- Faellie was kind enough to let me share her recap and opinions of “Free To Be You And Me” from her livejournal site,
Eat It Twilight
Then: Sam’s addicted to demon blood, Jessica’s dead, Dean is Michael’s vessel, Castiel’s been resurrected and is looking for God, who is not on a tortilla. Sam and Dean have separated.
Now: Sam in bed, alone. Sleepless. Topless. But suddenly not alone: here is Jessica, white nightgown, lying alongside him and saying she missed her baby. “I’m dreaming”, says Sam. “No you’re not. What’s the difference, I’m here” says Jess, and they agree they’ve missed each other. There’s a bit of handholding. Jess accuses Sam of running away again. “No. It’s different now. Last time I wanted to be normal. This time I know I’m a freak”. Oh, Sam. “Semantics” says Jess, “even at Stanford you knew. You knew there was something dark inside of you. Deep down, maybe, but you knew. Maybe that’s what got me killed. I was dead from the moment we said hello.” No says Sam. “Don’t you get it” says Jess, “you can’t run from yourself”. Sam wants to know why she’s there, Jess says she’s trying to protect him from himself: “sooner or later the past is going to catch up to you like it always does. You know what happens then? People die. Baby, the people closest to you die.” Sam won’t make that mistake again, but Jess says “things are never going to change with you. Never”. And with that she’s gone. Blood, Supernatural title, and game on.
Under the subtitle “One week earlier” we see Sam having hitched a ride, getting out at the Great Plains motel, Garber, Oklahoma, burning his fake IDs in the sink, and finding a job in a bar. This is intercut with Dean out on the road in the Impala with an empty front seat beside him, hunting and killing a vampire (“eat it, Twilight”) in Greeley, Pennsylvania using the alias Detective Bill Buckner. The intercutting between the two stories emphasises the separate but still in many respects parallel lives Sam and Dean are living, and it’s done to the sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man: only episode 3 and already this season the hits just keep on coming.
Show moves out of montage mode when Castiel, having asked Bobby for directions, drops in right beside Dean who is cleaning vampire blood from his jacket in a motel sink. Dean and Castiel have obviously had some off-screen interaction we haven’t seen, as the first thing Dean does is remind Castiel of the chat they had about the human need for personal space. Castiel expects to find Sam and when he doesn’t see him asks where Sam is. Dean says he and Sam are taking separate vacations for a while and by the way can he have his damned necklace back please? But Castiel is keeping the necklace: he’s still looking for God and hopes to find him by first trapping and interrogating the archangel Rafael, who is rumoured to be walking the earth and is definitely the one who killed Castiel. Castiel asks for Dean’s help in finding Raphael. Dean thinks trying to trap and interrogate the “teenage mutant ninja angel” who has already killed Cas once is a bad idea: “You’re serious about this? So what, I’m Thelma and you’re Louise and we’re just going to hold hands and sail off this cliff together?” Cas points out that no angel will harm Michael’s vessel. “I need your help, because you are the only one who will help me. Please.” OK, at that Dean agrees. Rafael is in Maine and Castiel is about to do the two fingers to the forehead transfer, but Dean holds him off: “Last time you zapped me someplace I didn’t poop for a week. We’re driving.” Heh.
Back to Sam at work in the bar, and the waitress, Lindsey, is appreciative of the new scenery in town and curious as to why someone who is educated and intelligent enough to finish the New York Times Saturday Crossword is an itinerant busboy. She plays darts for dinner with Sam and his life story, Sam scores three bullseyes, putting off that dinner, and the TV news in the bar comes up with a hailstorm and forest fires.
Castiel has a lead on Rafael: a sheriff’s deputy in Waterville, Maine saw Rafael in his meat suit. Dean gets to straighten Cas’s tie and educate him in the ways of obtaining information from officialdom using FBI guise. As Dean explains “We’re humans, and when humans want something really, really bad, we lie. Because that’s how you become President.” Cas is endearingly inept, not being used to deception. Still, the deputy tells his story of a riot of 30 or 40 people fighting at a gas station, stopped by an explosion of white light which left devastation, and at the end one man, the mechanic, kneeling in the middle. Cut to the hospital where Rafael’s empty vessel is catatonic in a chair. “Is this what I’m looking at if Michael jumps my bones?” asks Dean. “No, not at all” says Cas. That’s all right then. But then Castiel adds “Michael is much more powerful. It’ll be far worse for you.” Oh joy.
