I swear I was okay until literally the last minute. And now I am trying to swallow around a football-sized lump in my throat. Man, it was good to see our boys again, wasn’t it?
Well, we’ve had a month to process, to reason, to rationalize. We’ve had a month to decide if we’re going to be okay with this or with that. To try to figure out the method to the writer’s madness. To miss our heroes.
One thing I think we all can agree on is that when REO’s “Riding the Storm Out” began to play over the ‘road so far’ there was a collective, fandom-wide grin.
And what a road it’s been, you guys. I mean, I haven’t missed a beat, but as they recapped everything from Sam seeing Hallucifer to Cas Leviathaning out and walking into that lake to Bobby’s being shot…I was winded. And I don’t know about you guys, but I have this odd feeling…like the rest of this season is going to be a slow, subtle goodbye. I know every year it’s been THE big question: will SPN get renewed? But during this episode, I really felt this…sad, quiet exhale.
Oddly, I simultaneously embraced and rejected this idea. I’ve always said I don’t want our show to over-stay its welcome, to run itself into the ground X-files-style. But, I have to say, the minute I saw Dean? I felt an entirely different kind of exhale. The kind that says, “Oh, there you are; I’ve been waiting for you!”
So, I don’t know. Maybe I’m reading too much into things. It’s happened before. Anyway. Moving on!
To set up one of the episode's focal points, we see a rough-around-the-edges man (who we later learn is Lee Chambers – played by an actor I remember from an early episode of Smallville), sitting in a truck stop diner, watching what looks like a hooker and a john outside in the parking lot. A blonde waitress comes up, asks him if he needs anything else, and when he reaches to pay her, we see he’s got a knife strapped to his belt. So, hunter.
He heads out after the couple, following them between two parked semi-trucks, but before he can find them, he’s confronted by Blondie from the diner who reveals that she’s slipped him a venom mickey. His vision blurs as he pulls his knife. She goes all snake-eyes on him and grows some nasty fangs before slamming him against the side of the semi and takes him down.
As we transition back to our boys, we realize that Bobby is dead. I found myself waiting to hear that he was in a coma or something, but he’s really gone (or as ‘gone’ as anyone ever is in Supernatural). And even if we didn’t want it to be true or don’t understand why the writers decided to go this route, it made sense after what they left us with prior to the hiatus. He had to be gone, really.
I thought they worked through the time from Bobby’s death to the action portion of the episode very well. Not that I wouldn’t have wanted to see them emote or physically react, but this fit our show right now. This isn’t a fanfic where we can delve into the whys and what fors and the inner workings of the characters psyche (which is one of my favorite things to do). And it’s not a show like…One Tree Hill where drama is the name of the game. Not that I actually watch One Tree Hill, but the pervasive CW previews give you that idea. No offense to any OTH fans out there.
Not only that, but I thought back to when they lost John. It was sudden and unexpected and sucked the air from the room around them, just like with Bobby. When John died, we saw tears – more from Sam than Dean, but that fit – and we saw Dean beat the hell out of his Impala, helpless for a way to express his pain and anger and grief. It had to be different this time. For one, he was their father. Second, they’ve been through so much more now than they had when John died. And third, Bobby held a different role in their lives and was basically their last connection to family.
They didn’t just lose their friend, their ‘Uncle’ – they lost their last connection to a life outside of themselves, outside of blood and brothers and the tangle of living in each other's pockets. They lost the only reminder that they’re not alone in the world. The reaction to that isn’t immediate or comprehensive. It’s not something that happens the moment the reality of the loss sinks in. It’s something that happens slowly. Over time. With small reminders. Like a smell, or an object, or the turn of a phrase, or the moment you’re distracted and you forget for one brief second that they’re gone and you almost turn to speak to them or say their name and then you remember and the pain is sharp and real and right in your heart.
White letters on a black background informed us that it was Week One. We see the boys sitting in Rufus’ cabin – the one that Bobby had them take over when his house was destroyed. Dean is sitting on the couch, Sam on a chair, and they look…wrecked. Hollowed out. They’re bleary-eyed, wan. They both look like they can’t quite take a full breath; as if the weight of their grief has paralyzed them, leaving them without a path, a course. Dean’s eyes are red-rimmed, but dry. Sam looks all of twelve, gripping his scarred hand.
