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Stream of Consciousness, Episode 9.01

Wow, it feels like it's been a really long time since the last time I did this. I've missed it. I've missed reliving the episode as I recap and anticipating if you'll comment and what you might say and what we can talk about. Thing is, though, I'm not taking it all as seriously as I have in the past.

I'm watching our boys out of new eyes this season. Loss reshapes you in a way different from every other hardship life forces you to endure.

After 8 years of watching every episode and 6 years of reviewing stream of consciousness style, some might think that I would get tired of talking about/recapping our show. Or find specific, justifiable critiques to note. I mean, in the age of instant reviews and live tweets, it's really easy to be critical; simply loving a show for the sake of entertainment is just so...punk rock. But, see, that's the thing about our show. It's classic rock. ;)

It's a dark show that revolves around the credo that monsters are real and follows two brothers who are, essentially, serial killers, and yet THERE IS LOVE. Family, loyalty, relationships, trust, heartbreak, betrayal, need, sacrifice, passion, reasons, justification, bridges, hope...IT'S ALL THERE.

I just like how I feel when I watch this show. I like that I feel when I watch it. And really...that's enough for me these days.

So...enter into the 7th year of rambles with that in mind.


So much kudos and a couple of Reeces Cups to the genius who picked George Thorogood's "Who Do You Love" for the opening NOW recap. 'Cause, clearly, the answer is The Boys for all of us watching at home, and My Brother if anyone were to ask Sam or Dean that question. I think that song was the thesis of this whole episode...and could be the stage for this season.

Everybody and all the things that made up Season 8 got a quick nod -- with my favorite soundbite of  the Season tossed in for good measure: "There's nothing the Winchesters can't do if they work together" -- and then...the angels fell.

In the NOW, we're in the car with Sam and Dean -- Dean driving -- and Sam's kinda...fine? Ish? I mean, way too okay for it to be right after the whole gasping in pain and keeling over he was doing just after they left the church. He's telling Dean that "they" (the omnipresent They) are calling the angel's falling a "meteor shower" which...okay, sure. But I won't look at Haley's Comet the same way again.

Dean says that angels aren't the problem. Sam is the problem because he's dying. Sam's all, "Shut up," with an adorably petulant pout.

Only, that's when we realize that we're actually not in the car with the boys -- we're in Sam's noggin and he's actually really all tucked up in a hospital bed with Dean sitting worriedly by his side on the most uncomfortable looking chair in the history of ever. I think hospitals do that on purpose, actually. They secretly try to paralyze you with their medieval furniture so they can get more patients.

Glancing to his left, Dean sees a muted news report of the "Global Meteor Shower" and then rubs his tired eyes. *pets him*

A bit later, a doctor is talking to Dean about the results from Sam's MRI and it's Really Not Good -- like prognosis negative not good. Machines could keep him alive, but...as far as the medical community is concerned, Sam is going to die. He's got massive internal burns and his brain has been severely oxygen deprived -- and you gotta wonder how Dean explained this, y'know? Almost sounds like radiation poisoning.

The doc tells Dean that Sam's life is in God's hands (and calls Dean "Mr. Daugherty" -- any ideas what that's a reference to?) which Dean declares is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. And who can blame the guy. To Dean, God is an absentee father who has let his angels run amuck and wreck everything that Dean ever held dear. Those are really not comforting words. So. Where does Dean go when he storms out of Sam's room? To the hospital chapel of course!

First thing Dean does is pray to Cas. *sniff* He tells Cas that "Sammy's hurt" and no joke, the way he said that, made me just...#feels. He says the he isn't pissed at Cas; he doesn't care what Cas did or didn't do, they'd work it out.

Dean is like the perpetual parent -- the worried, loving father who reaches out to his kid who ran away and says, it doesn't matter, just come home, we'll work it out, whatever it is. He ends his prayer to Cas with, "I need you here," his heart so raw with those words it's practically bleeding. But...crickets.

SO, he switches tactics and his voice gets hard, determined, his words clipped like he's biting off the ends before spitting them out like little grenades of truth. He clicks on his Angel CB all breaker, breaker 1-9, you got your ears on?

Dean: "This one goes out to any angel with their ears on. This is Dean Winchester, and I need your help."

