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Exile on Main Street S6/1
Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
One year ago - We are reminded of last year's sad ending, when Sam and Adam "triple-lindied" into the box, with a voice-over of Sam reminding Dean to go find Lisa and live an apple pie life and not go looking for him. "Promise me, Dean. Promise me!" 
Now - An alarm clock goes off at 7 AM, and Dean, who looks as if he hasn't slept much, smiles at Lisa, who rolls over to hold and kiss his hand and ask, "You all right?" "Yeah," he answers. Bob Seger's "Beautiful Loser" begins to play on the soundtrack; Dean runs a hand through his hair and the line "You just can't have it all" seems to take on special meaning for him. Next scene, he takes down a can of salt, but only to add it to the eggs he's frying; the next two black and white flashbacks show him laying it down as protection while he was hunting. Lisa slides gracefully under his arm, a domestic dance, as if she's done it hundreds of times before as he serves the eggs to Ben. Dean closes his truck's trunk, closes the Impala's trunk with Sam at his side; backs down the truck, backs down the Impala, uses tools to work on a construction site, uses similar tools to kill vampires and ghosts. He shares beer with Sam on the road, with neighbor Sid at a barbecue; he works on the Impala with Sam, he works on the Impala with Ben. 
At the end of the evening, Dean closes the curtains, locks the doors, peeks through the blinds, finishes a stiff drink, gazes through the window to make sure his neighbors and friends are all right, peers into Ben's  room (where the ceiling is covered with stars) at the sleeping child, then slides into bed beside Lisa, dropping his hand to show us the gun and bottle of holy water with rosary beads inside--proving you can take the man out of hunting but not the hunter out of the man. "Beautiful Dreamer" comes to a close with "just don't need it all."   
Over beers in Jonesy's Bar & Grill, Dean and Sid, his friend and next-door neighbor, are discussing how their lives have changed, and how, 15 years ago, for Sid, it would have been "Me and that goat all over the internet." "Believe me, I know," says Dean, "my whole life, pretty much." "And?" says Sid, making it clear that Dean's always been closed-mouthed about his life and past. Dean finally confesses that he lived on the road taking crap jobs nobody else wanted. "Like. . .pest control." He worked with a partner, helped people--"You have no idea what's in some people's walls--eat 'em alive." Sid makes a disgusted sound. "That was then and this is now," says Dean. "You're practically respectable," notes his friend. "Guess so, kinda scary, actually," says Dean. The waitress, arm full of tats, comes over, leaves the check and slides her hand over Dean's arm. "I think she likes you," observes Sid. She even left her phone number on the check. "What is it with you?" demands Sid, snatching the bill, "EVERY TIME!" "It's like chicks specifically dig unavailable guys," complains Dean, tearing up the check, "who knew?" (Oh, Dean, in your case, it would be whether you're single or married!) 
Dean and Sid part company outside the bar. Dean's about to leave when he hears a woman's scream; he grab's a flashlight and gun from his truck and enters a building under construction next to the bar. A bird flies out, giving him and us a start, but when he comes across scratch marks and a large, bloody hand print on a wall, it becomes interesting.
He returns home to call and find out if there have been any missing person reports and check 911 dispatches on his computer. When he's told no, he explains he has a hunch, that he was a cop for a long time. Lisa comes down and asks who he's speaking to; he lies, says he was speaking to Sid, trying to set up a poker game. It's 11:30, she points out. That explains why he was sleepin' when I called, says Dean, glass in hand, and promises to be right up. OK, she says, and leaves. This time, when Dean performs his night time ritual, we see he has a Devil's Trap hidden under the carpet by the front door. 
Next morning, Dean spots scratch marks on a light pole. He stops, slips his gun into the back of his pants, and finds claw marks first in hanging laundry, then on a shed door. Gun drawn, he pushes open the shed door, all set to shoot the deadly. . .Yorkie? The terrified little dog runs away. "Dean, is that a gun?" asks Sid, shocked. Dean quickly shoves it back in his pants. "No. . .yeah. . .well, I got a permit for it," blathers Dean. "What, to shoot the Glickman's dog?" asks Sid. "I thought that was a possum," says Dean, "remember when I said I was in pest control? Well, possums carry rabies, so." Dean makes a sound of a gunshot. "I did not KNOW that!" says Sid, sounding scared. "Yeah, possums kill," warns Dean, spotting something on the ground, "oh, crap." He leans down. "What's that?" asks Sid. "Sulfur," says Dean, almost to himself, rubbing the yellow substance between his fingers, "I gotta go." "Hold on, Dean!" says Sid, but Dean is racing off--"what the hell?" 
