Adapt or die. The phrase has stood the test of time.

Either a living thing adapts or they face their own demise. They must be able to change. Everything changes, after all. If everything remained static, if everything stayed the same, there would be no progress. It is this change that drives the Supernatural premiere “Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire.” Every single character must face change on some level. Some will accept change, others will resist---and even more will make change happen. Change happens to each character for various reasons---and the motivations for how they address it are different, too. We see it in each storyline: Crowley's, Castiel's, and the Winchesters themselves.

Change may be inevitable, but it is our bad habits that are the hardest to break, too. While each character must address change in their lives and the world in this premiere episode, they must also see their pit falls and their bad habits for what they really are. It won't be easy, and changing themselves won't happen over night. Some of these habits aren't all bad---and some of them are even necessary for them to do what they must. But, if they are to avoid what Eisenstein defines as insanity---doing the same thing again and again expecting a different result---then they must find a way to break the bad habit cycle over the coming season.

First, let's look at how Crowley accepts change.

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At the start, Crowley is in a sticky situation to say the least. He is unable to snap his fingers and simply teleport away as he normally would. Rowena saw to that, hoping that her son would meet his end. Castiel, also afflicted by a spell cast by the centuries old witch, has his angel blade ready to plunge into the King of Hell's chest. Not only has the Darkness been released upon the world---it would seem a different darkness is coming for Crowley now: death.

The King of Hell is pleading with his would be assassin. He knows that this isn't the angel's doing. He knows that this is Rowena using him as an agent. Crowley, then, tries to break through the spell and entreat Castiel to stop. After all, they were allies against the Mark of Cain. They were on the same side. It is Rowena that is the enemy now. Castiel doesn't really want to kill Crowley---least not right now.

And Crowley really doesn't want to die, either.

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Crowley is as crafty as we've come to expect. If he can't snap himself out of this, if he can't get away while possessing his current meat suit, he'll simply vacate the premises. Let the angel stab at the dead body he leaves behind. As long as he doesn't inhabit it at the time, Crowley knows he'll survive. After taking a heavy blow that causes him to topple, Crowley slinks away to gather himself and his forces to reclaim his preferred meat suit.

The King of Hell chooses to possess the nearest body he can find---a woman come home from errands. He realizes that the same spell that made it impossible to teleport has followed him to this meat suit. Peeved but not defeated, Crowley remarks, “Old school it is.”

This phrase is key for Crowley's understanding of change and its affect on his story. Since his introduction on the series, the King of Hell has sided with the Winchesters on some level---despite the antagonism at the end of season six or season eight of course. That alliance has often been made to save his own skin and for his own benefit. Standing with Sam and Dean against Lucifer made sense. He adapted then to working with hunters---and Winchesters no less---so that he and his kind may live to see beyond the prize fight. He sided again with the brothers against Abaddon, knowing that she threatened his throne. And most recently, he's joined with them yet again to stand against the Mark of Cain itself---even though he is responsible in part for Dean being cursed with it in the first place.

Now, he sees that alliance as the danger that it's been all along. He came out on top after they put Lucifer back into the cage, certainly. It granted Crowley his throne, after all. But has it really been a benefit to him---to align himself with the other side so closely?

Standing with the Winchesters recently has cost him greatly with his subjects. While his slip on control largely comes as a consequence to his standing against Sam and Dean---becoming the potential third trial---he is in peril while Dean removes Abaddon, the threat to his throne. His underlings know it and they also know he's still very much affected by what they've done to him. Now, as they stand side by side to defeat the Mark, he's found himself yet again nearly assassinated by his mother's spell work and an angel blade. It makes his footing shaky, his minions question his leadership, and makes his standing as the King of Hell seem flimsy at best.

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So, Crowley decides to let off some steam. He picks up the tire iron and determines that he'll simply kill everyone in the house---but not without some good old fashioned debauchery first. Much to his surprise, the woman he's possessed has a husband that is open to trying swinging. If he wanted to lead some people into temptation and right into his soul coffers, he couldn't have devised a better methodology. Sure, he needs to get back to his preferred meat suit, but why not indulge first?

It also allows him to exercise his demonic side without any hesitations. He doesn't have to dance around Winchester qualms about hurting people. He doesn't have to worry about their wrath for what he's doing here. He'll simply take this moment to be what he is: a demon. These people are offering themselves up and he's not going to turn their gift away. It'll allow him to remember just how much fun it can be to be evil and sadistic---all without going too far as to draw too much attention, of course.

Subtly, Crowley accepts that he must change. He knows that his sentimentality towards the Winchesters is partly why he's in this situation in the first place. He also knows that the human being he once was is at play, too. Fergus MacLeod is just under the surface, simmering away. Fergus poses as much of a threat---if not bigger---than any other to his throne ever has. He knows that the reason Hell is becoming harder to manage is due to their morale. That morale is affected directly by his continued involvement with the Winchesters---demonkind's sworn enemy. So, he takes action by allowing himself to indulge in some sin and murder. He had no intention of leaving anyone in that house alive.

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After a minion asks about why it took him so long to call them---obviously long enough to partake in the orgy no less---Crowley simply retorts, “I apologize---for nothing.” He will not beg for forgiveness for what he is or for who he is. He is the King of Hell, evil and willing to prove that there's no question about that. He knows that he must absolutely change his ways---and perhaps break a few bad habits along the way to do just that.

