Point of No Return, by Elle2
 
There is something so huge about a show's 100th episode that if not careful, it can go over the top. Supernatural successfully avoided that trap, so successfully that with all the hype, if the viewer is not in turn careful, it can be a letdown. If you were looking for a mind-blowing episode along the lines of Mystery Spot, On The Head of a Pin or Changing Channels, you might have been left saying - really? However, if you're looking for the true core of Supernatural to shine against the backdrop of angels, demons and the apocalypse, then you were left very, very satisfied.
 
I was very, very satisfied.
 
Eric Kripke has said all along, echoed by Sera Gamble and others, that this is a show about family, two brothers, their relationship, and all the rest is backdrop, window dressing as it were. Point of No Return brought all that into full focus, in an extremely satisfying way.
 
Humor was laying low this week, rightly so -- well except for Zachariah. Zachariah
owned the humor in this episode and Kurt Fuller was once again delicious in the role. Castiel proved once again he is a warrior, as he first stated back in Are You There, God; it's me, Dean Winchester. Bobby was the rock he's always been, from All Hell Breaks Loose to No Rest for the Wicked to Lucifer Rising; despite his agonies from Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, Bobby is a rock. 
 
Sam took command; something he's tried to do since we met him, Dead Man's Blood, Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, Hunted, Time is on My Side, On The Head of a Pin, Lucifer Rising, only this time he broke through. Dean, Dean went as dark as he's ever been, and he's been pretty dark, Cross Road Blues, All Hell Breaks Loose II, Fresh Blood, On the Head of a Pin, My Bloody Valentine…here he hit the bottom. 
 
But for the love, anger, patience and determination of his friends who are also his family he'd still be down there.
 
 
Adam Milligan:
 
I had several concerns that I'd hoped would be answered without violating things we already knew, or damaging the impact, regarding the reappearance of Adam and the possibility of him being a vessel. Supernatural delivered on all my concerns, and I'll admit I didn't see it coming until some during the episode. The set up was beautifully done and the awareness of the writers that they could be making a mistake was clearly stated by Sam "After everything now the angels have a plan B?" I love it when the writers state the obvious.
 
 
Plus, with a set up like that we get a delicious scene between Zach and Adam that I love for the subtly, snark and superb timing of both Kurt Fuller and Jake Abel…especially Abel's non-verbal response to Zachariah's comment of "How do you think I feel; I'm the one that's got to put up with the dumb slack-jawed look on your face."
 
Fuller gets the best lines in this episode; fitting as it's his last! I've got an article in the works just for you Kurt/Zach. With such a wonderful actor in such a juicy role, an article just for you alone is your reward [I'm sure Mr. Fuller is preparing his thank you speech.]
That article won't come until the - gulp - summer hellatus, we need something to keep us going.
 
Back to the episode.
 
I like that Adam wasn't all wide-eyed and eager to fit in. I like that Sam and Dean both saw that he didn't have the idyllic childhood they'd thought back in Jump The Shark. Both brothers in that episode acted out their jealousy towards Adam and what they'd assumed was him getting their father's love; Sam through diving in to train Adam and disabuse him of any notion of normalcy in his life, Dean through withdrawal and near hostility.
 
Both sides got a chance to see things through the lens of the other side and both learned something. Adam particularly had an excellent journey from mistrust and anger with Dean and Sam to suspicion of Zach upon reencountering him in his dream. Clearly Adam is/was a thinker and one to form his own judgments as he was not with the Winchesters very long yet soaked up enough to know that Zach didn't deserve his unwavering devotion.
 
Adam's reaction to Dean's arrival in the Green Room was emotionally fulfilling. "You came for me." The incredulity at that moment that his half brother would come for him, sacrifice for him was deeply emotional and real; it added a layer to this character making him real. I like that Supernatural invests so much into guest characters who may or may not return.
There are possibilities of Adam returning and I don't mind that possibility. I'm not in need of a third brother but the thought of him up in Supernatural's interpretation of heaven, hanging out with Ash, searching for John and his mom isn't such a bad mind game - remember, Hellatus, the true, lengthy, painful Hellatus is a mere four weeks away.[ducks]
 
Castiel:
 
I read a review a few days ago regarding Castiel and the somewhat lament that this character had degenerated into nothing more than comedic relief. While Castiel was the comedy in 99 Problems that had its purpose for the character; the straight-laced, uber-serious, can't-figure-out-his-cell-phone angel of God, devoted to what he sees as right, goes on a bender. He's so devastated from what he learned about his Father in Dark Side of the Moon that he finds a liquor store and drinks it. [Hah!] 
 
Still, in 99 Problems he comes when the Winchesters call so all is not lost for Cas, although it can be argued that where else does he have to go but with the Winchesters; he's not only a man without a country, he's an angel without a heaven. He provides the necessary information in 99 Problems to solve the problem of the demons and when last seen he's suffering through the aftereffects of his bender and the Enochian chant laid on him.
 
