This week’s Supernatural brought a divided reaction from fans, which is almost always the case for this show – but I really enjoyed it. Writer Robert Berens kept things mostly canon-compliant, so I had fewer head scratching or WTF moments. And while the back and forth between story lines still jarred me, at least this week there were only two story lines running simultaneously instead of three or more. So instead of a scene by scene analysis, here are the things I loved, the things I liked, and the things that didn’t work for me in this episode for each of those two storylines.
Story line number one is Sam and Dean together again and in pursuit of something that will harm Michael. Story line number two diverges after the first few scenes to follow Castiel and Jack at the bunker trying to save a hapless young woman who the hunters have rescued from a witch. (Nick is off trying to find himself or his family’s killers, so thankfully no story line number three. He apparently left a note and isn’t returning Castiel’s phone calls, which isn’t ominous at all… but that’s okay, I’m just glad we only have two stories to bounce back and forth between this week because that’s enough!)
I have a lot to say about the first, so let me start with the latter. I continue to like the exploration of Cas and Jack’s relationship that this season is undertaking. Jack continues to struggle with finding his place with the hunters, so hurt after Dean dismisses him that Jack decides to run away. He’s such a teenager sometimes, and I find that endearing. He packs up his little backpack and prepares to leave, writing a note out for all three of his “dads”, but then hears Cas and AU hunter Jules trying to help Laura, a young woman kidnapped by a witch and dying from an aging spell. Jack, who can be quite empathic at times, decides to stay, drawn in by the woman’s dire circumstances and his desire to console her.
We’ re reminded of his innocence as he first exclaims with wonder, “She’s like Sleeping Beauty..”
Cas corrects him that she’s in fact dying not sleeping, and Cas hasn’t been able to heal her. Jack puts down his backpack and sits beside Laura.
Laura: Is that your dad?
Jack: (smiling) One of them, yes.
I know that was a bit of a fan service line, but I still liked it. I like that all three of them, in their own way, have tried to be a parent to Jack, and that he knows and appreciates it.
Laura has a rather long expositional scene that tells me more than I needed to know about the witch and what happened. When she says that the witch at first was nice to the three captive young women, telling them that they “kept her young,” I knew right away that she meant that literally. Also, anyone notice that gigantic very prominent necklace she’s wearing? She even helpfully touches it, saying the witch “gave us nice things.”
Helloooooo guys, I think that’s a hint…
Jack: Don’t worry, Cas is gonna fix this.
Cas: (looks worried)
Poor Cas doesn’t have a very good track record of being able to fix things this season, though he clearly is trying his best. Once again, third episode in a row, I feel bad for the guy. Cas and Jules chant over a bowl of ingredients (with a little phone advice from Rowena). Randomly, some of those ingredients come from a drawer labeled “gross stuff” in the linen closet, so that line made me laugh – because I also have one of those drawers labeled the same thing!
Anyway, eventually after lots of chanting there’s an explosion of purple smoke. Laura sits up and seems okay for a second, then in classic horror movie fashion, screams and dies in front of a horrified Jack.
Oh Alex, you can make me hurt with those tears…
[There’s almost constant back and forth between story line one and two after this point, which makes both of them hard to stay connected to emotionally and diminishes the sense of danger in the first one substantially].
Jack is at first distraught, then he has the realization that most of us had a while ago – it’s the damn necklace! Sure enough, the witch has hers on and still looks young even though the witch killing bullet is keeping her dead. Jack yanks it off and prepares to smash it.
Castiel: Jack, are you sure?
I loved that line, because it echoed so many split second decisions the Winchesters have faced throughout the series. Like a true hunter, Jack does it anyway [after a jump back and forth from storyline one, annoyingly], and Laura is cured. Way to go, Jack!
Once Laura has been returned safely to her mother (something that must really be painful for Jack, who can never do that – but something he desperately wants to help others do), Castiel comes to chat with him in his room. (Jack spends an alarming amount of time just sitting on his bed or lying there staring up at the ceiling. I worry about you, Jack.)
