So, we're rudely shaken out of our denial by the simple beginning (you know...once we get past the usual teaser "death" intro)...with just the two boys, sitting in the dark, staring at nothing.
As someone who makes a timeline, I was very happy to have them tell me how much time was passing. :) Yay! As someone who loves the Winchesters, I was extremely sad to see them extremely sad.
I thought the whole episode was very similar to Everybody Loves a Clown (2x02) - you know, the episode that followed immediately from John's death. Yes, it was a monster of the week, but it was also extremely sad - and just like Everybody Loves a Clown (2x02), the brother's different ways of grieving drive them apart rather than pull them together.
Sam, typically, wants to do something POSITIVE/ACTIVE. If he can't solve the riddle of Bobby's final "words", then he wants to help some anonymous girl on the phone. If he can't hunt Dick Roman, he wants to hunt A monster, any monster - and feel like he's doing something good in the world.
Dean, typically, wants to drown in his sadness. He wants to not eat or sleep or take care of himself until the riddle is solved - he wants Bobby to be alive and he wants it all to be over and he wants revenge - and anything that is NOT one of those things is not worth his time.
So, they split up - which is NEVER A GOOD IDEA, BOYS!
But before we get to that - let's talk about the beer! What was with that beer? Dean didn't remember drinking it - and Sam didn't drink it...and right before Dean noticed it was empty, there was that odd sound effect... Do you guys think that maybe, just maybe...Bobby chose to stay behind? Four weeks though, and all we get is a vanishing beer? A hunter who chooses to be a ghost? Even Dean was nearly talked out of it in In My Time of Dying, and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone more devoted to sticking with his family than S2 Dean....
But, we don't find out about the beer - and there are no more weird occurrences (that I noticed.)
Sam goes to meet Young Girl (I'm so horrible with names). I love how they both talk around hunting. I love how you can tell that she probably knows. I love that little mole underneath her left eye - that's a really cool "beauty mark" (as my mum calls them).
Girl's dad is being drained by a Viter...Vito....Vit...a NEW MONSTER! Cool....I liked the look of them - very, lizardy. So, Sam calls Dean to let him know what's going on - only Dean doesn't pick up, because he is busy sleeping for 36 hours.
And I love how in this episode everyone kept telling Dean that he looked horrible...personally, um, I really couldn't see it, haha. Dean just does not look horrible - he looks pissed off, sad, and exasperated - but not horrible. They could have at least put a bit more make-up on him (or less? No, who am I kidding, it's Jensen) to MAKE him look horrible....
We get Frank again! He's hip to the Leviathans now. He's still paranoid, bipolar, whatever...I like that he's self-aware about it. So often these days, you get "crazy" characters who don't seem to realize that they are "crazy" - whereas everyone I know who is "crazy" is actually very aware of what they've been diagnosed with (at least when they're on their medication).
So, are the numbers really just a field in Wisconsin? Or is that just one interpretation that happens to also fit something Dick Roman is doing? I guess only time will tell.
Anyway, we find out Frank's wife and kids were murdered back in the day and he advises Dean that Dean only has two choices: He either lives or he dies - and living involves faking it, if he has to, to get by. It's actually pretty sound advice. I've known people who have lived through rough times on very similar methods.
Dean finally gets Sam's message and realizes that Sam has it all wrong. Of course he does - he's ALONE.
I forget where it was in the episode - but I really liked Sam goading the monsters into drinking from him instead of Girl's Father. (Sidenote: Girls' Father lives not very far from me. Ah Vancouver, so small.). Sam really had shades of Soulless!Sam when he was talking to the monster - you know, he's so SOULFUL with his soul, that I forget sometimes that that other Sam is still inside him somewhere.
I also liked that this was a monster that DEAN knew more about than ANYONE. John met one once and (quite unscientifically) used that one encounter to build a profile for the entire species - not realizing that it was the exception. By the way Dean said "I guess your father also had it wrong" (or whatever the line was) it made me think that there was a possibility that John's wrong information was spread to other Hunters - and Dean knew it.
I also liked the fact that 7 years later, we get talk about a hunt that Dean did solo while Sam was at college. That's cool.
It's also neat, 7 years later, how we see Dean has finally come around on the college thing (we got a hint of this in Defending Your Life, when Dean expressed guilt for dragging Sam back into the life)...but I like that he talks about college as though it's something that Young Girl can do, not as "yeah, I can't believe Sam ABANDONED HIS FAMILY FOR NO REASON" (Sorry, it just really pisses me off when people are STILL writing that in fic...the boys have had far bigger problems since then - I know Dean was still upset about it in S5, but yeah...that was 3 Winchester years ago, and Sam has DIED since then. I think Dean realizes that there's worse things.)
Anyway - we also find out that Girl really does know everything about Hunting, but hasn't been on a Hunt herself. We also find out that her mother was killed by something and she witnessed it.
You know, Hunting is a really interesting subculture - everyone enters it through tragedy (except possibly the Campbells). It's full of revenge-driven mourners. (And I'm sure for the Campbells, if they don't start off revenge-driven, they end up that way BECAUSE of hunting.) And then even when they get their revenge, they stay - they keep fighting...maybe they have nothing left to live for, or maybe they just want to save others the same fate...or, maybe their revenge is just never satisfied until there's not a monster left in the world...but yeah, interesting.
Anyway, after a slightly weird and disorganized Monster take down - it's off to the hospital. Dean tries to convince Girl's Father to retire - and Girl's Father asks if Dean ever knew anyone who left "the life" - and Dean says no, they all died first. I kind of wanted to point out that DEAN had left "the life", but I guess we're all ignoring that year now? Or, well, maybe Dean's right, since Dean DID die before that happened....or maybe it's not worth mentioning, since obviously it wasn't a successful retirement.
Then they have a conversation about their feelings in the car - Sam, typically, is very honest. Dean, typically, is not. Then Sam has the best closing move to a conversation ever. *Nod, turn on tune, SLEEP!* Hahaha...he's ADORABLE! I want to do that. "Good talk, here listen to some tunes while I nap." It's like people who put on the radio for their pets so that they won't be lonely. :P
And then Dean is ALL HEARTBROKEN. Oh man....the false smiles. Dean, why must you always break my heart? Again, though, VERY reminiscent of Everybody Loves a Clown, where Sam leaves at the end, and we see Dean break down...different form of breakdown, but it's still there.
Until next week...(or Sunday, when I do my Quick Reaction of Sherlock)