"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."
~ Inscription on John Wayne's tombstone
That? Was awesome.
Completely awesome. Plotholes, schmlotholes. I don’t even care anymore. *laugh* I had FUN tonight, ya’ll! FUN!!
Okay, I’m just gonna dig in because there was so much that I loved about this particular episode I’ll just ramble on and insert the random thoughts that occurred to me when they occurred/occur rather than grouping them at the beginning. And before any of you who weren’t totally in love with this one grit your teeth too much at me, I promise to try to not give you Pollyanna-induced cavities, ‘cause there are some thoughts that have me tilting my head a bit and also a might worried about our heroes—the lot of them.
*takes deep breath*
We start with our standard THEN, giving us a flash back to AHBL I/II and the massive, railroad Devil’s Trap built around the Devil’s Gate in Wyoming all constructed by one Mr. Samuel Colt. In case anyone forgot. Then we get a flash of Time Travel via Angel Transport followed by a reminder of the Mother of All and her myriad of monsters and dead people. All caught up? Good.
NOW starts in Sunrise, WY. It’s a classic western camera shot of a classic western town as viewed from the vantage point of a gallows pole. Which, come to think of it, would have been a cool title for this episode—if they were still going with the classic rock-inspired titles like in seasons past. But it’s okay. They tied the title of “Frontierland” in cleverly anyway.
It’s what my family—who are all suckers for Westerns (movies and TV shows)—calls a “hide and watch” scene, taken from the line in Silverado when (bad) Sheriff Cobb advises an onlooker to hide and watch before the big shoot-out at the end. Dean steps out into the street wearing a kick-ass duster, black vest, perfectly tipped-down brown hat (with a nice hat band). The Bad Guy, dressed similarly but all in black, also steps out.
And if you read my fic, you might know I have a tiny selfish reason for being utterly giddy about this episode. Those of you who read Heroes for Ghosts, Dean looked EXACTLY as I pictured him (except that in my story, he was wearing all black like the bad guy in this episode). And I don’t think I have to tell you how happy that made me. Hee.
They each flick back their dusters, clearing their gun holsters. The camera flashes to their eyes (and OMG…Dean just…seriously), then their hands—fingers curling, flexing, shaking loose, ready to draw. Dean’s eyes flick up to the big clock which is nearly at high noon. The clock ticks to noon, the camera pulls up, both men draw and fire, and the screen goes black.
I had a momentary flash to the Han v Greedo, who shot first debate. I know. I’m a total geek. I don’t deny it.
We shift immediately to a Bonanzaesque beginning with an old school map of Wyoming lit on fire in the middle and burning outward with spaghetti-western-type music playing the theme. Awesome.
Next thing you know, we’re at the Campbell compound thingy and it’s 48 hours earlier (and 150 years later). The boys and Bobby are inside looking for something, Sam muttering that he knows it’s around here somewhere. He makes them help him move a table and finds a hole in the floor, pulling up a trap door and revealing a hidden room: The Campbell Family Library.
*head tilt moment*
So…Sam was able to remember the location of the Campbell Family Library without ramification? I don’t think I truly understand the limitations of the wall. Because I suppose he did remember enough about hunting with Gramps—he said as much in ATTWN. I guess I was just thinking that Dean would strenuously object to him remembering anything. Still, they needed access to that library, so, I’m glad he wasn’t a quivering mass of goo as a result of this recollection.
They climb down and shine their lights around. One wall is papered with lots and lots of pics of (I’m guessing) relatives from way back. Mostly, though, the room is just covered with books. Books and books and then more books. Bobby tells them to look for “anything that will put a run in the Octomom’s stockings.”
So…they search through the books. And search, and search, and search s’more.
They gather around a table, looking at several books that caught Bobby’s eye.
Bobby: Either of you jokers ever heard anything about a Phoenix?
Sam shakes his head.
Dean: River, Joaquin, or the giant flaming bird?
Sam looks at his brother with a totally cute grin. The kind you give your hero. I loved it. I loved them being brothers again in this.
I just want to put it out there, though, that somewhere in the last four episodes, I’m waiting for that moment of heart-wrenching angst when memories surface. And not just Sam’s memories of Hell. I’m talking memories from each brother about what happened between them at the beginning of this season. Dean may act as though nothing else matters, now that Sam is Sam again, but those memories aren’t erased. Sam may have a protective wall and a code of silence protecting him from remembering, but Dean doesn’t. And I’m just wondering what in the next four episodes is going to trigger that pain for both of them.
And I hope hope hope that The Powers That Be use it to draw the brothers together rather than once more tear them apart. Because right now? They’re totally together and it rocks. But we can’t just rock in blissful brotherly love through the end of this season without completely wrecking any kind of semblance of story flow. If those memories and/or experiences we all had to survive in the first 12 episodes aren’t addressed in some way, the story arch will be a…ball of string, not a tightly woven cord.
Bobby, reading from one of the books, says that ashes from a Phoenix can burn the Mother.
Dean: Great! Where do we get one?