Anyone else get a little tingle at the power of his name? Just that name is enough to grab the attention of legions of angels. *tingles*

Dean: "First one to help me gets my help in return, and you know I'm good for my word."

Angels all over -- a suit guy eating breakfast with his family, a farm guy getting on his tractor, and a bus guy...getting off a bus -- hear him and tune in. Aside: bus guy is actually Helo from the Battlestar Gallactica reboot! I frakkin' loved that guy!

In Sam's Impala Noggin, we see the boys having a bit of a discussion. I have to say that I loved that the part of Sam that was Dean in his head was the fighter. I loved that Sam saw his brother like that -- saw him as strong, as a determined, as someone who absolutely refused to give in or give up. It said so much about their relationship.

Dean/Sam: "Just because you're dying doesn't mean you're dead. I got a plan; you just gotta hang on."

Sam's seems to be starting to believe him but also totally not.

Dean/Sam: We're in your head. You're in a coma. And are dying. All of this is you.

I know we've been in Sam's head before when his wall came down and he was all splintered, but three versions of Sam wasn't half as interesting as seeing Sam see Dean as himself. To me.

Sam: "The whole reason I stopped the trials was not to die."

I KNOW, RIGHT?! How is this even fair, I ask you!

Dean/Sam is all, we'll get justice, but first WE FIGHT! Sam's like, okay, so...plan? Dean/Sam is like, yeah...working on it. Sam = *worried face*

Sam: "If I am dying...and if you're me -- the part of me that wants to fight to live...."

Dean/Sam: "I have no idea what you just said, but...continue."

*laugh*

Sam: "If you don't know how I'm supposed to fight...am I supposed to be fighting at all?"

Uh...yeah. 'Cause it's the first episode of the season. Duh.

Dean/Sam: "Are you serious?"

And then out of the blue, Bobby (or really, Bobby/Sam) pops up in the back seat all, "Hell, yeah, he's serious! And he's got a good point!"

So part of me was BOBBY! YAYZ! And the other part of me was Bobby...uh-oh. Because Bobby was dead, and if Sam's head was creating the image and argument of his dead Pseudo-Uncle to combat the argument of his alive brother on whether or not he should try to live, things were not going  in the best of directions.

Meanwhile, walking down a road in Longmont, Colorado, we find our friend Castiel, cringing from the angel voices he can hear calling out. He's so distracted by these voices, he almost gets hit by a pick-up truck. He dives out of the way and is quite surprised when he scuffs up the palm of his hand and it bleeds. And hurts. The truck guy stops and jumps out to check on him, wanting to know what the heck he was doing in the middle of the road.

Cas: "I heard angels."

Truck guy is like, "You need water." Because, y'know, water fixes everything. He offers to give Cas a lift and Cas accepts saying he would fly, but his wings are gone. The truck guy is like if I had a nickle for every time I heard that.

Back in Sam's head, Dean/Sam and Bobby/Sam are arguing. Dean says he's welcome for the Hell rescue and Bobby's like, "You didn't rescue me; Sam did." Which why Sam felt the need to point this out to himself inside his own head, I have no idea. Bobby is yelling about the bassackwards things they do to cheat death -- like Dean selling his soul -- and Dean is yelling that there's always a way until Sam has had enough and tells them both to shut it.

Sam: "I can't hear myself think!"

A beat. 'Cause, y'know. In Sam's head. Hee.

Dean/Sam is trying to make sure Sam isn't buying what Bobby/Sam is selling and Bobby argues that Dean ain't dead, but he is. He knows dead. And he thinks Sam is being realistic.

Dean/Sam: "Well, I'm in the front seat because Sam wants to fight."

And BAM. Bobby's in the front seat between the boys. Before Dean can say anything beyond sputter sputter sputter, Bobby zaps Sam out of the Impala and to some random forest and they go for a stroll.

Meanwhile, the truck dude drops Cas off at a gas station and gives him some money, telling him, "Take care of yourself, kid." Hee. He called Cas 'kid'. I liked that.

As Cas walks toward a payphone, we see a dark-haired girl in the back seat of a car parked at the gas station watching Cas. Foolishly, Cas approaches a biker guy on the payphone and demands that he hang up the phone. When the biker dude refuses, Cas tries his two-fingered angel zap maneuver, only...nada. Which, hello! It's not like Cas didn't know his grace had been removed. Why would he think that would work?? *shakes head*

Biker: "I'm gonna finish this call. Then I'm gonna stab you."

