Family Matters Episode 6/7
Robin’s Rambles by Robin Vogel
"You're right, he looks terrible," pronounces Castiel, aka Dr. House, as a tied-to-a-chair Sam awakens from the savage beating Dean gave him. "You do this?" Cas continues. We see Cas through Sam's bleary vision as he comes to. "Cas?" asks Sam, his face still covered with blood. Cas opens one of Sam's eyes to peer into it. "Lemmee go," says Sam. Cas asks if he's felt feverish. "Have you?" demands Dean. "No," answers Sam, "why?" "Has he been speaking in tongues?" Cas asks first Sam, then Dean. "No," says Sam, "are you. . .diagnosing me?" "You better hope he can," says Dean cruelly as Cas tests Sam's neck pulse. "You think that there's a clinic out there for people who just pop out of hell wrong?" asks Dean nastily--"he asks, you answer, then you shut your hole, you got it?" "How much do you sleep?" Cas asks. "I don't," reveals Sam reluctantly. "At all?" asks Dean, stunned. "Not since I got back," says Sam. "And it never occurred to you that there might be something off about that?!" asks Dean. "Of course it did, Dean, I just never told you," says Sam. Cas exchanges a look with Dean, who says, "What?" "Sam, what are you feeling right now?" asks Cas. "Like my nose is broken," says Sam. "That's a physical sensation," says Cas, "how do you FEEL?" "I don't know," Sam answers. Cas looks at Dean again and slides off his belt. "Wha--uhhh," says Sam. "This will be unpleasant," says Cas. (I can only imagine the actors laughing and teasing during this scene!) "Bite down on this," says Cas, placing the doubled belt into Sam's mouth. Sam gazes at him, wondering WTF. "If there is someplace you find soothing, you should go there," adds the angel, "in your mind." Castiel reaches into Sam's gut, causing him to immediately cry out in agony. Sam bites down deep into the belt and cries out around it as Dean watches in consternation. (I can feel Sam's pain in my own gut, Jared's acting is that good.) Finally, Cas withdraws his fist and Sam opens his mouth, letting the belt fall as he grunts and gasps in pain. "Find anything?" Dean asks. "No," says Cas. "So that's good news?" asks Dean hopefully. "I'm afraid not," says Cas, "physically, he's perfectly healthy--it's his soul--it's gone." They all gaze at each other in dismay.
"I'm sorry, one more time, like I'm five," Dean coaxes Cas, "what do you mean, he's got no--" "Somehow, when Sam was resurrected, it was without his soul," says Cas, adding that he thinks it's still in the cage with Michael and Lucifer. "So is he even still Sam?" asks Dean, both looking at his brother and speaking of him in the third person as if he weren't even in the room. "It will pose an interesting philosophical question," says Cas. "Let's get it back," says Dean, "you pulled me out." "It took several angels to rescue you, and you weren't nearly as well-guarded," says Cas, "Sam's soul is in Lucifer's cage, there's a big difference, it's not possible." Sam has been quietly freeing himself from his bonds. "There's gotta be a way," insists Dean. "Okay, so are you gonna untie me?" asks Sam. "NO!" says Dean. "Listen, I'm not gonna--" begins Sam. "Dude," says Dean, "how am I even supposed to let you out of this room?" "Dean, I'm not some psycho," says Sam gently, "I didn't want you to get hurt, I was just tryin' to stop the vamps. . .I'm sorry, I won't ever let it happen again--please let me go." "You're kidding, right?" says Dean. "What are you gonna do, just keep me tied up in here forever?" asks Sam. "You say that like it's a bad thing," says Dean. "OK, fine, I get it, I was wrong," says Sam, "but I'm telling you, I'm trying to get right--it's still me." "Is it?" asks Dean. "Yes!" says Sam--"so just, let me go." "No way in hell," says Dean. "I didn't want it to come to this," says Sam, and slips out of his ropes and stands up, "you're not gonna hold me, Dean, not here, not in the panic room, not anywhere. You're stuck with the soulless guy, so you might as well work with me. Let's fix this." "I'm gonna be watchin' every move you make," warns Dean. "Fine," says Sam, "sounds about right to me." "Cas, clean 'im up," says Dean. Cas touches his fingertips to Sam's forehead. Sam dips his head down in a moment of discomfort, but when he raises his head, all the blood, and presumably, all the inside wounds, are gone. "If we're gonna find out what happened to your soul," says Dean, "we gotta find out who yanked you out, you say you don't know?" Sam doesn't. "Then we start a list," says Dean, "if it's so hard to spring someone out of the box, who's got that kind of muscle?" Cas doesn't know, but asks Sam, "You have no memory of your resurrection?" "I woke up in a field, that's all I got," says Sam, but he does have one clue. ??

