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I find myself in awe of how after all these years, this show continues to surprise me. I have been chomping at the bit for more information about the Mark of Cain and the First Blade since we learned about them weeks ago. So I was very excited about this episode. And it did not disappoint.

I don’t know about you, but I really enjoyed the solo Crowley scenes in this episode. It was fun watching him spin out of control as he fell deeper into his addiction. (This may be the only time it’s appropriate to say that watching someone crumble under addiction is “fun”.) Anyone who knows me knows that I love to hate Crowley. But recently, it’s been getting harder to hate him. He has always been such an interesting villain because you can’t help but like him a little. And ever since the attempt to cure him, I’ve been even more inclined to feel sorry for him. In this episode I even found myself wishing that Sam wouldn’t be so hard on him. This is Crowley we’re talking about! He is arguably the most dangerous villain that Sam and Dean have ever faced and I’m over here wishing that Sam would be nicer to him. I would be the worst hunter.


It didn’t take long for Crowley to snap back into his old ways though. Being the only Supernatural villain to survive as long as he has, it’s clear he knows that Sam and Dean are not to be trusted. He’s the only baddie who has not made the mistake of underestimating the Winchesters which is probably why he’s still alive. Now that Crowley is clean, I wonder if he’ll revert back to his old devilish ways or if he has been forever changed by his addiction? I’m rooting for Crowley with a dash of humanity. What about you?

Can I just take a minute to gush about Magnus? What a cool character; living in luxury and completely hidden from everyone. There was such an ease about the way he used spells to alter anything he wanted. That seems to be a recurring theme among the Men of Letters. It’s so different from the way we see Sam and Dean use spells on the job.  

I was so excited about the possibility of a surviving member of the Men of Letters, even if he turned out to be a total douche. Since the whole concept of the Men of Letters was introduced I have been hoping that the writers were planning some sort of comeback for them. Maybe not to the extent that they were operating before the massacre, but I had hoped that a few remaining members would crawl out of the woodwork. I guess that’s still a possibility, but it certainly seemed like Magnus was the last of them. I have to say I was kind of bummed that he was killed off so quickly. I think he could have made an interesting villain during the Mark of Cain story arch. But I suppose we have enough villains this season.


Speaking of the Mark of Cain, what the heck just happened? I don’t think I can fully explain just how excited I am about this story arc. To me, it feels like a breath of fresh air; something new to work with. Yes, I know that the Mark of Cain is doing bad things to Dean but I can’t wait to find out exactly what that means. I’m a glutton for punishment. We know that Dean suffers from some sort of rage when he holds the blade and it sounded like the more he held it, the more those feelings would take over.

Magnus: “Next time it will be easier. You’ll get used to the feelings, even welcome them.”

Well, that doesn’t sound good. But is it just rage or is there something more behind these feelings? And who will they be directed towards? Anyone who stands in his way? I have to know! Does anyone have any theories?


Either way, Dean is really going to need Sam to get through this. Sam is the only one who can talk him down when things get overwhelming. I don’t think Dean could have put that blade down if Sam wasn’t there to urge him to do so. Thankfully, it seems more and more that Sam is willing to try and patch things up. The tension between the brothers has started to ease in these past few weeks and things felt practically back to normal in this episode. Sam even referred to Dean as his brother! “Take me to my brother.” That made me grin like an idiot. I’m not stupid, I’m sure there is still some trust to build and some car-side conversations to be had. I just think we’re on the path to reconciliation and that makes me happy.

Well, it goes without saying that I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I am so excited about all the possibilities that the Mark of Cain brings. I’m also thrilled to have Crowley back in action. And not a moment too soon since it looks like our favorite red-headed nemesis will be making an appearance next week. It really has been too long since we’ve seen her. I can’t wait to see what she’s been up to. So what did you all think of the episode? I’d love to hear your thoughts and predictions below!

Now, time for quotes and stray observations.

I could listen to Crowley’s “drunk dial” on repeat.

Dean is listed as “Not Moose” in Crowley’s phone.

Snooki shows up at the crossroads - Dean: “Well, that explains a lot.”
I also want to take a moment to say that I was pleasantly surprised by Snooki’s performance. I’m not ready to hand out any Emmy’s but it wasn’t bad.

Crowley: “You tried to play me? I play the tune. Everyone else dances to it.”

I loved the use of “Heroin” by Lou Reed. It’s not a song I know well, but I think it really worked.

Crowley: “You don’t know what it’s like to be human! It’s your DNA. It’s my addiction, my cross, my burden.”

Crowley: “You and I both know we shared a mo back in that church. On some level, we bonded.”
Sam: “Crowley, the only reason you are alive is because we need your help with Abaddon because she is an even worse pile of crap than you are. And that is the extent of my concern for you. Got it?”

Dean: “You’re the king of rotten, act like it!”

