This one had more story outside of the Abbadon v Dean fight scene than I anticipated...but once I got through the whole story and started rambling, I found I liked the build up and the other characters feeding into the story. Abbadon's ending felt a bit...anticlimactic, I think, but the use of the blade did not. I'm intrigued, though, about where they're going with Crowley at this point. And I'm encouraged by the ease at which the brothers riffed off of each other, working in tandem such that I almost forgot for a bit that it was all supposed to be "just business" from Sam's perspective. They interrogated like real partners and talked to each other like real brothers and I liked it. It wasn't all hearts and rainbows, and they haven't mended their relationship by a long shot, but it was real and I didn't want to knock their heads together the whole time.
But now that Abbadon is dead...I find myself actually a bit more anxious for their fate than I was going into this episode.
I don't seek out spoilers, speculation, or, really, other reviews. It's not that I'm especially adverse to them; I just either don't find the time or choose not to. Now, that's not to say that I don't see the occasional spoiler or speculation, because I do. You can't sneeze on twitter without seeing something. And one of the speculations -- drawn out with equal parts glee and trepidation -- is the possibility of Dean going Full Dark. Like, Vader dark.
It's not impossible. I mean, we've already had Sam with an addiction to demon blood, a physical relationship with a demon, and nearly a year of being soulless. So, I wouldn't put it past the writers to re-tread that path, only this time with Dean; a different catalyst, a different drug, and a different sacrifice of soul, but the same journey from darkness to redemption (because there will be a redemptive path, no matter how dark Dean goes, of that I am certain). And if they did go there, I wouldn't be happy -- it's not what I want for the character -- but I would follow the journey to see what Dean goes through and how he comes out on the other side. He's my hero, my muse...and for me, his story has always been the most compelling. Angry!Dean, I'm there. Power Surge!Dean, you got me. Even Out of Control!Dean works great. But evil? Sinister? Mindlessly killing? *wrinkles nose and shakes head*
However, I don't see that as an inevitability. There's still a chance to save him -- for Sam to save him. For me, what I saw in Dean tonight was someone sliding, but still within reach. He's climbing up a hill of sand, and his body is growing weary, but he's still climbing. The biggest clue for me was that he listened to Sam. Three different times. He honed in on his brother's logic, reason, and plea and brought himself back to level.
The first was in the angel interrogation room when Sam barked his name and did the um, can we talk face as he motioned Dean back from Ezra. Sam had a different -- and better -- way to extract information from the awkward angel and Dean followed his brother's lead, reining in his instinct to pummel. The second was when Sam suggested he be the one to remove the blade from the corpse (and can I just say gack to that whole scene). Dean insisted he could grab the blade without going all Full Metal Jacket, but there was enough of a stutter in his voice that when Sam simply rolled up his sleeve, Dean acquiesced, knowing it was for the best.
But the third is the most telling. After killing Abbadon (and I'll get to that battle in my recap), the blood lust, the power surge just took over and for a minute there, Dean was gone. It was Sam's voice, Sam calling his name and telling him that he could stop that cooled the heat in his expression and allowed him to drop the blade once more. Even after all Sam has said, even with the hurt Dean still visibly carries around with him because of Sam's words, his brother is Dean's anchor.
The thing that has me sighing a bit, though, is that [for me] Sam seems to be still looking at the whole situation -- including what the blade is doing to Dean -- through only his personal filter, not trying to see things from Dean's perspective. I know that's not always easy to do, look at a situation from another perspective. But I felt like he was so close to getting somewhere with Dean and then turned it sideways. He had Dean talking about the blade's effect on him, he had Dean explaining the logic behind not telling Sam about the Poughkeepsie warning...and then he got all irritated when he realized that Dean was protecting him again. Even if his argument was totally justified (they are partners and they do watch each other's back), I wanted him to get over the what and listen to the why. Listen to the words between the words, if that makes sense.
Sending Sam away to protect him is a helluva lot better than killing him to protect him...and I personally think Sam needs to start thinking about that. Dean is bearing the Mark of Cain, who so famously killed his brother. Of course in this 'verse, it was to save Abel, but still. I think it would behoove Sam to appreciate what it is that Dean is working with, working against, and trying to do -- regardless of the fact that it's technically taking Sam's choice away.
