“No one know what’s its like to be the bad man, to be the sad man, Behind Blue Eyes…”


I’ll throw this out there right now, my inner Sam girl is having full blown seizures of happiness right now.  There are some things that should have me hating this episode, or at least question its intent, but honestly, I loved all of it.  I don’t know how, but I did.  Perhaps because the writing was fluid, or that the pacing was enjoyable, or the direction was some of the best damn stuff we’ve seen in a while.  Maybe it was movement on the Mark of Cain storyline, or that all of geekdom exploded when Castiel and Charlie finally met, or the fact that TPTB forked out for a totally awesome Who song on a decimated classic rock budget.  Whatever it was, I’m happy.  

“The Book of the Damned” gave us plenty of great nuggets.  I mean, when was the last time we got to really see deep inside the tortured soul of Sam Winchester?  Oh yes, it’s been hinted countless times, and I’ve been saying for weeks that they’re setting Sam up for a fall, but we’ve rarely if ever got a true glimpse into how deep that pain goes and what’s truly driving him.  No episode illustrates a glimpse inside the real Sam better than the legendary “Mystery Spot” but this was pretty damn good.  I’m very, very worried.  

No doubt, Sam is falling apart.  His mission to help Dean has grown more frantic, more worrisome, and there are no longer any boundaries.  He will go all the way no matter what the consequences.  Sam is most scary when he’s like this.  Remember his obsession with killing the Yellow eyed demon in season one?  Or his full blown fixation in killing Lilith in season four that resulted in dramatically dire consequences?  He’s so focused on the task he doesn’t see the downside staring at him in the face.  All the warnings are there, from Dean, from Bobby, but he won’t let go.  He is John Winchester’s son, that’s for sure.  

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As usual, there’s quite a bit of brotherly disconnect, which I know doesn’t sit well in the fandom, but it is working for me.  The rift is most evident by the brotherly chat in the cabin.  Dean wasn’t willing to allow this evil book to fix him.  He could personally feel the darkness that came attached to it and this scared him for a couple very good reasons.  Not only was he concerned what would happen if the book fell into the wrong hands, but what would happen if the book fell into his hands?  It’s clear he doesn’t trust himself and in a way is just waiting for the shoe to drop.  Where he’s complacent about that idea, Sam won’t have it.  He can’t watch Dean turn into a demon.  He can’t go through the cure again.  “I guess I really understand now that this is my life.  I love it.  But I can’t do it without my brother, I don’t want to do it without my brother.  And if he’s gone then I’m…” 

That was the one moment of the episode that made me take a real pause.  That does seem odd doesn’t it?  Sam was all “light at the end of the tunnel” back in season eight and believing he could have a normal life.  Hunting now makes him happy?  Or even bigger yet, he loves it?  I know that hunting is second nature to Sam right now, but I have trouble accepting that he loves the life.  It’s more like he doesn’t know any better.  I wonder if he’s telling himself he loves the life for Dean’s sake.  He isn’t going to experience that devastating loss again now that he has his brother back.  He’s not letting it go.  I do believe though he cannot keep doing this without Dean.  Just looking at how unhinged Sam was without Dean in the first two episodes of this season explains where his mindset lies.  If he doesn’t have his brother, it’ll be the end of him.  

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Of course, if anyone was having doubts about Sam, all we needed was that powerhouse ending to accent with an exclamation point how desperate Sam has gotten.  It’s all brilliantly capped to a montage of The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes” (so that’s where this year’s classic rock budget went!).  Behind those bluish (fine hazel) eyes is someone keeping a very dangerous secret, one that could unravel everything.  Sam isn’t just lying to Dean this time, but Castiel and Charlie as well.  He hides it from the others, pretending to laugh and enjoy the time together, but the secret is eating away at him.  It even hurts him more that Dean is seeing this as a win, even if it's for Castiel's sake instead of him losing the Mark.  Sam just cannot share that joy, as evidenced when sharing that congratulatory beer with Dean.  “But my dreams, they aren’t as empty as my conscience seems to be.”  Just wow. 

Based on what we saw in this episode, Sam’s actions are primarily fueled by guilt.  He was oozing with it in the closing montage, but it’s more evident than that.  Dean in that conversation brought up Sam’s very hurtful words at the end of last season’s “The Purge.”  So how did Sam get from that point to now?  Dean’s spiral, death, and transformation into a demon obviously shook him hard.  He must have it swirling in his mind that if he had been there for Dean, had his back, he wouldn’t have taken on the Mark of Cain.  Sam now feels personally responsible for the well being of his brother and won’t accept that its Dean’s cross to bear.  It’s not that he needs to fix Dean and set things straight, he MUST at all costs, even if they are high.  “If there’s a cure, we’ll do it and deal with the consequences later.  I can’t lose you.”  Oh no, this can’t be good.  

This reminds me a lot of the main theme of this season of “The 100.”  The main characters wanted to be the heroes, but in a fight for survival, numerous innocents were hurt and killed.  When the main character Clarke, after the total massacre of her enemies, met up with her mother afterward, she said, “I tried to be the hero.”  Her mother’s answer, “Maybe there are no heroes.”  That’s how I feel with Sam’s situation, and writer Robbie Thompson alluded to that with Charlie’s comment about hunting leads to a bunch of Sophie’s choices, death or tears.  If Sam saves Dean using the book, the negative reaction and impact on the earth becomes biblical.  If Sam doesn’t save Dean, he watches his brother die or worse, he becomes a demon and begins killing innocents, perhaps going as far as genocide like Cain intended.  At this point is he thinking about being the hero?  Does he think saving Dean will result in the greater good, much like Dean did last season when he tricked Sam into angel possession?  Or are Sam’s motivations purely selfish, knowing that his psyche cannot handle losing his brother again?  Quite a humdinger, isn’t it?  

As for Dean, the fact that he’s feeling a little consequence shy though tells us that he isn’t too far gone. The darkness still scares him and the ramifications of embracing that darkness are still very fresh in his mind.  He still believes in doing the right thing, and he’s willing to let go his dream of vacationing on that beach.  There’s where the disconnect is with the brothers though, all Dean sees is a missing beach.  He doesn’t see what this is doing to Sam or that Sam cannot handle keeping him on lockdown in the bunker every time he goes dark.  He doesn’t see the behavioral changes, the descent into darkness, the hunger for evil like the draw of The Book of the Damned.  Or maybe he does, but he’s still choosing to fight.  That’s exactly why I wonder which brother is in the deeper trouble right now.  Given Sam’s act of betrayal with Rowena, I’m thinking Sam.  

