I’m sorry this is a day late. And I’ll warn you now, it’s long. I am giving serious thought to either skipping book club or pulling an all-nighter with the watching and rambling after club because… this season is wrecking me. And as it turns out, I actually have to work on Fridays (who knew?!), so writing this was a concentrated effort.
Before I watched the episode this morning, I had delusions that I’d write a quick ramble to make up for its lateness.
Then I watched.
*wraps arms around self*
Before I get going, there are some that have commented on past rambles that I thought of at different times while watching the epi. Without going back to see which of you said what, let me just say, you all are insanely brilliant people. However, until the season comes to a close and all is revealed along this story arch, I remain unconvinced of certain plot points. I’ll get to those as I write, but I see Kripke pacing this out as a true, tense mystery. Red herrings all over the place. It’s too early for too many big reveals. Some of what we saw tonight was mis-direction.
And some wasn’t. Some things others saw coming and I wanted to turn a blind eye toward but now that it’s out there, I am holding it, taking it in, and working out what it could mean.
I find that I can’t really “stream” right away with this. I need to look at the brothers really quickly. Mainly, I think, because I found myself reacting with an almost base-instinct of agreement at one point and I knew it was that point that would have this fandom up in arms. To be honest with you, there are times I almost wish I wasn’t so aware of what many others in the fandom thought of the show, the brothers, the plot, etc. I can pretty much guarantee you that not only will I not be venturing too far outside of the safety of this LJ, but I won’t be looking for spoilers beyond previews.
I said in an earlier review that I felt certain events in this season would polarize this fandom, but I have to say that this is the first season when I’ve found myself truly feeling for both boys. Not just seeing Sam’s POV because of how he affects Dean, but truly feeling for him. And Dean… he always wrecks me. Even back in the more “innocent” days of Season 1 I felt myself drawn to his vortex because of the responsibility he carried and the brash way he attacked the world. He hasn’t lost my heart through Hell and a confusing path toward redemption. I don’t see it happening before Kripke ends this.
When I was twenty-five, I moved away from IN to AZ. My youngest sister was 15 and a sophomore in high school. From the time I was 12, I had cared for her and my brother in all but finances. Every moment in my life was about them. I didn’t make a choice that didn’t involve my siblings. And then something random happened, and my heart was broken, and I left home. And them. And I found myself. I had spent thirteen years—and if I were honest with myself, a lot more than that, but memory is a fickle thing—so wrapped up in their lives and their worries and their needs that I never really learned how to have my own.
When I got to AZ, it was as if they existed in a different world. I worked, I met people, I went out, I lived. I laughed with freedom; I was unconcerned. And I didn’t feel guilty about it. Not once. I actually felt… free. Like I could breathe for the first time in my life. It was then that I met my husband and started on the path I’m walking now.
Meanwhile, my youngest sister dropped out of high school. Met up with a kid who had had a hard life and had a future in prison, made some really bad choices in her life that affected her current path. Three years ago, I became a mother and all of the concern and fear and panic and lack of control and responsibility and obligation and happiness that I’d carried with me for those 13 years came rushing back. And I realized that I’d left her behind. And yeah, I’d had my life, and I’d made good choices and I found my future. But while I was doing that, she was flushing hers down the toilet. Her prison boyfriend (yes, still her boyfriend) only serves to enhance her drug of choice, and I fear that we’re close to losing her. Permanently.
Now, are her choices my fault? Not really, though it may feel like it. Do I regret making the choice to have my own life? No, because I have my Mo Chuisle now due to the choices I made. Should I have chosen differently when I left home? Kept them more in my life? I don’t know… I honestly don’t know.
I tell you that so that when I say that Dean’s words resonated with me, you understand it’s because I’ve walked a similar path, and not because I’m choosing sides in this painful brother struggle. This episode showed Dean doing exactly what he was best at: hunting. He’s had a lifetime of training to lie, steal, cheat, kill—all for the sake of the greater good. He’s spent a lifetime worrying about and protecting his family (not just his brother, but his father as well). He’s suffered more than almost any human has ever had to suffer. And he’s been asked to still suffer, to still fight, to keep going.
