This episode kind of breaks my heart... but we'll get to that...
First, we start with Tommy who they rescued in Wendigo. And it kind of destroys me that he's killed now - and not only killed, but killed while he's already anxious and terrified because his girlfriend dragged him up into the woods. I mean, I shouldn't be too hard on her, because dude - if you are afraid of the woods, don't go in the woods - and she obviously doesn't know that he's afraid of the woods or she wouldn't be so *rolly-eyes* when he starts freaking out. If she DOES know that he's afraid of the woods, then she's mean and he can do better.
Anyway, Tommy's head explodes - and I am sad.
Sam: "The only thing that's going to make me feel better is finishing these trials."
Dean: "Alright, we'll, I'll go get you some grub - keep your strength up."
- Aww, I like this conversation because they're actually being honest with each other and also listening to what the other one is saying. Or, at least, Sam is being honest and Dean is listening... it's nice.
Cas: "Morning. I like this bunker. It's orderly."
- Awww... it's like I stepped into a fanfic where everyone is living like a big happy family.
Sam: "Well, give us a few months, Dean wants to get a ping pong table."
Cas: "I heard of that, it's a game, right?"
- So adorable. I can't stand it.
- Also, I will point out that even Dean's choice of game tables indicate a codependency on having a partner.
Cas: "My wound isn't healing as quickly as I'd hope, but I am getting better... and you're getting worse"
- So, it's probably just me, but what I actually hear Cas say here is "hint: you're getting worse" - which is pretty hilarious, but probably not what he says because a)it doesn't really make sense in context and b)Cas is usually straightforward about these things.
Dean: "Soup's on! I think this is... *tastes beer* yeah, still good."
Sam: "A half drunk beer, jerky, and three peanut-butter cups?"
Dean: "Yeah, we're running a little low- I'll make a run."
- So, random fact about me: Until this episode, I thought "soup's on!" was an expression only used when having soup. I guess I just always took it really literal - also, as is probably evident, my family never used it, so I only ever heard it on TV and obviously didn't see what people were eating, or coincidentally they were always eating soup.
- I love the way Dean taste tests the beer for Sam. Seriously, that's love right there, because skunky beer is horrid.
Cas: "Dean, I'll go with you." *Dean ignored him* "Dean?! I'm sorry."
Dean: "For what?"
Cas: "For everything."
Dean: "Everything? Like ignoring us?"
Dean "Like bolting off with the angel tablet and then losing it? Because you didn't trust me. You didn't trust me?"
Dean: "Yeah, that's not going to cut it. Not this time. So you can take your little apology and you can crame it up your ass."
Cas: "Dean, I thought I was doing the right thing."
Dean: "Yeah, you always do."
- So, this is interesting. I had actually forgotten how pissed off Dean was at Cas about the whole angel-tablet thing and Cas not trusting him. Dean, I don't think, ever really formally forgives Cas - though I could end up being wrong as I watch this. But I think they generally just both focus on whatever their job at hand is and work together until Dean either forgets or forgives. But, given the emotional plot-line of S9, I think it's very interesting that Dean was unwilling to accept Castiel's apology here because he had heard it too many times before. Cas has learned to apologize, and he DOES genuinely feel bad, but in Dean's opinion, Cas hasn't actually learned to correct the behaviour that always gets him into trouble in the first place - ie: not trusting Dean, because Cas has convinced himself that he's doing the right thing. And yeah, this is exactly why Sam won't forgive Dean in S9.
I love Sam's throat clearing, because it's just such a "oh god, I'm in the room for a couple's fight - this is so awkward"... and I say that as someone who often ends up in the room during couple's fights, not as someone who ships Destiel romantically.
Sam: "Dude, go easy on Cas, okay. He's one of the good guys."
Dean: "Dude, if anybody else- I mean anybody - pulled that kind of crap, I would stab them in their neck on principle, why should I give him a free pass?"
Sam: "Because it's Cas."
- Also interesting that Sam tries to convince Dean to forgive Cas on the sole basis that it's Cas. Again, just interesting when we think of the themes of forgiveness in S9.
Sam: "So, we have a dungeon"
*Sam looks disconcerted.*
*Dean gives a smile/shrug*
- I love this exchange, because on one level: Haha; but on the other level - and this is completely conveyed through Jared's preformance - Dean getting pleasure out of having a dungeon isn't a GOOD character-trait that Dean has acquired over the years, in fact, it's more of an instant reminder that he was groomed as a torturer in hell for 10 years (well, arguably 40 years, but he only actively tortured for 10).
