So, let's talk about it!
So, we begin in County Cork, Ireland, 30 years ago... which, by SPN-time would make it.. either early or late 1985. Wow, I'm old. But you know what's older? That little cottage the Irish family are living in. I find it hilarious that they went for traditional Irish cottage in 1985, but at the same time, the last time I was in Ireland was 2003 and it wan't like people didn't still live in traditional Irish cottages in the small towns, so it's not like they're WRONG.
Anyway, poor Irish family gets obliterated by a banshee except for the crying baby. And MAN, as much as I know it's needed for plot purposes, I really wish people would stop putting crying babies on TV - babies have EVOLVED to have the most annoying cries ever. I mean, seriously - it's times like these I'm glad I'm unlikely to ever be a parent.
Meanwhile, 30 years in the future and back at the Bunker, Sam is having bad dreams... haunted by what Lucifer said to him. No doubt, being back in the cage stirred up ALL SORTS of PTSD for poor Sam. Seriously, speaking of dumb plot points that they need to explain better (which we aren't even doing yet), I really wish they could have explained how Cas cured Sam of all the cage damage, because the guy SHOULD be a lot more messed up than he is, so, the fact that he's only a little messed up is amazing... anyway, I have my own headcanon about how Cas did it that only works if Cas is alive. As soon as he's dead, then my headcanon would mean that Sam would mentally break down completely again.
Anyway, that's super off topic.
You know how we can tell that Sam is suffering from cage damage? He's CLEANING HIS GUNS. I absolutely loved that back in the beginning of S7, that Sam's way of dealing with things was just to clean his guns excessively... and it makes such a great call-back here.
I think maybe what I love about Robbie Thompson's writing his Winchesters are always as honest as possible with each other - they don't brush EVERYTHING off, even if they are keeping some secrets. I like how Sam is just honest about the fact that he's not okay, that he's a bit messed up because of what seeing Lucifer made him remember... and I'm just realizing that I'm getting ahead of myself because that conversation doesn't happen until later.
So, there's a case 15 minutes away - so, I'm guessing it's still in Lebanon, KS. A guy has died suspiciously at a nursing home. Dean wants to go, Sam begrudgingly agrees as well.
Now, to Lustiel/Cassfer... I like Lustiel for the lols, but I agree that Casifer makes more sense, since so many names end in -iel, Casifer makes it clearer who we're portmanteauing... since Lucifer is the only character whose names ends in -ifer.
Lucifer is in a park, chillin' - when suddenly hot asian angel finds him! Oh, hot asian angel... you had so much going for you, good hair, spiffy coat - why did you have to go after Lucifer on your own and be exploded. Why!?! You were even unnamed. Is this even a score for diversity? Probably not... second week in a row that a hot asian angel has been tragically killed. You know, I don't know how angels reproduce, but hopefully SOMEHOW, otherwise they've gotta be endangered by now.
Anyway, I liked Lucifer's line of "Lucifer ex machina" - nicely done, there.
But yeah, then in my notes it just says "exploderi" - because apparently when something is tragic, I add an i to the end. :P
Back to Sam and Dean. They are at the retirement home asking questions. We find out that the managers wife left him via text in a series of emojis... I mean, it's so ridiculous that you have to laugh, even though you feel kind of ashamed about it afterwards.
We find out that the victim was stealing other residents' viagra prescriptions - "Dick move" hehehe - and Dean POCKETS A BOTTLE! Dean! You are in the prime of life... though, I suppose psychological problems abound, so I will not judge. You get yours, Dean. I support you.
They figure that the it's such and such dude from the victim's past, come to seek revenge - so they go and burn his bones. And HERE Is where they have their heartfelt talk - because Sam, earlier, talked like they'd never live long enough to go out in a blaze of glory, whereas Dean would rather envision a time when they're old enough to retire, even if they don't necessary retire. Again, we have the story of the pessimist and the optimist traveling together, but with SPN, they switch those roles between them frequently.
And this is where Sam admits that he's just having a hard time after the Lucifer incident - remembering stuff that he thought he had forgot or moved passed. Dean, of course, being the tragic figure that he is, reassures Sam that Lucifer is locked away again and Sam will never have to see him... even though we all sadly know that's not true.
Meanwhile, poor Mildred at the retirement home is witnessing the manager get attacked and killed by a banshee. Whoever posed for the banshee for the VFX and SPX team has AMAZING back muscles... seriously, even all corpse-coloured, that is a sexy sexy back.
