Sticking Together or Stronger Alone? Supernatural’s Angel Heart


I knew that streak of “OMG fandom all agrees about the awesomeness of this episode” wouldn’t last forever, so it wasn’t that shocking that this week’s episode split fandom down the middle once again. Half of my social media compatriots loved it and half hated it – or at least one line of it. I admit that particular line caused me to go “Huh?” – actually out loud, while scratching my head – which isn’t the reaction they were probably going for. I had to make a little cognitive detour to figure out what the hell it meant, or at least to come to my own way of making sense of it, which threw me out of the story for a minute, but then I found my way back in. Other than that glitch, and putting it aside for the moment, the rest of the episode was solid and touching, even if it didn’t quite leave me breathless or scrambling for tissues.

This was the first episode in which I found myself really liking the character of Claire. Kathryn Newton has done a credible job playing her throughout, but she was written to be annoying and that’s how she came off. This episode gave us a more mature Claire, some of her defenses partially dismantled as she searches for her mother. No coincidence that it’s her 18th birthday. Sometimes reaching that ‘legal adult’ status just brings up all the losses of childhood and makes us want to be parented all over again. I could understand Claire’s determination to figure out what happened to her mother. To find her, or at least to make sense of her abandonment. To make the chaos of her life somehow have meaning. I think Dean can relate to that need, which plays into what he says to her later.

I also liked her self sufficiency, which was new in this episode. In previous episodes, Claire was written as the teenager who made foolish decisions and then paid for them, and Cas and Sam and Dean as the older wiser men who tried to rescue her. Claire in this episode has grown up quite a bit; she may still be foolish sometimes, but it’s a foolishness borne of desperation – something the Winchesters and Castiel are intimately familiar with.

Sam is impressed. Tweet @JerryWanek
Sam is impressed. Tweet @JerryWanek

Maybe that’s why Sam and Dean don’t try to talk her out of it this time. Instead, they put their mentoring skills to good use, teaching her the practical skills of credit card fraud and carrying a gun. My knee jerk reaction at first was what the hell are you doing, boys? (Perhaps a bit stuck in my own mom role for a minute there). But Claire is eighteen, and these are the Winchesters. They’re not there to be parental role models; they carried guns long before they were eighteen and knew how to use them. (As Cas points out, the Winchesters were troubled teens too). Of course they would try to give Claire the tools she needs if she’s determined to start hunting. Because, really, that’s what she’s doing, isn’t it?

What a relief that the Winchesters treated Claire with respect, something the CW promo didn’t. Something about the scariest thing in the world being a teenage girl? Seriously? Have you looked at the stats of who’s watching your show recently? Enough with the dismissal of ‘hysterical females’ already.

She also got to be the one to take out the bad guy, so yay.

xxxxx 10.20 claire hunt

I particularly enjoyed Sam’s interactions with Claire. Sam is such an empathic man, able to tune in to other people and know what they need. He knows how to talk to someone so that they can hear him, with patience and with respect. Claire responded to his honesty and to the fact that he talked to her like she was an adult with a brain, not like a child. When he confided that his mother died when he was a baby, Claire’s reaction was honest in response, and you could see her re-shifting her own understanding of the Winchesters – and of her own past. She showed some real emotion, and they connected on a different level because of it. The way Sam respected her allowed Claire to start dropping some of her defenses – people don’t let go of them until they feel safe, and why would they? (I was also squeeing because yay, once again we get some Sam pov!)

Cas is less on board with the whole helping-Claire-be-a-hunter thing. Poor Cas, I really feel for him in confused pseudo parent mode. He has zero experience with being any sort of father figure – hell, he doesn’t even have that much experience being human – and yet he clearly feels responsible for her plight and wants to make amends and give Claire what she needs.

Three Men (and a lady)
Three Men (and a lady)

He even drags Dean to “Hot Topical” to buy a grumpy cat birthday present, handing it over with a mix of sheepishness and naked hope. Kinda glad that Claire kept it (along with Tamiel’s blade, of course).

(Side note: What the hell is with the blatant product placement on Show suddenly? Clearly the Warner Bros/Hot Topic partnership is working out swimmingly for both of them, but it’s so not-SPN. Apparently Hot Topic immediately sold out of that particular item. And the next day Hot Topic tweeted about coming out with a #HotTopical shirt. Supernatural is clearly the best thing ever to happen to Hot Topic!)

I enjoyed Dean and Claire’s weird little mini golf outing, where it was unclear who was the youngest and Jensen and Kathryn both got a chance to show off their comedic chops (and their real-life putting talent). Any opportunity to see Dean Winchester take a break and do something fun is a win in my book, and this was a nice break from the constant tension of the last few episodes.

