It was a long hiatus, ya’ll. And there was an almost gentle sense about this one…an easing us back into the fray, perhaps.
Did anyone else (in the States) find it ironic that this episode aired on tax day? Maybe ole Ben was right: “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
I hope you’ll forgive me two things in this ramble: waxing lyrical about fate a skosh and summarizing some details of the episode. I’ve had a crazy work/travel week and I’m paying for the minimal sleep I’ve allowed myself.
How many of us enjoyed those choose-your-own-adventure books when we were kids? I totally did. I’d read the book all the way through one path, and then go back and see the results of each different choice. I’ve been dying to figure out how to build an interactive fanfiction like that, actually.
The interesting side-effect to enjoying those stories, however, has been a tendency to wonder…what if? What if I hadn’t moved to that state, what if I had taken that job, what if I had picked up the phone that time…. Now, I’m not saying that those who didn’t read those stories never wondered what might’ve happened if they’d turned left instead of right, but…just go with me on this for a sec.
The idea of a choose-your-own-adventure life, however, is just…heartbreaking, honestly. Pondering the possibilities while knowing they’re impossible. Once I was asked what one thing I’d change if I could go back in time. My first thought was to answer that I’d evacuate the Towers the morning of September 11th. But then…what if all of those people lived? What if we couldn’t deal with the changes of the world in the wake of that?
I never really put much weight in fate or destiny. I’ve just always believed that what happens to us is a direct result of the choices we make—which is one reason why last season’s Team Free Will was so appealing to me. I don’t think there’s a script to life, no pre-determined path. I do believe things happen for a reason, but that for the most part, the reason is a result of a series of choices by a plethora of people over a period of time.
The only time, thus far, I’ve conceded that stance is when I met my husband. I’m sure any of us meeting our perfect matches could be potentially seen the same way. I escaped my life in Indiana and moved to Phoenix to live with a high school friend. I got a job as an Administrative Assistant at an Architectural firm through a placement agency. It was a total dart-thrown-at-board situation.
He graduated Architecture school at the University of Kansas and had two interviews: one in Phoenix and one in Denver. He only had money for one flight. He flipped a coin: heads was Phoenix, tails Denver. It was heads. That? Felt a little like fate to me.
Seeing one of the actual, Greek-mythology Fates was cool, but it’s certainly not the first time our show has ventured down the path of there being some all powerful Force controlling everything, to quote my favorite Corellian. However, there seem to be a multitude of players with skin in the game—from all points of literature as well. Angels, of course. Death and the Reapers—teaching Dean that his declaration of what’s dead should stay dead wasn’t too far off the mark when it came to messing with the Grand Order Of Things.
And now Greek mythology’s three Fates.
Before I dig into the rambling recap, I just wanted to think a little bit about Fate, or Atropos, being royally ticked at the boys for staving off the Apocalypse. I mean, for goodness sakes, the guys have been laughing in Fate’s collective faces for years. If you put aside anything to do with their parent’s choices or the idea that the angels maneuvered humanity just so that John and Mary could get together to create these two hunters, Sam first tempted Fate when he found Roy LaGrange, saving Dean from death-by-electrocutionally-weakened-hear
So, it’s interesting to me that they centered just on the Apocalypse as the reason Atropos had her knickers in a twist. Perhaps that was simply the biggest thwarting, I don’t know. They way they tell these stories can get complicated if one thinks about it too long. Because if what happened back when Dean played Death for a day is true—that by saving the little girl an immediate chain-reaction of deaths that weren’t supposed to happen occurred—then the effect of 1,500 people not dying should have conceivably had a much bigger impact on the world—even the little corner of it that we saw—than it did.
But if one doesn’t think about it too long, and just take the story for the sake of the story, then this particular episode had more than enough layers (and heartbreaking ramifications) to keep me entertained. So, with that, how about I just dig in, yeah?
I didn’t watch a thing over the hiatus—not even a rewatch of the previews from 6.16—and I was surprised to see Ellen and Jo in the THEN. However, that power-slide by the Impala in the first shot was awesome.
With the NOW, we open on Chester, PA, and a random guy doing random things in his garage. Before I knew this episode was going to go all Final Destination on us, I totally thought that the moment he propped up his garage door with a two-by-four things were going to end bad. I mean, that’s just asking for trouble…or…heh…tempting Fate. *laughs at self* Sorry. It’s late.