No. Matter. What.
He has the apparent choice of two possible futures: the unlikely victory of the human race over the angels and demons which would in all probability culminate in his death, or his body being hollowed out—much worse than a vegetable—to be used as an angel’s vessel. Not a lot of incentive there. Yet, he still moves forward. He still fights. He keeps fighting because the battle, the war isn’t over. And at the very base of it all, beneath smart-ass, beneath son, beneath brother, Dean is a soldier. It’s what he knows. It’s his fall-back position.
Not having the very real weight of his brother bowing him has freed him to do his job. To live his life. To breathe. Sam is, right now, so confusing to him. How he feels about who Sam was and who Sam is and what Sam did and what Sam might do… it spins inside of him until the only thing left to do is scream. But he didn’t scream, did he? He shoved that down deep in his belly, looked at his younger brother—his heart—with solemn eyes and told Sam he could go.
The only thing I will say, though, is… sometimes the happiness brought on by the appearance of freedom from obligation is whisper-thin. It doesn’t support you for long. And once gone, it’s not something that can be brought back easily. Not like the happiness of being in the space you belong.
What an interesting story could be told of a hunter who has hung up his Holy Water. The skills that Sam has, the mystery that surrounds him. Anywhere he chooses to go, he would be wickedly attractive to some and warily dangerous to others. I’ve never been where Sam is, but I’ve seen it. I’ve watched it. And I tried to relate—I did. But I fell short because I can’t truly understand the desperation.
It’s not that I haven’t screwed up. I have. I do. All the time. I live with perpetual guilt now. I had about two years where I left guilt on my doorstep, but it came rushing back. I expend so much energy trying to do the right thing in the first place that I don’t have much left to make up when I screw up big time.
I hope that makes sense.
Sam got where he is now because he thought what he was doing was going to make things right. And he was wrong. And now he’s doing it again—trying to make things right. He’s trying to make a clean break, but he can’t turn his back on what’s happening around him. Because he’s a good person. He’s always been a good person. And that’s why it’s so hard to watch him fight and fight to “fix this” and have the world press back and not let him. Those that care about him not let him.
The only one that gave him the chance to heal the way Sam thinks he needs to is his brother.
So, because I watched this late, I was given a heads up by a couple of peeps (Crash, Sanderspleen) to listen for the music. I was prepped, man. I had the volume turned way up (because there was no sleeping baby in the house this time ‘round) and glued my eyes to the TV. I didn’t take notes this time, so please forgive me if I skim over parts. I know you guys will fill in the blanks for me because you’re all made of awesome.
Did anyone ever see the ‘making of’ for M. Night’s The Sixth Sense? In that he talks of his use of the color red to signify when death was close. After you see the big reveal at the end of the movie, if you go back through and watch to see where red shows up, you really understand what he means. I thought about that when we got our first shot of Sam in bed alone. The blanket on the double bed was very, very red. It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
Jessica is there—and may I just go to my dirty side for a moment and say OMG how freakin’ HOTT is that tattoo on Sam’s chest?? I. Need. Shirtless. Dean. Now.—and Sam says aloud that he’s dreaming. As if he has to confirm it. When Jess replies “or you’re not, either way I’m here” my radar went off. I wasn’t sure at first if she was the embodiment of Sam’s self-doubt… was he doing this to himself? Or, was she, in fact, Lucifer appearing to Sam as he’d appeared to Nick in the premiere?
Sam was so sweet, though. So sad. He missed her so much. His whole life would have been so different if he could have just saved her. And I ached for him. I wanted him to have been able to have that life. I almost started crying right then thinking about the universal unfairness of it all.
Jess is… well, honestly? Cruel. I thought she was cruel.
She tells him that even at Stanford he knew there was something dark inside of him. That’s what got her killed. *GROWLS* She says she’s trying to protect him—that the people closest to him die. Sam says he’s not going to make that mistake again—that’s why he’s living this life. But, oh, Sammy, you can’t not let people get close to you. No matter how hard he tries—unless he goes UnaBomber on us—Sam will attract people and care about people and trust people and work to save people. As long as he is SAM, he will anyway.