Cap @s_verasani
Cap @s_verasani
Cap @s_verasani
Cap @s_verasani
"Dean is my caddy now" Tweet @kathrynlnewton
“Dean is my caddy now” Tweet @kathrynlnewton

Though I won’t be able to tolerate it for more than one episode, Show. Get the hell on with it!

Dean also takes the opportunity to try to convince Claire that Castiel is not the bad guy she (understandably) thinks he is. He tells her that her father sacrificed himself, his vessel, so that Cas could ‘save the world’.

That was the part where I looked a bit gobsmacked and went “HUH?”

Apparently it was scripted to say “Cas was able to HELP save the world” and it got changed in performance – which is a pretty damn big change. I wouldn’t have reacted with “Huh” if the word ‘help’ had remained. Cas absolutely was able to help save the world, no question. But he certainly didn’t save it by himself – and Dean Winchester certainly knows that. I could never believe for even a second that Dean Winchester has forgotten what Sam did on what was probably the worst day of Dean’s life, in Swan Song. Not for a SECOND. It’s inconceivable. None of us will ever forget that.

So there must be another explanation. Clearly Dean has an agenda here – he’s trying to convince Claire that Cas is one of the good guys. What better way to do that than to convince her that Castiel – and her father – are heroes. That’s the Dean Winchester definition of a hero, saving the world (literally), so that’s what he goes with. Claire is on a quest to make meaning of her losses, and of her father’s sacrifice. What Dean tells her goes a long way toward helping her make that developmental leap, and he knows it will. Claire, much like Dean himself, has had to deal with too much loss and trauma early on, so I think Dean really wants to help her cope. If he exaggerates a bit, it’s for a good reason. That was my way of making sense of that line, in the moment.

Someone more creative than me hypothesized that maybe Dean was thinking about how Cas saved Sam from being killed by demon!Dean too. That sort of qualifies as ‘saving the world’ since there pretty much is no world for Dean without Sam in it. *sniffles*

Either way, I don’t think the line changed canon, and it certainly didn’t change the way Dean thinks of his brother’s world-saving sacrifice. Or the way I do.

That wasn’t the only interesting line, though it was the most controversial. There seemed to be a lot of dialogue in this episode that foreshadows what’s to come, especially Sam’s comment that “death doesn’t always mean goodbye.”

I mean, sure, we’re Supernatural fans, we know that. But OMG I can’t go through another season finale like watching Dean be run through by Metatron. I nearly passed out I cried so hard. What are you going to put us through this time, Show???

There was also Sam and Dean’s separate (and disparate) advice to Cas about whether he should leave Claire alone. Dean, sounding like he’s done a 180 from his whole “we’re stronger together” conviction, keeps talking about how it can be good to “go it alone”. I think Dean fundamentally believes what he said before about being stronger together, but I also think he’s scared. He’s terrified that sooner or later Cain’s prediction will come true, and he’ll kill Cas and his brother. No wonder he keeps thinking about going it alone.

I’m always intrigued by Sam and Cas getting to spend some time together. (So is William Shatner, who tweeted writer Robbie Thompson to ask when we’ll be getting some Sastiel to ship….I’ll never get over the fact that Captain Kirk watches our Show and likes to tweet shipping questions every now and then. Robbie asked what he wanted in return. I think he should have said Bill on SPN, of course. I mean, duh!) Anyway, Sam also does a 180 — from the entire Season 9. He keeps talking about how family should stick together, and I keep loving to hear it.

Sam: Here’s all I know. Going it alone, that’s no way to live. You being there for her, even if she thinks she doesn’t want you to be there for her, that’s good for both of you.

Switch the pronouns and Sam is also talking about him and Dean.

Poor Cas is just confused. Unsurprisingly! Don’t ask the Winchesters for advice right now unless you want to try to sort out conflicting messages.

This episode also saw the return of Amelia. No, not THAT Amelia, thankfully. The other Amelia (why, with all the names in the world, does Show have to use this one repeatedly??) Amelia Novak, except she looks completely different thanks to re-casting, which is confusing.

It bothered me that the story we were told about Amelia is that she abandoned her daughter to go “find herself”, which never made any sense at all. Finally we get to discover the real story, along with Claire. Amelia didn’t abandon her daughter – she left her safely with her grandmother while she went to look for Jimmy, only to be taken by a Grigori sort-of-angel and held for two years while he slowly drained her soul and kept her in a hallucinatory coma where she keeps seeing (and then losing) Jimmy. Heartbreaking!

xxxxx 10.20 jimmy

Amelia is probably not the only one to have had a dream that starts out like that, right?