And yet, the bad habit of working the Winchesters won't be an easy one to break---nor should he entirely. He has worked with them in the past with great success. To turn away from it entirely could leave him even more vulnerable in the end. He knows enough to keep his friends close and his enemies closer---who else should he keep a closer watch on than the Winchesters?

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The bad habit he must change, then, is how he allows it to affect him. Prior to being caught and nearly cured, Crowley always kept his interests and survival as the top focus. Afterwards, he's struggled with keeping those human emotions in check---which has allowed him to be caught up in their emotional crises. It is this inner-Fergus problem that is most dangerous to him. Crowley may very well have to work with them against the Darkness---but if he is going to prove his throne secure in his hands, he'll have to break the bad habit of being sucked into their emotional whirlwind.

It's the only way he can perhaps avoid repeating the same mistake and ending up in an even more precarious situation than the one he recently escaped.

After all, the worst habit Crowley needs to break is that of Fergus MacLeod.

If Crowley accepts that he must change---and reclaim his demonic self, what about Castiel? How does he approach change? Does he resist it? Does he accept it? Or will he make it? He also has his own bad habits to face if he is indeed going to change, too. And yet, his situation may not be in his own hands entirely.

Castiel looks for a clean break on bad habits. As he charges Crowley, his angel blade ready, he realizes that he is in too deep. The spell that Rowena cast will not kill him the way it did that young girl. It will not burn out. He'll simply keep attacking and killing. In a way, he's a parallel or foreshadow to the Darkness and its possession of people. He is the link that ties stories together as we see him turned violent against his will just as these people are. He realizes that there are little options left on the table for him.

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The worst confirmation of how dire his situation has become happens when he is discovered hiding in a shack. A pair of ordinary hunters has come across the remains of some of the animals Castiel killed. As they burst into the shack, Castiel cannot help but attack. Rowena's spell demands that he do so. And yet, Castiel resists enough not to kill them or to brutalize them. Instead, he goes on the run, trying to distance himself further and further from humans. Castiel has sworn to protect them and he knows he is a danger to one and all. If he is to stand his ground on his conviction to protect humanity, it means all humanity.

So, he, too, chooses to accept change. He must break a bad habit---calling Sam and Dean for help and pulling them into his crisis. He must also reach out to Heaven and turn himself over to them. In the past, we've see him turn away from the Winchesters---as he did with the Angel Tablet---but this time is different. Instead of running from both Sam and Dean and Heaven, he's choosing to return to Heaven and accept any of their punishments. He knows that this is the way to adhere to the first mission laid out by God: protect humans.

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So, he prays. He says, “Brothers, sisters. I know I have no right, I have no standing to ask you anything, but these are desperate times so ask I must. I confess my transgressions, and I will accept whatever punishment you dole out, now I ask you to help me. Please, save me from doing worse.”

Castiel does call the Winchesters---but without any details, he tells them goodbye. He tells them that they cannot cure what he has, anyways. He will not allow them to track him down. He'll provide no hints. Where he thinks he'll go, they can't easily follow anyways. It is better to simply face up now than drag it out and harm others along the way. Castiel hopes that making a clean break will save him from repeating his mistakes.

While he may be trying to break some bad habits and accept change---his brothers and sisters haven't. They want to punish him alright and they most certainly want him to suffer, but the angels will not take him back to Heaven nor will they dole out the justice that is required. His angelic siblings, instead, will seek vengeance and simply torture him because they're angry. It has nothing to do with protecting humanity. This has everything to do with their rage about what has happened since Metatron shuttered Heaven. If Castiel is willing to offer himself up as a sacrificial lamb, who are they turn him away? This is what the angels have wanted from him for a long time.

So, they take it.

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And it is this bad habit of the angels that has now put Castiel into grave peril.

Again, his story parallels that of the Winchesters. He is infected by a spell. He is trying desperately not to repeat old mistakes only to watch in horror as his siblings fall into old patterns. He is accepting where they are resisting. His desire to make change happen while they push back, furthering old habits and repeating mistakes is key here. The angels thirst for vengeance provides a prime example of why they must change---why they must adapt or they will die.

Punishing Castiel will give them great satisfaction---for a time. It, however, will not abate the killing. It will not stop angel violence or their numbers from facing higher casualties. Instead, the cycle they've repeated without fail since the Apocalypse was thwarted will only continue. New factions will rise, battles will be waged, and angels will die. Removing Castiel's example---as the one angel trying most to perhaps change that---will doom them.

Castiel's story, then, is bigger than him. It is about all of angelic kind needing to accept---and eventually make change. Right now, they're falling into the bad habit of repeating mistakes.

Perhaps Castiel also hopes that his sacrifice will set an example for the other angels to follow. It may not get through to his siblings and they may never see what he is trying to teach with his actions---in the end, he may even fall into old habits himself that will find him repeating old mistakes hoping for different results.

So, what about Sam and Dean and how they reflect this story?

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At the beginning, Dean is sucked out of the car by the Darkness. She wants to confront him---alone. She tells him that she isn't here to hurt him. She doesn't want to be his enemy. After all, he set her free. She's been bound since before time began, and now she's willing to grant her rescuer nearly anything he wants---it's apparent in how she speaks to him, how she moves. This creature that can call up vast darkness, smoke, and inflict damage on the world wants to be Dean's ally---or so she says. Her motivations are just as shadowy as the whirling dark winds that surround them.

Just what would a force such as the Darkness want after being free---and what would they want with someone like Dean Winchester?