And then… the squee heard ‘round the country. When the first chords of Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” slipped out from my TV speakers, I whooped, a grin as big as Montana slapped across my face. This whole moment—the back and forth between the brothers set to that song—was freakin’ PERFECT. The lyrics are those that any Mama of a little boy would want to say, and when you think about those words juxtaposed between our heroes, it’s enough to make your heart both swell and break.
Also? The minute you finish this ramble, go to iTunes (or your music downloading source of choice) and find Shinedown’s version of this song. I have been listening to it constantly for a week now and the power behind that guys’ voice is amazing.
One week prior to Jess’s bedroom visit, we seek how the boys have been spending their time apart. Sam being dropped off at a motel looking sad and curious, his face open, but serious, ready to see what this new life is going to bring him. In this moment, it’s probably a very different kind of scary for him. The last time he left his brother (and father), he had somewhere specific to go, something specific to do. He had a mission. Now… he’s just… there. He’s not doing anything specific except not hunting. Weird.
Meanwhile, Dean is getting a knife the size of my forearm out of the Impala’s trunk and slipping it into (presumably) a sheath at his waist, his face grim, set, determined, focused. Sam burns his fake IDs in the motel sink; Dean uses his fake IDs (as a Detective Bill Buckner… heh). Sam is working as a bus boy at a diner. Dean is catching a vamp with a snarky, “eat it, Twilight.” (LAUGH!!)
Sam with sweat on his brow; Dean with blood on his face. Sam washing a countertop; Dean washing the Impala. It’s just life. And it’s disturbing to see how it could work like this if the world didn’t intercede. But, we all know that nothing in real life is that easy, so it’s bound to be doubly hard for our boys.
The last shot of this montage, though, had me aching for both of them. Dean, at night, alone in the Impala, Skynyrd’s rugged voice filling the emptiness of the car yet leaving a Sam-shaped space on the seat next to Dean. Dean’s eyes were slightly luminous in the dark interior and when he slid a slow look over to where Sam was supposed to be, then returned his gaze to the road, I saw resignation settle in place across the planes of his face. A sort of well, this is the way it’s gotta be expression. He wasn’t regretful. He wasn’t elated. He was sad, but at the same time… he was… okay.
That’s when the football of emotion wedged itself at the base of my throat.
Dean’s alone in his hotel room cleaning blood off his jacket—oh! Total aside… we haven’t seen the leather jacket yet this season… I miss that garment. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to why?
Cas appears in the mirror scaring Dean. He turns and Cas is like rightthere. Dean’s all, “We’ve talked about this… personal space.”
Apparently Bobby told Cas where to find Dean—but didn’t tell him about Sam. Dean answers Cas’ question with an evasive, “Sam and I are taking separate vacations.” Almost as if saying “Sam’s not hunting anymore,” or even worse, “Sam’s gone,” was just too real, too permanent to spit out. It’s a helluva lot easier to make jokes than to be serious. And even if he was starting to realize that he might be okay… Dean wasn’t ready for it to be serious.
I did LOVE that one of the first things he did was to ask Cas for the amulet back. Perfect execution, that.
Cas tells Dean that he needs his help to find the archangel that smote him—Raphael. And Dean says what I confess to have thought when I first heard that Raphael would be making an appearance.
“You were wasted by a teenage mutant ninja angel?”
I can’t help it okay? Those damn turtles are adorably annoying and they stick in your head!
Anyway, Cas wants to take this rare opportunity to trap and interrogate Raphael into telling him where God is. Since Dean is Michael’s vessel, Raphael won’t dare harm him. I loved Cas’ plea, though.
“I need your help because you are the only one who will help me.”
Aww… this angel has been through the wringer because he connected with a human. We’re dangerous, y’know? We’re unnervingly appealing and frustratingly winsome. We can break hearts and mend them. We can kill and heal. We can love and destroy. We are the most fragile beings God ever created, but we also wield the most power.
What a conundrum for an angel to accept.
And then, Cas says, “Please.” Amy Blair, I immediately thought of you. Amy has often purported that the word ‘please’ is one of the hardest things to say. Especially when it is tacked onto a request with this much need weighing it down.