For a few minutes there, I thought that we were actually going to get a happily-ever-after reunion for Claire and her mother, and that would be the characters’ exit. But no, instead we got one of those mother/daughter death scenes that never fail to rip me apart emotionally. I was so not prepared for that!

This one wasn’t as devastating as Jo and Ellen, since I didn’t know or care about Amelia or even Claire in the same way, and certainly not as traumatizing as the one that really did me in, when Buffy’s mom died (I still can’t think about it and have NEVER rewatched that episode, though it is beyond brilliant). But it still caught me off guard and hurt. Kathryn Newton did a wonderful job of conveying Claire’s shock and grief as she gathered her mother’s lifeless body into her arms. Ouch. That hurt, Robbie Thompson.

Cap @WeLoveSPN
Cap @WeLoveSPN

The death seemed shocking in its harshness, but I think we were supposed to conclude that Amelia was beyond saving. Tamiel said as much, and Cas was unable to heal her. I somehow missed that in the first watching, so I was hit hard by her sudden death, but it makes more sense with that information. Still, ouch.

I liked that they sent Claire to Jody – though I would have liked it better if Kim Rhodes had actually been in the episode! Claire is another strong woman pushed toward hunting by too much tragedy in her life, just like Alex, so this made sense. Hey, Sheriff Donna and Charlie can come hang out too, and we’ll have ourselves a kickass spinoff!

Because it’s SPN, we also got Sam tied to a chair – but this time, we got smart!Sam escaping and then looking really hot stalking the Grigori with both an angel blade and his gun. Yum.

Tied up Sam. Tweet @jerrywanek
Tied up Sam. Tweet @jerrywanek

Of course, we also got Sam knocked out, because….well, Show doesn’t really need a reason actually. It’s just one of those things that happens about every other Wednesday. Good thing he has lots of hair to cushion all those head traumas.

We also got Dean in that jacket. I don’t know what it is about that jacket and those jeans, but I think Dean should keep wearing them. Like all the time.

Also, bowlegs. And Cas.
Also, bowlegs. And Cas.

As we came to the end of the episode, I loved that Dean reiterated the real life theme of Always Keep Fighting, once again tying the messages of the Show to the messages that the actors are conveying in ‘real life’.

Dean: I’ll keep fighting. I’ll keep swinging til there’s nothing left.

He will, too. We know he will. And it’s what Jared and Jensen are encouraging the SPNFamily to do with their represent campaign as well.

Jimmy and Amelia got their happy ending in Heaven, and Cas got a hug from Claire, so things weren’t all doom and gloom – that’s about as happy an ending as you get with Supernatural. I wasn’t invested in Jimmy and Amelia to the point of needing to grab for the tissues, but I was relieved to see Amelia find some peace after all she’s been through. Misha and Leisha Hailey did an excellent job of letting us see Jimmy and Amelia’s love, both for each other and for their daughter.

Cap @JensenAcklesGod
Cap @JensenAcklesGod

So, all in all, a solid episode. This episode was a detour from the main arc, though, and now I’m impatient to get back to dealing with what’s really going on this season – the Mark. Dean seems to be holding himself in check, but just barely. The way he went off on that guy in the bar was chilling. Not that it was that different than normal Dean-trying-to-get-information-from-a-dick mode, but there was a lack of hesitation that made it more ominous. I think Sam and Cas ‘benched’ him because they know that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can sense the violence simmering just beneath the surface, and every time Dean alludes to someone being ‘stronger on their own’ I worry more. Time to show us some of that violence, Show – make me terrified, come on! (I know, that sounds very wrong, doesn’t it?)

What are you planning, Dean? Something well intentioned and probably misguided, I’m sure.

What are Sam and Cas planning in return?

Only three episodes left! Stocking up on tissues now.


Looking for more Supernatural reading? Check out
Fan Phenomena: Supernatural, with chapters written
by Misha Collins and Richard Speight Jr. – links
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34 thoughts on “Sticking Together or Stronger Alone? Supernatural’s Angel Heart

  • I guess ignorance is bliss. I didn’t look at social media after watching the episode this week and I had no idea there was drama over “that line”. I’m so glad I didn’t hear about it until now because I loved the episode – I cried buckets of tears, more than any episode this season (except for perhaps the 200th episode). Admittedly, I was feeling a bit emotional the day I watched it, so maybe that had something to do with it.

    Sometimes fandom drives me crazy when they take things so literally. Dean was trying to help a young woman to move on; for her to accept or at least understand her father’s decision to say yes to Cas. Dean saying that Cas saved the world is not saying that Sam didn’t also save the world or Dean himself. They’ve all saved the world, along with help from Bobby, Ellen, Jo, Rufus, etc, etc. They are all heroes. You don’t have to measure one against the other. We all know what Dean feels about his brother. We all know the sacrifice that Sam made in Swan Song.

