My emotions splattered this episode like a shotgun blast, ranging from amusement to irritation to empathy to curiosity to sympathy to intrigue to excitement and then 'round again. Seriously. As much as I love our show, and our boys, I had more or less given up on any chance for true character development, but Castiel's epiphany has swayed me. Humanity is a PB&J, folks. As simple and as complex as that. And a wish of mine was granted -- a character on the show (who was NOT a baddie) learned that the ends do not always justify the means. If an angel can change, well, then...maybe so can a Winchester.
I am actually good with the alteration of Cain's story to him having killed Abel in order to save him. Sacrificing his soul to Hell so that Abel's could be in Heaven...it fits this story better than if they'd stuck with the Biblical facts. And more than that, it fits Dean. And I'm thrilled that with Dean now bearing the Mark of Cain he's brought into the mytharc in a way he hasn't been since he was Micheal's Sword. The possibility of him being key to bringing down the Big Bad hasn't been present in the overall storyline since S5. Though it does seem kind of interesting that the righteous man has the Mark of Cain. The fact that we don't know the burden or "great cost" of Dean bearing the Mark is all kinds of *gulp* intriguing. Cain was given the Mark to protect him - no one could touch him without suffering God's vengeance. With God not being in Heaven in this 'verse, though, I'm not sure if that means Dean benefits from that protection...or he's just the one who can kill Abbadon. Can't wait to see!
The only part that makes me wince regarding that aspect of the story, for Dean's sake, is why he is "worthy" of bearing the Mark. He's often contended that the only thing he's good at is killing -- purposefully, i.e., demons, or inadvertently, i.e., those who get too close to him and just by being around him he causes their deaths. At the end of all of this, I want him to see that he's so much more than that: the light he reveals by ridding the world of darkness has far more worth than he's every realized. But it's because of his skill of dispatching evil that Cain knew he could carry the burden of the Mark. I just wonder what that's ultimately going to do to his already wounded psyche.
Speaking of wounded psyche's...Sam finally being healed is a relief. I was actually a bit frustrated for a bit there with the whole Grace Extraction starting to revert him back to pre-Gadreel condition. I think Sam needs a break from being the resident Walking Wounded. So, thank goodness for Castiel's lingering humanity and change of perception. And thank goodness for Sam realizing that Cas was right, about everything. That was a weight lifted. And while Sam's plea to Cas to help him do one thing right tugged at my heart, I was more moved for Sam seeming to realize that he would be able to offer a lot more positive to the balance sheet alive than he would with his death. I was glad that Cas brought up the trials -- and the fact that Sam chose to live. I think up until the end of this episode, Sam didn't know what he wanted or how he felt -- about himself, about Dean, about living or dying. I wanted to grab him by the shoulders and shake him at one point.
Oh, my I was conflicted about Crowley. I knew I shouldn't want Dean to partner up with him, even for a mutually beneficial hunt, considering his history of treachery and betrayal. I knew I shouldn't enjoy their interactions as much as I did because he's, y'know, killed people they care about. But I couldn't help it! That demon is darn entertaining. And I got why Dean went with him - even beyond the allure of finding the first blade. Dean's full of self-loathing right now and feels he's poison...who better to team up with than someone he doesn't care if he gets them killed? And while I didn't know exactly what he was up to (I bought the act right up until he killed the Teen!Demon), I knew he was up to something and I loved it when Dean called him on how he'd Keyser Soze'd everyone (complete with flashbacks to prove it). Still think I want him to win the campaign, though. And I also still think I want Dean to be the one to ultimately end him. Would have a kind of poetry to it.
Okay, blah blah blah, Gaelic. Get to the lists!
LOVES (there's a few...):
- DEAN'S FIGHT SCENE. Holy cow, ya'll. Remember last week's Ramble when I said, "stop throwing him into bookcases and let him fight"? THIS. Dean Winchester kicks ass, man. And don't you forget it.
- The boys' expressions. Usually I'm all DEAN'S FACE -- and I am this time, too, because, man Jensen just brought it with this one and the pain and loneliness in his eyes and the clenched jawed glances and the weariness (did you see the look on his face after he killed that 3rd demon??) -- but I have to also say that Sam's conflict was captured so clearly in the way Jared played him. Well done, boys.