The Impala enters the Campbell compound, where everyone is sharpening knives. Dean wonders if they're throwing a BBQ and left them off the e-vite list. Chris greets Sam with a hug. "Dean," he says like it's a dirty word. "Hello, Newman," says Dean in kind, "where's the man?" (LOL, SEINFELD ref!) Chris gestures behind him with his thumb. Dean bursts in on Samuel, causing him to hastily put away a piece of paper he was studying. "Come on in," says Samuel sarcastically. "We need to ask you a few questions," says Dean. "What's wrong?" asks Samuel. "The day you got back, what happened?" asks Dean. "We've been over this," says Samuel, annoyed. "Recap it, for our wingman," says Dean. Samuel turns to look at the angel. "This Castiel?" he asks. Cas nods. "You're scrawnier than I pictured, says Campbell. "This is a vessel," says Cas, "my true form is approximately the size of your Chrysler building." "All right, quit braggin'," says Dean, "so, you were dead, and--" "And," says Samuel, "pow, I was on Eldon Ridge, don't know how, don't know why. I got nothin' to hide, guys." Dean asks if he minds if Cas checks. Cas rolls up his sleeve. In another room, Chris hears Samuel cry out and runs in, gun ready. Both Dean and Sam assure him everything is OK. "Angel cavity search," says Dean. (LOL!) "I'm fine," says Samuel, clearly in pain, "just give us a minute." "But," Chris protests. Again, Samuel asks for a minute. Reluctantly, Chris nods and leaves, closing the door behind him. "What the hell was that about?" gasps Samuel. "His soul's intact," reports Cas. Sam looks almost disappointed. "What?" asks Samuel--"of course I have a. . .what's going on, Sam?" "Whatever dragged me out, left a piece behind," says Sam, "did you know?" "No," answers Samuel, upset, then says, "I knew it was something. You're a hell of a hunter, Sam, but, truth is, sometimes you scare me." Looking guilty and apologetic, he adds, "So what's the deal here, how do we fix this, how do we get his soul back?" "We don't know yet," says Dean, "but we have to." "I'm here to help, of course," says Samuel, "what lead you workin?" "A bunch of dead ends," says Sam. "Then we'll just have to dig," says his grandfather. Cas has been staring up at the heavens. "Sam, Dean, I have to get back," he says. "You're leaving?" asks Dean. "I'm in the middle of a civil war," says Cas. "You better tear the attic up, find somethin' to help Sam," insists Dean. ""Of course," says Cas, "your problems always come first. I'll be in touch." (Said, I'm sure, with sarcasm.) "Woulda asked him to stick around for a beer," says Samuel. "What's with the book club outside?" asks Dean. "Putting together a hunt," says Samuel. "Lotta guys for one hunt," observes Dean. "You found him, didn't you?" asks Sam--"he's got a lead on the Alpha Vamp." "Did you?" asks Dean. "Maybe," says Samuel--"yeah." "How'd you track him down?" asks Dean. Samuel draws a sword from his duffel. "We're good," he says. "That's all I get--'we're good'?" asks Dean. "When's the run?" asks Sam. "Dawn," answers Samuel. "You didn't call me?" asks Sam--"why?" "'Cause a me," says Dean, after Samuel gives him a look, "you don't trust me very much, do ya, especially when it comes to big game like this?" "That's not true," says Samuel. "Then we're in," says Dean. "No offense," says Samuel, "but--" "Then you don't trust me," says Dean. "No, I just don't know you," says Samuel, "not like I know Sam." "All right," says Dean, "you call the plays, I'm here to listen, 100 percent." "Since when?" asks Samuel. "Big Daddy Bloodsucker," says Dean, "I ain't gonna miss that--but this is YOUR deal--I get it--I'll follow your lead--I trust YOU."

Outside, Dean tells Sam, "I don't trust him, dude's hidin' somethin', I can feel it, and if you weren't Robo-Sam, you would feel it, too." "Huh," says Sam, "just you, sayin' you don't trust family." "Look, we hang close, blend in, we see what we can pick up," says Dean. "You think Samuel's connected to this whole soul thing?" asks Sam. "I still think he's the only lead we got," says Dean.

Campbell compound - Hunters sharpen knives, make up shots and ammo filled with dead man's blood. Sam sits beside Chris while Dean, drinking a cup of coffee, slips upstairs and knocks at Samuel's private office door. Getting no answer, he picks the lock and lets himself in. "You lost, Dean?" asks Chris. "Had to make a phone call, needed some privacy," says Dean. "Samuel's locked offices," points out Chris. "Wasn't locked," says Dean. "Who you callin'?" asks Chris. "Your wife, let her know I'm not goin' to make it over tonight," quips Dean. "You know, I tried playin' nice, Dean," says Chris, advancing on him, "but I think I'm done." "Are you tryin' to tell me you're a bigger knob than you've been lettin' on?" asks Dean. "I think I've always been here, doin' my job," says Chris, "where were you? You think we need you here? You walk around like you're playin' pro tennis. Only action you've seen lately is between your slut girlfriend's legs." Dean grabs Chris by his jacket flaps and shoves him against the wall. "Sure you wanna come with us tomorrow?" asks Chris softly--"accidents happen." Dean releases him. "Don't worry, man," he assures Chris, "I got your back." He walks away. Chris huffs. (I loved this scene, but I was hoping for a little fight. Taking pot shots at each other's gal was fun, but it would have been more fun if they'd hit each other a few times.) ??

