Hell's Half Acre (hells_half_acre) wrote,
Hell's Half Acre

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Rewatch S9: First Born (9x11)

I'm still alive! Sorry, weird confluence of me messing up my sleep schedule, landlord doing work around building involving shutting off the power and being in my apartment, and job-seeking stuff led to me not having a stretch of time to be able to do one of these. Which sucks, because my original goal was to be at least at 9x12 by now. Anyway...

We left our Winchester boys broken-hearted and separated - which leaves them both vunerable to being complete idiots, more so than usual. So, naturally, things continue to fall apart in...

First Born

So, this is where we first see Cain... who, I have to say, I love, although I hate what he ends up doing to Dean. I do wonder if Dean will eventually get those demon spiting powers though. I mean, the Mark lets him wield the blade, it stands to reason that it might give him other powers...

Dean: "I said the next time I see you..."
Crowley: "Dead, yeah, rings a bell. Let's not dwell on the past..."

- So, okay, I know Crowley is a great villain and he sticks around BECAUSE he's a great villian. But, it kind of gets on my nerves sometimes when the Winchester's don't try to kill him. Like, seriously, Dean could have stabbed him right there, but he doesn't - because they're in public? Would Dean really care about that? Maybe he does - maybe this isn't the best example, but we will get other ones in this season... opportunities where it doesn't REALLY make that much sense why the Winchesters pause long enough to have Crowley escape, or let him speak, or whatever. I'm not saying they need to kill him, per say, I'm saying that the writers need to find better reasons why the Winchesters can't kill him rather than just having them not do it for no reason.

Dean: "....the Knights of Hell aren't exactly the dying kind."
Crowley: "But there is something that can kill a Knight. The weapon that the archangels used to execute them - The First Blade."
Dean: "Never heard of it. Can I kill you now?"
Crowley: "I've been chasing that blade for decades..."

- Again, it's not like Dean's Canadian... I mean, it's already impolite to stab someone, you don't have to wait until they're done talking.
- Moving on from my pet peeve though - You can really tell that Dean is drunk here. It's the way he's talking, unless Jensen just had a really funky cold... which I suppose could also be the case, but I'm going to put it down to good acting instead, because if he DOES have a cold, then he's using the head-fuzzies to his advantage.
- Thirdly, at this point, since we've seen this episode before, we know that Crowley already knows that Cain has the blade - that it wasn't the archangels that killed the Knights of Hell.

Crowley: "... I'm here to see if there's anything in the John Winchester memorial library that could lead us to killing Abaddon."
- So, although I agree that Abaddon should probably be killed, it DOES kind of bother me that Dean JUST swore last week that he was going to track down Gadreel and kill HIM and now he's switching tracks. Especially because this track is so unhealthy and doomed for him... yes, I know he eventually dies on the Gadreel/Metatron track, but arguably, he dies because of the Mark, not because of who he was up again. Though, I suppose that's an argument for another episode.

Dean: "And how do I know this isn't a trap?"
Crowley: "You don't. That's what makes it fun."

- It IS a trap. Ugh, Dean... it's always a trap.

Dean has a new jacket. I need to ask my clothing peeps if they know the brand... Interesting fact: I've found the only time I come into contact with the male half of the fandom is when it comes to the clothes. They're much more obsessed about knowing brand names, where to buy them, cosplaying, etc. I'm actually astounded that one of them didn't make the clothing catalogue before I did, since mine was just the interest of a passing curiosity, rather than the obsessiveness of a collector. Anyway, off topic, sorry.

To the bunker where we find out that angels don't eat because they get too much information from their senses...

ALSO IT'S SASSY TIME! Sorry, you all know that I love Dean, but I'm probably going to go a bit crazy for the Sam+Cas scenes in this episode, because I find their dynamic the most interesting out of every relationship on this show.

Cas: "Tastes like... molecules."
Sam: "What? What are you talking about?"
Cas: "When I was human I had to eat constantly. It was kind of annoying."
Sam: "Yeah, a lot of human things are pretty annoying."

- I don't even really have anything to say, but I just copied out that dialogue because I love them.
- Seriously though, eating is super annoying... if we were lizards, we wouldn't need to eat as much. Though, I also wouldn't be able to live in Canada, so I guess sacrifices have to be made.

Cas: "But I enjoyed the taste of food, particularly peanut butter and grape jelly. Not jam. Jam I found unsettling."
- Oh man, me too... or, at least me as a kid. I didn't like anything with chunks in it. It was like eating viscera.