I want so much for Sam to be a hero in this; I want him to save his brother. And I really want to be able to see things more easily from his perspective, but his getting all bent out of shape about Dean protecting him from a power that Dean himself didn't know if he could control is not helping me out. I want Sam to draw from his memories of his own blood lust, his own rush of power when he killed demons with his mind. I want him to find a way to relate to what Dean meant when he said holding the blade had him feeling calm.
But...perhaps I'm not really being fair to Sam. I mean, it's not really realistic to expect someone who has been protected all their lives and has been trying to break out of that zone for awhile now -- to such a degree he's declared them partners and not brothers -- to just set that aside and downshift into sympathetic little brother mode simply because it seems to make the most emotional sense to me. Sam is working through his own issues; I get it. He's still haunted by the memories of what it was like to have an angel "sharing space" inside of him. Because of his brother. And though he logically knows it wasn't him, he's still carrying the memory of killing Kevin. He's got a lot of burden to bear on his own soul.
However, right now, it's not Sam's soul I'm worried about. It's Dean's. The fact that Dean protected Sam not only from Abbadon and Crowley, but from what he might do while holding the First Blade had me rubbing my heart. Just as his flat, "No," reply to Sam's idea that they should hide the blade away until they knew for sure that they were going to kill Crowley did. Dean has been suffering for awhile now, a long while. And that "No," was him finally giving in.
I mean, if you think about it, that answer and the accompanying dark scowl have been building since Sam killed the Hellhound back in Season 8. Dean had said that Purgatory felt 'pure' -- it made sense to him, the constant, 360 degree fighting, the clear line between right and wrong, black and white, and then he's tossed back into a world of gray, a world where his brother never looked for him and actually had started another life, and purity is gone. Everything is a tangled web of reason and justification and reminders of weakness and all the things he's not.
Then, Sam takes on the trials, and Dean is back-burnered in the fight of their lives, left to carrying Sam rather than the burden of their mission, which is what would have made sense to him, and he almost drops that ball. He almost loses Sam. He comes so close to being out of options. But then he's given one and he takes it and runs. It's the wrong one in his brother's estimation, but it's the only call Dean could make. However, because of that call, he is sent spinning, adrift, alone in the crowd of the world, and once more without Sam. Despite the clarity of how Sam sees their problem, Dean still sees himself as poison. As the millstone around the neck of those he loves, drowning them.
But then he's offered purity again with the Mark and it's blade. He's offered a purpose and the power to accomplish it. And it makes sense to him. Connecting the blade with the MoC makes everything calm because there's no internal struggle, no turmoil. It's Purgatory all over again, black and white, right and wrong, good guys and bad guys. So when Sam gets angry that Dean protected him, follows that up by telling Dean that the blade is changing him but doesn't tell him what he's seeing to prompt that statement, and then proposes they hide the blade away, I wasn't surprised in the least when Dean said no.
Why agree to take away the only thing that actually makes him feel like he's worth something right now?
This is why I think Sam can still save him -- maybe not before the end of the season...I suspect that they'll leave us gasping and clutching our hearts thinking I can't believe they actually did that...but overall. If Sam can find a way to see past Dean's need to protect him, if he can see his way clear to relating to what Dean's going through from his own experiences and share that with his brother, if he can show Dean what Dean means to him -- not as a partner who watches his back, but as a brother who has always wanted the best for him, who has sacrificed for him -- then he can bring Dean back from the dark side. Sam's pretty much always been the Luke Skywalker of the Supernatural world. Dean's always been Han for me, but maybe he's shifted to Anakin when he got the Mark and it's Sam's job to remind him of the light inside himself.
Dean was the righteous man. He was the character who has never been possessed, who has walked through the supernatural world without becoming part of it as everyone other person around him has. I thought that's what made him human. I thought that's where his light lived: his humanity. But perhaps I was looking at it wrong. Perhaps it's this journey through the darkness, this test, struggling with the very human feelings of self-doubt, facing the darkness inside ourselves, trying to come to terms with our own truth, trying to find where we fit in the lives of those we hold most dear, being afraid of ourselves, yearning to achieve something profound, wanting to matter, feeling alone, feeling forgotten, feeling superfluous and trying to prove our worth...maybe it's seeing him deal with all of that because of a supernatural influence and returning to the light that is his true righteousness, his true humanity.
That's a story I'm ready to see. I hope that's the story they're going to tell us.
