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â€˜This is where I get off. God be with you.â€™
Balthazar becomes their double agent in no time, and even finds Lisa and Ben, but canâ€™t get them out of there, since Crowley has angel proved the whole thing, obviously not trusting Cas. â€˜Seems that marriage is going swimmingly.â€™
I could easily imagine that Balthazar has thought about his mutiny here for quite a while. He didnâ€™t seem to be exactly a fan of Castielâ€™s. And he seems to sense the crumbling of Castielâ€™s plan. Though he has been introduced to us as a rather hedonistic creature, there is also a part of him that shudders at the thought of Castiel swallowing up that nuclear reactor of souls and take a chunk of the planet with him.
He might think of his own survival, yes, but I strongly believe that there is also something left of his former mandate â€“ of being an angel and therefore a protector of all creation. Balthazar risks a lot to get them to the warehouse where Lisa and Ben are being held.
Getting into that building is just another day at the office for our heroes, at first that is. They split up, which, in this case, is not the most capital idea â€“ it leads to Sam being knocked out and locked up, while Dean has to fight the demons on his ownâ€¦ as he intended to do, anyway. He could use some back up, though, especially when the ugly realization that a demon took possession of Lisa strikes him with unexpected force â€“ holding a knife to Benâ€™s throat and tantalizing both of them with lies (or truths?) about their relationships. And though Dean tries to dismiss the evil words coming out of DemonLisaâ€™s mouth, they do affect him. Itâ€™s in his face. The struggle. The doubts. The understanding that turning to Lisa in his grief was a mistake, indeed, since they would not be here had he left her aloneâ€¦ I bet all this is screaming inside his head.
What does this do to Dean? My goodness, I donâ€™t even want to go there. The battles he has fought so far have taught him to put aside physical pain and push forward by sheer willpower. And now he has to shove away the excruciating pain tugging at his soul to be able to still save Lisa, to not make a wrong move â€“ this demon wonâ€™t hesitate killing the terrified boy.
Once more I am amazed by Deanâ€™s endurance. He conjures up the strength he needs to not break down, though every fibre in his being probably wants to do exactly that. This is simply too much to take. He needs sobriety of mind, not panic. Dean surely is full of doubts, too, at this moment. But he plucks up his courage. Nothing else is an option right now in this bottomless pit of silent despair, amalgamated with fear and the faint awareness that he will lose themâ€¦one way or the other.
Dean knows his Latin exorcism ritesâ€¦ after several failures in the past he knows the words by heart, now. Thereâ€™s a chance to save Lisa! Exorcize the demon, and it seems as if itâ€™s even workingâ€¦ But confusion and inner turmoil take their toll, and the words leave his mouth not powerful enough, and DemonLisa strikes back at him â€“ most of all with the knife she grabs, thrusting it into Lisaâ€™s body. Oh no! No!
This isnâ€™t happening! Noâ€¦.
â€˜Sheâ€™s just a dead meatsuitâ€™ DemonLisa says, voicing probably what Dean is thinking at this point. He knows that there is hardly a chance for her to survive now.
Jensen is amazing in these scenes, really. As the events grow ever more highly charged, he operates in the nauseating borderlands between despair, decisiveness, stubbornness and certainty of loss. Itâ€™s all in his face, the fighting emotions, the fear of taking a wrong turnâ€¦ Watching him act these scenes is most unnerving to me.
I want to jump in and save him yet again from another intolerably painful experience. Heâ€™s had enough in his young life. More than anyone else probably would have been able to survive. Iâ€™m afraid that he might crack someday. Truly break beyond repair. Sometimes he appears to me like a wretched, old, scrapped shadow of a car, held together by spit onlyâ€¦ Dearest hunterâ€¦ this is tragic beyond wordsâ€¦
As he finally decides to finish the rite, knowing that Lisa would want him to, his face is that of a broken man, betraying the woe of these days in his life.
â€˜Take care of your mom.â€™
His experience as a skilful hunter allows him to skip out of the shock to do what needs to be done. He instructs Ben without hesitation, giving him the order to grab his gun and use it â€“ thereby being forced to do what he never wanted: let Ben ever get near that gun and get into the hunting game in whatever way. But he needs the boy to be strong now â€“ just like his own dad needed him to be strong when Mary was killed. And in this moment, Dean surely is aware of it, the childhood days of Ben are over.
As he carries Lisa out of there, the boy reluctantly becomes a soldier, following orders. They find Sam, get into the car and rush Lisa to the nearest hospital. In all likelihood all of them are aware that there is hardly any hope. Lisa is dying. â€˜Sheâ€™s fine, sheâ€™s fine,â€™ Dean mutters, like a mantra, to soothe Benâ€™s terror, but also to hold his own wits together.
Watching this is painful. But what I feel now pales in comparison to what I feel when they reach he hospital. There are no wordsâ€¦ silently Dean and Ben watch over Lisa, and as Dean tries to apologize to Ben, the boy just leaves. He canâ€™t. Not now. As if this wasnâ€™t enough of a shock to Dean, Castiel appears out of the blue. The elder Winchester is not in the mood, at all, to talk to Castiel or listen to any of his speeches. Heâ€™s too shattered. The pain must be cutting away at him like glass fragments from the insideâ€¦
And then Castiel heals Lisa. Just like that. I am just as astonished as Dean who searches for words and even for the strength to look the angel in the eye and thank him. And to ask him to fix one more thing â€“ purge her and Benâ€™s minds of all memories of Dean.
