Life conspired to keep me from my keyboard the last couple of weeks, but I can’t resist sneaking in a review of “Reichenbach,” late in the game as it is. I wasn’t as thrilled with “Black” as I’d hoped to be, but “Reichenbach” hit all the right notes. I’m really looking forward to seeing the impact of the Demon Dean storyline play out.

Dean karaoke

I should say I loved the acting in “Black.” All the actors delivered, as usual. Jensen took us on a real ride as Demon Dean started out kind of fun as he wiggled while warbling karaoke and flirted with a cute waitress. Dean as a demon seemed like a carefree Dean, reveling in honky tonk bars, singing, sexing, . . . he reminded me a bit of season 8 Sam, determined to leave hunting behind because he didn’t need to take responsibility for the big picture any more.

But Carver mapped out a circular route for DDean, and by the end of the episode, the karaoke wasn’t fun anymore, the girl could see he was broken, and his buddy Crowley was nagging him to look at the big picture. And we see the extent Dean is really trying to be free of any care, as he refuses to negotiate over Sam with Cole.

Dean stripper

“Reichenbach” picks up all those threads. DDean is still trying to fill his life with alcohol and strippers, and unlike the Dean we know, he’s getting less fussy about how he gets consent. He’s fighting a growing urge for violence, which Crowley is only too pleased to point out.

Yet Crowley also knows DDean is still struggling against going full on demon. He offers his newly minted buddy a way to satisfy his urge to kill without smiting any civilians, knowing Dean still cares enough not to want to kill indiscriminately. I suspect Crowley thinks it will be a slippery slope and once Dean starts killing, he’ll lose his hold on that piece of his soul.

Crowley Dean fight

What Crowley hasn’t thought through as well is his assumption DDean will take orders from him. DDean is no ordinary demon. He has the Mark of Cain and the knife, which made Cain powerful enough to create the Knights of Hell and immortal to boot. DDean may be on an extended tour of stripper clubs, but he’s the most powerful demon out there at the moment.

I think we’re supposed to see Crowley really believing, because he wants to believe, that he has the kind of relationship with DDean that Sam had. He wants them to be a team. In fact, he tells Dean that if he kills, he will be killing for them. Crowley’s brush with humanity is still affecting him. He still wants to be loved.

But DDean’s twisted soul is not looking for love. He’s walked away from his greatest bond because he feels he’s no longer worth saving. He’s wallowing in all his superficial pleasures because that’s all he has left.  Crowley doesn’t often get the wrong end of the stick, but he does with DDean. He may be able to be “jerk” to Dean’s “bitch,” but they’re just words to this version of Dean. The underlying emotion is not there.

Dean is still struggling with some emotions, though. Crowley tells him he has to make a choice: demon or human. Writer Andrew Dabb shows us that struggle as DDean first is crude and violent toward a stripper, but then doesn’t want to kill a woman who cheated on her cheating husband. Both sides of his nature are duking it out and I think it’s a hopeful sign he gives in to his humanity more than his demonhood.

Sam is all about hopeful signs for Dean, but of course everything is a lot murkier than he and I hope. Sam in season 10 is very different from Sam of season 8 and 9. He’s not looking to accept DDean’s advice to let him go. He’s not looking to pick up the normal life he left behind with Amelia. And most of all, he’s not prepared to accept DDean is no longer his brother.

It’s a nice callback to season 9, when Sam told Dean they were only partners, because their bond as brothers had only hurt them and others. I think Sam was hurting when he said that to his brother, but I also think as the younger brother, he’s always counted on Dean being there, no matter what Sam says. A Dean who would actually not care about him is unthinkable.  And that’s exactly what Sam has to take on with DDean.

Sam crying

Jared is doing an incredible job showing Sam’s hurt and determination. Sam’s always been able to concentrate on the goal, and he’s not giving up on his brother, no matter what DDean says. I think we’ll get some worrying fall out from that determination, because we’ve seen before that obsessed Sam can get tunnel vision. But we’ll also get to see Sam hold on to his belief in his brother, helping Dean find his humanity, just as he did in season 5. I’m looking forward to seeing how the brothers process the last two years, as each made poor decisions for the right motivations. How will they decide where the line is?

Cas Hannah

I’m completely caught up in Sam and Dean’s story, but less so with Cole and Cas. I like Cas’s story so far and am enjoying Hannah. But especially in the premiere, trying to tell three stories at the same time meant nothing much happened in any of them, and the angel story line drags the most. I was glad to see the writers knitted Sam and Cole into Dean’s narrative quickly, so now they are only balancing two stories. I expect Cas’s story will now pick up speed as he grapples with impending death.

Cole

Cole I’m struggling with because there are so many logic issues with him. He’s obviously much older than he should be, but if he was the age his back story suggests, he couldn’t have a son of the age he has. It’s this kind of sloppy writing that I find aggravating. It’s not enough to dim my enjoyment of the episode, but it does keep me from enjoying the character as much as I’d like. I wish the writers could hit all the notes, like they did with Gordon and Hendrickson.  I expect we’ll see more of Cole now that he knows Dean is a demon, so I’ll build a bridge and get over the casting problem.

Thanks to homeofthenutty.com for the photos.

