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I’m not really sure where to start. For me this episode was a bit of an information overload. Not to say I didn’t enjoy it, just that there were so many different bits of plot going on that it took me a while to see what the episode was trying to accomplish. Looking back, it was a fairly simple goal; get the tablet in the hands of a Winchester and hold on to it.


I think part of what got my head spinning was the cold open. A man walks into a bank vault wanting access to the contents of his safety deposit box. There is a very old, very expensive, and very crusty looking bone in there. I personally would assume that the bone is going to play a pivotal role in the episode. But it really doesn’t. Granted, the man does end up at the auction, bidding on the tablet, later in the episode so it’s not completely out of the blue. I just found myself waiting for the bone to do something or effect the plot line in some way. And to my knowledge, that never really happened. Am I the only one confused by this choice? Am I just being way too picky? Either way, it threw me for a loop!

Things began running a bit more smoothly for me when Sam and Dean brought Kevin to check on his mother. I laughed pretty hard at their reunion being cut short by a splash of holy water to the face. I really enjoyed Linda as Kevin’s mother. She is a no-nonsense kind of woman; something it was clear Dean admired. I will say she was shockingly cool about the whole “your son is a prophet of the Lord” thing, but I’m willing to look past that for the sake of time in this episode.

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What about that reverse exorcism? That’s new. Funny that this is the first time Sam thought to try it. Thinking back, they could have stopped dozens of escapes that way! I know some will no doubt question introducing something like that so late in the series, but I personally like a little mythology change up every now and then. I enjoyed the introduction of burning demon bones, and I like this. What did you guys think? Think we’ll be seeing that more often now?

The flashbacks to Dean’s time in Purgatory were, for me, the star of this episode. I love the way Sam and Dean’s flashbacks are working together to construct the tone of the season. I especially loved the intercut interrogation scenes. The camera angles and choreography were flawless. I just knew Dean was doing bad things in Purgatory! He has enjoyed torture in the past, and it seems he’s gotten another taste of it. Who knows how bad it got for him this time, though. Hopefully not as bad as when he was torturing souls in Hell, but there’s no way for us to know yet.

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The very last flashback was easily the most troubling. Cas reaching for Dean, yelling his name and getting left behind. This scene is taken out of context, so there’s always a possibility that Dean was reaching back for Cas and just couldn’t get to him. There’s also a chance that whatever loophole Benny found to get out of Purgatory didn’t include angels. Let’s face it, there’s about a million possible scenarios that don’t involve Dean just leaving Castiel behind.  But there is always the chance that Dean did leave Castiel behind. After all, Cas admitted to doing the same to Dean. I just hope this isn’t true. I can handle damaged Dean Winchester (I’ve been doing it just fine since day one) but he is in a bad way since he got back from Purgatory. It has definitely changed him to some degree, but I would hate to see it change him enough to abandon a friend. What do you think? Is Dean capable of abandoning Castiel? I am holding out hope there’s a better explanation!

A good part of this episode took place at the most bizarre auction I’ve ever seen. There were a few good jokes sprinkled throughout the auction scenes, and I got a good laugh out of Sam using the hammer of Thor, but I must admit that some of it went a bit over my head. Full disclosure: I’m always a little uncomfortable with scenes dealing with a bunch of new or different creatures/gods. It can sometimes feel a little too nerdy, even for this nerd. But I was uncomfortable with angels for a good part of season 4 and I got over that. So all this to say that this is really less of a critique of the show and more of a personal preference.

I did, however, enjoy the surprise appearance of Crowley at the auction. What a sneaky little King of Hell. He manages to pop up everywhere, which is great for me because he’s one of my favorite villains. One of the funniest moments of the episode was Crowley offering up his own soul only to be told he didn’t actually have one. But as much as I may enjoy his witty retorts, Crowley does pose a huge problem when it comes to closing the gates of Hell forever. And now that he has the tablet, he’s an even bigger threat. And with Kevin on the run, he’s that much easier for Crowley to find. When will people learn? You cannot run from the Winchesters. They will find you. You just better hope they find you first.