ANYWAY. Through a totally random series of events—glass jar of nails is knocked over, a skateboard falls, bunch of balls get tipped over onto the ground—triggered by one simple event—his beer bottle isn’t sitting where he thought he left it—this guy ends up getting decapitated by his garage door. Gack.
Back at Bobby’s, the older hunter is drinking and researching…sorta. Mostly he’s drinking. Dean and Sam are standing in the doorway between the kitchen and the study…or whatever room you’d call the place where Bobby’s desk and copious amount of books reside.
Sam mouths to Dean – Say something.
Dean mouths back – You!
Sam – No, you!
Silently they agree to play paper/rock/scissors to decide who breaches the disgruntled quiet surrounding Bobby, and Dean—always with the scissors—surprisingly wins. Hee. I missed these guys. Not just Sam and Dean, these guys.
Before Sam can do anything but clear his throat, Bobby speaks up sounding like Grumpy on a sugar low and asks them if they plan on pitching in. I mean, Eve’s not gonna just gank herself, boys. Dean tells Bobby he’s worried because the older man hasn’t slept in days. Sam chimes in that losing Rufus was hard for all of them, but they know the hunter wasn’t just a poker buddy to Bobby.
Bobby growls that this has nothing to do with Rufus.
Bobby: You wanna stand there and therapize or you wanna get me some coffee? Make it Irish.
Dude. I’m totally using that line somehow. “Get me some coffee. And make it Irish.”
The boys turn around all oooookay, he’s clearly fine, this has nothing to do with Rufus, riiiiight….
Dean: What are we gonna do? We can just sit here and watch him poop out his liver.
What an interesting line from Dean who basically advised his brother to follow his example and drown his memories of Hell in alcohol. Unless…that was a subtle shift in the space-time continuum and alternate-reality Dean wasn’t a functioning alcoholic. *ponders*
Sam thinks a job would help break Bobby out of is funk and tells Dean about the freaky deaths in PA—three of them (garage door man was the latest) and they’re all blood relatives. Dean’s about to latch onto that idea when Bobby materializes behind him and pretty much kicks them out of his house. So, reluctantly, they leave, heading out to the junkyard, Dean carrying a duffel bag that he tosses…
…into the back seat of a COBRA FREAKIN’ MUSTANG. *pauses to fan self* Not only that? It had the KAZ 2Y5 plates on it. Guys, if it had been a Shelby? I would have been a pile of goo on the floor. I kid you not. When I grow up, I’m getting a Shelby GT500. Mine won’t be black with brown racing stripes, though. Dark blue all the way.
The fan-wave to this altered car of choice was, of course, in the Season 1 DVDs where Kripke reveals that he’d originally envisioned the Winchester brothers driving around in a Mustang until a buddy of his told him that you could fit a body in the trunk of an Impala. I think this buddy also called the Mustang a few disparaging names, but I’ll ignore it. What can I say; I’m a giver.
Anyway, the boys climb into the MUSTANG as if the squeak of these doors is the sound of home to them and Sam says, “Maybe we should wait until she gets back.”
Dean argues that “she” is on her way, so they leave.
The part of my brain that thinks about things too long went to the license plate for a moment. The reason they changed it was to avoid detection back when they were “alive” and detectable. I found it interesting that the writers decided to toss us a bone of nostalgia without also changing enough of the brothers’ back story that would support the fact that they hadn’t needed to change their plate in the first place. But that’s when the curtain starts to be pulled back for me and I decide to focus on the story for the sake of the story.
After the brothers pull away, Bobby is back inside, pouring another drink, and is stopped by a double-barrel shotgun across his arm. Ellen. Home from a hunt with a bag of groceries.
Bobby: You’re worse than the boys. I’m working.
Ellen: I’m gone a week and this place goes to Hell. What is wrong with you?
Bobby: Get a pen. It’s a long list.
They continue to poke at each other as two people who live hard lives, but truly love each other, tend to do. Through the conversation, we find out that Jo is not only alive, but is hunting (elsewhere). Ellen is also sad about Rufus—and sad that Bobby is sad—but she knows he married her because she basically keeps him honest.
