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So while Dean calls Cas "The Hamburglar," their conversation is drowned out my Sam's now growing struggle in the bathroom. He's got the shakes and is hanging onto the wall for support. Dean tells him it's time to roll but Sam realizes he has to come clean. He tells Dean he can't and comes out of the bathroom looking like he's ready to barf. He can't go. Dean wants to know what he means. LOOK AT HIM DEAN!!! Can't you see something isn't right??? Sam thinks it got to him. He thinks he's hungry for it. No Sam, you KNOW you are. Dean wants to know what. Sam tells him he knows. "Demon blood?" Dean asks with irritation. Sam looks down in shame. Dean can't believe it and gets all huffy again. He turns to Cas and tells him he's got to beam Sam out of there, like to Montana or anywhere but there. Cas says it won't work, the hunger won't stop. Yeah, but I'm willing to bet there's a shortage of demons in Montana. In the meantime, Sam is all woozy like he's going to do a face plant. 

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Dean wants to know what to do then. "You got to cut that bastard's finger off," Sam says. Dean takes another good look at Sam, and now Sam's predicament is sinking in a little harder. Dean turns to Cas and decides that's the plan. "But Dean, before you go, you better lock me down. But good." That last part tinges with desperation. Dean nods in disturbed agreement. Next, Dean handcuffs Sam to the piping of the bathroom sink and tells him to hang in there. "Be careful, and hurry," Sam pleads. I actually find this brotherly exchange strange. Dean is concerned, but I don't think he has a strong idea what's happening with Sam or what he could do if he gives into his hunger. Maybe Dean sees it as nothing more than a junkie needing a fix. Sam has every idea, but I'm curious if Dean thought Sam just needed to control himself and he'd be fine. Dean's long look at Sam before leaving hints that's what's going through his head. Maybe Dean's reaction something to do with that whole being dead inside thing. Whatever it is, he finds out the hard way later.
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Castiel easily pushes a large armoire in front of the bathroom door and they're off. Right, like that's going to hold Sam. He moves such pieces with his mind! Dean and Castiel show up at the coroners and we meet the phantom Marty. He's pretty upset, surprised they hadn't heard. The next victim is none other than the doc himself. It seems he was dry for 20 years and he went home and suddenly drank himself to death. Too bad, I liked that guy. Castiel tries to explain its Famine, but Dean asks for a minute. "Crap, I really kind of liked this guy." You see! Castiel puts his hand on the corpse and finds the soul hasn't been harvested yet. Time for a stake out!

Back to Sammy who's on the verge of total meltdown in the bathroom. He's heavily panting and the heart pumping sounds are softly ringing in his head. I don't think Dean and Castiel are hurrying enough. Yes, it's killing me to see Sam in such agony. 

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Dean is in the Impala, inconspicuously staking out the outside of the medical clinic. There's a sound of flapping wings and suddenly Castiel is in the passenger seat. He has a bag and pulls out another burger.  "Are you serious?" Dean asks. There you go again Dean. Can't he tell that whatever Famine is doing, the impulses are uncontrollable? Cas takes a ravenous bite and smiles. "These make me so happy." You know Cas, if you're happy, so am I. Dean wonders how many that's been. He lost count. In the low hundreds. Good thing he's an angel. You know that makes him the exception to the rule too. 

Cas raises a point that we've been wondering about for a while now. "What I don't understand is, where's your hunger Dean?" Dean needs an explanation. Everyone in the town is falling victim to Famine except Dean. He seems unaffected. "When I want a drink, I drink. When I want sex I go get it. Same goes for a sandwich or a fight." Cas asks a great question. "So, you're saying you're just well adjusted?" "God no," Dean says, which is very much the truth. "I'm just well fed." I honestly think Dean believes this right now. It's a pretty sound explanation. Cas spots demon in a dark suit and an Escalade. Time to follow. With the Impala. Good thing such a car doesn't stand out. 

Back to Sam, who's going bat shit crazy now. He's sweating, yelling in frustration and yanking on the cuffs, trying to pull out the sink pipes, but they won't give. Wow, they're pretty strong considering how strong Sam is. He hears a noise and assumes it's Dean and Cas. He's not taking this as good news. "Guys, what happened? I don't think it worked. I think I'm still..." Demons open the door. "...I'm still hungry." It's a she demon and he demon and they're just as stupid if not worse than the other guy Sam faced. No wonder Lucifer doesn't like demons. The woman relishes over how Sam is all "trussed up" and even though the orders are not to kill him, they could break off a few pieces. Hello, dumb bitch??? This is Sam Winchester, the prodigy so powerful he took out Lilith. You're going to provoke him when he's this unhinged? Fine, learn the hard way.

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He demon comes over and Sam eyes him like he's lunch. Stupid idiot breaks the cuffs and Sam within two seconds takes him out with a punch and does a running tackle on she demon right through the glass coffee table. What do you know, the perfect neck slicing weapon. Sam with massive desperation jams a piece of glass into her neck, slices, and goes for his snack like he hasn't eaten in weeks. Other demon comes out of the bathroom and she demons begs him to get Sam off of her. He tries lifting but ginormo his clinging on tight. He's like a wild animal who won't let go of his prey. 

