NOW we're getting somewhere!
The episode was a slow build, but it paid off. After a few episodes where I sat down to ramble with a bruised heart, it was refreshing to be pumped up about the events of the story and not distracted by the impact of the brother's rift. I swear, throughout the first half of the episode I could hear the ka-chink, ka-chink sound of the roller coaster climbing the hill to that first fake-out dip that makes your stomach bounce up to your nose and your heart flutter with anticipation before the big-scream drop.
We haven't had the big scream, but Dean's first encounter with the Blade? Holy. Crap. Definitely got my heart a-pounding.
I have to take a moment to say how amazing Jensen was with the effect the blade had on Dean. The way he trembled, his hand shaking from the affect of the power, the rush that filled his eyes -- not from any special effects, either...just the way his eyes shifted to show the surge of feelings and power that slammed into him when he came in contact with the blade -- it made me catch my breath. And then when Magnus said the spell that sapped his will, how he made his eyes go dead, empty.... *slow clap* That was fantastic. I may actually have to play that scene again. A few times.
I'm excited to see Dean having to have an internal struggle that has nothing to do with Sam or saving anyone's life. Dean is our constant, our focal point, the eyes we see the events of the story through. We watch what happens to Sam and we see it impact Dean. Now we have a chance to watch what happens to Dean, see him struggle with it, work through it, use it, discard it, burn up from it, overcome it, whatever he's ultimately destined to do, and we have the opportunity to see it impact Sam and experience his reaction to his brother and his brother's struggle. I'm excited for these new opportunities and excited to see what Jensen and Jared can do with this shift of events.
We've seen Jared play Sam in quite a few forms (his most impressive, IMO, being his shift from Sam to Not!Zeke early in the season), and I've always been appreciative of his ability to do so, even if I didn't like the Sam he was playing (e.g., Soulless!Sam). I look forward to seeing Sam's focus turned outward, seeing him not worry about how it's going to impact him or how he's going to be affected by it, and seeing what he does with that kind of focus. At the same time, I look forward to the opposite from Jensen, seeing Dean turn his focus inward, what is happening to him, what is he going to do about it, what does he want/not want to do, how can he choose to make a difference, is he losing control...all those things. The next several episodes have incredible potential.
And I hate to say it, but I let that Crowley charm me and play to my sympathetic side. He's grown on me - and has been for several seasons, even though I know he's going to screw everyone over. I can't help it! I mean, sheesh, at one point I wanted to give the guy a hug! And he's the friggin' King of Hell! *Bad Gaelic* But it seems the boys fell into the same trap -- and shame on Dean for that, too, because he's now been fooled twice by a vulnerable Crowley, forgetting that the minute he can, the demon will flip the cards over and reveal that he'd stacked the deck. Still...part of me has to respect the fact that even after hitting bottom, the guy manages to bounce rather spectacularly.
I will freely admit that I enjoyed watching Crowley and Sam's interaction just as much as I liked Dean and Crowley. It was a different situation, of course, and Crowley had a different motive and reason to need the brothers, but it was fascinating to watch Crowley watch Sam, study him, his demonic gears turning as he poked at the wall Sam had constructed around himself. It was also incredibly ironic, I thought, to have a former demon-blood junkie be the primary intervention 'sponsor' for a current human-blood junkie. Well played, Show.
Despite his edict that they're partners and not brothers, it was also refreshing to see Sam (finally) showing interest in what was going on with Dean and the Mark of Cain. It was often subtle, but it was there. From researching Cain and Abel, to working in rhythm with Dean for Crowley's intervention and finally his soft, gentle plea turning to a John Winchester-esque bellow of his brother's name to get through to Dean when he held the blade, Sam had a focus on his brother. He might be able to shrug it off as their only way to defeat Abbadon, but I don't buy that. Yes, it's technically true, but it's not the only thing I saw. Forgiveness may not be quite in the cards, but they were working more together tonight than they have in quite some time.
The Mark of Cain/First Blade thing, though, has me chewing my lip in anticipation. And there's still a quiet hope that it will not only result in Abbadon's demise, but in Sam saving his brother. And not a kill-the-bad-guy-before-he-kills-Dean kind of saving. I mean, that happens rather a lot, with both of them.