Poor Bobby. Poor Jim, really. They keep giving his characters story lines where he has to lose wives—twice over causing her death. That can’t be easy on his heart.
As for Bobby and Ellen being married…I liked it. I saw it as two friends knowing they were less lonely together and wanting to matter to someone. Nothing at Bobby’s house had changed—it was still the ratty, worn, hunter’s haven and research treasure trove. Jo was still in the picture. I just figured they’d decided to get married somewhere along the line (after Ellen had lost her husband and Bobby had lost his wife…maybe even after John died), and I liked that Bobby had someone. Of course I didn’t know how he was going to lose her at this point, but lose her he would—because that’s just what they like to do to us, this show.
And I have to tell you…I’m officially worried about Bobby again. They’re wearing him down, taking so much away. And Dean said it himself, if Bobby was this bad with Ellen, imagine what he’d be like without her. Just…worried, is all.
Back with the boys (which, I have to say, I know I’m probably in the minority with this, but I loved that everyone kept referring to them as the boys…it endeared them to me, and unified them, in a way) are off in PA (which…that Mustang must move, ya’ll) inspecting the Garage O’Death and coming up with a whole lot of nothing, though Dean is convinced that there are skeleton’s in the Russo family’s closet.
Dean: Accidents don’t just happen accidentally. (Pause. Look.) You know what I mean.
The only thing they walk away with is a strand of what turns out to be gold, leaving them even more confused. Sam takes the “search through family records” assignment while Dean goes with next of kin—an ambulance-chaser-type lawyer from the Russo family.
Pretending to be a genealogy student at the local University, Dean tries to get some info out of Russo about his family, asking if there was any kind of “violent” event that would “sully future generations.” Russo is all, I’m sorry, what? Dean presses on asking if anyone was a slave? Any ties to the Nazi party? Did Grandma piss off a gypsy?
Russo stands up to kick him out of the office when Dean, exasperated, decides to cut to the chase.
Dean: Your life is in danger.
Russo: Are you threatening me?
Dean: No! I’m just saying if you don’t watch your back, you’re gonna die.
Oh, Dean. *shakes head and pets him*
Needless to say, the lawyer kicks him out. Sam calls Dean (or visa versa, I can’t remember) and all he’s got is that the family immigrated to America in 1912 and appear to be white picket fence for generations. Dean climbs into the MUSTANG, saying, “If these people are the Walton’s then why the Hell are they dying?”
Cue freaky death number two. Y’know, in the original Final Destination (I only made it through one…though, I think there were like four or five), the death that disturbed me the most was the guy getting strangled by the line used to dry clothes in the shower stall. Because it just looked like it could happen so easily. This time, we get a Travel Agent alone in her office, on the phone with a potential client who is leaning toward Priceline because that darn William Shatner is so convincing.
In this death, though, we see Fate herself. She stops time, moves the Travel Agents keys from her purse to the floor next to the copy machine, then starts time again. When the weary Travel Agent hangs up the phone and reaches for her purse, she can’t find her keys and looks around the office. Spying them on the floor near the copy machine, she, too, sets off a random chain of events that result in her getting strangled to death when her scarf is caught in the copier feed. Ugh.
Once she’s dead, Atropos shows up again, opens a big black book, crosses a name off the list, a golden strand falling off the frayed bookmark. Sometime later, the boys are in the Travel Agency, trying to figure out what’s going on as the deceased wasn’t related to the Russos. They do find the stray strand of gold, though, and back at the—nicely appointed—motel room, Dean calls Ellen.
Ellen says she has “Jo and her crew” working on the same case in California where people are dropping like flies. So, this Fate chick is bi-coastal. Dean asks how Bobby is doing and Ellen replies that she’s, “kicking his ass back to health and happiness.”
Bobby: Who asked you to?
*rubs heart* I wish Bobby could’ve kept this one thing. Just this one thing.
Dean (to Ellen): You okay?
Ellen: Oh, honey. You’re sweet. Just worried about you boys.
