My friend was accidentally spoiled for the ending of this episode, and so decided it was in my best interest if I was fortified with a lot of wine before we watched... no worries, it's not like I have to work tomorrow or anything. (In all fairness, I was the one that just kept drinking... :P)
So, let us begin at the beginning...
I don't actually remember the beginning. I think it was Sam moping in a hotel room? Sounds like something Sam would do. And there's a knock at the door, and Sam reacts the same way I do when there's a knock on my door... like the door is some sort of malicious enemy come to eat me. Seriously, there's nothing that makes you feel like you have psychological problems more than realizing that you have the same habits/reactions as a Winchester.
But no worries, it's just Dean! Dean is there to further defend Benny. Or get pissy at Sam for not trusting him. Sam argues that Dean wasn't asking Sam to trust him, he was asking Sam to trust Benny and Sam doesn't know Benny...but I call bullshit on that excuse, because that's the same as Dean asking Sam to trust Dean. Because he's asking Sam to trust him that Benny is a good person. So, yeah, but whatever, I'll give Sam a pass because I think he's pissed about the whole Amelia ruse, and I think if he had actually met and talked to Benny he'd PROBABLY have given him a chance. At this point we'll never know...
Anyway, Sam's pissed about the whole Amelia ruse - and he actually brings up the L word. (Hint: It's not "lesbians"). And Sam does make a good point, it's pretty low of Dean to make Sam think that his girlfriend is in danger when Sam suffers from penis of death syndrome. It wasn't exactly like it's too outside the box for Sam to think that some evil thing had tracked down Amelia - and Dean probably shouldn't have played that card. That being said, I'm still of the same opinion that I had after 8x09 - that ploy was just too brilliant for me to give Dean a hard time about it. Seriously, if you are clever enough, I seem to excuse a lack of morals... this does not say good things about me.
So, Sam and Dean have their fight and then they break up. Dean takes off for Montana and Sam stays in Texas.
Meanwhile, Cas is off curing babies.
OH NO WAIT, I FORGOT THE WHOLE REASON I WAS DRINKING SO MUCH WINE!
My baby angel was being tortured with head spikes! NOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Oh Baby-Angel... Your death certificate was signed the day I fell in love with you. Just as Sam has the penis of death, my love is a death omen.
Anyway, Cas gets called away from fixing babies to Naomi, who is still shady. She wants him to rescue Samandriel - and YES, this is what I wanted, but I had already been forewarned not to get my hopes up - and so I did not. Still, I'm glad that Castiel wanted to rescue Samandriel. I'm glad, in the end, that Samandriel was loved....
So, Cas goes off to get Dean, who is snoozing just outside of Whitefish. And I like that Dean is of course in right away...that there's no question about it really.
The scene with Dean opening up the laptop and having the porn still there was pretty funny... I'm just imagining the reactions now "mustn't let your boyfriend find your straight porn."
They track Crowley down to Nebraska - meanwhile Samandriel is burning bushes. I loved Cas' line about "manifesting in shrubbery"... mainly just because I love the word "shrubbery". It's a funny word - Monty Python knew.
I also liked Cas' line about "Yes, that's his serious face" when the burn victim asked Dean if he was serious.
Of course, this whole time poor Samandriel is being tortured. Oh Samandriel. My friend thinks that they should invite the actor to Cons, just so that all the fans can give him comforting hugs (comforting for the fans, of course, the actor would probably find us all very creepy).
Meanwhile, in Texas, Sam and Amelia are having very awkward conversations. Seriously, I know I always write these reviews from a position of positivity, because I like to like things, but I was not feeling the Sam/Amelia vibe this episode. Maybe it's because I had been hoping for more from that storyline...I was really hoping that the weird filters they used on the flashback scenes meant that at least part of the relationship took place purely in Sam's brain or something. I just wanted some sort of manifestation of a broken psyche - because last season Sam DID have a broken psyche and then it was miraculously fixed and then the centre of his entire world died...and I just wanted SOME CONSEQUENCE of that. But, I suppose Sam abandoning hunting because it kills everyone he loves is the consequence they gave me and what I'll have to live with.