- Lassiter! Someone mentioned off-handed to me that Timothy Omundson was going to guest star on our show and as per usual spoilerish stuff like that slipped off my mind like water off a duck's back. But when I saw him, I may have squealed. As a pretty big "Psych" fan, seeing Lassie on our show was all kinds of cool -- and dude, he rocked that Very Impressive Beard.
- Speaking of beards...Dean's. Scruff. He wore that well -- showing that things aren't all lollipops and candy canes in Dean's world. He looked rough and rugged and tired and edgy and just UNF.
- The teaming up of Crowley and Dean as well as Sam and Cas. It was good to see it mixed up a bit and view our boys from different perspectives.
- Referencing John Winchester - looking up stuff in the journal (which, hilariously, Dean had on him in the bar), searching the storage unit, finding out about a past fling-slash-hunting partner, all of it.
- The way Dean kinda slurred, "You want to hunt...with me," when talking to Crowley, showing the affect of the 4.5 beers sitting in front of him.
- Crowley. Full Stop. The fear in his voice when he saw Cain, the shaking tea-cup (AND drinking with his pinkie raised! L.O.L.), crossing himself and backing away when he saw the Mark of Cain...all of it.
- "I miss you, PB&J!"
- "You have a guinea pig? Where?" Cas' face...I can't even. *love*
- "This is by far the dumbest idea you've ever had." "Yeah, well...it's early."
- The fact that the was residual 'grace' inside Sam. The fact that he wanted to try to use it to do "one thing right" and track Gadreel. And most of all, the fact that Cas ignored him, stopped, and healed him completely.
- "Didn't you grow up pretty."
- Okay, this is TOTALLY random, but when Dean and Crowley walk into the pawn shop, I saw that Tara was reading a comic/graphic novel (what are the kids calling it these days?) called "Locke & Key" by Joe Hill, who happens to be one of my fav authors -- and also Stephen King's son. His novel "Heart Shaped Box" gave me nightmares for weeks. Seeing that had me going, "HA! Wouldja lookit that!"
- Cain commenting that Dean lives up to his reputation for being brave, if impulsive, and never giving up.
- The reveal that Cain was the one to kill the Knights of Hell, not the archangels.
- Castiel reminding Sam that he and Dean chose each other, that he'd chosen to live rather than go through with the completion of the trials.
- "You're good. But I'm Crowley."
- "I want Gadreel to pay as much as you do, but nothing is worth losing you." *rubs heart* (now...I want someone to say that to Dean, too)
- "Now's the part where you hug back."
- "Your problem is that nobody hates you more than you." Ugh, so painfully, painfully true. Somebody please grab him out of that pit he threw himself into!
- I don't actually have much...I mean there are things I could point at, but pretty much everything was hand-wave-able for me tonight. I don't feel like picking things apart. So...I'm not gonna.
- Did Cain's house look familiar to anyone else? I swear they used the outside of it before. And the flow of the interior looked a LOT like Bobby's house...anyone know if they used the same set?
- Raise your hand if you hope to see Cain again. Me, too. Also, if he no longer bears the Mark...can he now be killed?
- Other questions for me include: What will the burden/cost be to Dean for bearing the Mark of Cain? I have a theory that it has to do with his soul and Hell...and since he was there before, realizing that will be horrific for Dean. When/how will he tell Sam and Cas? How will Crowley betray them once more - and will Dean keep his promise to kill him after he's killed Abbadon (because he will)? When Sam finds Gadreel (because he will) will he be able to kill him, or will he see something of his own journey in the angel's plight?
- What are your predictions for an actual reconciliation between the brothers? Previews show them hunting together next week, but they've come together out of necessity before and can do the job without actually connecting.... I say we'll get to at least episode 9.16 before we get a true meeting of the minds, offering forgiveness, type reconciliation. Whenever it is, though, I still hold out hope for that character growth and this reconciliation to stick.
