is perfectly happy compartmentalizing Robo-Sam as not his brother. He has his brother back now. That guy that was here for a year and half? To Dean it was the equivalent of when Meg possessed Sam.
It simply wasn’t Sam. End of story. All that pain, all the betrayal…Dean just shoved those memories behind a wall of his own. Breaks my heart.
Out in the junkyard, Bobby is working under a car and Dean comes out to talk. Sam’s…sleeping or something inside. Bobby asks how Sam is and Dean’s like, “Good. Really good. Better than I could have hoped.”
*rubs heart again*
Dean: “Why the poopface?”
HA! He sounded like my four-year-old.
Bobby: “I’m glad he’s better. But that kid went straight-up Menendez on me not 10 days ago.”
Apparently, Bobby’s having an understandably hard time overlooking that. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Dean’s insistent that the thing that tried to kill Bobby wasn’t Sam.
Bobby: “It wasn’t all Sam, but it was him.”
I’m actually kinda glad for Bobby’s reaction. Dean, I could see letting it go, rolling it into a closet, locking the door and swallowing the key. It’s his M.O. – forgive Sam of anything. Do what you can to make it all okay—to make Sam okay.
Bobby doesn’t have that older-brother-protector burden and has every right to hold a grudge. And he’s got a point—memories or no memories, Sam did do those things. And Dean and Bobby have to live with both sides of Sam's Sliding Door. They have to have a chance to put it all somewhere inside of them or deal with it outright.
Dean: “You want to tell him everything? It could crack the wall. It’s a gift horse, and I’m not looking for teeth. I’m sending Death a gift basket.”
Bobby: “He’s not dumb. He’s gonna find out or figure it out and he should hear it from us.”
Erf. God help me but I love angst.
Dean asks Bobby to leave it for now, but Bobby warns that when Sam realizes they’re shining him on, “it ain’t gonna be cute.”
Here’s what I wondered, though. How did Dean get even this far without Sam hammering him for details on the last year and a half? I mean, Dean was in Hell four months and Sam nearly went insane with grief. I know he made Dean promise him to live a normal life, but I just wondered how he let Dean out of his sight without asking what he’d missed, what all had happened…who was President. Something.
Not only that, but with Dean, they purposely saved his body because Sam planned on getting him back. Sam remembered being in the field, falling in the pit, and then waking up in the panic room a year and a half later…he doesn’t wonder how is body is intact? I was just surprised he didn’t ask more questions, I guess. Maybe he just assumed Death’s deal with Dean (say that 5 times fast) took care of the body issue. *shrug*
Anyway, what seems like the next morning (only because Bobby asks Dean if Sam’s still asleep) Bobby and Dean are gearing up to check out that weird plane crash thing and Sam comes out and wants to go, too. Dean’s like, you just got vertical, you should rest. Sam’s all, yeah, ‘cause that’s what you did when you got back from Hell. Which, true. There really is no rest for the wicked. Or for heroes, apparently.
Dean concedes that point and is all, it’s a threesome! To which Bobby hems and haws and makes up something about forgetting he’d told Rufus he’d man the phones. He tells the boys to go and catch up. Sam’s like, what was that?
Dean: “One part age, three parts liquor.”
I think it’s interesting the initial reactions to their returns from Hell. Dean claimed he didn’t remember anything for a long time, despite Sam's pressing him for details. And Sam suspected otherwise almost right away, confirmed later with the nightmares, the pained looks, the drinking, the uncharacteristic skittishness and even-quicker temper and most of all, the barely-concealed self-loathing.
Sam says he doesn’t remember anything and Dean is utterly, completely relieved. You can tell Sam feels something lacking, like a stair step he missed on his way up. And because Dean knows what remembering will be like (or what it was like for him, anyway) and because he’s been told what it could do to Sam, he’ll be watching for the nightmares, the pained looks, the drinking, all of it.
They head out in the Impala, working the job. During the drive, with a smooth classic rock song that I can’t remember now and didn’t write down (bad Gaelic) playing in the background, Sam glances over and says to Dean, “You never even tried to have a life.” He reminds Dean of his promise.