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t also offer major kudos to this week’s director, P.J. Pesce.  Talk about using the shot to capture the raw emotion of the situation.  He went for some very unique angles that practically exposed Sam internally and it wasn’t comfortable at all.  Take for example the POV from inside the hex box, looking upward at a very troubled Sam, especially when he frantically deliberates whether to destroy the book or not.  We see the anguish and most importantly, his inability to let go despite the risks. But that close up on those tortured eyes in that closing scene, just before Sam’s deception is unveiled, that says it all.  It the Sophie’s choice.  He’s choosing life for his brother above all else.  So who dies?  I also love the angles of Charlie in that phone booth.  It was visually catching (note for Nightsky in that visual review!)

In all this analysis though, I’m leaving out the very entertaining B-plot!  Words cannot describe how much my inner fan girl geek exploded when Castiel and Charlie finally met.  They’re adorable together.  Castiel heals Charlie in their first meeting?  How sweet.  They were having pizza, laughing and playing fortune teller!  My ideal dream sequence (well, that and the Winchester brothers on that beach).  We have our new Supernatural spinoff right there, with Metatron thrown in for hijinks.

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Let’s talk Metatron.  We all knew he was going to get away, but can I say I’m glad he did?  He really annoyed me last season but this year he’s being written properly.  The fact that he’s out there, currently powerless but holding a major source of questionable power that he can tap into, it makes you wonder if he’ll be making a play on Crowley’s throne.  Perhaps he wishes to dominate Heaven, Hell and Earth?  With Rowena’s help?  It doesn’t seem to matter if he has his grace, he knows enough dark magic and spells where he can be very dangerous.  As long as Metatron is written like he was in this episode, I’m perfectly fine with him being the new big bad.  I like him better roaming the earth than sitting up in Heaven being a total dorky buffoon writing trashy novels. Isn’t it Ironic, don’t you think?  (Kudos to Robbie for using real irony with that quote!)

What got me the most about Metatron’s characterization this time how he was again shown as the master manipulator.  He really should be a demon.  His words to Castiel were spot on.  “Still spitting out the company line like anyone cares.”  “What we really are is a bunch of glowing lights filled with self loathing or delusions of grandeur, or both.”  What is Castiel going to do with his life?  He’s just been wandering aimlessly around the earth, he’s not welcome in Heaven and wouldn’t be content even if he was, and what happens when he gets his grace back?  No doubt that struck a chord with Castiel.  “What is your mission now?”  I’m dying to know that answer.  Maybe we should be asking how far will Castiel go to save Dean, or maybe he will find himself having to save Sam too?  

I loved the Castiel “re-gracing” scene and didn’t find it anti-climactic at all, but I do think it was intentionally downplayed.  It plays into Metatron’s words of “now what?”  Since we’re on the topic of irony, it’s quite ironic that the one thing that saved Castiel resulted from Metatron giving him all those pop culture references last season.  He knew the story of Don Quixote!  He knew the answer to the riddle that retrieved his grace just in time.  I was very, very sad though to see how damaged Castiel’s wings were.  He’s the not fearsome angel warrior that exploded onto our sets in season four.  I assume he fell to the ground like the other angels at the end of season eight and that’s where they were damaged.  Do angel wings re-grow?  I hope so because I want him to start flying again.  This car thing is growing tiresome.  

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Other Thoughts

Another The Princess Bride reference!  Sammy is the Dread Pirate Roberts of hunting.  Hee!  So does that mean he gets to retire rich and passes on his torch to someone else? So is Dean really Inigo Montoya? 

My favorite line?  “Kind of like a buddy comedy without the comedy,”  “Or, without the buddies.”  A rare zinger for Castiel!   Here’s some other good ones:

- “A phone booth.  I didn’t know these things existed outside of Bill and Ted.”  

- “I don’t know why you’d want to cure that little firecracker now.  He’s finally interesting.”

- “The sand between our toes Sammy - the sand between our toes.”    PLEASE let that be a whole season 11 episode.  

- "Did we just become best friends?"  Hee, Charlie even punched Castiel in the arm.  I say they are! 

- "Poor Castiel.  Swam so far just to drown in shallow waters.  Isn't it ironic, don't you think?" 

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I LOVED Dean mocking “Mr. Styne” with his best southern accent.  Oh wow, Dean should totally use that more often.  It was perfect.    

I applaud Robbie Thompson for revisiting Sam’s words from “The Purge,” proving what many of us believed, that Sam said that at a time when he was angry.  He doesn’t feel that way. That’s been a hot topic of debate on this site for a while now, so I was glad to see that addressed.  

Overall grade, ah, I’m feeling generous.  I’ll go with an A, although A- is probably a more accurate grade.  There were still some character questions dangling that could end up making more sense later, but I’ll give everyone the benefit of the doubt anyway.  Next week, it looks like Sam’s deception will probably backfire on everyone.  What else is new?  

(Screencaps courtesy of springfieldspringfield.co.uk)




Comments  

anonymousN
# anonymousN 2015-04-17 00:57
Quote:
He’s so focused on the task he doesn’t see the downside staring at him in the face.
What were consequences of Sam killing Lilith that were staring him in the face.
In this season,Dean warned him and Bobby warned him.Does Bobby know everything?Does dean know everything?They have apprehensions I agree.But the only reason to give them credence is because we know that Dean has Plot armour and Sam does not.But Sam does not know that.Quote:
“I guess I really understand now that this is my life. I love it. But I can’t do it without my brother, I don’t want to do it without my brother. And if he’s gone then I’m…”
If Sam really loved the life he would not have told "But I cant do it......., I dont want......without my brother"Quote:
Sam isn’t just lying to Dean this time, but Castiel and Charlie as well.
I am happy because of this.It might have to do with the fact that ..Charlie is someone I do not like.Castiel is some one who I do not care about and Dean, well he is Dean ,I do not need to care. Every writer on the show does.

I hope Sam just leaves Dean and lives his life or Dean leaves Sam and Sam lives his life.Sam is selfish , so be it ..Sam does not care about his brother, so be it...atleast he will not have to be constantly judged by Dean and his constantly moving Goalposts or have no supporting characters on his side.If Sam lets go it's a problem and if Sam does not let go it's a problem.So better let go completely.
Sharon
# Sharon 2015-04-17 02:18
Sam was not responsible for Dean getting the MOC . I do not care if the writers Dean or the fandom or Sam himself is written to believe his words drove Dean to do anything he was not responsible for Dean's own behaviour.
I really do sometimes wish Dean just left Sam alone .
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2015-04-17 09:47
HEAR HEAR.
This from a Dean Woman.
lala2
# lala2 2015-04-17 20:22
Sam was definitely NOT responsible since Dean got the Mark BEFORE Sam's harsh (IMO) words in the werewolf episode and TP.
Alice
# Alice 2015-04-17 20:56
I do agree he wasn't responsible. However, evidence is pointing to he feels responsible. That's seems to be how the writers want to play it anyway. The Winchesters and their guilt!
Sharon
# Sharon 2015-04-18 01:41
It is the kind of writing that need's to stop. Having Sam feel guilty from last season just feeds into the idea he was 'wrong' that his justified feelings were'wrong' that Sam was the problem not Dean's actions. And also by allowing Dean to snark about what Sam said in the Purge just re-enforces that concept.