Cas apologizes to Jack for not being there for him, saying he knows Jack is going through a lot. He goes on to say that “you made me so proud” and Jack beams. It’s a touching moment, and both Misha and Alex brought the emotional beats.
Cas: Holding your own in a fight without powers takes training and time, but you have the mind and heart of a hunter.
It’s just what Jack needs to hear, and it’s true – Jack is learning to tap into his humanity, both his empathy and his intellect, to be helpful. Cas suggests that if Sam and Dean are okay with it, maybe the two of them can go on a hunting trip. One of the things that Castiel struggled with in the past is finding his own place in the human world, and his longing for his own kind as well – even though the rest of the angels constantly either rejected or disappointed him. I get the feeling that is part of why his relationship with Jack is important to him – Jack is, after all, part angel. He’s the only other being around that is close to who and what Cas is. Both of them share a longing to connect with others like themselves, as neither entirely fit in with the others around them. I’m really enjoying the way their relationship is playing out and what that seems to be affording both of them.
A few people commented on last week’s review that they miss the way Castiel used to be when he was an imposing and more alien figure, a badass angel. I do miss that version of Cas too, and yet I also am enjoying his evolution as he spends more time with humans – though I remain confused about what he can and cannot do. It certainly allows Misha more range of acting, though I wouldn’t want Cas to become TOO human. That would take away from the uniqueness of the character, and one of the reasons many fans relate so strongly to him.
That should be a happy ending to story line number two, but this is Supernatural, so as soon as we get lulled into a little “aww” moment, the Show decides to break our hearts. Jack coughs, passing it off as getting a cold, and Cas goes to make him some soup (aww – but I guess he can’t cure colds either now?)
Then we see that Jack isn’t getting a cold at all – his trashcan is full of bloodied tissues. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Jack has clearly learned from the Winchesters that when something is wrong, you hide it. Let’s hope Cas and Sam and Dean are smart enough to figure it out anyway!
My biggest complaint with both story lines in this episode is that there was too much back and forth between them, but that’s a complaint I constantly have about this show now. Early seasons were much less jumpy and tended to follow just one story line in an episode, and I will miss that forever. Taken on its own, however, (and with minor quibbles about the obviousness of the necklace) this one mostly worked,
And for me? So did the vast majority of storyline number one.
The episode begins with Sam and Dean together again and back home in the bunker. Just that fact made me squee out loud, not gonna lie. Dean is still half dressed in Michael’s clothes, which is way hotter than it probably should be, and Sam is still sporting his very hot grief beard. In fact, that’s what they’re bickering about.
Dean: I mean, I can’t eat, I can’t sleep…it’s always just there, watching…
Sam: (exasperated but fond) It’s just a beard, Dean.
Sam protests that he’s been kinda busy, and Dean pronounces that no excuse.
Dean: Duck Dynasty called, they want it all back.
Sam protests, with an adorable smirk, that some people say he looks good.
Dean: No Sam, no people say that.
(Actually, Dean, alot of people say that…)
I saw this scene as the sneak preview and probably watched it fifty times. I had missed Dean so much, and missed Sam AND Dean so much, that finally getting a real brother moment felt incredibly good – cathartic almost. I missed them, okay? It felt so right to have them back, communicating all the things they can’t say to each other through their brotherly ribbing.
Sam (what he’s really saying): It was too hard when you were gone, I didn’t care about anything but getting you back.
Dean (what he’s really saying): I’m back now Sam, you can go back to being yourself, I got your back.
Of course they say all this with jabs and insults, but if you look at their faces, there’s so much affection there. And in Sam’s case, tremendous relief that his brother is back to try to make him miserable!
Thank you, Robert Berens, for this scene. I definitely want to know how much of that dialogue was embellished by Jared and Jensen too.
The scene was also brilliant because it tells us everything we need to know about the brothers – that they’re back to being Sam and Dean. It reassures us, the viewers, that the universe is back to how it should be. And for the first time this season, for me, it feels like Supernatural.
Sam and Dean also have a familiar conversation – or maybe I should say non-conversation.