As for the rest...I'm both glad Abbadon is dead and oddly disappointed. I liked that actress, if not the character. And to be honest, after the encounter between Dean and Abs back in that abandoned town earlier this season, I was a little surprised the final battle was so...distant. Or something. I guess I had been expecting something more...intimate. Which I know sounds all sorts of wrong, so I'm just going to move on. I'll talk about the actual fight in my recap, but I just have to say that Jensen's portrayal of Dean's struggle to get to Abbadon -- the way his eyes shifted through so many different emotions -- was riveting.
Crowley's son being brought into the mix was interesting. I didn't realize the boys didn't know about his son -- maybe Bobby was the only one who knew? In any case, with Abs out of the picture for good, that leaves Metatron as the Big Bad for the final two episodes because I just don't see Crowley as a threat to the boys right now, despite all he's been capable of in the past. Unless they figure out a way to burn his humanity out of him. Otherwise, he's kind of a strange ally. I mean, Sam was the one who was all ready to dethrone him a few episodes back and he was fine with keeping him alive, even indicating that they hadn't yet decided to kill him. Not sure where Gavin will come into play in all of this, but I am intrigued.
I wondered how long it would take Castiel to connect with Gadreel. I didn't expect it to be so soon, but I figured Cas would give it a shot. I'm hoping that despite the bad things that Gadreel has done -- killing Kevin and betraying Dean at the top of that list -- his spying for Cas will be the way he finds redemption. I still want him to...and it has nothing to do with the leather jacket/hoodie combo. I swear. *shifty-eyes*
Okay, how about some lists?
- The interrogation scene. Especially Sam. He was just so natural in that scene and he had me grinning. Love how he got Dean to back off the idea of beating information out of the angel and join in on mocking information out of the angel with just a shift of expression. And their rhythm with each other and the way they picked up what the other put down - awesome.
- Dean in profile after they find out Ezra was killed -- his eyes look like green glass and that scruff just...UNF.
- Crowley channeling his inner Captain Jack Sparrow with his, "No one in the history of torture's been tortured with the torture like the torture you'll be tortured with."
- The camera angle during the interrogation scene, as if we were poor Ezra looking up at the boys. Loved that effect.
- The sound the blade made when Sam pulled it from the body, just...gaaaaaack. Also, the boys' expressions when they opened the coffin -- well mostly Sam's. Dean was pretty stoic and grimacey, but Sam was all little kid eww gross with his adorable, "Aw, c'mon, Crowley, really? Had to hide the blade in a corpse? Not with a corpse but in a corpse?" whine.
- Dean using the Force to draw the blade to him when Abs slammed him against the wall.
- The way Dean fought against Abs, pushing through the pain and her strength and just coming at her like a freight train of will.
- Gadreel calling out a warning Castiel when Metatron's Minions attack them in the woods.
- "So this is goodbye then." "Yes. Forever. Unless I catch you smoking. In which case, I'll smack you stupid." And that, my friends, is your SPN Anti-Smoking PSA for the night.
- "Oh, I get it. You're a fan. Just 'cause you're hot for Metatron or Bieber or Beckham.... Just 'cause you know everything about them doesn't mean you know them." Okay, okay, writers, we hear you already. *smirk*
- The MoC flashback montage shivering through Dean's memory.
- The MoC glowing all the way through Dean's shirts and jacket. That's some powerful glow power, there.
- Abbadon fetching Crowley's son to use as a bargaining chip to team up and take out Team Winchester. Interesting ploy, that.
- "Can you cook a pigeon on it?"
- Abs and Crowley muttering, "Wow," in unison when Gavin declares they must be angels.
- "You sold your soul for an extra 3 inches of willy?" So, that's what started it all, huh?
- Crowley confusing the hell out of Dean with his, "I hope you were nice to your father."
- The boys running from a Hellhound. That was unexpected. However, see also, 'meh' below.
- Crowley having a code word to warn the boys.
- Abs using a trick she picked up from Henry Winchester against Crowley. Heh.
- The way Sam shifted in his seat, turning to face Dean in the Impala, when he tried to convince Dean to hide the First Blade. I don't think I've ever seen him turn so much attention to Dean in the car like that before.
- The boys running from a Hellhound...and then getting Crowley to send it away via speaker phone. What a red herring that was. Here I was thinking that was going to be part of the double-cross or at the very least Dean would be able to First Blade the beast...but, ah well. It is what it is.
