I had a bit of a mixed reaction to this episode, but over all liked (of course).
Let's just jump right into it!
Oh wait, I'm already getting ahead of myself. How did the episode actually open? Oh yeah, with Cain killing people in 1863 Mississippi. Good times. At first, I completely forgot that I had been spoiled for the character and was super confused that he was killing people angel-style but with red-glow instead of white-glow....and then we saw the jawbone, and my friend knew exactly who it was, because she's surprisingly up on her Cain and Abel mythos, and then I remembered that I already knew that! So, as you can tell, I really brought my A game tonight /sarcasm. :P
Do we start with Sam or Dean? I think Dean.
Dean is drinking at the bar and he already has four empty bottles beside him... don't the bartenders usually take those away? Anyway, the point is, Dean, I think, is a bit drunk. So, that's when Crowley shows up! Dean DOESN'T kill him on sight like he promised. We find out that 1)Dean's in Tahmoh's bar, but Gadreel is long gone (and they really need to give us a name for Gad's vessel, because until then I'm just going to keep calling him Tahmoh.) 2)Crowley wants Dean to help him find "the first blade", which is the weapon that the archangels used to kill the knights of hell... Dean, eventually, reluctantly agrees, because he wants Abaddon dead and most likely has a bit of death wish, because Dean always gets a bit of a death wish when he's super depressed and not around Sam. BUT THEY'RE BEING WATCHED!
Cut to Cas and Sam in the bunker... Cas can't enjoy food anymore, because it tastes like it's component parts. I'm guessing the sensation is probably like when we put a complete meal in a blender - it suddenly makes all your favourite foods disgusting, even though that's the form they end up in inside your stomach (note: there is a reason you do not have tastebuds in your stomach.) ANYWAY... the most important thing here is.... SASSY!
Guys, I've been waiting years YEARS for Sam and Cas to have some goddamn extended scenes alone together. I think they have such an interesting dynamic, because they DON'T have a profound bond. Not to sound like destiel shipper, but even I have to admit that their dynamic is more brother-in-laws than friends... and I find it fascinating! Anyway, so I'm thrilled, from everything from Sam sticking his finger in Cas' PB&J (sounds dirty) to Cas trying to get the band back together again...
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Cas goes to heal Sam, and realizes that there's something inside of him that is resonating angelic-ly. Do we cut to Dean here?
Oh wait - before we cut to Dean, I have to say that I loved the part where Sam called Cas a bad liar and Cas is like "that's not true! I successfully lied to and betrayed you and your brother, so HA!" Brilliant.
Back to Dean, John Winchester was the last person to possibly hear information about the First Blade, because he caught and killed the peon that Crowley had sent to find it (was it Crowley? I can't remember anything.) He left a code next to the entry in the journal - which leads to a storage locker where he kept further information. Guys... I love this filing system so much, you have no idea. Suddenly, John's ability to keep everything in a small journal makes SO MUCH SENSE.
So, Dean and Crowley go off to the storage locker - Crowley makes jokes... reminding Dean that he's been inside Sam, and that joke does not go over well. Dean finds the information - John thought that the demon was lying about the FIrst Blade, and he worked the case with a partner named Tara. So - off to find Tara.
Meanwhile, Sam and Cas are researching angels - does Cas really need to research angels? Apparently he does! Angels leave behind a little of their grace, like a fingerprint...only actually not like a finger print at all. It's more like leaving behind 1/8 cup blood...or, dare I say it...no, no I won't say it....Okay I will, because if you take possession as a metaphor for sexual assault, which the show often does.... then, well...
ANYWAY... turns out the Men of Letters came up with a
So, it's off to the medical-bay! For some reason, Cas brings his sandwich... but we'll get to that later.
On the way, Cas tries to talk to Sam about Dean, reminding Sam that Sam DID choose to live instead of completing the third trial. Sam agrees, but is still made that Dean made a choice FOR him, regardless of Sam's earlier choice. Sam's kind of touchy about his free will, you guys... if anyone is confused as to why, may I suggest watching the first 5 seasons.
Meanwhile, Dean and Crowley meet Tara, who has a knee that detects demons - is super disappointed in Dean for working with the King of Hell, and still pissed that John Winchester was the love'r&leave'r type. Dean agrees with her, because he hates himself.... but again, depressed, so death wish and uncaring of consequences.