Dean enters his garage, removes a tarp from the Impala (poor Baby, put in a corner), and begins throwing weapons into a duffel. When Lisa enters, however, he's taking a hammer from his red toolbox, holding it up. "Gettin' a hammer," he says. Lisa just saw Sid--"Did you almost shoot a Yorkie?" she asks. "Technically," answers Dean. "What's goin' on?" she asks. He says nothing, but she doesn't believe him. "I got this Spidey sense," he explains. "OK," she says, "are you hunting something?" "At first I thought I was," he says, but I'm pretty sure I got all worked up over nothin'--it happens." "Are you sure?" she asks. Because he has an OCD thing about this, he asks her to take Ben and go to a movie, Cheesecake Factory, hang out with the TV masses, and he'll do a final sweep to be 100% sure. "OK," Lisa agrees, "be careful." "Careful is my middle name," he says. She grins, they kiss, she leaves.  (She's super-patient with him, isn't she?)
Dean frantically opens a footlocker. Underneath his old leather jacket, which he caresses for a moment, is John's journal. He glances at a few pages until the light bulb over his head begins to flicker and he hears a noise; then he rises to his feet, shotgun in his hands, and stalks his prey. A ball rolls out from beside the Impala, and Dean moves there, all set to shoot. . .nothing. Then he's face to face with the Yellow-Eyed Demon, who, grinning, says, "Hi, Dean, look who the Apocalypse shook loose!" Azazel laughs. "You have fun, sniffin' that trail? 'Cause I sure had fun battin' ya around!" "You can't be!" snarls Dean. "Oh, sure I can," says the YED, advancing on Dean as he backs away. "No," moans Dean. "Yeah, kiddo, the Big Daddy brought your pal Cas back, right?--so why not me?--add a little spice to all that sugar?" Dean shoots him. "Really?" asks the YED, fake-aggrieved--"after all we've been through together?" Azazel lifts him up by the throat. "You know," he says, "you got a great little life here--pretty lady, real understanding, hell of a kid. . .and how DO you keep your lawn so green? I mean, come on, Dean, you never been what I call brainy, but did you really think you were gonna get to keep all this? You had to know that we were comin' for ya sometime." Azazel pulls him around and pushes him against the covered Impala, squeezing the life out of him. "Ya can't outrun your past. . ." Grinning, the YED slowly chokes the life out of Dean. Until Sam comes up behind the YED and injects Dean in the chest with a huge needle of something.
Dean comes to consciousness and blearily sees Sam sideways at first. Incredulous, he bolts upright. "Hey Dean," his brother says calmly, standing and approaching the cot where Dean lies. Chucking, Sam says, "I was expecting, I dunno, a hug?--holy water in the face?-- somethin'?" "So I'm dead?" says Dean--"this is heaven?--Yellow Eyes killed me and. . ." "Yellow Eyes?" questions Sam--"that's what you saw?" He explains to Dean that he was poisoned, and whatever crazy crap he'd been seeing was illusions brought on by the poison. Dean remembers the scratches on the wall, tears in  laundry, Azazel. "So are you real?" asks Dean. "I'M real," Sam assures him, and offers to save him the trouble by cutting his own arm with a silver knife and, then gulping holy water with what looks like added salt. "All me," says Sam, adding, "that's nasty." Dean stands. "Sammy," he says. "Yeah, it's me," his brother says. Dean walks slowly towards Sam and into a hug, which Sam returns with a smile and a nod. (No tears.) Dean is starting to well up, but he abruptly says, "Wait a minute, you were GONE, that was IT, how the hell did you. . .?" Sam doesn't know--he's just back. "Was it God or Cas?" asks Dean--"does Cas know anything about it?" "You tell me," says Sam, "I've been callin', Cas hasn't answered my prayers--I don't even know where he is--I mean, I was down there, one minute later it was raining and I was up in that field--alone. It's kinda hard to go lookin' for whatever saved you when you got no leads--I looked, believe me, I looked--for weeks." This captures Dean's attention: "Wait. . .weeks? How long you been back?" Seeing Sam's guilty face, Dean asks again, "How long you been back, Sam?" "About a