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He demon picks up a coat rack but it's too late. Sam has what he needs. He lifts himself off she demon, whips out his hand and does one wicked TK toss of the demon across the room knocking him out. Awesome! There's Sammy's powers! I so missed you! Welcome back! The camera pulls in on Sam's face, which is all bloody and his crazy eyes are in full flare.  We then get THE most chilling line of the season. "Wait your turn." Whoa Sammy! You're darkside again. Now that's delicious!  

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# Tlieso 2010-02-20 23:01
Even the recap of this episode made me cry. The ending is just too much. Poor Dean. Wonderful job on the screen caps. Their expressions are just amazing. Especially the one of Sammy with the blissed out bloody smile, so very very creepy.
I had the same reaction to Cas eating the "White Castle" burger. Wrong wrong wrong. It's not like they couldn't have used the publicity. lol
Great job on the recap! It's going to be a painful couple weeks til Hellatus is over.
# Karen 2010-02-20 23:34
Hi Alice
I love the humour you bring to your reviews, it helps lighten those heavy hearted ones.
Although this episode had some light moments, I have to admit this one left me rather depressed.
My heart just breaks for both Sam and Dean. I just wish they could get a break.
I knew this year was going to be quite the emotional roller coaster and would get very dark, but it still kills me to watch them go through all this heartache.

I too, don’t believe for a moment that Dean is dead inside, just severely depressed.
I still think all these D**ks (Lucifer, Zack, Michael etc..) are just trying to beat down Dean’s spirit and Free will. If they can get him to believe that there is no free will and only destiny then he will give up and say Yes to Michael.

As for Sam, whether he is addicted to the blood or the power, it is still an addiction.
I’m worried that it can still be used as a vice to manipulate Sam into saying Yes.
# Crystal 2010-02-21 07:20
That's a good recap!...I agree, it's one of the best episodes this season :-)...keep up the good work to give more great reviews!
# Randal 2010-02-21 08:26
Your recaps are too short. Where are all the little details, the nuance? Aside: I hope you realize that your recap for the season finale is going to be 37 pages. 8-)

Wait, there's a White Castle open that late?

Black comedy is the best and Edlund is the master. Firearms to work? Hey, those things cost money. Far cheaper to drown one's sorrows in booze, no?

I loved this coroner and couldn't help think of his total opposite, the weak-stomach in From Hell. As for Sam's swanky threads, insurance agent blends in so much better than male model. Don't want to attract too much attention. Sorry, ladies. Muah.

Re: stupid demon. I'm probably overthinking, but perhaps Famine's power extends to his minions and can make them extra one-track-mind. Or, more likely, he's just really stupid. There's gotta be *some* demons who passed the SAT, right?

Re: souls. More geek fan nitpicking/curi osity, but the coroner's soul was still there. What's the time frame from death to when it goes flying to the Happy Hunting Grounds or Elysium or Valhalla or the South Pacific?

Re: demon blood. I'm on board with your theory. It's not physical, it's completely psychological. He doesn't need it in the respect that our organs need oxygen carried by the circulatory system. Complete mind/soul gig. And that's the rub: when will SAM get that, climb that hill to where HE is the master of his abilities, known and yet to be discovered.

Re: seeing is believing. Yes! Most notably in 2.13, but other places as well, this is why Dean just didn't get it. Sometimes I get the vibe that fans have expected Dean to know what we know. It's one thing to knock off Samhain, but to incapacitate a freaking Horseman? In the immortal words of little Ben, that's *epic.*

Dead inside would mean ennui, absolute zero. He's not dead, just as lost as a man whose car broke down in the middle of the Gobi desert without a map to tell you that the nearest road is 100 miles that way.
# JulieUk 2010-02-21 09:20
Alice, thank you, what a wonderful recap, it`s like watching all over again, not that I have not already watched so many times that I have lost count, as have so many of us I imagine.
Saw one review for this episode which said it was the sickest hour of tv the reviewer had ever seen and also one of the most wonderful,how right they were. Ben Edlund is a genius-- A very twisted sick genius -- but a genius.
At the end I find myself yelling at the tv Deans own words from Devils Trap, when Meg tries to convince them that John is dead, HE`S NOT DEAD,HE`S NOT, HE CANT BE. No one dead inside could now be in so much pain. I think that the last straw was that he finally saw the full on super vamped up Sammy (Oh Sammy!) let`s face it that would be a bit of a shock for anyone , did it not shake us up a bit.
Was anyone else totally freaked out by Famine? Not since Bloody Mary crawled out of that mirror has any thing given me chills like he did.
Damn these stupid Hiatus things, why on earth cant we just keep going! They break our boys and then just leave them and leave us to fret and suffer for weeks. We need to band together people for mutual support.
# Jasminka 2010-02-21 11:13
Alice, well, as I’m not at work I don’t mind killing time with this awesome recap.