I am talking about a make that stone number one and build on it kind of saving. A don't you dare think that there is anything, past or present, that I would put in front of you kind of saving. A I couldn't live with you dead kind of saving.
Something that does more than just keep Dean's heart beating. Something that shows him that the person he values most, above all others, values him as well, faults and all. Something that shows Dean that he can do something right, that his life isn't all about mistakes, and that it's possible to be forgiven and to forgive and to learn and move forward.
I caught a glimpse of something in the first encounter with the blade that breathed onto the coals of that quiet hope and I think we could really go somewhere with this. Not only that, but to see Dean react to something supernatural that's inside of him, tied to him, was thrilling. Thinking back to how Sam has had to cope with debilitating visions of death, the soul-rocking realization that he could defeat demons with his mind (as long as he was juiced up on demon blood), having a fractured soul and being haunted by Lucifer himself, and finally surviving a slow internal destruction due to angelic trials, I look forward to seeing how Dean will cope with controlling this impact on his body, his soul, his mind, his will, his emotions (or, conversely, losing control of it).
AND I look forward to seeing if Sam helps him -- not just to 'save him' but to manage it somehow, or control it long enough they can defeat Abbadon. Sam's experience makes him a perfect anchor for Dean to get through this...if Sam will only see that and make it happen.
A surplus of spoilers and interviews erupted on the interwebs this week; I was only able to read two (well, read one and listen to part of one) and without going into it too much, based on that moment where Dean trembled from the power of the blade, curling his lip in an almost-snarl, his eyes going hot and hard, I can completely see the effects of the blade beginning to turn Dean into what so many in his life have said he was anyway: a weapon.
A hunter in a black and white world seeing good and bad, not necessarily right and wrong, and taking matters into his own hands as he was designed to do.
What gives me hope, though, of getting Dean back was the moment Sam bellowed his name, then gently implored him to put the blade down, Dean looked like he was surfacing, emerging from a dark tunnel, his eyes young and pleading, searching for solid ground and a crumb of reassurance. If Sam's on the other side of that tunnel, offering him that reassurance? I think they can get through this. And I'm more than ready to watch how it's done.
How about some lists?
- Dean's. Eyes. In pretty much every scene, but especially during the whole encounter with Magnus -- from trying to convince him to let them borrow the blade to Sam talking him down from The Rush. What that man can convey in a glance...good gracious.
- The tremble of anger and impotent rage in Dean's voice as he growled out, "Magnus, I swear to God..." when Magnus was threatening Sam.
- The way Sam's eyes never left his brother's face when he was talking him down from the blade and how his voice shifted from a soft question ("Dean?") to a calming reminder ("Hey, it's over. He's dead. Drop the blade, Dean.") to a loud demand ("DEAN!") to a gentle order ("Drop the blade.") That was just very well done.
- The little throw-away shot when the boys are waiting for the guy who supposedly bought the blade; Dean's in the foreground, the camera focusing on Sam, and Dean blows out his breath in a visible cloud, his lips forming an "O". I don't know why, but I loved that shot of them.
- Sam's no-quarter demand: "Take me to my brother."
- The fact that Sam was the one carrying the blade out of the invisible fortress of crazy.
- The fact that both boys recognized Snooki, Dean's "Well, that explains a lot," and Sam's self-satisfied smirk as he repeated the exorcism.
- Crowley watching Casablanca and crying. I mean, come on! Tell me you weren't a little charmed by his vulnerability. *laugh*
- Dean's number listed as "Not Moose" on Crowley's phone.
- Velvet Underground's "Heroin" playing while Crowley's shooting up human blood.
- The shot of the two brothers waiting for Crowley when he came back into his hotel room: Sam calmly sitting on the chair, Dean leaning against the wall, arms crossed...it was just one of those wow...holy crap moments when you remember these two are actually quite lethal.