Dean pushes away the attention and refocuses on the hunt. The scene centers a lot on Ellen making stew—and I was starting to get worried that she was going to like…catch her sleeve on fire or choke on a carrot or something. But I think they were just showing us what it looked like to have domestication come to Bobby’s place. That and they were able to show us that Ellen flavors her stew with beer. While she’s doing this, she’s rambling on to Dean that they’d been doing some old school ancestry.com-type searches and found out that all of the families came to America in 1912…on the Titanic.
Only…Dean, Ellen, and Sam have never heard of the Titanic. The whole idea of something that was so significant in history being a big ol’ nothing was weird. A good weird, but...weird. *smiles* So, Sam and Dean did some more research and pondering. While trying to figure out the big freakin’ deal, Sam discovers that the boat almost hit an iceberg, but that the First Mate, one Mr. I. P. Freely, pointed it out in the nick of time.
Zone in on the pic of said First Mate and it’s none other than our cheeky Angel, Balthazar. They immediately close the curtains of the motel room, pull their Angel Summoning Kit out and BAM. Balty, front and center. In his odd, endearingly arrogant way, he says that yes, the boat was meant to sink and yes, he saved it because he hated the movie and the song that went along with it. Apparently, Celine Dion is destitute in Quebec in this reality.
The boys call his bluff—saying that Angels couldn’t change the past, a lesson driven home for Dean in a very painful, very real way. Balty tells them that there are no more rules.
Which suddenly had me thinking about the fate, no pun intended, of our show. I don’t want to know spoilers, so just hand-wave this thought process if you must, but…if there are no rules now, and if angels could change the past…and if Castiel is playing a bit fast and loose with humanity as a whole for the sake of the war in Heaven…I wonder what that could potentially mean for Sam’s Wall. And for his future. Moving on.
Sam: The nerve on you.
Balty: I saved people. I thought you loved that kind of thing.
Sam is all, ramifications galore…, ending with: You totally Butterfly Effected history!
Dean: Dude. Rule number one.
No culture references. HA! Okay, so does that mean that in a world where he drives a MUSTANG, chick-flick moments are allowed? *laughs*
ETA: Whoops!! I stand corrected -- he actually says, "No Kutcher references," as in the actor who starred in The Butterfly Effect. Thank you to those who have closed captioning--or really, really good ears. :)
Balty argues that only the small details are changed. There are still angels and demons and they still averted the Apocalypse, oh, and um, Ellen and Jo are supposed to be dead. But that’s really it. *rolls eyes* Oh, Balty.
But that’s another “think too long” moment…just Ellen and Jo? Really? Why not John and Mary? Or Bobby’s wife? Or Adam? Or Gramps, even? Why not any number of losses they’ve suffered? It makes me wonder…did they write that part of the story based on who they thought they could get to film? Or did they write it for the impact? Because they could have easily made any one of those characters “alive” without actually showing them. I’m just saying.
When Balty casually tosses off that Ellen and Jo were supposed to have died in a giant explosion, the boys look slightly gutted. Sam is a little quicker to recover than Dean. I thought Dean looked really pale in this scene—not sure if it was the lighting or what, but he definitely looked as if he’d been dealt a blow.
I read an article recently—and if I could remember where it was or who it was by, I’d link you here, but I can’t, so just go with me on this for a minute—where the writer was talking about how Dean was the heartbeat of the series, this season especially. As a fan of the character, that truly resonated with me. It wasn’t said—and I didn’t take it—to remove any of the significance of Sam’s character from the dynamic. The writer was just calling out how Dean has been that steady beat in the background through sacrifice, through Hell, through blood addiction, through possession, through soullessness. His focus has always been on one thing: keeping his family safe. Alive. Together, if possible.
So, for me, in moments like this when both boys are dealt an emotional blow, I expect Sam to feel it—now that he has his soul back at any rate. I expect him to react and to show emotion. But when I see it from Dean, when he pales—visibly pales—and his eyes go wide and his throat works and his lips press out and his breathing changes…I have to rub my heart because through him I feel it. I feel them having to lose Ellen and Jo all over again.
Anyway, sorry. /Dean = love sidebar.
Balty wants to know why they’re all worked up about all of this.
Sam: Someone is killing the survivors…which is like 50,000 people.
Dean: And we need to save as many as we can—need to know who or what is after them.