year," confesses Sam. "YOU'VE BEEN BACK PRACTICALLY THIS WHOLE TIME?" demands Dean--"WHAT, DID YOU LOSE THE ABILITY TO SEND A FREAKIN' TEXT MESSAGE?" "You finally had what you wanted, Dean," says Sam softly. "I WANTED MY BROTHER, ALIVE!" shouts Dean. "You wanted a family," counters Sam, "you have for a long time, maybe the whole time, I know you--you only gave it up because of the way we lived--but you HAD something and you were BUILDING something--had I shown up, Dean, you woulda just run off." Dean, disbelieving,  turns away and covers his mouth with one hand. (I was expecting him to haul off and punch Sam.) "I'm sorry," says Sam, "but I felt like after everything, you deserved some regular life." Dean turns back to his brother. "What have you been doing?" he asks. "Hunting," reveals Sam. "You left me alone and you were flying solo?" asks Dean, pissed off. "Not solo, I hooked up with some other people," says Sam. "You working with strangers," says Dean, stunned. "They were more like family," says Sam, "and they're here." 
Sam throws open double doors in another house. A pretty, dark-haired young woman says "Hi!" "Hi," says Dean. "My God, you have delicate features for a hunter," she remarks. "Excuse me?" says Dean. Sam introduces her--"Gwen Campbell." "Good to finally meet you," she says," Sam's gone on and on." Next is Christian, who just waves at Dean with two fingers; Mark Campbell, who shakes Dean's hand and says "Campbell, like your Mom." "Third cousin, third cousin, somethin' something' twice removed," says Sam, "they grew up in the life, like us." "I thought all Mom's relatives were gone," says Dean, "and I'm sorry, but why didn't we know about ANY of you?" "Because they didn't know about you," says another, familiar, voice--dead Grandpa Campbell!--"until I brought you all together." "Samuel," says a stunned Dean. "C'mere," says Samuel, pulling Dean into his arms for a hug. Dean remembers 1973, meeting his grandfather, seeing the YED flee Samuel's body and leave him dead. "Guys, give me a few seconds with my grandsons here, please," says Samuel. The cousins exit. "A lot of resurrections in your face today," Samuel tells Dean, "it's all right, take a minute." "It's gonna take a little more than a minute," says Dean, "I mean what the hell, how did this happen?" Samuel thinks whatever pulled Sam up pulled him down. "So whatever this is, we're both a part of it," says Sam. "But you don't know what that is," says Dean darkly. "Bingo," says Samuel. And they have no leads. Dean wipes his face, upset--"No more doornails comin' outta that door, is there?" he asks. "As far as we know, it's Samuel and me," answers Sam. "Am I the only one who doesn't think this just can't be fine?" asks Dean. "You're not," Samuel assures him, "I wanted to come get you right away, Sam was adamant about leaving you out, so we did--until this." "So you ended up in my garage how?" asks Dean. Apparently, Sam was attacked by Djinn who look just like regular people. They stuffed him with poison, unlike the cave-dwelling hermit Djinn of old. All they need to do to kill is touch a person; the toxin gets into your system, you hallucinate your worst nightmares, then overdose. "How are you breathin' air?" asks Dean. Luckily, Samuel has a cure for Djinn poisoning and saved Sam. "Stick around, I'll show you tricks your Daddy never dreamed of," promises Samuel. Sam explains that since Dean staked a Djinn a while back, this is revenge; they figured one would be coming after him next, which explains why they are here. "Lisa and Ben," realizes Dean, "they're at the house right now!" Even though Samuel assures him he's got someone at the house watching them, Dean orders Sam, "You gotta take me home right now!" Dean runs into his house, calling to Lisa and Ben, running past their protector sitting dead in a car outside. With no response from either Lisa or Ben and no sign of them, Dean is terrified. Sam comes into the house and they shares his brother's fear.
Dean, scanning smiling photos of him with Lisa and Ben on the wall in front of him, calls her, but when he gets no answer, bangs the wall in frustration. Petrified, he turns and sees her behind him, with Ben, both safe. "Where have you been?" he demands, hugging both of them so tightly, Lisa says OW. She reminds him that he sent them to the movies and asks what's wrong. "Get upstairs and pack your bags," he says. "Where are we going?" asks Ben. "To a friend's house," says Dean. Lisa sends Ben upstairs, but he runs into Sam on the way. "Um," he says. "Oh my God!" says Lisa. "Lisa, Ben, I don't know if you remember," begins Dean. "Sam," says Lisa, and she looks at Dean in shock. 