Dean agrees, but just as Cas is about to do his angel head-thonk maneuver, Dean stops him with an amusing, “Last time you zapped me someplace, I didn’t poop for a week.” SJ, you have to know that took me right to you comment in one of my chapters in Desolation Angels. *LOL!!*
Not only that… he doesn’t really have anyone to leave the Impala with, now, does he?
Back with Sam, aka “Keith” (Richards?), we see the cute blonde waitress trying to make sense of this “riddle wrapped inside and enigma” of a hottie that’s suddenly started working at her bar. I have to say, she bugged me for nearly the whole episode. I couldn’t tell if she might possibly be a demon trying to get to Sam… if she was just a pretty girl attracted to a hot guy and trying to get in his pants… or what the deal was. But she was like a little yipping dog. At first.
After beating her soundly at darts (which… yeah), Sam is distracted by a TV report of hail that turned into a freak lightening storm reported on TV. The bartender turns it off with a dismissive “is it me, or does it seem like the end of the world” crack. Thing is? This kinda scared me a little. Like real life scared me. As a Christian, I’m supposed to be anticipating the second coming with hope and excitement. Christ returns, believers go to Heaven, the end.
But… I’m probably going to be one of those left behind because I don’t look forward to it. I fear it. I try not to think about it. I’m not ready for human existence as it stands to be over. And that’s with all the evil that’s in the world. I want my girl to experience life. I want her to have firsts. I want her to have her own family, and for us to go on. Perhaps the other reality will be even better than this one, but that takes faith I don’t always have.
Back in Maine—where Raphael is—Dean and Cas get ready to go find a deputy sheriff who apparently saw Raphael and lived to tell the tale. Cas, of course, wants to go in there all “you saw an angel of the Lord, now tell us where he is” and Dean, the more practical one of this duo, puts the kibosh on that approach.
“We’re human. When humans want something really, really bad… we lie.” That explains a LOT about you, Dean. “That’s how you become President.” And, that explains a bit about Jeremy Carver. (Irish, did you notice I actually paid attention to who wrote this episode?!)
Dean flashes the FBI badge—and I missed the alias’ he used… I thought I heard Eddie Moscone?—and Cas hilariously holds his out upside down causing Dean to have to fix it with a long-suffering look on his face and a “he’s new” explanation. The deputy describes an incident where 40 people were going all-out kill or be killed skirmish near a gas station nearby. Cas says calmly that it’s most likely angels vs demons.
Dean’s attempt to cover for Cas’ innocent honesty is expertly done, if not wildly amusing. “We all have our demons, Boss,” he says to the deputy. The deputy goes on to say that the explosion wasn’t normal—it was pure white light and everyone was killed. In the middle of it he saw one guy, kneeling, not a scratch on him.
Dean assumes the guy vanished into thin air and the deputy says, “No, Kolchek.” I’ll have to check the spelling of that, but I think I remember Dean using that same pop-culture reference in Mystery Spot. Anyone?
Anyway, the lone survivor is at St. Pete’s (one assumes hospital) and Cas looks over at Dean, very seriously, and repeats, “St. Pete’s.” Dean’s like, “Thank you.” HA! They find the man, who is now an empty vessel, sitting, staring, drooling. Completely gone. Dean asks if this is what is in store for him and Cas says candidly that Michael is much more powerful than Raphael. For Dean, it will be much worse.
Sam’s back at his motel researching the signs he saw on TV. He can’t help himself. It’s what he does. It’s how he maintains control of his environment. He finds out everything he can about it. Oh, and apparently, he’s in Oklahoma. He pulls out his phone, scrolls to Dean’s name, and hesitates.
And it’s in that hesitation that his fear shows through. What if he isn’t there… what if he is… what if he wants my help… what if he doesn’t… what if he is struggling… what if he’s fine…
Not one single answer to any of those questions would feel good to Sam right now, so he calls Bobby. It’s safe. Of course Bobby, who is stuck in a wheelchair and not feeling 100% great about being sidelined in the biggest game of a hunter’s life, gives Sam flack about sitting this out. He doesn’t get it. No gets it, really. No one but Dean. And with Dean, the “getting it” is more like 40% understanding what Sam needs and 60% desperate to breathe. It’s selfishly altruistic.