- After all her plotting and scheming and using her minions to take over Crowley's territory, it seemed kind of odd to me that Abs only had one little demon minion in the penthouse with Crowley as they waited for Dean and the only thing in the whole world that could kill her.
- Abbadon died so...fast. I guess it's that way a lot for the death's of the Big Bads,though.
- I didn't see a dug-up grave at the cemetery where they found the blade -- did you guys? And if there was a dug up grave, how in the world did two guys lift a filled coffin out of a six-foot deep hole?? And if there wasn't a grave, then why was a coffin with a semi-rotten corpse just sitting on the lawn of the cemetery?
- I wonder how Castiel called out to Gadreel to meet him without Metatron hearing him, or seeing since Metatron is writing Castiel's story...or is he?
- Wonder what will happen to all the demons who were backing Abbadon now that there is no more Abbadon?
- So, which is it -- did Gadreel "free humanity" as he claimed when Dean was questioning him, or was letting the serpent into the garden not his fault as he claimed with Cas? Is he lying or is he just trying to justify his actions to himself?
- What does Castiel know about the Mark of Cain? I want that information. I want to know if he knows what the 'burden' is, beyond the obvious power rush and blood lust.
- What about Castiel's grace? Metraton says it's burning out, but he seemed like regular -- albeit broody -- Cas. Think we'll see that hitting him at some point in the final two epis?
So, THEN was really freakin' long, making up, I think, for several MotW epis in a row and getting us all back on track. However, as soon as they mentioned the Hellhounds, I was waiting for them to show up, so they kinda showed their hand there. We kick it back to 1723 in Leith, Scotland, where we see a young guy, early twenties, packing a bag. An unnatural light shines outside of his door and suddenly a very modern-day Abbadon is kicking it open with the finesse of Lenny and Squiggy, inviting herself in and drawing a blood sigil on the door.
She's got plans for this Scottish lad, you see. But first, she has to kill his mate who innocently wanders in, sees a pretty ginger and wonders aloud, "Are we having a party?" Uh, no. You're having a clothes hook to the back of the neck instead.
In the present day, we see a bar with a bunch of people sitting around a table chatting, when an awkward blond guy walks up, interrupts the dude telling the story and starts talking about how he's hand-picked by Metatron and saying he can appreciate Metatron's vision. However, his ploy to get him a seat at the cool kid's table is overheard by some of Cas' peeps and they nab him and take him to Castiel HQ where they chain him to a chair -- he said too much about Metatron to not be nabbed.
So, this is why Cas called the boys away from Chicago, apparently. The Impala pulls up in front of a building that looks like a radio station or something, complete with tower, and head to the door. Before they can knock, however, the door is opened and a very uptight-looking angel informs them that the "Commander" will see them now. He leads the boys through a room with ringing phones, desks with large computer monitors, a gigantic wall of maps, connecting lines and a multitude of blinking lights -- basically picture the headquarters from 24 and you're good -- up to an office.
Cas hugs each of them (aww!) and "dismisses" the uptight angel, trying to explain away the "commander" moniker.
Cas: They had no leader and they insisted on following me.
Dean: We get it; you're a rock star.
Cas is like, everyone else was dead and Metatron was getting too powerful, so...yeah. I kinda am. Sam peers out at the hive of angels through the blinds in Cas' office, wondering aloud if this (meaning war against Metatron, I gathered) was really going to happen. Cas wants to find a diplomatic solution for getting rid of Metatron.
Dean: Yeah, good luck with that.
Cas wants to end the angel on angel violence, and says that they have a prisoner who knows something about Metatron...and that's why the boys are there. They've had "success" before, interrogating angels, but he'd understand if they didn't want to do it.
Dean (face stone, eyes impassive): Who says I don't want to do it?
Sam = worried frown
Meanwhile, in Cleveland, OH, at the Humboldt Hotel, Crowley has called a board meeting to discuss the demon crisis and wants his peeps to start spreading the word that the King is back, long live the King. However...while he was drinking human blood and watching old movies, his board of demon directors found another horse to hitch their wagon to, and they invited Abbadon to join their meeting.