So I guess Busty Asian Beauties is acceptable coffee table literature now?

Crowley: “Were you two dropped on your heads a great deal?”

Crowley: “Like he’s gonna open his heart to you lot, because you’re such prizes.”
Dean: “Better, we’re legacies.”

Dean: “When you were saying any of that, did it feel at all creepy?”

Magnus: “Anything we want to own or destroy is ours.”

Sam: “Remember, stay close, do what I say and shut the hell up.”
Crowley: “I’m growing on you, aren’t I?”

9.16 Baby

Dean: “Demon mitts all over my baby.”
Poor Baby, you’ve been through too much.

Can't wait for next week when Misha makes his directorial debut!


# cheryl42 2014-03-20 17:52
There has been a lot of backlash against Sam on other sites for being mean to Crowely. How soon we forget Sarah.
If the blade is Dean's demon blood story I can see that Crowely now holds Dean under his control. Since this episode emphasized addiction I can see that Dean is going to become addicted to the power of the blade and the only way to get his "fix" is to do what Crowely wants him to do. I think that is why we saw Sam emphasizing his mistrust and hatred for Crowely. Sam is going to see his brother doing things that parallel Sam's addiction. This has season 10 written all over it.
# lkeke35 2014-03-20 19:58
Cheryl: once again, instead of trying to understand SAMs motivations for doing something, the " let's bash Sam contingent " of the fandom is in full swing. SAMs not giving Crowley an inch because:
On some level I think Sam is protesting a little too much. I think he and Crowley do have some kind of bond but ever since Ruby and Brady, Sam has doubled down on his distrust of all demons, Crowley included. He is making a point to never fall into that trap again. You see how he was with Meg, for example.

I do like Crowley's little man-crush, or whatever it is, on Sam. (I saw that all the way back in Road Trip, when he was in Sam's head, the very first thing he did when he saw Sam - he smiled and said something like " not bad".)

Crowley drunk dialing Dean was the funniest thing I've ever heard him do and that's saying something when it comes to the wittiest character on the show. I could've done without Snooki. I think that 3 minutes could have been better spent just quietly ogling Sam and Dean and would have advanced the plot about as much as she did.

I too am going a little crazy about The MoC. It's the best thing since the MoL and The Batcave. I have a buttload of questions about it too. ( Does Dean "hear" something when he touches it? Is it like an electric shock? When Sam called to him, it looked like he was swimming up from some very deep place - I liked the sound effects used during that scene - like he was Ina deep trance. Maybe next week we'll get some idea from Dean what he was feeling. )

I think Sam, who won't do to Dean what Dean did to him under the same circumstances, is going to find just how far he'll go and what he's willing to do to save his brother.
# cheryl42 2014-03-20 20:29
Or Dean, if he is in his right mind, will have to make a choice of either becoming a Knight of Hell (or worse) or killing his brother. Hmm......choice s.
# sofia 2014-03-21 10:09
I love and hate the idea of these possibilities!
# Jess 2014-03-20 21:00
What if what Dean is feeling when he grasps the blade is the fury behind every killing that it has committed along with multiplying his own deep laden anger???
# LEAH 2014-03-20 22:43
Yep, good episode. Thanks for the review Sofia. You know I was so wrapped up in the action I didn't even let that Sam said "Take me to my brother" sink in. Although I've never felt that Sam was going to disavow Dean as his brother it was still nice hearing him say that. Sam has never wavered in his devotion to Dean no matter how angry and disappointed he is at what his brother did. I too have heard that Sam is getting harassed online about being "mean" to Crowley. That is so ridiculous, but it is to Mark Sheppard's credit that he can be a villain and yet we love him at the same time. Sam has good reason to be skeptical and distrustful of any demons motives. Ruby anyone? Look at how that turned out and Crowley is admittedly ambitious and self-serving. I adore the character, but yeah they shouldn't trust him for a second.

As for Dean and the MoC, I think it is going to play hell with him given his dark mind-frame. I think that Sam will likely be in danger at some point, he barely reached Dean in this episode and indications are that this compulsion only gets more powerful. I also strongly believe that Sam will end up being his brothers salvation. We'll see.:)
# Puck 2014-03-21 00:13
Brother bonding: Quote:
“Take me to my brother.” That made me grin like an idiot. I’m not stupid, I’m sure there is still some trust to build and some car-side conversations to be had. I just think we’re on the path to reconciliation and that makes me happy.
YESSSSSSSS!!! About damn time! Not that I didn't see them playing nicely with one another until Dean got his hands on the blade. Makes sense Dean wold get the blade, too, after all he was the brother who got to use the Colt on Yellow Eyes. Speaking of Azazel after all this time I still don't understand the demon color-coded hierarchy and where Crowley and Abbadon rank on it.