Dean: “What makes you think I didn’t?”
Sam: “Look at you. You’re exactly the same.”
We only see Dean in profile, but a muscle jumps in his jaw and the skin around his eyes tightens. I know my heart thudded a bit painfully as he took in those words, knowing the Hell he’d been through and the Hell he couldn’t tell Sam about. He gets really quiet for a minute, then says, “I was with them for a year. Lisa and Ben.”
Sam asks what happened and Dean just tells him it didn’t work out. Then he turns the music up. Guh.
They reach Plane Girl Whose Name I Can’t Remember’s house all suited up. They want to ask Plane Girl’s sister some questions and she resists at first. But it’s OUR Sam now, remember? With genuine sincerity, he appeals to her and gets them in. Dean watches this, absorbing the difference with a small, happy grin tucked into the corner of his cheek.
They talk to Plane Girl’s sister about how she loved Stan and how she only went up in that plane because she didn’t want to seem uninterested. But now they didn’t even have a body to bury. Later, back at the motel, Dean brings in food from what looks like a burger joint and Sam is at the laptop researching other girls that also went missing.
I can’t remember how he knew there were other mysteriously missing girls—probably Bobby. But it doesn’t matter. It was enough to look like their kind of weird. Hence the hunt. Anyway, Sam tells Dean that the other two missing girls, “baked cookies for the Lord.”
Dean: “Is that code?”
HA! *wants to ruffle his adorable hair*
Sam tells him that the girls had Promise Rings, were in the church choir, had bake sales for the church, all of that. Dean says he has another way to get info and takes out Plane Girl’s diary.
Sam (incredulous): “Did you steal that from her room?!”
Dean: “I love that you even ask me that.”
Dean has a theory about virgins—between the Promise Rings and 22-year-old Plane Girl’s pink bedroom with stuffed animals, he thinks that they’re all virgins. Sam’s doubtful, so Dean reads an excerpt from Plane Girl’s diary.
Dean: “I have decided I am going to give Stan my most precious gift.” *insert not-so-subtle arm flourish*
Sam (looking totally uncomfortable): “That sounded…really creepy coming out of your mouth.”
Dean: “I think I delivered it.”
Sam: “Who would want virgins?”
Dean: “You got me. I prefer ladies with experience.”
Elsewhere, three Catholic School girls are walking home. At night. In a secluded area. They split up and one walks alone, hears a scary noise, starts to walk faster, and then there’s a very wicked-weird sound of wings beating against the air. The girl runs, falls, rolls over, screams…fade to black.
Turns out she was attacked—but not nabbed. The boys, suited up again, are visiting her in the hospital and she tells them about the attack, showing them some vicious cuts on her back. She says she was attacked by what looked like a giant bat. They ask her for anything else she could tell them—anything at all, even if it sounds like nothing.
She tells them she lost her gold Promise Ring—either lost it, or that thing took it. Dean, taking a breath, says askance to Sam that he has to ask. Then does that chin down, eyes up thing and asks the girl, “Melissa…should you really be wearing that ring?”
She sputters, protests, he holds the look and then she blurts out, “Matt Bonn didn’t count!”
Ah, so…not a virgin, get tossed back. Dean’s right. Apparently being easy is all upside.
As they’re walking out of the hospital, Sam ponders, “What likes virgins and gold?”
Dean: “P. Diddy.”
Sam: “You know what’s comforting? I died for a year, came back, and you’re still not funny.”
Dean: “Shuddup. I’m hilarious.”
Back at the Batcave…er, sorry. Motel. Dean is putting up a Wall Of Weird for the case while Sam is googling key words and he keeps getting pushed to World of Warcraft fan sights.
Dean’s like…I don’t even know what that means.
Sam: “Dragons, dude. Told you. Not possible.”
Dean: “Eh…might be.”
Sam: “In what reality?”
Dean: “Been a strange year. Let’s get a second opinion.”
They call Bobby (of course) and Bobby’s all…dragons aren’t real. Dean asks him to make a few calls.
Bobby: “To who? Hogwarts?”
HA! Bobby does read everything! *grins*
Dean asks him to humor him and Bobby’s all, fine.