Crowley informs his board that there will be blood and torture for their betrayal. Abs, however, tells them that they did the new Queen a solid. They leave and Abs sits down, martini in hand, and starts up a chat with Crowley. You see, she knows about the First Blade -- that Crowley helped the Winchesters get it -- and that one of the boys has the Mark of Cain. She also knows that with those two combined, it's not only her head that'll be on a platter, but Crowley's as well. So, she wants them to work together to kill the Winchesters, destroy the blade, and then deal with each other.
Crowley knows there's no way he'll be able to defeat Abs without the boys and basically tells her to stuff it. Buuuuttt, then she calls the Scottish boy forward that we saw at the beginning of the epi and it turns out he's Gavin McCloud, Crowley's son. Crowley tells her that he and the lad loathe each other and he's made it quite clear in the past that he doesn't care what happens to the little bugger.
Only...that was pre-human blood addiction. So, when Abbadon, with a casual wave of her hand, starts to implode Gavin's eyes, making them bleed and him to cry out, Crowley tries to stand stoically by and remain unaffected. She continues her torture until his whole face is bleeding and he's slipping on his own blood, going to his knees, begging for her to stop. Finally Crowley tells her she's made her point and tells her to stop.
Back in the basement of Castiel HQ, the boys are down with the awkward angel, preparing to interrogate him. And seriously, this guy...he was like Andrew from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So seriously, painfully awkward and wanting so much to be part of The Thing. His name is Ezra and he puts up a good front at the onset, boldly claiming that torturing him won't work, he was a "trained commando." That sets Dean off and he whirls the blade, starting forward, but Sam stops him short by calling his name.
Dean rolls his eyes slightly before looking back at Sam to see his brothers um, can we talk face and accompanying hand wave.
Sam: He won't be telling us anything...dead.
Dean = confused face.
Sam: Besides...I'm starting to think he doesn't know anything. Probably just a nobody. Do the math...Ezra here is one of Metatron's elite? Come on, really?
Dean (light dawning as Sam talks and easily playing along): A wanna-be.
Ezra: What if I'm a decoy, or in deep cover?
Dean (scoffing): Probably hasn't been to Heaven since the fall.
Sam: Of course not.
Ezra: Yes, I have!
Sam: Buddy, the gates are sealed. No one can get in.
Ezra: Who said anything about gates? You don't need gates when you have a private portal.
The boys exchange a look. Fact the first, gathered.
Sam: If there was a doorway on Earth, the angels would have sensed that.
Dean: Can't hide something like that.
Ezra: You can if it moves around from place to place, if it's wherever the boss wants it to be.
And we have two satisfied Winchesters.
Meanwhile, back in Cleveland, Gavin is getting a bit of a Star Wars moment of his own, coming to terms with the fact that Crowley is his father. Not only that, but he's 291 years outside of his time. To prove it, Crowley shows him a lightbulb and Gavin stares in shock, then approaches it to touch it and finds out it's hot.
Gavin: Can you cook a pigeon on it?
Abs opens the balcony doors to the penthouse and Gavin stares in wonder, then declares that they are among the stars and that Crowley and Abs must be angels because they're in Heaven.
Back at Castiel HQ, the boys continue their interrogation.
Sam: So, you heard a rumor about Metatron's "secret portal" and you decided to run with it.
Ezra: No. He showed me!
Dean: I get it! He's a fan.
Sam (agreeing with a smirk): A fan!
Dean: You're a fan! Just 'cause you're hot for Metatron or Bieber or Beckham...just 'cause you know everything about them doesn't mean you know them.
Sam: Or that they even know you exist.
Dean: Oooh, that's cold, Sammy.
Sam: I'm just sayin', man.
Ezra: I was interviewed personally by Metatron for a key post!
Sam: Yeah? Well, why aren't you at this key post and are here instead?
Dean: That blows. He got passed over.
Ezra: I was a finalist.
Sam: To get so close...then get kicked downstairs. Sucks to be you.
Ezra: Hardly anybody was chosen. Ground Forces is still very important. It was an honor to have even been considered for the Squad.
Dean: What Squad? There is no Squad.
Ezra: Says you. It's a highly guarded secret.
Dean: What would you be doing exactly?
Sam (laughing): You desperately wanted this job, but you didn't know what it was?
Ezra (dejectedly): Until you were chosen, the exact nature of the mission was secret and hardly anyone was chosen.
The boys leave together, commenting on Ezra being a bit of a dim bulb.
Sam: Ground forces? Elite squad? What's Metatron gearing up for?
