Samuel and Mary arrive at the farm playing priest and parishoner. Mary goes to talk to a kid while Samuel goes to the door. Dean is already there in his priest outfit! That makes me sad, because it just isn't right without Sam. This is the point in the episode where I realize I'm really missing Sam. Dean plays up that Samuel is there "senior, senior priest" Father Cheney. Good one. Jeremy Carver used the Dick Cheney reference before in Sin City. I know, I can't wait until he's gone too. Did you notice anything unusual? Samuel asks. You mean like my husband's guts fertilizing the back 40? Ask a stupid question, feel lucky you get a great smart ass answer.
Dean joins Mary talking to the kid, the dead farmer's son, who unwittingly made a deal with someone and a week later his dad is dead. The person didn't want anything, just to make a call ten years from now. Then he drops the bomb on the eye color, yellow! He made a deal with Azazel. Cut to one very upset Dean, who tells the Campbells this guy killed his family and they're in danger. He talks about the colt and Daniel Elkins, and Samuel calls it a "bedtime story." Dean carelessly pulls out John's journal and in reading the passages reveals, My dad could see the future. Oh, great cover there. Hunters just love that psychic crap. They identify the next victim.
Now for the scene that tears me apart. I realize when Jensen is in a scene he attracts the best qualities of an actor like a magnet (Jared being the best example), but he and newcomer Amy Gumenick especially had something extraordinary between them. Mary is going through albums (Ha! Anyone remember doing that?) and Dean comes in announcing he's leaving. He tells her it doesn't matter what her dad thinks, that John is a great kid. Yeah, you won't be saying that about him in thirty-five years. Dean asks what John's like and Mary talks dreamily about John, saying "He's sweet, kind, and after everything, after the war, he still believes in happily ever after. He's everything a hunter isn't." She excitedly reveals that he's going to ask her to marrying him, and how about she's finally going to get out of her life. She hates hunting, wants a family, and wants to be safe. Wow, that's exactly what Sam wanted in the pilot too. He couldn't escape though and the life sucked him back in. Turns out his mother couldn't escape either. How tragic. I'll never be able to watch the pilot the same again.
Mary sets off the collective sobbing when she says, You know the worst thing I can think of, the very worst thing, is for my children to be raised into this like I was. I won't let it happen. Dean understandably is crushed. It's so tough for him to hear that knowing the outcome. He fights through his distress to tell her on November 2, 1983 not to get out of bed, but can't make it through without breaking into tears. I'm pausing the TiVo now and going to dig out another box of Kleenexes.
I'm scratching my head, trying to figure out how Dean got from Eastern Kansas to the mountains of Colorado and back to Lawrence in a Pinto so quickly. My mother couldn't get to the other end of town in one of those rust buckets. Climbing hills can't be considered either, so Dean probably had to get out and push once he got to a mountain. But hey, at least the fuel economy was better.
Anyway, Dean's on his two state Pinto trek, and poof, there's Castiel. God is my copilot. He has to be in that death trap. Dean asks why Sam couldn't see this (thank you!) and Castiel reveals Dean had to do this alone. Dean worries that Sam is tearing up the future looking for him. "Sam's not looking for you," Castiel says. Nope, he's off yanking black smoke out of possessed humans. Oh, did I give something away? Castiel also warns Dean that if he tries to save his parents, his father, he and Sam will never become hunters, and all those people they saved will die. Dean is aware, but that's not stopping him. He won't let his parents die again. He can't. Castiel disappears before he gets an answer to that.
While this seems like the same dilemma from What Is And What Should Never Be, this time Dean's choice is different. He has the chance to save his family over saving others. When the choice involved his happiness over other lives it was no contest. Throw his family in the mix though and his dedication to saving the world is bound to change. Plus killing Yellow Eyes lets him carry on his most important task, saving Sam. I wonder if this visit in time is not only a glimpse, but a character test as well. Putting family first means he's more likely to effectively deal with Sam. Maybe that's why Castiel told him the truth in the end.
What I don't understand is how Dean convinces Elkins to let him borrow the colt, but whatever, he got it. I'll dismiss for the sake of plot. Samuel tells Mary about Libby Walsh, she insists they save her since she's a friend of hers. Oh, so a total stranger is okay? Swarmy bible salesman talks to a woman about a deal and Grandpa barges in with a shotgun. Have these guys never dealt with demons before? They're hunters, right? Holy water and rock salt didn't exist in 1973 either? Was the early 70's the dark ages or something? Yellow Eyes has no problem overpowering both Samuel and Mary. Dean shows up with the colt, but as we've seen before, Yellow Eyes escapes in a black cloud in no time.