Comments  

Rene4
# Rene4 2014-10-18 13:58
Good review. Thank you. That is a interesting idea, that Crowley takes Hannah's grace and gives it to Cas. I wondered who the blond female was fighting Hannah. If she was sent by Crowley to kill Hannah, then Crowley would collect the available grace to give to Cas. That would solve the grace problem.
I also had a slight problem with the age of Cole but the story is good and the acting is great, so I let it go. I figure that Dean was chasing a monster who had really killed Cole's father. And it is a little hard to explain to a child over his fathers bloody body that monsters exist and one killed his father. So I guess Dean just left without telling Cole anything.
Over all I really really really liked this episode. The acting is just great.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-10-18 14:11
That's kinda what I thought too. The young Cole had a dead father no matter what so why compound that by springing monsters on him as well?
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2014-10-18 14:07
I really want DEANMON to hang around longer but alas seems he will be CURED next week. Not sure how that will work because Dean IS the demon. Not possessed and also has THE MARK OF CAIN. Crowley CANT get rid of the Blade because Cain will come back one day and as Dean to kill him and OOPS, NO BLADE. Cain might kill Crowley just for that alone. Crowley wont destroy something so valuable.

Can someone Somewhere get Cass some GRACE please.

The actor playing TRAVIS is 39 and Jensen is younger than he. Casting either messed up OR they changed the script.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-10-18 14:25
Hi Nola,
The demon cure, as I understand it, isn't like an exorcism. It doesn't remove the demon. I believe it just untwists the corrupted soul which may work on DD. What will happen after that is unclear. The confusing part for me, and there are many:), was in the original cure there were two souls involved and there wasn't a MoC or blade to complicate it even more.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2014-10-18 14:30
Precisely :D
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-10-18 14:10
Nice review Gerry. I had very similar feelings on the first two episodes. I just couldn't muster any real sympathy for the Cole character and part of that is because I didn't buy his age or backstory or toughness. Loved the Sam and Dean parts in episode 2 and really started to like Hannah this week. Hope Hannah isn't doomed already! Very excited for the showdown next week.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-10-19 15:51
Hi Gerry, nice to see you back! So far this season has engaged me. Loved this episode and am looking forward to the next one. The Cole story is my least favorite but I think it will get more interesting. I am having a hard time buying this actor as THAT character. Two tours? I do like Travis though. For whatever reason I am enjoying Hannah very much, which means she is doomed! Kudos to all for the great episode. Thanks for the nice review Gerry.:)
Gerry
# Gerry 2014-10-19 21:16
Thanks, everyone, for your comments! I'm so stoked for season 10. I love the set up so far for Sam and Dean. I also like Hannah, which, yes, probably means she's not long for the show. Casting the guy they cast for for Cole is a headscratcher. He doesn't match the description at all. But I'll go along for the ride, hoping it will all pay off. Like others, I suspect Dean didn't kill his father at all, a monster did. If that's right, I hope they manage to make a nice thematic point with it.
Ginger
# Ginger 2014-10-20 01:47
Tell real life to move over, Gerry. I always wait for your reviews and was happy to see this one.

I am loving S10 and Demon Dean. I love Dean and Crowley's snarking at each other, and Crowley is a worthy opponent to Dean. Crowley doesn't usually underestimate Dean Winchesters, but he sure has this time around. Dean Winchester does not take walking orders from anyone. I admit that the show has been able to rehabilitate Crowley's character for me over last season and this season, but I still remember that Dean hates Crowley. He always has. I also remember that in S8 Crowley systematically went about killing the innocents the Winchesters had saved to stop them from doing the trials (including Sarah) and in S10, he was directly responsible for killing a retired hunter, Tara. Even with his touch of humanity, how could he possibly think that Dean would forget that (DDean having all of his memories remaining).

I like Sam this year (and it's been a while since I could say that), and I'm interested to see where he goes this season. I am liking seeing Sam's determination and single-minded doggedness (as opposed to coughing and being a damsel-in-distr ess). I do feel like Dabb dropped a few of Sam's IQ points this episode, but that was a minor thing.

Cas and Hannah, however, are not a minor thing. There is nothing I like about that "Hallmark" story at all. It's not connected to the Winchesters in any way, and it's downright predictable and dull. I dread the half of an episode devoted to it each episode. Since Misha has been made a lead, I would hope that they will come up with a storyline that doesn't leave me wondering what the point of the whole thing was in an episode (and last week's wasn't any different).

Now Cole. Cole's motive is the easiest writing trope there is -- revenge. But, you know, I don't mind him much. I figure he is either a test for a spin-off or he's only recurring for about three episodes, so I don't even bother with him. I like that he was used to have the brothers meet, and I absolutely loved, loved, loved the Dean/Cole fight scene. Best one since Skin (Sidenote: I put Dean killing three demons in front of Cain as No. 3 on my list). I loved that Dean was only using purely human defensive moves while toying with him, and I thought Travis showed just the right emotions during the scene. God, JA was terrific in that scene.
love2boys
# love2boys 2014-10-20 14:00
I am loving Sam and Dean this season! More in 10.02 than in 10.01. Crowley can deliver any line. Jensen can really do terrifying! So I'm happy.

I can't tell how old anyone is in real life anyway so Cole's age didn't bother me, and I love the Princess Bride and use lines from it in my RL all the time so even if I never see him again, I got a PB reference! So I'm still happy.

I'm just excited to see what TPTB have in store for us. I enjoy letting it play out - seeing where it goes. I already like it better than Season 9. So I'm still really happy.

The reviews have all been just great here at WFB this season. I'm really really happy. Happy, right?!
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-10-21 16:19
I think Cole is being set up as a reoccurring character or spinoff dude. He is a prime candidate to become a hunter.... family member (DAD) killed. It is the way they all start. Plus the writers sent Cole to the library! Did anyone else think it was a bit contrived or ridiculous that Mr. "I trained all my life, Marine" gets his ass kicked by DD and while still bloody and staggering he goes to the LIBRARY! Cole is going to find out about the real supernatural world; he will meet up with Dean who by then will be semi-cured; Cole will discover that a monster and not Dean killed his Dad; and then eventually become friends with Sam and Dean. He will be guest at the MOL bunker in no time.