Dawn - The Impala takes off, Sam and Dean inside. The Campbell van leaves right behind them. Other vehicles get in line behind the van. In a clearing, Samuel hands a rifle to Chris. "The house is just over the hill," he says, "about a dozen vamps and the Alpha. We got one shot at this son of a bitch. Christian, take flank, the rest of you are with me and Sam. Dean, Gwen, hang back, sweep up any stragglers we flesh out. Problem, Dean?" "No, sir," says Dean, despite his sour face. "I'm in the rear, with the reject?" protests Gwen. (LMAO!) Dean raises his eyebrows. "Let's go," says Samuel. Everyone leaves. "Don't worry, it's fine," Sam says softly to Dean. "Nothing's fine," his brother retorts, "you're not fine--go. . .go!" Sam joins the others. Dean is pissed off. Left alone, Gwen apologizes to Dean about the reject thing. "I've been called worse," he says. "I just get sick of being left behind," she says, "it's probably because I remind him of his daughter or somethin'." "You do speak your mind," he says. "I take that as a compliment," she says. "You should," says Dean. Hearing a suspicious noise, both of them draw their swords. A vamp attacks Gwen, Dean goes after it and the vamp sends him flying. Gwen beheads it, getting blood all over the left side of Dean's face. The headless body falls on top of Dean, embracing him, and he pushes it off, disgusted. "You're welcome," says Gwen. Dean wipes the blood off his face with his jacket, refusing her offer of a hand to get up. Hearing gunshots, Dean races to the house, ignoring Gwen's reminder, "We're supposed to wait here!" ??

At the gate, Dean finds a dead hunter and a headless vamp. He rattles the locked gate and looks up at a weather vane, which he recognizes from his vision when he was a vampire. It sets off further memories of the doll with the blood on its face, the twin vamps with their sharp teeth, and a brief flash of the Alpha Vampire himself. Working his way around the house, Dean finds more dead. He spies a girl inside the house banging on a door, calling for help--then there's a splatter of blood on the door.
Dean hears Samuel telling Sam, "Hold him!" He turns a corner to watch Samuel, Sam and other hunters forcing the Alpha Vamp, with an IV of dead man's blood going into him, into the van! Sam looks where his brother was standing just a moment before, but Dean is gone. ??Dean comes back to Gwen. "Where were you?" she demands. "Everything all right here?" asks Samuel, traipsing back with Sam and the rest of the crew. "Just chopped up a runner," reports Gwen, "no big deal--how'd it go?" "Rough," says Samuel, "but one Alpha down." Knowing this is a lie, Dean asks, "Where is it? I wanna pay my last respects." "Bring marshmallows," advises Samuel, "for the pyre." ??

In the Impala, Dean questions Sam about how everything went back there. Sam assures him it went fine. Furious, Dean pulls over and gets out. "I saw you walk that Alpha out the door, Sam, now, call me crazy, but that seems weird!" "Oh," says Sam. "Oh," repeats Dean. "You weren't supposed to know about that," says Sam, it's just something that Samuel's been doing--catching things, takin' 'em somewhere, grillin' 'em for info." "Grill? Torture, right?" clarifies Dean--"and not telling me, that was his idea?" "No, it was mine," admits Sam. "Why?" asks Dean. "Honestly," says Sam, "because you'd mess it up, you'd shoot first and ask questions later, and we needed to ask questions." "I-I don't care if you've got soullessness or the freakin' mumps, man, you KNOW better than this!" cries Dean--"would you even want your soul back?" "What does that have to do--" begins Sam. "Have you been to this place where Samuel takes them?" asks Dean--"have you been in on these interrogations?" "No," says Sam, but I hear--" "What does he want, and why?" demands Dean--"did it ever occur to you that this is really shady?" Pained, Sam says, "He's our grandfather." "Yeah, a guy who talks a great game," says Dean, "but you can't assume that family means the same thing to him as it does to us--he's not Dad." Sam swallows a lump in his throat. "Wow," says Dean, "you don't see it, do you? You've got no instinct--I mean, you are seriously messed up." "Thanks," says Sam. "I'm not kiddin', man," says Dean, "nobody's forcin' you to work with me, OK, but if we do this, I drive the bus, I call the shots, and you tell me everything, whether it's important or not because trust me, you can't tell the difference! Or you know what-- go with Samuel. See how that goes. It's up to you."