Confess—how many of you said, Dumbledor’s office? No? Just me, then? Okay.
Bobby (baffled): I thought it was a myth!
So, they head back to the books, books, and more books looking for something on a Phoenix. Dean is reading something and behaving like he’s having entirely too much fun with it for it to be productive. He glances up once or twice to check on Sam and Bobby, looking like a kid with a comic stuffed inside his History book.
Soon, however, he lifts his hand in discovery, rotating on his heel and turning toward the table Sam and Bobby are sitting at with a, “Guys. Guys guys guys guys…check this out!”
Reading from the book in his hands, Dean sinks onto a chair.
“March 5th, 1861. Sunrise, WY. Gun killed a Phoenix today and left a pile of smoldering ash.”
Dean looks up at them, his expression of triumphant discovery utterly priceless.
Sam: Whose gun?
Dean: Colt’s. THE Colt.
He turns the leather-bound book around to face Sam and shows him the Devil’s Trap on the cover. And in that moment, Sam and Dean turn into total kids on Christmas.
Sam: What?! That’s his! Dude. No.
Dean (grinning): Dude. Yes.
Sam: Lemme see it!
Dean (pulling it away): No.
He tells them that there’s no info on what the Phoenix looked like or where/how Colt found it.
Dean (with an excited gleam in his eye): I know where we can find one! March 5th, 1861. Sunrise, WY. We’ll Star Trek IV this bitch!
Sam looks at Bobby and lifts a shoulder in a clueless shrug.
Bobby: I only watch Deep Space 9.
Dean (rolling his head, and eyes, in exasperation): Star Trek IV. Save the whales!
Sam gives him a totally blank look. I, meanwhile, am grinning like a fool.
Dean: We jump back in time, hook up with Samuel Colt, hunt the Phoenix, haul the ashes back home.
He sits back, satisfied. Done and done.
Bobby (incredulously): Time travel? That’s a reasonable plan?
Dean: I got a guy who can swing it.
Dean stands, bowing his head, and prays to Castiel. “Castiel! The, uh, fate of the world’s in the balance. So…c’mon down here.” *peek* “C’mon, Cas! I-Dream-of-Jeanie your ass down here, pronto. Please.”
With the tale-tell sound of fluttering of wings we’ve learned heralds an angels arrival, a woman appears. Blonde, almost regal looking. She actually looked rather angelic, I thought. Gentle, aloof, and then incredibly powerful all in a glance. Well, done, Show.
Woman: Rachel. I understand you need some assistance?
Dean (with a semi-tolerant smile): We need to talk to the big Kahuna.
Sam: Where’s Cas?
Rachel (looking increasingly perturbed): Yes.
Dean: We got a line on the Mother of Freakin’ Everythi—
Rachel: I’m sure your issue is very important.
Dean stops talking with his lips pursed around the last word he tried to say and is looking at her as though he’d like nothing better than to smite her himself.
Rachel: But Castiel is commanding an army, so—
Dean: So we get stuck with Ms. Moneypenny.
Rachel: So you need to learn your place.
Grrrr. I get my hackles up when people start talking about “place.”
Dean: I don’t know who you think you are—
Rachel: I’m his friend.
Sam: And you think we’re not?
Rachel: I think you call him when you need something. He’s fighting a war.
Sam: We know.
Rachel: Clearly you don’t or you wouldn’t call him every time you stub your toe, you petty, entitled little—
Cas (suddenly and quietly appearing): Rachel.
Dead silence. Castiel’s voice can do that to a room. It’s, uh, kinda cool. *grins*
Cas: That’s enough.
Okay, so, I need to go random here a bit. Rachel has a point—they do only call Cas when they need him. But I would argue two points here. One, they know he’s fighting a war and is therefore critically busy, so why would they bother him for anything other than something they couldn’t do without him? Why call him if they didn’t need him? Wouldn’t he be a little more peeved if they called just to share a beer and shoot the breeze? So, I think that by calling him only when they need something, they’re actually respecting the fact that they have no idea what kind of pressure he’s under.
Which brings me to point two—Cas hasn’t told them anything other than Heaven’s in the middle of a Civil War. And as we’ve learned from this week and last week, Cas is up to his eyeballs in alligators. There is so much more going on than “just” a Civil War, but he hasn’t told them anything. They can’t see it, can’t hear it, can’t feel it. The only evidence they have that it’s even actually happening is the random visits from their friend and his compatriots…or enemies.
So, while Rachel had a point, it was totally unfair and out of context. And Cas knows this. Perhaps the “good” angels who know he has this connection with Sam and Dean don’t know how in the dark he’s kept them. Maybe that’s why Rachel was so bitter. But you know what? Doesn’t matter, because the same is true of Cas. He also tends to pop in unannounced and wreak havoc on their lives with Heavenly missions. It’s a two-way street, Rachel. *huffs*
Rachel (to Cas): I told you I’d take care of this.
Cas: You can go.
Rachel (incredulous): You’re staying?
Insert silent conversation between the angels that jacks up the tension in the room tenfold.
