Standard disclaimer: Only seen episode once while drinking. All quotes are approximated. Things will be out of order. Nothing needs to be corrected unless I ask for information or I get a major plot point wrong.
TO THE EPISODE...
So, my friend's PVR messed up and we missed the first five minutes and then had to watch them on another channel later. It was actually kind of cool to see the whole episode without the help of the "THEN" segment, it left more to mystery.
I DID eventually see the first five minutes though - so I CAN talk about them. We get our teaser death, which is cold and awesome. Then we get Sam and Dean actually splitting up for the case, because Dean is fixated on Abaddon and Sam wants to go check out a case... kind of a reversal to how they used to be, with Sam fixating on the end goal and Dean wanting to make sure they don't let innocent people die in the meantime.
I actually like it when the Winchesters split up. I think it's cool, because at this point really, they should be seasoned enough hunters to hunt on their own. And it's cool to actually see that - the fact that Sam CAN take on what appears to be a demon case on his lonesome... do you remember back in S1 when demons used to terrify Sam and Dean? Yeah... those days are over.
Sam takes off on his own, though he's slightly worried about how fixated Dean is... and Dean brings out the whiskey. Later, Crowley will call Dean an addict - I take it that he's an addict for the power that the First Blade gives him.... and it seems that in true addict fashion, Dean is substituting one vice for another. I know a smoker who quit smoking only to become a functioning alcoholic. Thankfully, booze makes him nicer, not meaner, so no one really minds.
Sam goes off to investigate, but it doesn't seem to be a demonic possession... or at least, nothing points to it. And the woman is dead, so Sam can't test her for possession.
Meanwhile, Dean calls Crowley but then changes his mind... and then goes drinking at a bar, because apparently a bottle of whiskey isn't enough. I wonder if Cas comes around ever 6 months or so and heals Dean's liver. He must. He's a good boyfriend.
Then a hitchhiking kid gets picked up by a van and ATTACKED! And it's all very glowey..., and then the kid makes the mistake of picking a fight in the same diner that Sam is eating in. I liked Sam's reactions here, because at first, I think Sam was just reacting how he'd react if some punk came into a diner and started making trouble - as soon as the kid goes so far as to stab the waitress through the hand, Sam's like FUCK THAT! And takes the kid out... and then immediately attends to the waitress (though the scene cuts)... and it's all kind of BAMF awesome.
I have to say, as soon as the kid said that he was "more clear", I said, "are they stealing their souls?" and sure enough, Sam tests the kid for possession and then goes out to call Dean and floats the same hypothesis. What if it's soullessness... just like Sam was, only more violent. And man, I think that says something about Sam, that even when he was SOULLESS he was remarkably non-violent for a soulless person.
Sam wants Dean to come help him, but Dean insists that he's busy researching and can't come... which, yeah, Dean's definitely avoiding hunting.
This, of course, is when Crowley pops up... and I do love his line about how if Sam and Dean are acting like a married couple, then does that make Crowley the mistress? Heh. Oh Crowley.
Crowley calls Dean out on what he's doing though - saying that Dean is scared of the power he felt with the First Blade, and scared of how much he liked it.
Anyway, back to Sam... Sam who is at the police station when an older woman comes in and starts trying to tell the police that "those demons are back again"... Sam immediately takes over and interviews her. Sure enough, this has all happened before... and not only that, the woman recognizes Sam as a Men of Letters and informs him that it was Henry and Josie who took the previous case. The woman, Julia Wilkinson (who is totally named after my friend Jules of the SuperWiki, so that's awesome!) looks like Shirley MacLaine to me... doesn't she? Am I crazy? She was awesome in any case. (ETA: and I mean "looks like" as in "reminds me of" I don't actually think she's Shirley MacLaine.)
But, we find out from her what happened all those years ago... and I'm just going to talk about it all in one chunk. But yeah, one of the sisters at the convent murdered two people and investigators arrived... and those investigators turned out to be Henry and Josie (of later Abaddon meatsuit fame). And yeah, Julia became a potential victim, but Henry and Josie rescued her...except that Henry couldn't exorcise one of the demons, and was knocked out. That demon, of course, turned out to be Abaddon the knight of hell... and she was going to possess Henry, but Josie volunteered instead, in order to save Henry... at least for a little while. Because she was in love with him... awww... I think she could do better, but love is blind. lol. (Sorry, Henry's adorable... but he's a little naive for my tastes.) Also, because Henry was just talking about how he didn't want to die and leave his wife (Millie, apparently!) a widower and his son, John, without a father... oh honey, that happened anyway. But don't worry, Millie marries a nice mechanic dude in Lawrence and it all, uh, works out?
