Damned if Season 9’s second episode didn’t continue the wild ride that this season is turning out to be. Once again, the anticipation leading up to the episode was contagious, as everyone held their breath waiting to see if the momentum begun in the premiere would continue. The fandom seems as energized as Sam and Dean, who seem more motivated than they’ve been in a long time by being on the same side again and having something they understand to fight against. There’s something almost old school about the Winchesters going up against angels and demons – it feels familiar to me, and to them. Dangerous, yes, but they have some idea what they’re dealing with, and so do we. There’s a sort of cowboy western feel about the season, Sam and Dean going in with “guns blazing” and shoulder to shoulder, like back in the good old days (also known as Seasons 1 through 4). Jensen’s comment that Dean is ‘back in the driver’s seat’ rings true – Dean is in leader mode, confident and cocky despite the guilt that’s underneath, and clearly happy and relieved to have Sam back to 100% and at his side.
No wonder the CW’s Tuesday night had its highest ratings in four years!
Thanks for a great script, Andrew Dabb. Also, were the boys looking even more gorgeous than usual?? Thank you Serge and Guy Bee for every single decision you made while shooting, because…DAMN. The image of Sam flanked by Ezekiel’s torn and frayed wings was amazing – I literally gasped. Then fanned myself. Kudos to the best VFX team in the business once again!
This episode sets up Kevin as a major player in the season’s fight. I love the evolution of this character, how he’s found his strength and yet retains a sensitivity that the Winchesters themselves buried long ago, by necessity. I love how quick he is and how smart; and I love that he can still cry openly for his mother’s death, and for Dean accepting him as part of their weird little family. He may not be a hunter, but his skills as a hacker are just as useful. Kevin Solo was so awesome I made some sort of dolphin noises. Osric and Ackles have chemistry too – they can both portray strong emotion and never go over the top, so I believe every second of it. When Dean says that he and Sam would die for Kevin? I believed him. And as much as Dean protests that he’s “not with the whole “love and….love” thing, he may not say it, but he lives it more fearlessly and whole-heartedly than just about anyone. When Dean Winchester says you’re family, he is ALL IN.
Some people felt that Dean’s speech to Kevin came off as manipulative and less than sincere – that perhaps he used the word ‘family’ because that’s what Kevin is craving and needing. But I don’t think that was the reason, or at least not the only one. Family is the most important thing in the world to Dean, and always has been, ever since his own was devastated. It’s what Dean wants most, and when he finds someone he can trust and allow himself to care about, that’s how he wants to see them. I think Kevin – and Cas – fit that category. Dean wants them to be his family.
It might have been an odd decision for Abbadon to come back in her old meatsuit (and to be reanimated without clothes but with red nail polish and lipstick….sideeye…), but I can’t really care because Alaina Huffman is just that awesome. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much chemistry between Dean and a woman, and that includes the ones he’s slept with. (Also she has damn good taste – who hasn’t been eyeing that ‘perfect vessel’?) If there’s not fanfic out there already with Dean on his knees and Abbadon yanking his head back by the hair and manhandling him like a badass then I don’t know fandom at all. Dirtybadwrong at its best.
Huffman can hold her own in scenes with any of the cast, with just enough humor and snark to make her the sort of villain you can’t actually bring yourself to hate. She’s a lot like the king she wants to dethrone in that. And while Abaddon flirted with Dean, Crowley continued to flirt with Sam. Thanks for that interesting visual of Sam in leather bustier and stilettos, Crowley. Putting the S-A-M into S & M indeed. More fic that’s gotta be out there somewhere. After nine seasons, SPN still does a better job of inspiring fannish creativity than just about any other show!
Nice to see a competent female hunter, who was able to lure a vamp efficiently to his death. Though if female hunters are gonna dress in such skimpy outfits, how come we can’t get Sam and Dean out of their multiple layers? I mean, hell, if Daisy Dukes are practical for her, why aren’t the boys at least taking their shirts off and rolling up their jeans to wash the Impala more often? Fair is fair, wardrobe! Dressing her like that made it seem like she was in the episode for eye candy more than serious character addition. I’ll reserve judgment for now – maybe she was dressed that way because she was trying to lure the vamp to stop (though it seems likely he stopped for the blood, not for the sex, so what was the point….) But if she comes back in another episode and that’s her standard hunting attire? Um, no.
Tracy’s accusation that Sam essentially killed her parents was a shock – the look on Sam’s face was heartbreaking. But it gave Dean the chance to defend Sam and remind her (and us) that making mistakes is part of being human. I think, after some of Dean’s judgmental words to Sam in the past, I needed to know that he really does understand that Sam was doing what he thought was right. Dean’s having his own firsthand experience now with good intentions and possibly not-so-good outcomes, after all. Dean’s conversations with Tracy and Kevin, and later his talk with Sam, show us how far the brothers have come, and that they are more on the same page now than they’ve been in a very long time.
Padalecki is doing a great job being Samzekiel – his voice, his mannerisms, even his gestures change when he’s being Zeke. I’m still working on what seemed to be the theme of this episode – trust. I want to trust Zeke, but the fact that being in Sam’s body is such a good thing for him (as well as for Sam) makes me keep wavering. I guess time will tell. In the meantime, I’m happy to have him protect Sam when Dean isn’t there to do it.