Dean: “You’re a gentleman and a scholar.”
Bobby: “How’s Memento doing? Caught you in any lies yet?”
Dean (with forced brightness): “Everything’s fine!” CLICK!
Dean’s looking at the phone with a pained expression (and I'm wondering if he's looking at Lisa's number as he has so many times before) and Sam’s like, “You okay?”
I love that he even noticed that not all was right in Dean’s world. It’s what we’ve come to expect from our Sam but one of the many things that was missing from the first half of this season. I’ll stop this comparison soon, I am just really glad that Dean has his brother back.
ANYWAY! Back to the research, Dean on computer, Sam looking through John’s journal.
Dean: “Dad never wrote anything about dragons. I promise. I’d remember if I read The Neverending Story in there.”
HA! Atreyu!! Artax!! ROCK BITER!
Sam’s looking troubled, though, at something sketched in the margin on one page.
Sam: “Did we hunt a skinwalker lately?”
Okay, first, I find it interesting how he asked that question. Up to that point, Sam thought he’d been dead for a year and a half. SO, the last hunt he would have been on with Dean would have been pre-almost-apocalypse. Not very “lately”…y’know? I think it was that subconcsious ‘slip’ that had Dean flinching first and covering poorly later.
He tells Sam that no, they hadn’t, and Sam’s all, “Huh. Déjà vu. Are you sure?”
Dean: “Your eggs are still a little scrambled.”
He’s saved from further covering by Bobby’s call telling him to contact Dr. Visiak at SFU. So, Dean says he’s going there to find out how to kill a dragon and tells Sam to stay there to find out where they’re holed up. Sam’s like, don’t suppose Bobby had any tips on that. Big nope, brother.
Sam: “Great. Back to the lore.”
Dean: “Which says what, they live in Middle Earth?”
Sam: “No. Caves.”
Dean pauses, looks at him, then sighs and shakes his head. “You’re such a nerd.”
Sam, however, has a worried face. Again. And I don’t blame him. He just feels that things aren’t right. And I kinda didn’t want Dean to leave him—especially since he didn’t want him finding out anything. I mean, sure, for Dean he’d been around a version of Sam for 6 months and leaving him to work the case made sense. But from Sam’s perspective, he’d been gone for a year and a half, and was still a little sketchy on things…I was just thinking that Dean might’ve wanted to keep a closer eye on him.
But, he didn’t, and they needed to find the thing to kill a dragon and find out where the dragon was, so what can you do, right?
We cut to two or three scared girls in a cage underground, slightly beat up, crying, just…a mess. A winged man (which surprised me--that it was human-like) flies in carrying another girl, breaks her hand/arm to control her (gah!) and tosses her in the cage, welding it shut with a super-heated touch.
Dean pulls up to a big, ramshackle house and rings the bell marked Visiak. A woman answers through a speaker and tells him when office hours are. He drops Bobby Singer’s name and after a few moments a classy-looking, pretty blonde opens the door to let him in. She tells Dean that the next time he sees Bobby he should, “kick him in the jewels.”
Dean: “No love lost between you two?”
Visiak: “Quite the opposite. But that’s his story. He’s the idiot.”
Huh. I like a character with layers. *smile*
Dean drops the dragon facts on her and she’s all, they disappeared over 700 years ago. Dean tells her one just landed stateside. She sputters a bit with the how and why.
Dean: “Banner crop of crazy all around these days, Doc.”
You can say that again.
Visiak gets right down to business telling him that to kill a dragon he needs a blade that was forged with dragon’s blood. There are only 5 or 6 around (including Excalibur, apparently) and…she has one. It only took her two decades, countless hours, and some really bad sex with an Eastern European ambassador, but she has one. So, they go down to the basement and…there’s a sword sticking out of a stone. Not Excalibur, though.
Visiak: “The Sword of Brusnvick. Love of my life.”
She tells Dean that binding the sword in stone used to be all the rage—to protect the blade. And only a brave knight who is willing to kill the beast can get it out. Dean’s all…gotcha. He’s not exactly a knight, but he’s sure as hell willing to kill the beast. Without hesitation, he walks up to the sword, climbs up on the rock, tugs, tugs, tugs…the facial expressions in this scene were priceless.