I know the show has a obsession with guilt and that being a driving force but in this case it is just a no no for me.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-04-21 18:11
Here's my take if anyone cares.:) I think Dean felt guilty about his actions from the day he allowed it. He was reluctant about it from the start. Then all hell broke loose and he made a desperate decision to deceive Sam to save him. He kept things from him afterward because every time he tried to talk to Sam Gadreel/ Ezekiel convinced him that the result would be Sam ejecting him followed by his death. Manipulation by playing to Dean's worse fears. Now Dean will NEVER admit that saving Sam's life was something he regrets but I think he felt like crap for the whole thing and especially Kevin's death. To me that, combined with Sam's anger, is what made him go off to basically self flagellate by taking on the MoC. Sam wasn't responsible for Dean's poor decisions at all IMO.
percysowner
# percysowner 2015-04-22 10:23
Dean left before Sam had a chance to get angry. He got the Mark before Sam said practically anything. Sam throws Gadreel out, Dean declares he's poison and is leaving. Sam says go if you want, but that's not the problem. Sam had nothing to do with Dean taking the Mark. Zero, Zilch, Nada. Sam and Dean had just been told that Sam was going to drop dead if Gadreel was expelled and Dean left him to die alone. No Sam didn't fall on his knees and thank Dean for tricking him into saying yes, but he didn't DO anything other than not be possessed anymore. Can we please stop using Sam as the reason Dean took the Mark. IT WASN'T SAM'S FAULT OR RESPONSIBILITY!
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-04-22 11:51
I GUESS YOU MISSED MY LAST SENTENCE. You can twist my words to say that I blame Sam in this all you want. Saying Sam was not happy is not the same as me blaming Sam! Dean knew Sam was going to be angry from the moment he made that decision. It was Dean's decision go off to do something stupid to punish himself. STOP SAYING I BLAME SAM WHEN I DON'T.
E
# E 2015-04-22 10:47
I think Dean felt guilty up to a point; he clearly felt conflicted when he made the initial decision, and really he pretty much had no choice in that moment. And it was also clear that he felt guilty for his continued lies and he was also clearly afraid for Sam which drove much of his decision making. Then all of a sudden and for seemingly no reason, Dean doesn't feel guilty any more. He "saved Sam's ass back there, and again in that church" and he'd "do it again." Thats not guilt, that's righteousness. He felt he was right and he expected Sam to feel the same and be grateful. And when Sam wasn't grateful fast enough Dean began his digs..."I know you wouldn't do the same for me," and "Oh, so you've changed your mind on that have you?" If Dean had remained feeling guilty and was even a little bit apologetic then I could at least understand his lashing out (I still think it's beyond childish behavior; Dean is a grown man who can't own up to his actions), but I don't see any guilt in Dean lately, I see righteous indignation that Sam isn't towing the line the way Dean thinks he should. It's the same thing that happened with Amy Pond, and the fake text message so there's precedence for Dean's turnabout. My problem with this is, the show is following Dean; Dean suddenly doesn't feel guilty any more which = Sam is now wrong to be mad.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-04-22 12:06
[edit] Feeling guilty is Dean's thing. Dean was defensive and said he would do it again. He is incapable of believing Sam being dead is preferable to trying to save him. I still think everything Dean did was on HIM. [edit].
E
# E 2015-04-22 15:46
Uh.... I don't believe I sid you were in any way blaming Sam. You gave your take, I raponded with mine. You don't have to agree. If you could pint out where I said "Leah, stop blaming Sam" I would be more than happy to retract and apologize.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-04-22 16:23
No you didn't E, no apology needed. You didn't say that. It was carry-over frustration from above and I assumed you thought I was blaming Sam also. So sorry. Having a rough week all around.
E
# E 2015-04-22 17:17
Sorry you are having a rough week Leah. Hopefully it will get better soon. We have another episode to look forward to tonight, so that should help. :):)
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2015-04-22 13:39
Quote:
He kept things from him afterward because every time he tried to talk to Sam Gadreel/ Ezekiel convinced him that the result would be Sam ejecting him followed by his death.
Why do you guys keep putting it like that? Dean tried to tell Sam two times maximum and I'm being generous because the first one was in front of the hospital i.e when Dean agreed to the plan of keeping the possession as a secret from Sam and the angel wiping Sam's memories.

(The third time was when Dean was already convinced that Sam needed to expel the angel immediately because the angel had lied to Dean.)
percysowner
# percysowner 2015-04-22 14:29
Thank you! Even if you go with the idea that Dean didn't tell Sam because he was afraid Sam would kick Gadreel out, Sam had a right to make that decision. Sam's life belongs to Sam, not Dean. In the end Dean didn't tell Sam because he thought Sam would make a decision that Dean didn't like. So he didn't let him decide at all.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-04-22 15:32
Again, I said nowhere in my post Sam didn't have the right to be angry. Nor did I say Sam's life didn't belong to Sam. I was talking about guilt. I was responding to Alice's comment about Winchester guilt. Which was in evidence last year and this year and well, every season since the premiere. I wasn't defending Dean. Nor was I blaming Sam. Guilt tends to drive a lot of their actions. Any more than that is putting words in my mouth. As for Dean making attempts to talk to Sam and being derailed. Either he did or he didn't you can't have it both ways. I never specified how many times.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-04-22 16:55
I was thinking over the issue of Dean's guilt and I had a few thoughts. The past few years there were 3 major things Dean did to Sam that provoked guilt in Dean. First was the Amy issue. His guilt about that was a thread running through the beginning of season 7, when Sam kept asking Dean what was wrong. When Sam found out from levi/Dean, Dean actually apologized and then Sam took off on his own. When Sam continued to be angry in the Mentalists episode, Dean finally lost patience and Sam ultimately acknowledged that he understood why Dean had done it. I agree that Dean was right to kill Amy, who had just killed several people. And I didn't blame him for not telling Sam because Sam had enough to deal with because of Lucifer in his head. So all of that seemed fine to me, especially since he had apologized. Then came the phantom call from Amelia. Dean was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG to do that to Sam on Benny's behalf because Sam was right to mistrust Benny, and because it was an unbelievably cruel thing for Dean to do to Sam. Dean came back from Purgatory pretty hardened and it made sense for Sam to not trust his judgement. Dean never apologized for this to Sam, although at least he agreed with Charlie that "it was a dick move" and Dean himself said it was not his finest hour. So seemingly Dean did regret what he'd done. In fact, he had a complete attitude change the rest of Season 8 and seemed very conciliatory and very solicitous of Sam. He decided that he wanted Sam to have that happy ending, that normal life and he wanted to ensure that Sam got it. Then we come to the Gadreel possession, the worst thing by far that Dean ever did to Sam, however understandable it was. He agonized over the decision because he knew Sam would never have wanted this, and he continued to feel guilty afterwards, as well he should. I was very sympathetic to Dean because he had done it for love of Sam, but it was not fair to Sam. Then the weird thing happened. Sam finds out and instead of apologizing and explaining the horrible position he had been in, Dean took off, and when the brothers got back together, he just seemed pissed that Sam was still so angry and hurt about the possession. Dean had expressed at least some remorse or regret for hurting Sam the previous two times, but this time, despite the agonizing guilt he felt BEFORE Sam found out about Gadreel, and despite the terrible consequences for Sam (his hands killing Kevin), Dean's just hurt and pissed about what Sam said, as though that dwarfed what Dean had done to Sam. That is where the TPTB screwed Dean's character, because however hurt Dean was from what Sam said, he still should have felt terrible about what he himself had done, and at what a terrible cost. To me, from that point on Dean has been very unsympathetic because he has acted very OOC. Even if he feels that he could not have made any other choice, he still knows that it was a terrible thing that he did. Yet there has been zero acknowledgement from him that he hurt Sam badly, nor has there been any regret about it. He was so guilt-riddled over the Any thing, which was much smaller potatoes, that he should have felt exponentially worse after Gadreel. But TPTB decided that they needed more motivation for Dean's (never-ending) downward spiral, so that became the focus--how hurt he was by Sam rather than how guilty he felt for what he did to Sam. A lot of viewers think Dean feels guilty about Gadreel, but there has been no evidence of that since Holy Terror. For Dean, the focus continues to be on what Sam said to him, rather than on what he did to Sam.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-04-17 02:48
Thanks Alice. I agree with you. I thought this was a fun, tense, emotional episode. It flew by. I am more worried about Sam than Dean at this point. They are making a point of showing how desperate he is, how near the end of his rope he is with fear for Dean. His alliance with Rowena is a sign of his desperation. Rowena will take full advantage of that and use it to achieve her own goals. I think she may have designs on the throne herself. There will be consequences for Sam I think and it won't be good. I hope I am wrong.