In Point of No Return from the moment we see Cas it's clear he's on a new mission. There's no jokes, no despair over his loss, he's an angel on a mission and it's the mission as set forth by Sam. Cas still has his compass, Dean must not give in to Michael anymore than Sam must give in to Lucifer. 
 
Castiel is snarky, angry, determined and yet still gullible enough in the ways of men that he walks right into a trap laid by Dean; pays a painful price for doing so. 
 
Castiel is clearly learning the power of words and inflection. Remember not so long ago in My Bloody Valentine Cas innocently stated "They're not incontinent", to Dean's comment about cupids and diapers. Here he shows that he's learned a thing or two about inflection and how to cause pain with words: "Maybe they wrongly assumed Dean would be brave enough to withstand them." Ouch, Cas, don't sugarcoat it or nothing.
 
To all who bemoan the friendship of Cas and Dean as disintegrating there are a few points to consider:
 
Cas has a right to be angry - and yet in the face of that anger, fear, loss and betrayal he finds something else - compassion. Cas is still new to dealing with emotions, like a child he has little control over them and so while Sam works to avoid hurting Dean Cas' anger emanates from him in waves, and fists.
 
Cas has thrown in his lot with the Winchesters completely and faith, betrayal, hope is as much a part of his journey as it is Sam's and Dean's. All have been betrayed, all have lost hope, all have lost faith and all are struggling to hold it together.
 
Yet, when faced with Dean's utter brokenness as he begged Cas to beat him to death Cas softens, he stops, he remembers his compassion. And once again, he sacrifices for Team Free Will.
 
He may not have the same faith in Dean that Sam has he clearly has unlimited faith in Sam. Remember the awkward meeting between Sam and Castiel in It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester? This is not the same relationship between the two, this shows that Castiel's declaration of friendship with Sam in Abandon All Hope was not grandstanding in the face of Lucifer; Sam is Castiel's friend and Cas is loyal.
 
 
The Core of the Show:
 
Family, brothers, love, loyalty all were on display this week.
 
Bobby:
 
Bobby is family. Bobby has been the one the boys have relied on since we first met him. Bobby's cleaned up messes, [Meg, "You think you boys invented lying?"].  He provided them a refuge to regroup after the events of In My Time Of Dying. He's the one they call when the case they're on has them so confused they don't know up from down, [Tall Tales]. Bobby comes through in all circumstances, whether it's Japanese spells or solutions to killing a siren; Bobby is the rock they have sought refuge in time and time again. He may have been down but he was not out after the events of Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid. He could have let his zombie/wife kill him knowing the boys would kill her but he chose the right course of action and through doing so affirmed that he would see this fight through.
 
Here it is Bobby's love, laced in anger that reaches out to Dean to shake him from the depths of his defeat. It's not the first time we've seen Bobby angry at Dean, All Breaks Loose II, No Rest for the Wicked, Lucifer Rising, but it's the most profound as he reminds Dean that Dean begged him not to ever think himself so worthless as to give up as he and Sam needed him. Tables are turned here as Dean learns that that need is a two-way street; Bobby needs Dean and Sam as much as Dean and Sam need Bobby.
 
Dean:
 
I understand Dean's actions, sad to say I understand them from experience. I've never faced the end of my life but I do know what it's like to know that there is a massive decision or a painful event looming that the only way to prepare yourself to handle it is to shove away everything and everyone that is important to you. Dean does just that. He runs away from Sam. He disowns Bobby. He disavows Sam. He taunts Castiel unrelentingly and then begs him to finish him. This is a way to ease the passage.
 
I've read a few comments out in the fandom this past week from people wondering how Dean is all of a sudden willing to say yes to Michael, that there has been no buildup to this and no reason for him to suddenly say yes. I have to wonder what they missed in Sam, Interrupted, The Song Remains the Same, My Bloody Valentine, Dark Side of the Moon and 99 Problems. Dean being worn down has been going on since Devil's Trap when Azazel first taunted him but his rapid-fire fall into the basement of despair, certainly coupled with PTSD from 40 years in hell, has been very visible all season, notably in the second half.
 
Also we must not forget that Dean has had this focus on himself and his own self-sacrifice since we've met him; no surprise that he's willing to sacrifice himself now. 
 
Dean and Sam's relationship made a huge leap forward this week - one that I'm sure will have bumps along the way but what a necessary step.
 
Dean has always believed it was his job to take care of Sam and that it was a one-way street.
 
Dean: "I had to look out for you that's my job."
 
Sam: "And what do you think my job is?"
 
Dean: "What?"

[All Hell Breaks Loose II]
 
Dean similarly has always been the one to fight for the family, his perception of family.
 