- The fact that the guy who bought the blade from the pirates was named Hunter Devlin. Oh, Show. *cracks up*
- The way the museum curator woman looked at Dean like she wanted to...be compelled to talk. And then have breakfast afterwards. *ahem*
- The fact that Crowley took the 1st blade; I figured that would happen, but I like that they kept him in the mix and used that to stretch out the Mark storyline across a few more episodes.
- I'll buy that small-town cops overlook a scruffy face and longer hair and readily accept two suited-up guys as FBI agents simply because they flash a badge and happen to be at a crime scene, but I did have to shake my head a bit that a detective in a big city like KC did the same. Tsk, tsk, detective.
*NEW SPECIAL CATEGORY* Outrage:
- The. Demons. Keyed. Baby. I can't even.... *kill them all!*
- Okay, was the red spray-painted Devil's Trap where they summoned Snooki The Crossroad Demon the same place where they did that Harlem Shake video? Or was that too long ago? It just all looked...very, very familiar to me.
- Did you guys know that demons wrote-slash-understood Enochian? I'd been thinking that it was the language of the angels, not angels and demons.
- Okay, so thoughts on the fact that the First Blade was in a museum in Kansas City. Convenience? Irony? Or is it all coming down to something Stull-like with the different locations being in and around the MoL bunker, smack-dab in the middle of Kansas? Am I reading too much into it, do you think?
- Anyone else wonder if the boys just left the "greatest collection of supernatural antiquities on the planet" in the invisible house? Have to wonder if the 1st blade was there, what else might be there that could help them...or hurt them.
THEN was a quick reminder of who Henry was and the MoLs, Crowley's blood addiction, Abbadon (as if we could forget her), a rough-looking Dean getting the Mark of Cain and searching for the First Blade. NOW we're at the bunker with the boys and Sam's reading up on Cain and Abel while Dean is pacing and calling Crowley. Again. Sam's confused why Dean's worried, but Dean sounds more frustrated than worried, saying the guy has one job: find the 1st blade.
Sam: Crowley's not exactly a team player.
Dean: His ass is on the line, too.
He plays Sam the only messages he's gotten from Crowley in all this time, which was very clearly a drunk-dial. We then shift to a hotel room filled with sex noises and see a sated Crowley and his demon-girl, Lola, living the decadent life while Lola gets him some fresh human blood from some poor soul they have tied up in the closet. Lola heads out to get pizza and returns to find Crowley watching Casablanca and crying, his champagne glass empty. As Sam Beckett might say, Oh boy.
Lola heads out and connects with one of Abbadon's minions, telling him that all Crowley cares about is sex, pizza, and human blood. He's falling apart. Not only that, he keeps getting calls from the Winchesters and one of the messages mentioned the 1st Blade. Which made me want to Gibbs-smack Dean for leaving such a message because come on! Don't trust that Crowley would be alone. In fact, don't trust Crowley, period! Never mind that I probably would have done the same thing.... >_>
Back with the boys, they're at a crossroads, having spray-painted a Devil's Trap and filled a box with all the bits of things necessary to summon a Crossroads Demon. Sam Latinates and next thing we know? Snooki.
Sam: Is that, uh....
Dean: Well, that explains a lot.
Sam: Look, Snooki...can I call you Snooki?
Snooki: No. It's Nicole now.
Sam tells her it can go the easy way -- she talks -- or the easier way -- they use the demon-killing knife on her and she talks. Dean votes for number two. They want basic info on Crowley but she's not talking, until they advance on her and she freaks out saying, "Not the face, are you crazy?!"
After some back-and-forth, she finally tells them that the last she heard, Crowley was in the Western Pacific, but that Hell's getting crazy. Even the loyalists want to sign on with Abbadon. After getting what they want from her, Dean nods at Sam all, "See ya, Snooks," and Sam Latinates the exorcism with a smirk.
I only know who Snooki is because of tabloids at the grocery story check out counter and commercials for whatever reality show she was in, but she wasn't bad. Much much better than Paris Hilton.
ANYWAY! Back at the hotel, Crowley is reading Little Women when Lola returns. Turns out he's not as far gone as Lola thought and he totally called her on ratting him out.
Crowley: I play the tune; everyone else dances to it!