Dean: I’m okay…
Sam: You didn’t talk a lot on the trip here…
Dean insists he doesn’t remember what happened from the second he said yes until the moment Michael left. This is the one canon question that bothered me in this episode – that was Dean who killed Lucifer, not Michael, so he should remember that, right? He should remember up until the moment that Michael wrenched back control, after Dean yelled out “We had a deal!”
I’ll handwave it as Dean still trying to convince Sam he’s okay and thus getting it slightly wrong, but hmm.
Dean: It’s good to be…. (looks around at like 50 people in their library)… Home?
I loved that line, because it echoes what a lot of us are feeling about the bunker these days too. There are too damn many people milling about. Instead of their home, it feels like tactical headquarters or a war room, and while I realize the bunker was built to be a residence for a lot of people, up until now it has been Sam and Dean and sometimes Castiel and Jack. Dean is none too happy about having a ton of people invading their home, and neither am I. Especially when he’s just been bodily invaded, and now even his home isn’t a refuge. It’s like a nightmare!
Maybe Sam should have warned him on that long ride back…
Dean is even less happy when he reassures one of the strangers that he’s no longer Michael and the man responds, “Right, Chief told us. Welcome home.”
Dean whips his head around to stare at Sam.
Sam shrugs. “I asked them not to call me that…”
It’s a small moment, but it brings up a dynamic that makes sense to me. I thoroughly enjoyed Sam stepping up to the plate and being a kickass leader the past two episodes, but it was always going to be an adjustment when Dean returned. He’s used to being the leader, and now Sam is too – and that is bound to cause some friction. I’m not sure yet whether I’m looking forward to that or dreading it. I just got the brothers back together, I don’t think I want them seriously not getting along, Show!
Jack joins them, approaching Dean with a hopeful expression.
Dean: (affectionately) Hey, kid.
Cas joins them, almost stunned speechless with relief to see Dean standing there.
Jack steps forward and hugs Dean, and Cas apologizes for not being able to go on the rescue mission.
Dean: Sam told me, ain’t no thing.
Dean-speak for I get it, and it’s okay, no apology needed.
Almost as soon as they’ve welcomed him back, though, Dean retreats, saying he needs a shower – and reassuring Sam once again that he’s “okay”. Castiel questions Sam about how he really is doing, but Sam just shakes his head, saying he doesn’t know. And looking worried.
I also had a moment here of feeling a weird clash between the touching scene of Jack welcoming Dean back with a hug and last week when he argued with Cas that they might have to kill Dean rather coldly. Not sure if Berens read that scene (and of course he hadn’t seen how it would play), but it jarred me watching.
Dean’s quick retreat, on the other hand, rang very true to me – whether he’s willing to talk about it or not, Dean has been through a trauma. His body was used without his permission for what he must know are horrible things even if he can’t remember. And like anyone who feels used and dirtied, he wants to rip off those clothes that belonged to his assaulter.
Back in his room, Dean rips Michael’s vest and shirt off with disgust, throwing them to the floor. That whole scene rang so true and felt so authentic – kudos to Ackles, Berens, director Bob Singer, or all of the above. And forgive me for admiring Jensen in a white tee shirt at such a moment.
He faces himself in the mirror and notices something he hadn’t before – a prominent scar on his shoulder. And forgive me again…
Thrown off by the scar and angry, I think, at the permanent reminder of his possession, Dean insists that Cas get in his head and figure out what happened. Both Cas and Sam are reluctant, not sure if Dean’s ready to remember, but Dean doggedly insists.
Dean: Get in there and do the Vulcan mind meld thing…. I can handle it, come on, hit me.
I’m not sure the words are a coincidence. In some sense, I think that’s Dean’s guilt that he’s frantically trying not to look at. He welcomes this invasion as an almost penance for allowing the other. As flashbacks start to come, we see a dark hooded figure with a lance stab Michael and injure him.
I knew that Yadi Guevara-Prip would be back this season, so it was pretty clear that was her, but it was still a moment of surprise that I enjoyed.