It was pretty cool to get the backstory on Josie. They kind of hinted that something happened to her family too - or at least, that she didn't have one. I don't know if Henry felt bad about pointing that out because she knew she was in love with him, or if it's because something horribly tragic happened to her family that brought her to the Men of Letters. This backstory about her kind of makes me wonder if she's still in there to be saved... I mean, I know the Winchesters don't care much about the meatsuits anymore, but... I wonder... would Josie even live if they COULD exorcise Abaddon?
Let's go back to Dean... Crowley goes to use the washroom and Dean sees a hunter go to follow him. Dean stops the hunter by pointing out that he's biting off more than he can chew and that Crowley's going to kill him if he attacks him with a knife and an exorcism - or whatever he seemed to be planning. The guy backs down when Dean points out that Crowley will go after his whole family, not just him.
Okay, back to Sam, who is driving to the convent to check it out... he finds the van there and goes into the basement to find the souls. He was right! And they're super pretty!! Then the demons show up. Sam takes one of them out, but the one in nun gets the drop on him and kicks him in the kidneys. Ouch. She also disarms him... so that she can monologue about Abaddons plans.
Abaddon is apparently harvesting living souls, and has been since the 1950s at least, in order to create a demon army solely loyal to her. Yikes! Sam is suitably horrified and starts the exorcism.... only to be choked! Must be Tuesday. But that's okay! He's got the exorcism recorded on his phone!! Hahaha... how many seasons have we been waiting for that? Brilliant and awesome. The demon DOES get to the phone before the exorcism finishes, but in it's haste, it dropped the knife, which means that it gets STABBED. Good job, Sammy.
Then he sets the souls free and it's PRETTY... poor people though. I mean, I guess they CAN claim psychotic break, because no one is going to believe them that a ball of blue energy came into the jail and they immediately regretted everything they did.
Back to Dean! Dean leaves the bar and tells Crowley that their deal to take down Abaddon still stands... and then we find out that the novice hunter dude was a demon plant by Crowley to test whether Dean would try to save Crowley or not. I'd like to argue that Dean wasn't saving Crowley, he was saving the hunter, who was obviously ill prepared to take on the knight of Hell... but, there's also the fact that Crowley has the blade, and Dean needs the blade to kill Abaddon, so as long as Crowley has the blade and Abaddon is alive, Dean needs Crowley. I also wonder if perhaps this was some sort of show for the demon - to get the word around that Crowley has the Winchesters as pets again, to make him seem more desirable as King. I'm not sure... don't really know what Crowley's game is, besides the fact that I'm 100% that he has a game.
Back to Sam and the former nun... Sam's wrapped up the case and is thanking the nun... and asks why she didn't try to warn Henry... and she tells him that she was too afraid. Which, yeah, I can hardly blame her. I highly doubt that I'd do much better in the same situation. Actually, I'd be even worse, because I'd have never left my room, and then there'd be no eye-witness at all 55 years later.
When Sam was driving away and they focused back in on the woman, I was worried for a half second that they'd flash back and I'd be super confused... but nope, she was just remembering that Henry
Then Sam heads back to the bunker, and starts researching with Dean, telling him about the soul farming and demon army and how they have to act sooner rather than later... and it's nice to see the brothers working in the same room again, even if it's still at separate tables.
So, director things! Like I said, I'm not really knowledgeable enough to comment on directing, but there were a couple of things I liked - the longer shots of Dean and Crowley in the bar where there weren't as many cuts between dialogue. The shots of Dean in the bunker on the phone with Sam, always with objects in the foreground obstructing him somehow and making things a little claustrophobic and uncomfortable and never giving us a wide shot so that we could see the full picture. Also, whenever Crowley spoke to Dean at the bar, he was always leaning way into his space - again, uncomfortably. Don't know if that's a director thing or an actor thing, but I liked it. It made Dean's whole storyline really really uncomfortable and suspicious. Anyway, those were the only things that I really noticed.
All in all, a good episode!
Next week looks pretty damn epic. I must say.
As usual, let me know what you want to talk about in comments!! :)