Samuel is packing his duffel when Sam enters. "You should learn how to knock," says Samuel, nervous, "where's your brother?" "Gone," says Sam, "he left about an hour ago, he and I just aren't seeing eye to eye anymore I guess." "That's too bad," says Samuel. "I want in," says Sam, "on interrogations, on everything--I can help--this family, this is it for me now--whatever you need, I'll do." "Yeah, I know you will," says Samuel, "great, but until we can figure out this soul business of yours, I need you to keep doin' what you're doin'." "But I can--" begins Sam. "No, you can't," says Samuel firmly, "sorry." "Right," says Sam, and leaves.

Sam goes outside. He opens the van door, does something to a phone inside, then returns to the Impala, where Dean has been waiting for him. (Hurray, I had such a heavy heart, like Dean had abandoned Sam to Samuel, who had just told him he wasn't wanted there, either!) Sam slides in beside Dean, who says "Hey." "You didn't think I'd come back," says Sam. "I figured 60/40," says Dean. Sam opens a computer in his lap. "So," he says, "Samuel didn't take the bait, so I went with Plan B." "We had a Plan B?" asks Dean. "Planted a GPS on one of his cell phones," says Sam, "should be able to track him right to the Alpha." "The old man won't notice?" asks Dean. "Trust me," says Sam, "he thinks Velcro is big news. There, got him."

They trail the van to a door that is locked and covered with dead man's blood. "Smart," observes Dean, "lock the place with vamp repellent." He unlocks the door while Sam brings out a sword. Inside, they have to duck down and hide from Chris behind office furniture. Hearing Samuel's voice, they track it to a cell where the Alpha vamp is imprisoned, his feet nailed to the floor, his hands nailed into blocks. "Where is it?" demands Samuel--"answer the question. Where is it, how do we find it?" He sends electricity through the nails in the vamp's hands and feet. "Ouch. Stop. That hurts," says the vamp in mock-pain. "This is Club Med compared to what we have planned for you," warns Samuel, "I got all the time in the world." (How did he hear about Club Med so soon?) "That makes two of us," says the Alpha Vamp. (Who I shall call AV from now on.) Frustrated, Samuel leaves. Laughing, AV produces a very long nail and begins working on his thick leather bonds. ??

Sam and Dean, out of sight, have been exchanging looks during Samuel's exchange with the AV. "Are you two going to hide out all night?" the AV asks. "Come on out, boys." Realizing he means them, Sam and Dean exchange another look--uh oh, he means US!
Slowly, Sam and Dean reveal themselves to the AV. "How can I help you?" he asks them. "I've got some questions for you, Skippy," says Dean, "since you're goin' nowhere fast." "Don't be so sure," chuckles the AV. "Yeah? Locked down pretty tight," observes Dean, "with all that dead blood rushin' through your veins, not sure you're gettin' enough juice to fire up that psychic bat signal of yours, do ya?" "True," agrees the AV, working on his bonds with the sharp nails, "not nearly enough juice for that, Dean." "I didn't realize we're on a first-name basis," says Dean. "Of course we are," says the AV, "you were my child, for a time--Dean, tell me, did you enjoy it?" "I'm askin' the questions here, Fright Night," Dean reminds him, applying electricity. "When your kind first huddled around the fire," says the AV harshly, "I was the thing in the dark! Now you think you can hurt me?" Dean turns off the power. "I have all night, boys. You do not. Anyway, I'm happy to tell you whatever you want to know." "Why?" asks Dean. "Because soon I'll be ankle-deep in your blood," answers the AV, "sucking the marrow from your bones." "So you're really it," says Sam, "the first of your species." "The very first," says the AV. "But if you're the first, who made you?" asks Sam. (Ah, the age-old question!) "Well," says the AV, working on the straps, "we all have our mothers, even me." "What does that mean?" Dean asks. The AV chuckles but doesn't reply. "What's with the big surge of vamps lately? asks Dean. "We're going to war," says the AV. "Why?" asks Sam--"what's goin' on, why did Samuel bring you here?" "You smell cold," observes the AV of Sam, "you have no soul--what an oddity--do you feel how empty you are? What is it like to have no soul?" "Answer my question," says Sam. "You first," demands the AV. "You're the one in the cage," says Sam. "The thing about souls, if you've got one, of course," says the AV, "is they're predictable--you die, you go up or down--where do my kind go?" "All right, enough with the sermon," complains Dean. "I'm trying to answer the question," says the AV, "but now, when we freaks die, where do we go? Not heaven, not hell, so?" "Legoland?" supplies Dean. "A little rusty on our Dante, boys?" asks the AV. "Purgatory," says Sam. "Purgatory is real?" asks Dean. "Stupid cattle," says the AV, "of course! And it is filled with the soul of every hungry thing like me that ever walked this earth! Now, WHERE is it? That is the mystery. And that is what your kindhearted granddaddy is trying to beat out of me." "Samuel brought you here to find out where Purgatory is?" asks Sam, stunned. "I keep telling him, 'how would I know such a thing?', but he refuses to untie me," says the AV. "You know exactly where it is," accuses Sam, "why does Samuel care about ANY of this?" "He doesn't care," says the AV, "he does as he is told." Sam and Dean look at each other. The latter says, "Who's the old man's Kermit? Who's hand's up his ass?" ??