At least he's direct. Cas starts to (wisely) walk away, when the girl approaches him and says his name -- she said they met in Heaven. Her name is Hael.

Back in Sam's hosptial room, a pretty brunette walks in and Dean wastes no time asking her if she's an angel. She's actually not; she's grief counselor named Kim. Dean says he's not grieving. She says that she knows how to read an EKG and it might be the best time to talk about "the inevitable." Dean, though, he doesn't believe in "inevitable." There's always a way. She basically tells him that unless he has a direct line to those angels he was talking about...and this gives Dean an idea. He has something better.

Dean: "I got the King of Hell in my trunk."

Kim: "Is that a metaphor?"

Hee.

So, some thoughts. There's a line in Star Trek: Into Darkness that I think fits Dean in this episode: "I have no idea what I'm supposed to do; I only know what I can do."

There are all kinds of ways we can pick apart Dean's reasons for doing what he does from this point forward. No matter the justification of his actions, he does act selfishly. He needs Sam. There's no question about that. And while everyone from Death to Bobby to Dean himself agrees that Sam did good in life, that were he to die he'd leave behind a staggeringly honorable legacy, the fact of the matter is, Sam was tricked into this situation and really didn't have to be dying. He hadn't really even gotten much of a chance to live. So, Dean is also doing what he's doing to give Sam that chance.

But I think his own need in this situation outweighs what he may or may not be doing for Sam. It's the epitome of his character: he's defined by what he can do for others. He's defined by his ability to save them. Sam most importantly. And it's impossible for Dean to see allowing someone to die, to go peacefully, as "saving" them. Especially now when Heaven's closed and all the angels are either running scared or hunting them. He doesn't see death as a reward; he sees it as a punishment. For both of them.

I think Dean believes that his saving Sam is for Sam's sake, but the undercurrent of truth in how he does it -- and how he convinces Sam to agree -- is for Dean. Because Dean cannot live with Sam dead. He doesn't know how. He tried it once and it almost destroyed him. He can't do it again, not when it's in his power to do something to save him.

On my LiveJournal when I look at my flist, I have this: without you there is no me. I've had it there since Season 2 when Dean told Sam he'd sold his soul to bring Sam back. It's always been true of this character, and with this episode, Dean admitted it freely: "There ain't no me if there ain't no you."

I digress. Where was I? Oh, right - King of Hell. Dean heads to the parking garage and his car.

Dean: "Crowley, you alive? Bang once for yes, twice for no."

Hee.

Before Dean can figure out if he can use the King of Hell to save his brother, Suit Angel jumps him from behind, holding his angel sword at Dean's throat saying that Dean was going to help him. Not the other way around. Curses! He slams Dean down on the trunk and tells Dean that he'll rip Dean's throat out if he lies.

Serious negotiation skills, this one.

Suit Angel: "Where's Castiel?"

Dean: "Who's asking?"

Suit Angel: "Every angel banished from their home."

Dean's all, well in that case, screw you and Suit Angel proceeds to pound Dean's face against the trunk. OW! Also, Crowley had to be getting a little rattled inside there. Before Suit Angel can stab Dean with his angel sword, Helo (aka Ezekiel) shows up and tries the whole gentle angle approach: "Are we creatures of wrath or of compassion?"

Suit Angel is pretty much, I'll take wrath for $500, Alex and starts pounding on Ezekiel. It's ON at that point and Ezekiel is getting his Heavenly ass handed to him until Dean manages to get the dropped angel sword and kills Suit Angel. So...they're fallen, but they still have their powers and they can still be killed by their swords. It's going to be interesting learning what their limitations are...and are not.

Ezekiel tells Dean that he really is there to help...right before he collapses, unconscious. Swell. Some help he is.

Back in Colorado, Hael and Cas are having a heart-to-heart about being cast out of Heaven and Cas losing his grace. Cas is trying to sell her the "there's opportunity here" line -- she can do whatever she would like to do. Turns out Hael created the Grand Canyon and wants to see it. Roadtrip!