Balty: Unlike the other angel, the one in the dirty trench coat who is in love with you, I. Don’t. Care.
And with that, he’s gone.
Dean: Son of a BITCH!
Ah, how I’ve missed that expletive.
The boys (I’ll just carry on the theme) sit side-by-side on the bed to speak-phone Bobby and share the news. Bobby says that it makes sense because he’s been able to figure out that they’re up against one of the Fates.
Sam: Like…Greek mythology? Like the sisters?
Hee. The shut up…no you shut up looks they tossed each other was adorable.
Bobby tells them that the Fates spin your fate on a thread of gold and then “writes it down in her day planner of death.” He says that the easiest thing to do would be to get Balty to go back and sink that ship. Dean’s reply of “NO!” is immediate.
Bobby: There’s a big difference between dying and never having been born, Dean.
Dean is adamant that they are Not. Sinking. That. Boat.
Bobby: What’s got your panties in a clench?
Dean exchanges a look with Sam before replying with the most unconvincing, “Nothing,” in the history of ever.
Bobby: Try that again.
Dean (his voice shaking as it does when he has to force sound past the emotion lodged in his throat): Apparently…a crapload of dominoes get tipped over if the Titanic goes down and…bottom line…Ellen and Jo die.
Bobby looks stunned. Like can’t take it all in stunned. His eyes track to a photo of him and Ellen in front of a sign reading B&E Scrap Yard.
Bobby: You two listen up. You make sure you keep those angels from sinking that boat. You understand me?
Dean and Sam scramble to answer a very affirmative, “Yes. Of course.”
Left with no freakin’ clue how to save 50,000 people, Dean figures the best place to start is with Russo the lawyer who kicked him out of his office. So, again some time later, they’re sitting in the MUSTANG watching for Russo to emerge from his office. Spying him heading out jabbering on his cell phone, they start to follow, Dean calling Russo’s name. Meanwhile, barreling down a side alley is a man sipping a cup of coffee. Russo walking and talking, boys follow calling, van barreling toward road…you can see where this is going, right?
The van guy dumps his coffee in his lap and looks down just as Russo finally hears Dean call his name and pauses to turn. He’s narrowly saved from being a van hood ornament by one of the boys grabbing him out of the way—I couldn’t tell which one, but Sam helps him up off the ground. Before the boys can do anything, Russo is backing away—into the street—telling them to stay away and they’re lucky he doesn’t sue…and suddenly KER-SPLAT.
He’s totally flattened by a speeding bus…ironically bearing a very large ad with his name and legal services. Now, a man getting smushed and leaving a liberal red stain and one lone shoe on the pavement is NOT funny. It’s not.
But the boys’ faces—their reactions, especially Sam’s expression of I can’t believe that just freakin’ happened was…well, it was Boondock Saints cat-scene funny. I know, I know. I’m a terrible, awful person. But…I kinda laughed.
Dean, bless him, sees the ad for the lawyer on the back of the bus and his lips quirk up as he points it out to Sam.
Dean: Too soon?
Sam: Yeah, Dean. I think six seconds is definitely too soon.
As police sirens sound in the distance approaching the accident site, Sam is looking around and spies a blonde in black-framed (too-large-for-her-face) glasses peering from a window in a closed up restaurant. He tells Dean he thinks he saw her. As in Fate, her. Honestly, that was a leap for me. How the heck did Sam know this one random blonde at an accident scene was Fate? *hand waves*
Dean: What did she look like?
Sam: A…librarian, actually.
Dean: Your kind of librarian or my kind of librarian?
Sam (after a pause and the Little Brother Head Tilt Of Patience): Well, she was wearing clothing if that’s what you mean.
Dean shrugs with his mouth and suggests they head over to “talk” (as he shows Sam his gun) to her. Says they have nothing to worry about because they aren’t tied to the boat. So, they go into the building and there’s a shot of the clock. It was 10:35 if anyone is curious. They move through the building, Dean shining his flashlight (that he apparently keeps up his sleeve) over the covered tables and counters and stoves.