But even if you ignore my disappointment in that storyline not having more to it, I still wasn't really feeling the Sam/Amelia vibe. They're conversations were awkward - I mean, come on, WORST POST-SEX TALK EVER. And this is coming from someone who once cried during a post-sex talk...like, my standards are not that high. :P
On the other hand, they didn't make Jared wax his chest. Though, how Sam can still have perfectly coiffed hair after sex is a mystery to me.
Anyway, I've jumped around a bit...apparently what happened was Amelia showed up at the bar, confirmed it was Sam, and then RAN AWAY. Okay, weirdo. Then she shows up at the door and is like "You can't just leave and then come back" and I'm sitting there thinking "dude, he didn't come back! He looked into your window for like ONE SECOND and then left WITHOUT TALKING TO YOU. YOU were the one that chased HIM down." But whatever, I guess she gets a pass because she's apparently thinks about him all the time and is in love with him. But then Sam is like "well that sex was a mistake" and she's like "YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE! YOU CAN'T HAVE ONE FOOT IN!" and I'm like "DUDE! YOU WERE THE ONE THAT TRACKED HIM DOWN AFTER HE REMOVED BOTH FEET!"
Anyway, they set up a deal where if the hotel room is still occupied in 2 days, they'll run off together or something.
Meanwhile, Dean and Cas go to Garth's safe-house-boat, to find Kevin all alone trying to decifer half a tablet. I guess without the whole thing he can't read it with his prophet super-powers, so he's trying to take the linguists approach. Good luck, buddy.
Dean wants more demon bombs, and Kevin is annoyed, and Cas goes off to find the ingredients, and Dean is all bragging about how convenient an angel friend is. And then Dean gets bored, and Kevin puts on his noise-cancelling headphones and so Dean takes the opportunity to tell him that his mom is hot. I bet Lauren Tom will get a kick out of that dialogue.
While he waits, Dean gets a call from Benny, who is jonesing for a fix (do people still use "jonesing"?)... Dean really is Benny's sponsor, but the problem is that Dean's also a hunter and he can't just drop everything and go talk Benny down from the live-blood ledge. Especially not when his brother is all pissed at him and his angel's friend is being tortured by demons.
Cas recruits Sam. I loved the scene where he just shows up next to Sam in the park, and he's like "Ah, people watching! That's one of my favourite things too!" (paraphrased, of course). Sam and Cas are buddies when it comes right down to it. It's a weird relationship, but it works.
So Sam comes to and he and Dean do that "I'm so angry at you" stare across the boat as we cut to commercial....
Meanwhile, Samandriel is still being tortured...and they've discovered his "operating system" - as in, the basic instructions that all angels have encoded inside them. I guess it's sort of like birds, who are born already knowing what shapes in the sky they have to be afraid of. "Obey" is the first commandment, it seems. Then there's some other stuff and it gets to the tablets, and the angels know how many there are and what they are each about...
So, it's off to save Samandriel. Castiel can't enter because of the angel warding. So he writes on Sam's hand the symbol that the boys have to cross out in order for him to enter. What's with this weird fetish people have with writing things on Sam's hands? Fine, it's only happened twice, but twice can be a pattern! I guess Sam has big hands that are good for writing on. I think it's a strangely intimate thing to do though, to write on someone's palm...but hey, Sam and Cas are buddies, so it's all good.
Apparently angel swords can kill demons too. INTERESTING. Odd that it hasn't come up until now, but it makes a lot more scene that an angel's main weapon would slay demons rather than an angel's main weapon being ONLY USEFUL for slaying other angels. Also, now I have a headcanon that the demon knife is carved out of an angel blade... that maybe there's something about the colt that is as well.
Off they go, killing demons and crossing out graffiti... and I do like that even though the boys are fighting, they still work great together.
They finally get Cas into the place, but he's all weak and weirdly terrified by Samandriel's screams. I do love that Sam and Dean just immediately go crazy trying to break down the door when they see what the screams are doing to Castiel. I loved the "Okay, we'll go with plan B" and Sam's "there's a plan B?!" Because that was something that Dean said more than once to Soulless!Sam who always had a plan B. Turns out, Dean's plan B is just to do whatever he's currently doing even more violently (which, come to think of it, was also Soulless!Sam's plan B, when it came right down to it.)