I always enjoy Charlie and this episode was no exception One of my favorite lines was when she told the guys she used dental floss for stiches and she was pretty sure she was minty fresh. I liked her moments with Sam. I love that Sam felt comfortable enough with her to share his fear and pain.

Crowley better watch his back. MS has been hinting for weeks about his imminent demise. Jokingly I thought, he likes to mess with fans. Not so sure now.

As much as I hate to admit it I enjoyed Metatron in this episode and his interactions with Cas, very amusing.

And Jeff Branson was great as Jacob.

Great episode, 2 in a row! Keep it up show. I give it an A-.
E
# E 2015-04-17 22:09
Do you really think they'd kill MS off now after making him a series regular? Especially after doing so little with his character this year? it just seems like such a waste.....he was used better and had better writing as guest star. Don't the actors get paid more when they are promoted to regular? i wonder why tptb would go to all that trouble and expense, do next to nothing with the character and then kill him off. And remember when Crowley said "I've got them right where I want them?" about the Winchesters? Do you think that comment actually didn't really mean anything and he was just blowing smoke at his mother? I was kind of hoping that Crowley had something up his devious little sleeve and we'd get some kind of reveal. Well, I guess they could do that anyway in the next few eps and still kill him off. Love MS, I'd be sad to see him go, but they really didn't use him well this year. Maybe MS wants to go back to being more of a free agent. ???
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-04-17 22:22
I don't know E. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me either. However I don't think anyone is 100% safe except the J's (jobwise). I was also hoping he had something devious up his sleeve. I like Mark too. Crowley has been a lot of fun. Neither he or Misha have been utilized very well this season thus far. Mark really seems to enjoy being with the show and playing Crowley but if they aren't going to give him some meaty stuff he might want to move on. ? Maybe. Or this has all been a misdirect.
Russ
# Russ 2015-04-18 06:32
I'd be leaning towards misdirect.

Crowley's line "I've got them right where I want them?". Coupled with Styne's remark "The book, can remove that mark, but you mess around with that, you're going to do far more harm than good."

Crowley new about Cain, the Mark etc, and played Dean right into it. He knows more than he ever lets on, so maybe he's just sitting back, knowing the brothers are each others weakness, and hoping they'll do exactly what Sam appears to be trying to do, knowing what awaits on the other side.

I agree, Mark Sheppard has been criminally underused this season, but I'm kind of OK with it, because Crowley hasn't been much of a threat in some time, and if they'd given him more screen time, the writers would have only screwed it up.

Also, the Styne family, including Jacob. Seems like a far more interesting "bad guy" than anything else we've had this season (or last). A family that has held secrets away from Hunters and Men of Letters, that have also helped shape the Supernatural landscape over the past few centuries - that sounds pretty frakkin' interesting. They're like the anti-Winchester s/MOL. Pity they disposed of Jacob so suddenly. That's a formidable threat that a decent writing staff could have woven throughout a season.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2015-04-18 09:19
hint hint PTB, spin-off ''THE STYNES/anti-MOL ''
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-04-18 12:21
I agree about Jacob and the Stynes Russ, I was instantly intrigued and felt the actor did an amazing job. I hope we haven't seen the last of him and his family. And if Crowley has been pulling strings this whole time I would love it. They have this amazing actor in Mark S and they should take advantage of that and let him chew the scenery. Not moping around all season. If it's been a con I would be thrilled.
E
# E 2015-04-18 13:06
perhaps Justin Styne's relative is Benny... why else would there be two characters with that distinctive Cajon accent for no reason? That's what instantly come to my mind while watching that actor; is accent, mannerisms and even his looks reminded me of Benny. And since Benny is coming back next episode maybe there is going to be some development as far as the Stynes are concerned. Although how those Nazi necromancers ended up being American and from the Bayou doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
spnlit
# spnlit 2015-04-21 17:29
I agree with you in regard to the Styne family. I was thinking/ hoping Jacob was not really dead. He made a good first showing. I do not think we know quite who or what the Stynes are so may be possible.
percysowner
# percysowner 2015-04-18 10:56
Making someone a series regular often has more to do with making sure they are available when you need them. The contract means they can't go off and take a job because Supernatural has dibs. They are also paid to be in X number of episodes and if they don't get written in, they still get paid. So I suspect TPTB either wanted Crowley for specific episodes so they locked him in, or they only wanted him to take the burden of Jared and Jensen. They aren't using him effectively, I agree.
YellowEyedSam
# YellowEyedSam 2015-04-17 05:39
Oh Alice what a wonderful read that was! I was already hyped for next weeks episode but after reading your article I'm super excited now! You really went in depth :). The excitement of this episode was slightly ruined by the spoiler pics by the CW (Seriously? Spoiling the episode and after with Sam and Rowena pics?). But I still got giddy with excitement at the last scene, especially when Sam showed Rowena the book.