Sam: "So, what? Now you can't taste PB&J?"
- I love how Sam just reaches over and dips his fingers into Cas' sandwich. Casual intimacy is my kink.

Cas: "...I'll miss you PB&J!"
- So, I kind of don't like this line. I don't know... it's just weird for Cas to address a sandwich? I have no idea why it sits wrong with me.

Cas: "We need to continue your healing. We're almost done."
- I wonder how much time has passed since the last episode. There's no indication, but personally, I feel slightly cheated out of spending a week watching Cas heal Sam in increments. Because in my head, it's at least been a few days, if not more.

Sam: "What?"
Cas: "Nothing."
Sam: "You're a terrible liar."
Cas: "That is not true! I once deceived and betrayed both you and your brother."

- Hahahah, oh Cas, I love you.
- Though, that being said, this does sort of point to the slight inconsistancy in the way that Cas is written sometimes.

Cas: "I noticed something. It's resonating inside you."
Sam: "What?"
Cas: "Something angelic."

- Awww, Cas' pick-up lines are the sweetest.

Sam: "Okay, what does that mean?"
Cas: "Maybe we should call Dean."
Sam: "No, he wanted to go and he's gone. We'll handle this."

- Oh Sam. Trying to show that you respect someone's wishes is one thing, but you should probably also respect the fact that Dean would want you to call him if there was something wrong with you.
- Also, kudos to Cas for trying to resolve Winchester conflict.

Back to Dean and Crowley...

Crowley: "Is this really necessary? I mean, I've been inside your brother. We're practically family."
*Dean shoves Crowley into shelf*
Dean: "Listen to me, we are the furthest thing from family. You got that, dickbag?"

- Again, I really can only see possession as a metaphor for sexual assault, and so Dean's reaction is not only warranted, but also Dean really should have stabbed Crowley there for even saying that. Of course, the further pain of it is that it was Dean who allowed Crowley to possess Sam in the first place, good reasons or no. (Technically, both possessions were for good reasons, but still shitty things to do to Sam.)

Crowley: "So, I guess the T didn't stand for Terrible Father, but-"
Dean: "Tara. Doesn't ring a bell."

- I love this exchange because Dean doesn't protest the terrible father dig AT ALL.

Crowley: "What, didn't they teach notetaking at Hunter's Hogwarts?"
- I have a feeling that Crowley wanted a bit more of a reaction to that clever reference. :P

I should also say that I love this glimpse into how the Winchesters organized and stored their knowledge before they had the Bunker. I guess it's because I'm a researcher by nature and experience, so I'm always pleased when I see organized filing systems. The Winchesters basically have a library scattered in storage areas around the country, much, I'm sure, like Bobby did. I wonder if they inherited Bobby's too.

Back to Sam and Cas...

Cas: "I found something. It's a detail about when angels leave their vessels. I think. It's enochian, which can be a bit flowery. 'And the departed shall remain and the remains shall be the departed.'"
Sam: "So, when an angel leaves a vessel they leave behind a piece of themselves, like an angelic fingerprint."
Cas: "Whatever you want to call it. This 'piece' of the departed contains grace."

- Or we could call it semen. Because, I mean SERIOUSLY... the words they use for possession equal the words they use for sex, and the angels can leave behind a substance that basically contains their DNA? Yeah... I mean, even if it doesn't lead to fertilization and pregnancy, that's still the equivalent of angel jizz.
- Okay, so, crudeness aside, this does lead to an interesting understanding of the way angels function (and a possible remedy to Cas' problems), because as we first learned with Anna, restoring an angel's grace recreates a fallen angel. Angel!Anna, was essentially dead after separating her grace from her the angel-soul-equivalent, but all Human!Anna (who was the creation of her angel-soul-equivalent) had to do was find the Anna!Grace and that, along with the Anna!angel-soul-equivalent reformed Angel!Anna. Right now, Cas has also had his grace removed, and presumably destroyed, and he's stolen Theo!Grace. But Theo!Grace+Cas!Angel-soul-equivalent =/= Angel!Cas. It equals Human!Cas with time-limited angelic powers and attributes. But, Cas has possessed more than one vessel, so technically there might still be some Cas!Grace out there.
- Now, before anyone brings it up, YES, there's the fact that Sam has also been possessed by Lucifer. Did Sam's soulless resurrection include a bit of Lucifer's grace? Or was it wiped out from the vessel the same way that Sam's soul accidentally was. Does the angel grace attach to the vessel or the soul? Personally, I think it's left in the vessel and Sam's unique resurrection meant that, like Sam's soul, the small trace of Lucifer was left in the cage. Or, perhaps there WAS Lucifer grace in there and that's why the spell to find Gadreel doesn't work...
- Finally, I find it very interesting that Cas didn't KNOW this. I guess angels don't have sex-ed.