They finally get into the room and go mad, but sadly not before Samandriel gives Crowley some information that he's actually happy to have.
There's an angel tablet. Makes sense to me. When it comes right down to it, angels are just another monster in Supernatural - albeit ones associated with "good" by the common folk and not as blood thirsty as any of the other monsters. But Dean told Lucifer much the same in The End. It was actually one of my main objections to the Dean/Cas pairing for the past four years. I've always thought that Dean was bisexual, so it wasn't the homosexuality that I thought stood in the way of the pairing, it was the fact that Cas ISN'T HUMAN. He's a creature, and Dean does not think highly of creatures, no matter what kind of creature they are. Now that being said, in this season that's changed. After Purgatory, Dean's attitude towards creatures has changed (whether this is because of Benny, or has led him to trust Benny, or whether it's because of CAS and just transferred over to Benny too is a matter that's up for debate.) But, now, I really think the only thing standing in the way of Dean/Cas for me is that I need confirmation that Jimmy is dead, and then I'd be on board.
But anyway, there's an angel tablet, and Crowley wants it.
Cas saves Samandriel, but sadly, Naomi has done more to Cas than we thought. She too tortured him somehow. She somehow took away the free will that Cas nearly destroyed himself to obtain. It's really rather tragic. Samandriel knew, because Naomi had done it to him too. Who knows how many Naomi has under her command?! There were so few angels left after Castiel devastated heaven, you have to wonder if by the time Crowley finds the tablet, the work won't already have been done for him by the angels themselves. After all, we don't actually know how new angels are created. They aren't created from human souls like demons, and they don't seem to procreate in more traditional ways...so, it's a curious problem. Are all these angel wars burning through a finite supply?
So, Samandriel dies by Castiel's hand, even though Castiel loved Samandriel and Samandriel was good. Even though Castiel didn't want to... even though Castiel was trying to atone for his angel-killing sins, not add to them.
And I think part of Castiel is fighting against Naomi's brainwashing - hence the bleeding from the eye, which of course Sam and Dean pick up on, but I think Sam realizes there's something fundamentally wrong even before the blood appears.
Castiel takes Samandriel to heaven, and Dean and Sam go back to the cabin and temporarily angel-proof it in order to talk about Cas. They both think that there's something weird going on "ever since purgatory"... and it's true, because none of them actually know how Cas got out, and Dean KNEW all the monsters in purgatory were gunning for him. It was why Dean was so convinced that Cas was dead the moment he was left alone there.
Then the boys have their talk about what the heck to do about their own relationship. Dean is sick of fighting, but he's also not going to force Sam to join him on the road. Dean does what Sam couldn't do for Amelia and he leaves it up to him. Dean admits that maybe he was jealous, because he was never able to leave the life...but that "one of us might as well be happy" and then Sam says "yeah, because you're such a hugger"...and I honestly have no idea what the hell those lines meant paired together. So, if anyone wants to enlighten me, I'm all ears. My friend's husband thought that Sam was tying to say "yeah, and it's impossible for you to be happy so it'll have to be me." But yeah, your thoughts?
But Dean says that Sam has to choose. Sam is left with the same choice that Amelia had. Does he choose his new love or his old one? In the end, Sam chose FOR Amelia and he decided that she stay with her old love. Sam's decision is no different - he chooses his old love, even while Amelia tries to choose her new love on the other side of the county only to discover that he has not chosen her.
Before that happens though, Sam goes for a walk, and Dean calls Benny - and he too, chooses his old love over his new one. Even without knowing Sam's decision, Dean decides that he can't be Benny's sponsor... that it nearly came between him and Sam and perhaps deep down Dean knows that it's really only a matter of time before Benny cracks, and probably Dean just hopes that he's not the hunter who has to put him down.
And so another Winchester fight is behind us.
But please - a moment of silence for my baby angel. :(
Let me know what I missed in the comments!