THEN reminds us that it's Abbadon v Crowley in Hell Match 2014, Sam calls Dean out for tricking him, Gadreel killed Kevin, Crowley coaches Sam in the fine art of casting out an angel, and Dean leaves with Sam not stopping him. NOW is...not exactly now. It's 1863, Jasper Springs, Mississippi. It's raining and we've got a Confederate soldier riding up to a cabin, bursting in and telling two other Confederate soldiers to stand their ground because "he's coming." Civil War-era violin music is playing as the soldiers all demon-out and the first one says that the "Knight must be protected."
In moments, though, a man in a dark suit -- Lassiter! -- bursts in, kills the first demon-soldier while the other two shoot him to no avail. He fries the other two demons with a red-hued light that is almost angelic and kicks the door open, a wicked-looking serrated machete/knife thing in his hand. We cut to the opening title card, the whole sequence making Cain look pretty bad-ass. Go Lassie.
Now now, we're at a bar. And so is Dean. He's smiling lazily as he watches a waitress walk by, drinks on a tray, and she's watching him right back. There are about 5 bottles in front of him and he's scruffy and tired and his eyes are more than a little haunted. Out of the blue, Crowley shows up and asks Dean if his 'boudoir smile' is for him. Dean instinctively pulls out the Demon Killing knife saying that he'd said the next time he saw Crowley....
Crowley: Let's not dwell on the past. This bar is a bust. That waitress is trouble with a capital VD and Gadreel has left the building. Move on to more pressing matters...like destroying Abbadon.
Dean, his hand still on the hilt of the knife, says "good luck with that," and Crowley reveals that there is something that can kill of Knight of Hell - the weapon the archangels used to execute them: the First Blade.
Dean (adjusting his grip on the knife): Never heard of it. Can I kill you now?
Crowley goes into how he's been chasing the blade for decades, and looking exhausted -- and like he's feeling the alcohol a bit -- Dean lays the knife on the bar top and grabs up a beer, listening to Crowley in spite of himself. His whole demeanor is that of someone who is keeping himself together with anger and habit. It struck me that he was in that bar partly to stakeout Gadreel, should he return, and partly because there were people around. Nameless, faceless, but at least he wasn't by himself. He just looked beaten -- easy prey for Crowley.
Crowley is telling him about a demon pal of his named Smitty who found a demon protege of the Knights of Hell who claimed to know about the blade, but a certain hunter named John Winchester killed Smitty before he could get the protege. Dean re-holsters the knife as Crowley tells him he wants to see if there's anything in the John Winchester Memorial Library that might lead them to the First Blade.
Dean (sounding about 2.5 sheets to the wind...): You want to hunt...with me?
Crowley: I do love a good buddy comedy.
Dean pulls out John's journal (that's a thick book...it kinda cracked me up that he just had it on him, like it was in his back pocket) and flips through it, finds the demon Crowley was talking about in about 3.5 seconds and sees the numbers 080379 and the letter "T" in the margins. At first he doesn't want to show Crowley, but after Crowley points out they don't have time for a montage in their buddy comedy (that's no fun - the montages are the best part!) Dean tells him it's to one of John's storage lockers. Crowley wants to go find "Daddy's Man Cave."
Dean: How do I know this isn't a trap?
Crowley: You don't. That's what makes it fun.
He leaves and after a moment of am I seriously going to do this contemplation, Dean follows. Unfortunately so does a Random Trucker Hat Demon. Not good. Back at the MoL Bunker, Cas is trying to enjoy a PB&J. Sam comes in and Cas ruminates how he had to eat constantly when he was human. He enjoyed the taste of food, but now he tastes every molecule and it's disgusting.
Cas: I miss you, PB&J!
He tells Sam that they need to continue Sam's healing as it's almost done. He puts his fingers to Sam's head and does his angelic zappy thing, but looks troubled. Sam's like, 'sup? Cas says it's nothing. Sam calls him a terrible liar.
Cas: That is not true! I once deceived and betrayed both you and your brother.
Sam patiently asks him what's wrong and Cas says that something is "resonating" inside of him. He suggests they call Dean, but Sam shuts him down fast. His expression is closed off, like a door slammed tight on his heart at those words.