The funny thing about this episode is that they don't address the teaser death right away. Usually, it's teaser-death followed by scene where the Winchesters learn of the teaser death or arrive in town do investigate the teaser death, but this episode half of it goes by without even mentioning the teaser death.
Cas has popcorn! It's adorable! Who made it for him? Why? He's an angel!
Sam: "Is that Abaddon?!"
Dean: "It's not killy enough - it's gotta be the chick she possessed."
- Fun fact, this is the only episode in which we see the chick that she possessed in her unpossessed state. To my knowledge, anyway.
Sam: "Hey, those chains look exactly like the ones in our dungeon."
Cas: "In your what?!"
. Cas suddenly went from casual observer to *I am extremely disconcerted.*
Dean: "Well, that was weird, with three exclamation points."
- So, I didn't comment on it before, but just in case you need the refresher - the note in the file that said "Weird!!!" was what lead Sam to find the tapes. And now I think my headcanon is that it was the girl Abaddon is possessing who wrote the file. She seems detrached enough to put down "weird" as a descriptor.
Dean: "Do you think this kinda weird's worth a drive?"
Sam: "Dean, everything in those files - the possessions, the deals, all of it - we've seen that before, but that! That was all new. Yeah, it's worth a drive."
- I love Sam. I mean, trials aside, I love how he just pursues knowledge here - it doesn't even matter if it's relevant or not, he's seen something new, and he wants to know more.
- I also love how the Winchesters have basically seen EVERYTHING by now.
Dean: "Alright, let's roll. Not you."
Cas: "Sam is more damaged than I am."
Dean: "Yeah, well even banged up. Sammy comes through."
Cas: "Dean, I just want to help."
Dean: "We don't need your help. Just stay here and... get better."
- Again, we return to the issue of trust. If Cas will sometimes decide that he can't trust Dean and he needs to do his own thing, then Dean believes that, in turn, he can't trust Cas (to 'come through' at the very least.)
- But, of course, Dean still cares about Cas, because it's not like he's kicking him out of the bunker - he still wants him to get better and he's still giving him a safe place in which to do so.
Dean: "Father, over the past couple of months, I've seen him do things that I didn't even was possible. I mean, sure, he's miserable and he's hurting, but you know what? There's not a doubt in my mind that he's going to cross that finish line. Not one."
- Oh, things Sam should hear - though, it's probably already too late anyway.
Cas shopping is funny. So's the shop keeper following him around just saying "dude!" - for the record, any clerk I know would say a few more choice words rather than just "dude!" :P
Cas: "You don't understand. I need pie."
- Hehehe, I know this is like, blatant fan-service, but it's good fan-service because I love it. I just like the fact that Cas is trying his best to get into Dean's good graces.
Metatron: "Put the virgin down, Castiel."
- Hehehe, again, I like it because it's funny - but I also like it because it shows us that Metatron is only interested in people in terms of their usefulness to him. He names the clerk as a virgin, not because he doesn't know his name, but because given the way rituals and whatnot work in this universe virgins can be handy things to have on hand.
So, for the record, when they exit the store - there is no way in hell that is in Kansas, they aren't even trying. Or did Castiel decide to fly to a different state to do his grocery shopping? Perhaps. That's very much North Vancouver/Deep Cove area... given the huge fuck-off hill that everything is built on.
Cas: "Wait, your Metatron? THE Metatron?"
- Oh, Cas, why do our heroes always have to disappoint us?
Metaton: "And you're Castiel. Kevin Tran told me about you"
- Oh Kevin... where are you by the way? Is he still hanging out in Colorado at Metatron's hotel? He's not in the bunker, so I guess he must be.
Metatron: "... and from what I can see, without the archangels, it's a mess up there. Open warfare."
Castiel: "I thought Naomi was running things."
Metatron: "Is that what she told you?..."
