Okay! So, I accidentally drank too much and am fairly intoxicated right now, even though it's only 9pm. What the hell happened? I don't know. But, the point remains that I have only watched the episode once, while severely intoxicated, and I won't remember things exactly and all quotes will be paraphrased. Please only correct me if I've gotten a major plot or character point wrong or if I ask you too non-rhetorically.
Also, life is better with love, so keep comments positive or at least strike a balance. You might not have liked Sam's shoes, but you gotta admit that the boy knows how to use a flat-iron.
Now, to the actual episode!
Sam and Dean
How did we start? Oh! With Charlie in the alley! CHARLIE!!!!!!1 I knew it was her by her skinny arms and the way she moved, and then by her cute little chin. Seriously, Felicia day has the SMALLEST CHIN, possibly only riveled by adult!Lilith, do you guys remember how small her chin was? Because I sure do. Small chin.
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnyway... one of the guys who is following Charlie has a WICKED COOL compass and I want it. Also, she walks by a pretty cool looking motorbike and I also want that. This is what happens when I drink too much, I apologize.
The guys chasing her are the Habsburgers. I don't care what the show says, that is totally the double headed eagle thingy of the Habsburg family crest. They are Austrian... or at least from the Southern Germany/Austria area. That crest is all over the place down there thanks to the Habsburgs. I would know, I lived there briefly once upon a time. Obviously, these dudes are the remenants of the Austro-Hungarian empire who have for some reason turned into Lousiannians (Lousiannans? Cajuns? I don't know, but they're definitely Southern-French influenced, which doesn't make ALL that much sense, unless you consider the fact that the Habsburgs married into French Royalty eventually and basically all the royal families of Europe were super connected and incestuous, so maybe it's not so surprising that the Habsburg ended up in Louisianna? Am I even spelling Louisianna right? Probably not.)
Where was I? Oh yeah, DEAN IS WEARING A HOODIE!
Not just a hoodie, but a LIGHT GREY HOODIE! My brain esploded. It's a light grey hoodie with cozy white fleece lining... and WHAT THE WHAT? This is not Dean's typical wardobe! Also, it makes me want to cuddle him... this is the curse of the hoodie. And why I don't understand the whole "thug" thing that America has with hoodies, because I see a hoodie, and I'm just like "awww, you look so cosy! I want in on that action" and then it's hug-central. This is why I prefer the Saskatchewan name for hoodie, which is "bunny-hug" because COME ON! BunnyHug! So adorable!
Right, there was content to this scene and it was also awsome - Dean tells Sam about how Crowley told him that Rowena said that the MoC is a curse... also, that Rowena is Crowley's mom. Sam is like "uh, this is important information." and Dean is like "right, that just happened the other day while you were mysteriously gone for 24 hours because you wanted to watch a foreign film" and Sam was like "right..... good times."
Oh wait! Before that happens though, Cas calls! I will talk about Cas's storyline separately later, but right now i just want to say SASSY!!! I LOVE SAM and CAS SCENES! Even ones over the phone! And this one did not disappoint.
Anyway, this time, Charlie calls, and is like "dudes! People are chasing me and also I've been shot!" and Dean is like, "where the heck are you?" and Charlie is like "Des Moines" and I think Des Moines is in Iowa? Is that right? How far away is that from Kansas? I'mma look it up - NOT THAT FAR ALL THINGS CONSIDERED! Still, I guess instead of leading the dudes back to the Bunker, Dean decides to send Charlie to a closer safe-house that belonged to Bobby. So, off Charlie goes. Also, Charlie has learned how to stitch her own bullet wounds with dental floss, which means she is a true hunter now.
Charlie has successfully found the book of the damned, whose origin story is exactly the same as the necronomicon, according to my friend. I loved loved loved the weird trippy sequence of Dean seeing the book and then ending up across the room with it with no memory of how he got there.
