There were so many things to love about this episode. But my favorite part of all was probably the spin they put on the story of Cain and Abel. This show has always done such a great job of taking legends, historical moments and bible stories and turning them on their head. I mean, it’s pretty much the platform the entire show was built on. And nine seasons later they are still blowing my mind with it.
I don’t think I can say enough about Cain’s character. Everything about him intrigued me. Not only was the story itself great, but Timothy Omundson really delivered. He was the kind of villain that can’t be bothered to try and scare anyone, but you know what he’s capable of if you cross him. That is my favorite kind of villain; effortlessly scary.
And as it turns out, Cain and Dean have a fair bit in common. I knew there was going to be some kind of brother parallel from the moment Cain was introduced. But like Dean, I was confused because he saved Sam and Cain killed Abel, didn’t he? As it turns out, deals with devils aren’t just a Winchester thing. And Cain has suffered for it. In exchange for sending his brother’s soul to Heaven he was made rule the knights of Hell. And as it turns out, he’s responsible for their demise. And when he tried to get out, he lost the love of his life. Man, that sounds a lot like someone we know.
Because of all their similarities, Cain felt Dean was worthy of The Mark of Cain. First of all, how creepy is that? Even Crowley crossed himself at the sight of it. A mark given to Cain by Lucifer himself. Yikes. The mark along with the First Blade will give Dean the power to kill Abaddon. But what we still don’t know is what kind of burden will accompany the transfer of this mark. It probably would have been smart for Dean to get a little more info before making this deal. But that’s Dean, ready to sacrifice himself and his happiness to take out the bad guys. And at this point he really doesn’t care about himself, does he? You know it’s bad when the King of Hell points it out.
Crowley: “He was right, you know. You are worthy.
Dean: “Oh great, you gonna get all touchy-feely too?”
Crowley: Your problem, mate, is that nobody hates you more than you do. Believe me, I’ve tried.”
Ouch. That one hurt. But Dean has made the deal, and the mark has been transferred. What it will mean for him is unclear, but it’s not going to be good whatever it is. I only hope that there’s a way to come back from it when he comes back to his senses.
There is one theme that has come up a few times throughout the seasons that still puzzles me. And it came up again in “First Born”. There is this recurring idea that Dean is a killer at heart. I think we first heard this from Gordon Walker way back in season two. I’m just not seeing it. Is Dean capable of killing, yes and he’s very good at it as we saw in this episode. (Props to whoever choreographed that fight scene. So good!) But does he take sport in it? I don’t think so. He doesn’t live to kill the way I think is implied by calling someone a “killer”. I think he kills out of necessity and to save people. And sure, out of revenge sometimes but his victims are never innocent. Is there something I’m missing here? Please tell me if there is because this has been bothering me for years!
It’s not often we get to see Sam and Cass spend much quality time together. We all know Cass and Dean share a “special bond” so it was nice to see Sam and Cass interact without Dean there. As we all probably guessed Sam is carrying around the guilt of Kevin’s death. This only adds to his years of feeling inadequate. Sam has the notion that all he’s ever done is screw things up. It’s so sad to think about him carrying that burden all these years. Just when Sam was ready to throw it all away to do “one thing right” Cass is there to bring some perspective.
Cass: “Nothing is worth losing you...The only person that has screwed things up more consistently than you is me. And now I know what that guilt feels like. And I know what it means to feel sorry, Sam. "I am sorry.”
Sam: “I know.”
Cass: “You know, old me, I would have just kept on going. I would have shoved that needle in until you died because the ends always justify the means. But what I went through, that PB&J taught me that angels can change. So, who knows? Maybe Winchesters can too.”
Bless you, Cass. There was no better person to be there with Sam in that moment. Sure, Dean can understand guilt and he could tell Sam that there’s still a chance to change, but at the end of the day Sam knows that Dean would say anything to save him. And even if Dean really meant it, and I’m sure he would, it would fall on deaf ears at this point in their relationship. It had to be Cass. And even though extracting the grace was a bust, we still got some emotional healing and an epic man hug. “Now’s the part where you hug me back.”
So Sam and Dean insist on keeping their missions separate even though they both plan to go after Gadriel. Crowley said it best, “It’s always something with you boys, isn’t it?”. Even though they aren’t jumping at Cass and Crowley’s advice to stick together, it seems to be weighing heavily on both of them. Sam has newfound respect for his life thanks to Cass and I wonder if that might make him a little more sympathetic towards Dean’s past decisions? I’m not sure at this point what will be the thing that brings them back together. But I’m wondering if it might end up being Cass. He spent this entire episode with Sam but he’s not angry with Dean either. I can see him bouncing back and forth between the brothers slowly working to mend their relationship. What do you think? Could Cass be the one to bring Sam and Dean back together?
Man, I cannot get over this episode. I can honestly say I enjoyed every second of it. And I am so excited about all the potential storylines we have going for the second half of this season. I thought Gadriel and Metatron were it, and I was going to be okay with that. But then they throw in the Mark of Cain and I am downright giddy. What can I say? I love the drama.
So what did you all think about the episode? Were you as happy as I was? Any predictions about the Mark of Cain? I can’t even begin to guess what’s next in the Metatron/Gadriel storyline. So much to discuss!
I can’t leave without mentioning some of the great quotes and stray observations.
Crowley: “So, is that boudoir smile for me?”
Crowley: “That waitress is trouble with a capital V.D.”
Cass: “It tastes like molecules.”
Cass: “I miss you PB&J.”
Sam: “You’re a terrible liar.”
Cass: “That is not true. I once deceived and betrayed both you and your brother.”
Oh Cass, so literal.
Crowley: “I’ve been inside your brother. We’re practically family.”
John’s storage container = “Rustic obsessive” & “paranoid deco”.
Sam: “They didn’t have a guinea pig. We do.”
Cass: “You have a guinea pig? Where?”
I really liked Tara. I would have loved to see her again at some point. Too bad they killed her…
Crowley: “I’d never leave my domestic partner in crime.”
Even though we found out that Crowley was faking it I found the idea of him being terrified of Cain really funny.
Cain silences Crowley.
Dean: “Oh, you gotta teach me how to do that.”
Cass: “Sam, the trials. You chose not to go through with them for a reason, didn’t you? You chose to live rather than to sacrifice yourself. You and Dean, you chose each other.”
Sam: “Yeah, I did. We did. And then, Dean made a choice for me.
Crowley: “This is by far the dumbest idea you’ve ever had.”
Dean: “Yeah, well it’s early.”
Cass: “Why must the Winchesters run towards death? Sam, when I was human, I died and that showed me that life is precious and it must be protected at all costs. Even a life as pig-headed as a Winchesters.”
Sam: “My life’s not worth more than anyone else’s. Not yours, or Dean’s or Kevin’s. Please help me do one thing right.”
Crowley: “You’re good….but I’m Crowley.”
Cain: “Abel wasn’t talking to God. He was talking to Lucifer. Lucifer wanted to make him his pet and I couldn’t bear to watch my brother be corrupted so I offered a deal. Abel’s soul in Heaven for my soul in Hell. Lucifer accepted as long as I was the one who sent Abel to Heaven. So I killed him and became a soldier of Hell. A Knight.”
Cain: “When I call you, and I will call. You come find me and use the blade on me.”