Cas: Go! I’ll come when I can.
Rachel leaves, and Dean turns to Cas, asking if she’s a friend of his.
Cas: She’s my Lieutenant. She’s committed to the cause.
Hmmmm. Something tells me that “the cause” has spilled over from just keeping Raphael from re-instigating the Apocalypse. Not to sound bitter, because I’m not, but it kinda mirrors the idea that this Season would be more intimate. I mean, it may have started out with a goal to go smaller, but from Angelic Civil Wars and a missing God, to Alpha Monsters and Purgatory, to The Mother of All, to the currency of human souls, to a soulless brother…well, it’s spilled over the nice neat edges of intimate a bit. Is that art imitating life? *shrugs*
Back at Bobby’s, Sam and Bobby are cleaning weapons.
Bobby: Where the hell is Dean?
Sam: Supply run.
Cas (who whooshes in): Um, about your plan? You only have 24 hours.
Sam (stands and approaches him): Why?
Cas: Well…the answer to your question can be best expressed in a series of partial differential equations.
*laughs* I love it when he waxes geek.
Bobby: Aim lower.
He shifts his eyes suggestively to Sam. *cracks up*
Cas (bringing it home for Sam): The further back I send you, the harder it is to retrieve you. If I don’t get you back in that amount of time, you’ll be lost to me.
Dean shows up with four shopping bags and a grin. He hands two bags to Sam and says that they’re going native. The bag has a store logo on the front: Wally’s Western World.
Sam’s like, no. thank. you. He wants to go as he is (jeans and snap-up flannel shirt).
Dean: And look like a space man?
Sam: Just because you’re obsessed with Wild West stuff….
Dean: I like old movies!
Sam: You have a fetish. You can recite every Clint Eastwood movie. Line for line.
*shifty eyes* Nothing wrong with being able to recite movies….is there? *blinks innocently*
Bobby: Even the monkey movie?
(Gah. I hated Every Which Way But Loose. Bad choice, Clint. Bad choice.)
Sam: Especially the monkey movie.
Dean: The name is Clyde.
Sam arches an eyebrow as if to say see? But he loses this hand and next thing we know the boys are clomping down the stairs and Sam is acting like a 12-year-old girl (but looks awesome…especially the belt buckle), “This is stupid. I look stupid.”
He looked cowboy, but not so much 1800s as I thought he would. Jeans, white shirt with westernish shoulder patches. But, like I said, I liked the buckle.
Dean, God bless ‘im, is dressed in a serape (and deangirl1, I get what you eluded to in your review of On the Surface now) and a white-trimmed dark shirt with a brown vest. He looks like he snagged clothes from both the sets of John Wayne’s The Searchers and Clint Eastwood’s Outlaw Josey Wales. But I thought his hat looked awesome—it’s tipped down perfectly to shadow his eyes. The only drawback was the stampede strings. Made him look sixteen.
Bobby (to Dean): You goin’ to a ho-down?
Cas (to Dean): Is it customary to wear a blanket?
Dean opens his mouth to explain that yes, this is traditional western wear (in movies, anyway), but gives up with a, “Let’s just go.”
Bobby gives them the dragon gold (which answers my question from the ramble after The French Mistake when Dean said they were broke again and I wondered how they’d spent all that dragon gold so fast) saying that where they’re going, they don’t take plastic. Cas says he’ll send them to March 4th to give them enough time.
Dean (like the total cowboy dork he is): See you at high noon, then.
Sam…is suddenly wearing a green jacket (which I thought looked totally non-1800s, honestly, but, hey, what do I know) and Cas zaps them back with his magic fingers. They’re in Sunrise, WY, with mud, gunk, tumbleweed, and empty space all around them.
Dean (giddy): Now we’re talking.
Back in the now, Cas has to leave and tells Bobby to pray for him in 24 hours and he’ll return. Bobby says he’ll pray for everyone. Which got me thinking (totally random, btw), in this ‘verse, God’s left Heaven. So…who listens to everyone’s prayers? Especially if the angels are so busy fighting each other and, aside from Cas, apparently care not a bit about the human race? Not a very bright thought. Moving on.
Bobby sets a timer in the now. Sam sets a timer (on his watch) back in the old west. And one advantage to Time Travel via Angel Transport is that they can bring things from now back to then. In Somewhere In Time, it was a coin from his own time that sucked Richard away from Elise. Whoops.
Dean suggests that they go to the saloon to talk to the locals.
Sam: Sure. Whatever, Sundance.
HA! Nice one, Sammy. Although, I always thought Sam would be Sundance and Dean would be Butch. But this works, too. *grins*
Dean: Think we’ll have time to hit on the saloon girls? Kidding!
They start forward and Sam immediately steps in manure.
Dean: You know what that’s called?
Sam: Yeah, it’s horse sh—
Hee! He was such a kid. I loved it. I loved seeing that glint in his eye. He hadn’t had a reason to have it in such a long, long time. It was just like the moment he got the Impala running again and opened her up on the road in Bloodlust. Hee. Again.