Dean: You and me and Dad "I mean, I want us - I want us to be together again. I want us to be a family."
 
Sam: "Dean, we are a family."
 
[Shadow]
 
Dean has fought so long to protect a vision of family that died back in 1983 that he's lost sight of what is right in front of him; Sam by his side, Bobby backing their moves, always ready willing and able, despite recent events, to be there for them. 
 
Back in Sam, Interrupted Dean asked at the end if Sam was with him and Sam said he was despite his fears. Sam faced those fears head on in My Bloody Valentine and came through victorious but Dean was so lost in his own pain and confusion he didn't see the victory right in front of him. Sam knew he was in trouble and reached out for help. Even when he was forced to take a course of action he didn't want he only went far enough to save himself and then save Dean and Castiel. I have no doubts that Sam willingly accompanied them to the panic room for demon detox, no subterfuge necessary this go around.
 
Dean missed that victorious moment for Sam and because of that his disillusionment and failing faith continued leading to more and more confusion between the brothers as Sam was not able to enjoy his victory and claim the strength that such an event should give him, fortitude for a greater battle coming; saying no to Lucifer. Sam has been steadfast in his refusal to say yes to Lucifer despite his fears and now in the face of near defeat he's victorious and he has no one with which to celebrate because they are quickly (especially if these were aired in order) sent on an out-of-body experience, if you will, to heaven where Dean's destruction is complete. 
 
In heaven Dean is allowed to see his role of big brother and young boy protector and to remember that his whole life, even in the cocoon of safety of a mother's hug, was to clean up messes, bring others joy. We learned that there was never a time that Dean simply was Dean; and these were Dean's supposed happy memories. Along with that Dean witnesses Sam's happy memories, family, freedom, future and yet to Dean, instead of seeing the ache that was inside Sam's memories all he sees is that he, Dean, is no where represented. 
 
Dean's misery finally breaks loose and he gives up on everything, God won't help, Sam doesn't want him, there is no hope. The final straw was watching the townsfolk facing down the end of the world with stubborn determination and Dean likely realizes that there's nothing else to do but face the battle head on, time to say yes; after all, he was only saying no to be there for Sam and now that he sees that Sam has no place in his memories for him and thus by Dean's reckoning his future, he might as well be done with it all. Bring on Michael
 
Sam:
 
I love self-assured Sam. I love that Sam knew exactly what to do each step of the way. He found Dean, an act that Dean was positively astounded that Sam could pull off. See, Dean, Sam does know you and not just your taste in movies [Porky's II] either. Nice reminder that it's not just Dean who can track.
 
Sam was not in the least thrown by the angels and their Plan B. Sam is the one who worked with Adam to convince Adam to try to wait and let them work out a strategy. Sam only faltered briefly when Dean confessed to a lack of faith in him but he regained his footing once Dean had fled the panic room and took command by all but ordering Bobby to keep Adam safe. Sam has a quiet command about him in that last conversation in the panic room with Dean. He's made up his mind and he has no doubts. I like this Sam who knows what he's going to do and not going to be deterred.
 
Sam's interactions with Adam were excellent. He tried pleading, he tried familial bonding, even John bashing. I found it interesting that Sam alternately defended and bashed John in a single scene. Sam was the one defending John's treatment of Adam, a role Dean held exclusively in Season 1, and then in the next moment he reverted back to his role of escape from Dad, as recently seen through his happy memories in Dark Side of the Moon.
 
Sam showed Dean and us [well, we already knew] that together the Winchesters are forceful. Ash is right, they're soul mates. Zachariah may call them co-dependent [and some other delightful adjectives] but he too is correct, Sam and Dean alone are vulnerable, together I'm banking on unstoppable.
 
Because you're still my big brother:
 
Perhaps the single best summation of all that occurred in this episode is in that simple statement.
 
Dean received the greatest gift possible in Point of No Return, faith. Not faith in himself or faith in God or faith in other people but through Sam's faith in him. I don't think Dean has ever realized how much Sam trusts him, how much his father trusted him. Think about it, John entrusted Dean with a massive charge from childhood - take care of your brother. That's huge and John trusted Dean to do it. So much so that John couldn't fathom his ten-year-old son ever disobeying an order and putting little Sammy in trouble [Something Wicked] which is likely why John was so harsh after. Further, we know how much John trusted Dean because he told Dean that he'd either have to save Sam or kill him. That's a terrible thing to say to your child but no doubt John knew that Dean would do what was necessary should push come to shove.
 