He ends up killing her with an angel sword, but afterwards ends up in tears as he stares at his reflection in the mirror while shooting up with human blood. He looks quite disgusted with himself, actually.
Back at the bunker, Sam's looking up ocean floor maps of the Marianas Trench, suggesting that maybe Crowley found the blade and is planning on double-crossing them.
Dean: That doesn't make sense. He wants me to power up and kill the ginger. He set it up.
Sam (sitting back, sipping his beer, carefully choosing his words...very clearly testing his brother's attachment to Crowley): Ok, assuming he does show up with it, he's only useful to us until we have the blade.
Dean (confused): Yeah, so?
Sam: So, there's nothing stopping us from using it on him, right?
Dean (pausing, realizing he's being tested): Nothing at all.
Dean's phone rings and it's Crowley. Not only has he not found the blade, he needs their help. After a great shot of the Impala zooming along some road towards a mountain (so Crowley is clearly not in Kansas), Crowley returns to his hotel room to find the two Winchesters pointed at him. And seriously? That shot of Dean leaning against the wall, arms crossed, was just...UNF.
Sam demands to know what's in the bag Crowley is holding and Crowley says, "Nothing," with the uber-quick panic of someone hiding something. Sam grabs it away from him and finds a bag of O-neg. They force Crowley into a chair, hand-cuffing him there, and start in, riffing off of each other without missing a beat.
Dean: You're a mess. We were counting on you and you let us down!
Sam: Your slimy followers were counting on you to kill Abbadon and you let them down.
Dean: Man with all the mojo. Captain Evil.
Sam: It's pathetic.
Crowley: What's this? An intervention?
Sam: You need to focus, Crowley. Get a grip.
Dean: You just gonna let Hell go to Hell?
Crowley: You don't know what it's like to be human!
Dean's double take of wait, what now is followed by Sam's didn't catch that frown.
Crowley: It's your DNA; it's my addiction! My cross! My burden!
Dean: Take it easy.
Crowley continues to ramble about Lola betraying him and the boys quickly realize that Abbadon is looking for the 1st blade, too. Dean leans in toward Crowley, full-on serious.
Dean: Ok, this crap ends now. You're cut off. Kick it. Cold turkey.
They end up taking him back to the bunker and chain him up in the dungeon in the middle of a Devil's Trap. Sam's at a desk with a computer, trying to force Crowley to trace the path of the blade after the Marianas Trench.
Crowley: It had been swept up by an unidentified sub, sold to smugglers and lost to pirates in a poker game.
Sam: (pause, shakes head, pause again) What?
Crowley: Always a little tricky keeping up, isn't it?
He begins to stare at Sam...but not just stare, I mean stare. Like with nostalgia and intrigue and maybe even a little bit of...well, attraction.
Sam: What are you doing?
Crowley: Still a little bit tainted by humanity. Makes me sentimental.
Sam: Well, stop.
Crowley: You and I both know we shared a moment back in that church and on some level, we're bonded.
Sam (looking dangerously serious): Crowley. The only reason you are alive is because we need your help to deal with Abbadon because she is an even worse pile of crap than you are. And that is the extent of my concern for you.
Crowley keeps staring at him with a, oh, you don't really mean that expression. Sam presses him to find out what happened after the pirates. Next thing we know, it's night and the boys are suited up, sitting on a park bench...waiting for something. Crowley is at a nearby vending machine.
Sam (pained voice): What is Crowley doing?
Dean (leaning over to see past Sam): Stealing candy.
Sam (hiding his face in his hands): He's...he's stealing candy.
Dean: At least when Cas was human he was an okay guy. Shoulda known Crowley would be a douche version. (Stands up and scolds Crowley) Hey! Cut it out, man! End it. You're the King of Rotten. Act like it.
He has his doubts that this guy they're waiting for is going to show up, but Sam said that this Hunter Devlin (ha!) character bought the blade from the pirates and has been shopping it around. Just then, a negotiator guy shows up. The boys ID themselves as FBI and the guy is about to rabbit when Crowley red-smokes himself out of his usual vessel, into the negotiator guy and then back again, leaving the boys a little spun. They tell the negotiator guy he can go and head over to Crowley who says, "National Institute of Antiquities."