Sam: "You're saying that there's angelic grace inside of me?"
Cas: "Yes, but it's fading each time I heal you."

- So, this is another interesting tidbit. Why is it fading? Is it fading BECAUSE Cas is healing Sam? Or does the grace left behind simply just fade over time naturally and Cas only notices each time that it's faded because he's healing Sam? How does he know it's fading if he only just now noticed it? Or did he notice it before but keep a better poker face about it?

Sam: "Okay, is that good or bad?"
Cas: "Well, it's harmless, but the grace itself might be helpful. According to this we might be able to use the grace inside you to trace Gadreel..."

- It's interesting that Sam isn't like "Ugh! Get it out!" At this point, he's so used to being violated by supernatural creatures, he's just like "Does this have the potential to turn into an addiction like the demon blood or can I just go about my life?" (Though, now I feel like I should go post a prompt on the kinkmeme for a story where Sam's addicted to angel jizz....knowing the kinkmeme though, that prompt was probably posted long ago.)
- Also, if angels hadn't walked the earth for millenia, how do the Men of Letters know all this stuff? Maybe they found a scroll from ancient egypt or something, I guess. Or, Cas DID say it was enochian, so I guess they found some enochian somewhere... maybe some angel was trying to get course materials together for a sex-ed course.

Cas: "...if we can extract it."
Sam: "How would we do that?"
Cas: "Well, ch, painfully."

- Of course it's painfully.
- Also, I don't know how to spell that noise we make in the back of our throats, when we give noise to what is essentially a huff.

Cas: "...they were never able to test the theory."
Sam: "Well, they didn't have a guinea pig. We do."
Cas: "You have a guinea pig? Where?"

- Hahahaha... I love his face so much. Like, "why do you have a guinea pig?" followed by "I haven't once seen you look after a guinea pig! Who is looking after this guinea pig! I better check up on it..."... or at least, that's how I read the expression. "The Winchesters aren't responsible pet owners. I better save this guinea pig."

Sam: "Me, Cas, I'm the guinea pig."
Cas: "Oh."

- I love how annoyed Sam is by Cas not understanding. Or maybe he's just annoyed at the implication that he's not a responsible guinea pig owner.

*Sam reaches over and flips back open the file to look at the picture of the needle*
Cas: "Do you any idea where that is?"

- Again, I'm just talking about this because I love the casual intimacy of Sam reaching into Cas' personal space.

Sidenote: when I say I like casual intimacy, I'm not talking about it in the sexual context or in reference to a sexual relationship. I like Sam and Cas as a non-romantic relationship. I just wanted to be clear on that. I don't actually ship anyone in this show romantically, except for canon romantic pairings.

Back to Dean and Crowley...

I love Tara, because she's BUILT.

Dean: "John Winchester ring a bell?"
Tara: "Are you Sam or Dean?"
Dean: "Dean."
Tara: "Well didn't you grow up pretty?"

- So, not to bring Jensen into this, but me and a friend just had a conversation the other day about how his more... macho attitudes... might come from being called pretty his whole life and then feeling like he had to perform masculinity even harder to compensate. Anyway... um, this conversation is probably also applicable to Dean.

And once again, Dean gets splashed in the face with holy water...

Tara: "Well, hell, you are are handsome as John... and as dumb too if you're looking for that old relic."
- Yes, yes he is.

Tara: "The demon said the archangels used a weapon to kill the knights of hell..."
- So, it occurs to me that it actually WAS the archangels that killed the knights of hell. Because it was an archangel who created Cain and Cain IS the weapon. Now, of course, comes the argument about how Cain has autonomy and chose to kill the knights of hell himself... so, technically that argument falls apart there. Nevermind.

Tara: "... we took him out and we had a lovely weekend together."
- John Winchester has good taste in women at least.

Dean: "He wants Abaddon as dead as I do."
Tara: "If your daddy could see you now."
*shoots devils trap to release Crowley*
*Crowley disappears*
Tara: "You know even if that blade is real, it ain't worth being bosom buddies with the King of Hell."
Dean: "Abaddon - way worse. I'll deal with Crowley after. Trust me."
Tara: "You sound just like your dad, when he said he'd call me."