Quote time! Fill in any that I missed.

Dean: “We have got Crowley by the short and curlies.”

Plutus: “I’m Plutus, actually.”Dean: “Is that even a planet anymore?”
Dean looked so proud of himself for that comment.

Mr. peanut - That was perfect. All he needed was a monocle.

Crowley: “Listen to Moose, Squirrel”

Alphie: “Too much heart was always Castiel’s problem.”

Benny seemed to be very protective of Dean. I’m very interested to see where this friendship goes.

Dean: “Cas, buddy, I need you.” This melted my heart.

Crowley: “Maybe you should try plan D for Dumbass”

Crowley: “The Winchesters, well, they have a habit of using people up, and watching them die bloody.” That one hurt!

Kevin:  â€œI don’t want to hear any more of your crappy speeches.”

Dean: “What’s one more nightmare?” This line is a good indication of Dean’s mental state right now. Part of me tends to agree though. What do you think?

Comments  

Maria Eneida
# Maria Eneida 2012-10-11 21:03
I think the Cas calling out to Dean was taken out of content.
But even if Dean did leave Cas behind, it won't change my opinion of Dean. Cas did put the Boys through Hell by breaking Sam's wall and opening Purgatory and releasing the Leviathans. i have been over case since Season 5. I don't see the use anymore. (which i know people with hate me for) but its my opinion. I want to know what happened that made Dean be close to Benny.
Michelle Kinseth
# Michelle Kinseth 2012-10-11 21:26
Well, the crusty old bone from the beginning belonged to a Frost Giant (he tried to bid on something by wagering it), which are villians/enemie s of Asgard (if you saw the film Thor they were featured), and that guy ended up with Mjolnir so there was some continuity. But you're right, that cold open was a little odd.

For a Dabb and Loflin script (they are easily the worst writers on the show right now), this was a pretty good episode. A few pacing issues, but that interrogation scene intercutting the flashback with the present was by far one of the strongest and most compelling scenes of the show's entire run. Very well done by the production staff.

I'm enjoying all the flashbacks and am very excited to see more about Sam's year without Dean, and so very curious about what he went through/did...b ecause there's something that he's not saying, and I think it's not something good.

I'm kind of ambivalent about Castiel. I care in so much as how it affects Dean, but...eh. Whatever that last moment means, I'm sure it'll be dramatic.

So far season 8 is strong, but I felt this way last season too, and then things went downhill before slowly climbing up again. But I'm cautiously optimistic about the path we're on! Bring on the flashbacks! :)
Beverly
# Beverly 2012-10-11 21:34
The old man used the Frost Giant's bone and 5/8 of a virgin (which was from the woman he blood splattered in the intro) to get Thor's hammer. It was relevant because it showed the viewer that he knew that he needed something unique/rare to get an auction item so the boys' money was not going to cover it.
Michelle Kinseth
# Michelle Kinseth 2012-10-11 22:01
Oh wow I didn't even make the 5/8th's virgin connection...du h! (though to be fair to myself, I've only watched it once through, so far).
:)
sofia
# sofia 2012-10-12 08:12
Thanks for explaining more about the bone. I did see Thor but I have a very basic understanding of the story.

I had no idea so many people were over the Castiel story. I feel like I actually want a little more of him. To each his own, I suppose!
Michelle Kinseth
# Michelle Kinseth 2012-10-12 19:11
My issue with the Castiel story is how he was "used" in season 6-7, or rather not really used. It felt like he was kept around for not any real reason...which made me tired. I'm very interested to see how he and Dean (and Benny!) interact and handle Purgatory...and I'm totally on board if the writers can make him truly relevant again.

As for Thor...I'm a little obsessed with the film and the comics. I kind of squee'd out loud at the references when the show aired. :)
percysowner
# percysowner 2012-10-11 21:40
From what I have gathered from other posters. Villi was Thor's brother in Norse Mythology and the bone was from an Ice Giant. So I think the bone was just a call out to people who actually know Norse Mythology or watched The Ring of the Nieblung on PBS this summer.