Sam: No. He wanted to go and he's gone. We'll handle this.
Cas does not look happy.
Elsewhere, Dean's hooded up Crowley to take him into the storage unit and Crowley's bitching about all the secrecy.
Crowley: I've been inside your brother - we're practically family.
*covers face and groans...for more reason than one*
Dean slams Crowley against a shelf and says they are the furthest thing from family. Yeah, C...don't go throwing that word around lightly. Not with Dean. There's a Devil's Trap on the floor, so Crowley can only wander in the entry way making snarky comments about the decor while Dean looks through papers in the desk John kept. He finds notes about the hunt and realizes that John was with another hunter named Tara -- even has her picture -- but that beyond a mention of the First Blade, that's it.
Crowley: Didn't they teach note-taking at Hunter's Hogwarts?
Ignoring him, Dean decides to go see if Tara's still kicking. Back at the Bunker, Sam and Cas are poking around through the MoL books and Cas finds something -- written in Enochian, so it's a bit "flowery" -- about angels leaving a kind of 'fingerprint' behind in their vessel, containing grace. The grace inside Sam fades a bit each time Cas heals him. It's harmless, Cas says, but they may be able to use it to track Gadreel.
At first, I thought that was going to mean Sam would be like a human bloodhound, somehow 'feeling' when Gadreel was close. Which I thought would be cool. But, instead, Cas says there's a (painful, of course, and involves a Big Ass Needle) method that the MoL's found but never were able to test.
Sam: They didn't have a guinea pig and we do.
Cas (looking up at Sam with childlike delight): You have a guinea pig? Where?
Sam (sighing, ultimate patience): Me, Cas.
So, anyway, Dean and Crowley found out where this hunter, Tara, was living lickity-split and head over to her Pawn Shop in Somewhere Town, Random State. They head inside and see an attractive blonde woman with freaking amazing arms -- seriously, this woman looked like she could bench-press Crowley -- reading a graphic novel/comic. Dean tells her he's John's son, Dean, and she tells him he grew up pretty.
Yes. Yes, he did.
Tara's knee kinda gives and she grabs it in pain as she keeps a wary eye on Dean and Crowley. Crowley stays quiet as Dean tries to reference the job she worked with John but Tara pulls out a shotgun and trains it on Crowley -- she has a trick knee that hurts whenever there's a demon around. That's some hellish arthritis right there. Crowley says he'll go get a latte while Dean gets this all sorted, only, whoops, he's standing in a Devil's Trap.
Crowley (to Tara): Look, I'm the King of Hell. He's a Winchester. There's a reason why we're working together.
Tara: Yeah, it's called possession.
She flings some Holy Water in Dean's face and he sputters and blinks a bit, but then smiles at her.
Dean: I'm good. And you're right. He's a jackass, but he's helping me on this.
He tells her about the First Blade and that they're hunting the last Knight of Hell. She says he's as handsome as John...and as dumb if he's looking for that relic. But, she pulls out her info. Says that they grilled the demon and John thought it was lying so they killed it, then had a "lovely weekend together" (insert Dean's instinctive eye-brow fold of awkward) and went their separate ways.
But! She couldn't let go of the idea of the First Blade (of course), though the only thing she ever found was a location spell. Only problem was she's missing one ingredient: essence of Kracken. This is a thing? Sea monster "essence." Who knew? Lucky for them, Crowley has loads of Kracken in a warehouse in Belize...Tara just has to break the Devil's Trap. She pauses, but Dean gives her a look.
Tara: If your Daddy could see you now.
Ouch. Judge much? All kinds of reasons a person like Dean could see some gray shading around a demon. And after everything he's been through since John died, if John were to see him now and thought anything other than, I'm proud of you, I'd be quite disappointed in him.
Tara breaks the seal, lets Crowley out and tells Dean that the blade isn't worth buddying up to the King of Hell. Dean says as bad as Crowley is, Abbadon is way worse. Plus, he's planning on dealing with Crowley after. Good night, Crowley. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning.
Tara: You sound just like your dad...when he said he'd call me.