- So, even though Dean has moved to a point in his life where he can recognize and admit to his father's failiings... I think it still hits him where it hurts when anyone implies that he'd be a disappointment to John. I think the idea of being a disappointment (which he already always thought he was) is still something that weighs on him a disproportionate amount.
- Also, don't shoot the floor! It's harder to repear the devils trap if you shoot the floor! Ugh Tara! You were doing so well.
- And yeah, talking to your weekend-fling's son about how your fling never called you back...hella awkward. Though, I think Dean should have pointed out that John never called Dean or Sam when Dean was dying, so she probably shouldn't feel that bad - I mean, apparently John was just really really bad at phones.

Why do they always just use a map of the US? What if the first blade was in Mongolia? Cain could have become a sheppard.

Crowley: "Care to join us?"
Tara: "Him anytime. You never."

- Aww, I'd have loved to see Tara and Dean on a hunt, even with her crappy knee. But no, she dies instead... but I'll complain about that later. Actually, I'll complain now so I don't have to do it later - Sometimes, I wish they'd leave people alive, just because it keeps the universe feeling big, you know? It populates the world and makes it seem more "real" in a way. It makes you feel like there are adventures going on with other characters that are heroes of their own stories, that there are infinite number of stories you could be following that would all be compelling... but then, Supernatural DOES have a long tradition of introducing characters just to kill them off - remember Pastor Jim? Caleb? I mean, that stuff started in S1.

Crowley: "That's not a beekeeper, that's the father of murder."
Dean: "Sorry, who?"
Crowley: "It's Cain."
Dean: "As in Cain and Abel?"
Crowley: "Dean, we need to be a world away from here. From him."
Cain: "You're not going anywhere. Crowley."

- I love how Cain says Crowley's name.
- Also, pretty neat introduction to a character.
- So, I love Timothy Omundson. I do. But... I feel like, well, the way my headcanon works for the Supernatural universe is that... religion and evolution are both "true" (which is canon), which means (and this is where my headcanon starts) that Adam and Eve weren't the first humans, but rather the first humans who had a concept of the Abrahamic God (ie: The One True God of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam)... and if Cain and Abel are still Adam and Eve's sons (which, granted, they haven't declared) shouldn't they be of middle-eastern decent? Archeological evidence indicates that the Abrahamic religions started in what we call the middle-east today. Now, of course, there WAS migration in the ancient world, but I still think odds are good that the first humans to come up with the concept of the Abrahamic God weren't imported Scandinavians, as awesome as imported Scandinavians are. But, yeah, I recognize that this is me being EXTREMELY nitpicky, and I really do think that Omundsen's look goes more towards the wild-west esthetic of Supernatural, so I can completely understand why they cast him and I don't think it's a bad decision at all.

Crowley: "Well after Cain killed Abel, he became a demon."
Dean: "What do you mean became a demon?"
Crowley: "I mean he became the deadliest demon to walk the earth. The best at being the worst."

- I didn't catch it the first time I saw this episode, but knowing what we know now, I can't help but notice the genius of having Dean's question stress "became" in the sentence. It was already hinting at a non-traditional demon-becoming route - because Dean already knew that humans eventually become demons, but what Crowley is saying here implies a more direct route, one that isn't reliant on death and decades of subsequent torture.

Cain: "Do any of you keep bees? It's very relaxing...."
- And here's a hint that Cain might NEED to stay relaxed.
- It's also a nice shout-out to the mythology, that Cain is keeping bees, because traditionally part of Cain's curse is that he can't farm the land.

And Cain uses the same fine china as my mother! It's so distracting... especially since Cain's house reminds me of my sister's mother's house... so yeah, basically to me it feels like they're all sitting in my mother-figure's house. It's trippy.

Cain: "So, what are the King of Hell and a Winchester doing at my house?"
Dean: "You know who we are."
Cain: "I'm retired. I'm not dead."

- See, this is the kind of villain/creature that I love - because at this point, especially if you're a figure in the Christian religion, the Winchesters SHOULD be legends and well known.

Crowley: "It's a funny story..."
Cain: "Shhh"
*Crowley can't talk*
Dean: "Oh, you gotta teach me how to do that."

- And again, we get our first major foreshadowing of what's to come in the episode, as Dean asks Cain to share the secret of a particular power...

Cain: "Well, it's been a pleasure having company, but once a century is enough for me. You can let yourself out."
- Cain is me.

Cain: "You have quite a reputation, Dean. I see the part about you being brave rings true."
Dean: "Well, what can I say, I'm an all-in kind of guy...."