I don't know how dark Dean is going to go. He has tortured before after Hell, Let It Bleed comes to mind, and it didn't bother him so much then. But I do think that living on the edge in Purgatory broke down his feeling that torture is wrong. I also think that it has made him lose sight of humanity. Yes, killing Crowley MIGHT be worth killing Mrs. Tran, but he would have been a lot more bothered by it before. He said it would be just one more nightmare, but honestly I didn't get the feeling he would lose any sleep over it. Both Sam and Dean have become quite cavalier about kill the innocent people possessed by demons. Mama Tran was not possessed long enough that the argument that her body was so damaged that she would have died anyway was valid. I will give the writers credit. Every meatsuit that died in this episode had a name. Kevin knew Channing, the postman, the gardener Eloise, Mama Tran's friend and Mama Tran. At least we are starting to see acknowledgment that real people are dying when they use the knife, not just the demons possessing them
sofia
# sofia 2012-10-12 08:16
I do have to agree that I'm not sure Dean would have lost much sleep over killing Ms. Tran. Which, when you think back to last year's much-debated killing, is kind of shocking.

I also agree that I'm happy they are giving these meatsuits a name. Every time they kill a demon with the knife I can't believe how far it's come since season 1. Remember when they used to trap and exorcise demons? Now, the only time they trap them first is if they want information.
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2012-10-11 23:01
Well, Kevin's mom had a year to get used to him being a prophet. She met the angels before he dissappeared.

That was great editing on the interrogation scenes. IMO
sofia
# sofia 2012-10-12 08:17
Good point!
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-10-11 23:19
I liked the opening scene. That old guy was creepy! When he went to the auction and bid the bone, that was enough tie-in for me, but it really got me when he offered 5/8 of a virgin. I knew exactly who that virgin was. So, total tie-in for me.

Dean is not anything, if not 100% loyal, so I can't see him just leaving Cas behind. Nope, never will buy that one. I can, however, see him feeling guilty that he didn't Cas out with him for whatever reason. Actually, I don't care much for the Cas story. Give me more of how Dean and Benny came to be friends in Purgatory, how he came to respect Dean, and what is it Benny wants topside.

The one problem I have with the two episodes we have seen is that there have been numerous machinations that have kept Dean from killing Crowley. For instance, why did our new MeanDean put the knife to Mrs. Tran's (possessed by Crowley) neck instead of stabbing her immediately through the neck when he caught her up against the wall? Another: Why didn't Dean throw the Ruby's knife into Mrs. Tran's back when she (Crowley) was running away with the tablet.

The second point is that Crowley is juiced up with massive powers this season. Why hasn't he just killed the Winchesters and take Kevin away.

Those are glaring machinations to keep the story going, but they are so obvious that it's kind of annoying me.

The best scene in the episode was the interrogation scene interspersed with the Purgatory interrogation. Dean is (and has always been) one scary dude. I'd be okay with keeping this Dean around for a very long time.

I am loving the season so far.
Michelle Kinseth
# Michelle Kinseth 2012-10-12 00:33
Quote:


Dean is not anything, if not 100% loyal, so I can't see him just leaving Cas behind. Nope, never will buy that one. I can, however, see him feeling guilty that he didn't Cas out with him for whatever reason. Actually, I don't care much for the Cas story. Give me more of how Dean and Benny came to be friends in Purgatory, how he came to respect Dean, and what is it Benny wants topside.

The best scene in the episode was the interrogation scene interspersed with the Purgatory interrogation. Dean is (and has always been) one scary dude. I'd be okay with keeping this Dean around for a very long time.

I am loving the season so far.
I couldn't agree with these points more!
tia
# tia 2012-10-12 18:03
i totally agree with ginger as well. EVERYTHING ginger said is soooo true. i am liking badass/kickass/ hardass dean bigtime.
ryder21
# ryder21 2012-10-12 00:37
Yeah Ginger,
Ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto, and finally, ditto.. One for each paragraph.
sofia
# sofia 2012-10-12 08:21
If you think back through the seasons Crowley has had the opportunity to kill the Winchesters MANY times. But like most villains he can't be bothered to stop talking long enough to just kill them. This is great for us though because I don't want the Winchesters to die and I love to hear Crowley talk!