However it was the preview of the next episode that threw me into hyper overdrive. Seeing as discussion for that preview is in the spoiler section I'll stop there. I can barely contain my excitement over it though, and being a fanfic writer I've already been writing what I'd love to happen. I've never been this excited since I read the synopsis of S7's episode of Sam going into a mental hospital. Its going to be a long week...
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2015-04-17 09:53
Wasn't as big a fan of this episode as you were, Alice. Yes, it was well acted, well directed, and well written, at least until you think about what was written. My gripe isn't with the quality of the writing, it's where they appear to be going with this. I'm just not sure what to make of what's going on; we have had Carver talking about the maturation of the brother's relationship, but we're back to the same old tired nonsense. And, to really drive the point home, we had Dean coming clean on everything to Sam, and also taking a dig at Sam about their conversation at the end of The Purge, to reenforce the notion that Sam and Castiel's lies and deception are going to backfire in the worst possible way, pile on the guilt for Sam, and that anything bad that happens is to going to be Sam and/or Castiel's fault. The Season 9 angelic possession arc has been completely whitewashed; according to the show (and I don't agree with this), Sam was completely unjustified in his feelings about this, Dean only did this to save Sam out of love, consequences (and Kevin) be damned, and I'm sure they'll continue to drive home the point that it was Sam's fault that Dean took on the Mark of Cain in the first place.

This week, Sam has always wanted to be a hunter; damn shame they haven't shown this over the past couple of seasons - they're all over the map on this one. I really am willing to buy in to this but a little context might help. And can they make up their mind on the Mark of Cain? Some weeks it looks like Dean's going off the deep end, other weeks he's fine. And, we're back to the same, tired formula. Dean does something reckless and risky to save Sam, and the collateral damage is either to himself (Dean goes to hell, takes on the Mark of Cain) or to Sam (Sam's hell wall and insanity, Sam's angelic possession and Kevin being killed at Sam's hands). Sam does something reckless and risks to, in his eyes, avenge Dean (killing Lillith and starting the Apocalypse), or this season, to save Dean from the Mark of Cain, and he's going to end up taking out half the planet again. It is the same old tired trope, completely predictable and lacking any creativity. And I guess this must be a popular thing with most fans because they keep going back to it. Maybe they'll surprise me and prove me wrong, but Season 11 is going to be about fixing the damage Sam unleashes on the world at the end of Season 10.

I was going to say that Sam working with Rowena is out of character, but Carver has pretty much created a blank slate to use Sam as a plot device in any way that suits the story. We're back to the same formula of the heroic Winchester brothers, Dean the older brother coated in teflon, and Sam the younger brother coated in double sided tape.

As an episode grade, I guess a B or B-. For where they appear to be headed with things, D-.
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2015-04-17 11:32
Ditto with a Double D. I'm actually more afraid of Dean and the fan's reaction to what Sam is going to do then of what Sam is actually going to do. That makes me really sad and tired.
Justin
# Justin 2015-04-17 13:43
I agree with everything you said. Especially about the supposed maturation of the brothers' relationship and Sam. I missed the Sam who was fighting for something more outside of the hunting life and was determined for Dean to have a piece of it back in Season 8. That Sam was the one I cared about in the show's first five seasons. The one who wouldn't settle with being a hunter for the rest of his life. He used it as a means to an end like avenging the deaths of his loved ones, saving his brother, and atoning for the past. But he never truly embraced it as a lifelong commitment. The fact that he seems to now is just out of the blue and out of character.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-04-17 13:58
I agree. I loved the all too rare bit of Sam POV, and the description of how his attitude evolved, but his statement that he "loves" the hunting life contradicted everything he felt/said in Season 8. It's one thing if he had stated that he now accepts that he might never get a shot at a normal life, or that he is resigning himself to remaining a hunter because he wants to be there for Dean. But I agree with you. I liked the optimistic Sam who thought that maybe there eventually would be a light at the end of the tunnel. Nothing that has happened since the end of season 8 has indicated that Sam suddenly loves the hunting life. In fact, pretty much everything about the life has sucked for Sam, so realistically, he should be more anxious than ever to get out of the life.
leah
# leah 2015-04-17 14:52
Just mulling this over a little, no strong opinions here really. But is it possible that Sam has reevaluated (maybe just temporally) his priorities? Maybe the thought of losing his brother forever to demonhood and seeing him practically gutted by Metatron last year, plus his exhaustion and desperation, has driven this current outlook. I don't believe Sam has given up completely the light at the end of the tunnel. I will never believe he would take the hunting life over that but realistically that may never be possible. IDK really.
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2015-04-17 15:32
Yeah, for Sam his brother died and turned into a demon. Now he actually knew and was present again when Dean died. Death is always tough and if my brother died, well I don't want even think about it. So I have no trouble Sam changing his view.

- Lilah
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-04-17 15:36
That's more or less what I was trying to say, but not very clearly I guess. I just don't buy that, whatever his current feelings are, they amount to "love" of the life. I can think of nothing that's happened to Sam these past two years that would prompt that feeling. However, I agree that he could be feeling acceptance, or a determination to fill a necessary role. Or, as you said, the prospect of losing Dean has made him realize that he doesn't want to live a life that doesn't include Dean. And it has been made pretty clear that the hunting life is the only life Dean would choose! It just struck me as really odd how he expressed it. But since the writers rarely bother to give us enough Sam POV to fully understand what he's feeling, and they don't overly concern themselves with writing his character consistently, I guess nothing that comes out of his mouth should surprise me. I'm mostly thrilled that actual words and complete thoughts were uttered.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-04-17 15:40
Also Leah, I wanted to ask you when/what MS has been hinting about Crowley's demise?
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-04-17 16:00
Well he said it about 3 times at his Seacon panel. He wasn't specific about any detail. But we mostly took it as a joke. He enjoys winding up the fans. Plus he said it was going to happen in 18. Crowley lives to see another episode. He did recently sort of SEEMED to say his goodbyes to cast and crew on his twitter. He has a quirky sense of humor sometimes so who the heck knows.
spnlit
# spnlit 2015-04-21 17:49
I agree with you Leah. I had a similar thought that Sam's perspective of loving his hunting life is akin to someone who when thrown into crisis suddenly realizes that his boring mundane every day life that he did not like is fantastic and will take it back if everything would just go back to being okay again.
Kirabaros
# Kirabaros 2015-04-19 18:21
I do see where you are going with the fact that it could be more of the same in terms of one brother lying to the other and going behind their back to save them. I can see the concern that it will lead to Dean throwing it all in Sam's face including the past decisions Sam made. I'll admit that Sam admitting that he loves being a hunter after we were introduced in the beginning that he wanted out and a 'safe' life, is a bit jarring but if we want to play fair, we can take it as Sam maturing throughout the years. He's a person and can change his mind. I think though out of all of this there is only one person that has ever asked Sam what he wanted or if he was happy and that was the English teacher in After School Special. I do dislike the fact that it has been made to have Sam look like everything he does is wrong when Dena has done some equally bad things. I find that a little unfair.