This episode is so full, I can hardly breathe… from all the tears and the thoughts running through my head. It had some fine one-liners (personal fave: ‘He’s not incontinent’) , a lovely MacGuffin in Cupid and the heart-wrenching that followed he encounter with him. I guess the Edlund only needed Cupid to get the heartbreak going, and boy, it happened…

Do we really believe that Sam eats mostly salads? Unless they are spiced up with some Croatoans (forgive me Randal, this was too tempting not to give in…) I can’t imagine how he got that big. You need protein to build up muscle, ah, wait, all that demon blood… When we think of how much Jared need to eat to keep up that form (as he stated in an interview once), we should be allowed an image of a eating Sam – you know, the occasional steak, preferably rare (my favourite, come on)… apart from that, a person who loves to eat can be quite sexy… okay, gutter-time again.

I concur with your thesis that Sam’s hungry for power and that he doesn’t need the blood to work his mojo. We’ve heard it before: ‘You didn’t need the feather to fly’ which one might read: You didn’t need the blood to be powerful.

He said himself in GoodGod,Y’all , I believe, that he missed being powerful. After all, if we look at growing power as an equivalent of growing up and becoming your own person that would be something Sam wanted to feel early on. He left home to pursue his goals; he turned to Ruby to get away from Dean who wouldn’t let him grow up. Having that kind of power he was given by YellowEyes distinguishes him from his brother and the family business, makes him unique, but he never wanted to stand out.

Sam obviously has not understood yet that he is the powerful one, not the blood. Judging from the degree of fear that has been poisoning the Winchester minds for some time now, he might be just too afraid to accept the fact that he, indeed, is way more different than he is (still) ready to accept. That he is more than human. A freak, one of his biggest and earliest fears.

And fear, as we know, is a most powerful weapon. Sam still uses it against himself, shying away from the person he might be. Nelson Mandela once said ‘our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.’ Well, if that doesn’t apply to dear Sammy, I’m an idiot.

Jared played out those scenes with the vigour and emotionality we love him for – and, gosh, he would make such a fantastic vampire in another show or film…

And Dean, my God, of course he is not dead… But, let’s face it: can anyone blame him? After all he’s been through? Anyone would crumble down one way or another. He doesn’t eat as he used to, he drinks way more and his libido is a mess, I don’t need to get all shrinky here, do I? Dean’s spirits have been down for a while now, and he has not yet managed to get them back to his usual cheerful strength. Right now, I believe, his strength is mere discipline, countenance and posture. If he doesn’t find a way to get out of that dark pit he fell into, he will say yes to Michael.

Whatever he does, however much he fights, right now it appears to him that it’s all destiny anyhow. From his point of view, he must feel like he can’t win. He can’t save his brother, again. My heart breaks for him, as it has for both brothers countless times ever since I was watching the show.

One of the best episodes to date. The cruellest one, no doubt. Did I mention before that I hate being confronted with a hiatus once again?

Thank you Alice. These long recaps are to be savoured and relished, which I do.

Love Jas
# Supernarttu 2010-02-21 12:07
Wow Alice. You really outdid yourself in this one. I love it to bits! And all the pretty screencaps didn't hurt either :-)

This is without a doubt one of THE best eppies ever, the best of Ben Edlund for sure. I'm so at awe, he should def. play God if they ever go there. I mean, that title wouldn't be so far off ;-)
# Bevie 2010-02-21 17:45
Hi Alice

This recap was long? I thought it was a little bit too short. LOL! Really, the longer the better along with all those great screen caps.

Poor Dean isn't dead inside. If he was he would be a much happier shell. He has been crushed to the quick, the poor boy. How I yearn to help make him all better. (really missing happy bossy hungry sexy Dean)

Good for Sammy to come clean with his hunger for blood. That's a step up from the sneaking around of last season. And its a good thing that Dean has seen with his own eyes exactly how strong his Sammy really is. Hopefully Sam can realize that he doesn't need the blood to be strong and will accept who he is and then perhaps that strength can be used to help TEAM FREE WILL in their impossible fight.

A terrible place to leave us in a hiatus. Sam screaming in pain and withdrawal and Dean completely broken in his despair. They've gotten so low that surely there is no way to go but up for both of them.
# anene 2010-02-21 23:59
It's funny that you mentioned this Alice "It’s fascinating how watching Sam in the scene really shakes him to the core." Then we have Dean go outside and ask God for help. The only other time we've seen him do this was back in MATEOTB when he wanted help in getting Sam out of Lillith's path. Here, he is lost and doesn't know how deal with the Sam he has just witnessed coupled with his feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. Sam was the end of that rope he was holding at bay.

I've always been fascinated by how much the brothers are the only one's who can push each other's hidden and most painful and earth shattering buttons that it defines them. The death of the other, i think is up there and the aftermath. I firmly believe that if the brother's ever contemplate saying yes, it would have something to do with each other. Whether it be negative or positive is what i'll like to know.
# Ardeospina 2010-02-22 22:20
Great recap, Alice, as always!

I really liked this episode a lot. It was gory and funny and terrifying and heartbreaking and just really great. I hope the rest of the season stays at this high level.

I also don't think Dean is really dead inside, but I do think that he believes he is, which is just as bad. Hopefully, he gets some help because he, and Sam, really, can really use a break.