Whoopsie. But, Crowley returns with Kracken essence...whatever the hell that is...and they get to going on the spell, burning a map until it reveals that the blade is in Missouri. Crowley invites Tara along (and part of me wonders if that was his half-hearted attempt at protecting her from the demon we now know he knew was following them), but Tara takes a pass at traveling with the King of Hell. She wishes Dean luck, saying he's gonna need it.
They drive from Somewhere Town to a farmhouse in MO, Crowley riding shotgun. They get out and as they move around the car toward the house, Crowley stops and says he feels something. Dean mocks him, but Crowley pulls him back saying he feels something dark. Looking at him in surprise, Dean asks, "Darker than you?"
A man in a bee-keeper's hat comes around the corner and Crowley tells Dean that they have to leave now, sounding genuinely afraid.
Dean: You allergic to bees?
Crowley says that's not a bee-keeper, it's the Father of Murder. Cain, as in Cain and Abel.
Crowley: Dean, we need to be a world away from here. From him.
He turns and ooops! Cain is right behind him, and calls him by name. Next thing we know, Dean and Crowley are sitting in Cain's parlor looking like they got called to the principal's office. Crowley can't zap out; Cain's doing something to his powers.
Dean: Not your day for get-aways is it?
Dean gets up and wanders around the room, checking the windows, the bookshelves, restless and watchful. He asks Crowley to tell him about Cain. Crowley says that after Cain killed Abel, he became the deadliest demon to walk the face of the Earth. He killed thousands - was the best at being the worst. And then he disappeared.
Just then, Cain shows up with tea -- served in China dishes. He chats about bees as he hands out the tea cups. Crowley's hands are shaking and he sips the tea with his pinkie up. Dean just takes the cup, his hand steady, as Cain rambles about how the bees are dying and mankind will cease to exist without bees (someone's been watching M. Night Shyamalan movies). Once they're all served, he sits back, asking why they're there. Crowley starts to fumble through a disjointed explanation and Cain just says, "Shhhh," and suddenly Crowley has no voice.
Dean: Oh, you gotta teach me how to do that.
Dean tells him that they're looking for the First Blade and they need it to kill Abbadon. Cain twists a ring -- which looks like a wedding band, on his left hand -- and Dean notices as he talks. As Crowley tosses Dean a series of are you kidding me looks, Dean talks to Cain as if he's any other person, no fear infusing his words.
Dean: Look, I get it. You're retired. We're not here to get between you and the demonic AARP. Just looking to even the odds.
Dean tells him that they used a location spell for the blade, a one-time deal, and no one else knows they're there. But, unfortunately, that's not true. We cut to Tara -- who hasn't repaired the Devil's Trap she blast a hole in earlier. Random Trucker Hat Demon pays her a visit and though she blasts him in the face, we already kinda know it's not going to end well for her.
Back in MO, Cain dismisses Dean and Crowley, though Dean presses forward saying they aren't leaving without the blade.
Cain: You've quite a reputation. You being brave rings true.
Dean: What can I say, I'm an all-in kind of guy.
He says that Abbadon is the last Knight of Hell -- and if Cain's retired, what does he care if she dies? Cain reveals that he trained the Knights of Hell. He built the whole order, including Abbadon. Dean slowly turns to face Crowley as he's replying:
Dean: Well, that is....information I could have used five minutes ago!
Crowley, still sans voice, merely shrugs. Then, Cain drops the bomb, revealing something that no one but Abbadon knew: the archangels didn't kill the Knights, he did.
Dean: Why did you turn on your own?
Wow. Talk about a layered question.
Cain: Once again, I admire your bravery. But, if you'll excuse me, I have errands to run. Goodbye, Dean Winchester. Never return.
They head out and Crowley's all up for leaving the country, but Dean's like, hell no, we're waiting until he's gone to town and we sneak back in and take the blade. Crowley gives him a you're the cherry on top of a crazy sundae look.
Back at the Bunker, Cas and Sam are heading to whatever room where there is a medical exam table and Cas asks him about the trials.
Cas: You chose to live rather than go through with them. You chose to live. You and Dean chose each other.
Sam (unable to meet Cas' eyes): Yeah, I did. We did. And then...Dean made a choice for me.
