This show is making my brain hurt. That's always been a hazard with Supernatural but this season my head wants to explode only two episodes in. When Kripke stated his goal for season four was to hit the ground running he wasn't kidding. I'm thrilled.
I mean, look at episode two from the previous seasons. Wendigo, Everybody Loves A Clown, and The Kids Are Alright are hardly mentioned among the series greats, the first two making many worst lists. The latter was an improvement because the season three opener was a stinker, but it wasn't a ground breaker. Here the ground is not only broken, a giant chasm has opened and is sucking in us all. How awesome.
A Musical Intro in Episode Two?
Bonus, another classic rock intro! On comes "Lonely Is The Night" by Billy Squier, and the sequence put together is better than last weeks. That song is off of one of the most overplayed albums in the history of classic rock, "Don't Say No." Now I have a new great memory to go with that song instead of having to turn it off in boredom. This show has already done that for me with Styx's "Renegade" and Asia's "Heat Of The Moment", so why not Billy Squier?
A woman is asleep on the couch, holding "The Secret Teachings of All Ages." That's some pretty heavy reading to fall asleep to. I'm saving all philosophical discussions for the next part, so make note for now. Lights flicker, she goes to the arsenal, and we know from "Born Under A Bad Sign" that anyone with that collection of arms in their closet is a hunter. She booms away the first spirit, draws the salt line, and spirit comes back to scare the crap out of her. Apparently she knows him. She turns to find another spirit has stuck its hand into her chest. At least she went down swinging.
This episode is written by the always entertaining Sera Gamble, and the director is the always fantastic Phil Scrigga. That's likely why this episode feels comfortable and familiar to fans, even with all the new mythology we now have to overanalyze.
The conversation gets heavy right off the bat. I'm pleased though because if the whole angel thing had been glossed over or if Dean had kept that from Bobby and Sam, I would have been upset. I'm especially impressed he didn't try to hide the truth from Sam. Dean can't accept this is an angel while Sam is more than open to the idea and were taken back to "Houses of The Holy". I guess Sam still believes in angels and God. They argue while Bobby's face is buried in books and wisely staying out of the discussion. Considering the words "fairy dust" came up, I don't blame him.
Chuckleheads! For those counting, that's the third time they've been called that. Time for another trivia question. Who called them that the previous two times, and for extra credit, which episodes?
Bobby has the answer. Confirmed by several sources, biblical and otherwise, an angel can "snatch a soul from the pit." Dean wants to know what else, Bobby says nothing. Dean's really bothered now, while an elated Sam says, "This is becoming less and less about faith and more about proof." What would this show do without Jensen? In just a few simple lines, he hits us hard with Dean's overwhelming fears over what's real and what isn't. If angels exist than God must. "Why me? If there is a God out there, why would he give a crap about me?" Because you matter Dean, matter to us all.
Sam has a good answer too. "Apparently you're a regular guy that's important to the man upstairs." "Well that creeps me out. I mean I don't like getting singled out at birthday parties much less by God." Poor Dean. Crisis of faith can be such a bitch at times. "Too bad, because I think he wants you to strap on your party hat." Hee! Listen Dean, for Sam knows something about party hats.
Bobby has stacks of books on angels, so while Dean gets reading, Sam's on a food run. Don't we know from history that Sam going on runs for pie usually end badly? Next shot has Sam on the phone telling Dean, "Dude, when have I ever forgotten the pie?" The predictable but funny setup. It's great to see Sam driving the Impala as much as Dean. Hopefully that means they're back to the car sharing duties from season one.
Ruby's hiding around the corner, and Sam's surprised to see her. This is one of those scenes that comes across as simple time filler, but might prove to be very important later. Ruby is upset, for an angel "smites first and asks questions later". With a very concerned look, she tells Sam to watch himself. "I'm not scared of angels." She leaves with a "you'll find out" look on her face. Something tells me when Sam eventually does come across an angel, it won't be pretty.
Sam comes back to Dean and Bobby loading up the Chevelle, for they need to check on the hunter from the opening scene. Sure enough, he forgot the pie. Give Sam a break Dean, at least he came back from the pie run this time. They cut away from that scene too soon and ruined any chance to show Sam's reaction and Dean's displeasure. An opportunity lost.