The clock stops. Fate steps in (ha!) and turns off the pilot light and turns on all of the gas on all of the stoves. The clock starts again and Dean’s flashlight flickers and fades. Predictably, he has his Zippo on him, only it doesn’t light straight away. They move further back toward the kitchen, which is swiftly filling with gas fumes. Just as they open the door of the kitchen, the Zippo catches and the fumes explode, engulfing them in flames and…
…Cas pulls them to the secluded safety of…White Russia?! Anyway, that’s where he says they are, in the middle of a wooded clearing. It’s night there, the darkness bringing a strange sort of intimacy to the scene even though they’re surrounded by vast nothingness.
The boys are like, dude, did you know about all of this?
Cas: Balthazar can be…impetuous.
He tells them that Fate harbors a certain amount of rage toward them for averting the Apocalypse and “rendering her obsolete.” Which I don’t entirely get because of the whole Dean-plays-Death episode. If Fate is obsolete, then how come Dean wasn’t able to save that little girl without such catastrophic repercussions? This is why it’s a bit confusing to me to have so many players vying for a piece of our boys. Anyway, for the sake of this story, Fate? She is pissed. And with good reason because those Winchesters just don’t quit.
Dean: So…we’ve pissed Fate off personally?
Cas: She won’t stop until you’re dead.
So, Cas says they’re going to have to kill Fate and it just so happens that Balty has a weapon that will work against her.
Dean: Of course he does. You need to get some new friends, Cas.
Cas: I’m trying to save the ones I have, Dean.
As he says this, he turns to look at Dean with this expression of just-beneath-the-surface power…a reminder in a glance that he’s not just their pal that drops in unannounced once in awhile. He is still an Angel Of The Lord and there are things about him that these guys don’t know. Gotta say, I’ve never really had a “thing” for Castiel per se, but damn, did he look awesome in that moment.
Sam proposes they be used as bait, essentially, and Cas agrees that literally “tempting fate” is the way to go.
Meanwhile, back at B&E Scrap Yard, Jo has called in to report her progress—or lack thereof—to her mom and Ellen tells Bobby she’s worried about what the boys are going to be able to do to stop this.
Bobby: It’s the boys. If anyone can pull this outta their ass, it’s those two.
I loved that. I loved that confidence in them and the history that we all heard in those words—heard and remembered.
Ellen is doubtful and says basically the same thing that Bobby did—it would be easier just to convince the Angels to sink the boat. Bobby…does not react well to this.
Ellen: What’s up with you?
Ellen: You are a neon sign. I could beat it out of you or we could skip that part. Dealer’s choice.
So…after a mini stare-down, Bobby tells her the truth about her fate. There’s some interesting camera work where they focus in really tight on Bobby’s eyes watching Ellen, then Ellen’s mouth as she sips some whiskey, then Ellen’s eyes as she looks down. We don’t really see that tight of focus on a character outside of the boys. I thought it was attention-grabbing and it pulled me into the moment between these two characters who in this reality—and in our reality—truly loved each other and respected each other and have both dealt with loss and pain.
Ellen: So, it’s not just me, but Jo, too?
*rubs heart* Aww, such a Mom thing to say and worry about. Not exactly wanting to die, but I’m more worried that my girl won’t be here, either. The final scene where Ellen and Jo died—when Ellen kissed her already-dead daughter goodbye—broke my heart. I hadn’t cried that hard for a TV show in…well, I’m not sure, honestly.
Bobby: They’re not gonna sink the boat.
Ellen: But if it’s meant to be….
Bobby: Nothing is “meant to be.” Whether we’re together is the whim of some dick angel.
Or…the flip of a coin.
They’re quiet for a moment and then Bobby confesses, “We need you. Especially me.”
Ellen smiles sadly and puts her hand on Bobby’s arm. “I know.”
The camera pulls out to show them both sitting at the small kitchen table, touching, and quiet.
Poor Bobby. *rubs heart*
Back in PA, Dean and Sam are walking around…tempting fate.
Dean (nervously): So, we could meet our fate any time?
Sam: Just walk. Act natural.
They act about as natural as the retelling of the events in Tall Tales. They are both wound so tight you could bounce a quarter off of them and Dean’s glancing nervously around as if he’s come down with Ghost Fever again. As Blondie’s “One Way or Another” plays, they flinch away from runners, skateboarders, bikers…and then at the top of a set of stairs, they stop, Dean groaning, “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.”