Cas: What Dean did--
Sam: Doesn't matter what Dean did. I could have put a stop to all of this. I could have closed the Gates of Hell. Dean's gone. This is on me now and if I can find Gadreel, I can fix this.
Okay, I admit, I didn't quite get Sam's logic here. I mean, I got that he was feeling guilty for choosing to live when he figures he should probably have died to shut the Gates of Hell...and that guilt is rolling over into his anger at Dean for tricking him into saying yes to an angel and amplifying that a bit. So, okay, guilt. Got it. But how will finding Gadreel fix anything? He can't close the Gates of Hell, bring Kevin back, any of that. It won't fix things, but finding him could stop things. That's where I wanted to shake Sam and say, "What?! What do you actually want, Sam?! Specifics!"
Anyway, after that, it was Big Ass Needle time.
Back in MO, Dean and Crowley sneak back in and Crowley is skiddish as a cat.
Crowley: This is by far the dumbest idea you've ever had.
Dean: Yeah, well, it's early.
Crowley (glancing around): Oh, there's nothing here. Shame, let's go!
Dean: Sack up and start looking!
They separate and Dean finds an old (like 1800s) photo of a pretty brunette, the name Collette at the bottom. Outside, unbeknownst to the searchers, the Random Trucker Hat Demon pulls up, half his face looking like ground hamburger and is on the phone calling for back-up. Poor Tara.
In the bunker, Cas starts to inject the Big Ass Needle into Sam's neck to extract the grace and of course it's painful and there's yelling and I didn't like watching that much at all. Not a fan of needles in general. Especially Big Ass ones. At one point, Sam starts flashing through all the crap he's been through so far -- trials, angel possession, etc. -- and Cas regretfully says his body is regressing.
Back at Cain's, Crowley comes in and says he's found nothing - not even porn. Dean shows him Collette's photo, saying that's why Cain disappeared: he got hitched. Just then, Cain is back, Dean and Crowley are trapped inside, and the demon posse pulls up outside. Random Trucker Hat Demon yells that he tortured Tara for information and this look...this I'm poison look...flashes across Dean's face. It's fast and neither Cain or Crowley are looking at him, but it felt like a gut-punch.
The Trucker Hat Demon yells that he has a new master he has to impress and Dean's all, get ready for a fight and Cain's like, yeah, good luck with that. They exposed him and his house, he's not really in the mood to fight for them. Dean mocks him.
Cain: Brave...but impulsive. You truly have lived up to your reputation.
Dean: I can't say you have lived up to yours.
Cain's all la la la, I'm retired.
In the bunker, Cas is pulling grace out of Sam and it's clearly hurting like hell but Sam tells him to keep going.
Cas: Why must the Winchesters run toward death? When I was human, I died and that showed me that life was precious and must be protected at all costs, even a life of someone as pigheaded as the Winchesters.
Sam: My life's not worth more than anyone else's. Not yours or Dean's or...Kevin's. Please...help me do one thing right.
At Cain's, Dean's in the kitchen and has blocked the door with the fridge. He tells Crowley to watch the front. Meanwhile, Cain sits calmly at the table and starts shucking his corn on the cob. He ponders out loud why Dean wants help and speculates that Dean's lost his edge. He snaps his fingers and two demons get into the house, and then are trapped. Dean automatically pulls out the Demon Killing knife and out of nowhere, a 3rd demon busts through the glass doors shutting the kitchen off from the rest of the house and it's ON!
Dean barely stops moving, taking blows, delivering them, getting slammed against things and using that to aid his momentum. He kills one and the other two pin him to the table where Cain is shucking corn. Cain's just like, you're doing great. Dean kills another and we shift out front where a minor, Teen!Demon gets in and lands a lucky blow on Crowley, knocking him down. Crowley uses the angel sword and does away with that demon.
Crowley: You're good...but I'm Crowley.
He stands and watches Dean fight the 3rd demon...and this is where I started thinking...waaaaait a minute. Dean's fighting like hell against the 3rd demon. Cain gets a beer and is amused as Dean and the demon trade blows until Dean is able to kill him, too, shoving the body from the table, breathing hard. *claps* Yay, Dean!
