From the title alone, there was no doubt this was going to be a powerful episode. Throw in an appearance by Cain and everything is fully primed for one of those emotionally overwhelming game-changers that will be talked about for months to come. For the most part, this did the job – with just few, teeny, tiny nitpicks….well, let’s see.
Cain: Dark and Devastating

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Timothy Omundson pulled no punches this time around, playing an even more intense Cain – this time, determined to wipe out/correct his genetics via mass murder. The opening of the episode was perfectly suited for the introduction of the character's newer, darker incarnation: the flickering lights, the purposeful stride down the hall and the silhouette of it all caught briefly against the security camera monitors. Cain was twisted and incredible. He was a frightening depiction of what maybe awaits Dean at the end of this journey. What was just right about this was that he wasn’t overdosing on crazy – there wasn’t a sense of unorganized madness in anything – it was all very purposeful and Cain himself spoke about channeling the Mark’s desire to kill into, what he believed, was a direction that was at least legitimate. Certainly it was evident he’d been consumed by the Mark and the compulsions therein, but it wasn’t over the top in any way. Somehow, this made it more frightening and more tragic.

Crowley & Rowena: Mother Manipulator

For most of the episode, the flow was good, the storyline of Cain was perfect and the tone and mood was maintained. The only time the intensity and atmosphere was lost was when we turned to focus on Rowena and Crowley. Rowena’s thing is that she’s cutesy sarcastic, which didn’t really fit in with this week’s storyline for me. For another thing, and perhaps it’s just me – but I’m a bit tired of her story without any payoff. I don’t mind her character, it’s been established she’s powerful and we know she’s manipulating Crowley with every breath, so it’d be nice for that come to a head or at least change at some point. The main problem is the saccharine redundancy that has developed with Rowena: she plays Crowley like a fiddle, we know it and now it seems he knows it – and there wasn’t even much of a payoff in him addressing it with her this week. Was that the main confrontation? If so, it was lackluster at best. Speaking specifically to the issues of Rowena’s injection in this episode, since it was by and large the same old with her this week and didn’t fit the tonal levels of the plot, it simply seemed out of place to include her. Thoughts on this? Am I alone?

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Now, having said that – it doesn’t discount Crowley in this episode. He was a minor role, to be sure but he was certainly stung at the end and Rowena’s words did hit their mark (no pun intended) when she called Crowley the Winchester’s bitch. Crowley was played at several angles by many people and he learned that the hard way (not getting the Blade back) or called them out directly (Rowena) by the end – either way, we may be staring down the barrel of a harder, more badass King of Hell come the end of hiatus, and I for one, will not be complaining.

Castiel: Interrogation Angel

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Poor Cas – spends the weeks traversing the countryside to interrogate demons, discovered a mass grave, thrown through a fence post and then given the job of hiding the Blade to ensure his BFF doesn’t go all dark side. Castiel didn’t play a major role this week besides discovering the graveyard, but his confrontations with Cain were powerful, both visually and energetically – at least on his side. For a moment, when Dean handed the Blade off to Cas after the final battle and Cas stepped to the side and back, I thought they’d made a silent deal of sorts for Cas to fulfill the agreement he made with Dean long ago about taking out Dean before he could darkside. Obviously, it didn’t go that way, but it made me wonder for half a second if we were in for a hell of a cliff hanger.

Sam: The Grounding Element

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Sam has played the role of older brother a lot this season: voice of reason, giving assurances, being the steady one when needed and in this episode he was back in the little brother role, needing the assurance from Dean about what he was doing, and worrying about his brother. The episode closes on Sam expressing how worried he is about Dean to Castiel, but he doesn’t say why: is it because he thinks Dean has lost his conscious and is going to go all killer or because he thinks Dean is severely affected by the fight with Cain and putting on “I’m ok” face when he’s devastated by something? Sam was worried about the former going in, but I’m betting he’s focused on the latter by the end.

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It has been nice to see so much genuine honesty and trust running between the boys this season, even with the very difficult issues. This episode was especially potent, even in the subtle, non-conversational bits. Sam trusted Dean to have the strength to do what he needed to do with the blade, was strong enough to assure him they’d take care of him if he turned into something violent again and Sam also put on a very good show of confidence boosting in the bunker talking about Dean’s strength to resist the Blade and Mark even in killing Cain etc. even though his conversation with Cas after shows he’s clearly very worried. Sam catches Dean and visa versa – in the end of this episode, he does it literally, but maybe that’s a metaphor. Future? Maybe.

Dean: Danger Lies Ahead

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From the moment he saw Cain on the monitor, Dean knew this was what Cain talked about when he bestowed the Mark. And he knew the potential ramifications of it all, not just for him but for everyone. Dean’s stoic demeanor barely changed leading to the big meet – barring of course his confession to Sam that he was scared. He told Sam last week, which he referenced again, that he would go down swinging – so was he prepared to die facing Cain then?

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In the aftermath of the battle, which I want to address separately, Dean was destroyed. The information from Cain haunted him. What we know about Dean (if we know anything) is that he loves his family and the notion that he could kill Sam one day will stay with him. It’s not the same as a possession by an angel bound on killing Sam’s vessel or an order by Dad to kill Sam in the event of – different stories. The idea that he himself will hunger for Sam’s blood? Oh, Dean. The look on Dean’s face when he exited the barn and trudged down the stairs was so annihilated, it was like his spirit was abolished. No wonder Sam didn’t believe his semi-half-hearted attempt at self-satisfaction at the table. Of all the prophecies to be privy to – this is the worst for Dean.

Warrior v Warrior: Barn Battle

The battle between Cain and Dean was very grand yet not that extravagant. For the most part, while hits were being landed, Cain was winning the mental war and psychologically crippling Dean. Cain was too powerful an adversary for Dean to win against in his current state, that was a given. So he either had to fully surrender to the Mark or something else had to happen. All elements considered, by the end I didn’t know where it was going but was surprisingly pleased with the outcome.