They do a location spell (similar to the one that Ruby did back in 4x16 when the angels took Dean...so that was really cool to see again.)...and then it's off to that location!
Meanwhile, Cas and Sam are playing doctor, and we get Sam in a t-shirt! Yay! And then we begin the process of removing the grace, which requires Cas to stick a huge long needle into the base of Sam's brain. Fun times! No one is enjoying themselves. The procedure causes Sam to have flashy memories and, as Cas informs us, it somehow undoes Gadreel's healing? I'm confused about this as well.
Sam tells Cas to keep going though, because he also has a death wish... and um, Sam, asking your brother-in-law to kill you is not cool. How's he supposed to explain that to his husband?
Back to Dean and Crowley, who arrive at the house that they've used a couple of times before - most notably (for me) in 3x01 Sin City, where it housed a dead family and Dean got hilariously knocked out on the porch by two other hunters. This time, though, we find that it houses Cain.
Crowley is terrified and wants to leave, but Cain's already seen them... we find out that Cain is a big murderer dude, or was, until he suddenly stopped and disappeared. Cain invites them in for tea and serves it to Crowley using the same pattern of china that my mum has!! GUYS IT WAS LIKE CROWLEY WAS DRINKING TEA IN MY CHILDHOOD! The rest of the cups had different patterns, which is something that my sister's mum used to do too...so, it was like a combination of the two mother-figures that I grew up with! And, that's when I decided that even if Cain was a crazy murdering bastard, I loved him.
So... I totally forget what they talked about, because I was distracted by the tea cups. Crowley was nervous...and then Cain made him shut-up and just talked to Dean. Dean told him that he wanted to kill Abaddon and needed the First Blade to do so. Cain told him he wasn't getting it and then kicked them out. Or something... oh, I think first Cain told him that it was actually CAIN that trained and made the knights of Hell....awkward!
So, it's off to the car, Crowley says they should leave- Dean says that they'll just wait for Cain to go into town, then they'll break in and steal the First Blade. Solid plan, Mr. Deathwish.
Meanwhile, Cas is still torturing Sam... Sam insists he keep going, Cas is increasingly uncomfortable with the whole situation.
Back to Dean... Crowley and him break into Cain's place and start looking... but they don't find anything, even though they stood in the middle of the room and looked around. Dean DOES find a picture of a woman named Colette though. Uh, Dean, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Cain might have hooked up...YOU'RE DESCENDED FROM HIM!!! But, fair enough, he's not descended from Colette, that happened later - because by that point there were already Campbells (which in my headcanon are the Cain/Lucifer line, with the Winchester line being the Abel/Michael line.)
Cain comes home....oh, I should say - meanwhile, that demon that was watching Dean and Crowley in the bar has gone and killed Tara. This is why you don't SHOOT devils traps to break them...geeez...just scratch off the paint and then put it back as soon as they leave. UGH.
Cain comes home and he and Dean have words about how Dean didn't kill Sam, because you never give up on family etc. Then Cain decides to test Dean by watching him fight the demons and seeing how much of a killing machine he is.
This part is pretty damn awesome, because Dean IS a killing machine. I also love the fact that Cain is just sitting there preparing his corn. So hilarious.
Let's cut back to Sam and Cas, because I can't actually remember the sequence of events here. Sam's still insisting that Cas keep going, but Cas looks over at his sandwich and the sandwich tells him to stop. Okay, so THIS is the part that I thought was a little...over the top. Firstly, what is with the weird shot of the sandwich? I don't think it was necessary, I don't think Cas needed a visual aid to remind him what being human was like. Secondly, when Cas pulls the needle out of Sam and then heals him completely after looking at the sandwich, I thought "holy crap! Did Cas just use up all his stolen grace to heal Sam and thus make himself human again?!" Because, that made sense to me - the fact that a)Sam should be harder to heal than normal, b)it would explain the look to the sandwich, because it would be something that Cas would actually regain by losing his grace, and c)I thought it'd be an awesome gesture friendship-wise.
But, nope, instead Cas just healed Sam and insisted they stop because he didn't want Sam to die - which, yeah, that's also a nice gesture of friendship, but again, I don't think he needed the sandwich to spur that on - I think the Sam screaming in agony as he forced Sam to do something that would probably kill him was enough.