They find the hunter with her insides out, grossing out Sam to no end. I can't believe things like this still bother him. After all he's seen? Bobby tries calling some other hunters, they aren't answering either. "Something's up, huh?" Oh Sam, you're so good at stating the obvious. Sure enough, the scene goes to another hunter's house that Dean tries to call, he's dog food much like the female hunter.
Sam and Dean leave said hunter's house after making the discovery, and Dean calls Bobby. He checked out two other hunter's houses. "They've redecorated, in red." Obviously something is going on. The plan is to get back to Bobby's house fast. Yeah, that will happen without incident.
We haven't seen the boys put gas in the car since season one and Sam's never done it. Notice how the fuel neck is behind the license plate? That was standard for GM vehicles until about 1973 when they moved to the side. It was about then that several lawsuits happened because when a side collision happened the tank would explode. There's more proof that the Impala was built with sheer perfection. No, growing up in Detroit didn't warp my knowledge of cars. Why do you ask?
Sorry, back to the show. Sam goes to the bathroom while Dean's asleep in the Impala. Sam's breath fogs and the mirror frosts over. Not good. Sam swipes it and jumps when sees Henricksen. Great acting there Jared! After 61 episodes he can still pull off scared by ghosts. I didn't like the quick flashbacks giving a history of each of the dead characters. They weren't necessary and a bit heavy handed. Hendricksen rants at Sam for being dead and blames him for doing this to him, then attacks Sam. He throws him around a bit and slams Sam's head into a sink twice. That'll leave a mark. How is that boy even conscious? That's one thick head. Dean shows up with the rocksalt shotgun and Henricksen is dust.
Bobby is at his house, and the lights are flickering and his breath fogs. Uh oh. I think I see a pattern. Armed with the iron poker, Bobby explores. The radio turns on and moves up and down the dial, the creepy backtrack plays and Bobby goes to the stairs. A ball bounces down, and two sorry looking twin girls are there. Judging by Bobby's reaction, he's not happy to see them.
Dean is trying to call Bobby, but there's no answer. At least Sam has a nice shiner at his eyebrow where he took that hit on the sink. Dean is still concerned. "How many fingers am I holding up?" "None," Sam replies, insisting he'll be fine. Sam tells him Henricksen wanted revenge because they got him killed. Dean doesn't want to hear that guilty crap. "If you're not thinking answers, don't think at all."
This has already been a fantastic episode for Impala lovers. Many glory shots! My favorite is the Impala thundering to Bobby's house because he won't answer the phone. They search the house and there's no sign. Something better not have happened to Bobby in the second episode of the season. That would suck. Dean takes upstairs while Sam gets the salvage yard, and we get a virtual feast of guess that classic car! I'm only going with the four on the left. The first is roughly a 69 Camaro (hard to tell with no good front view), the second is a mid 80's Oldsmobile Cutlass, third is a 1970 Plymouth Duster and the fourth is someone messing with us. It's a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, which is a car collectors dream. I can't imagine something like that is in Bobby's salvage yard and it's likely a replica. In the background in is the Impala and Sam, outshining them all.
Sam's in the junkyard calling for Bobby and getting no answer. That's because he's being held quiet in one of the junkers by the two angry girls. Cut to Dean upstairs with foggy breath and suddenly there's Meg Masters before she was a demon meatsuit. Her hair is the way it used to be, and she's angry, bitter, and ready to take it all out on Dean. Dean says "Meg?" and she gives the wicked smile and says "Hi!" At least Dean is getting to know his angry spirit. Oh, Bobby's hallway upstairs is red. Again with the red walls. Given the red titles, this must mean something.
Dean talks to Meg some more, who claims she's not a demon. "Nice to finally talk to you when I'm not choking, you know, on my own blood." Meg tells the story about how she was a college girl and got jumped by the black smoke one night. Meg goes on about how she was a prisoner in her own head while Dean listens with some serious guilt. I guess these spirits are meant to push buttons. She gets to the part where they had her thrown out of the building, essentially killing her as soon as the demon left her, and she's pissed about it. Dean keeps saying he's sorry and trying to explain, but she gets mad and beats on him anyway. Angry spirits are known to do that.