Just makes me feel so badly for Sam when he really wants to make a break of this—to not make things worse. He can’t win really. No matter what he does right now, someone will disapprove, someone will feel bad.
Okay, so we’re back at some random abandoned house in Maine and Dean’s getting ready—looks more like he’s just keeping his hands busy—and Cas shows up with a jar of special, rare oil that he got in Jerusalem. The ritual to catch Raph goes down at sunrise and Dean is the only one that really has a chance to live through it. So, Dean being Dean, wants to know what Cas wants to do with his last night on earth.
We all know what Dean did with what could have been his last night on earth. *echoes of Bad Company and the squeak of leather seats fills Gaelic’s brain.*
Cas’ reaction to the idea of being with a woman was amusing, but in some ways? A little off-putting. He’s either becoming more human than angel, or they were just trying too hard to make this scene funny. I think the former is more the truth, but it took me until the end to settle with that.
Cas’ fidgeting and guilty looks… even his “I never had the occasion, okay?” was very human. Dean is pretty much like, “you’re not going to die a virgin on my watch.” I’ll skip the Bert and Ernie crack, because that felt oddly shoe-horned in there.
Back at the Sam’s bar (heh, Sam’s bar… wonder if it was called Cheers… *ahem* Sorry…) three hunters show up and call him by his real name, which he lamely explains to Miss Has A Crush that Sam is his middle name. Keith Samuels. Riiiight. After Sam gets the hunters drinks, they reveal that Bobby sent them and that Sam was right, demons were afoot. They want to know why he can’t “stow his baggage” for the apocalypse, but Sam stays firm.
This is just a tiny prequel of what is to come in this episode and what could potentially totally unravel Sam if they continue this arrangement. But, I’ll get to that in a minute. Lindsey Has A Crush is tenacious and once the hunters leave, she demands that Sam have dinner with her and they’ll talk. At this point I was almost convinced she was a demon. I mean, seriously. I wanted Sam to insult her and make her go away. But I knew he wouldn’t. Because he’s Sam. And he’s a nice guy. And he cares about people. And… he’s probably pretty damn lonely.
And… we’re at a Den of Iniquity. Cas is acting more human and less angel by the moment—the look of utter terror on his face when “Chastity” comes toward their table is hilarious and worrisome. I don’t blame Dean—I mean, this is Dean, people. One of his only rewards in life is bedding a willing woman. This is a warrior’s send-off to him. And I think he sometimes forgets that Cas is an angel. He looks like a regular guy. He can talk like a regular guy.
The fact that an angel in a whore house about to have carnal knowledge of a human feels all levels of wrong wouldn’t even register on Dean’s radar. But it did on mine. I got a really bad feeling about this.
Dean gives Cas a wad of cash and tells him to stick to the basics and not order off the menu. As if Cas has ANY idea what he’s talking about. And I gotta say... Dean looks yu-U-My in this scene. The kind of grin and bite your lip while you're watching him yummy. Dean sets his tiger eyes on a pair of breasts and is sharing a drink with them—er, her—when “Chastity” suddenly screams bloody murder and Dean goes high-tailing it toward the back to see what the hell.
I half expected Cas’ wings to be out for some reason. Apparently, he simply looked her in the eyes and told her it wasn’t her fault that her father left, which totally freaked her out. The bouncers arrive and Dean is all, “we should go.” They make it out with their hides intact and Dean is cracking up. Laughing. Really, honestly, genuinely laughing. He looks... lit up. Relaxed. Amazing. He looks really amazing. I was just thinking to myself, when is the last time we’d seen/heard Dean laugh when he says, “It’s been years since I’ve laughed that hard.”
Huh. The sobering, sad look that schools his features the minute those words are out of his mouth hits me hard. And that’s when I knew how he felt. I knew exactly how he felt.
So, back in Oklahoma, Sam gave in to Lindsey and they’re having dinner. He finally explains that he was in business with his brother and that he was good at it, but that he did some stuff he wasn’t proud of and because of it a lot of people got hurt.