    But Dean was simply trying to help Claire and he used words that would help her (not that would rile up the fandom). That’s how I see it and I wasn’t pulled out of the episode at all. For me, It was a poignant moment in a beautiful episode.

    Regarding Dean’s about-face re: sticking together to be stronger, I think it’s a different situation here, because Cas has the face of the father Claire has lost. So just maybe he has a different take on what’s best for Claire. I didn’t see it as a change of heart from Dean.

    Anyhow, as I said ‘ignorance is bliss’. I loved the episode. And maybe it’s a lessen to me to stay off social media right after an episode so I don’t see any of the unhappiness.

    Thanks for your review 🙂

  • I wasn’t caught off guard by the “cas saved the world” comment. I see all of them joint and severally responsible for stopping the apocalypse. Cas “saving the world ” does not diminish anyone else’s efforts or sacrifices.

  • Great points as always, Lynn.

    I do not think that Dean telling Claire that because of Jimmy sacrificing his vessel Cas saved the world is taking anything away from Sam’s sacrifice. I think that Dean, in the moment, allows Claire to reconcile the loss of her father to something greater and to come to terms with the death knowing that it wasn’t in vain.

    “Help save the world” might’ve sat better with the fans, but I think that in that moment Dean gives Claire a gift, and I am not going to quibble. Dean knows what he and Sam did better than anyone, so he has no need to boost their own heroics.

    I too am anxiously dreading/desiring the next few episodes. Supernatural’s finales are always a love/dread moment–anxiously fearing to see what will happen. One thing we know about the Winchesters: it ain’t gonna be boring! 🙂


  • Yeah, okay, no… I strongly disagree with this:

    “Cas absolutely was able to help save the world, no question. But he certainly didn’t save it by himself – and Dean Winchester certainly knows that. I could never believe for even a second that Dean Winchester has forgotten what Sam did on what was probably the worst day of Dean’s life, in Swan Song. Not for a SECOND. It’s inconceivable. None of us will ever forget that.”

    I’ve been a SPN fan for a couple of years now, so I know how the fandom is kinda divided between Sam!girls, Dean!girls, Cas!girls and brothers-only fans. I’m gonna admit that I define myself as a Cas!girl, but I’m not what we call in the fandom a “stan” . What I’ve learned through the years, is that those guys fuck up all the damn time, they all broke the world, they all did big ass mistakes, so when “stans” start blaming everything that is wrong on one of them, it makes me want to barf. I hate it immensely when people can’t see the shortcomings and mistakes of their fave and admit that they fucked up. What I also can’t stand, is when the good they do is ignored or downlplayed because supposedly what the other one did was more “important”, or because they suffered worse.

    I am a Team Free Will supporter. As I see it, SPN is not the Sam n’ Dean show. The people who helped them are not worth less than them. Bobby, Cas, Kevin, Ellen, Jo, ect, they sacrificed as much as the bros, they suffered as much as them. Cas especially has been there since season 4. It’s been 7 seven years. He’s been there longer than he hasn’t been there. And pretty much everything he has ever done had been to help the Winchesters, one way or another. I’m thankful to Jensen or whoever changed the line because the “help” was just superfluous. I didn’t bat an eye at the line because hey, that’s fucking true, Cas saved the world. Everybody and their mother know that Dean didn’t mean that he singlehandedly thwarted the Apocalypse, but Cas did his share and I’m gonna fight anybody who says the contrary, I swear to Chuck… If Dean had been talking about Sam and said the line, I wouldn’t have batted an eye either, same if it had been about Dean. And when I see people wanking about that line, all I see are the fucking character factions whining like babies again about who did most of the work. Because that’s what it’s about isn’t it? People thinking that Cas hadn’t done enough to deserve the right to be called a hero as much as Sam and Dean ? Otherwise people wouldn’t be all up in arm about a word that had been left out.

    Sam helped saved the world. Dean helped save the world. Cas helped save the world. Bobby helped saved the world. Kevin helped save the world. It was a goddamn team effort, and the fandom should be able to recognize it without being butthurt because Jensen thought that it wasn’t necessary to remind people that it WAS a team effort, and that it should obvious enough for everybody without having to throw in nuances…

    • I think we said the same thing, actually. That’s what I said: “Cas helped save the world, no question. But he didn’t do it by himself.” Neither did Sam. Or Dean. Or Bobby. Or Kevin. They’re all heroes, they’ve all been fighting this battle and it will take all of them and all their heroism to (maybe…probably not OMG…) make it out alive.

