Fate. Where have we seen that theme before? Oh right, it was only a massive cornerstone to the Sam and Dean Winchester story.
I don’t know why, but I actually liked “Cast Your Fate to the Wind.” I honestly enjoyed it more than last week’s episode. I don’t think it was a better episode, but I just enjoyed it more. Maybe because it had a better balance of action, story and character moments. That’s a blend that gets my attention. Perhaps it was also more thematically interesting to me. Whenever fate is on the line, Winchesters can do some crazy shit.
I could really nitpick a lot of things here, but I’ll spare you all with just a couple of quick observations because I’m not in a nitpicky mood. I’m with you, vampires don’t react to holy water. But maybe these weren’t normal vampires. Weren’t they the Romanian kind? Twist the lore a certain way and maybe it’s a loophole. Either that or this is definitely an AU scenario and all rules are off. So, I’ll give it a pass, just because it was a really cool scene to see Carlos take them on with holy water in the hair. I could also nitpick how easy Lata is finding answers, but considering she found them cave dwelling at the MOL clubhouse, it could be conceivable this week. Who wouldn’t want to explore all that? That is consistent with the original series. That bunker like the other in Supernatural had so many hidden gems! It’s an oasis for geeks.
I think episodes are stronger when John is the focus. Drake is just a stronger actor overall. Pair him in an adventure with Millie and they are gold together. I like that this didn’t go as expected, even if the action was very much in line with what happens on Supernatural. Killing yourself to stop a vampire so when he feeds on you he’s weakened by dead man’s blood? That’s pretty damned crafty. That is also such a Winchester move. Like father like sons, especially the older son.
I bought a little bit more into the John and Mary love story too, maybe because nothing is more dramatic than death being on the line. I loved that Carlos was making moves with his boy toy because the man needs love. Also, didn’t I call it much earlier in the season that Kyle the reporter guy was evil? He would turn out to be a Meg? Fine, I suspect 99% of us knew that, so I won’t gloat. The Akrida possession twist was even less dramatic. Duh, who else would it be in this story? The fact that he’s involving Betty though is interesting. I hope she doesn’t become an Akrida zombie.
That’s all I’m spending on the episode. The rest of this review takes a look at Winchesters and fate. Namely, tempting it. After all, Dean started it with his comment in the beginning:
This isn’t how I saw things going when I pushed over that first domino. Thing is, I’ve had more than a few dances with free will and fate, but as my dad used to say, “fate is what you make it.”
How many times did Dean Winchester do something reckless, using death and resurrection as a device to achieve his purpose? Tempting that fate always accomplished the short term goal, but really got Dean and Sam in some real hot water with the cosmos. It wasn’t until Dean ended the cycle with his own death that things went back in alignment. At least we think based on the quick montage of Sam’s remaining 40-50 years without his brother. Sorry, am I bringing back bad memories?
Anyway, nothing made Dean madder than being lectured about “fate” and “destiny”. Every fiber of his being fought the notion that he was pre-destined to a certain outcome. Dean fought for freedom from deities, creating his happiness and legacy, only to die on a routine vamp hunt a little time later. Was that fate or just bad luck? He did choose to go on that vamp hunt. Free will! Was the circumstance truly beyond his control?
Whether intentional or not, Dean changed history, and perhaps the fate of these characters, by giving John that letter. Now he and Mary are hunting together as part of a team. Are they doomed to repeat the same outcome anyway? I always remember another Supernatural prophecy from our angel friend, “All roads lead to the same destination.” Even though Dean and Sam exercised their free will, Dean still died at a younger age while hunting and Sam lived to old age, which was the outcome hinted a few times in the series. Even Dean predicted that would happen! So, is free will dictating the journey, but not the destination?
Okay, how about this angle? Remember the conversation between Castiel and Atropos in season six’s “My Heart Will Go On?” Just as a reminder, Atropos is one of the three Fate sisters, who’s job it was to make sure everyone met their pre-determined end. When Castiel changed history, she did everything possible to make sure everyone involved met the fate they were destined to have. She also went after Sam and Dean for fun until Castiel backed down.
Atropos: You know what? I've kept my mouth shut. I could have complained, I could have raised a fuss, but I didn't. But you know what the last straw is? Un-sinking the Titanic. You changed the future. You cannot change the past. That is going too far!
In other words, no matter what Sam, Dean and Castiel tried, eventually fate intervened. Dean here is trying to change the past. He is traveling on a slippery slope. Look at the previews next week. The Akrida are on to him. He’s already changed things beyond John and Mary and it could get ugly. How about this quote from Atropos a little later in that conversation;
“Because maybe you've heard – fate strikes when you least expect it.”
How about another twisty way of looking at this. In “As Time Goes By,” Henry wanted to go back to the past after reading John’s journal to give him the life he deserved.