The issue with Dean and the MoC, Dean being up and then down; I'd say that having a curse and struggling with the fact that you can go demon on people can be taxing. People have their ups and lows. The best way I see it is that it could be viewed like a terminal illness and such a thing can be depressing. Sometimes the intent is not always shown very well on camera but I get the point that was trying to be made.
Justin
# Justin 2015-04-17 13:36
I'm still sick and tired of Megatron. He is the most uninteresting villain in the entire show. Give me Yellow Eyed Demon, Lilith, or even Dick Roman any day. The same goes for Crowley. Why Sam and Dean haven't dealt with him already boggles the mind.

This direction the show is taking Sam is interesting. But, at the same time, it just feels like a retread of his arc in Season 3 and 4. Sam committing questionable acts to save his brother from a terrible fate which would likely lead to dark consequences. I'm just wish the show could think of anything better than the same-old plot involving one brother trying to save the other from a dark predicament. It's happened last season, the one before that, the one before that, and so on and so forth. I wish they could just have the brothers be focused on saving the world from a major threat without one of them keeping some big secret or suffering from some kind of affliction that needs to be resolved before it's too late. There's more than enough of that already. I want the show to evolve instead of regressing in certain aspects.
E
# E 2015-04-18 12:54
Hi Justin, I disagree about Metatron. I think he was the best written character in this episode and he's basically the only one who's remained true to character in a long, long while. I find him hysterical and I love that no matter how much he whines or cajoles or even occasionally does a seemingly noble thing (saves Cas from the creepy pissed-off Cupid) that he still a slimy, underhanded little weasel. It was great fun watching him wind up Cas knowing he was going to screw him over in the end. For all Cas's worldly experience, he's still remarkably gullible and dumb.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-04-18 13:31
It actually bothers the crap out of me that the writers invest an inordinate amount of time writing scenes for Metatron in which he gets great dialogue, interesting things to do, and it's all consistent with his character. Yet they can't devote the same time and thought into writing for Sam. I love Metatron, but I'm sad that he is a far more interesting character than Sam has been these past two seasons.
Justin
# Justin 2015-04-19 10:44
Yeah, I don't like the amount of thought out screen time being devoted to Megatron which should be given to Sam. And I'm not just talking about this season but last season as well.
E
# E 2015-04-19 11:58
This is all true. Would I like Sam to be better written? Absolutely. Has he been written well or consistently in 3 seasons? No, he has not. I don't see that changing any time soon though. And Metatron is the least of the characters who steals scenes from Sam; *coughCharlieNo rriscough* because Metatron doesn't serve the same function on the show as Sam. But Charlie does, which is why Sam is basically persona non grata when she's around. And now that she's such a kick ass ninja warrior who fights better than Sam, he's been rendered all but useless on this show when she's around.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-04-18 18:55
I was thinking he killed the Cupid because if Cas died, his butt would be next? Less noble, more self preservation?
Sarah
# Sarah 2015-04-17 14:47
They also played Thin Lizzy too. I mean, I was really excited when "Behind Blue Eyes" came on, but I was even more excited because it was on top of "The Boys are Back in Town" earlier in the episode, which is a fantastic "let's go hunting!" song.
love2boys
# love2boys 2015-04-17 14:55
Alice, I'm really glad you liked this episode. I tend not to analyze as much as some others. Some of my criteria are: Did it hold my attention? Did i care about what happened to the characters? Doe time flash by while I'm watching or does it drag?

I was gasping for air. I really cared. Time flashed by. Good tv. Also Sam was brutally hot when he was stabbing the bad guy. So really good tv.

Last Wed. I was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. I was worried that there was no CW in my room. Later that night they called Code Blue because of total respiratory failure and I woke up in ICU with a tube down my throat. If I had not been in the hospital complaining about missing SPN I would be dead. So I am alive and I enjoyed the heck out of the episode. I was entertained. I wonder what will be next, but I don't want to influence it or write with myself. I just want to wait and see. I'm alive and the boys never looked better / sexier / hotter. It was an awesome episode. I'm not dead, so I could watch it; therefore, it was awesome. My unique perspective!
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2015-04-17 15:36
Welcome back L2B and glad to hear you survived! We were worried. :)

- Lilah
Alice
# Alice 2015-04-17 21:01
Holy crap! That beats my ending up in the hospital for 4 days in Tennessee after going to Nashville Con for J2 day even though I wasn't at all well. There definitely wasn't any respiratory failure involved. Glad to hear you're okay.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-04-19 01:26
Ok, tell the truth now. No respiratory failure until you laid eyes on the boys, right? ;)
sugarhi15
# sugarhi15 2015-04-19 00:00
so glad you're better...we were wondering how you were doing...welcome back....always keep fighting. ;)
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-04-17 15:28
So glad to see you are feeling better love2boys!! :)
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2015-04-17 15:47
That was such a great episode, I loved every minute of it! Sam is in so deep now, there is no way he is getting out of those deep waters by season's end. The Who song was pure genius! And Metatron as the big bad next season would be awesome, especially if he stays the way he was in this episode. And please, oh please, PTB, let Sam & Dean have a day at the beach! Even if it's a dream sequence, it would make the fans happy, because I get the feeling we are going to need something to keep us all from jumping off a ledge thinking about what's going to happen to Sam and Dean. I think I love Robbie Thompson! ;)
love2boys
# love2boys 2015-04-17 15:54
Hi, Leah and Lilah! I'm glad I'm alive too! And seriously, it gives you more to think about than what the writers are doing to our heroes if you get Code Blue called on you on a SPN Wednesday night! I watched last weeks episode on my computer days later and liked it too. I've been liking everything! I'm glad I didn't disappear down that black hole I didn't know I was in until I woke up. Creepy! Anyway, the last 2 episodes have just been great because I am glad to be able to watch them! And talk to my buddies. Thanks, y'all. :D
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2015-04-17 17:00
Glad you are better. I too am ill and hospitalized a lot.
I don't come to WFB as much because I still love my show
and there are bigger issues in the world. ICU aint nothing nice.
I've been so many times I quit counting.
WELCOME BACK TO LIFE. :):):):):):) ENJOY YOUR SHOWS.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-04-17 17:05
I'll chime in too. We were very worried about you. Glad you are better.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-04-19 01:24
I don't know you but I'm sorry that you are having to go thru tough times and I hope that things get better for you soon.
Debbie
# Debbie 2015-04-17 16:04
to be honest we don't see season 11, of supernatural if Dean kills Sam. What is the point in coming back?
Gwen
# Gwen 2015-04-17 18:47
Thanks Alice for a great review. Robbie Thompson is one of my least favourite writers on SPN, I'm not a huge Charlie fan and I loathe Metatron and I'm not so interested in Castiel's story this year so all in all I wasn't that excited about watching this episode. So it was a lovely surprise when I found myself enjoying it a lot. I was pretty much gobsmacked by the appearance of the rare creature that is Sam POV. Gobsmacked and very very happy. Although I'm also rather confused about Sam now loving the life???
I am really looking forward to seeing where Sam is headed now in his quest to save Dean. I remember way back in S3 being so excited for Sam's arc and then so disappointed when the writers' strike meant we didn't get the storyline originally planned for Sam. Sam is troubled and hurting and scared right now and I'm loving it. It's mean of me I know but I do love seeing my boy all hurty and in pain.