- You know, Dean really is an all-in kind of guy. That's a perfect way to describe him... I think he gets it from John. Both John and Dean tend to devote themselves to a cause and stick with it until the bitter end. It's interesting though, that in Dean's case, he will interrupt Sam when he's trying to do the same and stop him.

Cain: "Well here's something your friend doesn't know - that no one knows outside of Abaddon. It wasn't the archangels that slaughered the knights. It was me."
- Ah, but Crowley DOES know, as we find out later...

Cain: "...Goodbye Dean Winchester - Never return."
- Oh you should have listened to him, Dean...

Back to Sassy!

Cas: "Sam, can I ask you a question?"
Sam: "You just did!"
Cas: "Can I ask you another question?"
Sam: "Well, technically- yup! Go ahead! What's up?"

- Haha, I love when Sam realizes that it's going to go on all day unless he just says yes.

Cas: "Sam, the trials. You chose not to go through with them for a reason, didn't you? You chose to live rather than to sacrifice yourself. You and Dean, you chose each other."
Sam: "Yeah, I did. We did. And then Dean made a choice for me."
Cas: "What Dean did-"
Sam: "Doesn't matter what Dean did. Look, I could have put a stop to all this Cas. I could have closed the gates to Hell."
Cas: "Oh- Sam-"
Sam: "Dean's gone, okay! This is on me now, and if I can find Gadreel, I can fix this. Now being a human means settling your debts. Let's start balancing the books."

- Okay, so this is a very contentious thing in the fandom, I find. Is Sam mad at Dean for allowing him to be possessed or is he mad at Dean for stopping him from completing the final trial? One makes sense, the other one doesn't. Because Cas isn't wrong - Sam did choose to try to live rather than complete the final trial. He DID choose Dean over closing the gates of hell. Sam can't blame Dean for a choice that Sam made. What he can do is blame Dean for talking him into it... which is what I believe he does in an upcoming episode (but we'll discuss that then.)
- I mean, the point is that if Sam was going to die anyway, he would have preferred to die while closing the gates of hell. But, that's still SAM'S CHOICE that he made. He didn't know that the death sentence was irreversible at that point and neither did Dean, so he CAN'T blame Dean, in my opinion.
- But IS that what's Sam's mad about? He says "If I can find Gadreel, I can fix this." Well, that's definitely not talking about failing to close the gates, because Gadreel had nothing to do with that. So, the debt that Sam's trying to settle is the one caused by Gadreel's possession, namely, Kevin's death. - "Dean's not here - this is on me now" suggests that for some reason even though Dean left vowing to track down Gadreel, Sam believes that it's actually Sam's responsibility...which is also slightly weird, because Dean just finished telling Sam that Kevin's death was Dean's fault and Dean was going to get revenge for him.
- So, basically, my argument for this contentious issue is that the writers are writing CONFUSING DIALOGUE.

Crowley: "This is by far the dumbest idea you've ever had."
Dean: "Yeah, well, it's early."

- It is. It really is. Oh Dean.

Demon: "You'll never believe what The Winchester and Crowley found..."
- I just love how Dean's "The Winchester." I think it feeds into my desire to see the Winchesters ascend to god-like status, because it's almost a title - like "The Angel" or "The *Creature Name*". It doesn't matter to the demon which Winchester it is, it is a Winchester and that's the only description needed.

So, angel grace in former vessels is kept in the back of the neck? Is he supposed to be puncturing the lower brain or the spine? Either way, it's an interesting placement.

Sam: "What the hell was that."
Cas: "Your body is regressing to the state it was in before Gadreel."

- So, this is another point where things start to get a little...inconsistant. If Sam's body is regressing to the state Gadreel found him in, then he should be incurable after the procedure or in need of multiple treatments again after Cas removes a good chunk of the grace left.
- Also, this indicates that the grace might be fading each time Cas heals Sam because it is no longer needed and/or more of it has been used. Gadreel was using his own grace to heal Sam, and the leftovers might be going to the same purpose, slowly healing Sam even when Cas is not helping. In which case, the grace would eventually be used up once Sam was fully healed - and likewise, any grace left in OTHER human vessels may eventually get used up the same way...basically giving the human boosted immune/healing-ability for the length of time it takes for that boosted ability to use up the grace.

Cain: "Brave but impulsive. You really have lived up to your reputation."
- Yup.
- Seriously though, I think Cain considered Dean as a possible successor long before this meeting. I mean, Sam and Dean are decended from Cain and Abel for a reason... and they have a similar history for a reason too.