Needless to say, he doesn’t get it the first time. But he’s nothing if not determined. So, he tries again. And practically gives himself an aneurism.
Dean (breathless): “Sonuvabitch that’s really on there.”
He tells Visiak he has another idea, but she’s not going to like it. And I have to say, it’s pure Dean. Grassroots, blue collar, get the job done, Dean.
But first, we go back to Sam. He can’t find caves anywhere around and calls Bobby who is rather…abrupt…as he talks to Sam. He does come up with sewers (right on, Bobby!) and before he can bail, Sam’s like, are you okay?
Bobby tries to brush him off, but Sam presses.
Sam: “What happened this last year?”
Bobby: “It had its moments. Got nothing to do with you, Sam. How could it?” CLICK!
On his end, Sam looks confused. On Bobby’s side he just looks…troubled. I was suddenly reminded that Bobby knew Sam was back from Hell for a year before Dean found out. Bobby has to be having such a hard time with all of this—trusting his gut in all of this. He believed that Robo Sam was Real Sam and kept the secret from Dean for a year inadvertently prolonging Sam’s soul’s time in Hell.
But Dean knew right away. And he pushed and pushed and risked and finally got his brother back. But Bobby trusted the wrong version and not everyone can compartmentalize and forgive as easily as Dean. I really feel for Bobby. This has to be really hard.
Left unsettled by Bobby, Sam closes his eyes and calls Cas. Who appears right away. I found that interesting, too. Robo Sam had been calling Cas for a year and he never came. Souled Sam calls once and Cas is there. I like it.
Cas (relieved): “It’s so good to see you alive.”
Sam: “You too.”
Cas comes in for a hug, but Sam sits down abruptly.
Sam: “I would hug you, but….”
Cas: “It would be awkward.”
Sam, always the clever one, tells Cas that he just talked to Bobby who told him everything. I groaned out loud when he said this, totally knowing where it was going to head.
Cas: “Frankly, I’m surprised you survived.”
I may have thrown my clutch-pillow at the TV in a futile attempt to shut Cas up.
Cas: “I was begging Dean not to do it. It’s a miracle it didn’t kill you. So…how does it feel to have your soul back?”
Oh, poor Sam. The look on his face was akin to getting gut punched. I had to remind myself to take a breath. What a sucky, sucky way to find out.
Sam: “Right. ‘Cause…I was walking around with no soul. Really…really good. I feel really good. I’m just hazy on a few of the details. You think you could walk me through it.”
I actually said DON’T YOU DO IT, CAS! But…of course, he didn’t listen to me.
Back at the, erm, doc’s basement, Dean is wiring explosives to the big stone.
Dean: “You rocks think you’re so smart.”
He tries to reassure Visiak that he learned this from Bobby. She doesn’t look exactly reassured. He backs them out of the room, closes the door, grins disarmingly at the doc, then pressed the detonator button thing. *small boom* Going back in, he smiles triumphantly when he sees that the rock is in pieces around the sword—which is still upright in the stone. He goes to pull it out and…the blade is broken.
Dean: “You have insurance for this, right?” *cough* *cough*
Dean brings the broken sword back to Sam in the motel room, who is unsure how that is going to work. Dean's like, we just have to get in really close is all. Sam tells him about the sewers. Dean’s all, awesome, let’s go. But Sam pauses, and I held my breath. Dean’s looks at him with a, what? Sam fakes it. Nothing, let’s go.
Sometime later in the sewers….
Dean: “Just when I get used to the smell I hit a new flavor. What if dragons like nice hotels??”
Just then, Sam sees a pile of gold. Dean’s like, okay, so maybe dragons are here. Sam then spies an altar with some lit candles and a journal. Dean pockets some of the gold before joining him.
Sam: “A little arts and crafty for a giant bat, right?”
Just then, they hear girl’s voices calling for help and follow them. They quickly find the cage in the floor with the frightened girls and Dean says they’re going to get them out. Just then, the Bat-Dragon-Man swoops down and literally throws Sam across the room. BAM!