Back at the hospital, Dean finds a conveniently abandoned location to trap Ezekiel in Holy Fire. Cas must've gotten a CostCo-sized jar of that stuff the last time he went to Jerusalem. Dean demands to know if Ezekiel is hunting him or Cas, and Ezekiel says no, he's really there to help. But others will come because, well, open prayer and all. But some of the angels still believe in their mission -- which means they believe in Cas and in Dean. Luckily for Dean, Zeke seems to be one of them.

Unfortunately, Zeke was hurt during The Fall -- and his tussle with Suit Angel didn't help matters any -- but he offers what strength he has left to Dean. He still has the power  to cure, but the problem is that Sam is so weak.

Back in Sam's head, Bobby/Sam is telling Sam to stop fighting. Says he saved the world and would leave the world a better place -- would leave a legacy. Thinking about this Bobby being part of Sam talking to himself, and not really Bobby, it's interesting to hear Sam trying to convince himself that it's okay to do this, he did a good job, he did enough. If he wanted to stop, no one would blame him. I can't think of how many times I've done that to myself about something -- not death, thankfully -- that I couldn't decide if I should want, but part of me kinda really did.

In Sam's room, Dean gets a call from Cas. He finds out that Metatron took Cas' grace and reveals that Cas knows who Ezekiel is -- says he's a good warrior. Cas tells Dean he's coming to help and Dean warns him off, saying there are angels looking for him and they are pissed. Cas argues that some are just lost, but Dean is adamant.

Dean: "Helping angels is what got you in trouble in the first place. Look out for yourself for once! Trust no one."

Cas argues that he can't abandon them and Dean reminds him that there's a war on -- and it's on him. Plus also, he's human now. So, there's that. Just then, the hospital starts to shake. Yipe! Dean tells Cas to get to the bunker -- alone -- and heads to Sam's room. Zeke tells him the angels are coming and they have to go, but Dean knows they can't move Sam; it'll kill him. Thinking quickly, he grabs the dry-erase marker from the room board and starts drawing sigils -- Zeke can't get out, no angels are getting in.

In Colorado, Cas is trying to tell Hael that he has to leave and she'll be fine on her own, but she is like, yeah, no, not happening and knocks him out cold with a 2X4. Poor Cas. He is really having a rough day.

Back at the hospital, Zeke gets a look on his face that grabs Dean's attention. He tells Dean the angels are here. Dean's expression shifts from anxious and worried to determined and bad ass in about 2.5 seconds. He points at Zeke and says, "Do not open this door for anyone but me. Save. Him!" There's a fierce light in his eyes as he opens the door and steps out into the glass gauntlet of the corridor that just...UNF.

Swoontown: population me.

He ducks the exploding windows and shattered glass to pull the fire alarm and yells at everyone he sees to get out.

Meanwhile, Cas wakes up in the passenger seat of a random car, Hael at the wheel, with the mother of all headaches. This pain thing this is seriously no fun. Hael has her angel sword on her lap and is telling him in a very Annie Wilkes-esque manner that they're going to go to the Grand Canyon, he'll teach her about humans, and then, they'll become one.

Okay. Creepy.

Turns out the vessel Hael picked won't hold her much longer, and she wants to take Cas', thank you very much. Which leads me to all kinds of random, circular thoughts, because Cas' vessel, Jimmy, is no longer there, as I think we all agreed after the episode "Rapture." And whatever Cas was before -- or is sans vessel -- is no more because of the whole grace-stealing incident. So Cas has become his vessel, since he's human, replacing Jimmy completely and is now as vulnerable to possession -- angel or otherwise -- as any other human (even though, with angels, you have to say 'yes'). Just...that's kinda weirdly interesting to me.

Back at the hospital, Dean sees Kim the Grief Counselor on the floor and helps her up, just as Farmer Angel comes around the corner, angel sword raised. Dean, bless his heart, tries to protect Kim...until Kim grabs him by the throat and lifts him up. Guess the new angel found a vessel. Makes you wonder how these angels get people to say yes so quickly, doesn't it?

Back in Sam's head, Bobby/Sam has led him to a cabin and tells him that everything he needs to help him on his way is in there. Says he'll be waiting for Sam with a couple of cold ones.

Sam = *sad face*

And suddenly, BLAMMO! Dean/Sam stabs Bobby/Sam in the back. That's where you can put your cold ones, not!Bobby.

Dean/Sam: "Sorry, old man."