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Of course Cain would want his Blade back to complete these missions of his – though this wasn’t a give-away on first watch. The writers handled Cain’s ulterior desire well, I thought, such that by the time he picked up the Blade and mentioned letting Cas run back to Dean it was kind of like “well, sure that makes sense” – it didn’t stick out at the time (even when Cas said, almost awkward on second thought, but then lots of what he says is – “even with the Blade hidden”) and it wasn’t a glare in the moment either. The other plus was that the scramble for the Blade wasn’t a focus for a large portion either, it was still about the psychology of the whole Mark.

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Ultimately, Dean didn’t win the way I anticipated – and I’m glad he didn’t have to surrender to the Mark as I expected he would to win. All told, he didn’t actually win per say, he defeated Cain is more accurate. It was a good fight between the two – the space allowed for the drama and intensity of the moment to be felt, particularly at the end when Cain was executed. One of my favourite Supernatural  battles to date.

Odds and Ends

It would be negligent of me not to mention both the visuals and the music in this episode. Both are excellent on a standard basis in Supernatural but this episode had some particularly memorable moments. On the visual front, as already mentioned, the introduction of Cain walking through Death Row was very strong, but in addition to that – the scene of Cain and Castiel on the graveyard. The contrasting tones and shadows in that scene create a very striking visual for the moment.  

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Finally, the music during the fight scene between Cain and Dean was the super cherry on an already near perfect instant. Pulling everything together, the music gives the moment the essence of a western duel, which amps up the stakes and only one gunman can be left at the end.

Final thoughts

Taken as just the Cain plot, this is an excellent episode. What cost some of the flow, mood and drama were the intermittent bits of Rowena as she just didn’t suit the atmosphere of this particular episode. Certainly, the actors were excellent and the storyline and writing in particular were powerful throughout. Worth a few watches, just to enjoy visuals and audio treats, if nothing else. What are your thoughts on Rowena? Is Dean depressed or dark? Good exit for Cain? Share your thoughts below!


# hartbroknagn 2015-02-20 20:17
I loved this episode. I am curious though, if Sam and Dean are from the bloodlines of Cain and Able was Dean always meant to have the Mark? I don't fully believe that Cain was the "bad guy" in this episode, I think Cain sensed that Dean was plummeting out of control and wanted to help in an odd sort of way.
# Prix68 2015-02-20 20:40
I agree that Rowena and Crowley's interaction in the beginning of the episode seemed like an interruption. By the end I thought it was to show that between Dean admitting he played Crowley, giving Cas the blade and his Mother saying he was the Winchester's bitch it was the push Crowley has needed to get back to his former evil self. Hopefully anyway.

I didn't think Dean was acting like he was okay when it was just Sam and Dean in the kitchen. Dean had his head down and was quiet. Sam seemed to be trying to convince Dean to see this as a win when he came to the table. I wonder if he will tell Sam what Cain told him? I hope so. No more secrets please.

I also wondered if Cain was trying to goad Dean into losing control? If anything, Dean seemed more in control then ever. Even with the blade in his hand he was trying to give Cain a way out of of being killed. I know why Dean did that but still Dean didn't just go crazy with the need to kill Cain. It was all very deliberate.

Great episode and lots of questions. Anxious to see where this leads. Thanks for your thoughts.
# AlyCat22 2015-02-20 22:53
Prix - Speaking of the kitchen scene - what was up with the audio? Are we supposed to take the sound of the coffee being poured and the caraffe being placed back down as well as that little "tink tink" sound on the coffee mug as Deans senses have increased? Did DemonDean have superior hearing? Very curious.

Elle - As far as Rowena goes, I would rather not have had her in the ep for those reasons but I understand too why it was a necessity. I have to say she is growing on me tho - I like how it's been a slow reveal from cartoonish, OTT to how wicked, cruel and scheming she truly is. Shes getting less OTT as she goes along. I love how she called out to Crowley that he's the Winchesters bitch. That had to sting. I think we will start to see more of the Big Bad Crowley but when push shoves, I still think he won't be able to truly kill Dean.

The acting, directing, cinematography and special effects were stellar this episode. Kudos to Jensen and Timothy for such an awesome fight scene. I agree Dean didn't so much as win this as much as defeated Cain. How can it even be considered a win based on what Dean has willingly damned himself with. That heart wrenching cry as he delivered the final blow... where does Jensen get that from?!? Ackles you never cease to amaze... I even liked the little dude who was playing basketball!!! Let's see...teenager, survived episode, hmmm... he'll probably have his own episode Season 11!!!! Or a spin-off!!!!!! Sorry, just had to humorously throw that in there!
# YellowEyedSam 2015-02-21 06:22
After seeing this episode I (and noticeably others) are starting to realise the meaning of Metatron's quote about the source. Dean killed Cain who I assume most of us thought was "the source". But really the source, the beginning was Lucifer! I can only hope this is a hint towards Lucifer's return, and Sam going evil because Jared would love to play ebilness again (and I'd like to see!).
# sugarhi15 2015-02-21 09:22
The river is the source...i dont think its about lucifer. I dont think its about cain. I think the source is what got cain in his mess in the first place....lack of trust.

Lucifer made a deal with cain, on the word of the serpent himself. In the world of spn what is the biggest mistake that was made here? as with gadriel, cain took lucifer at his word. Never did cain question it or go to abel and confront him. he simply killed him. in spn what is the basis of Lucifer's wrath? he has been called the petulant child by both Michael and Gabriel. Lucifer was cast down because he wouldn't bow down to humans. He was punished, banished by God. So what does Lucifer do as a big screw you, I told you so to God? He proves his point about how vile we basically are by one simple action. He goes to God's first, grandchild and with a simple bit of manipulation, he didn't even have to try that hard, cain bought into what Lucifer was spewing. It was that easy. Lucifer proved his point about humans.