Turns out this place is on the Missouri side of Kansas City. Before the boys can get there, though, Abbadon's demons take over two guards, kill a research assistant, break into an empty vault (which happened to house the 1st blade at one time) and then kill their meat suits. All caught on security camera. Next day, Dean and Sam show up at the crime scene, get the scoop, and realize that Abbadon's closing in. They're able to talk with the museum curator lady (not sure that's actually her role, but it was something like that) -- an attractive older woman who looked like she just wanted to eat Dean up. She says that there was no "authenticated" item by the name of the 1st Blade on the premises.
Dean impressed the hell outta me by saying that the artifact was stolen and smuggled into the US in violation of treaties with several governments. "We can compel you to speak."
Museum lady: And what might that involve?
I hear you, honey. I'd like to be compelled to speak myself, if Dean was doing the compelling. What? I'm just saying.
She ends up telling him that a man with the name of 'Magnus' bought the blade and then gives Dean -- specifically Dean, she doesn't let Sam take the card, ha! -- her number if he finds he needs anything else. When she leaves, Dean blinks innocently at his smirking brother all, "What?"
Sam had clued in on the name -- Magnus, an alias the MoL's used when they wanted to go all incognito. But as far as they knew, all the MoL's were dead...or were they? Time to talk to Crowley! However, Crowley's a bit pissed at the way he's been treated.
Crowley: You ignore my suffering, then come barging in here and demand my help?
Dean: Pretty much, yep.
Crowley: Did I or did I not keep my end of the bargain?! You owe me. I'm in this mess because of you. You made me a junkie, kept me stashed away for months while my kingdom fell apart!
Gotta say, he kinda had a point. Not that I was supposed to feel bad for him, but.... They boys let him out of the dungeon and bring him into the main room where he can sip some Scotch, put his feet up, and peruse an old-school copy of Busty Asian Beauties. They boys are looking through all the registered MoLs, but the names they're finding are all the ones that were killed in the 1958 massacre. Then Crowley reminds them that he'd heard of a rogue MoL...and a rogue MoL wouldn't be an active member. Dean finds a box in the stack of boxes they're looking through labeled Infamti Et Oblituati (or...something Latinish that is actually correct).
Crowley says it means, "Dishonored and Forgotten." Jackpot! After some rifling through files, they find one on a Cuthbert Sinclair who designed most of the wards in the bunker, was a master of spells, and was kicked out in 1956 because he was 'eccentric and irresponsible.' The brothers take Crowley to where his demon minions tracked Sinclair, once upon a time, which happens to be a clearing in an empty field. The boys know that as a genius in sigils, he's probably protected himself. Dean gambles that he's also watching and nods to Sam, who calls out, identifying themselves as Henry Winchester's grandsons and say they know what happened and his side of the story.
After a moment, a smoke pillar rises from the ground and a doorway of light appears. The boys step through and are suddenly in the hallway of an opulent house, old school music playing from somewhere in the distance. Just then, they're attacked by two vamps and after a minor struggle, they're able to behead them. With that greeting out of the way, they're welcomed into the main room where Magnus -- who doesn't look a day over thirty, though he should be nearing ninety -- has them sit down on a leather couch across from him.
Apparently his youthful appearance is due to a spell. In his magic invisible house, he has a zoo of supernatural creatures as well as the "greatest collection of supernatural antiquities on the planet." Sam tells him they're hunters and Magnus chuckled that "the boys" (i.e., MoLs) must be spinning in their graves to have two hunters as legacies. He said he was always fond of Henry, though, and mentions that Henry came to visit him in secret, which I thought was an interesting kernel of information.
Dean tells him that Abbadon -- the last Knight of Hell -- is looking to up her pay grade and take over. Magnus says he always wanted to use their knowledge to rid the world of monsters, but the MoLs said that they were there to study and catalog. Dean's like, yeah, yeah, they're geeks, how about that 1st blade? Magnus looks intrigued, but says that it's useless without the Mark of Cain. When Dean pulls up his sleeve, revealing the Mark, Magnus' eyes light up and you knew right then he wanted to add Dean to his "collection."