Sam: "Keep going."
Cas: "Why?"
Sam: "We have to find Gadreel."
Cas: "No. Why must the Winchesters run towards death."
Sam: "No, don't. Don't stop..."

Cas: "Sam, when I was human, I died, and that showed me that life is prescious and must be protected at all costs. Even a life as... pig-headed as a Winchester's."
- That last dialogue is a little clunky.
- (someone should take that last line of Sam's and mix it into one of those porny audio-files... you know the ones. Hmm...knowing this fandom, someone already has and I just don't know because I don't ship in this fandom.)
- But I do like "Why must the Winchester's always run towards death?" Because it does hit the nail on the head about how the Winchesters value their own lives less than others. Which is basically what Sam confirms next...

Sam: "Well it's not worth any more than anyone elses. Not yours or Dean's or Kevin's. Please, please let me do one thing right. Keep going."
- So, let me try to reconcile this, because I think I might have it... what Sam is doing is conflating two separate issues, as we are all wont to do when we get angry. Sam is feeling like Dean's decision to save Sam's life ended up being at the expense of not only Sam's body automy, but also at the expense of Kevin's life... because Sam lived, Kevin died. (Now, that's not actually true, but humans are nortoriously bad at distinguising between causation and coincidence... e.g. you wore your red socks to the Red Socks game and the Red Socks won, therefore your red socks must be lucky for the Red Socks.) Now, because Sam's already thinking about how he's alive at the expense of someone else, and that WASN'T his choice... he's also thinking that really, Kevin is just the tip of the iceberg, because every time a demon kills someone, technically, Sam could have stopped that if Sam had been willing to give up his own life. So, Sam making the choice not to die ALSO was at the expense of other people's lives... and because the Winchester's were (accidentally) raised to believe that their lives were worth less than the "mission" (less than the people they save, less than whatever bad guy death is their current goal - though granted, Dean did try to undo that programing in Sam back in 1x22, but I guess it's hard conditioning to undo), Sam now feels that he is unworthy of life, that he was wrong to choose to live.... and who agreed with him that he should live? Dean. It's like when you're out with your friends and they say, "We should do shots!" And you say "Yeah!" and they go buy shots... and then you drink them... and then in the morning, when you feel like dying, you declare that you hate them and it's all their fault, even though they hardly held you down and poured the shots down your throat.
- So, when it comes down to it, Sam ends up conflating two issues that both have the conclusion that things would be better if Sam were dead, and because he can blame Dean for one of those issues (loss of body autonomy, which coincidentally led to the death of Kevin), he feels that he can also blame Dean for the other.
- So, for the record, I still agree with Sam that he has a right to be mad at Dean for the loss of body autonomy and not respecting his wish never to be possessed. But, I don't agree that it's Dean's fault that Sam didn't complete the trials, because that clearly was Sam's decision.

Now back to Dean...

Cain: "Since when does the great Dean Winchester ask for help? That doesn't sound like the man I've read about on demon bathroom walls. Maybe you've lost a step. Let's find out."
- Again, I love the fact that Cain treats Dean as a legend on the same footing as himself.

Awesome fight time!
- The other thing I like about this show, but which I know also makes it difficult for the writers, is the fact that the Winchester brothers really do "level-up" as they go. I mean, here we have Dean taking on demons three at at time - and winning... whereas in S1, it took both Dean and Sam to take down one minor demon and they were terrified while doing it.
- I love Cain moving around the room as though nothing is happening... or rather, just watching like he's watching something on TV.
- There's a part where Dean is thrown into the cabinets and then stands back up and just looks angry  - and it's everything that is sexy and good in the world.

Dean: "What was this? Some kind of a test?"
Cain: "I felt connected to you right from the beginning. Kindred spirits, if you will. You and I are very much alike."

- Yes, just as I figured. I think Cain's been keeping an eye on the Winchesters for longer than Dean has been in his house.

Dean: "Yeah, except I didn't kill my brother."
Cain: "You saved yours, why?"
Dean: "Because you never give up on family. Ever."
Cain: "Where's your brother now, then?"

- So, this is an interesting little piece of dialogue, because what is it implying? Is Cain saying that Dean was wrong to leave Sam? Is he implying that Sam was wrong to let Dean go? He seems to be implying that some brother HAS given up on family, but who? I'd argue neither of them has - because having an argument and "giving up on" are two very different things.

Back to Sassy...