Possession is a common trope in fanfic to allow us to ‘see inside’ that character to what they’re really thinking and feeling, especially when they would never say it aloud. Zeke serves that function here, as he tells Dean how Sam really feels and reassures him that he did the right thing. Both Dean and Sam have doubted each other’s love at some points, which has been tremendously painful for them. Zeke can tell Dean definitively that Sam loves him – Sam said yes out of that love, just as Dean made the choice he did out of love. Dean is predictably uncomfortable having that conversation, but I was grinning in my living room.
So far, the possession seems to be having a positive impact on Sam. “I realize it’s crazy out there and we have trouble coming for us, but I look around and I see friends and family. I’m happy with my life for the first time in forever. Things are good.” That happiness, however, just makes the whole thorny issue of it not being Sam’s choice ever more complicated. Well done, Show. I’m glad they’re not glossing over it – we see how torn up Dean is about it, how guilty he feels. When Sam says that he’s happy with his life for the first time in forever, Dean should be able to drink it up and be happy too. Instead, he glances away and takes a drink, the guilt getting in the way of his joy. And isn’t that just what happens? The emotions here seem genuine, and that makes them all the more powerful. I like that they’re not sweeping Dean’s guilt about his decision to save Sam and not close the gates under the rug either. I like it when Show doesn’t duck the tough stuff.
I’m unspoiled, but I hear that next week we’ll find out how Cas is doing, as the major intersecting story lines for the season continue to be laid out. There’s so much potential in this new version of Cas, and we can’t wait to see what Show does with it!
The other thing that’s brought an amazing energy to Season 9 is having so many of the cast and crew join fandom on Twitter to live tweet the episodes. Jared, Mark and Osric bantered in tweets, director Guy Norman Bee gave us behind the scenes info, and writer Adam Glass hopped online to congratulate his colleagues. The reciprocal relationship between fans and producers that we’ve written several books about was very much in evidence, with many of the actors watching “as fans” alongside the rest of us.
Jared tweeted that he was watching Mark and Osric’s scenes “as a fan” – he even added the smiley face after. (And tweeted a photo of him and his adorable son watching)
Adam Glass to Jared: You knocked it out of the park, buddy.
You can read all the tweets storified on the SupernaturalWiki. Some of them were priceless.
Jared: I love doing the running and shooting shots. For a second, you feel so tough that you almost forget you’re wearing make-up.
Adam Glass: (possibly letting his shipping preference be known…) Can’t wait for this Dean Abaddon scene!
Osric (speaking for all of fandom): Holy smokes.. Angel Sam is so buff!
Also, if we weren’t already flustered enough from all the hotness onscreen, Jared decided to tease fandom with some tantalizing imagery…
Jared: It was SO hot in the bus! Under the camera frame, my shirt was untucked and unbuttoned and so were my pants… Ventilation. Hah 🙂
I’ll leave you with that image. And with a couple of my favorite lines from the episode.
Dean: You with me?
Sam: You know it.
13 thoughts on “Supernatural 9.02: Devil May Care (But we do!)”
I love Alaina Huffman. If Castiel can keep his meat suit, then so can Abaddon! Cheers, Alaina. I’m a fan. However, I do think that there’s one other actress that had equal amounts of chemistry with Jensen, and I’d love to see her back – I’m talking about Tessa the Reaper, aka Lindsay McKeown.
Show is knocking it out of the park this season, and I am as excited for the next episode as I was back in Season 1. Way to go, Show.
Thanks ladies. You do a wonderful job expressing my own feels that I cannot even find words for. Mensa membership be damned! Now if I could do statistical analysis on this, I’d be much more adept. I am a numbers gal after all.
I can usually find something to love in every episode of Supernatural, but if I had to pick, I would be hard pressed to pick just one… Or ten… Or a hundred from this episode! The acting was breathtakingly good. Sam’s Ezekial was stunning, and the subtle way Jensen showed us Dean’s guilt and discomfort was so powerful. I loved the continuity with the devil’s trap bullets, and from even further back, the tattoo! My favorite image had to be the burnt-wing shadow when Sam Zeked out. I have decided that The Carver is a genius. He seems to know just how to balance fan service with great storytelling, and how to give his experienced cast, crew, and writers new challenges to keep everything fresh and alive. It is looking–and feeling–like this really will be season divine.
I’m so in love with this season so far and loving how talented the actors are, the writers are … they all are. I think that 9 yrs of experience allows us to sometimes dismiss some plot lines as trite or overdone while their talent makes it possible to really knock the performance out of the park.
I was floored by Sam’s Zeke (or Jared’s, lol) – I really felt the difference between Zeke and Sam – the totally different personalities, down to body language. The shot with Zeke’s broken wings, even as he was protecting Sam … LOVED it!
Dean’s guilt and his belief in Sam really showed this episode – and it was so awesome to see. Like you, I was happy they didn’t sweep the possession under the rug – because possession is a big thing to these guys and it makes sense that Dean would have a lot of guilt and that we would all be waiting to see Sam’s reaction and the fallout to come from that knowledge.