Meanwhile Sam in Oklahoma has been researching Revelation omens of hailstorms, fire and blood, thinks of calling Dean but ends up calling Bobby, who’s sitting in a wheelchair back at his home. Dean and Bobby have been talking, because Bobby knows the guys have separated and Sam isn’t hunting. Sam thinks Bobby might want to find out what hunters are in the area and put someone on it. Bobby says “OK, let me see if I can think of the best hunter who might be in the immediate vicinity. Oh, that would be you.” Sam tells Bobby he’s got to sit this one out, and hangs up the phone.
Next scene is one of the preview clips: Cas and Dean are squatting in a house, Cas has fetched some rare oil from Jerusalem to use to trap Rafael at sunrise, says that odds are he’s a dead man tomorrow. and proposes spending his last night on earth sitting quietly. No last requests? asks Dean. Booze? Women? You have been with a woman before? Or an angel, at least? You mean to tell me you’ve never been up there doing a little cloud seeding?” “Look I’ve never had occasion.” “All right. There are two things I know for certain. One, Bert and Ernie are gay. Two, you are not going to die a virgin on my watch. Let’s go.” Has there been a Muppets reference on Show before?
Sam again, in the bar, and three hunters walk in who have been sent to the area by Bobby. There’s a major demon bloc party going on, and unnamed leader, Steve and Reggie need Sam to help. Sam turning them down doesn’t go well: “Look Sam no offence, but what baggage is so heavy it can’t be stowed away for the freaking apocalypse?” Waitress Lindsey is definitely intrigued by this encounter with Sam’s father’s hunting buddies and even more wants to know Sam’s story. That dinner is beginning to look harder to get out of.
Cut to Dean and Cas drinking beers in appears to be a cocktail bar in front with brothel rooms behind, but what would I know. Cas looks like a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs, but is persuaded to go to a back room with money in his pocket while Dean carries on drinking beer. “Dude, you full-on rebelled against heaven. Iniquity is one of the perks.” A piercing scream from the back then brings Dean running: Cas, rather dishevelled but still in his suit, tie and mackintosh, explains that he’d looked into the girl’s eyes and told her it wasn’t her fault her father left, he’d just hated his job in the post office. Props to the actress playing the prostitute for the job of being offended she does here. But as Dean says “This whole industry runs on absent fathers. It’s the natural order.” Two security goons arrive and Dean and Cas make a hasty exit through the back. Apparently Dean has made this sort of exit from such establishments in the past, but not for years.
Back to Sam, who’s finally been unable to get out of dinner with the waitress who wants to know his story and recognises him as a fellow recovering addict. “No one has ever done anything so bad they can’t be forgiven, they can’t change.”
Dean and Sam can trap Rafael in a circle of burning oil poured around the catatonic vessel in the hospital, provided they can call him to that vessel. Castiel’s seriously indecipherable incantation (although I suspect I heard the word “Nokia” in there somewhere, which would be as good an explanation as any. Oh great, now I’m chanelling that studio exec in Hollywood Babylon) finishes up with the more colloquial “I’m here, Rafael, come and get me you little bastard”. Yup, Castiel”s been spending plenty of time with Dean lately. Before the spell is done Dean asks “What is the average customer wait time to speak to an archangel?” Be ready, says Cas, and the burning oil makes a striking picture,but the next shot is the Impala with Dean and Cas driving back to the squat. As soon as they arrive, Rafael materialises in his vessel in the main room, to a very pretty arrangement of electricity arcing along the outline of his wings and a blackout along the eastern seaboard of America. Despite having been given this opportunity for some rather fetching showing off, Rafael is not amused. His main threat is to take Dean to Michael, and that he is much more imaginative than Zachariah at providing inducements to Dean to consent. But Dean and Cas have a circle of oil ready prepared, Dean lures Rafael into it, and Cas strikes the match. Rafael is trapped, making another pretty picture. Cas asks where God is, Rafael says didn’t you hear, God is dead.