They steal looks at each other when they other isn’t looking. As if each is checking to see if his brother is okay, or still there, or if this is real. *rubs heart*
Week Two and Dean’s looking at the numbers Bobby wrote on Sam’s hand: 45489. He’s drinking from a tumbler, his face drawn tight, eyes dark. There is a list of crossed-out possibilities for what the numbers represent on the pad of paper in his hand. Sam’s up, in the kitchen, looking at Bobby’s address book. They room around them is still a vacuum; you get the impression that they only leave the cabin and each other’s presence when absolutely necessary – food runs, showers, sleeping in shifts.
By Week Three, Dean’s up, having created his own ‘wall of weird’ with Leviathan movement and newspaper articles and locations – very reminiscent of the wall they found in John’s motel room in the Pilot and Sam’s wall when Wednesday came around in Mystery Spot. It’s a hunter’s wall and Dean has waded as best he can through suffocating grief to numb acceptance and is now well on his way to blinding, rage-filled revenge.
Sam is in the kitchen, getting a beer from the fridge. To Dean’s back, he asked if they should be telling people – people Bobby knew. Dean glosses right over Sam’s question, blatantly ignoring it and the implication of having to actually speak the fact of Bobby’s death out loud to anyone besides his brother. He asks how long it’s been since he gave Frank (the paranoid old guy plugged into the matrix who got them off the grid – and has the Impala secreted away somewhere, still) the numbers? A few weeks?
Dean: Is he nuts or just being rude?
Sam: Could be both. I asked you a question.
Dean: Unless…something happened to him. He can’t get to a phone because a Leviathan ate his face.
Sam (deadpanned): Also a possibility.
Dean continues to avoid both Sam’s question and the bitchface that is currently settling into place on Sam’s countenance because he’s avoiding the question. He wants to go check on Frank.
Sam: Do you want to call Bobby’s people or not?Dean (finally acknowledging the topic by half-turning to face his brother): I’m not calling anybody. If you want to, go right ahead.
Sam: I don’t want to call anybody, are you nuts?
Me: Then why even bring it up, Sam?Okay, so this is just the oldest sister in me, but it sounded like such a typical younger sibling thing to ask. “I think this is what we’re supposed to do in this situation, but there’s no way I’m doing it and you’re the oldest, so I think you should.” *laughs* I get that he knew people would call and that Bobby knew a lot of people – after all he was the one studying Bobby’s address book when Dean was plotting their revenge. And I really do understand the need to reach out when you lose someone and find others that person knew to share that loss – just as I understand the need to not say a word and wrap your pain around you tightly because it’s your pain and he was your friend and no one else will get it.
But…if you’re going to bring up an unpleasant duty, be willing to be the one to do it, or don’t bring it up. And that’s all I’m saying about that.
Just then, a cell phone rings, and it’s obviously in Bobby’s duffel. Dean tells Sam to get it and crosses the room, spying Bobby’s flask. As Sam answers, Dean picks up the flask, sniffs it, grimaces, then puts it down. A young girl is on the other line and asks for Bobby Singer. Sam stumbles a bit and eventually lands on “he’s not here, but I’m a friend of his.” The girl says her dad told her to call Bobby, and hangs up.
Dean picks up a full bottle of beer – and I know it was full because when what happened later happened, I rewound to check to make sure my eyes weren’t just tired – and listens as Sam says he has the girl’s number on Caller ID and they should go see if they can help. There had to be a reason she called Bobby. Dean wants to go make sure that Frank hasn’t been turned into Leviathan lunch and see what he’s made of those numbers.
They decide to split up.
Sam: On one condition – if Frank is spinning his wheels, you bail on crazy and come meet me.
Dean agrees, then glances as his bottle – now completely empty. Only we never saw him take a drink.
Dean: Thanks for drinking my entire beer.
Sam: I didn’t touch your beer. Mine’s right there. You probably drank it without noticing.
Dean frowns, baffled, and is like, “Right….” Me? I think they have themselves a guardian spirit who has a penchant for wearing trucker hats and a soft spot the size of the Grand Canyon when it comes to the Winchesters – especially Dean. Not sure how that’s going to play out, but I think there’s more to the Case of the Disappearing Beer than just Dean drinking so much he doesn’t even realize when he downs a bottle.
