Where to even begin to talk about this one? So many plot threads, so little time. Some were wrapped up, some were newly woven and left to dangle for another day. Finally, season ten seems to be gearing up towards some heat and drama just in time to leave us at the edge of a cliff until the season begins anew in 2015 and this episode did a good job of laying the ground work – and it was enjoyable to boot.
Vessels and Angels: A New Perspective
Since this is the simplest as the storylines go, we can start by talking about Cas and Hannah (and Caroline, the key player today). Now it’s not a secret that I really dislike Hannah as a character. Not for any particular reason, just something about her has always grated, by and large. Here, however, was somewhat redeeming. Hannah encounters the husband of her vessel and manufactures a physical relationship with Castiel as proof that she left him for another man. Like much of the audience, he didn’t buy that Hannah and Castiel could have a relationship (personally any so-called perceived “romantic” chemistry between these two was always forced and/or lacking in my opinion).
It’s later when Castiel emphasizes that she did the right thing because now the husband could have a reason to move on and they could carry on too, the ever-important mission being the primary focus forever and always, that Hannah realizes something. The exchange on the bridge between Hannah and Castiel is when Hannah was renewed and more genuine that she has been all season for me. She explains that any emotions or desires she thought she was feeling for Castiel, were the desires from her vessel Caroline crying out to go back to her life and her husband. Hannah now understands that the mission primary is and always was about humanity. They’ve recovered the key players back to Heaven and it’s time for her to return now and let her vessel go.
This was a very successful plot point and an excellent way to conclude the Hannah/Castiel storyline, given the direction it seemed to be heading. As I said, it was a bit lacking in true chemistry to me and yet that seemed to be a hard-driven point with moments between the two in every episode featuring them. To actually put them together sexually or romantically would have felt out of step with the characters. This way, the pull they thought they felt is explained, rather well, and concluded nicely, if not sweetly and addresses the question that needs to be addressed: what about the vessels that are possessed and whose lives are shattered by it?
Finally, in the end we see Castiel wondering about Jimmy Novak and his life as he watched Caroline and her husband reunite. I can’t help but be curious about the “Missing” notification, given that Jimmy’s family did learn about Castiel last time we saw them – but perhaps it’s an old notification. It will be interesting to see where this leads.
Poor Dean – it was too good to be true for Shaylene to be interested in him straight up, even if she wasn’t a Bruce. What are the odds? I don’t know, personally I’d expect a face like Dean’s would be getting lots of attention, but hey, they’ve got to get the story going somehow right? And Sam can probably get some good mileage out of the dating site app for a while.
This was a great storyline – and not at all what I expected from the promo, I’ll admit. Usually, when witches are involved there is more gore than I like: beating hearts in cupcakes, people coughing out all their teeth; it’s not like blood isn’t a staple on Supernatural, but somehow witches tend to be a little too nasty for my preference. Rowena on the otherhand – was all class. A few hexbags and some Latin, then step past the corpse with a smile and a delicate hand to usher the girls out. Speaking of the girls: these hookers were kind of badass themselves. Stab Raul in the eye, kill the demon outright, even punch out Rowena whom you know is a powerful witch and then make your get away. Have to respect that they weren’t made to be simpering victims throughout the episode.
What I truly liked was Crowley’s reaction on discovering what his minions had taken it upon themselves to do- in his name no less. Crowley is about style, not trashy back alley dealings and certainly not involving hookers. Raul’s Girls? So not his milieu. And finally, we can’t forget about Rowena and Crowley. What a way to end things. It seemed clear there would be some connection between those two given how old Rowena is, her accent, Crowley’s mention that mama was a witch in the past – but that shock on his face and the complete unknowingness in her taunts: excellent close-out. Oh, the future possibilities this could hold.
Cole, Cole, Cole. It was only a matter of time before this all came to a head – again. As we didn’t see the culmination of the torture session, I can’t help but wonder the demon’s reaction to Cole referring to Dean as his “buddy” – but I can picture the confusion and/or amusement. Obviously he didn’t bring Cole up to speed or he wasn’t believed. Either way, Cole managed to catch up to Dean at the exact wrong moment, as we knew he would the moment Sam entreated Dean to follow Rowena outside while he stayed to deal with Attack-Dog chick. It was too good an opportunity.
Naturally, Cole’s appearance allows for Rowena’s escape and a hand-to-hand battle ensues. Not that Cole really stood a chance, even with Dean less powered up then last time. I really did love the moment when Cole threw holy water at Dean and nothing happened. Confusion on Cole’s face and mild annoyance on Dean’s as he wipes the water out of his eyes – like, *sigh* “This again? Damn that demon thing.” Never mind the gun pointed at his head.
Truly you can’t help but feel sorry for Cole, even if he’s trying to kill one of our two favourite Winchester brothers. His grief has fueled him for all these years and he never really knew the truth about it. His father was the monster in the story and if Dean hadn’t been there, he and his mother might be dead. I suppose he accepted Dean’s story as readily as he did because this time around Cole knows there are monsters out there, he was holding the gun on Dean after Dean had handed it to him and finally, Dean sincerely remembered every detail of the night and his father’s name. There was no flippancy, only genuine honesty including how Dean felt about himself and did Cole really want that reality for himself and his own family. It was a strong scene, well acted by all involved. Fingers crossed this isn’t the last we see of Cole. Although they’ve resolved the issues between Cole and Dean – wouldn’t it be interesting to see him work with the Winchesters on a case? Such potential!
Finally, despite the fact there isn’t truly much direct interaction between them, the brothers have some significant interface in this episode as well and it would be remiss of me to not address it. Dean makes this speech for Cole, but Sam is right there to intake every word is brother says – and it’s powerful:
The brothers have before, at one point or another along their journey, referenced how they will die or being beyond saving. In this case where Dean references touching “darkness” he seems to be alluding to the Mark of Cain and the dark that always lives inside him now as a result – in addition to everything that may weigh on him from his demonic months. Saving isn’t an option – only stopping him before it pushes him too far.
When Sam asks him about it later, Dean of course denies the truth behind his words but Sam’s face suggests he (a) doesn’t believe that and (b) has ever mounting concern building on what we saw at the end of last week. And warranted, I’d say.
Dramatic. Emotional. Action-packed. Plot development. All things that describe this episode and what made it another successful part of the first half of season ten in my books. The brothers are still a united front yet we have the base being set for some angst – not in a divisive way either. Hannah is gone and it was handled fairly well and Castiel appears to finally be getting set on a personal path. Crowley is poised for some fun and games all his own that will surely involve the boys too. All in all, Girls, Girls, Girls was fun, fun, fun for the whole audience – and some handy lessons in improvisational armaments (note to self: in a desperate situation, break off heel for defensive weapon against attacker)