The moment Dean holds Cas back, it is clear to me what he will ask him to do. And all of a sudden I am so very afraid of what this could mean to Dean in the long run. He will remember it all. Only Lisa and Ben will live in merciful oblivion.
It might not have been his call to ask Castiel to do that, but I think it was a brave move â€“ with making them forget, he severed any bonds they had with him. He deliberately let go of the boy he loved like a son and the woman who was as close to being his wife as it gets. In his own, private emotional realm, these two were his family (apart from Sam, and in a time he thought Sam to be dead).
In cruder hands, this move would have been, perhaps, unforgiveable, but watching Jensen Ackles here we understand how much it is killing him, but how much he needs to keep them as save as he can. This marvellous actor again delivers an engrossing performance of understatement and still vast emotion.
He believes this to be of utmost importance. Itâ€™s what he learned to be effective â€“ to sacrifice himself in so many ways. He needs to make this decision for them, he simply doesnâ€™t see any other option. I understand why he did it.
All of us learn certain strategies that help us live and survive. With Dean it is his, practically, innate sense of being the one who has to be the protector, at pretty much all costs. Here he puts his own soul on the block and cuts the ones he loves off. To keep them save. I only hope this will include cutting off memories demons might have of Lisa and Benâ€¦
Dean is saying good-bye, his voice faltering, his head bowed in relief, in gratitude over the unexpected mercy Castiel gave him, in agony over the certainty that he will never speak to them again, in guilt of having brought so much pain to them. As he walks away, his sad face speaks of his depletion, colour gone, with almost elderly lines. He aged years through this experienceâ€¦ And itâ€™s even more credit Jensen deserves for this incredible performance. I salute you, Jensen Ackles.
Dean canâ€™t face Samâ€™s protest (that still speaks of his discontent with his own memory-loss situation) at this point nor does he want to delve into the thought that it might have been the wrong decision. Iâ€™m sure, Dean knows that already. But the pain is too great. He canâ€™t. I donâ€™t blame him. All I feel is understanding, forgiveness, hope that he might be able to live with it. And â€“ I am certain of it â€“ Sam feels all this, too. And he wishes to help his brother, as much as he can. Which he will do in the following episode, the second part of this seasonâ€™s finale.
As the brothers drive away from the hospital, Eleanor heads for her car and is taken by Castiel. We know this wonâ€™t end well for her. But, oh, God, it wonâ€™t end well for any of themâ€¦
â€˜Iâ€™d rather ask forgiveness than permission.â€™
Sera Gamble and John Showalter brought us an episode that held so much emotional hooks that I still am gasping for breath. Named after a Rolling Stones album, this episode really drew a lot of blood. For me this was one of the best episodes of this season, and it was full of fantastic performances and scenes.
As a lover of literature, I liked the connections to Lovecraftâ€™s work established in this episode (and I am sure there might be more threads of it that could be used in future episodes, as this whole storyline appears far from over), and Iâ€™m going to be only slightly nitpicky, here â€“ forgive me. The story â€˜The Haunter of the Darkâ€™ was published in December 1936, and thereby was not written on the (historically correct) day of his death, March 15th, 1937, but almost two years prior, in November 1935.
The story revolves around an artefact known to be able to awaken the Haunter of the Dark, an avatar of a malign deity from Lovecraftâ€™s famous Cthulhu Myth from another dimension. This artefact, called the Shining Trapezohedron, was discovered in Egypt, but itâ€™s not described to be of Ancient Egyptian origin. In this book this deity shows itself as a bat like monster with tentacles called Nyarlahotep, supposed to be an Egyptian name.
Other appearances of this particular monster include a hooved, hairless, swarthy man, a devastating storm, a black demon, a black eight-foot tall, faceless man. Whoever of these monsters it was that came after Lovecraft in this episode, we can assume it was not only deadly, but painfully ugly. Perhaps Mr Lovecraft should have had more light in his house, as he wrote in this story that the Haunter of the Dark could not enter a lighted area.
I could imagine the show going back to these monsters for future episodes, but am content for now, though the emotions raging in my soul yet need to calm down. Sometimes I hate what this show is capable of doing to me, but then again â€“ I allow its characters to reach out to me and move me beyond expectation.
This episode, along with pretty much the whole season, was a perverse hymn to despair in all its facets and the impact it has on the lives of the two Winchester brothers and their allies. The pain caused by it cuts through the souls of the protagonists, much like the splinters of glass that are hurled towards us with the opening credits would through our faces.
Basically, itâ€™s about breaking walls. Walls as delicate as glass â€“ borders to other dimensions, to memories, to hell, to hopes and to courage. With this episode and the next concluding the sixth season of our favourite show, we can say that the image of a shattered wall is a symbol for this season. And the consequences that will have.
I will delve into episode 22 soon. First, allow me a breather, kind readers. I need to catch my breath after letting this episode thoroughly into my soulâ€¦ so, Iâ€™m cuddling up on my comfy couch. Anyone here who would like to join me?