Dean has been so used to being the one in the protective role and setting himself up for impossible hopes and thus crushing defeats that his focus was totally unfocused. Joshua was smack on the nose in his assessment that Dean was losing faith in himself, in Sam and in God; in fact, he'd lost faith. So for Sam to show Dean such unwavering faith in him as to take him into the Green Room to rescue Adam it was absolutely the bolster Dean needed to shake him out of his self-imposed torture. Dean had said yes, but once again the bond between the brothers is intense and seeing Sam horrified that Dean had let him down, something Sam didn't believe was possible, did what no smackdown from Castiel or revelation from Bobby could do, it gave him his fighting spirit back. That slight glance and then the roguish wink said more than words could. Dean was back.
 
Dean's apology to Sam was more confession and unburdening of the weight he'd been forcing himself to carry than it was apology. I predict a newer, lighter Dean in the future as he comes to recognize he has a partner in the fight which even better is his brother; now they're equals. They were always equals physically but until mentally and emotionally it's recognized it's tough to act it out in the physical
 
Final thoughts:
 
I love the little touches along the way by each actor. Kurt Fuller's near solo performance in the beginning opened the episode hilariously. It's the little nuances that provide so much characterization, I especially like how he picked up the broken glass, held the chunk in his hand so daintily and downed the remaining contents.
 
Sam's multi-layered comment to Adam in Bobby's kitchen "I can't change the past. I wish I could." Oh, yes, Sam, we know just how many things you'd like to change; Jessica's death, Ruby, likely Mary's deal, John's deal, Dean's deal - shall I continue? Nah, we know it all. It's a weighty comment.
 
The brothers now have angel killing swords. I usually try to stay away from comments if I'm going to write an article reviewing an episode. I managed to avoid that until my article was 90% written but I did find a couple of comments questioning Dean's ability to kill an angel. True it was Uriel who stated that only an angel can kill another angel but then he pulled out a shiny sword and attempted to kill Castiel. So perhaps the message was that only angels can kill angels because only angels have these angel killing weapons - until now. It's ambiguous enough that I'm okay that Dean and Sam have the potential to kill angels, after all, they now have the weapons.
 
And just what about Dean's eyes and his ability to watch Zachariah's death. Hmm, good question. Was the focus on Dean's eyes to tell us something about Dean? I'm going to say no. I'm going to say that it was the effects department giving us a really cool shot rather than an attempt to say that Dean is immune to angel killing light. I have some evidence to support my theory. Remember The Rapture, Castiel is leaving Jimmy's daughter's body and hopping back into Jimmy's; neither Jimmy or the daughter were injured by the bright light. Of course that can equally be refuted by Anna's orders to "shield your eyes" back in Heaven and Hell but then she exploded out of the earthly realm taking Alastair with her so it was definitely more violent than Zach's death. Similarly the brothers were not affected in Sympathy for the Devil when Castiel rescued them in John's storage facility by killing two angels. 
 
So there is plenty of room for support to either point of view. I'm just choosing to say that we know Dean does not hear angels in their angelic embodiment and that he did not fully give consent to Michael because Michael did not make him his muppet. Also, Supernatural tends to be a bit more subtle unless it's out and out making fun of itself and then it's on the nose so I'm going to stick to my theory that it was a cool effect shot and nothing more. I'll get back to you in four weeks if I need to eat my words - how do I do that since I've never actually put these on paper?
 
Another set of words I may or may not eat are as follows: I believe the amulet is gone, forever. At first while watching the episode I was certain Sam would pull it out during that end scene and hand it over to Dean. Then I absorbed the fact that he didn't and wondered, at first with sorrow and then I realized that it no longer matters. Sure it has been a physical symbol around Dean's neck for four years, and a little extra, but the brothers' relationship has now headed to a place where a physical reminder is no longer needed. They now emotionally and mentally know that they are there for each other and both affirmed their faith in the other during that last scene. The amulet is no longer necessary.
 
Of course, should the amulet reappear, I'll be quite ecstatic but I won't pine for it, the bond is there with or without it.
 
Despite Jeremy Carver joining the dubious society of writers who have penned an episode without the Impala - no, BuddyTV, the vehicle the boys were in at the end of the episode was not the Impala, no engine rumble, and just look at the back window, that's the window of a pickup truck - he has penned an A+ episode. Jeremy Carver remains a consistent writer of the depth of the brothers' relationship and he only added to his credentials here. With the likes of A Very Supernatural Christmas, Mystery Spot and now Point of No Return Jeremy excels in bringing the brotherly dynamic to soaring heights.
 
I believe Alice hinted that perhaps we won't see much, if any, of Mr. Carver in the sixth season as he has a new gig. I hope that's not the case. 
 
I could write more of this wonderful episode but I'm more interested at this point in reading what others have to say, either in the comments or in the other reviews that are to come. 
 
Thanks for reading.
 
Elle2

Comments  

Kalixa
# Kalixa 2010-04-17 04:41
Lovely review. I agree with everything except two points:
1. I think this episode IS on par with Mystery Spot, On The Head Of A Pin, and Changing Channels. I'm basing all that on it's rewatchability. I was expecting a mind-blowing episode and that's what I got.