The Behind Blue Eyes/ pizza eating scenes were just wonderful. I have replayed those scenes so many times already. That song, the gorgeous close ups of Sam's emotional torture - he's so, so pretty when he's all troubled and hurting ( he's so very pretty all the time but I do love me some Sam angst ) - just wonderful. I think it may be my favourite music moment since they played Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" to complement the awesome Sam angst in Houses Of The Holy.

Charlie wasn't too bad in this episode although her awesome ninja fighting skills had me rolling my eyes and at the beginning I was wondering for a moment or two if I was watching Arrow. But her scenes with Castiel were cute and I loved that she talked to Sam and we finally got some Sam POV. I loved Sam's words about how he didn't want to be without his brother, the teary eyes were a lovely bonus, Adored it when he told Dean that he couldn't lose him.

Metatron and Castiel made a fun pair and their scenes were very entertaining, even if Metatron was soon grating on my last nerve.

Loved the car scene and The Boys Are Back In Town. I have everything crossed that we get to see the boys on a beach with the sand between their toes next season. :) The music was fabulous in this episode. God only knows how much they had to fork out for The Who.

One thing I really, really didn't like was the whitewashing of the angel possession arc from last season. The way Charlie talked about it to Sam - that Dean did something you didn't like so you said something that hurt his feelings, followed by her fondly indulgent "Brothers" - made it seem like it was some playground squabble. I wanted Sam to say exactly what had happened, to mention Kevin's death, to fully lay out the enormity of what had happened.
But putting this to one side (I always try to put S9 to one side in my mind) the episode entertained me, left me excited for what's ahead and gave me some beautiful Sam angst. So, overall, a definite win this week. :)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-04-17 21:59
Thank you for your review. I couldn't agree more, this was a fantastic episode. It kept up the momentum and moved the story along while introducing a new threat to the Winchesters. I thought that Charlie was used just right for the episode. Her role was to deliver the book into Sam's hands and act as a sounding board for Sam to express what Jared confirmed shortly after the infamous Purge episode. He was angry, lashed out at Dean and said things he didn't mean. The fact that Dean brought that up just reinforced in Sam the fact that he failed at saving Dean from the Mark. No matter what Sam isn't going to fail Dean again. No matter the consequences. Did you say Winchester guilt? How about the biblical mess they make when they save each other from whatever awful decision one of them has made.
I thought Dean's reaction to the book was really interesting. I still would like to see the Mark affecting Dean more. So far he has been mostly Dean.
The Castiel/Metatro n buddy comedy was great. I was dreading another boring pointless road trip but this one was entertaining and had a great payoff. Cas is back up to full power. Something tells me he is going to need everything he has to help Dean and Sam out of the mess they have and are making.
Dean knows there is something up with Sam. At the dinner he kept looking at him like he either knows Sam is up to something or is too devastated that the book didn't help. Hard to say....
Oh Sam what are you doing, unleashing a plague, sacrificing the planet...what? To tell the truth I'm kind of with the J's, I would like to see them saving others and not each other every season. Only because the price is too high for me to pay all summer. I see a very long hellatus ahead.
Oh and I forgot the meeting of Cas and Charlie was wonderful. She turned into an instant fan girl. Cas's reaction was perfect stunned and maybe a little flattered.
E
# E 2015-04-17 22:24
And on a purely shallow note: did anyone else notice how utterly gorgeous Jared's eyes looked in the scene where Sam and Dean were confronting each other? With the camera close on his face and a light seemingly shining directly into his eyes, they looked the most strangely beautiful shade of grayish green. Just absolutely stunning. OK, I'm coming out of the shallow end of the pool now. No, really.... be there in a mo...
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-04-17 22:58
:) Yes...yes I did....
I still haven't figured out how to post pictures but is this the shot?
https://41.media.tumblr.com/165f9fee33608b50ed8b24e7eb1e153f/tumblr_nmzvqmkGey1svqoloo1_500.png
E
# E 2015-04-18 12:57
ung... yum. Worried puppy.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-04-18 13:26
Thanks Cheryl. I will be joining E in the shallow end of the pool. Just a quick dip...although it is kind of hot out today....maybe a little longer (I've already clicked on the link 6 times)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-04-18 14:25
As have I....;) we need a swoon emoticon.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-04-18 15:08
That would totally make up for me missing out on the red and green emoticons. Is there a suggestion box on the site?:)
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-04-18 15:09
Also, I'm up to nine clicks!
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-04-18 19:01
Alright calm down you Sam crazed fans! He's not just a piece of meat to drool over. You need to respect him for the fin- what? Ooh, is that the Gif where Deans crawling on the floor while on his back shooting at the bad guy? BRB!!! Hey, we all have our weaknesses!!! ;) Commence drooling...
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-04-18 20:21
I'm highly offended at your implication that I think of Sam as a piece of meat! In fact, one of my favorite Sam scenes ever was in Hell House where, having freshened up in the shower and dressed in naught but a towel, he conveyed to Dean his theory about the Tulpa. How smart he sounded as he stood there all wet, pecs flexing. He is one smart guy! I had to replay that scene quite a few times to grasp every nuance of the sheer brilliance he was displaying, standing there all wet in that towel.
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-04-19 01:19
Hey, I was right there with you about the uh, Tulpa theory. I really appreciated the uhm, armadillo that was in the background behind the very tall, wet, muscul- damn! BRB!
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2015-04-17 23:13
I thought I was seeing things. HA
thanks for the co-sign. :)
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2015-04-18 03:48
I also found a video for this episode that was posted in Fangasm review. It is quite fitting but also great video. Thought also that Alice might like it. ;)

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIfFyyLkc_c[/video]

by ash4897

It really is a great song and the show finally caught up a fan vid.

- Lilah
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-04-18 05:44
Nice vid! Thanks for posting!
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-04-18 15:14
Lilah, that was awesome. Thanks.
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2015-04-18 16:46
This show has fan vids made to so many songs that if there is one you will find it. :)

Glad you liked it!

- Lilah
Freebird
# Freebird 2015-04-18 15:42
Loved this episode. And the previous one, too. Good old Supernatural.