Meg goes on and on, Dean listens, and oh, there's some strange mark on her hand. That must mean something. Dean tells her they did the best they could, and she throws him down and gets madder. Next the two girls go off on Bobby for getting them killed. Meanwhile Sam out in the yard has steaming breath issues of his own. He opens trunks trying to find Bobby while the scene cuts back to Bobby getting a mouth full from the girls. The girls try to suffocate him next.
Now back to Dean, who listens to Meg's sob story about her little sister killing herself after she died because it crushed her so badly. You know, at this point, I wish these whiny spirits would shut up. Life sucks. Shouldn't death be better? Dean isn't doing much either, just lying there on the ground listening to the story. There must be something about the spirits that grabs the attention or something. It's really weird. She kicks Dean some more.
Back to Sam, who finally looks up and catches the frosted glass in the car up above. He climbs up just to get kicked down and slammed into a windshield of one of those classic cars below. Ouch! Little girl comes down but Sam still has frame of mind to swipe her with a crowbar. Poof, she's dust. Bobby does the same with the other girl and Dean inside does the same to Meg by shooting down an iron chandelier in this rather large extra room Bobby has upstairs. Man does he have a big house.
Dean guesses they're people they couldn't save, which really adds to Bobby's guilt more than anything. Dean mentions the brand on the hand and Sam remembers it from Henriksen. The things you remember as your head connects with a porcelain sink. Sam draws it on a piece of paper because he's still a walking encyclopedia of weirdness. The lights flicker so Bobby grabs some books and declares they're going "someplace safe you idgit." I swear I need to come up with a pet name for Bobby.
A confused Sam and Dean follow to the basement, where Bobby opens an iron door and reveals a supernatural panic room! Walls made solid iron coated with salt, a ceiling fan with a devil's trap, tons of weapons, a desk and a bed. I'm wondering why Sam and Dean never spotted the giant iron door before. You'd think they would have checked it out by now.
Sam and Dean look around as the camera point out every detail. Bobby closes the door and mentions the wall are "Solid iron, completely coated in salt. One hundred percent ghost proof." Sam smiles. "You build a panic room?" "I had a weekend off." Ha! Dean then looks at him, grins, and says "You're awesome." Then he sees the dated poster of Bo Derek from "10". She doesn't look like that now. If anyone remembers the scene of Bo Derek running down the beach with dreadlocks while "Bolero" plays in the background, well, you're old like me.
Sam and Dean are making the rocksalt shells and Dean brings up the God thing. He brings up the philosophical question for the ages. "You see, this is why I can't get behind God. If he doesn't exist, fine, bad crap happens to good people, that's how it is. There no rhyme or reason, just random, horrible, evil, i get it, okay, I can roll with that. But if he's out there, what's wrong with him? Where the Hell is he as all these decent people are getting torn to shreds. How does he live with himself, why doesn't he help?"
Sam avoids an answer this time, looking at Bobby. "I ain't touching this one with a ten foot pole." Bobby found the symbol, mark of the witness. The witness to the unnatural. They didn't have ordinary deaths. They were forced to rise and woke up in agony. He doesn't know who it is, but the spell is so powerful it left a mark. This is called the "Rising of the Witnesses," which is an ancient prophecy from the non-tourist version of Revelations. Judging by the Hebrew he was reading he has the real doom and gloom version. This is a sign of the Apocalypse. Man I'm going to have to put in some time studying my biblical folklore. I always goofed off in Sunday school. Then again, they weren't teaching the end of the world to fifth graders.
Dean can't grasp this. ""¦the four horsemen, the pestilence, five dollar gallon of gas apocalypse?" Ha! Sera Gamble's been following the SAG negotiations. Sam wants to know what they do now, Dean says road trip. "Grand Canyon, Star Trek The Experience, Bunny Ranch." Dean really needs to take that trip to Nevada and Arizona he's always wanted. Hear me now Mr. Kripke, I demand we get the episode! Spoof it as a Supernatural version of the Brady Bunch, I don't care. I just want to see it. The Star Trek Experience is closing, so they better hurry, but they've got plenty of time for the Bunny Ranch. I think Sam would get more out of that trip though.