Even more, she tells him that he's brought her something she's never had. She tells him, “I like it here, with you. I haven't been this peaceful in a long, long time.”

Dean retorts, “Let's get something straight. I'm not here to bring you peace. I know what you are.”

He doesn't want to be an ally to something so twisted and so evil as the Darkness is rumored to be. He wants to stuff her back into the bottle. She will wreak havoc on the world and it is up to him and Sam to stop this. It is the next thing in a long line of things they've had to deal with.

For Dean, hunting has no expiration date. It never really has. He told Sam once, “It’s never gonna be over. There’s gonna be others. There’s always gonna be somethin’ to hunt.” It has been one of Dean's driving forces---a way for him to push through their current crisis. Azazel. Lilith. Lucifer. Dick Roman. Abaddon. The Mark. For each thing they stop---for every thing they do to save the world, something else springs up in its place. It's as if they cut the head off a snake only to reveal more heads, writhing and waiting to strike.

This Darkness is just the latest in that string.

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So, Dean prepares. Once they find the deputy on the scene, trying to figure out just what these road crew members turned into, he starts to gear up. Dean is resistant to breaking bad habits. What once helped him to push through and stop the next evil has turned into a level of insanity. He keeps doing it---and while he would never openly admit he wants a different result, somehow he has to hope that there will be one this time. It won't be like last time---even if he knows cynically it will be as it always is. The next crisis will emerge as they end the current one---just as it always has.

It's obvious in his actions that he's weary by this relentlessness. He's tired of having to always find a way to dig a bit deeper and do what they have to do, to hunt the next thing down and kill it. It's in how he rifles through his weapons, trying to determine the best one that will kill these newly rabid creatures. It's in the look on his face as he peers through the window and sees a fresh batch of rabids converging on the hospital. There is no stop, no end, no respite.

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But there's motivation provided to him by the Darkness. It's in the baby in the hospital. This innocent life---and saving it---can give him a starting point. Saving a baby will give him a win, a way to start setting right what they've done wrong. It'll also allow him to continue his bad habits---resist changing how he goes about his business even if he knows the current method only leads to the same destination. Dean has become so enmeshed in his way of thinking that it's possible he might not even know how to change yet.

He tells Sam point blank, “We can't save Cas if we're stuck in some hospital, okay. Just like I can't strap on a time machine, go back and tell Cain to stick that Mark up his ass, or stop you from releasing the Darkness. Now have we made mistakes? Yes, hell yes. And we can analyze each and everyone one of them over a couple of frosty's when we are old and farting sawdust and out of this room! Right now all I can do is gear up, go out and save that frickin' baby, which is exactly what I'm gonna do. ”

If they're going to save the world yet again, why not start with someone innocent?

And yet, this baby is another bad habit of Dean's. Saving this one baby only to kill everyone around her---particularly her father---will only lead to more chaos and strife later on. He can't simply hunt and kill monsters to make things right. He is resistant to this message on some level because of that cynicism about it never ending---something else always emerges in need of taking down, after all. While saving this one baby will make a statement that he's trying to save others, it will not do enough. He has to find a way to save everyone here if he has any hope to change and perhaps write a new ending to his story.

That first tentative step may be in letting Sam stay behind while he escorts the deputy and the baby to safety. They can't simply allow these new creatures twisted by the Darkness to go after the baby---and they can't necessarily just fight their way through, either. They must try something else---Dean must try something else if he's going to break this bad habit and start to not only accept change but make it himself.

In some ways, this isn't all about saving an innocent baby---and Dean may not be doing all of this for his own well intentioned reasons. The Darkness has wormed her way into Dean---first as a woman informing him about their bond through the Mark of Cain and now as a small and innocent baby. She warns him, “We will always help each other.” Dean's drive to help this baby is being manipulated by her. She knows somehow that he'll do this and protect this child---her new manifestation on the world---and so she'll use it to her advantage. What that advantage---and how Amara will play into that scheme remains to be seen.

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It is this that exposes another of Dean's bad habits---one that he must change if he is going to finally accept and make change that can lead to a different result. He has not told Sam everything of his encounter with the Darkness. Amara told him they were bound, that they were to be allies. Dean hasn't told Sam of this. And until he does, it will do as any other secret they've hidden has: it'll drive a wedge between them on some level. It is another mistake they must learn from and adapt to overcome the Darkness.

Sam, too, must also break bad habits and find a way to change. It is his words in the hospital that sums up the crux of their problems. In that moment of hesitating as they prepare for another siege and the aftermath of the Mark's destruction, Sam realizes that they've lost their way. He knows they must change. He can clearly see that they're starting the same patterns, walking the same path they've walked so many times before. They're dooming themselves right out of the gate all over again. They very well may find a way to bottle up the Darkness and put it back from whence it came---but there will be a heavy cost and a new crisis in its place. Sam knows this. They've gone on this merry ground ride too many times to know any different.

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But it isn't that they shouldn't stop the Darkness that he takes issue with. It's the how. Dean shouts at him, “We have a plan. It's the same plan as it's always been. In order to get out we go through.” He knows that this is Dean's method of coping and preparation. He knows that this is Dean's way of doing things. It's this plan that has kept them alive---respectively. Any alteration to that blueprint could put either of them in danger---along with this baby and other innocents they come across. To not kill these humans turned rabid monsters is to ask for more humans to be turned into rabid monsters.