Her eyes understanding and serious, Lindsey asks him, “What was your poison?” She brings out some kind of medallion or charm and says that she’s three years sober. Okay, soooo maybe she’s not a demon. Maybe Gaelic should retract her claws. She tells Sam something he really, really needs to hear.
“No one has ever done anything so bad that they can’t be forgiven or they can’t change.”
I want my sister to know that. I want to remember that in case my daughter ever needs to hear it. I want to remember that for when I hurt someone. That was a good, good line.
Back at St. Pete’s, Dean and Cas spread a Special Oil circle around Mr. Empty Vessel and Cas reveals that there’s an “open phone line” between vessel and angel. Oh, really? Well, isn’t that an interesting tidbit of information that is almost definitely going to come into play later. Cas leans over to the vessel’s ear and Latinates a bit finishing with, “I’m here, Raphael. Come and get me you little bastard.”
Dean has that worried line drawing a crevasse between his brows. There is fire. And waiting. And a whole lot of nothing happens. So, they go back to the abandoned house and just as they’re stepping in, Cas grabs Dean’s arm and tells him to wait while lightning dances across the adjacent room and a storm suddenly rages outside and Mr. Comatose Vessel is suddenly in the house being filled by an archangel.
I liked Raphael’s voice. Very James Earl Jones. Apparently, he blacked out the entire eastern seaboard. Impressive. Most impressive.
In this scene, Dean’s over-the-top bravado was almost painful to watch. He was trying so hard to keep it together. To keep the full-on freak out that was hovering just under the edge in control. To not show Raph how terrified he was, how helpless he felt. He laid it on thick and he kept moving because, I think, if he held still, he’d start shaking. His voice shook on the edges of words on more than one occasion. His face was tight, his eyes constantly moving between the window and Raphael and Cas.
Raphael was the one that would be caught, but Dean looked trapped. My husband has this way he calms me down. He simply rests a hand on my shoulder, or my knee. Just the gentle weight of his hand stops me from spinning my hurricane into a whole new level of chaos. Watching Dean, I wanted to rest my hand on him. Just hold him gently still for a moment and tell him to release the breath he doesn’t even know he’s holding.
Cas just started at Raph. He looked truly unafraid. He just wanted answers. Cas says that Raph won’t kill Dean. Raph’s like, no, but I will bring him to Michael. Dean says no, he won’t, and turns cockily toward the empty fireplace to open a beer. I think he chugs half the bottle in one gulp. Raph reminds him of Zach giving him stomach cancer and says that Zach didn’t have anything close to Raph’s imagination.
“Bet you didn’t imagine one thing…”
At that, Dean lights his Zippo and sets a different circle of Special Oil on fire, trapping Raph. Heh. Atta boys. Then he dissolves with a, “Don’t look at me, it was his idea.” Oh, Dean.
Cas demands to know where God is. And Raph drops the hammer saying God is dead. Someone’s been listening to Beatle’s records backwards again… tsk tsk
But before we can go too far in that direction, we head back to Sam who is being confronted by one of the hunters from before, looking decidedly worse for the wear. Seems the demons they went after basically multiplied and one of the hunters was killed. Not only that? But the demons told the hunters about Sam.
Whoops. The hunters hold Lindsey hostage with a knife and demand the truth from Sam. Gulp.
Back in Maine, Cas tells Raph that he’s lying. God is not dead. I have to agree with Cas—despite what Raphael says in a second. I find it somewhat impossible that God can die. Disappear, sure. But die??
Raph says to look at the 20th century—you think God would’ve let all that happen? Well, that’s a very glass is half-full outlook, there Mr. Archangel. If you take a snapshot of 1901 and 1999, you will see enormous growth and change and prosperity and evolution. You will see examples of mankind being their most evil and their most benevolent. You will see advancements made in how to save lives and how to extend lives. You will see quality of life pulled into question for the first time in millennia. You will see poverty and pain and wealth and prosperity.
How much different, I wonder if you were to compare 1801 and 1899… or even 1301 and 1399? Mankind is always growing and evolving and with that change comes pain but also salvation. Raph’s statement was too broad, to blanketed to make me truly worry.