Sam pulls his hat on (black) and tries to drag his boot in the scrub grass to rid himself of the manure as they make their way into town. As they get there, they stand in the back of a small crowd staring up at the gallows pole where the Judge is reading a sentence. Elias Finch was being hug for the murder of his wife. And Elias looked familiar to me, but I couldn’t place the actor—so if you know who he is, lemme know.
The last words of the condemned are delivered with at full-on creepy smile: “You’re gonna burn for this.”
The music in the background as they pull the lever and Elias falls to a squishy-sounding crack reminded me of The Young Riders, a TV show about The Pony Express back in the ‘90s that I was totally nuts over.
The boys make uck faces as Elias is hung and Dean remarks, sarcastically, “Good times.” Sam ID’s the sheriff and says that they should talk to him about finding Samuel Colt. A grungy old local tells Dean “nice blanket” causing Dean to grudgingly remove his serape. He looked better without it, though he does walk away from the hanging with a total pouty-face.
They walk into the sheriff’s office and Dean introduces himself to the Sheriff, Deputy, and Judge as Marshall Eastwood (complete with silver badge). Clint Eastwood. The theme to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly plays in the background as he says this. And he says it with as much weight as Marty McFly in Back to the Future III, but just like in that movie, he’s met with a trio of blank stares. Hee.
He then introduces Sam as, “Walker. He’s a…Texas Ranger.”
HA! Sam gives him A Look, then says that they’re looking for a man. The Sheriff taunts them about their clothes being too clean.
Dean (still pouting a bit): It’s dirtier than it looks.
Sam tells them they need to find Samuel Colt. The Sheriff tells them to ask Elkins over at the saloon—who has been there long than God.
HA! Elkins! I loved it! *grins at Show*
Dean steps into the saloon with a big grin that very quickly fades as he looks around at the old man passed out on a table, the tired-looking saloon girls sitting on or near a silent piano, and the lone bartender wiping down a tiny bar.
Dean: This is not awesome.
Aw, Dean. *pets him*
Sam’s lips fold down into a consoling frown and he pats his brother on the back before moving them toward the bartender. The bartender played “Un-Bob” in the (rather short-lived) TV Show Lonesome Dove. Hey, I told you I watched a lot of westerns.
Dean: I’ll have your top shelf whiskey.
Bartender: I only got one shelf.
Dean: That’ll do fine. He’ll have a sarsaparilla.
Sam = *eye-roll*
Turns out the bartender is Elkins. HA! Still love it. He tells the boys that Samuel Colt passed through there about four years ago and was building a railroad stop in the middle of nowhere. The boys have a quick aside determining that it’s the Devils Gate. Just then, a female voice yoo-hoo’s them and they turn to see a blonde saloon girl, who Elkins introduces as Darla, his best girl. Darla approaches Dean and we see that she’s sporting some rather unfortunate rotting teeth and an absolutely horrible sore along the whole right side of her mouth.
Talk about authenticity.
As Dean is doing his best to disappear into the floor, the Judge comes up and calls Darla off as he has a standing date with her. Lucky man.
Dean: It’s more germier than I pictured.
He slings his whiskey back and very nearly implodes, gasping, “It’s like gasoline!” Sam just grins and sips his drink saying, “Sarsaparilla ain’t half bad.” HA! Atta boy, Sammy.
Upstairs, Darla and the judge are…well…you know and out of nowhere, a man in black appears, laying his hand on the judge as Darla scrambles free, screaming. His hand lights the judge on fire and then immediately burns him up and turns him to ash. For a moment I completely forgot we were looking for a Phoenix and wondered if this guy was an Angel – since we’d seen angels do that same thing in episodes past.
But, I should have figured the Phoenix would have been human. It worked better in this case, but it’s also standard Supernatural M.O. Silly Gaelic.
The boys burst into the room seeing Darla cowering in the corner and the ashes on the bed and are all buzzzahh….
The Sheriff arrives and waves off Darla’s claims that it was a ghost by pointing out the footprints. Darla’s adamant that it was Elias Finch and the Sheriff is says that the rope must not have killed him—he’d seen it before. He tells Dean and Sam that he’s going to form a posse and “string Finch up right, then put a bullet in his head for good measure.” He tells the boys to join them at dawn…but get some “real gear” first.
After the Sheriff walks out, the boys jointly decide to “pay their respects to Finch.” Which, of course, leads them to an empty grave. They come to the conclusion that Finch is the Phoenix—realizing as we do that they’re never really going to chase after an actual creature (just kidding). Dean tells Sam that he needs to go find Samuel Colt and help make history, since no one around Sunrise seems to know anything about Colt.
Dean is going to stay there and hook up with the posse going after Finch. Barely holding back a smile (and I swear, it’s the best almost-grin ever…for me putting Sam’s character-breaking smile at the end of BDABR in close 2nd), Dean says, “You know me. I’m a posse magnet. I mean, I love posse. (Here he almost laughs) Make that into a T-shirt.”
Sam: You done?