It wasn't really Lucifer that was the source of Cain's action. Lucifer was simply a tool. Cain could've easily pulled a dean Winchester and the spn world as we know it wouldn't be tainted by the blight Cain caused. it's not like cain went to abel, told him what Lucifer said, warned abel what Lucifer was truly trying to do and gave abel a chance to choose his own fate. who's to say that abel wouldn't have heeded cain's warning if given the chance. Cain's fatal flaw was his lack of faith in his family... in his brother. Cain made the decision to end abel's life without ever confronting abel in first place. He took the word of lucifer over his own blood...and now as punishment that bloodline is tainted (a brother making a decision for his brother without trusting in him in the first place..sound familiar? isn't that how dean ended up with the moc in the first place?)

Perhaps the cure for removing the mark is trust. Maybe what will save dean is his unwavering faith in his brother...not taking cain at his word and trusting in it as cain did with lucifer, but by trusting his brother over all trusting in sam more than trusting his family, his brotherhood...t o do the antithesis of what cain did...that is what dean needs to do to rid the mark.

Or maybe the river is real. Maybe it's the site of the murder of abel by cain. So if sam is willing to do what it takes to save dean...maybe what he has to do is get dean to this river and try to get him to kill him...if dean doesn't kill sam where cain killed abel, he will break this curse and the mark will disappear... this still this goes back to my original theory of faith...and sam's faith in dean and dean's faith in sam and himself

the way I see it, which is never really the way anyone else does:D, imho it was actually God himself who made mary and john Winchester a priority because sam and dean had to be born. the corrupt angels, the demons, they all assumed that sam and dean's purpose was to fulfill a prophesy of their own making. I find it ironic that in the world of spn, the apocalypse is brought about by one brother killing the other, much the same way the earth began, with one brother killing the other. maybe that is God having the last laugh, for God will bring all the saved into heaven anyway...hopefu lly:D in the spn world, the prevention of the apocalypse resulted because of two brothers, who after much manipulation by corrupt outside forces, still chose ea. other in the end. faith. love. brotherhood.... it's what saved the world. seems to me that sam and dean are God's payback to Lucifer and all his, not payback.....a lesson....a lesson that faith and love, brotherhood and trust.....that' s what keeps humanity going...that is the basis of humanity.

I think the source of ridding the mark is for dean to have the one thing that cain didn't . faith and trust. I think the way to rid the mark is to do the opposite of what cain did.

jmo of course.
# YellowEyedSam 2015-02-21 10:25
You make some good points sugarhi15, I enjoyed that read. It does make sense what you say, as a theory, but in writing it doesn't seem as exciting as Lucifer's return.

Imagine if S10 ended with Sam making contact with Lucifer. S11 would be Lucifer pulling Sam's strings, and as I said possibly corrupt him. Sam beat Lucifer by regaining control after he felt the happy memories of his brother and him. Why repeat the same mistake? Take advantage of the demon blood and corrupt him to the point he would say yes without resisting.

Just my 2 cents
# E 2015-02-21 10:51
I agree… although the idea that Dean needs to learn to trust in himself and trust in Sam by not doing the one thing that Cain did do (kill his brother on the highly suspicious word of another) is a good one, and I hope that it's at the root of what happens in the final episodes of this season, it's not really dramatic or suitable for an action oriented television show. Bringing Lucifer back is much more dramatic and visual IMO, and would be a good way to FINALLY tie Sam into the proceedings. If the story only goes in the direction of Dean confronting his issues to not do what Cain had done basically leaves Sam out of the entire equation. What could Sam possibly do in that scenario other than being "supportive" as he's been doing for a whole season or more? It's high time Sam got a story or his own, or even got to participate in a meaningful way in the current MoC story, so having Dean puzzle himself out of his own mess leaves Sam on the back burner as he's been since season 9. I for one don't want to see that.
# sugarhi15 2015-02-21 11:26
It's just me, but I see so many holes with the return of Lucifer, not to mention an entire rehash of everything kripke did...what was his story.
it's just my personal opinion, but it seems to me that Lucifer was kripke's baby. he brought him in, he locked him away. swan song was kripke's swan song...his ending for his story and I just don't see that being messed with in any way.
as far as sam going dark because of Lucifer.....the entire first five years has been about sam's manipulation, his fall, and ultimately his rise from it was a great story and sam won in the end; bringing Lucifer back just to make sam dark again erases everything sam has been through. everything he's suffered post falling in the pit. I see it as a detriment to sam's overcome and win, just to fall back again....and for what? how will that save dean....sam's fall will miraculously make dean want to save him by killing him? is that a blaze of glory? is that the way fans want this show to end after ten plus years....for one brother to kill the other....? it undoes everything that sam and dean are......

sam and dean have always been the opposite. it would take away from everything they are and have been fighting for and against these past ten years...for what...because it would be cool to see a dark sam or a dark dean? dark might be fun for a while, but it gets old, and it's not who these boys are....;)

aside from my own personal belief, which i'm not imparting on anyone else, it's mine and mine alone....I don't see the logic in his return.

firstly the rings went into the pit with sam. so am I to believe that Michael and Lucifer never beat the crap out of sam while he was down there,( because his rescue wasn't imminent, he spent time down there,) am I to believe that neither Michael or Lucifer attempted to take the rings from sam?

even if they didn't take the rings...what soulless sam had them in his pocket the whole time? kept it hidden? now all these years laters it's in a little box under sam's bed in the bunker? that seems so, for me, just to dumb. or let's say cas stole the keys off of soulless sam....and cas has them hidden somewhere, he's going to give the rings back to sam so sam can open the cage?

and opening the cage? do you honestly think that Lucifer is the only one who would get out of the cage once it's opened? Michael is down there too.

and if the keys were still in the pit with Lucifer and micheal, don't you think they would've used them?

it took the breaking of 66 seals and the killing of the first demon to open the cage in the first place. there are just so many holes....I don't see how sam would get in contact with Lucifer at all..let alone set him free.
let's say sam goes to a witch and has a one on one with Lucifer while he's in the pit...then what? a deal ...sam let's Lucifer out if he helps sam rid dean of the mark? or first sam has to open the pit so Lucifer can get out...which leads back to all the questions brought up above. :D

then what happens if Lucifer does want to bargain with sam...what do u think Lucifer would want? maybe what he wanted in the first place? so sam would have to be a vessel? say yes...and then what....Michael comes out of the pit and it's Michael and Lucifer at it again....bringi ng on the apocalypse...wh ich goes back to........ didn't that happen already in s5?

