If you read this and don't know by now that I won't spoil you, then I can't help you... *wink* Oh, and I'll warn you now... this could very well be one of the longest ones yet...
OH. MY. FRIGGIN'. GOD. Seriously, folks, that was probably one of the best episodes I've ever seen. When the credits flashed up at the end, I had to stand up and pace in a tight little space because my heart was pounding and my hands were shaking. Literally shaking. *takes calming breath* I promise I will try to be coherent... or at least as coherent as I ever am in these...
First?? Best. Previously's. Ever. Not ONLY did they use "Carry On My Wayward Son" -- which, as many have said, is sooo their theme -- they picked the best shots. The kind of shots that pumps you up so much you're literally humming. I had been sitting all leisurely thinking I'd wait through the previouslys, but I was curled into my Ball of Protection from the start because of that hit. Man. So. Awesome.
Dean's dream, running from nothing, seeing the Hellhound, running running running... man. So, desperate. So scared. When he wakes with a jerk, I took a breath. There was something about the colors and the clarity of this episode that made that boy more gorgeous than usual. Maybe it was the pending doom... but his eyes were so green when he talked to Sam. His lashes just framed those eyes like a treasure map to a fantasy. I wanted to pause the shot of him looking up at his brother while hunched over the book with the Hellhoung picture and just stare. Just soak him up.
I loved the forced banter about a TJ run with 30 hours to go... Sam's "if we save you, let's still never do that..." Poor Sammy and his aversion to Mexico. I seem to remember Dean suggestiong TJ a couple of times and Sam shooting it down. Hmmm. :) Sam's calm, soothing, "everything's going to be okay" nearly broke my fragile heart right there, but then Dean looking over at his little brother and seeing that stilted, dead, evil demonic face -- just like Evan had with his wife in Crossroad Blues -- and Dean's forced "yeah okay" had be pulling my heart back in off of my sleeve.
*curls tighter into self*
I love that Bobby was with them, helping them. Loved how he had that giant-sized Demon-finding Protractor... some Latinating and voila -- Lilith is in Indiana. Which, I can tell you from experience, does contain it's fair-share of demons. 'Course, they are all my personal ones, but hey, evil is evil.
Here's where I fell more in love with Dean than I already was, if that is even possible. The instant Bobby reveals Lilith's locale, Sam's rearing to go; he turns in to Dean, Season 1. But Dean, big brother that he is, is all "holster it up there, Tex." (Okay, random. I love it when they refer to Texas in any way. Just... 'cause.) Sam wants to summon Ruby, get her knife. Seems to make sense, but Dean's like, no way is that happening. "No way I'm risking you." Dean fighting both Sam and Bobby about Lilith wanting Sam's giant head on a pike and not wanting to make the same mistakes again had me biting my lip. He doesn't want to die -- doesn't want to go to Hell, but there is no way he was letting Sam give up his life -- or his soul, purposefully or inadvertently -- to save him. No way.
I love him for that.
But Sam, showing his little brother, sheltered child, son-of-John stubborn streak, summons Ruby anyway and argues with her for the knife. Ruby reveals that Lilith's guard is down and she's taking some R&R... I have to admit, I was a little "huh?" about that... demons take... breaks? Why? Aren't they already doing what they love? Not like it's work... Ruby reminds us by asking Sam about the hex bags she gave them at the end of Jus In Bello, which, admitedly, I'd totally spaced. So, at least Lilith wouldn't "hear" them coming, which is nice.
Ruby shoves some pretty hefty reveals into this little basement arguement. Sam's visions/powers aren't "gone," they're "dormant." And while we've seen that he has death visions and was once able to move a dresser with his mind... we've not acutally seen the full extent of Sam's powers. What he's really capable of. Ruby says that one of those things are to kill Lilith. That he could save his brother by killing her and she never said anything before because Sam wouldn't go for it until he was desperate enough -- which makes me think that he would actually have to let go of his light a bit...embrace a certain level of darkness to unleash whatever power is inside of him.
She says something to Sam that caught me -- she says that she knows Sam hates how Dean looks at him sometimes, like he's a freak. I have never seen Dean look at Sam that way. I've seen him give him the standard "okay, you're so off your meds" look that brother's give each other. I've seen him look worried. I've seen him even look scared for Sam -- like in Sin City when Sam blew away Cassie and the preacher demon. But I've never seen him look at Sam like he was a full-on Freak. But that just goes to show what our filters do to us. Sam thinks that of himself, so when Dean shows worry, Sam sees disgust or fear.
How many times have we done that to ourselves? Put our own insecurities onto others, interpreted looks to mean what we think they mean... without asking the other. Human communication is a terrible and beautiful thing.
Ruby offers to be his Yoda and teach him the ways of the Force just as big brother pops down. And now I love Dean even more. Dude totally knew Sam wouldn't let it go and was ready for Ruby. More than ready. He totally hits her and it's finally on -- Ruby against the brothers. She takes Sam down easy enough... wussy. And she totally kicks Dean's ass until our boy slowly straightens and ta-da! The knife! I totally cheered out loud at that. AND he trapped her in a Devil's Trap. LOVE IT.