- I know there are people who are getting sick of the angel wars, but I actually find them pretty fascinating - because, what DOES happen to a society when all their most powerful leaders are removed? Especially societies that have been dictatorships for very long periods of time. It's something that happens in human society very often - the revolution isn't actually the hardest part of getting rid of a dictator, the hardest part comes after. Sometimes, you're successfully and you actually are able to set up a better system of government, other times, you get Robespierre and the Reign of Terror, and still other times you just end up living in Russia, where you effectively have the same old dictatorship only now it's wearing a mask. Anyway, yeah, I studied European history for my BA and MA, you'll have to forgive my bias for what I think is interesting. ;)
Cas: "I know, I'm the one that broke it. There was a time when I thought I could lead our people, but I was mistaken. I spilled so much blood. And I've tried to atone for my sins, and I did penance, and I betrayed my friends to protect our secrets, but I've just failed, and I-"
- Oh Cas... poor poor Cas. Everything he tries to do always ends up going wrong. Cas is basically stuck in a Shakespearen tragedy.
Metatron: "Just picture it. We ride to the rescue, save the day. [It'd] make a great story!"
- And, this is another red flag for Metatron, who cares more about stories than he doesn't reality... or rather, has learned how to use stories to his advantage. He's basically a spinner.. frame a story in the right way, and you can get people to believe whatever you want them to.
Metatron: "...we have to lock them all in a room until we figure this stuff out, you, me-"
Cas: "What, like a big family meeting?"
Metatron: "Exactly. Which is why we have to shut-down Heaven."
- It's interesting, because we still don't know exactly what Metatron did. He kicked all the angels out of heaven, except for himself and seemingly whoever else he chooses... but, the spirits can't get into heaven anymore either (even though Charlie did, so that might be a new development.) I mean, once IN heaven, it appears as though Metatron can alter whatever he likes.
Sam: "I can't find Cas. Do you think he blew town?"
Dean: "Sounds like him."
- Sigh... see, Cas just wanted to do the shopping, but he gets interrupted and now it looks like he left Dean without a word yet again.
The curing ritual is pretty goddamn brutal in my opinion. Though, I wonder what happens to the vessel... I mean, do they end up just trapped in their mind somewhere while the new cured demon walks around in their body? Do they die and go to whatever afterlife they are destined for? Does the demon willingly vacate the body now that it may have a conscience?
Sam: "...so, what we summon a demon, trap it-"
Dean: "Or - or we use one that we've already tagged. Do we still have Dad's old army field surgeon's kit?"
- Oh Dean, this is NOT a good idea. Why do you decide to test a new exorcism/ritual on a KNIGHT OF HELL?! Seriously. Dean never gets properly yelled at for this, nor Sam, who should have realized that it was a dumb plan.
- Also, how does Dean not know exactly what is in his trunk? :P
The restaurant that Castiel and Metatron are at is in Deep Cove, btw.
Metatron: "At the very least, it'll stop the fighting that's happening up there from spilling out down here. It's going to happen. It always does."
- Ugh, but Metatron is actually doing the opposite of this. Or rather, it seems that he IS closing heaven, to everyone but himself and whoever he so chooses, but the difference is that all the angels are going to be on the outside of that door, not the inside. Sigh, Metatron is a bastard.
Castiel: "You're going to complete these tests?"
Metatron: "No. I can't. I am a pencil pusher - always have been. I'm not strong enough. But you, you are a warrior..."
- Another thing I like about heaven are these ranks that we can't see in the vessels. Castiel, for all Dean sometimes treats him like a child, is actually a very powerful warrior... Metatron ISN'T a warrior class angel. It makes me wonder what their true forms DO look like.
- But anyway, here we see Metatron doing something that he continues to do in S9 - which is to dupe a warrior class angel into doing his dirty work, while he hides behind the curtain. In that respect, he's really no different than Naomi - though Naomi was offended when Crowley called her a bureaucrat, because most likely she too is warrior class, but became more CIA than Marine.
Metatron: "Heaven needs your help, Castiel."
Castiel: "I am the one that caused these problems. I should be the one that fixes them."
- And Metatron knows just how to manipulate people. Castiel has only ever wanted to fix heaven, ever since the apocalypse, which was 5 years ago in chronological time (3 years narrative). Of course he's going to jump at any chance to do so.
Castiel: "She's just a girl."
Metatron: "No, she isn't. She's a nephilim, an abomination."
Castiel: "She's the offsping of an angel and a human? I thought that wasn't allowed?"
- I wonder how that works. I know the shippers tend to think it involves sexytimes... but I'm thinking that it might be more of an antichrist scenario - where the angel possesses a human female for nine months. My headcanon is that angels are genderless. Because English is a limited language, they use the pronouns of their first vessels (which is why Raphael remained a "he" even after switching to a female body). Now, that being said, they could be genderless and be hermaphroditic as well, in which case they COULD procreate with sexytimes.