Dean: Why don't we shove someone through the back door of Heaven and find out? Oh, wait, no. It's portable and can't be found.
Still...they got more information than poor awkward Ezra was ever intending on providing. Pretty successful interrogation, I'd say.
Back in Cleveland, we have more father/son bonding with Gavin finding out that Crowley sold his soul for an extra 3 inches of willy and that he went to Hell where his soul then got "demonized."
Crowley: I'm the King of Hell! And there you were worried the old man wouldn't amount to much.
Back at Castiel HQ, a Demi Moore lookalike angel is on her way down to the basement where she finds poor Ezra, still chained to his chair, dead. *frowns* In Cas' office, the boys are sitting in chairs in front of Cas, both looking shocked to hear the news. Sam says that Ezra was fine when they left.
Dean: I barely touched the guy.
Cas confirms that it wasn't suicide, it was an angel killing and Dean tells him that his operation's been hacked. Sadly, Castiel says that he thought they were all united by a common cause.
Dean: That's the problem. You don't think anyone is lying; I think everyone is lying.
Cas gives him the saddest look and Dean shrugs.
Dean: It's a gift.
He smacks Sam on the knee and tells him they should go out and nose around. As Sam gets up to go, Cas stops him -- I thought for sure he was going to say something about the Mark, but instead, he asked Sam what it was like when Gadreel possessed him. Sam is highly uncomfortable talking about this, but finally tells Cas that Gadreel didn't possess him completely -- Sam was still Sam.
Cas: Did you ever sense a presence?
Sam: I don't know what I felt. Maybe that I wasn't completely alone?
Cas: Did you feel threatened?
Sam: No. More that he wasn't at rest...like he had unfinished business. Like he felt...misunderstood.
Cas: But not hostile.
Sam: No. I was wrong, obviously. He killed Kevin.
Sam leaves and Cas has a serious thinky-face. I'd been thinking that Cas was asking those questions for Sam's sake -- trying to see if he could help Sam deal with what was troubling him. Until, of course, we see Cas meeting with Gadreel.
Back in Cleveland, Crowley is continuing to get re-acquainted with his son, remembering what a bastard he'd been to him in life, beating him, getting drunk, beating him some more, sobering up, then beating him again. Gavin says he grew up feeling less than nothing. He was worked harder than the horse. And the worst part was...he can't read. Crowley's like, ah, at last something I can fix, *zap* now you can read!
Gavin: If you're a King...I'm a Prince. If I was to accept you as my father, you could keep me from eternally burning in Hell, no matter my sin?
Crowley: Are you...negotiating with me? That's my boy!
And with that, he tells Abbadon's minion who has been standing guard all this time that he's ready to chat.
Meanwhile, Cas and Gadreel meet in some random woods somewhere. Cas brought the Demi Moore angel, but Gadreel came alone.They talk a bit about honor and Gadreel feeling misunderstood and that his trust in Metatron is misplaced -- Cas should know, he made the same mistake and ended up bringing about the fall. Before Cas can get to the point of his reason for requesting the meeting, however, three of Metatron's minions show up. Gadreel calls out a warning to Cas and blinks away; Cas kills two of the other angels, but the Demi Moore angel is killed.
Back at Castiel's HQ, Dean is sitting alone in a room, thinking. Which isn't a good thing for him to do because his thoughts seemed to wander to the Blade and the Mark and how he got it and what it all means and how it felt to hold it and to kill with it and what he knows he can do with it and how it takes him over and how he craves it but fears it at the same time and --
His flashbacks are interrupted by Sam calling his name, and clapping his hands to get Dean's attention.
Sam: Dean! What's wrong with you, you hear your phone?
Dean shakes his head, grabbing his ringing phone. It's Crowley. He says he has a location on Abs. He says he'll tell them where the blade is, they'll get it, head over, and they'll "remove her from the payroll for good." Of course, Abbadon is sitting next to Crowely, listening to every word.
The boys head to a cemetery and open a coffin with a fresh-ish (as in non-skeletal) corpse. They both react to the smell, Sam turning away, nearly gagging.
Sam: Aw, c'mon, Crowley! Really? Had to hide the blade in a corpse? Not with a corpse, but in a corpse?
Dean: Not the first place I'd look.