2. I don't believe we've seen the last of the amulet. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I think it's too important (both as a symbol of brotherly love and as a GodEMF) to be gone forever...and far too beloved by the fandom to disappear. After all, Kripke keeps up with the fandom. Despite Jensen's sudden dislike for jewelry while acting, (I notice he's still rocking the numerous-bracel et look at Cons), I'm willing to bed he'll be saddled with the amulet again eventually.
anene
# anene 2010-04-17 05:08
Lovely review. You captured everything.

Although, i do have to say, people are over analyzing and putting too much weight and importance on Dean's snarks at Castiel. The "i got laid" line and the "Blow Me." It's like we haven't been watching the same show for five years now. Dean always like to joke especially sex jokes when he is deflecting or doesn't like the situation he's in. His similar line in Croatoan to the guy who asked him to get out of the car was "you're a handsome devil, but i don't swing that way. Sorry"
It meant nothing different than all the inappropriate jokes he makes even when you think it is impossible. This is the same guy who despite his depressive mood was flirting with a fake prophet and asking about 3rd base when Adam brought up a girl.
In Croatoan, he knew the man was bad news and getting out of the car was only going to lead to bad things. And yet, he made a sex joke.
So all that snarkiness was the easiest sign that Dean was uncomfortable with the situation. He was probably not happy with Castiel as Castiel was the one who zapped him back on Sam's orders. A good thing Castiel gave him the glare of death.

Any secret meaning that people are trying to make that snarkiness into is just people fishing. The only wink that was actually important was the one Dean gave to Sam in the green room.


And elle2, you're totally right. They are soul mates who are erotically co-dependent. Thanks to that, the power of love saved the day. As it has always been. 8-)
Elle2
# Elle2 2010-04-17 08:39
Hi, Kalixa and Anene,

Great comments from you both. I do hope the amulet returns but as I stated, I won't mourn if it doesn't. Some in the fandom have assigned such an importance that they can't move past things, I don't miss the ring or the bracelet on Dean and I never noticed Sam's change up back in earlier seasons from his jewelry. I did read somewhere from Kripke or someone that it was simply a creative decision and nothing more. I could care less. The amulet is massive and I have missed it greatly this season and as GodEMF it's possible to return. I just don't need it to believe Sam and Dean are together in the fight.

I agree on the rewatchability (having seen it four times already) It is eminently rewatchable along the lines of Changing Channels, OTHOAP and Mystery Spot. It didn't add a lot of new details for me is the crux of my point. In Changing Channels we learned that The Trickster is Gabriel and a potential ally (simply because he's so disaffected) in OTHOAP we learned that Dean opened the first seal and is the only one who can end it. We learned that it was supposed to be John and that for a near century he withstood Alastair, we learned that Sam drinks blood and now has the power to kill and that Uriel was killing angels ...wow, that was a lot of stuff in that episode [First up on my rewatch list yet again] and in Mystery Spot we learned that the Trickster (then not known as Gabriel) was trying to teach Sam a lesson had seemed to have some information beyond what he gave away. We also saw future Sam without Dean and realized that he could go very dark indeed.

So from that aspect we didn't learn a whole lot in the mytharc in PoNR but boy does it stand up with the three above.

Perhaps a list is in order of mind-blowing episodes or infinitely rewatchable episodes...hmmm.


Anene,

Thankfully I must have missed the overanalysis (really? I love to overanalyze) of Dean's 'suggestive' snarks to Castiel. I don't think they're anything other than what you've beautifully stated above, a means to deflect. This is how Dean does thing and it's interesting that Dean chooses snark with Castiel and at a level that he knows Castiel will understand -- remember earlier episodes show how Castiel doesn't understand many of Dean's references. Here he chooses base humor/snark and Cas gets the point.

you're right, the only wink of importance was the one Dean gave to Sam...which is why we were given a close up shot of it.

Thanks for the comments.
joelsteinlover
# joelsteinlover 2010-04-17 10:39
"Because...you' re still my big brother."

He said it like he was surprised it wasn't obvious.

It's statements like that that make viewers remember what this show is about. Sam and Dean having a good relationship was so far gone I could barely remember it (or, well, I would have if I hadn't been pining for it) and when Sam said that I was like "wow. That really is what it all comes back to, isn't it."