Sam (furious): "Are you insane?!"

Dean/Sam: "Bobby was the part of you that wants to die. He had to go."

Sam: "No, you have to go. When are you gonna realize it's over?! There's nothing to fight for!"

Dean/Sam: "I know you don't believe that."

Which is basically true, because if he did, why did he bring the Dean part of himself back to kill off the Bobby part of himself, am I right?

Sam: "Really? Then what's your plan, Dean?"

Dean/Sam (looking Fed Effing Up): "My plan?" (POW - he punches Sam) "Is to fight! My plan!" (POW) "Is to try!" (POW) "You telling me there is nothing to fight for?! Nothing to hope for?!"

Guh, I know this isn't really
Dean Dean, just the part of Sam that is Dean in Sam's head, but it's still so Dean that it breaks my heart to see him work so hard to try convince someone he loves more than life not to leave him.

Sam: "There is. It's in that house."

Dean/Sam: "You know what's in that house. I can't help you if you ain't willing to fight for yourself!"

And there's the rub. Sam pushes Dean's hands off, gently, and tells him it's okay, this is what he wants. And Dean/Sam fades as Sam turns and heads for the cabin, finally having made a decision.

Meanwhile, real Dean is getting beat to hell by two angels. His face is a bloody mess and he's being dragged down the hall by his collar. The Kim Angel drops him and tells him to give up Cas, or she'll torture his brother. Dean's like, "Good luck getting past the warding."

Farmer Angel helps Kim Angel beat on Dean some more and they are brutal. His bell is more than rung. Yet, he's Dean, after all.

Dean: "Anyone ever tell you you hit like an angel?"

BAM!

In Sam's head, he goes into the cabin and who should be waiting for him by a nice, roaring fire, but Death, himself. I gotta say, I dig this actor -- just the way he talks is like...silk.

In the real world, the angels are showing Dean no mercy. He is battered and bleeding. They dump him on the floor outside of Sam's room door and start in on the door with a fire axe. Dean finally says, his voice ragged and pain-filled, that he'll give up Cas' location...he just has one question.

Dean: "If Heaven is locked...where do you go when I do this?"

Hastily-drawn angel-banishing sigils FTW! Extra points for using your own blood from the beating they gave you!

He presses his hand on the sigil and the angels blaze out in a burst of white light. Dean hauls himself to his feet and stumbles into the room where Sam's monitors are all screeching like crazy. If there were any nurses or docs still on the floor, they'd be running in with a crash cart. But, apparently, they abandoned all their patients when the windows started exploding.

Ezekiel is sitting, slumped in the chair next to Sam, holding his side. He's too weak to heal him.

Dean: "No! We had a deal. I fight. You save."

Standing there, beaten up and bloody like he was, saying that, I just wanted to give him a hug and tell him it's okay, you did everything you could, it's not your fault. It's not your fault.

Zeke tells him there's no good way to save Sam...but then says there's a chance he could fix him from the inside. Aka, possession. Gotta say, I really don't get how that works -- especially since he said would heal Sam while he was healing himself. Would he, like, feed off of Sam's soul or something? Cas said that what was wrong with Sam was on the molecular level and he couldn't fix it, but I bet he'd never thought of actually possessing Sam, knowing Sam wouldn't agree to that. Curious to learn how Zeke is actually fixing Sam...and worried that he's actually some how using Dean's desperation and Sam's vulnerability with this offer of help.

Dean recoils, rightly declaring that Sam would rather die than have anyone possess him (again). Zeke quiets the monitors and tells Dean he'll leave them alone and as he's starting to walk out, Dean asks him to wait.

Dean: "If I consider this...you gotta prove to me how bad he is."

Which makes total sense that Dean would need proof that there was really no chance Sam was going to get better. Especially after all he did to fight and resist saying 'yes' to Michael and what happened to Sam after he did say 'yes' to Lucifer. They'd been down the angel-condom route before; Dean needed to really believe that there was no other choice.

So, Zeke touches Sam's head and tells Dean to close his eyes, connecting them. Dean see's Sam sitting down with Death and hears Death tell his brother that he considered it an honor to collect Sam. He usually doesn't allow himself to pass judgement, but, "Well played, my boy."

Sam: "I need to know that if I go with you, will you promise that it will be final? I'll stay dead and no one else will get hurt because of me?"