I really hope our instinct about Dean hold up. I agree that he has always been loyal and would beat himself up over something like Cas getting left behind.

Yes, give me more Benny! I am so intrigued by this story. I can't wait to learn more.
Grace232
# Grace232 2012-10-12 00:17
I am loving the season so far, as well. Thanks for the great review. A few more lines I enjoyed:

Sam: Tiger mom, nine o'clock

Linda: After being told that Eunice was possessed, Kevin asked if she saw The Exorcist. Her response:
Is that what you've been doing all year? Watching television?

Linda: Prophet of the Lord, huh? It does have a nice ring to it.
sofia
# sofia 2012-10-12 08:23
Thanks Grace232! Those are also great quotes!
ryder21
# ryder21 2012-10-12 01:13
Thanks for the great review Sofia, I am really enjoying the Dean / Benny relationship here as well. Of course it is an intense relationship based on need and survival and formed in extreme circumstances. No doubt this is how it became so strong, so fast.
And it does seem strong, as Benny was quick to demand a justification from Castiel re his quick disappearance upon arrival to Purgatory. He seemed to genuinely want to know.

I love the 'feel' of Purgatory and am excited to see more. The fact that we get to see a super amped kick ass sexy Dean doesn't hurt either!

I was pleased to see the small nuances creeping into the boys relationship again: the indulgent Sam smile during the discussion about visiting Kevin's Mum, while knowing that he only has to be patient and wait to deliver his final look to win the argument. And the 'Shut up Sam!' at the lockers just from his 'I told you so' look. It feels like they are on the right track, even if it is going slowly.

I am also looking forward to getting more insight about Sam's year in the Jensen directed episode next week.

Bring it on!
Ginger
# Ginger 2012-10-12 07:40
I really liked those call backs to the brothers close relationship, too. Glad you brought them up.
sofia
# sofia 2012-10-12 08:25
I could not agree more about the "super amped kick ass sexy Dean". Give me more of that!

I do think Sam and Dean are on the right track! I'll be interested to see how much they share with each other about this year apart.
EireneS
# EireneS 2012-10-12 02:52
The creepy guy in the beginning of the episode also played a reaper in "Faith".
Love the recycling of the actors.
I agree that something is up with Sam-yes, he's smart but the show has never showcased that smartness like they did this time with Sam being fast with the math and saying the exorcism spell backwards. Both new.
Love Deans character so far. Very intense.
Really enjoyed the story and the camera close ups of Purgatory Dean and the acting of all.
Cathia
# Cathia 2012-10-12 03:47
Loved the episode although you're right - there was too much in it and I can't shake the feeling that those writers don't feel the characters very much. New Dean all right, Sam was pale, Kevin was pretty much a baby, which would be right in a previous season, but not now. And I couldn't stand Crowley's behaviour, he was too much of a bully. Not his usual style.

I enjoyed Kevin's mother though. I loved her sacrifice and I feel so sorry for her - I am sure that Crowley didn't leave her body and soul undamaged. She dared to hit him, so he got his little revenge. But this last comment of his... broke my heart, because he was right, even if the Winchesters aren't doing it on purpose.

Dean... I don't know what to think about him. It's not gonna end well, without any doubt. And I don't think he left Cas behind on purpose, he couldn't have.

And now... the delicious surprise. For the first time in 3 years Crowley flashed his eyes - he's a Crossroads Demon! You can't imagine how happy I am about it - I was never in "Crowley is something other" camp, but I was truly wondering, especially when he seemed not to be damaged by the Holy Water in the last episode (but I thought that Azazel didn't care about it too). Funny thing, I started writing an article on that subject after 8x01, but now I can surely delete it. Well, the fans aren't glad, I can tell that from what I'm seeing on Tumblr. But hell, I am so happy about it - imagine - poor tortured soul becoming the King of Hell. He's witty SOB. And I loved his smoke form - I wonder if all Crossroads Demons are red?