In front of them are street performers juggling knives. And hatchets. And fire. No, I’m not kidding.
Taking a deep breath, they walk forward, cutting between the jugglers. Sam’s face…I need a .gif of that. Seriously. So. Freakin’. Funny. He pulls his arms in close and does this funny little half-jog, half-hop with his face folding in a perfect I lost my shoe expression, while Dean barrels through like an Irish step dancer—not moving his upper body at all. His face is hilariously tense…which sounds cruel, but you know what I mean.
They make it to a sidewalk and edge past a construction worker with a jammed nail gun (which totally put me in the mind of Lethal Weapon II…, “Nailed ‘em both…”) and start to relax. Sam even dares to say that maybe Cas was wrong when suddenly, what looks like an HVAC cooling unit being lifted to an upper floor on some sort of crane thing, falls, plummeting toward them. They both look up and…
…time stops. Again.
Fate approaches them and Cas approaches Fate and we have our tête-à-tête of the episode. We start with Fate—Atropos—declaring that Cas ruined her life. She had a job and they all had a script and then Cas had to go all Free Will on her and screwed everything up. Cas argues that freedom was better, but she only sees chaos. No one will talk to her in Heaven and she doesn’t know what happens next. She needs to know. It’s her job.
Don’t think I’d want that job.
Cas (almost arrogantly) tells her that her services are no longer needed and she throws out what I think was the main point of this whole story: she knows what Cas is up to.
Fate: I’ve kept my mouth shut. But un-sinking the Titanic was the last straw. This isn’t about some stupid movie. Balthazar is under your orders. You sent him back to save that ship.
Cas slides his eyes away in a very un-Cas-like way and turns from her, saying, “No, I didn’t. Why would I?”
I think I might have actually gasped when he did that. Gasped and then performed my best impression of Miracle Max’s wife, Valerie, by (quietly) shouting LIAR! at my TV. I knew Cas saying that certain “regrettable” things being asked of him would circle back around to us, and I knew we didn’t know even half of the whole story with the Civil War in Heaven but I don’t think I ever really thought Cas would flat-out lie like that. I kinda thought he…couldn’t.
But I. Was. Wrong.
Fate: Because you’re in the middle of a war and you’re desperate. This is about the souls.
Finally! We’re getting somewhere! I can’t wait to find out more about this whole soul currency that Balty brought up 12-ish episodes ago and Death put Dean on the trail of…and I can’t help but wonder if Cas’ whole “Sam’s soul felt like it had been skinned” comment was more about its…loss of worth, if you will, than about Sam’s ultimate suffering.
Fate: That Angel created 50,000 more souls for your war machine.
I wonder if it was just the existence of souls in the world that he needed, or if he was counting on Fate to step in and, essentially, reap them to help “fuel” his machine (figuratively or literally). And if it was just the existence of souls in the world, why choose the Titanic? That seems so random—why not go further back in history to another disastrous event with greater loss of life?
Maybe the choice really was Balty’s. Maybe Cas just said, “We need more souls,” and Balty with his quirky ways was like, “Awesome, I have always hated the movie Titanic and if I hear that song one more time I’m going to remove my ears with eyebrow tweezers, so I know where I can find you some souls.”
Fate: You can’t just mint money. It’s wrong and it’s dangerous. And I won’t let you. If you don’t go sink that boat, I’m killing the boys.
Cas (with a dangerous glint in his eyes): I won’t let you.
And remember, time has stopped all this time, so in the background, you can see the frozen images of Dean and Sam looking up as the HVAC unit hangs poised above them.
Fate: What are you gonna do?
Cas: Do you really want to test me?
Fate: I’ve got two sisters out there bigger in every sense of the word. Kill me? Sam and Dean are target one. For simple vengeance. Can you watch them every second of every day? Fate strikes when you least expect it.
Cas has looked over at Sam and Dean as she’s talking. Without looking back, he says in a totally dead-panned voice, “Balthazar stop.”
Fate whips around and we see Balty halted in the act of stabbing Fate with some kind of Heavenly Fate-killing weapon.
Fate (to Cas): Get things right before I flick your precious boys off a cliff just on principle.
Balty: Sweetie, before I go, I could remove that stick from your—
Fate: Don’t. Try. Me.