And I like what you said about Sam's devastation that Dean had let him down being the only thing that could jar him out of it. You said it perfectly.
Henry
# Henry 2010-04-17 11:12
That was a great review! You showed a lot of depth in your analysis of the roles of Bobby, Cas, as well as the relationship between Sam & Dean. You touched on a subject, however, that I'd like you to give your full analysis on..the Angel killing knives. Really? What's the purpose for them? I can see that Uriel had one when he started on his angel recruiting/kill ing rampage. But why does every guard angel carry one-especially in the light that it has only been used on angels. Angels wouldn't need it for humans as we're too weak and below consideration. It's not needed for demons, because Alister noted, that all angels could do was send demons back to hell (not kill them). As far as I can remember, the knives have never been used to get rid of a demon. So what would be the purpose of creating angel killing knives? So angels could kill other angels? Doesn't seem likely in any scenario in heaven or earth for that need and subsequent creation to come up. I'd love to hear your take on it.
elle2
# elle2 2010-04-17 11:50
Hi, Joelsteinlover and Henry,

Itsn't it true, Dean was so shocked at several things Sam did that I loved how the camera made a point to stay on his face and let us viewers soak in Dean's amazement. In the beginning when Sam found him...so remniscient of Dean's ability to track Sam from WTLB and Dean utterly didn't know what to make of it. As if it wouldn't be possible for Sam to know Dean as well as Dean knows Sam.

Henry, regarding the angel killing knives...my take on that is that we were shown that there were 'rogue' angels back in OTHOAP and that is also when we were first introduced to angel killing knives. I'm thinking it likely that when Zach and others decided to take charge and make things happen they knew that there would be those angels (like Castiel) who would remain loyal to God's plan, thus angel killing knives would be necessary if someone got to close to stopping Zach's and others like him plan.

Another faction of angels also splintered off, those like Uriel who instead of wanting to start the apocolypse and force Michael to bring on the promised paradise they instead want Lucifer freed and for Lucifer to command the heavens and the earth. Uriel wanted Dean dead, Zach did not. Uriel had angel killing knives to similarly dispatch those angels who would be loyal to God or in any way shape or form not loyal to the cause of Lucifer winning the end game.

I have no idea if all angels carry angel killing knives, perhaps more and more are being manufactured since the various factions have become aggressive in their roles. Obviously the 'guard angels' at the beautiful room carried those knives because Zach knew Castiel would show up and we know Castiel carries a 'death sentence' and is separated from heaven. Gabriel carries one also which is why he gave himself a 'makeover' and carved out his little niche in the universe as the Trickster.

It may likely go back even further than that for in the Bible when Satan fell he took a third of the angels from heaven with him. Supernatural has integrated that into their mythology and there are followers of Satan(Lucifer) who are cast out from heaven and have death sentences on them. Perhaps as far back as when Lucifer fell -- according to Supernatural's lore -- angel killing knives have been in the arsenal.

Castiel did not have one when we first met him but his job was to stand sentinel silently and invisibly on earth, not to hunt down fallen angels and dispatch them. Further, Castiel continued to have no need for an angel killing knife as his orders from God were simply to feed Dean bits of information and guide him along the path with a push here and a prod here. It wasn't until Uriel was shown to be the turncoat he was that we were introduced to angel killing knives and likely when Castiel realized he needed to incorporate such a weapon into his arsenal. He's carried one since as seen in its use in Sympathy for the Devil and more recently in Point of No Return. His gift to the Winchesters of the blades implies that they are to use these weapons to defend themselves and that he realizes the angels are stepping up their aggression towards Sam and Dean.

Anywho, that's my off-the-cuff take on the whole angel killing knives thingy. Love to hear others POV.
Bevie
# Bevie 2010-04-17 14:33
Great analysis that I agree with 99%.

I just would really love to see the amulet back before the hellatus and yes it does matter to me, don't know why, but I also really miss the bracelet and ring. They were part of Dean for over four years and I just feel that a bit of him is gone missing. :sad:

I am ecstatically happy right now as I have watched an episode that has not left me tearfully despondent. I loved that wink like you wouldn't believe and have been over the moon since! :D

Never has a television show meant so much to me. This I cannot confess to anywhere but here. ;-)
faye
# faye 2010-04-18 16:15
Just my take on Dean and Castiel. Dean had no intention of seeing any of them again (Bobby, Sam or Castiel) when he took off, so when he is back with them, under duress, what does he do?
As Elle says, he pushes them away by saying the most hurtful things he can. To Bobby you're not my father, to Sam you're weak I can't trust you, and what does he say to Castiel? These lewd suggestive comments were designed to hurt Castiel. Cas is already angry and disappointed, and he's not good at hiding his emotions. Cas hasn't just thrown all his eggs in the winchester basket, he's put his long angelic life on the line for Dean more than once, not because he has faith that Dean will stop the apocalypse, but because he loves him. I think most of us know that faith and love are not the same thing at all, and to lose faith in someone you love is very painful (just ask Sam and Dean, that's the basis of their problems as well).
So when Dean taunts Cas, what he's saying is you can glare at me all you want, you love me and your stuck with me. Yeah, Dean knows exactly how Castiel feels about him, and he chose to point out what it looks like to most human beings who sees them together. Snarky and cruel.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-04-18 16:44
Elle2, I loved this. I want to give it more thought when I'm not that tired and write a real comment. I loved how you captured the important aspects. More from me, soon.
Love Jas
elle2
# elle2 2010-04-18 19:47
Hi, Bevie, Faye and Jas,

Bevie,

Don't get me wrong...if the amulet returns, I suspect I'll have the same reaction to its return as I did to Ash's return which was a deep sigh and a smile of contentment for an old friend was back.