Oh, Sammy. *rubs heart* That made me think of the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Buffy reveals that she was in Heaven after she died to save her friends...and her friends ripped her from that when they brought her back. They thought they were doing something to save her -- and getting the added bonus of having their friend back -- but they were really condemning her to a different kind of Hell. Dean not being willing to let Sam let it end...is somewhat similar.

And here's the thing: I would actually be willing to argue on Sam's behalf -- that he should be allowed to let it end, to be at peace -- if it weren't for the argument he gave Dean when he fought to be the one to do the trials. Back then, it was all about living -- about making sure that Dean lived. The reason Sam saw himself as the better choice for the trials was because he wanted to complete them and live through it. He saw clearly that Dean expected to die completing them, and that he was okay with that. Sam completing them was supposed to give Dean this infusion of hope, that there could be something for them on the other side of all of this, that Dean was more than just a 'blunt instrument.'

The reason Sam was dying wasn't because he was regular-person sick. It wasn't because he got shot or traded his soul or anything where his dying might actually be acceptable (if it wouldn't mean the shortest season ever). It was because of the trials. So, selfish reasoning or not, I'm with Dean on this one. Sam wasn't supposed to die yet. Not now. Not this way. Not only could Dean not live with him dead, it wasn't fair, it wasn't right, and it wasn't poetic. So there.

Dean still needs Sam to fulfill his promise that there's something out there that's not this. He needs Sam to live to show him that living is possible. So, while I think the choice Dean makes is SERIOUSLY going to come back and bite him in the ass in ways he can't fathom, I don't blame him for forcing Sam into that choice.

And maybe that's the real-life side of me talking. Because when Dean pulls out of the glimpse into Sam's head and says, "What the hell are you doing, Sam?" I saw on his face that same denial, disbelief, resistance, and fear I felt when I realized my father was going to die. And that realization didn't come when the doctors told us; it was just a random moment, weeks before he actually passed away, and it was just a flurry of no, he can't, I don't want this to happen, I won't think about it, I have to think about it, how am I going to think about it on a loop in my head.

And had I the power to be as selfish as Dean, I would have done it. For the sake of every person that life touched, especially my own.

*shakes self* Anyway! Moving on.

Cas makes a clever, albeit dangerous, escape from Hael by buckling his seat belt, then wrenching the car wheel sideways into a bunch of rocks, turning Hael into an angel projectile. Cas is banged up, but okay. He gets out, grabs the angel sword, and makes his way over to the pretzeled body of Hael. He offers her help one more time, but Hael tells him that the angels don't want his help - they want his head. She can protect him, but he doesn't want her protection. Hael loses it, then, threatening to tell the angels where he is.

Hael: "They will seek vengeance that will make God striking down Lucifer seem like child's play."

Yikes. Cas kills her with the angel sword. Can't say I blamed him for that.

Back in the hospital room, Dean tells Zeke that Sam won't ever say yes to him, but Zeke points out that he'd say yes to Dean. So, in Sam's head, Death is telling Sam it's time when Dean suddenly shows up. Somehow, Sam seems to realize that this isn't the Sam version of Dean, but Dean. He tells Sam that he has a plan -- Sam has to fight this. He looks at Death and says it's not Sam's time. Death says that's up to Sam.

Dean: "I made you a promise in that church. You and me. Come whatever. But you gotta let me help! There ain't no me if there ain't no you!"

GUH. Seriously. Scoop out my heart and crush it, why don't you, Show? The look on Dean's face as he's saying this -- all desperate-eyed and tense-jawed -- just sucked the air from the room. And then Sam! Sam with the full-on whoobie-face. These boys, I tell you. *all the feels*

Sam says okay -- yes, he will fight. And suddenly Dean's lighting up and his face becomes Ezekiel's and voila, Sam is possessed. In Sam's destroyed hospital room, Helo -- sans angel -- is sitting up in the hospital bed, totally baffled. The doctor walks in and wants to know what happened, but Helo is clueless. And also probably in a little bit of trouble.

Outside the hospital, Sam and Dean are walking away from the building. Dean's face is all bruised up -- anyone else notice how he always seems to get the brunt of his facial damage on the left side of his face? He needs to start fighting some southpaws to change it up a bit. Sam's walking like...Starman. Come to think of it, he's kinda talking like Starman, too.