Behind them, a gun is cocked. Samuel, Chris and another man stand there, weapons drawn. In another room, Dean tells Samuel, "I've seen stupid in my time, but you take the crown--puttin' Jaws in a fishbowl? How do you think that's gonna end? I don't know what kind of game you're runnin'--" "What do you think I'm doin' this for, for kicks?" asks Samuel. "I think you got the rest of these feebs convinced you're John Wayne," says Dean, "so whatever you're doin', whatever you're hiding, it's going to put you and everyone around you in the ground." Suddenly, Chris and Sam are at each other's throats. Dean has a gun in his hand. Gwen appears with a rifle in hers. "Hi," she says amiably. "Gwen," says Dean, dropping the gun, "and I thought we had somethin' special!"

The AV locks eyes with the third man who was standing with Chris and Samuel and is now guarding him, alone. "Are you scared of me?" the AV asks him in that mesmerizing voice, still working at his bonds with those so-very-sharp nails, "I would be." The young man, sword in hand, foolishly switches on the electricity to the vamp's hands and feet. The vamp, now free, easily escapes the cage and kills the young man. Hearing the scream from the other room, Samuel orders everyone, "Grab your stuff." They find the AV gone and the young hunter dead in a spreading pool of blood.
Surveying the bloodstain on the floor, Samuel asks, "How much dead man's blood we got left?" Standing beside Gwen, Chris holds up two hypos. "How long till he's 100 percent?" asks Dean. "Hour, maybe less," says Samuel, "we need to get him dosed up and back in the cage." "No," insists Dean. "What do you mean, no?" demands Samuel. "I don't know what your big plan was," says Dean, "but playin' catch is not on the table; we take the thing's head off, or it kills us all, you know that!" They look at each other, agreeing with Dean, who says, "Okay! We split up, clear every room-- you get a shot, you take it--it's not gonna kill 'im, but dude'll move a lot slower without kneecaps." He turns to Samuel. "If we make it through this, you, me and Sam are having one hell of a family meeting." Looks are exchanged by everyone before they split up. ??

Sam, Chris and Samuel end up searching together. "You think he ran out?" asks Chris. Seconds later, AV grabs him by the head and pushes him out of the way. Samuel shoots him in the chest, not deterring the vampire for a second. AV tosses Samuel against the wall, then pins Sam to the opposite wall, sending his sword clanging to the floor. Hand around Sam's throat, the AV says, "Boy, with no soul, I've got big plans for you; it's amazing how a pesky soul gets in the way, but not for you--you will be the perfect animal." Laughing, holding Sam tightly, the AV exposes his fangs and goes in for the bite. Chris, his eyes demon-black, shoves the hypo filled with dead man's blood into the AV's neck. "Christian?" says Sam, confused, seeing the AV imprisoned by Christian and two other demons. Samuel, still on the floor, and Sam, Gwen and Dean, watch in astonishment as everyone but them disappears. They hear the sound of slow clapping and look to see where it's coming from. Upstairs on the landing stands CROWLEY! "Well," he says drolly, "that was dramatic." "Hello, boys," says the demon, "an unexpected treat." Samuel is upset about Christian, his nephew, being turned into a demon. "Oh, no, had him possessed ages ago," says Crowley blithely, "Samuel, really, I keep an eye on my investments." "Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa," says Dean, "you two know each other?" "Not in the biblical sense," says Crowley, "more of a business relationship, you might say." "You're Crowley's bitch," Sam accuses Samuel. "It's not what you think," says Samuel. "PRECISELY what you think," corrects Crowley, "that Alpha he's caught me is getting him a gold star." "Since when do you give a crap about vampires?" demands Dean. "Since. . .what's today, Friday?--none of your business," replies Crowley. "You may as well share with the class," advises Sam, "we know you're lookin' for Purgatory." "So you heard about that," says the demon. "Yeah," says Sam, "you wanna tell us why?" "Isn't it obvious?" asks Crowley--"location, location, location. I'm a developer. Purgatory is vast, underutilized and hell-adjacent--and I want it." "What for?" demands Dean. "Shut your hole--employees don't question management," says Crowley. "We aren't your employees," says Dean. "Of course you are," insists Crowley, "have been for sometime now, thanks to Gramps--don't keep Captain Chrome Dome around for his wit, do I? Samuel knows things, more than any of you, actually. Walking Encyclopedia of the creepy and the crawly. And I knew you two were so hung up on family loyalty nonsense, he said you'd get froggy." "Game's over now," says Dean. "'Fraid not," says Crowley, "but if you want to see Sam's soul ever again--" "You're bluffing," says Sam. "Tell 'em," Samuel," says Crowley. Everyone looks accusingly at Grandpa. "Pulled us both back, me and Sam," says Samuel. "WHAT?" asks Sam--"you KNEW?" "Cas says it takes major mojo to pull that off," says Dean, "and you're nothin' but a punk-ass crossroads demon." "WAS a punk-ass crossroads demon," corrects Crowley, "now, King of Hell--believe me, I've got the mojo. I snap my fingers, Sam gets his soul back, or, you can be you, and I shove Sam right back in the hole." Gazing at Sam, he says, "Can't imagine what it's like in there, and I can imagine SO many things. SO! We clear? Me Charlie, you Angels. Job's simple enough. Bring me creatures. Aim high on the food chain, please. Everybody wins. It's been a pleasure. See ya soon." He disappears, leaving Sam, Dean, Samuel and Gwen gazing at each other, wondering what the definition of family has been shredded into.