The boys call Jody Mills, who’s texting with an offscreen Claire. She picks up the phone with all the urgency that you would expect, because Kim Rhodes is a great actor, demanding “Sam, any news?”
The relief on Jody’s face at hearing Dean’s voice, and the soft expression on Dean’s when he hears hers, was heartwarming.
Rhodes is capable of that same sort of nuanced acting with your face that the other actors are, and it makes such a difference. They tell her that the thing that killed Kaia might be here and Dean describes his scar.
Jody: Like you got stabbed with a giant meat fork?
Dean: Yeah, how did you know?
The cases converge (is Kaia’s double near Jody Mills for a reason??) and Team Free Will starts packing up to head there. Jack wants to come, but the three try to discourage him. Cas and Sam do that rather gently, then Dean jumps in and snaps at him.
Dean: Look at you, you’re barely 100 pounds soaking wet!
Jack looks devastated and then stalks off.
Dean: Wait…Jack… I didn’t mean to be….a dick…
At least he recognizes it. Dean is clearly a man on a mission, and not letting anything get in his way. Even if that makes him (temporarily) a dick.
Cas stays behind to help Jules and the injured Laura, thinking he can cure her given a bit of time. Sam doesn’t like this idea very much, but Dean rolls right over him.
Dean: Cas can handle this, let’s go!
And go they do. Dean pushes the Impala to 80, speeding along looking frighteningly driven.
Sam: Dean, we still have no idea why Michael let you go…something huge happened and you won’t talk about it!
Dean: I’m literally going 80, how can I be running from something when I’m racing toward it?
Sam, however, is not fooled. He knows his brother better than anyone.
Sam: I don’t know, that’s kinda your thing…
Sam isn’t put off by Dean’s annoyance. He opens up and tells Dean that although Dean doesn’t remember all those weeks, Sam does.
Sam: For me, you were gone. For weeks. I didn’t know if you were alive… I just need you to talk to me. Slow down so I can catch up.
I loved this scene so much, loved Sam’s emotional plea, loved Berens’ dialogue and love love loved Jared’s delivery. It’s similar to when Sam was the one who was possessed and terribly traumatized, but Dean was traumatized by that too. Not knowing if the other is okay, dead or alive, tortured or despairing – that’s the worst kind of pain. And Sam doesn’t hide it, like Winchesters so often do. He shares not only his concern for his brother, but his own pain as well.
Dean: (stoic) Call Jody, let her know we’re almost there.
Oh Dean. I love you so much, but you can be so stubborn. At this point in the live watch, I think I tweeted “Talk to your brother, Dean Winchester!”
Someone tweeted back: 14 seasons of Supernatural.
Sam is endlessly patient with Dean in this episode, because he of all people knows exactly what it’s like to be possessed. To not know what you did during the time someone else had control of your body. To be wracked with guilt about it and want desperately to know and yet fear what that knowing will do to you. He gets it, more than anyone else.
They meet up with Jody, which means a nice reunion scene. I can always feel the genuine affection that the Winchesters have for Jody and that she has for them, because all the actors are so good at showing it. Jody’s face when she sees Dean, so fond.
And her appreciation of Sam’s beard, like she instinctively knows he needs to hear it.
(I loved Sam’s little gloating glance toward his brother when she said that, and Dean’s exasperated almost-eyeroll. It’s the little things, and every single time Sam and Dean — and Jared and Jensen — are onscreen together, they make this show the special thing it is).
Berens again remembers the show’s own canon, which these days I’m always very grateful for. Sam gets to show off his continuing serial killer obsession, knowing exactly who the last serial killer was around those parts much to Jody’s surprise and Dean’s second almost-eyeroll. Sam suggests they wait until daybreak to go after whoever killed the headless people Jody found, but Dean once again insists they get started right effing now. He stalks off; Sam huffs and follows, Jody along with him. When Dean suggests they split up, Sam finally puts his foot down, saying it’s too dangerous.
Jody: If I get a vote, I’m Team Sam, stick together.