Dean: And what if it’s not meant to be?
Henry: Then it will be!
Dean raised the question, what if Henry’s action causes he and Sam not to exist. They stopped the apocalypse. Why is Dean doing the same here now? John and Mary hunting together could mean she never left the life, maybe she doesn’t have children because she doesn’t want her sons going through what she’s been through. I know both Dean and Sam were willing to take that risk of never being born in “The Song Remains The Same,” but that was before they stopped the apocalypse. So maybe this is pre-apocalypse Dean doing this? The real point of this is if Henry tried to stop fate, what’s preventing John from doing it and then Dean and Sam.
In this episode John found his way for cheating death…context. Did John change that context, or was that the pre-determined outcome the whole time? Did fate know that John Winchester was a crafty son of a bitch? John had control here, choosing to die his way rather than being a sitting duck. That way, he gave himself a fighting chance. John accepted the outcome that was destined, but did his best to carry on the “what came after that” part. After all, how many stories in Supernatural end with a death? It is never final. A death just tends to create the next chapter. That’s where context becomes important. Where does the story truly end?
So, knowing what he knows, what is Dean's real motive here in twisting fate? Did he want to see his parents hunt together, knowing that those two would fight for each other no matter what to the bitter end? Did he know John would make different choices if he found out about hunting before Mary’s death? John and Mary are going to die at some point, everyone dies, but is Dean trying to give them a fighting chance before that happens? Have them go out swinging? Or maybe his intention was to only give John the comfort and knowledge of what happened to Henry and tell him about his Men of Letters legacy. Maybe he did not think John would learn about hunting and run into Mary.
Fate is what you make it, but fate also strikes when you least expect it. Free will vs. destiny. It’s the same theme being repackaged by each generation. Winchesters man.
Tempting fate is truly a Winchester trait.
Of course, this whole thought process could be a pointless exercise. I still believe something is amiss in this universe and the traditional rules don’t apply. How about the obvious plot hole, they’re in Lawrence, Kansas, with the big MOL clubhouse. Henry and Millie and John lived in Normal, Illinois in the original story. The MOL clubhouse and network are front and center, where they were long forgotten and unknown until Sam and Dean found the Lebanon, Kansas bunker years later. Samuel and Deanna are separated. Samuel is Tom Welling with a sweet head of hair. The monsters have all been slightly off from what we’ve seen before. John and Mary are hunting together with a team that we never heard of before. Now vampires can be thwarted with holy water. What’s wrong with this picture? Is this possibly someone else making their own fate? Just who’s sandbox is this? Given the lack of reasoning for Dean’s motivation, I’m starting to question if it’s him doing all this.
I’m giving this week an A- just because it gave me something to think about. My brain hurts. Still more questions than answers, but at least there are questions worth entertaining.
And now, the preview for episode 1.10...
Okay everyone, sing along with me!
We're caught in a trap, I can't walk out, because I love you too much baby. Why can't you see, what you're doing to me, when we don't believe a word I'm saying.
We can't go on together, with suspicious minds. And we can't live our dreams on suspicious minds...
What you don't know that song? THE GREATEST ELVIS SONG EVER DONE? Every time I see the title of this week's episode and I break out into song. So what does it have to do with the episode. I have no idea. How about we check the synopsis and see.
Episode 1.10 is titled, "Suspicious Minds":
AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR – While Carlos (Jojo Fleites) talks through a problem in his personal life, it gives Latika (Nida Khurshid) a new idea about how to find the Akrida Queen. Millie’s (Bianca Kajlich) new security system for the Clubhouse proves helpful when Mary (Meg Donnelly) and John (Drake Rodger) find an unexpected guest inside. Meanwhile, Latika’s idea brings her and Carlos face to face with an unexpected ally. Andi Armaganian directed the episode written by Gabriel Alejandro Garza & Julia Cooperman (#110). Original Airdate 2/7/2022. Every episode of THE WINCHESTERS is available to stream on The CW App and CWTV.com the day after broadcast for free and without a subscription, log-in or authentication required.
Wow that really doesn't give any indication as to why it's named after an awesome Elvis song, does it? We can't go on together, with suspicious minds... Fine, I'll move on.
There are only two preview images for the episode, and one is of Mary, one John. No clue there!
So if an old friend I know, stops by to say hello, would I still see suspicion in your eyes? Here we go again, asking where I've been, you can't see the tears are real, I'm crying(Yes I'm crying)...
Right, shut up and give us the preview clip, right? Here you go!
One more time!
We can't go on together, with suspicious minds, and we can't build our dreams, on suspicious minds...
Feel free to share in the comments any thoughts about fate and Winchesters, the episode, what's coming next, your favorite Elvis song...I'll welcome all of it.
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