Balty: We’ll leave it inserted then. Okay! Let’s sink the Titanic!
And the HVAC unit thingy falls to the ground—Sam and Dean nowhere near it.
Next thing we know, the boys are crashed out inside THE IMPALA (hooray! *hugs it*), both collapsed against their doors, asleep. “My Heart Will Go On” is playing on the radio. Dean startles awake (and can I just say…I love when he does that), turns off the radio, and opens his door—the sound startling Sam awake. They’re sleeping in the Impala, parked in Bobby’s junk lot, in what looks to be the middle of the day. Getting out, they lean on the roof of the car and regard each other.
Sam: I just had THE weirdest dream.
Dean: $20 says mine was weirder.
Sam: Mine was bizarre.
Dean: Mine had the actual Titanic in it.
Sam gives him A Look.
Dean: What? Something on my face?
Sam: Did it, uh, not sink…because Balthazar….
Dean: …had a hate on for Billy Zane? Why are you in my dreams, dude?
Cas (from out of nowhere): It wasn’t a dream.
Maybe not, but it’s a helluvan idea for a fic.
Dean (to Cas): You’re saying this actually happened?
Cas tells them he made Balty fix it because it was the only way to ensure that Sam and Dean would be safe. And wow. I don’t know exactly what to do with that information. Is it simply because they’ve become the only semblance of family Cas has? Is it as a reward for all the sacrifices they’ve made to save the world? Or is it because he needs them—these two in particular—for an as-yet-unrevealed play on the Heavenly battlefield?
Sam: You killed 50,000 people.
Dean gets That Look. The one that burns my heart up and does funny things to my belly.
Cas: No, I didn’t. They were never born. Far difference from being killed.
Dean (in a strangled voice): Ellen and Jo?
Cas (looks down): I’m sorry.
Dean (has to sit back on the hood of the Impala as he absorbs this): Hold on. You guys changed everything back and it all got erased…how come we remember?
Cas: I wanted you to. I wanted you to know that Fate is cruel and capricious.
Yeah, but why though? Because they’re going to have a fated choice coming up? Or is it because he wants to be able to say, “I allowed 50,000 people to never have been born—stopped 50,000 souls from feeding my war machine—just to save you two.” *is pondering*
Cas: You’re the ones who taught me that you could make your own destiny; you don’t have to be ruled by fate. I still believe that’s something worth fighting for. I just wanted you to understand.
Dean’s watching him and the light is hitting his face and his eyes just right that it was just…beautiful.
Dean: Balty really unraveled a sweater over a chick flick?
Cas (too quickly and looking away—totally his tell): Yes. Absolutely. That’s what he did.
Dean: Titanic didn’t suck that bad.
Sam gives him an are you kidding me look. Dean glances back with a slight shrug.
Dean: Winslet’s rack.
Annnnddd…with that Cas is gone.
Dean: Tell you one thing about Cas—he doesn’t appreciate the finer things.
Dangit, I wanted him to totally call Cas out for lying after the Angel fled. I wanted one of them to be able to see through Cas. But…maybe that’s just me being too suspicious. They did just get handed some pretty weighty news after all. They head in to Bobby’s house and find him asleep on the couch, a book open in his lap.
Sam: Poor bastard. Doesn’t know how good he had it.
Dean: What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. We keep our mouths shut.
Sam: Should we wake him?
Dean: Nah. This is probably the best he’s felt all week.
Dean moves over and gently removes the book from Bobby’s lap, covering the older man with a blanket while Sam watches with a look of sadness etched into his features. The camera pans to a familiar picture, only this time it’s just Bobby standing in front of a sign reading Singer Auto.
Well…I think I’ve run out of waxing lyrical about fate for the time being. Now, we just have to wonder what Cas needed those 50,000 souls for and what he and Balty are truly up to and what other “regrettable” things he’s had to do and how the value of souls are going to turn the tide of this war and this season and how The Mother of All Whatever comes into play and…well, okay, there are a lot of ‘ands.’
BUT! Next week?? The Western. I am listening to Chris LeDoux’s “This Cowboy’s Hat” as I wrap this up in homage to our boys on horses…or whatever they have planned for them. Thanks for reading! Slainte.