"It's time to go--get the van," orders Samuel. "You're letting a DEMON call the shots?" demands Gwen. "Nothing's changed," says Samuel, "we hunt--period!" Gwen glares. "Don't worry about him," says Samuel, "I'll take care of it." Seeing that Gwen hasn't moved and is still staring angrily at him, Samuel asks, "Do you still trust me or not? Get the van, Gwen." She leaves to do so. Samuel continues to shovel weapons into his duffel. "Working with a demon, huh," says Sam, "you're not who I thought you were." "You don't know anything about me, son," says Samuel evenly. "So what's so important that you're the King of Hell's cabana boy, huh?" asks Dean--"what did he offer you?--girls?-- ?money?--hair?" (LOL, I'm guessing he offered Deanna.) "I got my reasons," responds Samuel, hauling up the duffel. Coming face to face with Dean, he adds, "If you're gonna make a move, go ahead." "Or what?" says Dean. "Or nothin'," says Samuel, "I'm not gonna do anything to you, Dean, you boys, you're my family, so the way I see it, you got two choices--put a bullet in your grandfather or step aside." Sam pulls out his gun and cocks it, all ready to do the former. Dean pushes down his brother's hands. "He sold us out," accuses Sam. "I know," says Dean, "let it go." Music that I haven't heard in a long time--Dean's theme, John's theme, the family's theme--begins to play in the background, turning on my tears. "Why?" asks Sam. Dean looks at Samuel. "Get outta here," he says. Samuel obeys, looks back once without a word, and leaves. "What now?" asks Sam. "We can't work for Crowley," says Dean. "You sure about that?" asks Sam. "I don't think you understand--demons bone you every time," insists Dean. "I know, I get it, I do, believe me," says Sam, "Just, runnin' the math, do we have another choice?" "We can stab him in his throat," says Dean. "And get myself back how?" asks Sam, "just sayin', it seems like we gotta play ball--at least for the moment." "I've done some stupid things in my time," says Dean, "but, punchin' a demon's clock. . ." "Look, just until we find another way," says Sam. "And then?" asks Dean. "And then we track Crowley down," says Sam, "and give that SOB what's comin' to him--you with me, Dean?" His brother looks at Sam solemnly, but we know--the Winchester brothers are truly a team--tattered and broken, but a team-- again!
Stream of consciousness:  They foolishly revealed Sam's problem in last week's promo, which was a huge mistake on their part. A lot of people guessed already, but still, I hate spoilers, and didn't want to know this ahead of time, especially since Cas' stoic exam was SO very funny and Sam's face when Cas slipped off his belt made me wonder if Sam feared some strange sexual angel probing. I was imagining the on-set laughter during this scene and the dirty jokes. I hope they appear on the gag reel. In all seriousness, when Cas reached inside Sam, I FELT his agony in my own gut. OUCH!!!! I can only imagine what a literal soul-search by an angel must feel like, but it apparently hurts really bad! And really, Dean was SO mean to Sam, right up until the revelation, giving him orders and. . .oh, never mind! My sympathies were all on Sam in this scene! 
While Cas and Dean talk about him like he's not even in the room, Sam frees himself from the chair. Dean doesn't even want to LET him go until he realizes Sam refuses to be kept, that he's "stuck with the soulless guy." I like that Sam at least has his stubbornness intact! I also found it amusing when Dean ordered Cas, "Clean him up" and all the terrible results of his punches disappeared. How easily Dean's guilt was washed away by his guardian angel! 
I enjoyed the macho pandering between Chris and Dean and Cas and Samuel. Even angels are vain, and I remember Zachariah was especially so! Cas got back at Samuel with the angel cavity search for sure! 
Cas has to go take care of the civil war in heaven, but Dean reminds him what his first priority is--Sam! Cas, of course, acknowledges this. 