Oh yeah, the ridiculous sandwich vision... I kind of...hate that. I think Cas could have come to the conclusion that he shouldn't let Sam kill himself without the aid of a sandwich. :P

Sam: "Cas! What the hell was that?"
Cas: "I've healed your wounds completely."
Sam: "And the grace?"
Cas: "Well, whatever was left of the grace inside you is gone now. What's left of Gadreel is in here, we'll just have to try the spell with what we have."

- So, did Cas leave enough grace inside Sam to keep Gadreel's work from unraveling to a point where Cas couldn't heal it? I guess, yes?

Cas: "Sam, I want Gadreel to pay as much as you do, but nothing is worth losing you. You know, being human didn't just change my view of food. It changed my view of you. I mean, I can relate now to how you feel."
Sam: "What are you talking about?"
Cas: "The only person who has screwed things up more consistently than you is me. And now, I know what that guilt feels like. And I know- I know what it means to feel sorry, Sam. I am sorry."
Sam: "I know."

- So, this is very interesting, because it harkens back all the way to S4, when we first learn from Anna, that angels can't feel emotions on the same level as humans. This is a canon that many accuse the show of completely neglecting, since we see angels emoting all over the place... but, there's an argument to be had that we don't actually know the depth of what they're feeling. They could be emoting all over the place on rather superficial emotions... they might not get the bone deep ache that humans do. We know Cas felt guilty about his mistakes before - we know that he's been trying to make amends since the latter half of S7... but it is quite possible that he didn't feel that guilt at the core of himself until he was made human. It could be that he recognized the mistakes and felt bad about them, but that those mistakes didn't feel like they were crushing him completely sometimes...didn't make him feel useless and hopeless and unworthy of life.
- This is also a great Sam+Cas moment, because going back to S5, Cas always blamed Sam for the apocalypse, and seemed rather unforgiving about it - even while ignoring his own roll in setting Sam free so that he could release Lucifer in the first place. In S6, Cas was distracted by his own affairs... in S7, it was Sam who believed that Cas could still come home, that Cas could be saved and could still be good - but again, we didn't really touch on how Cas felt about Sam... so, this is the first time that Cas is really acknowledging the fact that he understands Sam now and forgives him, even though I think Cas probably forgave Sam as soon as Sam willingly jumped into that cage with Lucifer... the understanding didn't come until Cas was human and understood the weight of what Sam had to be feeling back then.

Cas: "You know, old me I would have just kept going. I would have jammed that needle in deeper until you died, because the ends always justified the means, but what I went through - that PB&J taught me that angels can change. So, who knows, maybe Winchesters can too?"
- And here we get Cas declaring that the ends DON'T justify the means... which is a lesson we learned before (in S4, and S6 - though S6 was more 'pride goes before destruction'... but in a season when people keep repeating that "they did what they had to do" it might be good for Cas to remember this. Did they have to do those things? No. Are they justifying the means by their intentended ends? Yes.
- Again, I think it's super ridiculous and cheesy to bring the sandwich into it. It would have been far more meaningful and less silly for Cas to say "these past few months have taught me...." or something along those lines, instead.
- And I think the "change" that he's talking about isn't so much stopping being pig-headed, but rather, being able to not make mistakes.... living a life that doesn't feel cursed.

Back to Dean and Crowley...

Crowley crossing himself at the Mark of Cain is pretty hilarious.

Cain: "Abel wasn't talking to God. He was talking to Lucifer. Lucifer was going to make my brother into his pet. I couldn't bare to watch him be corrupted, so I offered a deal - Abel's soul in Heaven for my soul in Hell. Lucifer accepted, as long as I was the one who sent Abel to Heaven. So I killed him. Became a soldier of hell - a Knight."
- Ah, I love how Supernatural always twists the myths they work with, and I especially love how they twisted this one - because it is so Winchester-like.

And then we get the more recent tragic Cain backstory, where his wife Colette dies, thanks to Abaddon, but makes him promise never to kill again... also if Abaddon broke Colette's neck, how's she holding her own head up?

Dean: "Well I'm sorry, truly. But I have to stop Abaddon, so where's the blade?"
Cain: "No."
Dean: "Listen to me, you son of a bitch! You may be done killing, but I'm not."

- And Dean seals his fate with those words, I think... because he's basically offering to pick up where Cain left off.

Cain: "You never give up on anything, do you?"
Dean: "Never."
Cain: "Well I do."
*Cain disappears*

- So, on first interpretation, we think Cain is talking about giving up killing. He has given up killing - but what he's really saying is that he gives-up on things INCLUDING promises not to kill.