He asks Cain if this was a test and Cain tells him that he felt connected to him right from the start -- a kindred spirit.
Dean: Except I didn't kill my brother.
Cain: You saved yours. Why?
Dean (still winded, his eyes looking wounded): Because you never give up on family. Ever.
Cain: Where's your brother now, then?
Dean: I don't know what kind of game you're playing here, and I don't care. Just give me the damn blade.
Annnddd...here's where Cain comes clean and says he doesn't have it. Ooopsie.
Meanwhile, back in the bunker, Sam's all weak and bleeding from the nose and limp and Cas looks longingly at his uneaten PB&J, thinking of his humanity and removes the needle. Before Sam can do more than utter a weak, "Wha--" Cas heals him. Completely. All grace is gone. *claps* Yay, Cas!
Cas: I want Gadreel to pay as much as you do, but nothing is worth losing you. Being human didn't just change my view of food, it changed my view of you. I can relate now, to how you feel.
Sam = huh?
Cas: The only person who has screwed things up more consistently than you...is me. And now I know what that guilt feels like. And I know what it means to feel sorry. Sam...I am sorry.
He kinda reminded me of that part in The Last Unicorn when the Unicorn reveals that after having been human, she now knows what it means to regret.
Sam: I know.
Cas: Old me would have just kept going because the ends always justified the means. But what I went through, well, that PB&J taught me that angels can change. Maybe Winchesters can, too.
Sam = thinky thoughts
Back at Cain's, Crowley's in the middle of a controlled freak-out about the blade being gone. Cain says that the spell brought them to the source of the blade's power and rolls up his sleeve. Crowley hilariously crosses himself and backs away.
Dean (to Crowley): Really? Now?
It's the Mark of Cain - the Mark and the blade work together. Without the Mark, the blade is just an old bone. Dean studies Cain and puts two and two together.
Dean: A jaw bone. Of an animal. The jaw bone you used to kill Abel. Because he was God's favorite.
Cain: Abel wasn't talking to God. He was talking to Lucifer. Lucifer was going to make my brother into his pet. I couldn't bear to watch him be corrupted, so I offered a deal: Abel's soul in Heaven for my soul in Hell.
The expression on Crowley's face was priceless. The visual of omg I did not see that coming. Lucifer worked his way through the whole first family starting with the temptation of Eve and then the final corruption of Cain, taking Adam and Abel along for the ride.
Cain: Lucifer accepted as long as I was the one who sent Abel to Heaven. So I killed him. Became a soldier of Hell. The Knights and I were bringers of chaos and darkness for centuries.
Then he met Collette and she knew who he was and loved him and forgave him and asked him to stop, and he did, but then the Knights killed her, so killed all of them. We see how Abbadon possessed Collette and tried to get Cain to leave her and return to them, cracking her bones from the inside out. Cain tried to kill her, but Abbadon was too quick and Cain ended up actually killing Collette instead. As she was dying, she begged him to stop, said he was better than that. She died, he buried her, and walked away from it all.
Dean (sincerely): I'm sorry, truly, but I have to stop Abbadon, so where's the blade.
Cain still says no and Dean pulls the Demon Killing knife on him. Cain pulls the blade forward, letting it sink into his chest with no effect.
Cain: You never give up on anything, do you?
Aannnddd...then he's gone and the house is surrounded by hordes of angry demon folk. Crowley tells Dean he'll stay as long as he can. Ain't he swell? Outside, at Collette's grave, Cain is saying, "I tried, Collette, to see myself as you did. I know who I am and what I am. I know you still watch over me. I need you to look way now."
Then he pops back into the house and Dean's all, in or out, man, you're making me dizzy. Cain tells Dean that he can transfer the Mark to someone worthy -- a killer like him. It's the only way the blade will work. Dean will be able to kill Abbadon. Cain warns Dean that with the Mark comes a great burden -- some would say a great cost. Dean doesn't bother to hear more, though.
Dean: Spare me the warning label; you had me at kill the bitch.
I think the cost is going to be his soul in Hell. Or maybe having to send his brother to Heaven. Something like a repeat of what Cain had to go through.