So Dean decides to play along with Samuel even though he doesn't trust him for a second. Hearing his big brother say he doesn't trust family is a new tune to Sam. I expected some sort of accident to befall Dean at Christian's hands after his threat, didn't you? It was like a loose end that wasn't tied up. 
It was fun watching Gwen save Dean, but you could see his frustration that it wasn't the other way around. She does remind me of Mary a bit, but Mary had a much better personality. 
"Wow," says Dean, "you don't see it, do you? You've got no instinct--I mean, you are seriously messed up." "Thanks," says Sam. Sad, huh? Sam's broken and Dean is terrified. It's almost as if Sam is a toddler who doesn't realize that standing at the top of the stairs without the gate could be a danger to him. Sam completely trusts Grandpa, no matter what. Dean gives him a choice. Samuel tells Sam that he can't be "all in" with the family; his soullessness presents a problem to him, too. Sam returns to Dean, who, I'm sure, thought the odds 60/40 against him, which just so crushed my heart! 
Let me tell you, the actor portraying the AV was magnificent. Scary and almost sexy by turns, he was downright erotic as he scraped those leather straps with long fingernails. Brrrrrr and rowrrrr! I understood why Sam and Dean were both eager and frightened to go speak with him. 
There were really a lot of funny lines in this ep. Dean's Legoland response when the AV asks about Purgatory, who's the old man's Kermit (whose hand's up his *)?, putting Jaws in a fishbowl. While the family is duking it out, the young hunter guarding the AV is killed. *. It strikes me odd that NO ONE noticed that the vamp was working away at the leather with those sharp nails. Was he able to glamour them away from noticing? I don't know, but I think Dean's Jaws in a fishbowl comment was apt. They should have just beheaded them when they had the chance. Instead, they had a foolish family pissing match and allowed a man to die.
I know, it's corny, but for the first time in a long while, I felt like the brothers were back together again. It's not the same, of course, with Sam down a soul, but they're back together in the Impala, Samuel and the cousins are out, Lisa and Ben are out, and well, Crowley is the new Big Bad they have to fight and we're back on track again! I feel rejuvenated! I know that Dean and Sam have to work on their relationship, big time, and without a soul, Sam's going to be weird. The idea of Sam and Dean being Crowley's Angels--I guess Dean is Farrah and Sam must be Jacklyn--just tickles my fancy. I love Crowley, he's a great villain and so droll and hilarious. He can also be extremely nasty, as we already saw with Bobby. I am SO excited about the next 15 episodes of this amazing show!
Family matters. Matters can be a noun there or a verb.  My family matters to me. We must take care of family matters.  It seems to me that with the chips down, Samuel proved to Sam that family only matters when they are useful and whole. Once Dean found out Sam had no soul, he wanted to keep total watch over him, but still allow him to hunt by his side. Family matters to Dean, less to Samuel. 
1.  What’s happening with the Winchester/Campell family in this ep?  Sam felt so betrayed, he wanted to kill his own grandfather. Do you think Sam is justified?
2.  We don’t know why Samuel is dealing with Crowley, what he’s getting out of it. Did he trade Sam’s soul to get him out of the box? Wouldn’t only SAM have been able to make such a deal? I think Deanna is involved.  What else?
3.  Do you think Cas is going to ditch Sam and Dean one of these days or try to convince them of the enormity of what he’s dealing with?
4.  Do you think Dean and Sam have reconciled, if somewhat uneasily? Do you feel as exhilarated as I do?
5.  How do you see Gwen in all this? What about Christian?  Will he be returning to the family fold or did Crowley just dispose of him?
6.  What was your impression of the Alpha Vamp?
7.  Were you delighted to see Crowley as a surprise guest star, and as pleased as I was that they kept him a secret?
8.  Some folks haven’t been thrilled with SUPERNATURAL this season.  How about you?  Do you think it’s more “on track” now that its vision is clearer for the future? 