  • I agree with you, Lynne. It was definitely a team effort but the central sacrifice was Sam and his 100 years of being tortured in the Cage by Lucifer. It took a group effort to get Sam into that Cage, but he’s the one who had the big world-saving moment and it’s silly to try and take that away from him.

    I don’t think Dean was trying to take it away from him and he knows the score, and was trying to give Claire some comfort like you said. It was the right move on his part. All the fandom fighting after the fact is typical, but what can you do?

    Otherwise, it was an okay episode. Filler, as you said. Can’t wait for the last three episodes since they look intense!

  • “Claire responded to his honesty and to the fact that he talked to her like she was an adult with a brain, not like a child.”
    Not to mention Sam’s Puppy Dog Eyes of Doom (TM)! No one can resist. Lol.

    I had that same huh?…what?? moment about the line that many others did, but I think it’s more because I tend to be very defensive of Sam; Both because he tends to be painted as being in the wrong so often, whether deserved or not, and because his contributions and sacrifices aren’t acknowledged as much as Dean’s. At least in my view. I initially took it as Dean minimizing the amazing sacrifice Sam made in Swan Song, but after taking a moment to get over myself, I realized that Dean was absolutely saying what he did to affect Claire and her struggle to accept her Father’s decision and Cas’ part in it.

    Maybe if Jody’s Home for Wayward Girls doesn’t work our for her, she can join up with Krissy Chamber’s crew. Those two would be kinda terrifying together!

    I did enjoy the episode, but I’d be just as happy if the Claire storyline didn’t show back up for a while.

  • Good review. I’m also one of those who didn’t bat an eye when “help” was missing. It wasn’t necessary in context with who Dean was talking to.

    I really like the individual way each of them related to Cassie as well as their presents:
    – Sam: a credit card — Sam is a smart and practical man
    – Dean: a little knowledge, a little laughter, and ignoring she took the sword — well done Dean
    – Cas: a Grumpy Cat from Hot Topical — because it’s okay for her to be a little girl sometimes too

    I LOVED the picture they tweeted of the four of them. Jared with his massive arms encompassing them all. It was adorable.

  • I would comment, but I’m currently buying tissues and strong beverages and washing my favorite “blankie” in preparation for the Finale. Please continue with your discussions during my preparations. 🙂

      • Terrified is the word! I’ve avoided all the trailers, fanchat, tweets, spoilers, and FB stuff (I don’t have Facebook). All I’ve seen are the titles of the last three episodes, as listed on the Winchester Bros. site. What little I’ve gleaned, weakly, is the following:

        o The Stynes are the “Big Bad.” Introduced near the end of S10, but their focus is on Big Evil, as in The Book of the Damned. Feeling is they want Dean and his MoC. They may be the big lead-in to S11, as our Winchester(s) tries to take them down.

        o The Stynes grab Dean and something horrible is done to him. Dean has been teetering on the brink of losing control over the feelings of violence and evil the Mark is having on him; as hard as he has tried, he’s not winning. What does Dean become? Where is Heaven’s help? Dean is still the Righteous Man!

        o Sam and the others who love Dean have to get him away from the Stynes, but Dean is too far gone, needs serious intervention, and he is closer to a monster/demon than ever. From where is help and saving Dean going to come?

        Help! This is all I can logically speculate about, based upon where the story arcs have been creeping. I cannot read the minds of the writers, but Jeremy Carver is sure to do something cringeworthy and horrifying to the Winchesters, their companions, and to us, the fans. It’s going to be a VERY long summer. Worrying about more black demon eyes and a twisted and mutilated Dean is going to be very difficult.

  • Loved this episode and experienced it on a very visceral level. Didn’t tussle with its story arcs, point verbal artillery at canon misses, navel gaze, fret over wording, scare the dog with sudden moves, hit the vodka, or cringe in “I can’t look” cowardice. I have, however, still cancelled my life until May 21 (!help!help!). Viscerality? Let me explain:

    Unexpectedly and out of nowhere, the scenes that charmed me, made me love this episode and this Show even more (if that’s possible), astonished me!

    >>Last few scenes, when Claire is cramming her duffel with a stuffed kitty, an angel sword, a book on Enochian, the “Caddyshack” DVD, a gun, and her “18 year old’s” wardrobe pieces, sheepishly peeking at Dean as he watched her<< produced a wave of warmth (not fun in a desert climate) that I didn't expect. The whole duffel stuffing became a metaphor for the episode, Supernatural genius, and symbols of the cast members in my mind!

    Finally, I became jealous! Miniature golf, which I've never played, looked like fun — I was envious of Dean and Claire doing this! I am not sentimental by nature, but this episode's emotional strengths and subtle fragility, as brilliantly acted by the cast, really got to me.