Bobby wants to survive what's out there first, and has a spell to send the witnesses back to rest. It should work if he translates it correctly. I have faith he will, because Bobby is that awesome. They have to do it over the open fire in the library. With shotguns loaded they come out and run into Ronald from "Nightshifter". He was a lot cooler in that episode than this one. Bobby blows him away because he's not sucked in by the guilt like Dean. "If you're going to shoot, shoot. Don't talk." That's straight out of The Good The Bad and The Ugly, the best of all the spaghetti westerns. Bobby is the winner in the best lines contest tonight.
Bobby sends Sam upstairs and Dean to the kitchen for needed supplies while trying to ignore those little girls during his setup. Sam searches and I'm wondering what's in all those bedrooms at Bobby's house, especially when Sam and Dean slept on the couch and floor. Sam runs across Meg who calls him out on what he's been doing lately. Why doesn't he send Ruby back to Hell for possessing all those people like her? "You're a monster!" Sam gets angry and blows her away. Hmm, doth protest too much Samuel? She's got you there.
Back to Dean, who faces Henricksen in the kitchen and again Dean is ridiculed by guilt when Henricksen tells the gruesome tale about Lilith's long torture in the jail. Henricksen reaches right into Dean's chest and grabs his heart! Yikes! Henricksen really twists the guilt screws now, asking why he died while Dean was saved from Hell. Why does Dean get another chance. I think Dean's trying to figure that out. Dean grunts in agony but a shotgun appears and Sam blows Henricksen away. "You alright?" Sam asks. "No!" Dean yells while writhing in pain. What answer did Sam expect?
Back in the study with Bobby and Ronald appears in front of Dean. "I'm going to eat you alive." Dean replies, "Well, I'm not a cheeseburger." Huh? What happened to you are what you eat? Anyway, Meg, then Henricksen, then the girls over and over again come after them. Sam and Dean blow them away while Bobby does the ritual, but they can't load the ammo fast enough and Dean's shotgun goes flying. A desk slams into Sam, and I get really disappointed. I was waiting for Sam's powers to kick in and he throw the desk off with one hand swipe. He thought about it judging by his look but we don't find out because Meg does the heart grab trick on Bobby. Dean casts the bowl contents into the fire and the ghosts go away. Crisis averted.
Sam's asleep on the couch (and looking so yummy), Dean's on the floor, and Castiel is in the kitchen. Cool! Misha Collins by the way is blown away by all the attention he's been receiving lately. I say it's well deserved. Dean gets up and goes to his visitor, whose congratulating him on the good job with the witnesses. Dean isn't taking that as a compliment, since he almost had his heart ripped out of his chest. "But you didn't," Castiel says. Ah, an optimist!
Dean goes on. "I thought angels were supposed to be guardians, halos, fluffy wings, you know, Michael Landon. Not dicks." Castiel is still patient, challenging him to read the Bible. "Angels are warriors of God. I'm a soldier." Castiel tells him they had larger concerns than to help Dean with his fight. Dean questions where his boss is and why he's not there to help, allowing all these horrible things to happen to people. Castiel gives the standard, "The Lord works... but Dean interrupts, "If you say in mysterious ways so help me I will kick your ass." You know how long I've wanted to say that to a holy being?
Bobby was right about the witnesses and that's why the angels are there. It's one of the 66 seals. "I guess that's not a show in Sea World." Oh, Dean and his lines! They're being broken by Lilith. Twenty hunters are dead and even though the witnesses are gone, the seal is broken so the damage is done. The seals are like locks on a door. If all the seals are broken, Lucifer walks free. Dean doesn't believe there's a Lucifer. "Three days ago, you didn't think there was such a thing as me." He's got a great point Dean.
"Why do you think we're here, walking among you for the first time in 2,000 years?" Oh, so that's why no one has seen angels yet. Dean sarcastically commends him on the job with the witnesses, and Castiel mentions they tried, but they can't win it all. Their numbers are not unlimited, and six of his brothers died in the field this week. I guess we need to remember that for later. "You think the armies of Heaven should just follow you around? There's a bigger picture here. You should show me some respect. I dragged you out of Hell, I can throw you back in." Dean, sorry dear, but you had that coming. You don't berate an angel and expect to get away with it.
Dean wakes up, so his conversation was a dream. Dean asks Sam if he has no problem believing in God and angels, does his believe in the devil? Sam asks why. End with Dean's worried look. Oh boy, this is getting interesting.