I really appreciated the Dean and Kevin scene at the end – I think Kevin needed the reassurance that these guys were more than friends – that they had been through so much that they had really and truly become family. But I also think Dean needed the chance to validate that relationship (though he would never admit to it!).
Above all, I think the actors’ ability to portray their characters, to become those characters, is really unquestioned at this point. They sell it every week – that’s why it’s so exciting to see … truly!
With the time zone differences I’m never able to catch the live tweeting from the actors but I do love to go back to see them afterwards and I think they really energize the audience. But I’m a Twitter girl when I have the time and inclination — I get a real kick out of finding new folks who love SPN as much as I do 😉 (also, it was very cool winning a book from you guys after tweeting like a fangirl!)
I think being able to just be a fangirl about this show is just fun – it really is! My hubby teases me about it but it’s one thing I just love about this show!
I watch the show with my 17 yr old daughter. Before Sam Zeked out, I was shoving her shoulder and talking/yelling at the TV “why doesn’t Ezekial show himself”. I believe I may have expressed that 3-4 times before, finally, Sam Zeked!!! My daughter and I both squealed with delight at this and then were mesmerized (and a little saddened)at the sight of the ‘broken’ wings. My daughter and I looked at each other and she said,”Yep, we are definitely Supernatural geeks! I agree and I love it.
Again, thank you for your reports and analysis of the conventions and shows!!!
I almost forgot!!! My opinion of Sam being possessed by an angel…..I find it ironic that the first 5 seasons had Sam running from his destiny to be Lucifer, and now he is possessed by an angel! Brilliant!!! Also, I like to believe that part of healing Sam includes cleansing him of the demon blood and relieving Sam of that burden. Of course, then you have an angel with demon blood in him, and just think of the possibilities of that!!!
No mention of Crowley?. He is obviously suffering the effect of nearly being healed. He is wanting to be punished goading Kevin into delivering him pain to get it. Also offering up a couple of his Demons to the boys.
This was an amaze-balls episode! Abbadon & Dean sizzled on the screen, and I’m not ashamed to admit that screen cap is my current desktop. ‘Cause yum! All the dialogue rang true to me & the effects were superb. I can’t wait to see what else happens with Kevin this season. There’s a lot of pent-up rage, and now that the kraken has been released..we shall see. And oh, the weight of lies on Dean…the interaction between the brothers around this, very well done. I’m afraid that Ezekiel wont’t go quietly when the healing is through. Whew! So much happening this season!
I thought the writing in of the hunters was sloppy, Irv is supposed to have a connection because of Bobby, but he didn’t even rate any remorse, much less a hunter’s burial, while the boys hopped in the Impala for celebratory grub. Besides the fact of Tracey’s skimpy wardrobe, she was actually rocking that truck before she beheaded the vamp (talk about unsafe sex), and for her to just stomp around ‘I blame you for killing my parents because Lucifer’ made had no resonance for me – Lucifer seems eons ago in show terms. Tracey a disappeared mysteriously between the ghost town and the bunker, I hope it stays that way. Bring back hunters out of the mold of ‘wears a plaid shirt and carries a gun’ like Tamara and her spouse, or Garth. I’d rather see more saving of regular folks from monsters than more interactions with ‘hunters’ like Tracey and Irv.
it’s really looking HOT sammy,when the show was in it’s early ages we couldn’t even imagine that there may be some very brilliant actors and characters coming up which includes kevin tran and castiel,they both did it very well so far.i can imagine it must be so hard being in the same frame with THE WINCHESTERS and matching their energetic sensational acting skills but you two guys doing so well,:) and i have nothing to say about the boys winchesters,except a word “MAGNIFICENT”the way they stand by each other every time and love and fight relation between them is truly fantastic,love SUPERNATURAL love SAM AND DEAN.:)))/JARED AND JENSEN:))))KEEP IT UP and when i think of spn to end it feels like dying situation,a nightmare for me:(((don’t stop boys please……….love you.
Thank you! Love to love your reviews! So many feels and fangirl moments in each!!!
– Mistakes are proof that you are trying.
Awesome review of my fav eppie so far this season. Andrew Dabb managed to give me everything I didn’t know I was looking for and all the things I always want and need in a eppie! All the actors are mesmerizing in their roles and their interactions work on so many levels. It is what Supernatural does best and nine years in, they still own me!
So many possibilities but the one big hope I have for this season is for Jensen to finally get to play possessed Dean! AbaddonDean will be heartbreaking and yet amazing to see. Dean is always the rock solid support for everyone and while I love protective Dean willing to do anything for Sammy, I want to see how they all cope without him and more importantly, I want to see his family working together to save Dean. I love seeing Dean in the drivers seat, leading them in the fight as only he can, but to change that up, to temporarily put him in peril and have the others scrambling to save HIM?!!! Wow, that would be scary and exhilarating and just something we haven’t seen before.
Supernatural, Season Nine, still one wild ride and reason to look forward to Tuesdays!
Thanks again, ladies, always a pleasure to share the joy!