Dean reluctantly agrees, but he’s not happy about it. He once again stalks off ahead, and soon encounters a trio of decapitated heads on sticks. Ewww. Dean, not as put off as me obviously, walks right up and examines their teeth. Again, ewww.
They turn out to be vampires, though Jody reiterates to Sam that the rest of them (the bodies) didn’t react to silver or dead man’s blood. So not your ordinary vamps, then.
Soon enough, they encounter Dark Kaia, who knocks them down and then vaults over a thicket to run away. Impressive!
Sam gets to be the clear thinking Winchester in this episode, because Dean is half out of his mind bent on getting his revenge on Michael. Sam points out that Dark Kaia’s face was bruised, and theorizes that it’s from a fight with Michael, who sent the super strong vamps to get her weapon – one of the only things that can actually hurt him. Love me some smart Sammy!
This is hard for Dean to hear; he’s still trying to not think about all the things that Michael has done. He stalks off; Sam huffs again and he and Jody follow.
There are some lovely but oddly long scenes of the threesome walking through the beautiful Vancouver woods. Jody fills them in on Claire and why she’s avoiding telling Claire what’s happened – Claire’s been doing good, but anything to do with Kaia and she’s a powder keg.
“First love strikes quick,” Jody says, “And to lose it like that…” Sam nods knowingly. Most of the fandom also nods knowingly, since many fans anticipated that Claire and Kaia would have been an item if Kaia had lived (and Wayward Sisters had been picked up).
Jody also has an observation about the state of the Winchesters’ relationship.
Jody: Wow, you two are having a time of it.
Sam: He’s…working something out. Alone. One thing I know, he’s not ready for this case.
Jody: But maybe he needs it.
Jody is so wise. Both she and Sam are right, of course.
They catch up to Dark Kaia at a cabin where she’s scavenging (she must have found some great shampoo and conditioner on one of her scavenging trips…). Dean surprises her and surprises ME by punching her in the face and knocking her out. Ouch!
Sam and Jody look a little stunned, and it stunned me a bit too. It’s never very comfortable to see a grown man punch a seemingly young woman in the face, even when you know that this is a television show and Dark Kaia is a powerful entity and not a human girl (I guess? Or not entirely?) Dean looks absolutely murderous in close-up though, so the scene also seems to be commenting on his mental state and his willingness to do whatever it takes to get Michael. A Dean who looks like that is a scary Dean indeed.
A tied up Kaia remains defiant, and I enjoyed Yadi’s performance as much as I did in her other episodes last season. She sells the cocky attitude while also showing us hints of vulnerability that we don’t yet understand. We learn that she didn’t mean to kill Kaia.
Dark Kaia: I was trying to kill the blonde.
Jody’s face when she says that she was trying to kill Claire is an expression every mom can relate to.
The confrontation between Dean and Dark Kaia was so tense it was almost nail biting. Dean feels like a powder keg with a hair trigger, and Dark Kaia is perfectly willing to provoke him.
Dark Kaia: I know you’re not Michael. You’re much weaker.
Oh dear, that’s not the way to calm Dean Winchester down.
Kaia stands her ground, saying she’s not afraid of him – she’s afraid of them, the monsters Michael keeps sending after her.
Jody wisely points out that they should get out of there, but Dean isn’t having it.
Dean: (looking a disturbing combination of unhinged and really hot): No, we need to break her, right now!
Sam: (looking concerned about his brother’s sanity) Break her?
But Dark Kaia gets it. He wants her weapon, and will do anything to get it. I don’t know if we’re seeing some residue of Michael’s violence in Dean from his possession (similar to what we’re maybe seeing in Nick) or if this is just Dean being driven by guilt and vengeance and rage.
Dean corroborates what she’s saying, shoving her chair across the room to slam against the wall and demanding, “Where is it??”
[During this extremely tense scene, the show repeatedly cut back and forth between this and the similarly tense scene of Jack and Cas trying to save Laura – much to my great aggravation. For godsakes, Show, you’re sabotaging your own plot lines here!]
As Dean leans in menacingly and I hold my breath, Dark Kaia smirks.