Speaking of trippy, maybe it was the wine, but I'm wondering who the director of this episode was, because in between their use of weird wide-angle lenses and angular close-up shots, they were TRIPPING ME THE F*CK OUT! Seriously, my brain could not process the visual information I was getting without screaming "THIS IS CREEPY" at me, even for the most mundane scene. And this, my friends, is why I stay away from drugs.
The book is really hard to translate/decipher, because it's in a different language AND written in code. Sam and Charlie do their best, while Dean becomes increasingly creeped out by the way that the book seems to call to him....eventually, Dean tracks down the Habsburgers and claims they are the Stein family (or, possibly Styne family, based on the script that Jared posted while live-tweeting this episode... but seriously, they're the Habsburgs, so Stein would make more sense spelling-wise.)
Anyway, the Styne family are super creepers who benefit from catalysmic events and seem to drive their power and influence from the Book of the Damned, until it fell out of their hands. Now, Charlie has unearthed it (even though Sam totally found it in a library listing, for crissakes, the Styne family is obviously full of idiots who don't know how to do a library catalogue search) and thus awakened the family's desire to have it for themselves.
Dean, quite rightly, points out that the book is obviously bad news and they would do well to stay away from it. Dark magic always comes at a price! (And this is where our watching derailed as my friend giggled and paused the show, telling me that "magic comes at a price" is a catch phrase of Once Upon a Time and Rumpilsilskin so, we then spend the next few minutes imagining Rumple bursting into the room to deliver the line and then do his insane-giggle and then leave, and Sam and Dean being like "Who the hell was that?" and it was hilarious.)
Sam insists that it's a price that he's willing to pay, but Dean is like "that's not what you said last year, man!" and then decides that he's going to go get snacks so that Sam can come to his friggin' senses in Dean's absence.
Instead, while Dean's away, Sam and Charlie talk. Charlie is like "what's up with what Dean said?" and Sam is all like "Ugh, Dean saved me by doing something I didn't want him to do." and Charlie is like "so you said something to hurt his feelings, didn't you." and Sam is like "yeah, 'course I did!" and Charlie is like "Oh, brothers." And YES, I love this exchange, mainly because even though I think Sam was completely justified in his anger last season (over the Gadreel possession at least), I love how this acknowledges the fact that sometimes the best of us say things JUST TO WOUND PEOPLE WHO HAVE WOUNDED US. Seriously, I did the exact same thing to my best friend once when he unintentially hurt my feelings... and my revenge was to tell him that a mutual friend of ours hated him and thus make their relationshop SUPER AWKWARD FOR ALL THE YEARS TO COME. I mean, I REALLY overshot that one. He hurt my feelings a little, so I gutted him and ruined an entire friendship... because that was what made sense to me to do at the time. And yeah, I regret it, sure, but at the time I was just like "I'm going to hurt you so hard you complete bastard!" and really, I was rather victorious in that endevour and, despite the regret, I'm actually quite impressed with myself.
Really, though, I love how Charlie always just cuts through the bullshit between the brothers - she has a quality about her that make BOTH Dean and Sam willing to talk to her, to be HONEST with her, and in return she's honest and understanding with them. She doesn't get angry at Sam for what he did, she's just like "I understand why you did it and I also understand that you ALREADY know how it's now biting you in the ass, and I'm willing to help you fix it" and so, instead of getting defensive or angry, Sam is grateful for her friendship instead and for having an ally who understands. And likewise, she's the exact same way with Dean - she understands why he got the MoC, and she also understands why he regrets it, and she wants to help - there's no judgement there that's going to get Dean's back up - there's just understanding and support. Seriously, Charlie is the best bro.
Also, I love the way Jared acts this scene - I love that he brings Sam to such a raw place, while still keeping it within the realms of a performance of masculinity... Sam is upset, but it's a contained upset.
