How do I even begin? This episode was all kinds of awesome. The story was exciting and engaging, we got some demon action (it's been a long time), the stakes were high, and we got to see Lucifer, Meg, and best of all, Castiel. And if that weren't enough, this episode set up an unexpected but very intriguing story arc for our favorite feathered friend.

We started off in the middle of an action sequence. The image of Sam running was very reminiscent of his last psychotic break. Last season's finale, "The Man Who Knew Too Much," opened in the same way. That time, Sam was running from the cops with no memory of who he was. This time, Sam was on the run from Lucifer and desperate for some sleep. I'm assuming this nod was intentional, but if it wasn't, it was definitely a happy accident. I have to admit that in that opening sequence, I was having trouble distinguishing dream from reality. And perhaps that was intentional, too, since Sam was likely having that exact problem. Did anyone else have a problem with that? I'm assuming that everything up until the imaginary pipe through the windshield was a dream. No wonder this poor guy can't sleep. When he got hit by the car I found myself hoping it would at least knock him out for a bit. Like I said last week, automobiles can't kill Winchesters in my world.


The conversation between Sam and Dean in the hospital room was heart-breaking. Sam was exhausted and had given up hope of a cure for his condition. But Dean just couldn't give up on him. The whole conversation was a backwards echo of earlier this season. Sam was too tired to care about anything and was ready to die, if that's what was going to happen. Dean couldn't let that happen and begged Sam to feel something, to "get pissed", to find his motivation. Sounds familiar, right? This conversation made me better understand why we couldn't take on Dean and Sam's inner struggles at the same time. It just wouldn't have worked. We need, at all times, for one brother to be that stone number one. The story couldn't function without it.; especially in a season so focused on isolating these brothers. Do you disagree? I'd love to hear your ideas if you do.


I've mentioned this multiple times before, but I am a spoiler-phobe: s,o all those awesome interviews that were released this week…yeah I didn't read any of them. I was dying to know how Cas would come back, but I just couldn't stand the thought of knowing a plot twist before it happened. I still haven't read the interviews, but I can honestly say I'm very happy with that decision. I was shocked by the whole Emanuel storyline. The fact that Cas had no idea who he was interested me. I was wondering how long Dean would keep up the charade. I agreed that keeping Cas in the dark until Sam was healed was the best idea, but I was so curious about what would happen after that.

Leave it to Meg to show up and insert herself in the situation. With her around, I knew it was only a matter of time before she reminded "Clarence" of who he was. I have to say that she was oddly helpful. Of course, this won't come without a price. She still wants Crowley dead and she needs any allies she can scrounge up. What is with all these demons and their attempted deals with the Winchesters? What do you think will come of this "enemy of my enemy is my friend" scenario? And how soon can we expect to see Crowley again? He is another of my absolute favorite bad guys. If he had shown up in this episode, I think I would have died from an overdose of awesomeness.


Castiel's memory sequence was cut so perfectly. The song, "Turn Into Earth" by The Yardbirds, provided a great backdrop for the scene. Castiel got his mojo back but was forced to remember all the terrible things he had done in heaven and on Earth. I felt so bad for him in that moment because he seemed happy as Emanuel. He had a wife and a gift and he helped people. Best of all, he "didn't feel like a bad person". But regaining his memory forced him to live with the fact that he betrayed those closest to him. It's a strange feeling because I'm also grateful for his memory returning. Without it, he could have never saved Sam. "Shifting" the problem on to himself was a great sacrifice and the only thing he could do to make up for his betrayal. But what will it mean for Castiel? To my knowledge, an angel can't die from sleep deprivation, so I think we're ok on that front. But that means non-stop Lucifer torture. Forever. And Sam and Dean have no one left but each other. There is no Bobby to go to for help. Who can save Cas at this point? If there is help for Cas out there, my best guess is that it may come from Crowley. The King of Hell should be able to do something about Lucifer, right? What do you guys think?

What did you all think of this episode? Were you happy with the way Sam's Lucifer situation was resolved? What do you think will happen to Cas? What are your thoughts on Meg's new employment?

As always, there are a few more moments worth mentioning.

   Next week's episode looks so promising! Drunk hunting. This ought to be good.

   The mini ghost hunt storyline was not totally necessary but it was nice to give Sam something to do besides lay around listening to the devil. Although, I could listen to Mark Pellegrino list off mental disorders forever. He was definitely on his A-game in this episode.


•   I cannot forget to mention the moving address book. And now we've confirmed that it's not invisible Cas. It's got to be ghost Bobby! How in the world are we going to tie up this season with all these amazing storylines going on at once?

•   Cas: "He betrayed you, this dude?" Hearing Cas say "dude" made me chuckle.

  Cas: "I sense that you kill a lot of people."

•   Dean: "I used to be able to just shake this stuff off. ..what Cas did. I just can't. I don't know why."
Cas: "You're not a machine, you're a human."

•   Meg: "You're an angel."
Cas: "I'm sorry, is that a flirtation?"