And in a moment that I can’t wait to replay (and then replay and then replay again), Dean looks down as if to compose himself, then looks back up slowly from beneath his hat brim with a kid-like grin to die for. It’s awesome. I’m laughing just thinking about it as I write this. Somebody. Please. Make me an avi. I’ll be eternally grateful.
Sam: Colt’s like 20 miles outside of town. How am I supposed to get there and back before noon?
Just then, we hear a horse whinny in the background—and I will say that for all its authenticity, this old west town was rather obviously devoid of equine influence. Or for that matter, people. It’s a very sparsely-populated town.
Dean: Ride ‘em cowboy.
They head to the livery (I assume) and Sam starts to approach the horse on the right. Dean stops him, holding the horse’s head still, and suggests he mount on the other side. Whew. As Dean soothes the horse, Sam swings his ridiculously long leg over the saddle and settles in, saying it wasn’t that bad, actually. Dean tells him to just take it easy, be careful.
Sam: 11 am, right?
Dean: Don’t be late!
Sam kinda/sorta rides off with what looks like one arm out for balance. He bounces a couple of times, then calls out, “I’m okay!” Hee.
Dean: That poor horse.
There’s a shot of a silhouetted, lone rider traversing the barren countryside at dawn (and riding pretty damn well) and we shift back to the dark town where the Sheriff looks like he’s trying to make a break for it before his own horse freaks out and bucks off as it senses the presences of Finch. The Sheriff tries to shoot Finch, but of course the bullets have no impact and then the Sheriff tries to apologize, which Finch just says, “Tell it to the Judge,” before he fries the Sheriff with his fire hands.
Back in the 21st century, Cas is standing in what looks like an abandoned warehouse. Rachel has summoned him there to find out if his “dirty little secret” is true. We don’t get many details—just hints and speculation later—but I have to say, the way his own Lieutenant reacted to this “secret” has me really, really worried about what Cas is up to and what it’s going to do to the boys—Dean especially—when the truth comes out.
Cas: I have to defeat Raphael.
Rachel: Not this way! We put our faith in you and look what you’re turning into.
Man, I really feel for Cas. He never wanted this. He was a soldier. He did what he was told. And because he did what he was told—what his Father told him to do—he’s now in the middle of a Civil War that could potentially wreck everything everyone knows to be true—not just the world, but Heaven and Hell, too.
I’m willing to bet that he probably (secretly) blames himself for everything the boys—the world—has been through. If he’d been able to save Dean before the seal was broken in Hell, none of this would have happened, theoretically. And power…it corrupts. What is the saying? Absolute power corrupts absolutely? He doesn’t have absolute power, of course, but it sounds like he’s dangerously close to sacrificing his innate goodness—his own soul, so to speak—for “the cause.”
And the “certain regrettable things” that he’s been forced to do…I just…yeah. He’s trying to accomplish something he believes is for the greater good—keep Raphael from winning—and on the road to doing so, he’s becoming…not himself. He reminds me of Season 4 Sam in that way. Sam thought he was doing something good—defeating Lilith. And in order to do so, he became addicted to demon blood to build up his power to kill her. Only…killing her ended up being the exact wrong thing to do.
I wonder if that’s maybe where they’re leading case with this “dirty little secret.”
Cas (growling, practically): I don’t have a choice.
Rachel: Neither do I.
Annnndddd…it’s on! She swishes out her angel-killing sword and stabs him in the chest. Blue light flares, but he’s able to pull it out and get away. He’s weakened, his hand on the wound, and he swishes out his own sword. They fight, Rachel almost winning, but Castiel gains the upper hand and kills her.
Kills. Her. *guh*
We get that shot of ash-like wings spread out from her body and Cas staggers slightly, gasping, broken, crying and whispers, “I’m sorry.”
*rubs heart* Oh, Cas…what are you doing? This is so far from you…. His part of this story is going to end in tears. I just feel it.
He’s wounded bad and heads to Bobby’s. Raising a hand to keep Bobby back, he uses his own blood to draw a protection symbol on the wall—keeping other angels away. He staggers to a wavering stance and looks at Bobby (who is holding a baseball bat [I think]).
Bobby: Cas? Are we running or fighting?
I loved that.
He doesn’t finish, passing out and falling forward into Bobby’s arms.
Bobby (grappling to catch the extra weight): Balls!
Back at Elkins’ saloon, Dean saunters in wearing “better gear” – it’s the duster, black vest, and perfect hat we saw in the opening shoot-out scene.
Elkins: New hat?
Dean: I look good.
Yes. Yes. You. Do.
Dean: Where’s the posse?
Elkins: You’re the only greenhorn dumb enough to chase a ghost.
Dean: Sheriff’s tough as nails. He’ll be here.
Then, off-stage as it were, they hear Oh, God! The Sheriff’s dead!
Elkins and Dean head out and see a pile of ash (with a half-burned human skull) and the sheriff’s badge on top all nice and shiny.
Dean: Who’s the sheriff now?
Elkins pins the badge on Dean. Dean looks momentarily terrified.