Dean smarts off about God and Raphael gets his hackles up with a “that’s my father you’re talking about.” Dean returns with a “who would be so proud that his sons started the freakin’ apocalypse.” Good point, Dean.
Raphael’s bitterness showed through with his, “Who disappeared with no instructions and left a world to rot.”
Yeah, but really? Did he really leave no instructions, Raphael? He left instructions to us—to mankind. It’s called the Bible. And he created you with instructions. To protect against the wicked. I think that wherever God went and why ever he went there—which I’m sure will be explained before the year burns out—he did so for a good reason and the angels lost their faith.
Dean’s cry-me-a-river scoff was met with a, “we’re tired and just want it to be over” from Raphael. So, with God away, they throw a universal temper tantrum and now are doing whatever they want. Raphael illustrates this by blowing out the windows and Cas quickly covers Dean, protecting him from the flying glass.
Back at the bar in OK, Sam is trying to talk down the hunters. He gets them to set down the machete-like knife and then says, yes, he did it. He started the apocalypse. Oh, Sammy. This is not going to go well. You by yourself is not good! I figured the demons and angels would leave him alone because of the sigils. I figured he’d be safe from danger at least as far as that was concerned. I never figured on hunters and their insatiable need for vengeance. Oh, boy…
Back in Maine, Raphael lays another blow on Cas. What if it wasn’t God who raised him? What if it was Lucifer? Someone in earlier comments posed that very thing in the premiere ramble and I have held that thought aside, wondering about that since then. I can’t remember who you are off the top of my head, but *nods to person* nicely played. Raphael points out that Lucifer needs all the rebellious angels he can find.
Like angels that walk willingly into a whore house. Like angels who are more human than heavenly.
I see this as another red herring. I don't buy it. Angels can ressurrect humans, sure, but other angels? I think the writers are trying to mess with our heads and the angels don't know what to think. If they believe God is dead, then sure, they'd buy that Lucifer raisded Cas. Me? I'm sticking with my God theory. Cas, to his credit, rolls with it. As they leave Raph standing in the circle of Special Oil fire, Cas says that one day Raph may find him, but “today, you’re my little bitch.” Dean’s all, “what he said.” Hee.
Sam, however, is not going to be able to end his situation with a wisecrack. The hunter has a vial of demon blood. And Sam’s fear is palpable. He actually backs away. The hunter demands that Sam drink the blood, power up, and go wipe out the demons that killed his best friend. He wants to use the “freak” that he’d normally want to hunt.
I didn’t see that coming. Oh, Sammy.
The ensuing fight is vicious. The hunters overpower Sam and pour the blood in his mouth, then release him. Sam, however, has more willpower than he gave himself credit for. He spits the blood back in the hunters face and takes out one hunter, then has a knife to the throat of the other, blood in his eyes. He stops only because Lindsey—who has been cuffed to the bar for the whole fight—is staring at him in terror.
He lets the men go, they say they’ll be back, he says he’ll be there. Makes me wonder if Lindsey is going to be around more, or if this little incident will send her scurrying… If she is going to be around, this is the most subtle way they’ve introduced the dreaded Female Character into the mix, to my way of thinking.
In the Impala heading… who knows where… Cas and Dean are riding in silence. Dean asks Cas if he’s okay, then says that even though he thinks Cas’ crusade is crazy, he does know something about missing fathers. There were times when all logic said that John was dead, but Dean knew in his heart that he was still alive. Y’know, come to think of it, if Dean hadn’t actually seen John die, hadn’t actually burned him, I think he’d still believe John was alive.
Dean’s encourages Cas to forget what Raph thinks, what he said. “What do YOU think?”
Cas replies confidently and without hesitation, “I believe he’s out there.”
“Good, then go find him.”
I am glad of this. God being dead is a red herring. It’s the excuse/reason the angels who brought this upon the world by allowing it to happen are using to justify their actions. And I, like Cas, I believe that there is a reason this has been allowed to occur. Some reason that God hasn’t 86’d all of the angels and started all over again. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know if I’ll like it. But this storyline has held strong so far and I’m along for the ride.