All in all, so far so good. Jeremy Carver, you're the boss!
sofia
# sofia 2012-10-12 08:28
Thanks for bringing up the bit about Crowley. I would love to see a flashback of his life. Wouldn't it be interesting to see how he became King of Hell?
Cathia
# Cathia 2012-10-12 08:38
Ot, it would :) But then - on the other hand - it can be sad, we know that he was "a two bit tailor, who sold his soul for extra three inches below a belt." I gather it would be something quite humiliating for Crowley ;) or Fergus McLeod. But his rise to power - I guess it would be a perfect political thriller.
Nate
# Nate 2012-10-14 20:27
Good review sofia!
I liked the cold open, and how only later we saw how it related to the episode. In fact this episode had a lot of "I didn't see that coming" which has not happened a lot the past 2 Seasons. Season 8 is on fire so far!
sophia--not sure of anyone commented on this yet and I missed it, but when Sam did the reverse spell to keep the demon in the host, I think that is something Sam learned on his "year off." I think there is more to his story or sure, as far as how (or the real reason why) he didn't go looking for Dean. I think the reverse spell trick will feature later this season in a Sammy flashback.
sofia
# sofia 2012-10-15 11:52
I've heard speculation that the reverse exorcism was something Sam had learned during his year apart from Dean. It would definitely be interesting! I hope we learn more about that in this next episode since it looks like we'll be focusing on Sam.
E
# E 2012-10-13 07:09
I know I am probably splitting hairs here, but did Crowley REALLY show us his eyes turning red? Actually we only saw Mrs. Tran's eyes turn red and then heard Crowley's voice. We never actually saw the meat suit that Crowley is using with red eyes, at least not yet. We don't even really know for sure that Crowley is using a meat suit at all. I wondered though if this was a deliberate tease done by the PTB to continue the "Crowley is something other" theory, or if I am reading too much into things. :)
Cathia
# Cathia 2012-10-13 13:56
I think that all of us wanted Crowley to be something amazing, forgetting that there were times (Season 1-3) when the demons were the scariest bitches in the house. I like the idea that a guy who sold his soul in XVIIth century, clawed his way to the top and is now a King of Hell.
And basically he is the most dangerous enemy the boys can face (with Lucifer in a cage) - he's smart, he knows them and now we know more than ever that his vicious.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2012-10-12 04:15
I liked the episode.The show runners finally remembered that Sam is scary smart.What a relief.I loved that it was Sam who thought (hopefully) of reverse exorcism .Generations of hunters and it was Sam who used it.Thanks for the showrunners for that.I liked this Sam ,he is not affected very easily and i liked how he answered Crowley keeping his face blank.The reactions Dean has feel realistic as of that of a person who has been to hell and purgatory and if affected by them.Overall it was a solid set up.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2012-10-12 08:13
Thanks for the review Sofia, it was spot on. I've always loved flashbacks, and the ones we've seen so far have been amazing. I love the washed out look of Purgatory, it's really cold. Dean has become such a killing machine. There was a time that the thought of killing an innocent, albeit possessed, would never have crossed his mind. Although being a torturer in Hell and then running and fighting for your life in Purgatory f**** with your psyche. As for his abondonning Cas, I really don't think that's what happened. It looked like he was hanging on to him, and then Cas's hand slipped out of Dean's. I'm dying to find out. And next week's ep is all about Sam's year.

I've said it in another post, but I am enjoying this season so far. I like where it's going. On a last note, I love Mrs. Tran, such a badass!
sofia
# sofia 2012-10-15 11:53
Sylvie,

I really hope you're right about the Cas situation. I can't see Dean just leaving him behind.

I also like where the season is going so far. There are a lot of interesting character questions to answer!
Vicky
# Vicky 2013-05-21 14:08
Can any one please explain what really is 5/8 of a virgin.