Sam isn't so sure that this has to be the only way. He's not sure that killing these turned people will get them the desired final result they want.

He points out to Dean that “hunting things” is only half of the bumper sticker. They're “great” at the hunting part. It's ingrained in them to be able to kill and stop supernatural threats. It's a second nature skill set they turn to when everything is at its darkest. It gives them tools to save each other, too. They've done that more times than either would like to count---or admit. And in doing so, they've found themselves facing greater and greater crises. It's gotten them what they wanted: a brother saved, but it hasn't done what they were trained to do.

Saving people.

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For Sam, it has to be more than just this one baby. It cannot be for just a few good people they meet along the way that they continue. They can't distinguish between the infected and the uninfected. They cannot draw a line between human and monster, even. Sam knows that they must relearn how to save people. Not just a few. Not just those they see worthy. They must save all the people to make what they do matter.

It's a lofty goal that is wrought with a lot of peril and inevitable heartbreak. It is a task that is much too big for even these two men to undertake. Sam knows this surely. They can't be expected to successfully save everyone they encounter. He knows that they can't hope to stop all humans dying from supernatural causes---be it other monsters, ghosts, demons or this Darkness.

But they have to try.

Sam knows that this is the change they must make in order to break some of their worst habits. He tells Dean, “This, this kill first question later. What happened to us?” Shooting first and asking questions later has gotten them into this mess---on both their parts. Dean acquired the Mark as a means to an end without learning its dark truth. Sam chose to let Rowena cast the spell to remove the Mark, not knowing its consequences. It is a bad habit that often leads them from the frying pan into the fire. It is this bad habit that gives rise to so many of their other ones.

And yet, much like Dean, he also has another shared bad habit to break.

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While Dean takes the deputy and the baby, Amara, to safety, Sam is left behind to draw all of the rabid's attentions. He begs that Dean let him do his thing, and this is what he'll do to prove his point that they can't simply kill their way through without trying a different way first. If these new monsters are focused on him, then they won't have to be killed. Dean can save the baby, and Sam can focus on saving those turned.

Like an echo from his drive to cure the Mark, Sam is driven to cure this new illness even though he isn't entirely sure what it is or how it works. He knows that these individuals will die in a short period of time. Some of them seem like raging stars burning fuel down until they drop. It's what happened to the road crew member that was trying to break down the door. Whatever this is, it kills its victims in hours.

What's worse is that Sam isn't entirely sure how many are infected by it. The Darkness could have spread its virus over a small area or it could have looked for a larger scale as it sent out its smoke feelers. Sam knows from experience that this is probably a global scale---and if it isn't yet, it will be.

In many ways, this is Sam seeking redemption again. He takes the blame---even if Dean tells him that it's both their doing. He tells Sam, “we broke it, we bought it.” Sam feels that that this new crisis is his responsibility to clean up and to do that he'll start with wanting to cure everyone.

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What starts as an external drive to save his fellow man will become personal, however. While he hides out in a closet, drawing the rabids to beat themselves against the door, Sam doesn't realize that another is hiding with him inside. She lunges from the darkness and promptly cuts him and herself to infect him. He will not only need to cure those that he feels he's afflicted with this latest mistake---he needs to do so for his own survival.

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Only time will tell, however, how much of this virus the Darkness infects Sam with will change him. Or if he'll have the same reaction to it as he once did to Croatoan. It is possible that this is the Darkness finding a way to claim the younger Winchester as she has claimed Dean---just through a different method for just as shadowy reasons. Either way, Sam must now cure this supernatural disease.

If not for himself---then for all.

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And yet, this infection rears that bad habit he shares with Dean. Just as Dean hadn't told him about the full conversation with the Darkness, when Dean calls to check in with Sam, he doesn't tell his brother about his latest development. It's possible that he's waiting for them to meet in person. Sam knows Dean well enough to know that he'll drop trying to help the baby without question if Sam should tell him. That wouldn't help them to learn how to save people again.

So, Sam knows they must become perhaps more objective in this. They can't simply emotionally tie themselves together or make it about saving one another. Nor can they be so narrow minded. If they are to save all of the people---including themselves in the process---they must start now.

That means starting with this baby. It means starting with finding a cure. It means asking more questions and then killing later.

After all, it may be their very salvation.
 

 

Comments  

sugarhi15
# sugarhi15 2015-10-11 21:27
welcome back farawayeyes. I look forward to your analyses nearly as much as I look forward to the eps you're analyzing.:D:

A great read with which I very much agree with.... I feel change coming in the air for our boys and this change is good, very good and long over due....

it's taken trials and tribulations to get here, but I think our boys have finally reached a point of acceptance and growth....and I totally believe that they're ready to do things a little bit differently;)

I look forward to the boys journey this year....i'm very excited to see our boys get back to saving people ....the family business.

and even though old habits die hard...they can die.....I trust the boys will be open with ea. other in the coming eps....they are Winchesters after all and it wouldn't be real if it happened too quickly. ;);)
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-10-12 17:34
Thank you. I'm glad you like these little essays I write up.

To be fair, I was a bit nervous about getting back onto the review horse. It's been awhile since I've done one of these, but I found it easier when Sam's speech just seemed to set a foundation for what was happening in all the character's stories.

I think it's so hard to say where they're going or what will happen. I think there's a lot of change that is being set into motion on some level, but there's so much mystery, which I like a lot.