Then Cas tells Sam about how he understands that Sam wants to sacrifice himself for a greater cause because of all the guilt he carries around with him - because is the same way. And he explains that he was always a means justify the ends guy, like Sam was currently being, but that he learned it was wrong... and such. And okay, so it IS everything that I wanted Sam and Cas to bound over, but it was kind of... all in one go, you know? I wanted that spread out and done in a much more subtle fashion... this way felt a little "Full House" to me. Or, as my friend said, "I learned something today..."
BUT, whatever, I can't complain too much, because it IS what I wanted out of Sam and Cas interacting, because they DO have the most in-common out of the everyone.
So, Cas tells Sam that he should stop having a death wish, that the world needs him around - not dead, etc. It's all very touching.
Back to Cain's house... Dean has successfully killed the demons, and then Cain lays down the truth.
He didn't kill his brother, he saved him. I LOVE this twist on the Cain and Abel myth, I have to say. In Supernatural, Cain wasn't jealous of Abel, he was despairing because Abel was talking to Lucifer, not God, and Lucifer was leading him astray. Cain couldn't stand seeing his brother go darkside, so he made a deal - he'd willingly go darkside and go to hell, as long as Abel got to go to heaven. The caveat, of course, was that Cain had to send Abel to heaven himself - hence the killing. Then Cain became a killing machine, made the nights of hell, etc....
Eventually, he fell in love with Colette, who made him retire from the killing.... until the knights of hell took her, because, like the archangels, apparently they missed their daddy. So, like any good father whose children are too codependent, he MURDERED THEM ALL.
Except for Abaddon, because she was wearing Colette and and then she killed her, and then she fled so that he ended up stabbing Colette instead of Abaddon, and then Colette was like "don't kill anymore!" and died...thus being stupid, because COME ON! Apparently being reasonable and saying. "Kill that one demon that just murdered me, and THEN don't kill anymore, mmmkay?" was too hard for her. Anyway, after that, Cain through the jawbone First Blade into the deepest part of the ocean. (There is an epic war going on between angler-fish now that we don't even know about as a result, I'm sure.
Anywho.... more demons start flooding the property and Cain offers Dean a deal - he'll give Dean the Mark of Cain, which is what powers the blade (ie: without the mark, you can't use the blade) but it comes at a TERRIBLE PRICE! Dean doesn't even wait to find out what the price is, he's just like "Deal! Gimme!" - because unlike Sam, Dean does not have anyone with him that is going to give him the "Deathwish = Bad" speech. Instead, he has Crowley, who has set this whole thing up from the beginning, with this end goal in mind.
So, now we have to ask ourselves, what's the terrible price? My first thought was "live forever", because in my opinion that's a terrible thing. My friend thought "soul destined for Hell" since that was what Cain's deal was.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Sam and Cas try the tracking spell, but they don't have enough grace for it to work. Sam is disappointed. Cas apologizes... and then we get Sam thanking Cas and HUG TIMEZ!!! AWwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww...it's a Sassy!hug. And it IS awkward, just like Sam thought it would be back in S6.
But guys, I love the fact that when Sam hugs Cas, and Cas just stands there, before Sam tells him he's supposed to hug back, Cas closes his eyes and you can tell he's just enjoying the hug! It's super adorable! More hugs for Cas now please! :P ETA: Also, adorable face-pat from Sam as he pulls out of the hug!! Seriously?!?! I think at that point Jared just wanted to kill me.
As Cas walks away to go find more information or something, he tires once again to get the band back together - telling Sam that they'll need all the help they can get. But Sam just says "we got this" - like him and Cas are all that they need...and okay, I know he's just not ready to be around Dean yet, but the idea that Sam might actually think that he and Cas can do everything on their own warms the cookies of my sassy!heart. (And again, I mean that in a friendship sense - I don't actually ship anyone on this show, except as friends.)
Crowley echoes the same sentiment as Cas though, as he too, tries to get the band back together before he leaves to search the bottom of the ocean for a jawbone.
But the band HASN'T gotten back together by the end of this episode...so does that mean that I get MORE Sassy goodness? I would approve of this.
So, yeah, a little bit of a mixed bag on this one... I'm interested to see what the mark of Cain means for Dean, though I'm worried, because it's for sure nothing good... and yeah...
But I find it really interesting that we basically have Dean going after Abaddon and Sam going after Gadreel... I kind of want them to stay like this for a while, but the show has a tendency to get the boys back together sooner rather than later, so I'm not going to get my hopes up.
And that's that! Pretty interesting episode. Let me know in comments what I missed that you desperately want to talk about...