If it doesn't though, I won't be saddened for Dean and Sam have reached a newer (or as Kripke said would happen) wiser level in their relationship.

Faye, you're so accurate that all of Dean's comments and actions were designed to hurt. It's also indicative, in my experiences, that someone who has low self-esteem finds it easier to lash out when they're on the verge of something massive so that when those they love but think they are unworthy of that love don't follow them they can slink away 'knowing' that all along they were rigth, they were not worthy of that love.

Don't know if I explained that well, it's the sad twisted sorrow of people who think so little of themselves that they feel the need to prove it by forcing those around them to let them go.

Jas,

I'll look forward to your thoughts, I love reading your thoughts.

:-)
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-04-19 09:52
Elle2, this episode was also very satisfying for me. More than that, it confirmed my deepest beliefs about the characters and my fears for them. I’m not going to delve deeper into the heartbreaking aspects of it, but those were there, too, in abundance.
Somehow they always are – which is no surprise, really.

Although I don’t generally look on other sites for too-little-time and not-liking-the- insolent-manner -comments-on-ac tors-are-posted – reasons, I sometimes have a little look over lunchbreak what others have to say, only to swear to myself I should not do that.

So many people have been going on about the brothers’ relationship, how they should stop apologizing and be what they were in season one again, others stated that the storyline was becoming absurd with Dean being willing to say yes, and I agree with you – those fans clearly haven’t understood Dean’s character arc.

To my mind, Dean stepped onto that path the moment John told him about Sam’s possible fate of going dark side and the responsibility he hammered into his eldest son’s shoulders (In My Time of Dying). From that moment on Dean became way more vulnerable, and what he was forced to experience ever since was eating away at his resolve like one of those ghouls that devoured Adam. Had Dean been unaffected by all that I would not buy this show. He has to react the way he does, and I was actually quite surprised that he eventually did not go through with his plan of giving in to Michael (it would have been psychologically coherent, too), though it was bliss to see him find something to hold him back.

I think there is more to the story, and I’m going to address that in a forthcoming article. I’m going to take a short (!) writer’s break, as I’ve been writing insanely ever since I came back from the US with the Convention and Ghostfacer reports and the 100 moments thing, and I have to attend to a few other things I put aside.

That moment when Dean changed his mind and looked at Sam with that Indiana-Jones- wink made my heart leap with joy. Perhaps, finally, he trusts himself enough to rely on his little brother more. Sam showed so much strength here. He allow Dean to leave the panic room in a situation his older brother would have let him rot (and did so in the past). He was ready to take the plunge and took full responsibility for his actions and his trust in Dean.

It has a huge impact when someone you love so much shows that kind of trust and belief. Not only Sam. Bobby, too. He doesn’t kill himself because he promised Dean. That is a thin thread he’s clinging to, believe me, I deal repeatedly with that, I know how dangerously thin this can be. But, as Bobby doesn’t go through with it – his love for Dean is big enough and in Bobby’s eyes Dean is still worth it: staying alive for him. That, I believe, also made its way into Dean’s changing of mind, perhaps more subconsciously. Not killing oneself for the sake of someone is also a huge display of trust.

And Sam trusts him, as well, even after all they’ve been through and after everything Dean said to him, after the many times Dean had shoved his mistrust into his face. Sam takes full responsibilty for his mistakes, he tries to make amends, to find redemption (thereby earning respect from his elder brother). I hope he will succeed. (a wicked part of me would love to see a big confrontation, though, also because it was such a joy watch Jared play Lucifer. And, after what they said at the Con in L.A. (that they need to hit rock bottom to get back again), I think – in part - that something terrible is going to happen. But then again, they might have just toyed with the fandom’s eagerness to overanalyze everything (yes, I’m also guilty of that). Who knows. Whatever makes them stretch their acting muscles – I’m gonna love it.

I still think that Dean is going to go through some deeply disturbing mess… Both brothers are, I’m sure.
Perhaps still sacrificing a lot. Too much. Adam is gone. He might be used a some kind of leverage. He might be forced to sacrifice Sam? And dear, disillusioned and bitter Castiel might have a role to play here.
I have no idea how that could go down, but Dean is still deeply wounded. I don’t think this band aid he put on it by saying No will make his wounds heal any faster. I can’t think that he won’t torture himself for leaving Adam behind. And he might fear for Castiel’s whereabouts and safety, after all, the renegade angel is an outlaw now for trusting and collaborating with the Winchesters.