I'm terribly excited to see just where they go with the brothers and how this new threat to the world will maybe make them change. I don't see things happening over night, either. It'd be too fast/too easy, I'd think.

Thanks again.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-10-11 22:47
Great review and perspective on this episode. I love how mysterious the Darkness is and how disjointed Dean is about his memories and what he shared with Sam so far. Almost the first words from Dean was that she saved him. He didn't seem to know from what. Did she pull him out of the car or did she save him from the thing that did? Dean was very focused on saving the baby who bears the MOC. Is he just being Dean and wants to save her as he would any other time or is the Darkness sending Dean to protect her? The story ahead for Dean and the D is so intriguing.
Sam's speech to Dean was fantastic. I have been uncomfortable with the carnage that the brothers leave behind for a long time. Demons used to be exorcised, their hosts saved, angels are blowing through the population at breakneck speed as well even though they tried to address that last season. When did they stop saving people and seemed to concentrate at saving the few or themselves at the expense of the many. I love the change back to the original format.
Secrets and lies. I think Dean is remembering in bits and pieces what happened in the swirling smoke. The question is will he be able to control his own actions enough to clue Sam in to what is going on.
Sam's infection is an urgent situation for sure and you are right if Sam comes clean to Dean he would race back and maybe be at risk as well besides abandoning the baby. So Sam's plan went awry for himself but he did allow Dean to escape with the deputy and the baby. I don't think that will be enough to change Sam's new (old) bumper sticker. Saving People means saving as many people as they can.
I don't think at this point the brothers are keeping things from each other for any other reason than Dean can't wrap his head around what just happened. Sam is trying to keep Dean on mission and if there is a cure he will have to figure it out for himself.
I can't wait to see how this all unfolds.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-10-12 17:39
Thanks for the comment.

I don't know if they're really withholding information here from each other, but I do think that it is a bad habit they need to avoid. I got the impression, really, like you, that Sam wanted ot keep Dean on mission. He knows Dean is coming back to get him and help clean up this mess in the town, so he most likely will have to break the news in person---probab ly a better methodology, anyways.

Sam's speech was what really helped get my review off the ground, actually. It made such a clean statement about what the brothers must do going forward, even if it takes them time and a few steps backwards a few times to do it. They do have to deal with the fact that they're leaving far more damage in their wake than actually doing what they wanted to do in the very beginning. It seems that they've found themselves sucked into so many crises that it's hard for them to break the cycle.

I don't know where they're going with Sam's infection or with Dean and the Darkness, but I like all the mystery and how it will shape the rest of the season.

Thanks again.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-10-11 23:21
I, too, greatly enjoyed your analysis of the episode. The episode provided a great set up for the rest of the season with so many interesting possibilities for all four leads, but especially for Sam and Dean. But just as exciting is the prospect of Carver's long-promised maturity arc for the brothers. It's been entirely too long in the making but it seems as though the brothers might finally begin to get their relationship back on its original footing and break out of the vicious cycle of conflict, lies, extreme measures, etc that has marked much of the Carver era. I loved every word of Sam's speech, as well as the fact that Dean seemed receptive to what Sam was saying. I honestly haven't been this excited about the show in awhile, and I'm loving the feeling.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-10-12 17:42
Thanks for the comment.

I absolutely loved Sam's speech. I don't think this review would have happened without that. I remember, that night, actually thanking Sam on Twitter for giving me my thesis. It just seemed to sum up what their next step is as they get ready to fight this next crisis and figure out how they'll come out the other side. I am extremely excited to see just where they plan on going with this and how it'll connect all four leads together. It's intriguing to think of Crowley and Castiel as being so key in the story, even if they're not totally looped into the Darkness portion just yet.

I hope my other reviews will be just as fun to read! Thanks again.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2015-10-12 01:44
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Dana
# Dana 2015-10-12 02:35
Loved reading this!

I'm definitely interested to see how Sam and Dean in particular will perhaps change over the course of this season, and whether or not they will at all. At the end of the day they both know that they are dangerously co-dependent and often their lies/secrets to one another are their way of making sure that they put others before themselves (like how Sam didn't tell Dean about him being infected). I have a feeling that Dean and The Darkness may have eventually have some undercover stuff going on that Sam is unaware of, but I do hope that Dean eventually opens up to Sam about it so that we can get back on the road of the brothers "working together more" as we've been told so many times by the crew. Regardless though, even in season 1 the brothers had secrets from one another. I guess it's just a deep seeded dynamic between them...
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-10-12 17:46
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you enjoyed my take on this episode. It's always hard to do this type of thing with the opener episode as there's just not a lot of the puzzle to play with just yet. I almost wonder if Sam and Dean realize they're hiding these things---and in Sam's case, I think he's aware that if he tells Dean about it while Dean's busy saving the baby after Sam took the risk on of attracting the rabids, Dean will rush back, so he may be waiting. I don't know what the Darkness is up to with Dean or if Dean is just remembering things here and there or is aware the whole time. She's so mysterious and I can't put my finger on just what she's going to do or what her motives/wants are just yet. I think it'll be interesting to see how this all plays out, though. It is a bad habit they've had since season 1, so it'll be fascinating to see how they try to get out of that rut.