And that was all before Supernatural splashed across the screen. Holy crap!! See? SUCH a good episode. Okay, rein it in, Gaelic. I've always loved their gearing-up, getting weapons ready scenes. There is something so primal and sexy about that. (Random again, I love that Dean kept the face wounds from Ruby's fight throughout the rest of the show. Just... 'cause. Again.) But this weapons-ready moment led up to one fantastic conversation with Sam wanting to go find out from Ruby how he can use his powers to save Dean and Dean insisting that it wasn't going to happen.
He brought up the one thing that I had been afraid of -- another deal. Saying that Dad did it for him and he did it for Sam and enough already. He says that Sam doing what Ruby said is only going one place and wants to know why risk it... and Sam says "because you're my brother" and I want to hug him for that. And then... God, with the eyes. Dean turns those too-big eyes on Sam and says "you're my weak spot, and I'm yours"... *tears* They're family, but they have to stop being martyrs... stop "spreading it for the demons and do it the way Dad taught" them... go down swinging...
And just when the lump in my throat is getting downright painful, Sam pulls out the "you shoulda been jammin' to Eye of the Tiger" and Dean shuts him up with a "and I rehearsed that speech, too." LOVE it! So great, the timing. How they know just when to grab our hearts and just when to tickle our humor. It just feels so real.
But I can't help but feel that Dean's right -- even a little purposeful use of power could destroy the Sam that he knows, the Sam that he raised and cares for and depends on. His Sam. That's too much of a risk for Dean, even at the sake of his life. His sacrifice would mean nothing if Sam's soul is lost to darkness.
Now, I know we're supposed to have been freaked out by the idea that Lilith possessed that little girl, killed the babysitter, held the family hostage, and apparently killed Freckles the Cat? Dog? who knows... I wasn't freaked, but I was a bit disturbed. How horrifying to have your baby girl taken over by an entity that is so... inhuman. *puts line of salt around baby's crib*
When the Impala doesn't start, I actually said "atta boy, Bobby" to the TV. It's probably a good thing I watched this one by myself. Bobby had the best. line. ever. "Family doesn't end with blood." AWESOME. I so wanted him to go with them. And he knew about the hallucinations, which, by the look on Sam's face, he'd obviously missed. Bobby knew that Dean was "playing wounded" (love that phrase) and he wasn't going to let them go alone. HOORAY!!
And THEN comes one of the best. scenes. EVER. For me, anyway. Sam tries for the sensitive "if this doesn't work, I just want you to know" chick flick, which Dean predictably deflects. And then, because he's our boy, he needs music. And what comes on the radio?? Bon Freakin' Jovi (who, despite what he said in BUABS, Dean thinks rocks, on occasion). "Wanted: Dead or Alive." OMG. I literally cheered. *dances in desk chair*
And THEN Dean starts singing. *swoon* Singing loud enough that he finally gets Sam into it. And BOY does Sam get into it!! It was fantastic. It was my friend and I on a roadtrip. It was my sisters and I on a summer evening in the old Jeep with the windows down and the radio up. It was a moment of just brothers -- just brothers... until the lyrics got to Dean and the look of pain in his eyes, sliding across his features was enough to steal the wind from me.
How he does that... how this actor does what he does with a mere shift of his eyes and no one but us notices... is amazing to me.
When the cop pulls them over, I was trying desperately to figure out what the twist was going to be, but I should have known better than to try to figure out Kripke. When Dean reacted, I first thought it was to the name "Hagar" on his fake ID. But when he was panting and trembling after killing the demon, and said he saw the real face -- the one under the human face... I think I started shaking then. I knew then that this was going to be so good and so bad at the same time.
I love Dean's "How is that not crazy" when Bobby says that it makes sense that Dean can see demons. Since he's... yknow, almost "hell's bitch." OH! And then Dean breaks out some Peter Venkman ala Ghostbusters with his "Terrific plan; I'm excited to be a part of it." HA!! I cackled at that. Literally guffawed. Man, I love this show.
Okay, so then we go back to the poor, trapped family that I am simply looking at as a means to an end... I've become heartless, I suppose... but... man, Dean had five hours left! So demon girl kills gramps, and Dean can see who she is... can see her hideous face, and boy, do I feel for him. Just his reaction to seeing the demons... made me glad they didn't let us see them. His reaction was enough. He made me want to look away from their human faces. Of course, though, beause they're Winchesters and their lives are about the greater good, they have to take out Lilith before she kills more people -- it stops being just about saving Dean and becomes about saving everybody.
Talk about a cross to bear. Man.
Somehow Ruby gets out of the Devil's Trap. We don't get an explanation beyond what they don't know about her could fill a book. I'm not satisfied with that. I don't know if Ruby will be back, but if she is, I want to know how she can break a Devil's Trap when it's convenient for her -- or if she had help, like Cassie in Sin City with the preacher man. Dean's flinch when he sees her real face had me feeling apprehensive -- like that was supposed to mean something later. Which, turns out, I was right, but I didn't anticipate how it was going to come into play...