Also? Shallow aside – I frakking love when Dean does that “drags hand down face” maneuver when he’s tired, spent, or out of options. /aside
So, Sam shows up at the girl’s apartment – using the caller ID, he found her father’s name in Bobby’s address book. Standing outside her door, he has to tell her that Bobby passed away and you can see it costs him. Saying it out loud makes it real. *rubs heart* He convinces her that he’s there to help and she lets him in, saying she has 911 on speed dial.
The girl, Krissy Chambers (and am I the only one who thought it interesting that she shared a similar moniker as Chris Chambers, rebellious but damaged tough teen from Stephen King's The Body, aka Stand by Me? Yes? Okay then...), asks Sam if he’s a ‘salesman,’ too, and says her dad has been on the road and it’s been 5 days since he checked in. You can see the familiar childhood she has been living hitting home for Sam as he looks around the sparsely furnished apartment. He asks her to fix some coffee, then goes to look through her dad’s desk and closet, finally finding Chambers’s own ‘wall of weird’ behind his clothes in the closet. It doesn’t take him long to figure out where Chambers took off to, and he heads out, telling Krissy he has a lead and will check in.
Elsewhere, Dean pulls up to Frank’s house in a maroonish Buick Skylark. And I swear every time I see a Buick Skylark, I think of My Cousin Vinnie and Marissa Tomei’s memorable testimony: “…there is no way that these tire marks were made by a 1964 Buick Skylark convertible. These marks were made by a 1963 Pontiac Tempest.”
Sorry. I digress.
Dean heads inside, gun drawn, and finds the place cleaned out. He mutters that this is not good just before we hear a round being chambered behind him. He turns, raising his gun and setting his mouth in a serious line all in one smooth move. *very cool* Standing behind him is Frank with an Uzi or some such thing. They have a bit of a face-off, Dean trying to convince Frank he’s not a Leviathan.
Frank: That’s just what a Leviathan would say. Dick Roman’s a Leviathan…Gweneth Paltrow’s a Leviathan….
Frank: Trust me.
*laugh* Poor Gwennie.
Dean, declaring that Frank has done a little too much research, says that Levi’s bleed black, and to convince Frank he’s not a “big mouth,” he pulls out his switch blade and cuts his arm. Frank’s like, oh, okay cool, and Dean’s all, hold up! Fair’s fair!
So, Frank cuts the palm of his hand and everyone bleeds red. Frank tells Dean to get his gun and come with him – and not to make any noise, which I thought was ironic because just moments before Frank had been willing to shoot Dean to see what color his blood was. But oh, well. They drive to what looks like an old barn and inside is an RV stocked with all of Frank’s computers, TVs, and “spy” equipment.
He told Dean that as soon as he started to poke around Dick Roman (ha!) he was being watched. Dean’s doubtful that the Leviathans are watching Frank Devereaux but Frank argues that while there’s no pill for his particular brand of psychosis, he’s been doing this long enough, he knows when someone is watching him. He says that the Big Mouths are all over – bankers, military higher ups, etc.
Dean: So that’s why you didn’t call me back?
Frank: You called me four days ago.
Dean: I called you four weeks ago!
Frank: Days…weeks, quit bustin’ my chops.
Dean is practically vibrating with incredulity. “I paid $15 grand for this info!”
Okay…where’d he get $15 grand? More dragon gold? Yowza.
Dean gets in Franks face, very serious. “Dick Roman is every card in my hit deck. You understand that? Those numbers have something to do with him. Bobby died for those numbers.”Frank says he’s sorry about Bobby and starts to reminisce about one time they were in Fresno and Dean cuts him off, turning away, and declares that he’s not going to play the “this one time” game with someone who barely knew Bobby. This wasn’t a friendship; he’s paying Frank to help him get to intel he can’t get to on his own. Frank starts to suggest that a little LSD might help Dean out a little, and before Dean can storm out, Frank snags him back by saying that while the numbers are bupkis, they could “probability generate.” Which…what?