He just has to go apologize first. Also, he's close enough to the house that we can still hear the yelling.

Cain: "The Mark can be tranferred to someone worthy."
Dean: "Can I use it to kill that bitch?"
Cain: "Yes, but you have to know that with the Mark comes a great burden. Some would call it a great cost."
Dean: "Yeah, well spare me the warning label, you had me at kill the bitch."

- ALWAYS READ THE WARNING LABEL! Also, what's the rush? Cain has the house on lockdown and it's CAIN - I don't think you actually have to worry about the demons breaking in unless he wants them to. You've been put in a false sense of urgency, it's a classic sales tactic - LIMITED TIME OFFER ONLY! BUY NOW WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!!

Cain: "Find the blade, kill Abaddon, but make me a promise first - when I call you, and I will call, you come find me and use the blade on me."
Dean: "Why?"
Cain: "For what I'm about to do."

- So, this is why I do rewatches - because all latter half of S9 and so far in S10, I've been yelling at the screen wondering why the Winchesters aren't tracking Cain down. THEY CAN'T. Of course he's not in the same house - he told Dean earlier in this episode that as soon as Dean left, Cain was moving. And Dean confirms that the tracking spell was a one time deal (not to mention the tracking spell tracks the source of the Blade's power, so now it would just find Dean). And I thought that Dean could find him because Cain asked him to kill him, so obviously, that meant that Dean should be able to find him and fulfill his promise - but no, he said "when I call" - meaning, Cain has to let Dean know where he is. Dean can't find Cain until Cain asks him to. Everything makes so much more sense now.

Back to the Bunker... it's spell time...

Sam: "Was that uh, was that it?"
Cas: "I'm afraid there wasn't enough grace. We'll have to find Gadreel another way. I'm sorry, Sam."
Sam: "It's alright, Cas. You uh, you were right. You were right about everything."
Sam: "Now's the part where you hug back!"
Cas: "Oh, uh, right, uh, sorry."
Sam: "There you go."
*pats Cas on the face*

- Oh man, this is killing me softly. Hugs and face pats... too much to take!
- Also, Sam hugging Cas because Cas thinks that Sam's life is worth something and Sam AGREEING. Say what you will about Sam's suicidal tendencies, I love the fact that Sam appreciates it when people think he's not worthless... that once in while he'll even agree with them.

Cas: "As far as I'm concerned, Metatron is the key to fixing everything that's wrong. I'm going to find him. You know Sam, we could use all the help we can get to find Gadreel and Metatron."
Sam: "We got this."

- You know, this really just drives home the fact that killing Abaddon isn't actually a priority. I mean, yes, she's a nuisance, but in terms of personal threats against, and revenge for, immediate members of the Winchester "family", it really is just Gadreel and Metatron. Abaddon is Crowley's pressing problem... and the Winchesters COULD just leave Crowley and Abaddon to battle it out and then kill the winner (which, given the immortality thing, might be Abaddon, though, in fairness, we don't know how powerful Crowley is given the fact that they never actually attempt to stab him with the demon knife of an angel blade.)
- Essentially, by Crowley recruiting Dean, which is what he's done, he's now given the Winchesters three enemies collectively, one for each remaining "family" member.
- I do love the idea of Cas and Sam hunting together and I wish we could have actually seen it.

Back to Dean and Crowley...

Crowley: "He is right, you know? You are worthy."
Crowley: "Your problem mate is that nobody hates you more than you do, believe me, I've tried."

- I think that's both the Winchesters' problem - which is why it's important that they also love each other more than anyone else can love them too.

Dean: "I saw you, Crowley. Back at Cain's...[...] you knew, you knew about the Mark, you knew about Abaddon and Cain, you knew everything. You played me..."
Dean: "Tara died, thanks to you."
Crowley: "Omlettes, broken eggs, etc."
Dean: "After I kill Abaddon, you're next!"

- At least Dean recognizes the Con immediately afterwards, rather than weeks later. He just has to step that realization up a LITTLE bit quicker and things like these could be avoided.
- Also, I kind of wish he'd keep that promise to kill Crowley, because, like I said, as great a villain as Crowley is, the constant unfulfilled promise is starting to bug me, since it's rather un-Winchester-like not to follow through.

As usual, I'll try to be quicker with the next one...

And as usual, LJ spell-check isn't working, so please forgive any spelling mistakes.
Tags: rewatch s9

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