MoC front: The visual effect reminded me of Dean's hallucinations of returning to hell from "Yellow Fever." Speaking of hell are we finally going to see just what kind of pain Dean inflicted while under Alistair's instruction? "On the Head of a Pin" STILL remains one of my top spine-tingling, edge-of-my-seat thrill ride of an episode, but the this new MoC direction is making a power play for the title.
# lacysos 2014-03-21 00:38
I think the mark of Cain is Dean's demon blood and Crowley is Dean's Ruby. Dean was always hostile to Ruby and yet they didn't know Ruby. They didn't really know whether she could be trusted or not. And yet when it comes to Crowley, a demon both brothers know can't be trusted, people get upset at Sam's hostility to Crowley?Jared said in Austin that Sam is starting to see signs in Dean that he saw in himself in season 4. Parallel.

Dean already told Crowley in First Born, "After Abaddon, you're next." Crowley needs Dean to kill Abaddon with the blade, so for now he'll play ball, but I'll bet Crowley already has an "after Abaddon" plan. Therefore, it would be a strategically smart move to kill Crowley first, even though I don't want him to die because he's entertaining. I believe this is why Sam was pushing Dean to kill Crowley, plus testing Dean to see if he was even willing to kill Crowley. Sam was never willing to kill Ruby or allow Dean to kill her.

Also, I thought it was somewhat threatening when Crowley told Sam specifically, "you're right you can't trust me, but sadly I can't trust you either." Warning?

In a different review there was a discussion about why Crowley's smoke is red. What kind of demon is he? Perhaps he thinks he will be able to control Dean with this blade as Magnus had similar plans for Dean and the blade. It'll be interesting to see how Crowley tests Dean next week.

The "drop the blade" moment was scary. Not clear what was going through Dean's mind.
# lkeke35 2014-03-21 13:14
Yes, Crowley shows every sign of being Dean's enabler. Dean wants/needs the blade and Crowley will control his access to it in exchange for...whatever he wants, I guess. I also get the distinct impression that Dean has always been reluctant to kill Crowley. (This episode isn't the first time Sam has pressured him to do so and Dean hesitates before giving his answer.)

Also people arent making the connection to Crowley's addiction. Crowley definitely will see the advantages to making Dean reliant on him, having just been through it himself (of course he killed the demonn that did it to him, so maybe a little foreshadowing of Crowley's death, which may not be at the hands of Dean, but Sam, if Sam figures out what he's doing. Sam, still smarting from what Ruby did to him, would want to gank Crowley himself.)
# mary9930 2014-03-21 06:34
I love how each brother seems to be walking a mile in the other's shoes this season. Dean will get a better understanding of what Sam went through in season 4 and Sam will probably have to make some hard decision about the lengths he will go to to save his brother. Also, I love that these boys are heroes but I almost like them more when they go dark side :)
# njspnfan 2014-03-21 07:28
Really? Sam is being mean to Crowley? Wow... everyone's entitled to their own opinions but that's downright idiotic. Sam is the only one showing an ounce of common sense here... Crowley cannot be trusted in any way, shape, or form. Right now it's an "enemy of my enemy is my friend" thing between them and Crowley, but it looks to me as though Crowley will have Dean wrapped around his finger soon. As Meg said in RIF "When are you gonna get it? Crowley's always the problem. He's just waiting for the right moment to strike."

Been reading a lot of theories about Crowley, that he's some sort of special type of demon. I've gone back and forth on that and now I'm not so sure - he was Lilith's right hand man and it may just be situation where he's opportunistic and smarter than everyone else.
# sofia 2014-03-21 10:06

Let's cool it with the name calling. As you said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. So let's make this a place where people can share their opinions without feeling judged.
# njspnfan 2014-03-21 10:22
this was not in reference to anyone on this board; thought I had clicked reply to Cheryl42's message; it was in response to her mention of another site where this is being brought up. Clearly they are consuming too much of the TDK Slammer at Biggerson's.
# Sylvie 2014-03-21 08:18
Thanks Sofia for a great review. I too really liked this episode. I'm always a little nervous about Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming scripts, but I must say they have been doing pretty well this season, and this episode certainly was no exception. What's all this hoopla about Sam being mean to Crowley? I pretty much only read reviews from this site & Sweetondean, so I haven't been subjected to any Sam bashing, and I hope I never am. I think Sam treated Crowley just fine, and you know what? Crowley seems to get off on Sam being (or tryring to be) mean to him. As he said, "I think I'm growing on you", ha, yeah, like fungus. :D I want Crowley's message from his phone, that was funny, "off inflicting pain"!

Dean and the Mark of Cain, man that was scary. But I love scary Dean, and Sam definitely looked very worried there. I love the parallel to season 4 Sam, and Crowley being Dean's Ruby. I do think that this is what's going to bring our boys back together, but maybe not before season 10. Looks like we're getting more info about the Men of Letters next week, and Abaddon is back. Youppi! :)