In a cabin in the middle of nowhere, two men walk in to face a man sitting at a wide desk, writing and drinking. A veritable old west Hemingway. They ask if he’s Samuel Colt.
SC: You have the wrong drunk, gentlemen.
They tell him they’ve been looking for him and when he looks up, their eyes go black. He tries to tell them he’s not looking for trouble, that he’s “given that up,” but they want him to open the Devil’s Gate. He shoots them both with The Colt, but is disgruntled that in doing so he broke a perfectly good bottle of booze.
Back in Sunrise, the Deputy is in a hotel room, packing up in a hurry. There’s a knock at his door and a falsetto voice says it’s a “candy gram.”
I couldn’t hear who for, though. Drat. ETA: He says, "Candy gram for Mongo." Of course our boy is a Blazing Saddles fan. :) Thanks again, you with quicker ears than me!
The deputy opens the door and Dean points a gun in his face saying, “Howdy, Pilgrim.”
Deputy: I ain’t no pilgrim!
Dean’s like, whatever and pushes his way into the room.
Dean: I missed you at the posse this morning. I was a one-man wolf pack, thanks to you.
Dean basically tells the guy that he can’t outrun Finch—that Finch has already taken out the Judge and the Sheriff and the only way to stop him from killing the Deputy, too, is if they gank him first (to which the Deputy is all wth hell does gank mean). He tells the Deputy he just has to play his part: bait.
Back with Samuel Colt, Sam is walking into the cabin. And, dude, I know it’s in the middle of nowhere, but maybe Colt should invest in some locks. Sam enters hesitantly, though he’s walking just fine. I know from experience that he should’ve been shaky-legged and sore from that hard ride to get there, but, whatever. We’ll give him this. He goes further into the cabin and Colt throws Holy Water (I think…maybe it was salt?) on him from the shadows.
Sam: Not a demon! Not a demon! Just a hunter! Sheesh.
SC: You’re a what?
Sam: Are you Samuel Colt? I’m Sam Winchester. A hunter from 2011.
*blinks* Interesting approach. But, it worked, so…okay.
SC is all, prove it, so Sam pulls out his cell phone and gives it to him. Colt looks at it, nods, then puts it on a shelf behind him and is all, alright.
Sam: That’s it?
SC: When you’ve done this job as long as I have, a giant from the future with a magic brick doesn’t give you the vapors.
*laugh* I liked Colt. *grins*
Sam: I need your help killing a Phoenix.
SC: They exist?
Sam: You shoot one in about 3 hours.
He shows SC his own journal.
SC: I’m either too drunk or not drunk enough.
So, SC tells Sam that he’s retired and Sam’s adamant that there’s no such thing as a retired hunter and tells SC that in he’s a hero in Sam’s time. Sam tries to press on him that they need to kill the Phoenix because its ashes are the only thing that can kill the monster he’s hunting.
Sam: So stow your crap for a few hours and let’s go.
That was interesting, I think. Because he sounded like Dean. And I know they kinda…shifted roles, if you will…at the beginning of this season, but that was when he had no soul. Once his soul came back, he was back to I acknowledge your pain, puppy-dog eyed Sammy. But here, he didn’t sound like ‘Sammy’ and he didn’t sound close to how he was when soulless. He just sounded like Dean. To me. I like when Sam gets commanding all on his own—without influence of demon blood, possession, soullessness or any of that jazz. Just because he’s matured and he’s lived this life and he knows what has to be done.
Sam: Either you’re coming with me or I need the gun.
SC: What gun?
Sam: THE gun.
SC: Oh, that gun. I…lost it in a game of stud.
Sam calls him a liar.
SC: That doesn’t sound like me.
Sam tells him he shot a couple of demons with it less than an hour ago, and then proves it by going all CSI: Demon on the older hunter. SC is impressed and reveals that he does have the gun but says that it’s a curse. Sam offers to take it off his hands and I could feel the tension creeping up in Sam’s voice, the anxiety that he’s totally aware he’s running short on time and he needs this gun, dammit.
SC: You go put on a few more miles, come back, and we’ll talk.
Grrrrr. That’s almost as bad as saying someone has a “place.”
Sam: I’ve got plenty of mileage.
You tell him, Sammy.
SC still says he’s done—he’s given his whole life to it and he’s done with it. Sam’s practically seething and wants to know if everything he’s done means nothing. He demands to have the gun. I wanted him to tell this man what that gun did to his family—all the havoc it wreaked upon them just because his father had to have it. If John had never found the gun…I wonder if he would still be alive. I wonder if anyone would have gone to Hell.
But we didn’t get to go that far. Back at Bobby’s, there’s one hour left. Cas is on Bobby’s sofa and slowly comes to. Bobby’s waiting for an explanation and Cas goes further to the darkside and once more becomes a lying liar who lies by saying that Raphael corrupted Rachel and she betrayed him.
Bobby: Sorry. Girl’s a real peach.
Cas: She’s…dead. I was wounded. I needed safety. Thank you.