I know Lucifer is a cool character...but imvho he's a character that should stay gone.....kripke 's was a brilliant story that shouldn't be undone for the sake of sam being dark. or for giving sam a role to play. sam has the most important role to play and given his fear at the end of this episode, seems to me that sam will actively begin for a way to save dean now. sam can do dark without Lucifer being part of the equation and he certainly can do plenty without the use of Lucifer. Besides, sam dealing with Lucifer is the very thing that would kill dean. the idea this time, is to let sam save dean. for sam to become Lucifer's pet or vessel or whatever, wouldn't be what saves dean, it would be the one thing that destroys dean....dean has spent his life looking out for sam, protecting you think sam succumbing to Lucifer would be what dean wants? what's he always fought against? do you think dean wants the cycle to continue? the whole point since carver took over is for the boys to learn from their mistakes...that 's what the last three years have been about. I don't want sam or dean being a victim here, I want them the victors. and it's been 7 years coming, sam saving dean, I want him to do it in a way that would make dean proud, not in a way that would destroy him. sam has earned the right to be a hero here....he's earned it in the worst way....I only think it fitting that, while sam may do things that dean won't exactly go for, sam can save his brother in way that both boys can respect and be proud of. :)

I for one don't want to see the same story rehashed all over again. I believe carver and company have enough ingenuity to give us a new story, their story which is just as wonderful and scary and exciting and uplifting without undoing everything kripke has done and without taking everything that the boys have suffered through and survived and throwing it all away...just for the sake of "wouldn't it be cool to bring back Lucifer"....

besides, i'm more interested in the rise of evil Crowley and what he can bring to the Winchester table....not so much Lucifer...he's old news;)

but's just my perspective on it...not meant to disregard yours or anyone else's in any way.;)
# eilf 2015-02-21 11:55
Not trying to change your mind about your theory Sugarhi, I totally agree that the past few seasons have been about trust and the lack of it. And there SHOULD be questions asked as to exactly what Lucifer did say to Abel (if anything). However I am not convinced the story will go that way for the reasons other people mention. The show only seems to be interested in the extremes Dean will go to as he gets more and more obsessed and seems increasingly unable to think clearly.

it took the breaking of 66 seals and the killing of the first demon to open the cage in the first place. there are just so many holes....I don't see how Sam would get in contact with Lucifer at all..let alone set him free.
I have a theory about that. I think it is the Demon tablet being brought back into play. Perhaps they are going to have a seance to contact Kevin and get him to help them out by explaining how to use the Demon Tablet to open the gates of hell. This will allow them to get IN. Into cage hell, not Crowley's bargain basement hell, since that has an open back-door into purgatory that only involves a rogue reaper or some such nonsense - anyway two archangels wouldn't be imprisoned near to a load of demons, too much chance for trouble. I mean it wouldn't be a sensible idea, but taking the MOC in the first place wasn't either and now Dean is potentially a bigger threat to the world (if he got like Cain) than anyone apart from Lucifer.
# E 2015-02-21 13:26
I don't see how Sam would get in contact with Lucifer at all..let alone set him free.
All they have to do is have Sam track down a rogue reaper to take him into purgatory so he can get into hell that way….easy peasy. I think he may even have left the boulder…. um door open from when he was there last. Maybe Sam could reconnoiter with Benny while he's in purgatory and admit to him that he'd been wrong about him all along! Then Sam just has to make his way through hell to the cage and make a deal with Lucifer; Sam's body and Lucifer's freedom for removing the mark. No mess no foul. Damn that stupid episode Taxi Driver… sheesh! That episode really screwed this show up by making access to purgatory and hell ridiculously easy. Now if the brothers DON'T get into hell through the back door when they need to they look like fools. I HATED that episode.

And Lucifer may have been Kripke's baby but that didn't stop them from bringing him back in season 7, so he's fare game for a return to the show IMO.
# YellowEyedSam 2015-02-21 12:17
as far as sam going dark because of Lucifer.....the entire first five years has been about sam's manipulation, his fall, and ultimately his rise from it was a great story and sam won in the end; bringing Lucifer back just to make sam dark again erases everything sam has been through. everything he's suffered post falling in the pit. I see it as a detriment to sam's overcome and win, just to fall back again....and for what? how will that save dean....sam's fall will miraculously make dean want to save him by killing him? is that a blaze of glory? is that the way fans want this show to end after ten plus years....for one brother to kill the other....? it undoes everything that sam and dean are......
First off how many years/seasons has it been since Sam's manipulation etc? We're midway through S10 and that was S4/5. S6 if you want to count soulless Sam. You can do things again whilst making it fresh. Thats what TV shows have done for years! Poor Sam up till midway S9 had something go wrong with him, but it tied in with the plot and felt like good writing.

Have you seen the anime? It may be nearly the same as S1 and S2 but it breaths new life into it with slight and major changes.