And, I also love that they had Sam talk about what hunting has been like with him since S1. We see so much of the show from Dean's POV - Dean, trying to get the family back together, Dean not wanting Sam to abandon him for a normal life... Dean deciding that he wants Sam to have a normal life if the alternative is death... all that stuff. And we see Sam yearning for a normal life, and then not so much, and then becoming driven, and then trying for a normal life again, and again and again, and it's hard to see his mindset. So, I love that he spells it out for us here - that for the longest time it was "just one more job" until he realized that hunting was his life and that he loved it - but ONLY with his brother, that he can't do it without him. It's why when Dean "died" in S7, Sam quit. Whether Sam's a happy as a hunter or not, he's not doing it without Dean - he NEEDS Dean to be his hunting partner just as much as Dean needs Sam.
So, Dean's out getting snacks, and OF COURSE, runs into the Styne family. Also, they are at a convenience store called Campbell River - I'm assuming there is a Campbell River in Iowa or something, but there's also one out here in BC - and there's a whole sub-genre of country/folk music that comes from it which isn't actually half-bad.
Dean clicks to the fact that the dude behind the counter is Styne, because of his Habsburg tattoo...and then he sees the dead-clerk and pulls his gun. Lovely. But, he's caught by the guy's second in command, and his arm's brought up by his head and they see the MoC. Now, if I were them, and knew what it meant, I'd like to think I'd have the intelligence to back away - but, I guess these dudes are also fairly indistructable, because they just continue to interrogate Dean on where Charlie and the book might be.
Did anyone else get a bit hot and bothered by Dean using the dude's accent back at him? No? Just me? I kinda thought that after that line they should have just started making out - I'd have been on board with that. Instead, though, Dean gets out of the hold and then fills second-in-command full of bullets and then gets the hell out of there... wittingly or unwittingly letting the main Styne dude follow him right to the cabin.
He gets there with enough time to demand that Sam burn the book, which Sam SEEMINGLY does - but I KNEW HE DIDN'T DO IT! Sam's got his S3/S4 "I will do anything for my brother" face on and there is NO MESSING WITH THAT FACE.
Instead, Sam kills Styne guy and makes it look like he burned the book.
Then they all go back to the bunker after seemingly burning another bridge....
Castiel and Metatron
How much did I love that telephone call to Sam? A WHOLE LOT. Also, as annoying as it was, I kind of loved Metatron's speech about the Alanis song "Ironic"... I mean, I guess it was partially the Canadian content, but still.
Speaking of Canadian content, I think it says a lot about me that I was repulsed by Metatron's huge stack of blueberry pancakes and whipped cream... and then he poured maple syrup all over it and I was like "DELICIOUS!"
Anyway, Metatron is going on about how Cas and he are alike now because they've both been human - and doesn't Cas miss being human, etc? Doesn't he miss pancakes? And Cas is like "nope, being a human is gross" even though we know he DOES miss PB&Js, so there's a part of him that enjoyed eating, even if he didn't enjoy what came after. (And seriously, who can blame him, I don't even enjoy what comes after - or sometimes even eating - and I've only ever been human and don't get a choice in the matter at all.)
The whole time though, you can SEE Metatron trying to get out of the cuffs - in the diner, it's about eating pancakes and then getting stomach cramps and having to go to the bathroom. Cas doesn't give in though, he just takes him to the bathroom while cuffered.
And then they're attacked by a cupid. And DUDES! I LOVED THIS CUPID! Why did he have to die?! That wasn't cool - I mean, I know he was trying to kill Cas, but he was JUST AN ANGRY CUPID! That's the BEST KIND OF CUPID! Awwww....
Anyway, Metatron saves Cas, but Cas RIGHTFULLY tells him that it doesn't mean shit and he's still not getting out of those cuffs....
and then finally Metatron brings him to a library where Cas' grace is stored (in a vile like Anna's was once stored) and then Cas is an idiot and actually UNLOCKS THE CUFFs so that Metatron can help him look for the answer to the clue. Goddamn it Cas!!! YOU DON'T NEED HANDS TO LOOK FOR BOOKS! Trust me, I spent many a day in the shelves of a library with hands full of books looking for other books and I DID NOT NEED MY HANDS TO LOOK. But, nope, Cas totally uncuffs Metatron because he gets too excited about having his grace back or something.