Which, since it's not actually Sam but Ezekiel, that makes sense. Zeke says that Sam will wake up eventually, and he doesn't ever have to know that Zeke is there. Sam could eject Ezekiel at any time, and if he did that before he was healed, he'll die. Zeke can erase Sam's memories so he'll never know anything about the hospital; it'll be Dean and Zeke's little secret. For now.

Dean looks sick about it, but he also knows that he can't tell Sam the truth, not yet. Not until Sam no longer needs an angelic pacemaker to keep him alive. He agrees with Zeke, though he looks like he hates himself so much he wants to crawl in the deepest hole on Earth and disappear. He saved Sam...but at what cost to his brother? To their relationship?

Elsewhere, a bloody Cas walks into a laundromat. It's night, and there's only one other person there -- a white-haired lady. He walks up to a machine and starts to strip down, ending up in his boxers only. Dude, why can't there be guys who look like that walking into the laundromat when I'm there? *fans self*

He starts to put quarters in to wash The Trenchcoat, but sees a vending machine. He's hungry. And thirsty. And human.

So, he steals some clothes -- including a maroon hoodie to replace The Trenchcoat -- and gets a bottle of water. Because, y'know, water fixes everything. I think The Trenchcoat may have gone the way of the amulet, and Dean's ring, and Sam's leather bracelets, and John's leather jacket. Buh-bye Trenchcoat. We will miss you.

Back in the car once more -- ending as we began -- only this time, it's for reals. Sam's sleeping against the window and suddenly wakes up and asks groggily where they are. Dean looks like he can't decide if he should melt into the seat or float away when he hears Sam's voice -- sounding like Sam this time. Not Starman.

He asks how Sam is and Sam says he's tired. He doesn't remember anything after the church and the angels falling. Dean tells him he'd been out for a day. Sam's like, "You were driving around all day with me passed out in the front seat?" Good question.

Dean: "Naw, I pulled over for awhile. Some Japanese tourists took some pictures. Don't worry. They didn't get too handsy."

Sam's half-grin was just so natural after all this head-space should I stay or should I go angst from him that I smiled back. Sam doesn't say anything about the bruises covering the left side of Dean's face -- but I don't know if he could actually see them as Dean is pretty much always in profile to him while he's driving. But, if/when he does, that's going to look a bit suspect. Dean tells Sam that he knew he'd pull through.

Dean: "You're capable of anything, Sam. You proved me right."

Sam: "Yeah, well. We've got work to do."

You know that's right.

Okay, so...our SPN Formula for Angst, Heartache, and Hugs is in play. Dean has a secret he's keeping from his brother, one that is both for Sam's own good and also destined to bring about strife as soon as it's revealed. Because it WILL be revealed. I mean, c'mon. How long does Dean think he's going to be able to keep an angel at bay?

Plus, we've seen Vision Sam, Demon-Blood Powers Sam, Soulless Sam, [ETA: forgot Demon Sam (ala Meg) and Lucifer Sam] so now we get Angel Sam. It fits the pattern that Sam is the supernaturally-enhanced brother while Dean remains human. I like Human Dean. Actually I kinda figured the trials would result in Sam becoming an angel. I remember Rambling with you guys about it back in Season 8 around the time of the 2nd trial. But I didn't see this coming. I was thinking more Sam getting his wings...not having an angel inside of him.

I'm interested in seeing how this is going to play out between them -- what it will mean for Sam, if Zeke will stay tucked away inside of him, quietly healing both of them, and then seek a different vessel, or if he'll want to take over Sam at some point (which is my prediction...Sam will have to eject him and hope that he's healed enough). And what will it mean for Dean to have to be constantly on-guard, watching if it's really Sam, or if it's Zeke...like some kind of split personality. And will that Open Prayer he tossed out there bring more angels after him, looking for Cas?

I'm curious as to what their journey (together and individually) will be aside from dealing with fallen angels and a messy Hell.

Then there's Cas and his newfound humanity with garrisons of angels after his head. That'll be interesting.

We're back in it now. And I'm ready to see what they have in store for us!

Thanks for reading, as always.

Slainte!
Tags: episode review, ramble, stream of consciousness, supernatural, what do you think?
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