When Cas asks Dean what he will do, Dean allows his mouth to relax a bit, a small, surprised half-smile on his face as he says, “Honestly? I’m good.” He says it as if realizing it for the first time. Tasting it. Wondering if it’s okay to be okay. “I’ve had more fun with you in the past 24 hours than I’ve had with Sam in years.”
That statement is going to inflame so many in this fandom. So many that I want to hide after I post this. But it’s so real. So honest. He didn’t say “I don’t care about Sam.” Or even “I pick you over Sam.” He didn’t say that he regretted the years with Sam or that he was relieved Sam was gone.
Dean is simply feeling an oddly euphoric sense of freedom that he’s never once been allowed to feel—and he’s feeling it this time because he’s allowing it. He’s not putting the duty of being the family protector above all else. He’s not putting everything else before him. “I’ve been chained to my family for so long… now that I’m alone… Hell, I’m happy.”
Yeah, that makes total sense. It’s not a feeling that lasts. It’s not a feeling you can hang onto. It’s not even a feeling you want to keep around, but it’s real. And it makes sense. Especially considering the fact that he doesn’t know what Sam’s dealing with. Especially considering the fact that he’s probably picturing Sam sleeping in a motel and working a job under an assumed name and that’s it.
When you step away from everything that has weighted you down and you bounce with the unexpected buoyancy of it, you don’t always stop to think about what that “weight” is doing without you. You ride the high of freedom for a bit. At some point it comes back. You’re reminded. You turn back.
Back in the red-blanketed motel room, Sam is sleeping and hears Jess say his name. This time, I know. I know she’s not his dream. I know she’s not his guilty conscience. I know she’s not a ghost.
“This is your life now? Head buried in the sand?”
“I love you, Jess, but you’re wrong. There is a reason for hope.”
“No there isn’t. Because you freed me.”
Jess’ face dissolves into Nick’s and SWEAR my skin crawled. I was suddenly so, so cold. Because I knew what Lucifer was going to tell Sam. Another commenter had said that—several in fact. That Sam was to have been Lucifer’s vessel. That Nick was Plan B. What stopped this, I’m not sure. My only guess is Dean. It is the fact that Dean came back for Sam in that convent. Dean wasn’t going to let his brother go down. And because Dean is Michael’s vessel, something saved them from Lucifer rising and taking Sam right then.
As Sam is backing away, tears falling, fear etched on his face, my head was screaming, nonononononono…
Lucifer predicts that he will find Sam. And he won’t lie to him. And he won’t trick him. And Sam will let him in. Sam says he’d kill himself first, and Lucifer says he’d just bring him back. He says the same thing Ruby told Sam just before she was killed.
“It had to be you, Sam. It always had to be you.”
But… why? Because Dean was Michael’s vessel? Because that’s the only way to balance? Was Dean always Michael’s vessel? Was that fated? And if so, why? I wanna know why.
This is far from over. There is no way Kripke is going to end this saga, this tale of family and unity and brotherhood and good versus evil having Sam and Dean face off with two opposing angels driving their trains. I refuse to believe it will end that way. I don’t know how they’ll thwart this plan that has been set in motion by beings so much more powerful, but I do know that they’re not going to be able to do it apart. They’re going to have to come together for any sort of united human front to push back both the light and the dark.
Thing is… it’s not going to be as easy as Sam calling Dean up, telling him he’s ready to come back. There are a lot of burned bridges to rebuild and there’s the fact that Dean feels okay for the first time in a long, long time. There is going to have to be a catalyst that bends them without breaking them. Something that shows them—more than likely Dean—that their home is together. End of story. And I just know that’s hard. Even if—even when—you know it’s the right thing to do you don’t want to give up that freedom. It’s going to take a lot.
My bet with Amy is that trust starts to be rebuilt in episode 6. Hers is episode 4. By the looks of the previews next week, anything is possible. I hear that episode 4 is called “The End.” I told Amy that the way I see it? The end is only the beginning. We have a long road to travel. And we have some pretty wounded heroes that are leading our way.
Thanks for reading. Hope it was worth the wait. I’ll try not to do this again this season if all goes well.