With what you say about Dean’s heavenly experience and realizing again how he was bringing others joy and cleaning up messes, I believe he might have also felt a pang of jealousy – Sam was able to live his life, while Dean wasn’t. Envy, of course, is a dirty emotion. We don’t like it. But everyone is jealous at times. If we’re lucky, it can serve as a compass to lead us to what we’d like to achieve for us.
Hopefully Dean will allow himself a bit more hedonism. Taking care of himself. Though that is a country he still needs a map for. A grown and matured Sam could help him with that, being more experienced in this field.



As for the angel-killing-k nives – question Henry brought up…. Truth is, there is no logical reason for them to exist, I’d say, if we think of angels as non-corporeal beings of heaven. Why would you need a blade to kill thin air? But then again, perhaps in Supernatural’ s realm, even in heaven angels are actually palpable… with a body than can be wounded. With a war having taken place long before man (according to scripture) there were probably weapons. If we are created in God’s image, with our knack for weaponry, why not assume that there is a whole arsenal up there – which is a somewhat frightening thought. On the other hand – perhaps the creators needed some weapons to be able to engage angels in real fights instead of using jedi I-nail-you-to-t he-wall-with-my -will tricks… Not my most original take on this question, sorry…


That last scene on the road moved me so much. They are at another level of their relationship, I agree with you. We still have to see how stable that will be, but they have stepped on, definitely. I believe, witnessing Sam’s undying resolve and trust in Dean helped the elder to finally see the grown up Sam. The man of strength, courage and loyalty and not the little brother. And it took Dean a lot of guts, too, to admit that he had trouble acknowledging that. Of course, we love the troubles we know instead of searching the unknown… it’s safer.

They are venturing out on new territory now. I couldn’t be more curious. Knowing the show, I’m expecting more tragedy. Hey, I have so many tissues at home, I need to use them some day… ha! As we’ve been talking so much about trust – I trust the writers to bring us the most amazing closure of this story. And I think it will be some kind of rock bottom. I hope I’m wrong, but I’d like to see that too. I should see a shrink about that.

Gosh, this was long, thanks for bearing with me. Love Jas
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-04-19 12:39
"a wicked part of me would love to see a big confrontation, though, also because it was such a joy watch Jared play Lucifer."

Well, I'm ashamed to confess but I'm VERY wicked. Knowing what the Js are capable to do as we know, how awesome would it be to see them face-to-face as Michael and Lucifer? :twisted:
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-04-19 14:32
Elle2 - Great review. So good it was to have our true bros back. Many have been waiting all season for this. I agree with you, Dean has always had the faith he ever needed...in his brother. He just lost site of it for a while. Ditto for Sam. He will always rely on Dean...that has been part and parcel of his whole upbringing. Just like Dean can never forget what 'family' means to him. That's why the show is still around.

I really never thought Dean was going to fail Sam. If he was, why did he take the 'angel' knife in with him? That was pretty big to conceal in his sleeve, if has was always going to say yes.

As for his eyes, I agree with you. They were just a special effect for us fans. The reflection was really neat too!

Zach's solo opening was priceless. Guess Zach should have been happy with the 'pink' slip!:P Kurt Fuller was excellent.

Thanks for sharing!
elle2
# elle2 2010-04-20 20:41
Hi, Jas, Andrea and Sablegreen,

I'm looking forward to your upcoming article, Jas. Take a breather though and get your 'strength back'

As for the angel killing knives and non-corporeal beings, there is some sense there (nice of me, huh? LOL) but then again demons had a demon killing knife, at least demon Ruby did and we know that they, like angels inhabit corporeal forms. It's an intriguing idea and one that I may or may not tackle further come...hellatus [ducks]

I also agree that while Sam and Dean took big steps forward in their relationship there will be many bumps along the way. I'm cool with that [channeling Ash] though cause the writers have proven time and time again their love and dedication to both brothers, I have no doubt it will continue.

Andrea, I think you'll get your 'wicked' wish...and it may leave us hanging for 17+ weeks but that's the love and sorrow of this great show.

Sablegreen, I guess Dean could have taken the knife into the 'beautiful room' with him simply because he figured he'd have to fight his way out with Adam and/or protect Sam. I believe he fully intended to say yes as he stated in the panic room with Sam and that the knife was for defense of Adam and Sam only. Ah, the 'power of love' does hte trick.

It will be interesting to watch the next four eps to see if it was simply a cool effect shot or something more...I'll be watching (well, I'd be watching even w/o that question. :-)

Thanks for the comments.