Cain (taking Dean's arm): Good luck, Dean. You're gonna need it.
Dean: Yeah, I get that a lot. Let's dance.
The Mark travels from Cain's arm to Dean's and Dean doubles over as the pain hits him. Crowley actually checks on him and Dean says he's fine. Cain tells them that nothing can destroy the blade so he threw it to the bottom of the deepest ocean. Crowley's expression is all Seriously?!
Cain: Find the blade. Kill Abbadon. But make me a promise. When I call you -- and I will call -- come find me and use the blade on me.
Cain: For what I'm about to do.
He snaps his fingers and the demons outside start flooding in. He touches Dean and Crowley on the shoulder and suddenly they're outside of the house, looking in as a bright red light begins to glow through the windows.
Crowley: They're all trapped in there.
Dean: With him.
They exchange a quick look and high-tail it for the car, burning rubber to get away from the house.
In the bunker, Cas and Sam's science project to track Gadreel is a dud. There isn't enough grace; they'll have to track Gadreel another way. Cas looks a bit dejected, but Sam says it's okay, he was right. About everything. Which! Makes me hopeful for his forgiving Dean for tricking him into saying yes to an angel...he said that Dean "made a choice for him" when he saved his life...Cas pretty much did that exact same thing when he healed him. So, if Sam can see why Cas did that, and accept it, maybe he can also see why Dean did what he did.... *hopes*
He gives Cas a hug, which Cas just takes, looking bewildered.
Sam: Now's the part where you hug back.
Cas says that Metatron is the key to fixing everything and he's going to find him. He casually suggests that they could use all the help they can get, but Sam just sighs, settles, then shakes his head, saying, "We got this."
At that point, though, it didn't feel as much grrr, I don't want him here as it did, no, I'm not ready for him to come back. Sam needs more time to heal -- not just physically, but psychologically and sometimes, you need to NOT be around those who love you when you're trying to figure out how to put yourself back together. He needs to do something positive on his own, for himself. I see the glimmer of that light he talked about showing Dean back when he said he was going to start the trials shimmering around him. Which is good because....
Dean and Crowley are in the car near some pier or something and Crowley tells Dean that Cain was right, Dean was worthy.
Dean: Great, now you're getting all touchy-feely, too.
Crowley: Your problem is that nobody hates you more than you do. Believe me. I've tried.
Man, the look on Dean's face as he stared at the steering wheel was just...an open wound. And yet so guarded, walls all the way up. He deflects and asks how they're going to find the blade. Crowley says he can find it and bring it back to it's new owner. He gets out, but Dean follows him.
Dean: I saw you, Crowley. Back at Cain's. You dusted that demon and just sat back and watched. You knew about all of it and you played me. Why?
Crowley: He never would have given me the blade. He needed to see his prize fighter in action. You + demons = fight night.
Dean: Tara died, thanks to you.
Crowley: Omelets, broken eggs, etc.
Makes me wonder if Crowley knows about the "great cost" that Dean is now saddled with -- he knew Cain had the blade, but did he know that the Mark was the only way the blade worked? How much does he know?
Dean decks him, literally growling, "After I kill Abbadon, you're next."
Crowley: You don't mean that. This is too much fun. Y'know, even with this blade, we're going to need all the help we can get.
Dean (turns away, jaw flexing, eyes flinching, then the mask comes down): Go find the blade.
Crowley: It's always something with you boys, isn't it?
He leaves and Dean winces as the Mark burns.
See, I think Dean not wanting to call Sam was different. I think it was to protect Sam from him, from the darkness and death that surrounds him. It was to not pull Sam down with him. The glimmer of light around Sam needs to grow stronger so that when they do reconcile, Sam can make good on the promise he made Dean last season when he took over the trails -- he can show Dean there is more to life than death and killing, there is light at the end of the tunnel and that Dean's life is worth more than he could ever hope to realize. Sam can do that just by living and releasing the guilt that has been burying him.
I'm excited to see what is coming over the next 12 episodes. This turn of the story has me leaning forward in anticipation again.
Thanks for reading!