•   Dean: "It's in there. It's just like riding a bike."
Cas: "I don't know how to do that either."

I love Dean and Cas' chemistry! I hope the writers can find a way to bring more moments like these back to us.

•   Cas: "We didn't part friends, Dean."
Dean: "So what?"
Cas: "I deserved to die. I can't possibly fix it, so why did I walk out of that river?"
Dean: "Maybe to fix it."

•   Dean giving Castiel his trench coat may or may not have made me tear up. 

•   Cas: "I should never have broken your wall, Sam. I'm here to make it right."

•   Dean: "We don't' even have friends. All our friends are dead." Sad but true.

 

Comments  

FMJemena
# FMJemena 2012-03-25 14:25
Quote:
This conversation made me better understand why we couldn’t take on Dean and Sam’s inner struggles at the same time. It just wouldn’t have worked. We need, at all times, for one brother to be that stone number one. The story couldn’t function without it.; especially in a season so focused on isolating these brothers.
YES, I agree.

Quote:
Who can save Cas at this point? If there is help for Cas out there, my best guess is that it may come from Crowley. The King of Hell should be able to do something about Lucifer, right? What do you guys think?
Crowley will probably kill Cas as payback, and to get his
mojo....Also, why can't the Creator save Cas again? He's
saved Cas three times for bein just the right kind of
angel.

Re NURSE MEG: I don't trust her. Seeing that wicked smile on her face (kudos to actress Rachel Miner), made me feel that she'll screw Cas, too, as well as the brothers.

Re MARK PELLEGRINO as LUCI: No one seems to have mentioned this, but Mark was great as Luci in this epi. I like SPN's version of Luci as opposed to the usual Hollywood version (either as fugly, scary asshole OR tight-assed, corporate handsome). SPN's Luci is much, much more dangerous, I think, than the others.

FINALLY, thanks WFB writers and posters for the articles and the ideas. Thanks, SOfia.
sofia
# sofia 2012-03-25 20:22
I do keep waiting for God to appear in Supernatural. If they hadn't spent so much time on the idea of God I could maybe resign myself to the fact that in the world of Supernatural there is just bad crap and that's it. But God has been mentioned numerous times and he/she has even saved Cas before. So I agree that God would be another possibility.

I also have to agree that Mark Pellegrino is just the best. I love him as Lucifer. He's the kind of bad guy I love to hate.

Thanks for reading and commenting!
buffsgirl
# buffsgirl 2012-03-25 14:31
Sofia - Thanks for bringing up the "shout out" to the end of season 6. I didn't catch that but you are spot on. Also, I assumed that Sam running and going to the alley was real, he got some drugs, then went back to the car to try to sleep but was instantly awakened by the pipe through the window and Luci singing to him (chuckle) but, perhaps he was dreaming part of this sequence. I will have to pay attention on a second viewing.
nancyL
# nancyL 2012-03-25 14:34
Sofia, where do I start?

I loved this episode. I loved unshaven Sam. I loved how Sam was 'cured'.

I loved how God (Chuck?) once again restored Cas. HE tried to give Emmanual a fresh start, but HE had to know that Emmanual would have come to Dean's attention sooner or later. It is only right that Cas fix what he broke in order to be forgiven by Dean. You do not fudge with Sammy and not piss off Dean.

I loved the return of Bobby's ghost. When I saw that the camera was focused on John's (?) journal, I knew that something was going to happen to it.

Sofia, I liked the ghost mystery in the mental home. I think that it was to show, that no matter how crazy a hunter gets (remember Martin got a hold of Dean and Sam in 'Sam, Interrupted' for assistence with his 'problem') he is always 'on the job'. Kinda like a cop, always on duty. :D

Sam's running in the beginning was definitely a homage to last years finale. This season seems to be all about calling back to past episodes.

Why are we still referring to the demon as 'Meg Masters'? That was the name of the poor blond host not the name of the demon. Why don't we know what the actual demon's name is? Enquiring minds want to know. :lol:

I think it was in 'Swan Song', when it was a big deal that Cas was sleeping in the Impala (where o where did she go), so you are right, he doesn't need sleep. I am pretty sure that with 'Meg's' help, he will be able to get rid of Lucifer, once and for all.

If the remaining episodes are as good as this one, we are in for a great finale to a season that started with such promise and then got a little sucky, but now seems to have found the magic again.
sofia
# sofia 2012-03-25 20:25
I think the book Dean was holding was actually Bobby's address book. It seemed to me that he was calling Bobby's old contacts for information which is why Bobby was able to pull out the right card for Dean to use to get in touch with Emanuel.

That is a great point about Meg! I have never thought about that.

This season is shaping up to have one heck of a finale. Bring on season 8!
nancyL
# nancyL 2012-03-25 21:24
Oh, thanks Sofia. All I know is that we were meant to pay close attention to the book. :D
ChristopherH
# ChristopherH 2012-03-26 01:14
Wow ... shocked there are so many naysayers out there ...