Frank: You run the most reasonable possibility for a Levi-related (hee – he actually says ‘Levi’) five-digit number written by a dying drunk, you come up flat. THEN you start to wonder…hey…maybe I’m missing a number.Dean’s like why would you think that and Frank’s like because Bobby was dying of brain trauma, so…he basically did some kind of math-fu and realized that by adding a 6th number, the pattern was coordinates. Which, of course we all knew the moment Bobby wrote them down in Death’s Door. Because we’re so awesome. *grins*
He shows Dean the coordinates lead to a field in Wisconsin that is owned by a subsidiary business of Richard Roman Enterprises. Yahtzee. They plan to head there and set up surveillance.
Meanwhile…Sam is suited up and standing over a body on a morgue table getting the deets from the M.E. (I presume). The body (the “john” that we saw in the first part of the episode) was found in a ditch, 5 pints low, with bite marks on his carotid and femoral arteries. Sam’s like, “Animal attack?” M.E. comes back with, “Or vampires.” Sam gives him nothing. The M.E. pouts, “That usually gets at least a chuckle.”
Usually? They see a lot of bloodless bodies in that area? Sam gives him a tight smile, then leaves, calling Dean. Dean tells Sam about the coordinates and that he and Frank are going there to set up surveillance and Sam’s like, umm…is that such a good idea?
Dean: Relax. It’s a field, not the Death Star.
Hee. Just like Beggars Canyon back home, huh, Dean?
Dean says he knows that Dick is busy doing…something I didn’t catch. Whatever it is, it was all over The Huffington Post.
Sam: Since when do you read?
Dean: Know your enemy, Sam.
Sam tells him about the 3 missing truckers and one blood-free body and Dean’s all, “Good times. Keep me posted.” It was a bit strange – the knee-jerk reaction I had was don’t split up, this is going to go badly but then I thought about the reality of their situation and that if they are going to 1) keep hunting, 2) stay alive long enough to defeat the Leviathans, and 3) kick Dick Roman’s ass back to Purgatory, they couldn’t be working the same things, side-by-side all the time. They had to trust each other and stay in touch. So, I pushed my instinctive reaction down and went with it.Frank sticks his head out of the RV and tells Dean to “get your costume on” so they can get going. I lost track of where Frank was living, but they reach the field in Wisconsin pretty quickly. I wonder just how small fans from other countries think the U.S. is based on how quickly the boys are able to drive from one place to another.
Disguised as “WIStel” techs, they go about figuring out how/where to set up surveillance equipment. Frank makes Dean get up in the cherrypicker – mainly because Frank’s “costume” says manager while Dean’s says technician – and the brief moments Dean is up in that thing are the most amusing of the show. He clicks his safety harness, but still moves on it like it’s coated with ice, and his little “AH!” when he first gets the thing moving, followed by a hurried glance around to see if anyone heard that, was hilarious. He manages to get the thing all the way to the top of a telephone pole when Frank calls him back down.
Apparently there are cameras mounted all over the field. Dean’s frustrated – hard to set up surveillance when there’s already surveillance. But Frank’s all – we’ll just tap into theirs! It’s cake!
So, back in Frank’s RV, Dean’s in a chair and Frank’s in front of a monitor. Dean’s voice is low, rough and completely exhausted as he says, “Now what?”
Frank: You look horrific. When’s the last time you really slept?
Dean = eye roll. “Let’s just work.”
Frank says they have to wait and watch. He suggests they do so in shifts because he doesn’t think Dean can keep his eyes open – no sooner does he say that then Dean’s asleep in the chair…and well on his way to a wicked neck cramp. His phone rings, but he doesn’t hear it. He’s out.It’s Sam, of course. Calling to tell Dean that he’s figured out that Chambers was hunting a vetala and that John had one in this journal. Says that a silver knife to the heart, with a twist, and it’s done. He tells Dean that the vetala are maladjusted, loner types that knock a guy out, drag him home, and feed slow, so he thinks Krissy’s dad could still be alive.
Sam: It would it be nice to get this girl’s dad back home to her.
*rubs heart* Aw, Sammy. His whole quest to find this girl and get her father back and do this hunt wasn’t just so that he could keep busy – that was part of it, but you could also see how he just really needed what they were doing to matter, to have something that showed him all the pain he lived with and survived was truly worth it. That what they were doing made a difference, even if just in one life.