Metatron: "It's not. There's only one on earth and you are looking at it."
Castiel: "But she didn't choose to be nephilim, so she's innocent."
Metatron: "Yes, she is."
- The language here is great, because Metatron immediately goes into talking about the girl as though she's a gross THING rather than a person. Whereas Castiel continues to use the correct pronouns, and not only that, argues that people should only be punished for their choices, not the circumstances of their birth. And as soon as Castiel does that, Metatron immediately changes tactics and starts referring to her as a person again and appearing sympathetic and understanding to what Castiel is saying. Metatron hasn't been around for a while, so he probably thought that he could just appeal to Castiel's hatred of abominations, since all good angels have a hatred of abominations... but then, Castiel has been friends with Sam Winchester for 6 years (4 narrative), and had a brief flirt-affair with Meg to boot, so he's more likely to judge creatures on their choices not who they are by birth/rebirth.
What I want to know is why Sam and Dean think that an old dairy barn is "consecrated ground." :P
So, I guess they figured Abaddon was a safe bet because of the bullet in her head and the fact that they could cut her hands off..., but geez, I still think it's the most terrible idea they ever had. I mean, start SMALL boys, SMALL, not Knight of Hell.
So, yeah, we're 26 minutes in, and we still haven't addressed the teaser death yet - crazy.
Josie Sands - that's Abaddon's vessel's name. I'm just writing it down so I remember.
Crowley: "Hello Boy"
Abaddon: "Crowley? The salesman?"
Dean: "Try the King of Hell."
Abaddon: "This is a joke, right?"
- I love Crowley's "hello boy"
- I also love how they finally address the fact that Abaddon might suffer from a bit of culture shock, not just Henry, when they both did that leap forward in time. The world, and the afterlife, is not how she left it.
Again, you don't BOTH need to go outside to take the phone call. Seriously. DON'T LEAVE DEMONS ALONE.
Crowley: "I was wondering. Have you lads been reading the papers? Say, Denver times from yesterday?"
- Ah ha, Crowley has to BRING THE TEASER TO THEIR ATTENTION! Haha, I love it. It goes to show two things: That Sam and Dean are very much in focused-on-the-trials mode, and that Crowley's strategy for distracting them/blackmailing them into stopping, perhaps isn't the most effective - seeing as how he has to call them to point out what he's doing.
So, I guess the Winchester's weren't to know that Abaddon has special powers when it comes to proprioception.
Crowley: "What the hell. I'm sexting you an address. Check it out, then we'll talk."
- I just love Crowley's use of the word "sexting" here.
Dean: "There is it. Vic's name is Tommy Collins- Tommy Collins, why do I know that name?"
Sam: "Tommy Collins? We saved him from a Wendigo, like, forever ago."
- Literally forever ago, when it comes to Sam and Dean. We're talking 48+ years for Dean, and godknowshowlong for Sam, if you factor in hell/cage time.
Dean: "Alright, well, we'll pour one out for Tommy later."
- I also love this line, because it seems uncaring - and it kind of is - but what shows is just how much the Winchesters have experienced since S1. Tommy is a distant hazy memory and they've had to deal with so much more serious things than keeping a college kid safe from a Wendigo.
And Abaddon is gone...
Dean: "You do know it's a trap right?
Sam: "Of course it's a trap, but a trap means demons, and we could use one right now."
- Ah, I feel I missed that line the first time... I love how Sam's just like "oh, a demon trap, how convenient!" - again, the Winchesters have leveled-up so much since S1 that it's ridiculous. It's why really the only storylines that work for them anymore are the ridiculously heavey mythological ones. They're too powerful to be concerned with anything less.
There's some great shots of the Impala in this episode.
And Jenny is already dead. But seriously, they would have smelled her burning as soon as they walked into the apartment, not only after they discovered the body.
Crowley: "I'm killing everyone you ever saved..."
- Now, this is the part that breaks my heart - because it's horrible. The way Sam and Dean justifying sacrificing their own happiness and their entire lives for hunting is by pointing out all the people they saved. If they can't save people, if by saving them, they've just given them one or two extra years and another horrible fate, then what was the point of it all? They would have ruined their own lives for absolutely nothing... well, I mean, they still stopped the apocalypse, and that's hard to take away from them. Still, it's the people they've met that actually give them that feeling of satisfaction. It's the difference between donating $20 to a charity that feeds the hungry and actually going out and feeding a hungry person.