Yes it would be cool to have an actual evil Sam (soulless Sam wasn't quite there). I remember seeing a recent panel on Youtube (can't recall which) where Jared and Jensen get asked which is more fun to play, evil or good in SPN? Both answer evil because its a break from the norm. They also said if they were evil all the time, being good would be fun for the same reason. Remember the one off episodes where something goes wrong for one of the brothers? Example being Dean being posessed by that vengful ghost thing that makes green goo come out of his ears. It was exciting, something different that broke the mold. So lets push it to the peak now after Dean has raised the bar by going demon and struggling with the mark. Make it equally as exciting for Sam to truley go dark just like Dean did. Plus Jared wants to play evil again so... xD

And hey, if the writers don't do it I already am doing something similar. I love my evil Sam. ;)

and opening the cage? do you honestly think that Lucifer is the only one who would get out of the cage once it's opened? Michael is down there too.
I've been thinking about this. What does Sam have in common with Lucifer that Micheal doesn't? He's his vessel. Castiel once stated in relation to Rapheal's vessel that communication with Raph was possible in a way if you knew the right words. Sam's been possessed by Lucifer and is HIS vessel. Devious as he is I'm sure Lucifer has a plan, and I'm very sure there's a way to be exploited so that only Lucifer is freed. I would have to think of a theory though as I haven't given it enough thought.

let's say sam goes to a witch and has a one on one with Lucifer while he's in the pit...then what? a deal...sam let's Lucifer out if he helps sam rid dean of the mark? or first sam has to open the pit so Lucifer can get out...which leads back to all the questions brought up above
Have the writers let you down much? I trust them. To answer your question would take a hell of a lot of thinking. I write my own fics so I'm used to pondering deeply. I do have an idea but I'd rather keep it myself for my fic I'm writing, but I'd be happy to discuss it privately ofc :) (I could use feedback anyway...). The witch thing would be a poor plot though.

Lucifer doesn't have to truely come back. He could try, nearly succeed or be there in Sam's head alone.

Phew.. thats a heck of a post from me ^_^
# eilf 2015-02-21 13:57
Yes, it could be fun and interesting for Jared to play. But it is importiant not to conflate Sam as Lucifer's vessel as 'evil Sam' if Sam is entirely possessed by Lucifer then he is Lucifer and not Sam at all.

ETA: Oh I see where you said about the demon blood, but Sam needed that to be strong enough to resist Lucifer (which wasn't enough) if he is volunteering then he will not be fighting and so he won't need demon blood?

I mean any storyline that involves Lucifer is either Lucifer can remove the mark if Sam agrees to be his vessel and let him out of the cage OR Lucifer tells them that Sam has to die to remove the mark - at which point the LAST thing they want is for him to be possessed by a really strong angel, because that would make him very hard to kill (as we learned in Season 4). And storyline A sidelines Dean, so that won't happen. It has to be the second one.

During the conversation with Lucifer it would be good idea to find out what the story was with Abel ....

Personally I think if they do bring Lucifer back it would only be for one episode and it would be an interaction with Lucifer in the cage. Just finding out what he knows - most likely that Sam has to die at Dean's hand to break the curse. And then as Percysowner said somewhere else the closed veil would come into play. It could be really cool the cage sequence couldn't it? I am not sure that SPN budget can do it justice but they could do a silence of the lambs type thing (I know they did that once with the Alpha vamp but it could be done again).
# Attie 2015-02-21 14:18
The show doesn't have to reintroduce lucifer. If it remembers its own canon from earlier this season then Sam still has Lucifer grace still in him (which means that Sam could potentially fulfil 3 roles this season; Abel, Cosette and Lucifer). The 'residual grace' was very random so perhaps it was introduced as a hint of things to come. If the source is Lucifer then a MOC Dean might see the grace (and its host) as Lucifer and 'kill' him, thus killing his brother but also killing the one that Dean/Cain believed corrupted his brother. Carver has already talked about accordioning the MOC storyline so perhaps it will be drawn out so much that Sam will be killed off at the end of the series. I'm not adverse to that idea. If Sam runs things then it would give him some control over his own destiny (something rarely seen on the show where he is a puppet for so many other characters), it would fix the mistake that Dean made in season 2 when he bought Sam back from the dead (so natural order would be restored) and it also means that Dean (intentionally or otherwise) would finally grant Sam the peace he has denied him for so long.

However, I think it more likely that Sam will go darkside in an attempt to help Dean and Dean will refuse to kill him, thus not doing what Cain did with Abel and so the MOC will be cured. Season 11 will be spent cleaning up Sam's mistakes. I don't think the show will stray from its Sam messes up and Dean fixes it formula for too long.
# eilf 2015-02-21 14:29
The 'residual grace' was very random so perhaps it was introduced as a hint of things to come. If the source is Lucifer then a MOC Dean might see the grace (and its host) as Lucifer and 'kill' him, thus killing his brother but also killing the one that Dean/Cain believed corrupted his brother.
Hey nice piece of tying up a loose end! Though wouldn't Cas have been aware of other grace apart from Gadreel? Maybe the conduit that Sam had with Lucifer is something that Cas doesn't recognise as residual grace.
# AlyCat22 2015-02-21 15:51
Sugarhi - interesting ideas. Correction about the Horsemans rings tho - Sam didn't take them with him in the fall to the cage, Dean was left holding them in Stull Cemetary after the fact.