He goes to The Truck Stop Diner of Doom and meets up with Blondie from before – whom we know is Bad News – and shows her a pic of Chambers. She sends him outside to talk to the “hooker” from before – who looks like Terri Hatcher’s younger sister – and he finds out her name is Sally. He asks Sally if she saw Chambers and Sally plays the damsel in distress to a “T” pulling him away from the well-lit, highly populated front of the diner to someplace “safer” in the back so that she can tell him what she knows.
In moments, Blondie shows up and Sam valiantly tries to save Sally, only to realize that she’s a snake-eyes, too. The girls double team him, taking him down with their venom bites and he falls to the ground in this almost delicate-looking yoga pose.And this, kids, is why you always hunt with a partner.
Back in the All Seeing RV, Dean is waking up, his head slumped sideways against a cabinet of some kind. He straightens stiffly and asks Frank how long he was out. Frank says 36 hours. Um, what? Sitting up like that? How the heck is he moving at all? And why doesn’t he have to pee like a racehorse? ‘Course this is coming from the same guy who thought 4 weeks was 4 days, so….
Still, I think they were trying to make the point that Dean just full-on passed out from exhaustion and was tired enough to sleep – basically sitting up – for a day and a half (enough time for Sam to get in trouble). Not only that, but the way Dean looks in this whole scene, just…he wears exhaustion well.
There was something about his eyes – how wounded yet steady they were. How he seemed to listen with all of him. He often stands still, somehow giving off the illusion that he’s in motion. But here, he was just…still. Maybe it was the weariness and sorrow weighing him down. But he wore it well.
Without pausing for food or coffee or anything, Frank shows Dean what he discovered – a Sara Palin look-alike named Amanda Hillard who works for Dick Roman.
Dean: What is she doing?Frank: Being a naughty, bossy little girl.
Dean: Hate to ask for that in the non-porno version.
Basically, she and a bunch of surveyors are…surveying. Planning to build something there. What? They don’t know. Frank tells him to have patience. Dean’s not really friendly with patience, thanks. Franks tells him to go kill something to blow off steam, earning him a tired-eyed glare.
Frank: You don’t like my suggestion?
Dean: I don’t think you’re in the position to give suggestions. You’re one tin foil hat away from a rubber room.
Frank: Did I mention you look awful?
Dean (eyes going hard for a moment): Yes. Maybe because someone I cared about just got shot in the head. (eyes shifting to tired again) And this is like shoving a rock up a hill. (eyes shifting ever so briefly to full-on vulnerable) And… (wall goes down) screw you.Frank: Here’s my advice you didn’t ask for. Quit.
Frank: You want to keep going?
Dean: I want Dick Roman on a spit.
Frank: You’re gonna drive yourself into the ground first. Good plan.
Dean (looking down, voice sullen): Not gonna quit. Not even an option. Not gonna walk out on my brother.I thought it was interesting how he connected that – quitting hunting (what Frank was suggesting) meant walking out on Sam. He assumed Sam wouldn’t quit. And that if he did quit, he’d lose Sam – which isn’t necessarily the truth. But it’s interesting to see how he ties it all together. It’s not about not quitting because he knows no other way or because this is all he is, all he’s good at. It comes back, as it always seems to for Dean, to Sam.
Frank: Fine. Do what I did.
Dean (scoffing, leaning against the cabinet): What, go native? Stock up on C-rations?
Frank (suddenly looking very sane, almost scarily so): No. What I did when I was 26 and came home to find my wife and two kids gutted on the floor.
Everyone has a story. Which is why I hate assumptions. You have no idea the road someone else has traveled to get to the point they’re at in their lives. No idea what they’ve had to do to make themselves okay with their choices. Listening to Frank, Dean pulls a bit away from the wall, his face smoothing with surprise and a familiar sadness you feel when you realize that you have a kinship with someone, but it’s over a similarity you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.
Frank: Decide to be fine to the end of the week. Make yourself smile because you’re alive and that’s your job. Then do it again the next week.
Dean: Fake it?
Frank: I call it being professional. Do it right. With a smile. Or don’t do it.
Dean looks down, nodding. When life gets to a point where you say, I don’t want to do this anymore, no matter what ‘this’ is, you make a decision and you follow that decision with a vengeance. You decide to survive it, or you decide to quit it.