And then, our boy Bobby SO comes through with the Holy Water sprinklers. YES!! I think I even did a fist pump with that. :) Hee!! So awesome. One thing that surprised me was that Sam and Ruby went looking for the little girl while Dean took the dad to the basement. I mean, I get why with the tension about killing the girl that turned out to not be Lilith (and, yeah, that made me freakin' TENSE), but I'm surprised that Dean let them go without him.
I couldn't imagine being that mom, though, you know? To have the body of your little girl curled up against you and be so afraid of what she'd done over the last X amount of hours that you are begging a complete stranger to stab her just to free you. Would the instinct to survive really cancel out everything? Wouldn't you want to somehow try to save your child? Maybe not. Maybe seeing the complete lack of your baby's soul in those eyes as she killed Gramps and babysitter could send you over the edge. Hope I never have to find out...
And then, what you heard echoing across the cosmos was the sound of hearts breaking wide open all over the world tonight. Because time ran out. And Sam wants Ruby to tell him what to do, and Dean says no. No, because Sam has to live. Sam has to survive. And Sam cries. And Dean, GOD Dean's eyes. They fill with tears that don't fall and pain of all he was going to miss and memories of all he'd once had and Sam sobs "what do I do" and Dean says "keep fighting...take care of my wheels...remember what Dad taught you... remember what I taught you..."
And the clock. Strikes. Midnight.
I swear I stopped breathing in that moment.
When the Hellhound showed up and Sam couldn't see it, I felt my heart pound. They skeddadle into the other room -- all three of them, including Ruby, which I found interesting... why was she afraid of a Hellhoung? -- and lay down the goofer dust and guh... When Ruby asks for the knife, my heart pounds even harder and then Dean sees -- actually SEES that she's not Ruby... and suddenly, my fool self is worried about where Lilith sent Ruby. Far, far away where?? Why I'm worried about a demon, I'll never know.
But, I tell you, I was impressed with how Katie was able to change her voice from her version of a bad-ass demon to a disturbingly seducive little girl who (gag) kisses Sam... while Dean is spread out on the table, unable to move...
And then she opens the door and my heart stops. Just stops. Sam is screaming Dean's name, screaming for Lilith to stop... and Dean just SCREAMING as his leg is torn into, his shoulder, his chest... blood everywhere... trying to get away... OMG... I think I might have started panting for breath in that moment. It was every hurtDean moment I'd written, read, imagined... Dean's twisting in pain, bleeding, and then Ruby/Lilith does that whole Bright Light thing...
Sam is crumpled on the floor, but ala Harry Potter, the White Light of Doom does nothing to him. He... repels it. Is not consumed by it. The hounds have stopped. Ruby/Lilith is visibly shaken at this turn of events and as Sam advances with the Knife That Can Kill Any Demon, she freaks out and pulls the black smoke disappearing act...
Leaving Sam to crumple, sobbing at his blood-covered, silent, still, and staring brother's side. Oh, the quiver of Sam's chin, the tears... it was 100 times worse than his look in Heart. And then... the moment that gives me the oddest sense of hope yet. An image of bloody Dean (in a gray T-shirt, no less... *Gaelic in love*) trapped in what appears to be the black webbing of his brain synapses... trapped and calling out for help -- for Sam.
So, now we're forced to wait... and wonder... and speculate... and hope. Me? I think Sam's powers came to "light" in the last moment out of desperation, just like they did in Nightmare when he thought Max Miller was going to kill Dean. Seeing his brother ripped to shreds before his eyes, thinking Lilith was going to kill them... I don't know what he did or how, but I think he stopped her. Either that, or he's always been immune to her and neither of them knew it. I also think that Dean's not Dead. Though he appeared so as Sam gathered him up, something happened when Lilith couldn't kill Sam. And then she ran away.
Kripke said in an interview "who says he goes to Hell?" So... I'm thinking Dean got stuck. He's not in "Hell" per se. He's in his own version of it, trapped inside his own body, in his own head, alone, without Sam, bleeding to death, but not dead yet. And while we were left in a similar situation at the end of Season 1 with the semi crash, the premiere of Season 2 was one of the best episodes... and I think the possibilities for Season 4 are boundless.
Saving Dean's life (rather than his soul), dealing with the fall-out of the experience of a year of facing death, exploring Sam's powers, figuring out what the brothers are to each other now, how much they depend on each other now, if there is an "each other" without them together, finding out the truth about Mary... I just wish I knew where Bobby got off to there at the end... But I bet we see him enter the room in the premiere to find a bloody Dean held in his broken brother's arms. With the shell of Ruby laying next to them... DemonRuby far, far away... oh, what a mess.
Oh, what a fantastic, beautiful, thought-provoking, anticipatory mess.
Man, I love these boys. I can't wait for September.