Dean kneels down, ready to, um, dig in, when Sam hears growling. He calls Dean's attention to it and Dean stands up, guessing Hellhound. He tells Sam to go, go and they take off running, heading into a crypt with a gate across the front, blocking the gate with an iron bar. Sam keeps the gate shut as the Hellhound slams its body against the bars and Dean calls Crowley -- who just so happens to be sitting in front of a crackling fire with Gavin, reading the paper, and listening to classical music.
Dean: Dammit, Crowley, the grave is guarded!
Crowley: That's absurd.
Sam, meanwhile, is trying to keep the door blocked and is getting bounced back a fair bit.
Crowley: She was collecting.
Dean (shouting): The hell she was!
He ends up putting Crowley on speaker and Crowley tells 'Juliet' to stand down. With that over, the boys head back to the corpse, open up the stitched-up abdomen and just...gah.
Dean: I'm going in.
Sam (putting a hand on his arm): Maybe I should do this.
Dean: Sam, it's fine. I-I can safely grab it without...y'know.
Sam just rolls up his sleeve and Dean lets him. He reaches in and pulls out a gunk-covered blade. Blech!!
Back in Cleveland, Crowley and Gavin are fighting about what's best for the kid -- Gavin wants to go back to his own time, jump on a ship, and head to the colonies. Crowley knows that ship sinks, all hands lost, and is trying to convince him not to do that without telling him why. He gets a slammed door in his face for his efforts. Kids. The same in every century. Dean calls and Crowley confuses the hell out of him by saying, "Squirrel. Hope you were nice to your father."
Dean tells him they have the blade and Crowley tells him where to go. We see Abs in the room, watching him, and Crowley tells Dean to get a move on because it's a good day's drive from Poughkeepsie. Dean's like, we're not even near there. So, Crowley presses further, saying, "Like I said, leave Poughkeepsie right away."
Then Dean gets it...but he doesn't tell Sam. I have to admit, I kinda grinned when I realized that Crowley was warning him and double-crossing Abs. I'm not sure why, I mean, the dude's evil, but...I still like him. It's so confusing!!! Damn that Crowley and his human feelings!
Abs, however, doesn't trust Crowley, and shoots him in the shoulder, the bullet marked with a Devil's Trap, keeping Crowley powerless inside his vessel. Oopsie.
Elsewhere -- outside of Castiel's HQ, I'm guessing, because that horrid yellow Caddy-looking car that Cas boosted was parked there -- Cas meets with Gadreel again. Gadreel is saying that he didn't have anything to do with the attack in the woods and Cas is like, that whole event totally proves my point about Metatron! Gadreel is like, I can't join you, I promised him, blah blah blah, and Cas finally gets down to brass tacks and asks Gadreel to spy for him. Clearly, he has at least one traitor in his camp, he's just fighting fire with fire. Gadreel doesn't exactly agree, but he looks like he is considering it.
The boys arrive at the hotel and get out of the car. Sam has the blade wrapped in some kind of cloth. Dean stops Sam and tells him Crowley told him on the phone that he thought he saw some demons in the basement but didn't want to go check it out in case he tipped his hand to Abs. He tells Sam to check the basement and he'll check the main floor, then casually, but firmly, grabs the blade from Sam.
Dean heads straight to the penthouse, opening the door to see Crowley sprawled, helpless, in the chair where he fell when Abs shot him.
Crowley: Hello, Dean. Love the crazy bloodlust in your eyes.
And boy was he right. Dean + Blade = Scary Warrior/Killing Machine
He advances slowly, staring at Crowley like a wolf on the prowl.
Crowley: Let's not waste time. I'll take you to Abbadon...she's not far.
Abbadon's one guard demon attacks and Dean kills it, easy. Just then, Abs shows up and throws Dean, hard, against the far wall, saying, a boy with his knife is no match for the new queen. She pins him there, pressing hard against him with her power.
Meanwhile, Sam is down in the basement and finds it empty. Of course.
Upstairs, Abs is trying to crush Dean.
Abs: First, you'll die. Painfully. And then Crowley will watch his son die. Ditto. And then the King himself, and then the blade is destroyed. That's quite a to-do list.
Dean starts to move his arm, the MoC glowing beneath all the layers of clothing. Abbadon looks worried for the first time. She pressed her power forward, but Dean is able to break free. He starts to move forward, away from the wall, making his way against her power. She manages to slam him back against the wall once more and the force of it is such that he drops the blade. Her power churns up this big wind and things are flying around the room, crashing into Crowley, crashing into Dean.