    Does this make any sense? It does to me, but you all might think I'm crazy coming up with this odd perspective. Anyway, my dog still loves me!

  • I’m one of those people who actually like Claire. Maybe because I like the lovely Kathryn Newton (she is so pretty, I could marry her) and I think she is great at her job. Also, what a great company of dudes to hang out with, no?

    I’m on board with the idea that Dean wasn’t trying to take anything away from Sam’s sacrifice with the whole ‘saving the world thing’ but Claire can’t really relate to Sam, right? Dean’s a gruff but he means well and in this case he chose the right words. Something, Claire could understand on an emotional level, not just “Yeah, I get it” level.

    Overall, I like this episode.
    And your blog brings out lots of good points.

    And we totally need Bill Shatner on SPN!

  • It seems the part of the fandom with a brain is in here while the dumb ones are on twitter…..I knew immediately what Dean was trying to do when he said that too but I also knew there would be a lot of morons complaining!!! Anyways great episode good review A

    • Totally agree with you, Nasz. A percentage of our fans find happiness in complaining, and they enjoy it; otherwise, they wouldn’t continue to watch Supernatural, I guess. Leave them to their perspective; who are we to judge? “Chacun a son gout,” as the French so wisely put it (“Each to his/her own taste!”).

    • Just because someone has a different emotional reaction than you do, doesn’t make them a moron. I happen to know a lot of people who are just real TIRED of Dean and Cas always getting ALL the credit, and Sam only ever gets the BLAME.

      Personally I wasn’t bothered by the line, because I think it’s typical Dean. I’ve NEVER heard Dean (since S2) acknowledge the good things Sam has done, even when Sam could have really used it at the end of S8, and I seriously doubt I ever will.

  • My favorite part of the episode was the end with that wonderful Willie Nelsen song and Claire looking up towards heaven. It did actually make me cry.
    On re watch I really liked this episode. And like so many I didn’t think anything of that line until I saw the fandom erupt over it everywhere. I took that scene to mean that Dean was telling Claire, who really had no idea what her father sacrificed everything for that he really was a good man.
    Nice review.

  • I’m inclined to agree, that line was NOT worth an uproar. In my mind I have this like, mental picture of Fan-atics poised like vultures perched on their toes on their couches, and as soon as there’s something questionable they take off like giant birds to hit the forums and FB to bitch about it. Kinda of like how some people are always lurking, looking for something to be offended by (“They showed side boob on _____! They’re corrupting our children!)

    And may I also add, from what I read, “The Body’ from Buffy was the most accurate portrayal of losing a loved one unexpectedly ever portrayed. It was a truly remarkable episode. I think it may even have won awards. SPN has heart wrenching family death scenes, but they’re hardly so close to real life (to anyone who has had Metatron take out a family member, I apologize.)

  • I think Dean saying Cas saved the world was Dean saying if Cas hadn’t been there neither would the Winchester considering how often he saved them and whoever the positions defaulted Like Adam wouldn’t have a problem with it if they got to be with a loved one or San if he believed he’d get Dean back. Sam’s reaction to Dean’s orders on the book In Book of the Damned showed that.

    • It would be especially nice if the CW didn’t hype for three months, too. It would be fantastic for some sort of cameo appearance to just sort of happen. Perhaps William Shatner could be in law enforcement? He could arrive after someone calls (Rescue) 911. They could throw in an Adrian Zmed reference. The lawyer involved could be named Denny Crane and Star Trek would be playing in the background. It could be the entire Shatner bingo card in 1 minute.

      • Yeah! Let’s put Bill Shatner right in there, joining the pantheon of Paris Hilton and Snooki, as well as others. There have been great guest actors, but I just can’t see Captain Kirk. He is such an icon, how could he possibly play anyone but himself? Rather not have this. It’s wonderful he is a fan, truly, but has anyone asked him what part he would like to play?

        Perhaps a Star Trek Convention could be under siege somehow….one of the alien artifacts “Spock” collected during Star Trek’s original run broke bad in the present day, or something, and the Con was in serious danger from what??? Maybe “Kirkner” would remember?

  • I guess I’ll chime in on this, too. So far, it looks like most of this community is, more or less, on the same page about “the line.” I’m right there with you: this was not a big deal. I was struck by the line mostly because I think this is the first time we’ve heard Dean talk so bluntly about the Apocalypse with someone who wasn’t involved in it. (I could be wrong, but nothing is really coming to mind.) I think he simply told Claire what she needed to hear: Your dad was a hero. His sacrifice saved the world, and therefore he saved you, too. Ranking their roles within the Apocalypse wasn’t going to accomplish anything. I agree with makare1: giving Cas his share of the credit didn’t diminish Sam’s role, or anyone else’s for that matter. Dean was just being a goody guy. Really, it was no different than when he told Cas what he needed to hear: that Claire could be better off on her own.