He tries to get up, but can’t, sinking back onto the sofa with a soft groan of pain. He tells Bobby the “finger painting” is a symbol to ward off angels. Bobby’s worried about his wound, but Cas says he’ll heal.
Bobby: Good, because we got less than an hour before you pick the kids up from Frontierland.
Cas: I can’t.
Bobby: Come again?
Cas: This fight drained me.
Bobby: There’s gotta be something that can juice you up.
I started to get a really bad feeling about things right about here.
Cas: There is one thing that might work, but it’s extremely dangerous.
Cas: It’s your soul.
Bobby: What do you want me to do? Make another deal? Seal it with a kiss?
Cas: You have to let me touch it. The human soul is pure energy… but it’s like touching a nuclear reactor. I have to do it gingerly. Or you’ll explode.
Bobby: Well. Keep both hands on the wheel. Let’s do this.
I love Bobby’s complete willingness to do what he has to in order to keep his boys safe. Because they are his now. In all the ways left that count.
But…I gotta voice a thought here about this whole human soul is pure energy thing. Last week when they were talking “war machine,” I wondered if Cas’ consternation about Dean returning Sam’s soul was more because of the loss of the soul’s worth than about Sam’s ultimate suffering. Not to insinuate that Cas didn’t care about Sam, because he obviously does as he was willing to “not-born” 50,000 souls to save both he and Dean.
But…well, I’m kinda wondering if Cas had been using Sam’s soul as…fuel. I know, I know, it was supposed to be in the cage. And I do not doubt that it was, because obviously Sam has memories from Hell. But we don’t know a fraction of what Cas is and has been up to and if Sam sacrificed himself for the world, then I bet his soul—like Dean’s, sacrificing his life for another—would be…more. Just…more.
I hope I’m really wrong, but I can’t help but think they’re leading up to something with the whole currency of souls and war machine and souls being fuel for angels and Sam’s being gone and then returning and even Death wanting to know what gives….
ANYWAY, back in Sunrise, Dean has the Deputy in a jail cell and is sitting on the edge of a desk staring at a clock—a Regulator, FYI. My parents have three in their house and each pendulum swings at a different speed and it. Can. Drive. You. Crazy.
Dean: You haven’t been late in your damn life, Sam, and now you’re dragging ass?
The Deputy is whining in the cell. Dean wants to know why Finch is gunning for him anyway. Deputy is like, duh, we hung him. Dean’s not buying it, though, and says he thinks it’s personal. He gets up, setting a nail down on the desk, and crosses over to the cell to talk to the Deputy. The Deputy tries the whole, “Let me out and we’ll talk,” angle and Dean’s like what.ever.
Then, Finch walks in the door, demands the cell be opened. Dean tells him to do it himself—he can melt people’s faces off, surely he can open a door.
Dean: Unless you can’t. Just like you couldn’t break those cuffs.
He grabs the nail he’d been messing with from the desk and tosses it at Finch, who instinctively catches it, then drops as it burns his hand (which made me wonder why it didn’t look like the cuffs were burning him….).
Dean: Iron shackles, iron bars, iron nail. See a pattern here? Don’t worry. Most creatures I meet can’t get it up for iron.
Finch: So, you’re a hunter.
Dean (pulling his duster to the side to expose his badge): Slash Sheriff.
Finch wants Dean to know what Deputy did, and Dean has learned over the last year that even freaks have stories, so he lets him talk. Apparently, Finch was married to a good, human woman and they lived quietly outside of town. They came into town once and Finch was in the bank five minutes when Deputy grabs Wife and (I’m guessing) tries to rape her. Finch catches them in the alley, tries to stop him, and Deputy shoots Finch and then Wife. Wife dies in Finch’s arms, but Finch (of course) doesn’t die. The shots draw the Sheriff, and then he’s in iron and can’t get out. Then, he’s hung.
Finch: Are you really willing to die to protect this piece of filth?
Dean: Honestly, I could care less about him. He’s a dick and a coward.
Dean: This ain’t about him. I know what you are. So, I gotta kill you.
Finch: If you know what I am, then you know you can’t.
While Dean is busy conceding this point—especially since Sam hasn’t shown up with Colt or THE gun—Finch moves lightning quick, grabs a gun from a holster up on a hook in the center of the room and shoots Deputy.
Dean: Whoa, I shoulda seen that coming.
Uh, yeah. *Gibbs-slaps Dean*
Finch turns the gun on Dean, who ducks, runs, and slams through a glass window, landing hard on his back. He shakes off the stun, scrambles up, and runs down an alley as Finch follows, shooting after him. Dean scrambles around a corner, ducking into cover and pulling his gun. He hears Sam’s voice just then, hissing his name and he waves Sam over, out of the line of fire.
Dean: Sam! C’mon, c’mon, c’mon. Where’s Colt?
Sam: Not coming. But he sent this.
He pulls THE Colt out and trades guns with Dean—which I thought was all kinds of awesome. I mean, Sam could just as easily have shot Finch. But he didn’t. He gave the gun to Dean, who really needed to finish his part of this story.