Thanks for your review, Alice :)
iamsam1013
# iamsam1013 2015-04-18 22:29
I feel like Sam's words about accepting his life and loving it had much less to do with loving hunting, and instead were about loving his brother.
percysowner
# percysowner 2015-04-18 22:55
I also think that it is trying to make the point that although Sam is willing to die for what he sees as the greater cause, he is NOT suicidal. One of the things that still come up in fandom is that Dean HAD to shove Gadreel in Sam and keep him there because Sam was actively suicidal and putting Gadreel in Sam wasn't a violation it was a suicide intervention. By saying this is my life and I love it, it also states that Sam loves HIS LIFE, he may love the hunting part, but he also love being alive. That was something that got thrown away in the great rush to defend Dean last season.
Kirabaros
# Kirabaros 2015-04-19 18:31
Hi Alice,

Great review and I will admit that I had a big ole grin on my face when Charlie and Cas met for the first time. It was cute and funny and it was nice to see Cas sort of go back to the way he was when we were first introduced to him. Plus I always liked Charlie and Felicia Day did an excellent job of bringing her to life. I certainly hope that it will lay the groundwork for more interaction between them.

The meat and potatoes though with the Mark of Cain and Sam's lack of substantial plot... I am glad they are moving forward with the Mark of Cain and the introduction of the Book of the Damned was a nice tool. I actually had a The Mummy moment when I heard the title (thanks Stephen Sommers). Anyway, I think it was well timed to drop something into the Winchesters' lap that could be a means of freeing Dean from the curse that is the MoC. It is also reiterating the same theme that I have noted in my own writings that just because you have something that could work, it doesn't always mean that you should and that you really need to think if the ends justify the means. With Sam switching out the book, we are going down that path especially when we see him conversing with Rowena. Now I don't trust that witch with roofer's dust so this will be an interesting ride and does bear the faintest hints of the Ruby/demon blood plot. I would like to think that Sam had learned his lesson but as we have seen with him watching Dean's up and down phases, we can see that it is wearing thin on him. He looks like he's at that point where he is desperate and he doesn't care about anyone else. I do like to think that Sam can be a strong character since he did put Lucifer back in the box and he suffered a year and a half in hell for it. Talk about penance in the extreme. If I wanted to go extreme it seems like this is an opportunity for the writers to bash Sam a good one. However, I will take this one episode at a time since it could be that Sam will keep Rowena on a short leash.
Kate
# Kate 2015-04-21 14:28
I keep hearing the echo's of Sam's words. "everything that has ever gone wrong between us has been BECAUSE we're family." I think understand what he meant now.

"I don't want to hunt without my brother", says he....funny didn't Dean say that in the pilot, when Sam told him he could hunt alone and he said, " Yeah, well I don't want to." Full circle.
As an aside, it really touched me how Sam talked about Jessica. Reminded me that that wound isn't healed and still hurts...

I also found it very interesting that Dean clearly hadn't forgotten Sam's crushing words. Again it, made me realize that Dean still has purgatory and Hell and whatever else very clearly in his memory and it also made me wonder if, Since Castiel too Sam's hell away in Season 7 if Sam remembers hell. That's kinda besides the point I wanted to make about Dean and his sense of worthlessness. Even after Sam hunted Demondean down and cured him, why does Dean still think Sam isn't all in it? Does he wish Sam wouldn't? I'm puzzled by his thinking, other than that he is still crushed by the whole thing. And of all times to say it, why did he say that around Charlie? did Dean bring it up because Charlie was there? Still trying to sort out his thinking here. And...Does Dean really believe that Sam can go on without him? I guess he does since he did it when he was in purgatory. I think Dean is of that mindset for Sam; Sam needs to give him and update on status?
This is from the other past episode, but I've been meaning to mention that scene with Dean in the bar, hustling those dudes. Did ANYONE else realize that the game he was playing was almost exactly the way he handled Cole in that alley fight while he was a demon? DemonDean toyed with them, like a cat batting around a mouse. He taunted him and enjoyed the power he had over Cole. Dean hustling those dudes had that same "stalking your prey" kind of feel. The way he ruffled his hair before going to them made me flinch; remember when he broke out of the room in the bunker and was hunting Sam? The fact that he left that entire plate of food!!!!!!!! Took only the beer. The heartlessness of the way he took that dudes watch, knowing it was his father's. Dean of all people would be sensitive to something like that. But he went for it anyways. He didn't need it. He was enjoying the fact that he'd trapped these dudes and they didn't know it. He was going to crush them and the pleasure was too sadistic. It feel cruel to me. So it was no surprise when his eyes flashed black in the bathroom. The entire pool table event was the demon peeking through.
When he exits the bathroom, it's like he was back to being Dean. His voice, the way the walked, even his concern was back.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-04-21 14:59
I agree with you about the bar/pool scene. He was definitely doing more that hustling those guys and I did notice that he left a whole plate of food.
And yes as we have been saying for 10 years now these guys really do need to talk.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2015-04-22 14:19
Quote:
He must have it swirling in his mind that if he had been there for Dean, had his back, he wouldn’t have taken on the Mark of Cain.
WTF. That time was for Dean to have Sam's back as he left Sam when Sam wasn't even fully healed. I certainly hope that Dean is not compounding on Sam like that now.

Quote:
At this point is he thinking about being the hero? Does he think saving Dean will result in the greater good, much like Dean did last season when he tricked Sam into angel possession? Or are Sam’s motivations purely selfish, knowing that his psyche cannot handle losing his brother again? Quite a humdinger, isn’t it?
I do not think that there are just two extremes i.e Sam thinking about the greater good – Sam being selfish. A big, big motivation for Sam's actions is what he thinks Dean deserves and that is not to become a demon again.

Quote:
I assume he fell to the ground like the other angels at the end of season eight and that’s where they were damaged.
Cas' grace was cut out of him in Heaven prior to the angels falling.

Quote:
I applaud Robbie Thompson for revisiting Sam’s words from “The Purge,” proving what many of us believed, that Sam said that at a time when he was angry. He doesn’t feel that way. That’s been a hot topic of debate on this site for a while now, so I was glad to see that addressed.
I think that Sam brought up some good points in 9.13 The Purge but they didn't come out right because of Sam feeling hurt, angry and thinking that he should have died. But I would not like the show to dismiss Sam's words as Sam having been merely a jerk or Sam having lashed out at Dean. I believe that Dean not wanting to be alone played into Dean letting an angel in Sam.

Are you claiming that Sam said to Dean in episode 9.13 The Purge that he'd be okay with losing Dean? I do not believe at all that Sam had said that to Dean even out of anger. And neither does Sam from what I can see. The way he said, "Oh, come on, man. You know I didn't mean ---" was not Sam begging Dean to forgive him like, "You know I didn't mean it Dean, I was just so angry." It was delivered in such a way that it came across like, "You know I've never said or meant something like that!"