Thanks again.
Dana
# Dana 2015-10-13 01:01
You're right, it's definitely had to say anything for certain at this stage!
I agree that Sam didn't tell Dean because he knew he would come back straight away without putting the other people first, which is what Sam wants to change. You also make a good point that Dean may not be intentionally hiding things from Sam, if he just doesn't remember them. I can't recall whether the scenes with The Darkness were meant to be Dean remembering or whether just we as the audience were being shown...
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-10-13 17:47
I keep wondering about the memories, too. I can't help but wonder how much is memory and how much is the audience being shown what happened. It certainly adds to the mystery!
Suzkatoon75
# Suzkatoon75 2015-10-12 04:32
I have been a lurker for a while but I just have to say I love your calm analytical manner you review the episodes. I like to read them with a nice cup of cocoa. Like now your view that change was the theme actually made me see Crowley's scene better and Castiel's. I thought that Castiel's actions were pretty strong. I agree to the above that I also wait your reviews almost as much as the episode itself. Thank you.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-10-12 17:49
Thank you.

I'm glad you came out of lurking! I hope that you'll enjoy my other reviews just as much. I spend a lot more time thinking than writing sometimes, I think. It allows a lot of the puzzle pieces to shake out into a clearer picture, and I'm glad you enjoy the final result on those. I'm glad I helped make Crowley and Castiel's portions clearer. I always like to find a way to tie all of the main stories to one theme---mainly because I feel the show is doing that. I always start with the question: what is the show trying to tell me and then I go from there.

Thanks again!
YellowEyedSam
# YellowEyedSam 2015-10-12 05:33
Remember my theory about the Demons being apart of the Darkness? Likely not, it was months ago! Anyway, Sam is having these visions/halluci nations in the next episode. My theory is the Darkness has strengthened, or awakened his demon powers again with this infection. The show is obviously not going to go down the route where Sam's goodness is eaten away by the strengthening demon blood. But that would be a nice story to write hehe. *grins as she twiddles a pen over paper*
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-10-12 17:51
Thanks for the comment.

I don't know if they're going to play with the demon blood in Sam with this new infection or not. I tend to avoid all that spoiler/specula tion stuff. That being said, I think it's an intriguing concept. Sam hasn't had a chance to really deal with how much demon blood he consumed to take on Lucifer, and we've never had a definitive answer if there's still a trace or more in there. He went from being Soulless to having to deal with the Wall/Memories and then other things came up. I think it'd be a neat twist to add it back in on some level. How would it mix with/counter the Darkness infection? So many possibilities.

Thanks again.
YellowEyedSam
# YellowEyedSam 2015-10-12 19:09
So many possibilities indeed. My imagination has been on fire recently pondering these. When I see an exciting promo like next week's I just cannot help myself and have to write how I think it'll play out! I just hope Sam doesn't become wallpaper again like last season.
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2015-10-12 10:36
Welcome back FAE! I have missed your reviews. I truly do like your way to catch something that fits the whole episode and write it through the eyes of the characters. How they are connected to it. I liked this episode a lot and TD intrigues me. I liked the coloring of TD's and Dean's scenes. Whole episode left me in disorientated state on what I was seeing. There was numerous possibilities and questions why things were happening or even how long had time gone by.

The change is coming. I hope we are ready. ;)

- Lilah
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-10-12 17:53
Thanks for the comment.

I'm glad you look so forward to my reviews! It's always a challenge to see the thread that ties all the stories together, but I"m glad you like how I do that. It makes the story and that particular episode fit better for me in the end, I think. I love the mystery that the Darkness provides. I'm not sure where they're going with her just yet or what type of mayhem she'll ultimately unleash, but I think she can do so many things that we haven't seen yet. She certainly raises questions!

I agree. I hope we're already for a lot of the story to come.

Thanks again.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-10-12 19:12
Hi Far Away Eyes. So nice to see your articles again. I always love your take. I thought this was a stellar premier. I am looking forward to this season with great hopes and expectations. I love the new mysteries. I love the scene where Sam told Dean they should get back to their original mission plan. Dean listened.:) I love the lack of finger pointing. I feel the forward momentum of new outlook and better relationship for the brothers. It's going to take time. The normal bickering of the boys comforts me in a way. There was no underlying anger that I could detect. They were trying to communicate. Looking forward to this week.

I am trying to get past it, but I found the orgy scene distasteful in the extreme. From the ridiculous dialog to the mocking of out-of-shape middle aged people who decided to do some sexual experimentation . I don't think anyone offered themselves up to Crowley. He forced himself into a vessel and had sex with 3 people for kicks. It was NOT a consensual invite to participate. Then he slaughters them for blood and fun and show plays it all for laughs. Am I missing something? Is it because the the people were older that this is hand waved away as just 'Crowley being Crowley' and oh so funny? I wanted Crowley to return to form, but playing these scenes for yuks bothers me. I am working very hard to compartmentaliz ed this scene from the rest of the premier which I liked very much.

I look forward to your future thoughts Far Away Eyes. Thanks.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-10-13 17:34
Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you enjoyed my take on this one.

I was really happy to see Sam say what he did. I think it needed to be said a long time ago. And I can't wait to see just how they approach this as we get deeper into the season.

As for Crowley, I laughed a bit, but I think what could have been done somewhat better is more of a set up---we don't know anything about these people except what we're shown here and nothing more. Crowley didn't really suggest this, they did, so he jumped at the chance to raise some mayhem. I think they could have done this in many different ways. It's hard to really sympathize, I agree, with those that were most certainly meant to be the punch line of a joke. That being said, I'm curious if this moment will come back at some point, if it'll have any consequences for Crowley, and the like.