Dean (to the gun): Hello, beautiful.
And then Dean hurries Sam away from their alcove.
Okay, people, I’m drawing a total blank, which is rather frustrating, let me tell you. Where is THE Colt in our time? When is the last time we saw it? Who has it now? I totally can’t remember. Help a gal out.
Back at Bobby’s, there’s 2 mins left on the timer. Bobby’s sitting in a chair and Cas is standing before him.
Cas: You sure?
Bobby: Can’t just strand those two idjits in Deadwood, can we?
HA! Deadwood. I love it.
Bobby: Don’t explode me.
Back in Sunrise, we have the “hide and watch” scene from the beginning, only this time, we can see Sam taking cover along the side of a building. Dean bellows Finch’s name, calling him out (much to Sam’s dismay).
Finch sweeps around the corner, all, “So this is how you want to die?”
We slip back to Bobby’s and see Cas reach into Bobby (who is biting on a belt) and Bobby screaming in pain while everything goes all glowy.
In Sunrise, Dean, looking five kinds of awesome, is staring down Finch. I’m sorry, I know the Dean love is over the top in this one, but he just looked good. And what’s more, he looked…happy. Like for the first time in a really, really long time, he was enjoying his life, even if just for this moment. And it was pervasive. It amped up every other thing about his character that I already found cool.
We see them whip back their dusters, fingers flexing, and then the clock hits 12, and both draw and fire. Finch’s shot must have gone wide (though I had fleeting images of Dean being winged and not realizing it at first) but Dean’s bullet found Finch.
There’s a shot of Dean with THE Colt drawn, left arm crossed over right from where he shoved back the hammer, his eyes dead-on his opponent, his lips pursed and….OMFG. Another avi, please. Or, heck, Terry? I need a poster of this one.
The Phoenix flames out, screaming, and crumbles to ash. Dean blows smoke off the barrel of the Colt.
Dean: Yippee-Ki-yay, Motherfu—
While I’m busy cackling at Dean’s most-awesome John McClain shout-out, we switch to Cas and Bobby and Cas is totally powering up and glowing from the power of Bobby’s soul. Switching back to Sunrise, Sam hurries around the corner, yelling, “Dean! The ashes!”
Dean drops the Colt, grabs a bottle out of his pocket and they run for the pile of ashes…only to end up skidding to an empty-handed halt in Bobby’s living room. I think I may have startled my dog with my cry of, “oh, NO!”
I do want to say that I loved how they had Dean drop the Colt in the dust—leaving us to assume that Elkins picked it up and kept it for his descendant, Daniel, who would ultimately befriend one John Winchester. It makes John’s grudging, “Son of a bitch had it this whole time,” comment even more powerful.
Also? I love that in Colt’s journal he’d written, “The gun killed a Phoenix…” Not that he had killed a Phoenix. Meaning, Dean didn’t change history by being the one to do it. Dean had been history. I like that a lot.
Anyway back at Bobby’s, Dean’s wrecked that they went through all of that and came back empty handed. He wants Cas to send them back.
Sam (looking as done-in as his brother): Dean, look at him. He’s fried.
Cas: I never want to do that again.
Dean looks worriedly over at Bobby.
Bobby: Still kickin’, Annie Oakley. But you’re back…good as new.
Dean (totally dejected): We screwed the pooch. Bobby…I’m sorry.
And then, there’s a knock at the door. As soon as Sam opened the door to reveal a mailman, I knew what they were going to do. *grins*
Mailman: Is there a Sam Winchester here?
Sam: Who’s asking?
MM: Me and a couple guys made a bet…so, this package has been laying around the offices since…ever. With a note on it to bring it here. Today. From a…Samuel Colt?
Loved this shout out to Back to the Future II. Nicely played.
Sam’s all yougottabekiddingme…. He takes it and hurries back into the room to open it in front of everyone. Inside is his cell phone (heh) and a note that says, “Dear Sam. I got this address and date off your…thingamajig…and I thought the enclosed might come in handy. Regards, Samuel Colt.”
And of course, it’s a bottle full of Phoenix Ashes.
Now, forget that it’s pretty much a miracle that Samuel Colt was able to figure out how to get anything off of Sam’s magic brick. That’s pretty cool. And now they have the ashes they need to go up against the Mother of All. Which they need to do soon, since there are only 4 episodes left.
Dean: You know what this means?
Bobby: Yeah. I didn’t get a soulonoscopy for nothing.
Heh. That’s funny to me for reasons only a few people will get.
Dean (closes his eyes with a pained expression): Yes. And. (His look takes them all in.) We take the fight to her.
And then he puts his hat on, tugging briefly on the brim. And grins.
Oh. My. I love our show. This was so much fun. And I’m pretty sure this is officially the longest ramble I’ve written this season. Next week’s previews look harrowing and very Mother of All-centric, but I hope we don’t lose the thread of what’s going on with Cas. We’re getting close to answers…so, so close.
Thanks again for reading. I hope you enjoyed. See you next week. Slainte