Sam: If Abbadon takes over the one thing she wants more than anything is Hell on Earth. Not even you can escape that.
Magnus agrees and tells the boys that the blade is right behind them. They both stand quickly and turn to see what is very clearly a jaw bone -- still with teeth -- and a handle fashioned on the end.
Dean: If you're serious about taking action, loan us that blade and we'll stop the bitch.
Magnus (looking entirely too innocent) is all, "Hmmm, let me think about it," before he grabs some blue powder, mutters a spell, and blows it at Sam, making him disappear. Sam ends up somewhere in the woods and stumbles free to the road where Crowley is hanging out by the Impala, just waiting. Sam breathlessly gasps, "Magnus has Dean," before we shift back to the invisible house and Dean growling, "What did you do with my brother?"
Magnus says he separated the ordinary from the extraordinary and wants a complete set -- the blade and the Mark. Dean's like, yeah, it's attached, so loan me the blade and I'll take care of business. Magnus, though, offers him the "opportunity" to be part of the greatest collection of all time. He could be young forever!
Dean looks at him like he's buckets of crazy, but doesn't say anything.
Magnus: Let me teach you my secrets. Be my companion. It's gotten lonely here through the years.
Dean: When you were saying any of that, did it feel at all creepy?
Um, yeah. Yeah, it did.
Dean's like, I'm just going to grab the blade and go, but Magnus reminds him there are no doors or windows. Dean pulls out a big-ass knife and says he'll just make his own, but Magnus whispers some Chines magic and the knife instantly super-heats, making him drop it. Magnus also managed to get his gun, so Dean's a bit SoL.
Outside, Sam is digging through the Impala's trunk while Crowley is yammering about them bring on the same team, in the trenches, and when this is all over, they can get matching tattoos. *laugh* Sam's like, yeah, not likely. He says that the place is warded, which means Crowley's powers are useless, which means Crowley is pretty useless. Crowley tells him he's going to need another set of hands in there and Sam's like, Pass.
Crowley: I'm the one who helped your brother find Cain so we could find the blade and Dean could receive the Mark. I'm the on who flushed that lad Gadreel out of your noggin. So, lately, I've seen more playing time than you.
Sam: Crowley, please. Shut. The hell. Up.
Back inside, Magnus has changed Dean to a pillar and pulled up his sleeve. He wants Dean to fire up the blade and at first he resists, but Magnus shoves the blade into his hand and the Mark lights up. Dean's arm (guh, his arm) begins to tremble, his hand shaking and he looks like he's riding a rush of feelings and power...not all of it good, either. He looks shaken and dizzy...and more than a little pumped by it all. He drops the blade, shaken, and looking like he's not at all sure what just happened to him.
Magnus tells him that next time it'll be easier -- he'll get used to the feelings and even welcome them.
Outside, it's night. Sam has camping lamps set up around the Impala as he's reading through their folders on Magnus. He realizes he has the spell to get through the invisibility cloak over the house and needs Crowley after all.
Inside, Magnus is telling Dean that nothing can stop them. Anything they want to own or destroy is theirs. Dean can't quite catch his breath, still reeling from the effects of the blade and trying to call Magnus' bluff.
Dean: How about I take a knee? You gonna kill me? Without this thing on my arm, that's just a hunk of bone.
Magnus: I'm not asking for your cooperation. I'm just taking it.
He puts his hand on Dean's forehead and mutters a spell and Dean's eyes go flat and empty, all the will literally training from his expression.
Outside, Sam is finishing up the spell concoction.
Crowley: I did good, eh, Moose? Got everything on the list. You're welcome.
Sam: Stay close. Do what I say. Shut the hell up.
Crowley: I'm growing on you, aren't I?
Sam does the spell and the door opens, emptying them into the same hallway. They hear someone coming and hide; it's Magnus. Sam grabs him, puts a knife at his throat and demands to be taken to his brother. Rounding the corner of the main room, however, he sees Dean chained to the pole and Dean calls out, "Sam, no!"