Dark Kaia: You’re no different from him. Threats, violence, anything to get what you want.
Dean: I’m nothing like him!
Dark Kaia: Yeah you are. You always have been.
[Annoying cut to other story line to ruin the tension]
Dark Kaia: I saw what you did to her.
Me: OMG are they really remembering that moment??? What is this, canon reference??? I was so happy to see this revisited, because Dean’s behavior in that scene last season has always bothered me.
Dark Kaia: When you got angry, you shoved your gun in her face…
The memory of what he did seems to finally break the dark spell Dean’s under. His face softens and he backs up a little bit.
Dean: How do you know about that?
Sam, the smart one in this episode: You’re a dreamwalker too.
Kaia confirms this, and then faces Dean again.
Dark Kaia: I know where it comes from, your anger, your impatience. You’re scared. And you’re weak.
Dean: (clearly rattled) Shut up!
Dark Kaia: Michael hurt you. He hurt me too.
And we get one of those flashbacks of Michael that we’ve been told were coming, a way to keep the Michael story going and also have Dean back – which is a compromise that I personally am fine with. Michael and Dark Kaia fight, which is so beautifully choreographed and enacted, it looks like half battle half ballet. Ackles not only speaks differently as Michael, he moves differently – he’s all grace and arrogance. You can see it even in the way he fights. And that’s pretty amazing.
On twitter, fight coordinator Rob Hayter confirmed that it was purposeful, having Michael fight differently than Dean.
Rob: Dean and Michael are so different – physically and in terms of their status. It was important that we incorporate those essential character differences into the action. Otherwise, it doesn’t read that Michael is inhabiting Dean’s body.
That right there? Is one of the reasons I love this show!
Dean remembers the moment when Michael was taken down and stabbed.
Sam, the smart voice of reason in this episode, finally states the obvious: We should get out of here.
Too late, here come those monsters Dark Kaia was talking about!
Every episode of Season 14 so far has had a major fight scene, and this one has another – the souped up creatures pretty much beat the crap out of the Winchesters and Jody, painfully breaking her arm in the process. (Rhodes played that so realistically that I gasped and grabbed my own arm when she screamed). As Dean is pinned to the floor, his arm with his gun held down, he points his gun at Kaia, still bound in the chair. For a second, I thought he was going to kill her, but instead he shoots out one leg of her chair, knocking her over and letting her get free.
Dean smirks up at his attacker.
Dean: Now you’re in trouble…
Dark Kaia leaps out the window.
Dean: Or not…
Just when you might think all is lost (if you didn’t think Dark Kaia was coming back, which I did), that lethal spear comes through the window and kills one of the creatures, closely followed by Dark Kaia, who spins around and decapitates the other two as graceful as can be.
I relish the Winchesters and Jody’s hunting and fighting prowess, so sometimes I don’t find it believable when they’re bested, but in this case Kaia isn’t entirely human or at the very least not from this universe and her weapon is powerful enough to harm an Archangel, so I had no trouble not only believing this but jumping up from the couch and screaming about the badassery of it.
Jody: You saved us. You didn’t have to.
Dark Kaia insists she came back to kill the monsters who were after her. Sam reminds her that as long as she has that weapon, she’ll be a target, but she leaves anyway. Dean looks heartbreakingly defeated as she goes, taking the weapon that he wanted to kill Michael with her.
Jody looks defeated too, as she heads home. Berens, the writer of the Wayward Sisters episodes and the possible spinoff, gives Rhodes some lines here that seemed designed to give the actress some closure.
Jody: I feel like I lost before I even got a chance to get started…
That’s how fans who were very much hoping for Wayward Sisters felt when the pilot didn’t get picked up. And Rhodes, who would have starred in the spinoff, lets us see all that crushing disappointment, so vividly that it made my heart clench.
Jody heads home to explain to the girls, and Sam and Dean climb into the Impala, which is how every episode should end. And here we get an honest to god broment in the car! Thank you, Mr. Berens!
The Winchesters have always had their best heart to hearts in Baby, the need to watch where he’s driving a welcome excuse for Dean to keep staring straight ahead as he finally opens up to his brother.