Turning away from Frank, Dean digs out his cell phone – probably realizing with the mention of his brother that he’s been out of touch for over a day. He starts to listen to Sam’s voicemail and before Sam can get past “maladjusted loners,” Dean’s like, “no, no that’s not right.” The phone beeps in and Dean clicks over – it’s Krissy. She hasn’t heard back from Sam. Dean = growl of worry.
Inside some abandoned garage-looking place, Sam wakes up tied to a chair, his neck bloody. Around him are the drained, lifeless bodies of several other men – presumably the missing truckers. Tied to a chair across from him is Lee Chambers, looking dangerously pale and completely exhausted. Sam tells Chambers who he is, his connection to Bobby and that Krissy’s okay. Chambers tells Sam that when the vetala’s feed four times, you’re toast. He says that when they bite, they inject a venom that makes it so you can’t see, feel, think…. And they’ve fed on him 3 times.
Over at the Chambers’ apartment, Dean shows up, looking for clues to find Sam, and tells Krissy to wait in the living room because he doesn’t think her dad would want her to know everything about him. He’s short with her, not in the mood to have to take care of someone else’s feelings right now – not when Sam’s in trouble. But Krissy reveals that she knows all about the life of a hunter – she just snowed Sam because that was how her dad coached her: let the adults work it out.
She’d taken down her dad’s ‘wall of weird’ in the closet and burned it, leaving Dean with little choice to get the information he needed to figure out where Sam was. He demands her to give the information to him but instead, she pulls a gun on him, making him sigh with a really? expression.
Dean: I get it. You’re a tough kid. But I’m trying to get Sam and your dad back.
Krissy: My dad left and he didn’t come back. Sam left and he didn’t come back. I give you the info, you don’t come back.
Dean looks at her with that same expression he had back at Frank’s – as if he can really hear what she saying. Not just her words, but what’s behind them. The nights alone, the fear of not knowing as well as the fear of a truth the majority of the world doesn’t believe.
Dean: I’m coming back.
Krissy: I’m going with you.
Dean: No. No. HELL no.
Krissy: I’m coming or you’re not going.
Tiring of having a gun pointed at him, Dean whacks it out of her hand, taking it for himself, and then she tells him that she memorized the info – the only way he CAN get it is to take her. So she goes. In the front seat of the Skylark, she turns to him with a question. He gives her this sidelong glance that would have MELTED ME INTO GOO had I been her. Srsly.
Dean: Here’s the deal. I’m a fun guy. I’m actually awesome. But right now I’m not in the mood. I’m neck deep in some serious crap and if this wasn’t an emergency, I’d drop your ass off at the nearest mall.
Krissy: What serious crap?
Dean: Revenge crap. Shut up. Eat a cookie or something.
Krissy puts her earbuds in, then after a moment says, “One thing doesn’t make sense. My dad’s a great hunter. And your brother is the size of a car. So…how did this thing get them both?”
Dean tells her that vetala’s hunt in pairs. Both her dad and Sam assumed it was one thing hunting solo because they had the wrong info…even though it was the best available. He says that their dad took down a loner years ago and Sam has his journal – Chambers had to be going on similar facts. Dean, however, knows differently because he hunted one that turned into two a few year back. (Aaannnddd…now I want to write that story.)
Krissy gives him hell for not telling Sam and Dean scowls at her.
Dean: Sam was away at Stanford, smartass.
Krissy (open-mouthed): He went to college? I though you said your dad was a hunter.
Dean: He was. We were. Sam quit, went to college.
Krissy looks slightly shell shocked, absorbing the fact that one might actually quit this life. Go to college.Dean: You could, too. Go to college. Be a hunter-slash-pediatrician.
Krissy half-smiles. And I wondered about the path of Dean’s thoughts at this moment. How he’d always wanted Sam to stay a kid. How he’d never wanted Ben to see the life he’d led. How important it was to him for kids to actually be kids since he never got that chance. And this life? Was the reason.
Back at the Vetala Garage, Sally comes in to feed and goes to Chambers. Sam, knowing one more feeding will completely drain Chambers, taunts her about the vetala he killed in Utah – how he tied it up and cut her up and enjoyed every minute of it. Sally feeds off him instead, grabbing his head and exposing his already bloody neck, his eyes rolling back as her venom takes hold.