# CitizenKane2 2010-09-27 19:49
I enjoyed reading this - thank you. :-)

I'm starting to wonder whether the "delicate features" comment was meant to be sarcasm. I tend to associate "delicate features" with something feminine (i.e. not very sharp ?) :P
Amy J
# Amy J 2010-09-27 20:25
Excellent review. Your right about a number of things. SN did seem like the pilot of a copletely different show. And their are a lot of questions that need answering.

# Jasminka 2010-09-28 05:00
Robin, thank you so much for another great rambling.... It's so great to see the various viewpoint of us writers here, we're of different minds and yet there is always one consensus - we love what we do and what we find in the show. How great is that!?

Many of your questions are also mine, so I've been speculating away, though I believe this show will, again, surprise us in so many ways.

1. My theory is that they kidnap her to extract the venom to make antiserum (like with a snake). That would be the harmless answer. But my guts tell me there will be a much crueler reveal of that agenda.

2. I think you can't speak of mistake or not-mistake in this context. To my mind, it is Dean's deepest, inner core to be the protector. It is his identity. And here he sees danger and it's a matter of who he is that he needs to stay to protect them. He believes he brought this upon them. So, to not feel guiltier that he already does, he can't leave.

3. well, this is quite shallow (and being European I am not familiar with the connotations of that expression, as CitizenKane2 says above). To me he has delicate features. Beautiful delicate features. You see the soul in his face, that is delicate to me. But I am blinded by sheer beauty here, of course :o.

4. I would love it if this was an inside joke Jensen brought up!

5. And then some!

6. It was more of a welling-up and smiling. The atmosphere of the episode put its restraints on me and for a while I felt as if my own emotions were enwrapped in layers of cotton.

7. I discussed that at length 'on my Couch', so it's kinda weird to repeat it here. To me, this is a man in the deepest turmoil possible. He is scared of any memories from hell. Talking about that would only bring it up. He's repressing ALL his emotions. Even the joy of holding his brother again. To my mind, Sam's strange smile there was just a mask to hold all that pain in.

8. It felt like something completely new and yet the same, as we know these characters so well by now. I didn't miss the 'old' guys, because it wouldn't have seemed logical to me, after all they've been through. I expected torn-up, tortured, tormented people. And that's what we got. It probably made me love the brothers even more.

9. Must have been damn close, Robin. Since time is different in hell (and I imagine even more being ridden by Lucifer), there will be plenty to learn about when we finally find out what happened to Sam there. But, we're being told that this episode happens practically one year later, so I guess, it is a matter of days.

10. No idea. But I would love it, if God did so. at least in regard to Sam. He gained redemption with his sacrifice. The resurrection of Samuel - well, I doubt that this was by 'good'. My guess is these are two different story lines.

Thanks again for sending my mind working again! Love Jas
# Evelyn 2010-10-11 01:22
Thanks for the recap Robin. I can go through this episode yet another time without having to actually watch it. And I just love that. Now I need to go and actually watch it again. :-)

As you your questions posed:
1. It could be to extract blood or whatever from her to make the serum. I think there is torture involved and other sinister things going on that we don't know yet. And why don't they tell Sam (and Dean), because they aren't involved in the sinister plot, yet.

2. No, I don't think Dean made a mistake returning to Lisa and Ben. Like others have said, a part of who he is needs to be needed, and being with Lisa and Ben fills that requirement. Also, I do believe that he loves them and can't quite wrap his head around everything that is going on, so staying with Lisa and Ben is the best option for him (at that time).

3. I took that remark from Gwenn as a very sarcastic, demeaning comment to Dean, especially in her delivery. Made me instantly dislike her. And then when she later brings on the magazine thing....I disliked her even more.

4. Loved the reference to golf. Most likely a side joke to Jensen's favorite past time.

5. I loved the interspersing scenes between current life and former life in the beginning. My favorite being the auto shop and how Ben took to it so easily. Especially loved the way these two dressed alike - same boots, jeans, dark t-shirts. Loved, loved, loved that.

6. Didn't cry after Lisa's speech on the stairs but felt grateful to her that she is such a strong, caring, compassionate woman to Dean and that she "gets" the bigger picture and isn't afraid to call him on his B.S. As to Bobby, ya just gotta love him and smile.

7. Sam is definitely "off." And his unwillingness to talk about Hell is kind of hypocritical when he pestered Dean constantly to even say anything about his experience in hell. So, yea, that bugs me.

8. I loved this episode from the beginning and grew to love it the more I watched it. I was just happy our show was back. A lot of things did feel a little off, but with the brothers being apart for a year and after all they have both experienced during that year, you cannot and should not expect things to be the same. So, I kind of figured things were going to be a little different. But, I think, over time, as we learn more about what happened in that past year, and figure out what is going on and why, things will fall into place and our show will start to feel a little more familiar. This is all part of the growing process. We would get bored if everything were always the same, so mixing it up like this, keeps it fresh and interesting.

9. Very curious about Sam's exit from Hell. Also think he was there for a very short time. I would say probably days or a couple of weeks, tops. And it will be interesting to find out the reasons why he was freed.

10. I think Sam's resurrection was for good, being that he sacrificed himself, he was rewarded. As to Samuel's resurrection, I don't trust that. I also am beginning to think that whoever brought Sam back, did not bring Samuel back. I think they are two different entities. And that whoever brought Samuel back is up to no good.

All in all, a great start to a new story arc and Season 6. Anxious and excited to watch it all unfold.