# Hosea 2010-11-07 22:56
1. No, I don't think Sam was justified. Sure, Samuel sold the brothers out, but still, that's no excuse to kill the guy. Not at Sam's bullet, at least.
2. I think he's getting his family out of this. Not only Deanna, but Mary (and maybe John) too.
3. I think the heavenly civil war will come into play later on in the season.
4. I'd say it's a step forward for Sam and Dean. And I'm perfectly glad to see Sam and Dean back together against a common foe: Crowley.
5. Gwen, I think, has lost a great amount of trust in Samuel, but will continue to work alongside him nonetheless. Christian may have been disposed of, now that the cat's out of the bag.
6. I thought the Alpha Vamp was badass! Very well played out. Props to Rick Worthy!
7. I surely wasn't expecting Crowley's appearance, and his big reveal. But I am quite satisfied to know now.
8. I'm completely thrilled about the sixth season so far! I'm keeping a very open mind about the season as a whole, and so far, it's doing a magnificent job at keeping me interested. All the questions and answers and more questions... it's exciting! And I there a lot of possibilities for the future of the season, and I'm sure it'll be a thrill ride all the way. :D
# CitizenKane2 2010-11-08 02:00
Thank you for this (as I did not have access to Supernatural).

I wouldn't be surprised if Crowley and Castiel are working together in some capacity. :P
# elle2 2010-11-08 09:38
Hi, Robin,

I love your questions at the end and enjoy reading people's responses to them.

As for Christian, did the alpha vamp break his neck? If so, that means should we see Christian again he'll always be a demon-possessed Christian. Corin Nemec was good in the role so I'll be okay if he returns (perhaps he'll bring Meg with him too)

As for Mark Sheppard being left out of the credits, admittedly I usually don't catch all the credits in the beginning as I'm too busy watching the scenery so it was a complete surprise to me and I am happy about that. NOthing in the 'before' or 'then' gave it away for me either so kudos on SPN for that.

The reveal of Cas saying Sam's soul is gone didn't bother me from the previews because there was just soooooo much information revealed with questions answered and those answers lead to more questions that I didn't feel let down by knowing about Sam's soul. If anything, it may have been a publicity ploy so that viewers would come back knowing that there were answers to be had...don't know but 'tis possible. SPN's ratings have remained consistent I think with last season and all this on the Fridya night slot.

As for the brothers and reconciliation, I do think we're on our way, at least they have a common goal. Sam is betrayed by Samuel and Dean has been betrayed by Sam (yes, the vamp turning is a betrayal, soul or not) but at least Sam's can be explained in that he had no moral compass (soul = moral compass) and thus the reconciliation can happen easier than in the past for Sam simply 'didn't know' Maybe I'm letting him off the hook but I so want the brothers to be on the same page again.

At least going forward they are reluctant puppets of Crowley but we know that in true Winchester form Team Free Will lives again, not Michael and Lucifer but rather Crowley as their nemesis.

I'm excited about the next 15 episodes (sniff, is that all?) And very, very, very hopeful that with the way Sera and Company have thus far plotted this season that Sam will get his soul back soon and the bigger game that remains afoot will drive the story along.

Bring on Friday
# Karen 2010-11-08 20:34
Hi Robin
I first want to say thank-you for the detailed recap you do. I have actually gone to your recaps for details when I couldn’t fit in a re-watch.

I don’t think Sam would have been justified if he killed Samuel. If being betrayed gives you the right to kill that person, then Dean would have been justified to kill Sam.

I don’t think Samuel traded Sam’s soul, I think they can only make deals for themselves. I believe Samuel struck up a deal to gather the Alpha’s for the return of Deanna and Mary. No souls were bargained otherwise Cass would of seen the holders name when he did his ‘Cavity Search’.

I don’t think Cass will ditch them but I believe he will loose his patients and make it clear just how dire things are in Heaven. I think he needs to express on them that if things don’t get settled in heaven then humanity and earth will suffer the consequence.

I don’t think Sam and Dean have reconciled as yet. Dean still has too much mistrust for Sam. But at least they are working together which makes me happy and hopeful.

I’m starting to warm up to Gwen, I think she’s starting to doubt Samuel’s leadership and may start siding with the Brothers.
Now that Christian was officially killed he may return once in while as Crowley’s sidekick. I do wonder how long he was possessed, since as others have mentioned how was he able to enter Dean’s home back in the opening episode.
With being possessed it must of hard for Christian to hold back on his strength. He could of sent Dean through a wall during there confrontation in Samuels office. And he let Sam hold him back when Dean was confronting Samuel.

The Alpha Vamp was pretty scary. The actor did a fantastic job.

I was very pleased and surprised by Crowley’s appearance. Kudos to the SPN staff for keeping it a secret.

I have to admit I was disappointed that they were going back with the Brothers being at odds again. After two seasons of this I had reached my saturation point with this storyline. However I was intrigue with the Alpha’s, the Campbell’s and the mystery of what is wrong with Sam. I am happy with how things are starting to get on track with the Brothers. I’ll be even more happier when Sam gets his soul back.
# Suze 2010-11-09 07:53
Be a pity to shoot the sneaky old git just as he is finally getting interesting.

I reckon you can only trade your own soul, otherwise everyone would be at it! I'm guessing Grampa is trying to trade his services for wife and daughter, but we'll see, Crowley's a slippery sod so he's probably going to get stiffed anyway!

Never, they're like his hobby ...

Oooh yes! :D :D :D!

Christian is irritating but strangely entertaining ( it's always fun to watch Dean getting cross ... ) Gwen is just irritating token-crumpet and can die off anytime, as far as I'm concerned.

His manicurist has a job for life.

Crowley! Hurrah! More!

I'm enjoying this season more as it gathers pace, it feels like it's got some momentum now ...