Sam is clearing up in the bar when he is revisited by the hunters who were going after the demons. Well, revisited by two of them, as one was killed when they were jumped by 10 demons. Sorry says Sam. “Sorry doesn’t cut it, Sam”. “I’m sorry” says Sam. “Saying it twice doesn’t make it so, Sam” says the hunter. The demon they trapped has been saying things about Sam, the hunters want the truth, and waitress Lindsey will be the inducement to talk.
Dean and Castiel have Rafael trapped in a circle of fire, and Rafael is repeating Dean’s argument from previous episodes: the world is going to hell with dreadful things happening which God would not have let happen if he had been alive, Dean defends God as only Dean can “Oh yeah, then who invented the Chinese basket trick?” OK, I googled that and now I feel dirty. Don’t bother going there, it’s a stupid sex thing. “God ran off leaving no instructions and a world to rot” says Rafael. Hang on a minute, I thought God was dead, now he’s just absconded? Disappointing lack of intellectual rigour there for an archangel. Dean asks “Daddy ran away and disappeared. He didn’t happen to work for the post office, did he?” Perhaps those sleazy and out of character brothel scenes were included just for the sake of this Dean snark, but it really wasn’t worth it, Show. So what about the angels bringing on the apocalypse? “We’re tired”, says Rafael, “we just want it to be over. We just want paradise”. Wow, he really is channelling Season 4 Dean here. Who Dean is channelling here I really don’t want to know. Dean says “So God dies, and you think you can do whatever you want?” “Yes” says Rafael, “and whatever we want, we get”, bringing the storm that’s been raging outside right into the room.
Cut to Sam confronting the hunters, who are threatening waitress Lindsey in order to get Sam to say what’s happened. “It’s true. What the demon said, it’s all true. I did it. I started the apocalypse.”
Back to Dean and Castiel. Castiel, who so far has been standing silently listening to Dean and Rafael, finally speaks up. “If God is dead why have I returned? Who brought me back?” “Did it ever occur to you” says Rafael “that maybe Lucifer raised you? He needs all the rebellious angels he can find”. Castiel turns to leave, with Rafael still trapped in the circle of burning oil. Rafael threatens that if he is left trapped, one day he will find Castiel. Castiel says “maybe one day, but today you’re my little bitch”. Castiel has definitely been spending a lot of time with Dean. “What he said”, says Dean, and follows Castiel.
Cut back to Sam, who has a vial of demon blood forced down his throat by the two surviving hunters so that he will hulk out and kill the demons who killed their friend. Sam spits out the blood, wins the fight, and refrains from cutting any throats, telling the two hunters to leave. They’ll be back, but Sam isn’t planning to hang around. What waitress Lindsey makes of all this is anyone’s guess.
Dean and Cas are in the Impala. Dean gives Cas a pep talk about missing fathers: “There were times when I was looking for my Dad that all logic said that he was dead. But I knew in my heart that he was still alive. Who cares what some ninja turtle says, Cas, what do you believe?” “I believe he’s out there.” “Good. Then go find him.” “What about you?” asks Castiel. “What about me? I don’t know. Honestly? I’m good. I can’t believe I’m saying that, but I am, I’m really good.” “Even without your brother?” asks Castiel? “Especially without my brother” says Dean. “I mean I spent so much time worrying about the son of a bitch. I mean I’ve had more fun with you in the past 24 hours than I’ve had with Sam in years. You’re not that much fun.” Oh Dean. “It’s funny. I was so chained to my family, but now that I’m alone, hell I’m happy.” Oh Dean. Cas takes Dean at his word, and silently disappears on his quest to find God, leaving Dean alone in the Impala on a dark road, but still with a slight smile on his face.