She starts to choke Dean and as he's fighting for breath, he looks down at the blade, pinning his gaze to it...and the thing moves. The Mark, like, summons the blade and it flies to Dean's hand. Sam shows up just as Dean breaks free of Abs' power once more, pushing against it, advancing on her until he reaches her and stabs her with the blade, actually lifting her up off the ground. She burns out with a ton of light and screaming, skewered on the blade.
Her body falls to the ground and for a moment, Dean loses it. He descends upon her like a wild thing, slamming the blade into her body over and over, blood splattering his face, covering his hand, until Sam shouts his name.
Sam: DEAN! Dean, stop! You can stop.
Dean does stop, looking up at Sam, and as soon as he sees his brother, you can see him return to his eyes, the wildness gone, the power rush gone. He drops the blade and stares at his hand, trying to catch his breath.
Ya'll, Jensen was amazing in that scene, I just have to say. The way his eyes went flat, then wild, then enraged, then human was just...phenomenal.
Later, Crowley is digging the Devil's Trap bullet from his shoulder and Sam is wrapping up the First Blade, telling Crowley that he's lucky they didn't kill him. Dean comes back in from cleaning the blood off of himself (presumably), walking past a rather shell-shocked looking Gavin. Crowley thinks he should have been thanked for warning them it was a trap and doesn't miss the look that passes between the brothers as Sam realizes Dean didn't tell him that part.
The boys tell Crowley that Gavin has to go back to his own time. Those are rules you can't bend, apparently. Sam gets all 'Butterfly Effect' even though Crowley tells them that Gavin's fate is to die on the ship en route to the colonies and he doesn't want that for his son. They're like, sorry, man, but that's the way it's gotta be. Crowley asks to at least say good bye and they nod.
Crowley heads into the other room and I started shaking my head. Of course he was going to close the door and use that moment to zap himself and Gavin out of there. C'mon, boys. How long have you known him?
Dean: Dammit, Crowley!
Crowley takes them to some random open field -- hopefully close to civilization for Gavin's sake -- tells him what would have happened to him had he gone back to his own time and then tells him to be on his way, getting all "fatherly" on him.
Crowley: Avoid cheap whiskey and cheap hookers.
Not really sure what poor Gavin is going to do for money, a place to live, or a means of getting around. But, hey! He can read!
Later that night, the boys are on the road again, probably heading back to Castiel's HQ, I'm guessing. Sam is quietly brooding and Dean is tense, his face drawn into a tight frown.
Dean (braced, wary): I didn't tell you about the warning because I knew exactly what you'd do -- make sure you were right beside me going into that room.
Sam (irritated, exasperated): You mean like we always do because we're actually partners on this and we watch each other's backs?
I noticed he said 'partners'...once upon a time he'd have said 'brothers.'
Dean (tiredly): I don't expect you to understand.
Sam (tense): Try me.
So...Dean does. Only, it doesn't go over as well as one might hope.
Dean (sideways glance at Sam, as if weighing his words, then back at the road): First time I touched that blade, I knew I wouldn't be stopped. I knew I would take down Abbadon and anything else if I had to. It wasn't a hero thing, it wasn't.... It was just...calm. I knew I had to go it alone, Sammy.
Sam (annoyed, irritated): Oh. Of course, so it was just another time where you had to protect me.
Dean (agitated, frustrated): You could've gotten nabbed by Abbadon and she could've bargained her way out. We couldn't afford to screw this up.
And Dean couldn't afford to lose Sam -- either to Abbadon...or to himself. He said he couldn't be stopped, he said he would take down Abbadon or anything else and he was not willing to risk Sam. Not for this, not for anything.
Sam: Look. I'm glad it worked out. I am. I'm glad the blade gives you strength or calm or whatever. But...I'm starting to think the blade is doing something else, too.
Dean (looking out the side window, briefly, his 'tell' for car talks where he doesn't want to face a fact that he knows is true): Yeah, like what?
Sam: I don't know. Something to you. (turns sideways in the seat and faces Dean) I'm thinking until we know for sure that we're gonna kill Crowley, let's store the blade somewhere safe.
Dean (jaw tight, brows pulled close, entire being tense): No.
Sam (slightly shocked): ....
And now we wait for next week to see where this journey will take us!
Thanks as always for reading -- hope to hear what you thought!