    Sam has made reference to two dead loved ones in three weeks. That and “Death doesn’t always mean good-bye” seems to imply something tragic is coming up. I was struck by the different ways he talked about those deaths. Talking to Charlie about Jess in Book of the Damned got him a bit choked up even if he’s no longer grieving. In this episode, he has no real emotional reaction to saying his mom is dead because he has no memory of her. He can’t miss her the way Dean does. It always hits me hard when they show the difference between not-quite five-year-old Dean losing a mom and Sam never having a mom at all. It makes sense and plays out beautifully, if not painfully gut-wrenching.

    “The other Amelia (why, with all the names in the world, does Show have to use this one repeatedly??)” I might be alone in this, but I enjoy that the Show reuses names. In real life you’re going to know more than one Emily, David, Jenny, etc. Insisting on using unique first names for everyone is how soap operas end up with ridiculous character names. I imagine the writers saying, “hmmmm… we’ve used up pretty much everything from the baby name book, so… let’s poke this guy’s eye out and call him Patch.”

    The introduction of the Grigori was a cool touch. If I’m remembering my Catechism correctly, these guys were the celestial version of sex, drugs, and rock n roll. They (or some of them at least) taught us lowly humans about sex and magic – which opens up a whole lot of options on this Show. I’m pretty sure that Gadreel was a Grigori. And clearly that ‘letting the serpent into the Garden’ thing didn’t work out too well for anyone involved.

    As much as I like that Claire will Carry On at Sheriff Jody’s Home for Wayward Daughters, was she seriously taking a cab from Oklahoma to South Dakota? (Nit-picky, but WTH?) Generally, I haven’t been a big fan of Claire because her plotline seemed superfluous. (I do, however, like the actress’s portrayal of her.) This episode, though, provided some nice closure on the Novaks. We found out what happened to the family, got confirmation that Jimmy was in Heaven, and that he and Amelia were soulmates since they were reunited in Heaven. Claire has some options. Hunting is clearly implied but not necessarily inevitable. She knows where to find the Boys if she needs them. She even got some farewell gifts. Although letting her keep the angel sword when they know she is a viable vessel might be a questionable move. Sam, Dean, and Cas seem to be okay with this imperfect resolution. Let’s face it, imperfect resolution is the best we’re going to get within the reality of this Show.

  • I didn’t even notice the “Cas saved the world” line until the internet fell to pieces by it!! I don’t think it was meant in the context it was taken; I saw it as Dean trying to help Claire out and “manipulating” (I use that term loosely) the conversation to make it more like Cas had done something really important with Jimmy’s sacrifice.

    I’m not a fan of Claire, and I wasn’t thrilled to see her *again* this season. The real reason, though, that I didn’t like the episode was because we’re so close to the end and I NEED more development on the MoC storyline because I’m getting so antsy for the finale. After re-watching the episode a second time, it’s not as bad as I originally thought, and I’ve consoled my need for MoC development by saying that at least we had a filler week instead of a week off before the big action kicks into gear. I still don’t care about Claire, Amelia (seriously, there are thousands of names to choose from, and they gave a name I really like to two characters I really could care less about!) or Jimmy but I guess it was nice to see someone have a semi-happy ending even if they’re dead. And Misha Collins in Jimmy mode makes him one sexy beast. Just saying.

    I also liked the independent Sam and Dean interactions with Cas and Claire. I loved the Sam/Claire stuff and also enjoyed the Dean/Claire. And when each talked to Cas and shared different viewpoints, it was definitely foreshadowing of what’s to come. All in all, the episode has me on the edge of my seat for the last three, and maybe that was part of the point in it all. It’s been weeks and weeks of amazing progress and maybe it was time to slow it down and get everyone anxious before they dive in. All I can say is that Wednesday does not come soon enough! The only thing that disappointed me about the move to Wednesday is that I have to wait one more day in the week to watch!

  • The statement may seem contrary at first glance. However, for a while Dean and Sam were separated when Sam went to college at 18. Both men found out how to maneuver the world on their own. Only after experiencing independence did they figure out together was stronger. Claire has not sibling. Perhaps she will will bond with Alexis. Perhaps at 18, Claire like Sam needs to be focused on herself and not the hunt. Dean had his dad as a together. Sam had Jess for a different kind of together. Dean is differentiating his instruction for Calire’s particular circu,stance.