As far as this Lucifer storyline everyone is so hep about? Could you honestly see this current stable of writers (Like Swayze, Berens is always getting a pass from now on though because of this masterpiece he just penned!) actually pulling off even a semblance of that storyline? They haven't been able to successfully write anything consistantly coherent in regards to the MOC, and let's not forget TPTB dropped DemonDean like a hot potato for Fan Fiction - an episode that could have been placed anywhere else in the season to allow the natural flow of Deans demonic dilema. You guys have a lot more faith than I do then. And I agree too Sugarhi, that the Sam/Lucifer story should stay in the past. It was Kripkes baby, it was great and it is Supernatural history. I don't want to see them muck up anymore canon... Sams trek waltzing into Purgatory/Hell/ rogue Reapers ring a bell? I'm not even sure I ever really want to see God on the show either....I'm sure they would hand that one right over to the Nepotism Duo. Hell, Singers wife would probably write him in for the part!!! ;) Tho I could kinda see that.... :) Gray hair, beard, bushy eyebrows...
# sugarhi15 2015-02-21 14:11
I don't think sam can get from purgatory to the cage. I really believe the cage is in a significantly deeper part of hell. god cast Lucifer to the pit, in a locked cage, we're talking solitary confinement away from all other prisoners....if it was that easy to get to the cage, Crowley could've killed Lucifer once he became the king and Lucifer was banished back to the pit.

i'm not so sure Lucifer is going to be the problem although I agree eilf that if Lucifer were on it would only be for one ep. but it makes no sense that to break the curse dean would have to kill his brother when killing a brother caused the curse in the first place. It just makes more sense that the way to break the curse is to do the opposite of what was done in the first place. ;)

I think a better spin on all of this and what makes more sense is Crowley..... hasn't Crowley had his hands on both tablets? what if Crowley's half of the tablet was a little more juicy than he let on. what if Crowley knows a way to rid dean of the moc? he certainly knew what would happen when he brought dean to cain in the first place to get the mark. maybe Crowley's original plan didn't work out the way he wanted...but who's to say Crowley doesn't know more than he's letting on. What if the big bad turns out to be one of the reviews, the promo I think, it was commented that Crowley said he had the Winchesters where he wanted them.....what if holding dean's life in his hands is exactly what he meant....what if whatever Crowley's bigger plans are, in order to get it, he'll want the help of the Winchesters.... .remember when Crowley had the boys working for them because he claimed he could throw sam's soul in the pit? well what if this time, Crowley does truly have the boys by the berries....and crowley has been actually manipulating the boys instead of the opposite...he hasn't been their bitch...maybe they've been his bitch...or bitches....:o

I certainly think that would make for a much better story than a rehash of s5. after all that carver has done to break the cycle of making the same mistakes over and over and having the boys learn from past mistakes and grow and that they are actually starting to deal with their personal crap and becoming men...instead of acting like the boys they were....I really don't believe he's going to recycle old storylines....I think he's going to do something with an old idea but do it new and refreshingly different.

and I have been nothing but pleased for the most part these last three years. i absolutely love where the story is going and i have the utmost faith that the writers can be original and creative. ;)

but that's me....;)
# eilf 2015-02-21 14:24
what if holding dean's life in his hands is exactly what he meant....what if whatever Crowley's bigger plans are, in order to get it, he'll want the help of the Winchesters..
yes that leads to my worst of all possible storylines. Where Crowley captures Sam, uses him as bait to capture a rampaging Dean because it turns out that killing Sam will make Dean a knight of hell for real - and that is Crowley's ultimate goal. Sam, the ultimate damsel in distress, tied up in front of Dean who has the blade and all he has to do is use it, gets to Dean by the power of words and convinces him not to kill him and Dean doesn't do it, whereupon the mark falls off. Dean unties Sam, the world now knows that the power of Dean's love for Sam is stronger than anything and that Sam finally and for the first time *eyeroll* realises what Dean is willing to do for him . Sam apologises for anything mean he may have said in Season 9 and Dean finds something else to feel guilty about next season.

Or maybe they will remember in the final 9 episodes of this 3 year arc that Sam is supposed to be a real person too and not just a sounding-board for Dean's angst.

Not a complaint about your theory Sugarhi, just an observation about how difficult the end of this season is going to be to pull off well.
# AlyCat22 2015-02-21 15:54
Another interesting theory!!! Crowley is nothing if not devious....
# E 2015-02-21 16:48
I don't think sam can get from purgatory to the cage. I really believe the cage is in a significantly deeper part of hell. god cast Lucifer to the pit, in a locked cage, we're talking solitary confinement away from all other prisoners....if it was that easy to get to the cage, Crowley could've killed Lucifer once he became the king and Lucifer was banished back to the pit.
Heh! if they gave the episode to Bruckner/Ross Leming Sam would waltz straight up to the cage with zero effort. The easiest way out for those two.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-02-21 17:34
Maybe I'm forgetful in my old age, but as I've been obsessively speculating on where this story is going I finally just recalled that Carver said this season's arc would be a personal one in which each character realizes who he really is (or something like that). So far this is what we've seen- Dean has thought for awhile that he's a killer, so I'm assuming he'll realize that he's not, which doesn't seem like some incredible realization. Cas has kind of thought about who he really is-an angel is supposed to serve humanity and he has explored how possessing Jimmy has hurt Jimmy and his family, so maybe he'll have an epiphany about what his role as an angel should be. As it's playing out I guess Sam will realize he's a potted plant? Just kidding...or not. It better not be that Sam finally understands that he would go as far to save Dean as Dean would go to save him, because that's already been established in many pre-Carver era episodes. So now I'm trying to think of plot directions that would have the characters come to some NEW understanding about their true selves, and I'm not coming up with much. Any thoughts?
# sugarhi15 2015-02-21 21:04
hey eilf,
i was thinking more along the lines of crowley returning to his former diabolical self....schemin g and plotting and using the Winchesters to reach his ultimate goal....but not necessarily using sam as bait, sam being the damsel in distress or any of the other colloquies. i just mean when they reveal the big turns out to be crowley. i still think crowley led dean to cain in the first place knowing dean would take mark. it wouldn't surprise me if crowley knows more than he's letting on. and i think it would be cool if crowley had plans for dean and sam this entire time.