1) This episode wasn't a quick fix. The reality is that we can't consider Sam's arc separate from Dean's ... or vice versa ... the two go hand in hand. This episode resolved the long-standing tension in their relationship by sending Dean on a quest of sorts to help restore Sam's sanity. It was poignant and poetic. Bringing Cas back was an added benefit.

2) Has everyone missed the irony of Cas's new name in this episode? In Hebrew, Emmanuel means "God with us". This can't have been accidental given the nature of his earlier downfall.

Sorry I can't add more, but I just want to register my delight with this episode. It seems to me this was one of the best of the entire seven seasons.
Harriet
# Harriet 2012-03-26 04:02
Actually I thought this was an outstanding episode. Am becoming a big fan of Sera Gamble. She delivers every time. Am thinking she has proven herself for sure, with this ep.
No, I don't believe Cas being given the name Emmanuel is "ironic". Hopefully it is one of the writer's clues of what is to come. In my mind I am seeing that the only way Cas was saved from the leviathans was by the direct hand of God--again. I have always thought Cas seemed to be a favorite of God's and that he was on a mission with regards to the brother's protection. Cas has exploded and imploded now on several occasions and still keeps coming back to aid Sam and Dean. Apparently his remorse over his grandiose ideation that he could step in and become the new God was genuine. Kind of human actually. Who among us hasn't over reached? Yeah trying to step into God's shoes seems over the top from a human standpoint..but if you already are an angel ..like where else would you go on the corporate ladder??
As far as Cas and Luci goes.. remember "only an angel can kill and angel". With Cas under God's seeming protection perhaps Luci will have a run for his money! I will put my money on the somewhat "humanized" beloved angel of God over the fallen (and still falling as far as I can tell ) Archangel Lucifer any day.
ChristopherH
# ChristopherH 2012-03-26 12:46
I don't disagree with you looking forward. It seems to me the "Chuck" angle has been underplayed and forgotten about by many fans--but that doesn't mean the writers have forgotten about it.

But I also think the reference to Cas's previous "blow-up" was inescapably obvious. This felt like a redemption episode in many ways for me: Sam gained redemption through being freed from Lucifer's cage; Dean gained redemption by being the agent of Sam's freedom; Cas gained redemption of sorts by relieving Sam of is suffering. It seems like many of the comments here have overlooked that Sam and Dean's relationship has been purged of their bad blood and reset in a way that makes their bond much stronger.

It felt to me like they tied up a great many threads left over from season 6 actually. And now the macro story of this season moves forward with renewed vigor. I think we're now going to start to see more open conflict between demons and leviathans.

I think this series is going the full ten seasons, and we're now beginning to see the warm-up for the final act(s).
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-03-26 12:44
Thanks Sofia, what a great episode this was. I am loving it more and more with every review that I read!

I shudder to think of what would happen if both Winchesters were down for the count. One needs to be the anchor for the other, absolutely. The world would topple over I'm sure!

As for "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" deal with Meg, I don't know how that will turn out. They made a similar "deal" with Crowley in season 5 and see what happened with that. But at this point I don't think they have much of a choice. It might be the "lesser" of two evils. Although, I think Meg is probably as evil or maybe even more so than Crowley can be, bless his evil black heart.

Just one more thing that I've neglected to mention elsewhere. Both Jared and Jensen played this episode out of the ballpark, it was bases loaded and a home run, fireworks blasting kind of deal.
sofia
# sofia 2012-03-26 13:11
Sylvie I couldn't agree more with your reaction to Jared and Jensen's performances. It's so easy to forget to mention it when Misha Collins and Mark Pellegrino are back. But I agree, Jared and Jensen were awesome in this episode. Great performances from both actors.

Also, is it weird to think that I'd be more comfortable if Sam and Dean had made this sort-of-deal with Crowley? I'm inclined to trust him more than Meg. Although, maybe that's why he's so good at being evil.
digyd
# digyd 2012-03-26 14:57
Glad to see Christopher mentioned God and the meaning of Emanuel's name in this review. I brought that up in another review because I think it's hugely important, but oddly enough, people are so busy being distracted another way, that the hope that is being offered in knowing "God is with us" seems to be ignored. And yet I think this is where the future help may just come from and I just can't see it being a trivial point. The writers certainly couldn't have served it up on a bigger silver platter. "Here is a name you should go look up, ya'll. It's telling!" But maybe it's just me - and Christopher. ;-)

That was a good point Nancy made about about Meg's name, though it's probably too late to fix that. I just know Rachel is my favorite Meg and I do hope to see her again. Sure she's up to something, but isn't she always? She's fun. Love her. Luci's fun too and I hope we get to see how he's interacting with Cas before it's all over. Man. I can't wait to watch it again tonight!
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-03-26 15:48
I remarked on the name Emmanuel also in another review. I do agree that it is a clue. I think God wants the Winchesters to overcome the evil walking the world yet again. Will He manifest Himself again or will He work through his servant Cass? I think it will be interesting to see what in fact happens.