Dean grabs the broken sword and Bat-Dragon-Man mocks him. “Where do you think you’re gonna stick that?”
Dean cuts his arm and it flares bright red, then bleeds.
BDM (in pain and incredulous): “Where did you get that?!”
Dean: “Comic Con!”
Dean fights BDM, but gets knocked around and loses the sword. BDM comes at him with the Burning Hand and Dean backs away. Suddenly, Sam is up and starts bashing BDM with a crowbar, allowing Dean time to duck down and try to reach for the sword.
Sam continues wailing on BDM with the crowbar, but BDM grabs the iron with the Burning Hand and the metal heats up. Suddenly, another BDM attacks Dean, throwing him across the room. There were TWO? Not. Cool. This other guy just like *poof!* showed up. WTH!
BDM 1 heats up the crowbar until Sam has to drop it. BDM 2 is kicking the crap out of Dean. Sam ducks down and is able to reach the sword because he is a Sasquatch and has nice, long arms. He stands up, but is caught between BDM 1 and BDM 2 who now also has a Burning Hand and is advancing on Dean. Sam makes a choice, he turns and uses the sword to kill BDM 2, saving Dean. YAY!
BDM 1 flies away.
Next thing we see is Dean playing with the gold loot at Bobby’s junkyard. So, I assume that they rescued the virgins and returned them home. Dean is a bit giddy over the gold, winding a watch and telling Sam to ask him what time it is.
Sam: “Why don’t you cut to the chase and just roll in it?”
Dean: “I rarely have wealth.”
Sam’s grin kinda slides off his face and he sits down slowly.
Sam: “Dean…I am so sorry. I can’t even begin to say.”
Dean looks up, his face carefully blank, but his eyes are bleeding emotion. “For what?”
Sam: “You know what.”
And he does. It settles in on his face, around his eyes, in the downturn of his mouth. He looks down because meeting Sam’s eyes is too much right now. He asks very softly who told him and Sam says it was Cas.
Dean: “Cas. Freakin’ child.”
I wonder how much Cas really told Sam. From Sam’s questions in this part it seems like it wasn’t everything, but enough for Sam to know that his actions hurt people he loved. And telling him about it—telling this Sam, our Sam—is going to be a different form of Hell for Dean. It will almost be like recounting a case of abuse to a third party. Because our Sam has no memory of it. But it’s never going to leave Dean’s mind.
Sam says that he needs to know. All of it.
Dean: “Death didn’t just shove your soul in; he put a wall between you and what you don’t remember and trust me when I say that the things you don’t know can kill you. That’s not a joke.”
He says it with such conviction there is no doubting him. And Sam knows this; Dean was there. Dean knows how horrendous Hell is. And Sam was there for over three times as long. Dean’s true fear of Sam remembering that…it rolls off of him in sickening waves.
Sam: “I feel like I got slipped the worst Mickey of all time and I woke up to find out that I burned the whole city down.”
Dean: “It wasn’t you.”
Sam: “You can say it wasn’t me, but I’m the one with the Zippo in my pocket. So, I’m not sure it’s that cut and dry. I appreciate you trying to protect me. But I gotta fix what I gotta fix.”
I loved that speech, that whole metaphor, all of it. I loved that Sam owned what he’d done—even if he wasn’t clear on all of it. He saw it on the face of his brother and his friend. He saw the scars they bore because of something he’d done. He couldn’t just let his brother protect him again and stand quietly by as they worked to live with all of that.
As he’s listening, though, Dean’s eyes hold a heartbreaking expression of helplessness. The look of someone forced to watch, hands tied, body restrained, as their loved one suffers. Hurting right along with them. He so does not want to do this. He doesn’t want to tell Sam that it was Sam who made him break his promise, made him leave Lisa and Ben. That Sam allowed him to be turned into a vampire. That Sam has killed innocent people. He doesn’t want his brother to have to live with that knowledge—especially because this Sam had no control over it.
Not only that, but if he remembers what he did as Robo-Sam, it’s not a big leap to remembering the Cage. And then what happens? It’s killing Dean just thinking about it.