as for sam, it looked like he was threatening metatron with a weapon in the he was going to shoot him....also we saw sam, cas and a stranger, sans dean, in what seemed to be a séance.....i think sam might do some things dean won't approve of and deal with people dean won't approve of ....i just don't think that Lucifer is going to be the issue,, i could be wrong, but for now i'm not sure about that.....and i don't think ridding dean of the mark is going to involve a brother killing a brother....i'm sorry i just can't wrap my head around that notion given that a brother killing a brother is what caused the mark in the first place.. haven't we established that killing sates the mark? so how could killing his brother rid him of it? the mark is going to know when it's been fed a sibling and then decide, i'm full, i'm good, I've finally got the meal i wanted, i'm leaving now?.... to me that doesn't compute. the only thing that makes sense to me, the way to get rid of the mark is to do the opposite of what caused it in the first place. like i said, i don't think like everybody else does....i march to the beat of a different drum....:D

imho, if and when the show ends, i don't think it will end with one brother dying and the other living. i also don't believe it will end with the killing of one brother by the other. if and when this show ends and they do decide to kill someone, i think that someone will be crowley.... if tptb grant jared and Jensen their dream sendoff, then sam and dean will go down together, and if they go down it'll be in a blaze of glory, while saving the world.

the optimist in me likes to think that neither will die....they just ride off to the next case after the last battle is fought to something really cool playing on the radio...because i think supernatural could and should be seen on the big screen....if they can make two spongebob movies:p oh dear chuck!....i see no reason why this show can't go on the big screen, like the star trek least for a few movies anyway. ;):)

samandean10....if i may offer you my thoughts....
sam has always seen himself as a disappointment to his brother. i think he's always believed that he failed dean, ever since s3 when he couldn't stop dean from going to hell. what I've always noticed about sam is how he expresses his love for his brother. he does so by abiding his wishes, following his lead, believing in dean, trusting in dean without question. so if dean tells sam he doesn't want help from the likes of doc Benton, he'd rather die...sam abides dean's wishes and buries the doc and his book along with him. when dean tells sam over and over and over that what's dead should stay dead, that coming back wasn't natural, that he didn't want sam to sacrifice his goodness to save dean from hell, sam abides dean's wishes. when sam believes his brother to be dead he doesn't do anything to try to bring him back, instead he breaks and runs and grieves...keepi ng a promise they'd made to each other..... sam has done these things because he loves his brother with every fiber of his being, loves him enough to let him go if dean wishes it, even though it kills sam to do it.....though sam does what he believed his brother wanted, in the end he feels as though he disappoints his brother...or so he believes. (dean's misplaced anger at sam when I believe really angry with himself) even up til s9 when he went with dean to metatron, believed in dean, was willing to fight with him, although it wasnt' his fault and he was sucker punched, sam once again, i think in his head, believes he failed his brother.....i mean at one point sam was ready to die rather than disappoint dean we are now in s10 and for the first time i think in sam's life, when it comes to dean, he's doing what HE wants to do instead of doing what he always believed dean wanted him to do. i think this is good for sam, because not only do i think that he will save his brother, which has been well deserved and long over due....but i think he will come to see himself as someone dean could be proud of....and not feel like a failure or a disappointment, which dean never saw sam as but sam sees himself as......i also think this is good for sam because he's finally in control .....he's taking the lead, he's being the rock....he's the one being depended on....and i think sam will see himself differently when all of this is done. in a good way.... jmo of course.
# eilf 2015-02-21 21:49
Oh the story-lines could be SO excellent! They really could. There is so much available in the supernatural world, it is almost like none of the writers have ever read any fantasy though. The show is badly in need of a continuity expert and bible-minder. After 10 seasons they could surely afford to hire one. And they are afraid to do anything with the story-lines or the characters. There hasn't been anything original in forever. While I completely agree with SE Hinton that episodic television is a completely different skill-set to fanfic (and that she is not insulting fanfic writers by saying so) I wish all of the show writers would take themselves away from Twitter and say 'ok, we have 4 characters. 2 of them are the heart of the show and the other two are very popular, how can we write a coherent storyline for all of them? How can we treat them like they are all real breathing creatures? (Who can we put on AG watch to rap his knuckles whenever he is in danger of writing yet another one of his 'love letters'?)

It was foolish of them to come out and TELL us that they don't know what the end of the season is each year as if that is something to be proud of ... because that seems to mean that if a storyline hits a dead end or an immovable canon block they either change canon or drop the storyline, and it does make it difficult to know what they are saying each week when they don't know it themselves ....

I know you see a core to this story and many's the time I have agreed with your take (and I have written reams of theories on this site myself in past days (long, long ago and far away), and on one occasion I was 100% right! ;) (though it was over something that I REALLY hoped I would be wrong about so it was a bittersweet victory) ) ... , but we NEVER seem to get to a reasonable solution. I have generally hoped that your theories would bear fruit because I agree with a lot of them. Do you feel that any of them have been proven to be correct so far, and do you see a clear denouement this season?
# sugarhi15 2015-02-22 18:42
well eilf...

two and half years ago, under nappi815, I've posted dreadfully long posts on where I thought carver was going. I said all the way back in s8 that the story being told was a personal one, about the boys fighting their own personal demons. Not too long ago, carver noted in an interview that the boys were dealing with their monster. So to answer your question, yes, for this fangirl, yes....carver is doing exactly what I believed he was doing...and we are nearing the home the time this arc is over, these boys will have conquered their demons, accepted who they are together and individually, understand ea. other's perspectives as they have walked in ea. other's shoes and understand past actions. they are already closer than they've ever been, and definitely more honest with ea. other than they've ever been, or at least have been in a very long time. nobody is hiding behind their bravado any more...i'm telling you their couples therapist would be proud. :D by the time this story ends I don't think they will see themselves as a disappointment to the other. I think these boys might even like what they see when they look in the mirror and be proud of all they've accomplished. Ten years ago they were mere boys, They are men now and I'm happy that they are relating as such, because the boys they were ....they're gone...but not forgotten. ;)

eilf I absolutely agree with you that there are so many supernatural stories to hope is that next season, we can get back to some badass, scary stuff.....I would love to see some old friends return....ones we thought to be Gabriel..;)