Thanks again.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-10-14 18:20
My issue isn't with the orgy itself. Consenting adults and all. My issue is that he forcibly entered a person. Then under cover of a vessel, he sexually assaulted them for kicks and then slaughtered them to make a "phone call". It wasn't someone he was invited to do. To me that is no different that putting on a mask and crawling in a window. Just because it wasn't violent (the sex anyway) or the people were written as silly doesn't mean it was something that should be amusing. IMO. Especially the camera pan over the bludgeoned naked dead people. I felt bad for them. Anyway I need to let this go. Many people thought this was funny. I am in the minority.
sugarhi15
# sugarhi15 2015-10-13 10:28
hey leah,

in regards to the orgy scene, and it's just my take on it....but how you saw it, I think was exactly as it was meant to be seen. Crowley's most recent speech was to sam, and it was thanking him for helping him get back to who Crowley truly is....for he's been missing since clip show.;) I thought his act of complete and utter debauchery and violence, without a care as to who or what anyone thinks (including us) is Crowley's way of informing all that the "King" is truly back.....

I also think it's safe to say, for the meantime, that though the boys are on the right track to saving people and hunting things and doing things differently this time, as sam mentioned that they cannot keep repeating the same crap....I thinks it's fair to say that while I have no doubt that this will happen...I doubt it's going to happen as quickly as we want it too:p:..sam's speech definitely insinuates changing their old habits, but cleverly carver made sam's speech focus on their mission statement of saving people....so while that will happen quickly, the rest of it, like them coming clean with ea. other, may take a little longer to happen....I think that's where Jeremy's "ish" comes in when j2 spoke of sam and dean's relationship this season being more on the same page....

my guess is that sam's cure will likely be something "supernatural". ..like the way he wasn't infected in croatoan as mentioned above. I wouldn't be surprised if Sam was somehow immuned to the effects...and if that's the case then that's gonna freak him the hell out. When sam gets freaked out, if he experiences something he doesn't understand, or it scares him or he feels it will freak dean out...or basically all of the above, he will most likely, for the time being keep it to himself....afte r all it took him 9 eps to confess to dean about his psychic visions and he was basically forced to. I don't see sam coming clean to dean right away....but that's not to say I have any doubts that he will come clean. old habits can die but not always that quickly...chang e is gradual, especially with the boys.

I think the same for dean as well....I think it's going to take time before dean totally comes clean to sam regarding the darkness and her seeming plans for him.....it's very much the Winchester "go to" behavior to try to protect the other, when they aren't sure what's going on with themselves or they fear what can happen to the other or what the other might think.

I don't expect absolute honesty til mid season.....but I have no doubt that we will get it....we just got to give the boys a chance...let them change at their own pace...what's so absolutely refreshing and cause to celebrate is the very fact that we know the change is happening.....

just hope the fans can be patient. ;);)
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-10-13 13:50
Hi anna. I know what they were doing in theory. The "King is back" and all. I just wish they had gone another direction. It wasn't well written, or funny to me. It was treated as a joke and the people were portrayed so as to not be worthy of our sympathy. That scamp Crowley, finally back to form. Just doesn't sit well.
SueB
# SueB 2015-10-13 17:08
Excellent analysis as usual Far Away Eyes. I TOTALLY agree with you on the Angels repeating their mistakes if they just torture Cas. I'm hopeful that these are not "representative s" of ALL of Heaven's angels. I'm hoping they are rogue elements. Because Hannah would not be down with this IMO - no matter how much she is pissed at Cas.

I'm glad you pointed out the desperation in Sam's attempt. "About how you'd expect." is what he tells Dean. To Dean, who thinks Sam is a force to be reckoned with - Sam was successful in safely eluding the Rabids. To Sam, he still sometimes thinks of himself as a screw-up, especially with the Darkness turning out to be apparently as bad as Death suggested. So of course, "as expected" for Sam is to be infected and on the verge of dying. Still, he's not giving up. So I REALLY want him to solve this one - on his own. He needs to have a sense that he was headed in the right direction. It didn't work out yet... but it still can.

Having said that, he needs to come clean with Dean on being infected and Dean needs to tell him all the visions he's had. Timing, IMO, allows for some wiggle room. But when the dust settles, I expect some vein opening if required to let out all the potential poison of withholding vital data.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-10-13 17:39
Thanks for the comment.

I just found the angels the most obvious on falling into bad habits. Pretty much since their introduction, they've been killing each other more or less. Uriel kinda started that horrible trend. It seems that they just upped the body count post-Apocalypse . Every time someone rises to power in Heaven, they seem to spend an awful lot of time killing a lot of angels they see as threatening to their power. As a history geek, I think it's almost Tudor-like. Any time someone rises to challenge the current leader, they smack down a bunch of angels. I wonder how Hannah will take what they're doing. She's absolutely decided to banish Castiel from Heaven, but to do this type of torture? I just hope she isn't behind it or condoning it.

Yes. I think there's a lot of Sam and Dean's POVs of one another at play here. And I'm glad you liked what I pointed out here about Sam. I think he most certainly wants to cure the others more than he wants to care himself, but if he should find himself somehow immune, it'd almost be worse! I look forward to seeing how they unfold this portion of the story for sure.