Dean: “You don’t know how dangerous that could be.”
Bobby interrupts them and tells them there’s something they have to see. He takes them inside where he has the journal they found in the BDM lair, tells them that it’s really old and written in like Da Vincci Code language. Not only that, but it’s written on human skin, not paper.
Both boys draw their hands up with an ewww expression when he says that. Bobby goes on to say that the first part he’s figured out: it’s a description of the backside of a nightmare. Blood and bones and darkness filled with all things sharp and nasty.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the night BDM 1 pulls up to a parked black van off on the side of a road somewhere. A bald guy is standing outside and demands to know what kept him. BDM 1 said he had some complications. Bald Guy says, “It’s a good thing I have plenty.”
He opens the van door and we see three bound girls, crying and terrified. He grabs one and hauls her out, shutting the other two in there. He tells the girl it’s her lucky day and then together the men shove the girl in front of them and into what looks like a cave entrance.
Bobby is still talking, saying that the book is talking about “monster land”…or, as near as he can translate, Purgatory. Dean reaches for the bottle of whiskey with a tight, “Awesome.” Bobby goes on to say that the book is an instruction manual. It shows you how to get access to Purgatory.
Dean: “I know a demon that would have loved to have known about that.”
Which just made me realize that Sam, with no memory, knows nothing about the Alphas, about Crowley being King of Hell, about Cas burning his bones, about the Raphael and Balty and the Civil War in Heaven, about actually helping Meg. Shoot—he doesn’t even know that Gramps was returned and then subsequently betrayed them. How the heck did Dean think he was going to successfully keep all of that from Sam?
I mean, don’t get me wrong—I totally get why he tried, why he wanted to. Protecting Sam is right up there under breathing on Dean’s priority list. And this was the only way he could think to do that for the moment—keep him in the dark. But with everything that has happened, and the fact that they are still hunting…Bobby was right. Sam's not only bound to find out, he needs to know. And not just the bad stuff.
The stuff that will help him stay alive.
Dean continues: “How do you get access to Purgatory?”
Bobby points to some torn-out pages: “Ask Cloverfield. I’m sure he’s got that page.”
I’ve always wanted to see that movie. Wonder if it's any good. Plus? Bobby was all over the pop-culture/movie references tonight. Menendez, Hogwarts, Memento, Cloverfield. He’s been hanging around Dean too much, I think. *grins*
Back at the cave, BDM 1 and Bald Guy are holding the tied up girl at the edge of a cliff above what looks like a deep pit of fire and lava. So…maybe a CA fault line? *shrugs* BDM 1 Da Vinci-nates from the human skin page, cuts his arm, does some more ritual stuff, the girl screams in terror…and they push her over. Yikes. We even see her glow and catch fire as she careens toward the bottom.
Bobby is saying that near as he can figure, the book is about bringing something out of Purgatory. Dean’s like…bring…what out?
Bobby says the only words he can get are: Mother of all.
Soon as he said that, I was like…dude, the Alpha Vamp practically TOLD us! When he was sneering at soulless Sam he gave us the answer right there and we—well, I—had NO idea.
So, back in the cave, as Bobby is saying “Mother of All,” the sacrificed girl is rising up from the fire, her skin cooling from being all hot-glowing-coals and her eyes simmering red. She alights to the cave floor and smiles cruelly the men, telling them they kept her waiting.
New Big Bad: “We have much to do…let’s get started.”
So. We have a female big bad who is the Mother of All…what? All Monsters? That seems like what they were saying. Who is the Mother of All Monsters? I know they’ll tell us eventually, but you guys always know this stuff first.
What I want to know is, if it only took one sacrificed girl to bring up Mama, then how come the Dragon Men grabbed so many? *shrug* Oh, well. No one ever said bad guys made sense.
I only caught a glimpse of next week’s previews. Had a dog who thought she needed to go out right away. But it looks like we won’t have to wait very long to see what happens as Sam is confronted by the life he led without a soul. *rubs heart* This is going to be a wild ride, ya’ll.
Thanks for reading. See you next week!