At the Truck Stop Diner of Doom, Dean and Krissy are sitting out in the Skylark, scoping the place. Dean asks her if she’s actually worked with her dad, not just shooting cans in the woods. She’s all, “I help all the time.” He looks at her like, don’t con a conman.
Dean: So, no. Right about now, your stomach should be pretty knotted up.
Krissy isn’t going to let him shake her resolve so she gives as good as she gets, not letting Dean get a leg up in his “this is serious crap, kid” argument. She’s sarcastic and sassy and…well, pretty much like a lot of 14 year olds I’ve met. Dean thinks she’s scared and says she’s not a good actress. She tells him she’s been training for this her whole life.
His face flinches a bit at those words and he turns a stony face in her direction saying that training is one thing, doing is another beast. During a lull in their argument, Krissy notices Sally taking a trucker to the back of a semi while Blondie climbs in the cab.
Krissy: Why is that waitress getting in that truck?
Dena: I’m not explaining the R-rated crap to you.
Krissy: The front of the truck.So, they follow the truck to the Vetala Garage and Dean’s all, “nicely done,” *fist bump*…only apparently they don’t fist bump anymore (I missed that memo…Shawn and Gus do it all the time!). He charms her into bumping knuckles then sleight of hands a pair of handcuffs, locking her wrist to the steering wheel. She calls him a jackass.
Dean: I’m the jackass who ain’t bringing a kid in there. Period.
He promises to bring them back and Krissy’s like, they are probably dead. It’s been days. People die. She watched her mom get torn to shreds. Now, she thinks her dad is dead and she wants to kill the monsters that did it. Something Dean can definitely understand, and he almost gives in. But then he demands she give him her lock pick and goes inside.
Now, this is the only part of the episode where I had to work to find the rhythm of what they were doing with the story – not the hunters beat vetala’s part, that’s a given. But with how it all played out. Some things happened in this final battle that I wasn’t sure I felt.
Dean gets inside the garage and sees both of the creatures are there. He grabs a 2x4 and bashes Sally across the face. Blondie is on him in an instant and knocks the silver knife from his hand before he can stab her. She knocks him around but good and gets him up against a wall, choking him. Sam starts to come to, realizing that Dean is fighting the blonde vetala.
Dean gets the upper hand, getting Blondie on the ground and grabs the knife but just as he about to stab her, Krissy rushes in and goes straight for her father. Sally rouses and grabs Krissy’s ankle, turning the tables as she jumps up and uses Krissy as both a shield and a hostage, demanding Dean release Blondie, which he does. Chambers is all “how could you bring her with you,” and Krissy has this weird, almost triumphant look in her eye for a second and Dean looks…lost. Frozen. Paralyzed with indecision.Sally has Krissy, Blondie starts to feed on Chambers, Krissy is pleading – in tears – for Dean to help. But Dean…just stands there, staring at her. I wasn’t sure if it was the fact that she was a kid that was throwing him off, the exhaustion Frank had been talking about, or the fact that this was the first hunt since Bobby that was crashing down around him, but the way he stood there just seemed so unlike him. Before he can snap out of it, Krissy pulls out a knife secreted away in her sleeve, turns and stabs Sally, twisting the knife and turning her to dust. She immediately goes to cut Sam free as Dean dives for his lost knife.
Blondie turns to Dean who drops into a crouch, his knife up, ready to go in for the kill. Sam stands, Krissy’s knife in his hand. Blondie turns to face Sam and Sam stabs and kills her. Sam’s looking at Dean, not so much in a ‘whoa we did it, what a rush’ way, but in a ‘dude, what is the matter with you’ way. Krissy has moved to untie her father.
Krissy: Bad actress, huh?
Dean (breathless):I take it back.
Now, maybe you think that all went down just as it should have as a kid was involved – one who’d been raised “in the life.” But I just didn’t get why they wrote the scene with Dean – who we all know is a badass as they come where hunting is concerned – standing frozen while a kid and his wounded brother kill the baddies. If he’d at least been able to kill Blondie I don’t think I would have thought anything.