Thanks again.
YellowEyedSam
# YellowEyedSam 2015-10-13 17:40
Quote:
I expect some vein opening
I see what you did there ;)
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2015-10-13 18:11
Great analysis as always. With the bickering in S5 between the angels standing with Lucifer and others, Godstiel taking out all of the Rafael loyalists, and the seemingly never ending civil wars, you have to wonder how many angels are left; can't be that many; it's not like they reproduce or God is making more of them.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-10-14 17:34
Thanks for the comment.

Yes, the angels seem to have mowed through a ton of their rank. It makes you wonder just how many are really left and how that may shape what is to come. I do hope we'll get some answers!

Thanks again.
BoGirle
# BoGirle 2015-10-14 08:57
Nice review FAE! I liked this premier episode... it wasn't a mind blower and I could have done without the Jesus Freak middle aged 'swingers' (I REALLY could have done without them! Sometimes I really wonder about Carver's taste level) but overall I thought it was a solid episode. I think foundation episodes, of which this is clearly one, are hard to write as they can become clunky and mired down in lots of boring dialog. But Carver did a decent job here redirecting the show toward this new crisis and addressing at the same time what many fans have come to see as a big problem with how the brothers are going about their Family Business lately and laying the foundation for change. Here's to hoping that the realization of these really great ideas does the premise justice. Fingers crossed.

I am not ready to claim that the brothers are deliberately hiding things from each other already... I think we need to wait until at least the next episode airs to decide if there is any deliberate deception. Dean not only is probably remembering his meeting with TheD in bits and pieces, he also probably doesn't even really know what happened, so I can't say at this stage that he is willfully withholding any thing from Sam. It will be interesting to see if he continues to remember bits and pieces of this one single meeting or if he begins to experience her at other times, like in his dreams perhaps. I did find it odd that she thanked Dean for "saving her" how did he save her? It was Sam that set her free, not Dean who didn't even know that the spell was in the works. It is because the key that held her captive was on Dean and she can sense that about him? I wonder what she'll do when she realizes that Dean has (hopefully) no intention of helping her. Maybe she'll manipulate him into thinking he needs too, maybe she already has by using Amara to do so?

And Sam; he actually wasn't sure he was infected until AFTER the phone call which came approximately 2 seconds after his fight with the Rabids. To claim that Sam is deliberately lying is ludicrous, although some fans are already piling it on. Sam knows he's infected and he knows he'll have to tell Dean (it's not like he'll be able to hide those ugly black veins from him), and I would think he'd like do so face to face rather than over the phone. Dean will be back with him within the hour, so not much of an obfuscation going on there if you ask me. Now Sam has an even bigger motivation to cure the raids, although I think his demon blood will in fact become an aspect in his ability to either cure it or fight it off. It does occur to me that Sam let himself be infected on purpose hoping that the cure would lie within him.

I did have one question though; it was insinuated in the episode that the Rabids were directly infected by the dark cloud that rolled over the land. Why were only some people infected and not everyone? Why were the first people infected directly by the cloud itself but subsequent victims were able to catch the 'infection' from other Rabids like Sam did? And finally, if the dark cloud rolled over Sam and Dean why weren't they infected at that time? OK I guess that's three questions, but they are all related.

One final wish or hope for the coming season. I wish/hope that the dark tension we have now continues throughout the season. I like the creep factor and the air of mystery and menace of this first episode. I know that this will have to let up from time to time for some comic relief so that things don't get too dreary, but I like the tension they have now. My next wish/hope, and it's a biggie, is that each of the boy's connection to what's going on does not put them on opposite sides of the proverbial fence. Carver you PROMISED that the boys were working together in this and I am going to hold you to that promise!! If one brother starts to fight for TheD and the other against TheD and are therefore working against one another, then imma gonna be pissed, 'cause then one brother will have to be right and the other brother will have to be wrong and we ALL know how that goes on this show.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2015-10-14 17:32
Thanks for the very detailed comment!

I agree that there was a lot of that swinger's used to break up the tension and provide a bit of laughs. On some levels it worked for me, on others it didn't. I liked the actress that played the woman possessed by Crowley for instance. And the way she said "Don't" was spot on. But I wouldn't say it was my fave gag moment, either. That being said, I loved how we saw a start to this season raising a lot of questions, bringing us a chance to work towards great change, and so forth. I think it's really hard to write an opener---just as I felt it was sort of hard to write about it!

As for the brothers hiding things, I don't think they're really doing that here, either. However, it is a bad habit of theirs so it got the mention considering each had something going on they didn't divulge. I think it's very possible Dean may have only remembered the conversation in bits. It was something I noticed more in my second watch, but feared it was a bit too speculative considering I don't read any spoilers. As for Sam, his lie of omission isn't about so much being infected as much as it was about the possibility. I also don't see him doing it for long---either because he physically can't or because he knows he's going to see Dean soon and wants to deliver it in person. Sam knows that he can't hide it, I'm sure. But he didn't want Dean turning right around, either. I do hope that the brothers won't fall into the bad habit of keeping things---and no, I don't think they have entirely, either.

As for the Darkness infecting with that cloud, good question! I think the thing I like about this new big bad is I don't have any clue as to what she'll do or even what she wants. She may have selectively infected some and ignored others. Think like how a tornado will strike one house but leave another right next to it for instance. Will this change over time? How will this disease she's unleashed evolve? It's all up in the air right now.

I, too, hope the brothers will be on the same page on this one. So far, their conflict seems to be "do we keep doing as we've been doing or do we change?" So far, at least Dean's willing to try Sam's way.

Thanks again.