The riddle they have to answer is "what's the maddest thing a man can do?" and Cas is looking for the answer, but really, he should have been looking for the book that the quote was from - and thanks to Metatron's inputting of all his references into Castiel's brain last season, that information was READILY AVAILABLE... but instead, Cas allows himself to be duped and Metatron sets off a spell to kill him - and then quickly goes for the other thing hidden in the library, which is the demon tablet.
At first, I was like "what's he going to do with that?! He can't read it! Kevin is dead! Then I realized that Metatron wrote the thing, so of course he can read it without a prophet. Dang. At least it's the demon tablet and the angel tablet is still destroyed. Mind you, Metatron, mortal or not, having his hands on any tablet is a bad thing... especially since we know that Metatron, like Cas, can just steal another angel's grace and become a pseudo-angel if he needs to.
Oh, that was the other interesting thing about this scene - before Metatron sets off the spell, when he's still trying to manipulate Castiel into cooperating, Metatron talks about how Cas really doesn't fit in anywhere anymore... is he an angel of the lord? What is he planning to do once the rogue angels are all sent back to heaven? Now that Hannah (or the angel-formally known as - which lends me to believe she's assumed a different name for some reason... I know in the casting she was called "the guardian" last episode, but I thought that was just a reference to the dude who was guarding the doorway before she showed up. Maybe it was just Metatron being misogynistic and thinking that Hannah couldn't be Hannah now that she had been in a man's body.) ANYWAY... now that Hannah has heaven running well and everything smooth upstairs, what's Castiel's raison d'etre? Does he continue to watch over the earth in the garrison as he once did? What's his status? It's a very interesting question and one that obviously gets under Cas' skin.
But, the point of the scene is that while Metatron gets the demon tablet, Castiel gets his grace back... and I love love love how it was a cataclysmic thing - that the library was left in shambles from the power of Castiel returning to his vessel. I haven't really liked the angel possessions we've seen since S5, because they've been very much reminiscent of demon possessions...even though when Castiel took over Jimmy, it was a bathed in light epic thing... and I liked that the brought back the epicness for this repossession... it at least leaves the continuity that CASTIEL is an epic thing... which I kinda love.
The unfortunate thing is that we see his wings here, and he is very much fallen, just like the rest of angel-kind. I had vaguely hoped that because of Castiel's role in the spell, his grace may have excaped that fate, but nope... Castiel's grace, his angel-ness, suffers from the spell that kicked the angels out of heaven. So, while he's not dying anymore and can heal again, he's not fully powered - he still can't fly.
Cas met Charlie! Yay! I loved it. I loved Charlie telling Cas that she thought he'd be shorter. I love that she was wearing a Lumberjanes shirt. Also, I loved Cas FINALLY looking after her bullet wound - I was so worried about her the whole episode, because Sam and Dean didn't even double check it! And she was totally favouring her arm, and she had passed out and woke up to say "Merry Christmas!" even thought the last time she did that it was because she DIED. Seriously... thank goodness Cas was around and back to power.
Of course, then we come into the lies of it all, because Cas and Sam don't tell Dean that Metatron led Cas to his grace and then escaped... because that would mean telling Dean about them going to Metatron in the first place for info on the MoC.
And that's just the tip of the iceburg, because while we see Cas, Charlie, Dean and Sam hanging out in the bunker and having a grand-ol' time (seriously, the little origami fortune-box thing between Charlie and Cas was adorable), we see that Sam's hiding something... and the thing he's hiding is that he still has the book of the damned, and he not only has it, but he took it to Rowena to get her help with it, because he knows that she's invested and he could possibly use that - he also knows that she's Crowley's mother and he could possibly make a deal... and UGH, Sam! This is never a good idea!!! Even though, I begrudgingly admit, that this is a clever idea... and if I had more faith that Sam could pull a double-cross, I'd probably delight over it... but this is the Crowley-family here.... I don't think this is going to end well.
Five more episodes left... and next week looks pretty damn epic already!
So, as per usual, let me know what you thought in comments. I am mostly sober now that I've typed all that up (thank goodness, I have to be up early tomorrow.)