For the last time, back to Sam, this time asleep in the motel and woken by Jess saying Sam to find Jess asleep beside him. Which makes it pretty clear what’s going on. Even so Sam gives Jess a kiss on the neck. The discussion is a follow up to the opener: Jess asks if Sam is going to carry on living with his head in the sand. Sam loves and misses Jess, but says she’s wrong: “People can change. There is reason for hope.” “No, Sam, there isn’t” says Jessica, morphing with an impressive correspondence of facial features into Lucifer in the guise of the Nick vessel. “How can you be so sure?” asks Sam to Jessica. “Because you freed me”, says Lucifer. That gets Sam out of the bed. “That’s right” says Lucifer “you know who I am. You are a hard one to find, Sam, harder than most humans. I don’t suppose you’ld tell me where you are?” “What do you want with me?” asks Sam. “Thanks to you I walk the Earth. I want to give you a gift. I want to give you everything.” “I don’t want anything from you” says Sam. “I’m so sorry, Sam I really am”, says Lucifer. “But Nick here is just an improvisation. Plan B. He can barely contain me without spontaneously combusting.” “What are you talking about” asks Sam. “Why do you think you were in that chapel? You’re the one Sam. You’re my vessel. My true vessel.” OK, that’s at least a good reason for God elevating Sam and Dean from convent to airplane in episode 1. And makes a nonsense of Rafael’s suggestion that Lucifer was involved with all the action at the start of episode 1. “No, that will never happen” says Sam. “I’m sorry but it will. I will find you, and when I do you will let me in. I’m sure of it.” “You need my consent.” “Of course, I’m an angel.” “I will kill myself before letting you in.” “I’ll just bring you back” says Lucifer – the same threat Zachariah made to Chuck. “Sam, my heart breaks for you. The weight on your shoulders. What you’ve done, what you still have to do. It is more than any one could bear. If there was some other way… But there isn’t. I will never lie to you. I will never trick you. But you will say yes to me.” “You’re wrong” says Sam. “No, but then again I know you better than you know yourself.” “Why me?” “Because it had to be you, Sam. It always had to be you.” Exit Lucifer, leaving Sam standing alone in the motel room.
Sam is Lucifer’s vessel, Dean is Michael’s vessel. Lucifer and Michael are on different sides of the war, but that doesn’t mean that Sam and Dean are. Sam and Dean are both on the side of the humans and the trick will be for them to act together to defeat the intentions of both Lucifer and Michael and their various angelic and demonic supporters. Individually both Sam and Dean can hold out against the forces massed against them, but neither will be able to provide victory on their own: they’ll need to come back together to do that.
The theological arguments about the life and death of God are remarkably simplistic so far. In fact, they haven’t been developed at all from Dean’s remarks at the start of the second Season 4 episode, Are You There God, It’s Me Dean Winchester. This is frankly rather disappointing: I would have thought that an archangel at least should have been able to do a bit better. Perhaps his inability to do so is the reason Rafael’s gone to the bad, but it’s a shame the villains aren’t a bit more thoughtful, as I like a really thoughtful villain. It makes the final victory of our heroes so much more impressive.
Hunters now appear to have the full information on Sam’s Season 4 activities, and the word will have gone out, with likely consequences for Dean and Bobby as well as Sam. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Sam’s got a hard row to hoe: Lucifer’s got some well-practised words, and obviously knows enough about Sam’s history to make good use of it in driving him in the direction he wants. Lucifer doesn’t lie? There’s the first lie, right there. But Sam has already had a year’s worth of Ruby’s temptation, and he won’t be fooled again (cue great rock song for a late season recap? pretty please?).
Much of this episode I liked. It’s the first one where Sam and Dean are never together and never speak even on the telephone, but that’s a necessary part of the story arc, and like episodes without the Impala makes us appreciate it more when we get it back. Bobby is beginning to deal with his disability (although the practicalities of life newly in a wheelchair in a completely unadapted house are left unaddressed), Castiel is working on his plan. Dean is mentally in a better place than he’s been in a long time, perhaps ever. And the rights and wrongs of Sam having been destined to be Lucifer’s true vessel will no doubt be hashed out at length in the meta.
For the first time ever in 5 seasons I seriously hated one part of an episode. The brothel, of course. I mean, WTF??? Out of character for both Dean and Castiel (although the actors made a pretty good job of trying to sell it), unnecessary to the story (although yes, I do get the parallel with Anna asking Dean for sex on her possible last night on earth, which might have given Dean the impetus), and in the worst possible patriarchal Hollywood taste. And while interference from the network about the content of the show can’t generally be a good thing, how did the CW allow this on a network aimed solidly at getting young women viewers? Major fail all round.