Sam looks across the room and see the real Magnus there, a gun (was it Dean's gun, actually?) trained on him. Turns out the dude he'd grabbed was a shape-shifter. Sam kills it just before Magnus backs him up against a different pole, tying him up as well, and puling a long-bladed knife on him. Dean is tense, pulling at his chains ineffectually and growls, "Magnus, I swear to God," when Magnus presses the blade against Sam's cheek.
Magnus: What are you gonna do? (to Sam) What's he gonna do?
He cuts Sam's face, then his neck saying he's not going to kill Sam, but he is going to make him suffer unimaginably because why drain himself trying to suck out Dean's will if he can just force Dean to do what he wants by torturing his brother? Dean yanks on his chains, ready to go ballistic, when he sees something -- I'm guessing it was Crowley -- and is out of his chains in the next minute. Before Magnus has time to process that Dean's free, Dean has used the 1st blade on him, cutting off Magnus' head for having dared hurt his brother.
Dean turns slowly and looks at Crowley, his eyes deadly dangerous. Crowley stands perfectly still, staring back, almost curiously.
Sam (quietly, unsure at first): Dean?
Dean's hand is shaking as he looks at the blade. The tremble works it's way up his arm and his lips start to twist into a snarl.
Sam (softly): Hey, it's over. He's dead. Drop the blade, Dean.
Dean doesn't -- or can't -- hear him. His whole body is shaking subtly now.
Sam (bellowing, demanding his brother hear him): DEAN.
Dean looks at Sam then, and it's like he's coming up for air. The control of the blade seems to slip from him like water parting around him. His eyes turn young, pleading, seeking direction and safety.
Sam (soft again): Drop the blade.
His arm shaking, Dean finally does and Crowley just watches. Dean looks back at Sam, short of breath and a little shell-shocked. Next thing we know, the boys are out of the invisible house (and it's morning, so that whole thing took awhile). Crowley is following them through the woods, patting himself verbally on the back for the role he played in all of that. Sam is carrying the 1st Blade. Just as they reach the Impala, they realized she's been ransacked, and by the sulfur smell, they know it was demons -- Abbadon's demons. The trunk is okay, though; the warding protected their weapon's stash.
The worst part, though, is that they keyed the whole side of the car. It was a message to Crowley, in Enochian: Be afraid. Your Queen.
Dean goes to his knees, rubbing at the scratches, then rests his head against the car's side going from sad to angry in a breath. *sniffs* *rubs heart* Sam gets his attention, and Dean stands and turns, trying to pull his focus from his damaged baby to what Sam is saying.
Sam: Listen. You said Crowley was only useful until we got the blade. We got the blade.
Before Dean can react to that, Crowley pins them, hard, against the side of the Impala, Sam dropping the 1st blade in the dirt. Have to say, I can't believe they didn't see that coming. Also...have to say I'm a teensy bit surprised that Sam was so eager for Dean to use the blade again so soon after seeing what it did to him. I would think he'd want to be a shade more cautious, but.... *shrugs*
Crowley: I'm in debt to you. You forced sobriety on me and I can see this situation for what it is. Dean, you are quite the killing machine and it occurs to me that Abbadon's not the only name on your list. Mine must be up there as well.
He takes the blade.
Dean (voice tight from being pressed against the car): That's no good to you without me.
Crowley: But as long as I have it, it's no good to you. This is the way it's going to go. I'll hang onto it until you locate Abbadon. Then you destroy her. You're right, Moose. You can't trust me. But...I can't trust you, either.
He blinks out, releasing the boys. Sam sags against the car and Dean turns to look at the keyed words with dismay.
We're on our way now, aren't we? I know the next seven episodes won't all focus on the Mark, but I can't imagine too many of them will stray far from it after that display -- and after knowing that Crowley has the blade. This is going to be interesting, folks. I'm ready to see what they have in store for us.
Oh, also, just in case you were wondering, Episode 17 is next Tuesday the 25th, then we have another 2 week break, but starting on Tuesday, April 15th, it should be six straight episodes until the finale on May 20th. Hope to see you guys there!