But then again, maybe it’s fitting that Sam kill his tormentor, right? And it could all be tied to a path they have Dean stumbling down the rest of this season – how he’s been barely keeping it together and according to Frank is running himself into the ground. Or it could just be a fluke for this one episode. Who knows. Moving on!
At the hospital, the brothers go in to visit Chambers (Sam with his neck bandaged, but not as much blood loss as the older hunter). Chambers tries to thank them, but Dean shakes his head.
Dean: Don’t thank us. Quit. Your daughter is 14, a hunter, a kill under her belt. I’m not trying to be a dick, but what do you think that does to her lifespan? She could still be a normal kid.
I watched Sam while Dean was talking to see if he looked shocked or upset by what Dean was saying. He just looked at Chambers, face impassive, as if he agreed with every word Dean said.
Chambers: I got into this for a reason.
Dean: I know. Your family. Same reason you should get out now.
Chambers: I can’t. You ever know anyone who left the life?
Dean (face for one moment utterly sad): No. They all get killed first.
After a moment, Sam’s all, we should go, and they head out of the hospital. Krissy follows and gives Dean a hard time for not saying goodbye. Dean’s like, oh so you’re sentimental now? Krissy says he’s kind of amusing for an old man. Translation: that blue shirt you’re wearing makes your eyes look amazing and makes my belly do little flips. Or…maybe that was my line. Sorry.
ANYWAY. He figures out that she used a bobby pin to get out of her cuffs and says she could have gotten killed. She says she saved him and he’s like, “Point still stands. But…yes.”
She tells him it looks like she’s retiring – one and done. Doesn’t know what she’ll do – maybe go to Stanford like Sam. They fist bump, call each other lame, and he tells her to take care of herself, then walks away with a small smile leaving Krissy with a grin on her face. It’s really sweet and gave me a warm feeling for him that we haven’t had at the end of a hunt in a really long time.
In the car, time has passed because it’s now nighttime when it was daylight at the hospital. Sam suddenly speaks up, saying “Good for them.”
Dean: Nice to walk away from someone and feel like they could be okay.
He checks on Sam, making sure he’s okay.
Sam (pausing, thinking, goes for honesty): No. I’m not all right. But…maybe I just want to work.
Then he looks at Dean and says, “Should I even ask?”
Dean: I’m fine.
Sam: Fine, meaning….
Dean: You’re right. We should just work. Figure out a way to kick Dick Roman’s ass. We are the professionals.
Sam watches Dean for another moment, but it seems that he’s run out of things to say. At least for now. He pushes in a cassette and let’s Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy” fill up the spaces in the car, then curls up against the window to sleep.
And then one of the most heart-wrenching moments this season – working me over harder than Death’s Door, leaving me as breathless as the end of Hello, Cruel World. Dean, behind the wheel of the Skylark, looks out into the night, listening to the music, and smiles. The first one is almost natural, but it falters quickly as grief washes over his expression like a riptide.
He forces another smile to the surface, this one weaker, not reaching his eyes and when the pull of sorrow grabs it, his chin shakes. Next, he starts with his eyes, trying to do it right. Trying to force the smile because he’s alive and it’s his job. But he’s drowning in the pain of it all. And we can see it as the smile falters once more, going down reaching. Just before the screen fades to black, he pushes another smile to the surface and it’s the saddest, most heart breaking expressions I’ve ever seen. But he holds it like a professional.
Man, he wrecks me sometimes. Both in good and bad ways. SO, the boys are alone. No family – not even the non-blood ones – to speak of. But, as we saw, there are other hunters out there. Ones they could connect with, help, use as back up. There are channels and debts and ways they can pull in reinforcements if they need to. And they have a tenuous lead on the Levi’s plans…though that will probably take a few episodes to play out.
We have a lot of options for direction this next half of the season. And it looks like right now, the brothers are playing all cards on the table. I suspect they have someone lurking about trying to help them with the things he can help them with. I really do. And I hope it’s true because I like that angle. And I want to know when we get Baby back!
Next week’s episode looks like it’s going to be FANtastic. I did a mini dance after the previews were over. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but after that I think we have a two week break and then they’re back on Feb 3rd.
Thanks for reading. I always feel a bit rusty after a hiatus, so I hope this was at least partially coherent. Until next week!