So, Crowley is going to kill someone every 12 hours until he gets the demon tablet. At this point, I should point out that they don't actually NEED the demon tablet anymore. They know what the third trial is, and if they shut Hell, then Crowley can't get his hands on a prophet to decipher the tablet anyway... but, it's still probably smart not to give it to him in case something goes wrong, which it will and always does.
Crowley: "... so either the cutest little prophet in the world is with you two lads, or you better find him..."
- Hehe, "the cutest little prophet in the wold"
Sarah!! See, this is why I don't like it when guests come back on SPN... the more times they show up, the more likely they are to die.
I do love how Sarah KNOWS that seeing Sam is bad news though. I love that aspect to the Winchesters, to those who know them and what they do - they're like a bad omen. I mean, yes, they're there to save you, but seeing them means that something has already gone wrong and that it might go wrong again.
Nephilim: "I know what you are. I can see your halos."
- Ooo, cool.
Nephilim: "I try to be nice. I just want to live my life."
Castiel: "We know. I'm sorry."
Nephilim: "You will be."
- The silver eyes are cool. I also wonder a bit at the "I try to be nice" - a nephilim more likely than humans to be evil?
Nephilim: "You want an abomination. I'll show you an abomination."
- So, yeah, the aggression kind of paints her as a bad guy, if you go with what you're used to seeing on TV and how we're usually meant to react to such aggression... yet, if you step back, you realize that really she's just pissed off because some racist assholes are trying to kill her. So, yup, Cas was right, completely innocent girl who doesn't deserve to die.
Oh Sarah... I do love how Dean greets her when he comes in. Anyway, we find out that Sarah is married and has a one-year old. I really like the fact that they had her be married and have a kid - I think there's a tendency in shows, or maybe just fanfic, where you have old loves just stay single so that when they come back there can be "tension" - and I love the fact that they just put the kibosh on that. Sam's concern for her here is solely because she's a person that he wants to keep alive. It's not about any romantic feelings he has for her. It's not about saving her FOR HIMSELF, I guess is what I'm trying to say. It's just about saving her. Full stop.
Sarah: "No, you're not the same. Look it's been years. And I can't even imagine the things you've been through - but I don't know, you just seem, more confident, focused, like you know what you want. You grew up, Sam. I do miss the old haircut though."
- Aww, Sarah. Poor Sarah. I do like the fact that they address the fact that Sam's basically all in hunting now, having been in it for 9 years (7 narrative) since he last saw her. Also, nice call back to the cute S1 haircut.
Crowley: "Son of a witch, actually..."
- Ah, the twist. It's clever.
But, of course, Sarah dies, because they can't find the hex bag in time.
Crowley: "What's the line - Saving people, Hunting things - the Family business. Well, I think the people you save, I think they're how you justify your pathetic little lives - the [outlaws?], the collateral damage, the pain you've caused, the one thing that allows you to sleep at night - the one thing is knowing that that these folks are out there happy and healthy, because of you. You great big bloody heroes. They're your life's work and I'm going to ripe it apart piece by piece..."
- It is horribly brilliant.
And the hex bag was in the phone. She's only dead for like a minute! You could still try to revive her! She might be brain damaged though.
Dean: "You okay?"
Sam: "What do you think?"
- Aww, poor Sammy.
Dean: "So what are you saying?"
Sam: "I'm saying, maybe this isn't one we can win. Maybe we should just take the deal."
Dean: "We'll figure this out. We will. And we'll get it done, we'll kick it in the ass, like we always do. Are you with me?"
- Again, they don't necessarily NEED the demon tablet anymore. So, the deal isn't going to hurt their current goal. But, yeah, I already said all this.
I do like the set up for the finale episode though. It's well done.
Arriving in Prosperity, Indiana... they have a chat in the car first, where Dean makes sure Sam is okay and they load up their weapons.
Sam is shakey
Dean: "You okay?"
Sam: "Play through the pain, right."
Interesting to note - Dean is using devil's trap bullets!
Yay! Only one left, and then a brief chat about the special features, and then I'm done! Woo!
For those of you in NA and wherever else is applies - don't forget to set your clocks forward tonight! It's stupid spring-ahead time, where we all lose an house of sleep because of some stupid reason. :P