Dean: I put us all in danger today. Stupid danger. You were right. I didn’t want to look at it, what Michael used me for.
Sam looks so sad immediately, because he knows. He KNOWS.
Dean: I just wanted to race ahead, to the part where we get the bad guy, kill Michael.
Sam: Yeah, I know.
Dean: I said yes to him because I thought….
He trails off, and it’s clear he’s in pain. He knows why he did it – he did it to save Sam. To save Jack. And he doesn’t regret that part of it, he could never –but what happened after? He’s putting that all on himself. He doesn’t even finish his sentence because he doesn’t want Sam to feel any part of the responsibility.
Dean: It was stupid…I was stupid.
Sam: Dean, you did what you had to do.
With Sam’s empathy, Dean is able to go on and open up even more.
Dean: And it wasn’t a blank… I don’t remember most of what Michael did with me, because…. I was underwater, drowning, and that I remember, I remember every second of it. Fighting, clawing for air… I thought I could make it out, but I…I wasn’t strong enough. And now he’s out there hurting people. And it’s all on me, man. I said yes. It’s my fault.
Sam listens, his eyes brimming with tears, sharing his brother’s pain and understanding his guilt.
I know there are a lot of people who wanted Sam to say something – we all know, and showrunner Andrew Dabb has confirmed recently that he also remembers – that Sam has been possessed by an archangel who did horrible things with his body too. Sam, of all people, really does understand. He too said yes to save others, and he too suffered horribly because of it. He doesn’t just have sympathy for his brother, he has empathy.
I at first wanted Sam to say that out loud, but on re-watching it, I think Sam knew that he just needed to give Dean room to talk. It’s so hard for Dean – he so didn’t want to – and when he finally opens up, he just needs Sam to hear him. Admitting that he wasn’t strong enough to do something is incredibly hard for Dean Winchester, goes against everything he is. He is trusting Sam so much in this scene, trusting Sam with his deepest darkest shame and guilt and fear and sadness. That is hard for anyone, but for Dean Winchester? It’s everything he has conditioned himself not to do. I think Sam knows this, and he’s honoring the trust his brother is showing him by not even adding what Dean must surely know – I get it, I’ve been there too.
I hope that conversation will come, but maybe this was not the time. (And yes, I’m well aware that my hope may be unrealized and that will suck, but for now I’m hanging onto it). I have loved the glimpses we got in Season 13 of Sam dealing with his Lucifer trauma – with Rowena, with confronting Lucifer. I am still hoping for more, and for Dean and Sam to have some conversation about what they have BOTH been through.
I also hope someone reminds Dean that at least they don’t have Lucifer to contend with too, thanks to his quick thinking and saying yes to Michael. There are always consequences to the unbelievably difficult decisions the characters make on this show, but I appreciate when they get to explore those.
Despite the fact that I enjoyed the first two episodes of Season 14, this was the first episode that really felt like my show. I fell in love with Supernatural back at the beginning because I fell in love with Sam and Dean, and it doesn’t feel like my show when they are not both there. Their emotional journey is my route into the show, and what makes me care about what’s happening. I care about Castiel’s feelings and I care about Jack’s feelings, and I loved Jody being back this week, but I need Sam and Dean there to make it Supernatural. And not just for fifteen minutes out of the forty-two.
Ratings were lower this week than they’ve been in a while, and I wonder if it’s because too many people felt the loss of the core of the show in its beginning this season. I need enough Sam and Dean in every episode to make it Supernatural, and that hasn’t always happened. This is not an ensemble show – it’s not the same show when it’s following too many story lines or twenty different characters and Sam and Dean become bit players. I’m sort of with Dean – too many random people in the bunker right now!
That said, I really enjoyed this episode. And I’m not at all ready for this to be the last season, so if you were on the fence after the first few episodes of Season 14, dive back in and pick it up again!
Stay tuned for our coverage from the Minneapolis Supernatural convention next week – looking forward to watching that episode with some fellow fans!
Caps kayb625 with much gratitude!
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