jmo of course. ;)
# AlyCat22 2015-02-22 22:20
As I've said in the past Sugarhi - I think you are dead on Carvers vision. I think when Season 10 is put in the can and we all have a chance to power watch all 3 years that it will make itself clearer. I just wish he had found a way to do it that wasn't so meandering with frequent side tours to boredomsville. Cas/Hannah roadtrip for one, the Oh So Not Scary Bartholemew/Fal len Angels snorefest, the dropping of Deans Purgatory/PTSD and the confusion that was Samelia... But I do see/understand what he is trying to accomplish. Stronger writing might have helped but it is what it is. Here's to a strong finish for the rest of the season!
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-02-21 23:11
I really like your take on Sam's emotional journey. He has been acting more like the older brother this season (which I actually find a little disconcerting sometimes because it upends the brothers' dynamic that has been depicted for so many seasons). I would love it if that's where the story is going but I hesitate to trust the writers on this. Too often they have used other characters, like Dean, Cas and even dead Bobby to call Sam out on his perceived failures, which leads me to believe that that is how the writers view Sam. But hopefully I'm wrong and you are right. Now if they would just pair that emotional arc of Sam's with a Dean arc in which he finally stops being weighed down by guilt over his mistakes. Each member of TFW has made enormous mistakes that lead to tragic consequences, but Sam and Cas try their best to atone in any way they can, and then try to let the rest go. If Sam and Dean can achieve these things, they really will have moved on to a more adult relationship between equals, rather than the strictly big bro/little bro relationship that has resulted in so much conflict between them. Not that I ever want Dean to stop looking out for Sammy! I love the strength and intensity of their relationship, and whether it's co-dependent or not, I hope that never changes.
# eilf 2015-02-21 22:06
Hi Elle, Interesting thoughts!Quote:
The episode closes on Sam expressing how worried he is about Dean to Castiel, but he doesn’t say why: is it because he thinks Dean has lost his conscience and is going to go all killer or because he thinks Dean is severely affected by the fight with Cain and putting on “I’m ok” face when he’s devastated by something?
this is interesting isn't it? Several of us were discussing this on another thread, and we really think it is the former, though we seem to be outnumbered ... I don't know whether this line of Sam's, and Dean's expression when nobody can see him are deliberately ambiguous so that the show has the freedom to twist one way or the other or that it is just that some of us would really like to see a risk being taken, and are reading too much into something that isn't meant to be ambiguous at all. :-)

Much of the episode had a real X-files feel to me, I don't really know why, possibly the prison thing at the beginning - (BTW didn't the initial bad guy look like Gary Oldman? (just me?)) I loved the atmosphere of the X-files and I like SPN being grittier too. It was a bit like Heaven and Hell near the end too (blasphemy! I hope Alice doesn't hear me say that, I believe it is not one of her favorite episodes :D)
# sugarhi15 2015-02-23 07:38
I was thinking about why my faith angle isn't necessarily as far fetched as it sounds....not saying it's accurate, all i'm saying is that it's just as possible as any route they take here. the river ends at the source. there is the belief that the source is Lucifer....afte r all it was Lucifer that gave cain the mark. but what if there was never a cure out there for cain. what if the point of cain was the solution .....meaning cain got the mark because he had no faith or trust in his brother in the first place. Had cain put his brother and his trust in him above the word of Lucifer...cain may very well have never ended up in the situation he in fact caused for himself. so the root of cain's situation was due to cain himself, if you really think about it. the source for cain....was not so much lucifer, it was in fact, cain and his lack of faith in his own brother.

the assumption here is that the source is Lucifer. but what if that's going back too far? the question to metatron is and has always been how does dean get rid of the mark. for dean, contrary to cain, there is a way... by using cain as the example, the answer.....the source....perha ps the answer for dean, the river...which is a metaphor for what is happening to HIM, ends with the source...which is what led dean to go to cain and take the mark. that means dean has to dig deep within him, to conquer what brought him where he is now....which goes back to my theory about faith and trust....that dean has to find that, believe in it, and give it freely to sam....perhaps the source is not Lucifer, or cain......for dean, the source refers to himself. whatever method sam finds to cure dean, dean's going to have to put his complete trust and faith into sam...

now as for sam finding an actual cure....if we go with the source ends at the river.....well where did they go for the blade in the first place? magnus and his house of what if the cure is located where the boys went in the first place and got the blade? sam can find a way....but dean has to believe in sam enough and himself enough and trust in it's solution.

see hiatus....just gives you plenty of time to start wondering:D
# AlyCat22 2015-02-23 14:29
I too have posited that Dean is the source just not in the manner you have described. I have no ideas as to how he is, I just thought it made sense. I got to musing about the river. The obvious to me was river of blood. But it still lends itself to Dean having to be the one who ends it. Maybe the clue provided by Metatron isn't that significant? After all he did say there were many steps... maybe it's just one basic step that we are supposed to think is especially important. Locate First Blade, the river ends at the source... kidding.

I keep reading how Cain just took it upon himself to kill Abel, that he never talked to Abel to hear his side or give him a chance to decide... Really? I didn't hear those words ever come out of Cains mouth... that's an awful lot of assuming going on there. :) Not saying it couldn't be correct and the parallels are there with Dean/Cain and Sam/Abel but we don't know for sure because Cain never went into specifics.
# sugarhi15 2015-02-23 14:53
I think it's crucial to realize the diiference in how the mark was received. Cain got the mark as a punishment. He killed his brother. He is earths first killer, the father of murder...the mark represents and reminds him of that. Dean on the other hand was told he is worthy of the mark...i dont think its because dean is a killer like cain....i think dean was worthy because he believes himself to be a killer and only such. So for dean to contain the mark, he needs to start seeing and believing himself to be nothing like cain......still believe though sam will save him..even if its to get dean to see himself as good