Summary: This episode was written by Robbie Thompson and directed by PJ Pesce. The episode revolves around the discovery of an ancient magic book by Charlie and the search for Castiel’s grace.
The show breaks out into two major narratives. One thread follows Charlie’s flight from a family who wants possession of the book and her meeting up with the boys again. The second thread follows the road trip from hell for poor Castiel, who is trying to get Metatron to lead him to his stolen grace.
When we first see Charlie she continues her badassness by taking on guys in an alley who are chasing after her. We learn that the book she carries “belongs” to their family. She escapes, after a pretty BAMF fight scene and ends up in a phone booth, where she contacts Sam and Dean.
The guys have just been discussing Dean’s encounter with Crowley and Rowena, including finding out about the mark being a curse and the soap opera moment of Rowena being Crowley’s mom. The conversation is interrupted by Charlie’s frantic call. She tells them about the book, which she found in her worldwide trip, and she describes how the book is the book of all curses and their cures – a scary thing that may be able to help Dean. The brothers direct her to a cabin that Bobby had for hunters as they prepare to meet up with her. Dean seems hopeful (as the rather glorious “Boys are Back in Town” blares from the Impala’s radio). There’s a nice brother moment about vacations after the cure.
As the boys go to meet Charlie, Castiel is stuck in his old car (poor thing) with Metatron (poorer thing). There is a nice back and forth chemistry between the two, banterwise, as Metatron pokes at Castiel. At one point, while on the phone with Sam, Castiel asks to kill Metatron. When Sam says no, Castiel satisfies his urge by punching Metatron…twice. (Castiel is me, here.) Metatron takes Castiel on a winding journey that includes a bad diner meal with some really deep dialogue about humanity and then some horrible consequences of bad diner food (not suitable for audiences). After leaving the diner, they encounter a Cupid, who is really pissed about Metatron’s and Castiel’s destruction of heaven. The Cupid pulls out his angel sword and struggles with Castiel. He almost kills Cas but Metatron kills the Cupid first. It’s a bonding moment….or is it?
Back at the cabin, Charlie, Dean, and Sam try to figure out the book and Dean knows something is wrong with the book. It speaks to him and seems to want him to do terrible things. They figure out the book belonged to a really bad, ancient family line named Styne. Dean insists that they destroy the book but Sam hesitates. He and Charlie want to translate it, to save Dean. Dean doesn’t want to pay the price here. It’s too high. There’s tension between Sam and Dean, so Dean leaves to pick up some snacks they promised Charlie. Left alone, Charlie and Sam share a nice dialogue scene where Charlie talks about being a hunter and Sam affirms that this is the life he wants and that he wants that life with his brother.
As we return to Castiel and Metatron, we find that Metatron had another angel hide Castiel’s grace in a library because no one uses them anymore. (Nice cultural commentary there, Thompson.) The angel left a riddle about mad men and the things they will do. As they move through the library, Metatron activates a trap that starts to kill Castiel. Just as Metatron is about to win, Castiel finds his grace and inhales it, as Metatron quickly exits stage right. His wings seemed tinged but yay for Castiel’s returned grace!
We find Dean in the gas station buying snacks when he is attacked by the Styne family. They are intrigued by his having the mark and warn him that using the book comes at a very high price, a destructive price. He fights them off and escapes back to the cabin. Just as he is yelling at Sam to destroy the book, the family barge in and a fight ensues. We see Sam throw the book in the fire just as the very handsome Jacob tries to kill him. Sam knifes him and we watch the book burn.
Back at the bunker, the long awaited meeting of Castiel and Charlie takes place. The gang sit around the table and have pizza but just as we think that all is well, a flashback shows us that Sam didn’t burn the book. Instead he went to the most surprising person for help….Rowena. Oh Sam, no.
This was a fantastic episode in my opinion. Great interactions and arcs for all the characters and the direction was, in my estimation, some of the best of the season. The episode had a great feeling to it, almost invocative of an independent film with its shots and angles.
Kudos to Thompson and Pesce. They are a great team.
Do you think Dean will find out about Rowena and Sam soon and what will be his reaction?
Will the Styne family continue hunting Charlie?
Now that Cas’s grace is back, what is the answer to Metatron’s question? What is Cas’ mission?
How far will Sam go for his brother?
What are the costs of using this book?
So what are your thoughts, reactions, feelings? Leave them here!