  • I really thought the “save the world” line was on point and never ever did my brain thought it took away what Sammy did to save the world. The conversation was indeed for Claire to understand Cas and Jimmy more, it was also a way for Dean to really help her cope. All of this does not always make sense but ultimately they stopped the Apocalypse and it matters a lot. Jimmy is a hero. It was to put Jimmy in that position, not just a way for Dean to tell people what he thinks about Castiel and what she should think of Cas.

    I really loved this episode and I do not exactly think it completely put on hold the main storyline. Something tells me, Cas needing to help Claire and get Amelia and Jimmy closure, will be important as to his choices and actions in the following episodes. Since Metatron has been asking over and over again what Castiel thought he was doing on earth or in his life in general, I can only presume that Cas is about to make yet another life changing decision… probably involving a way to cure the mark and to save Dean. (or condemn Dean) The opening title of this season is still a demon trap and demon smoke exploding into angel grace.

    • Excellent response. Agree with your thinking about Cas’s contributions to ending/derailing the Apocalypse! (So many! None of which detract from, but only enhance the Winchesters, Bobby’s, Ellen’s and Jo’s, Balthazar’s, etc., I could go on!) This episode also felt like a turn in the road and the need for SPN to get everyone lined up for the free-fall into the dreaded finale! I just broke into a cold sweat. Yikes!

  • Once again a great account of the things to like in the episode! Since I can’t seem to resist adding my two cents to the topic du jour, the line did make me blink but rather than play ‘who saved it more,’ I think it’s sufficient to ask, if Cas hadn’t been there and done stuff, would the world still be here? And it’s debatable during 5×22. Getting Adam/Michael out of the way was important, but where I see it even more than that was later, when Raphael and most of the other angels were dead-set on RESTARTING the whole dang thing, and Cas spent two years scraping together enough support to hold him at bay and eventually defeat that plan. I do think he saved the world then. (Although, how useful is it, having a vessel for intra-Heaven affairs? . . . Not enough information!)

    And again debatably, if he hadn’t chosen to return the souls to Purgatory, would it have been Game Over for the world when the Leviathans burst out with all that additional power? You could probably make a case for that counting as saving the world, too, if you wanted. Though points probably get subtracted for endangering it in the first place. (But wait, does that mean we have to dock points from the Winchesters for starting the Apocalypse in the first place?? My arithmetic-als aren’t up to this!)

    So it all sums up to a way more complicated math problem than Dean needed to be trying to explain to Claire right at that moment, just like you said. But exactly the kind of thing Fandom can overanalyze to hearts’ content!

    The whole thing with angels feeding off of humans sent me on a train of thought that really kind of ruined Jimmy and Amelia’s joyous reunion scene in Heaven for me . . . but that’s a whole other can of worms for another time. 🙂

    I loved how clearly Dean and Sam were both talking about Dean and Sam even when purportedly giving Cas advice on Claire, it made me laugh and was pretty classic. And I love hearing Sam talk about his history, in this case with his mom, too!

  • I wasn’t looking forward to this episode but then I saw that Robbie Thompson wrote it so I had faith. Unfortunately, I still wasn’t a huge fan of this one. I think it’s because of two things. First, Cas didn’t save the world. I saw that Robbie tweeted that it was written as “helped save the world” but changed when they filmed the episode. One of my friends at work who is a huge Cas fan said that Dean was just trying to make Claire feel better. I guess I can get on board with that theory but it still bugs me. Sam never seems to get the credit he deserves for all the good he’s done through the years.

    Heaven. Everyone has their own heaven unless they’re soulmates. So either Amelia and Jimmy are soulmates our it’s a continuity error. I guess I’ll go with the soulmate thing.

    There were good moments. I agree that the storyline worked so much better with the brothers integrated into it. I liked the golf scene and I also liked Sam showing Claire how they hack into databases, etc.

  • Both Amelias represent much the same thing to Sam and Cas/Jimmy. Normal life or previous life. Dean had Lisa, but that was a bit different, and we couldnt have 3 Amelias 🙂

    “The line” – Each episode shows us a glimpse of real life, in the supernatural alternative universe. In this episode Dean said a line to shoe Claire, that what her Dad did and what Cas did was very important. This wasnt a moment to retell the history, it was a moment to tell a troubled lost teenager that the sacrifice was worth it, because of the scale of what happened. I cannot imagine what it must be like for Claire to look at Cas and see her Dad, but knowing that the person “inside” is not her father.

    Taxi ride – I just assumed she was taking a taxi to a bus station. Love how Jodi is looking after all these lost teenagers.

    But for me, I like how over the last few episodes Sam particularly is touching on the past. It has 10 years since Dean and Sam’s life changed forever, there have been times when the characters have reminisced, but I would like the show to do it a bit more.

    In real life we live in the now, but we do also reminisce, and people do have the same names!!!

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