So, it's time to go back and talk to everyone again. This time, Sam spots a cleaning lady named Marlene and goes over to talk to her. And we find out she's deaf. And Sam has an awesome reaction, much like I've seen both Jared and Jensen do with deaf and hard-of-hearing fans at Cons... in that he doesn't speak louder, he speaks CLEARER and he makes sure to seperate his words so each one is distinct and look directly at her when speaking. So, awesome awesome all around - what I like about it is that they don't even do it the wrong way first, like a lot of shows do when they're trying to be correct, they'll have the main character first do the wrong thing, get chastised, and then do the right thing. I like how Sam just goes directly into the right thing - because it's really saying "no, there isn't an excuse for doing the wrong thing if you use your brain and have a bit of empathy." Also, it's way more believable for Sam to know the basics of how to interact with all sorts of people, given what his job is. I mean, we've seen Sam know enough stilted Spanish to get by, this isn't that different.
That being said, Sam DOES do the wrong thing when he goes to say thank you - and he accidentally tells her to fuck off, Italian-mob style... but I don't mind that so much, because it's hilarious rather than awkward, and when he's corrected, he's just like "oops!" in that cute Sam way of his.
Then "Marlene" reads their lips while they're talking... and that's SUSPICOUS. Also, I don't think she's on LJ anymore, but I did once have an LJ friend who was deaf, and in her experience Sam/Jared's lips were really hard to read, but Dean/Jensen's were easy.. because, in part, to the fullness of the lips, I think. Anyway, needless to say, Dean!girl. ;)
So, research time! And man, you know, there's a reason that Dean/Books is my OTP. There is something REALLY REALLY attractive about Dean when he's surrounded by research. Sam too, but for some reason to a much lesser extent. I think just because with Dean, it goes against the "trope" of his character - even though at this point we all know he's NOT the trope, I still get a thrill whenever he openly defies it.
Dean tells Sam we're dealing with a banshee, and Sam says "aren't banshees good?"
And we had to pause the episode here, because I had to immediately go into a rant about how SAM KNOWS ABOUT BANSHEES! He and John were doing a "banshee thing" in Florida when Dean had his roadtrip back in the 90s and spent a weekend with Lisa Braeden, roughly 9 months after which Ben was suspiciously born. So, maybe Sam and John weren't hunting a banshee, but instead following a "good" banshee around who was just doing the death omen thing.... but still, I just... had to have my canon continuity rant for a moment. Robbie's usually really good at it, so I'm sure he knows exactly why Sam didn't call it right away... or maybe Sam's memory just isn't as good as mine, but I doubt it.
Anyway, we find out that there are good banshees and bad banshees, and this is the latter. They pray on the "vulnerable", so they figure illness or heartbreak/mental-low and they can be killed with gold blades.
I love how Dean is like "I don't have any gold blades in the car, so I'll just whip home really fast and pick a few up." - I mean, GOLD BLADES! What even is their life! Where did they get them? Did they have them before they found the MoL Bunker? Were they just driving around all these years with huge chunks of solid gold? Did they keep them from the dragon stash? I WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING.
I also love how when Dean gets to the Bunker - this HUGE BUILDING with LABYRINTHINE HALLWAYS, he gets to the bottom step and he's like "Wait. SOMEONE IS IN MY HOUSE!"
It turns out, that someone is Lucifer... so... seeing as how Lucifer knew how to find the bunker - I'm going to go ahead and assume that means that Cas is STILL IN the vessel. That Lucifer can either talk to him, or read his mind like he could a human owner. We'll see if I'm right, but that's the only thing that makes sense to me. Also, what is he looking for? Is he really looking for a spell to defeat Amara? Or is he looking for something else?! I'm really concerned about him rummaging through everything. Is he trying to find the Horseman rings? Does Dean even still have all four or did he give Death's back? I can't remember now. You can legit answer that, btw. Saves me having to look it up.
Meanwhile, back with Sam, he tells Mildred the truth about who he and Dean are - and Mildred is down with it, because she's seen a ghost before... and also probably doesn't want to be crazy.
Then in like, one sentence, Sam tells her that she is probably the next target of the banshee, and also that she should get some rest before the evening... um, Sam... maybe tell her to have a nap and then talk to her after? I don't know... just... I think I might have trouble sleeping if I knew I might die horrifically later that night.
Then Sam is like "hey, what do you know about the deaf staff member?" and Mildred is like "Who? I have a granddaughter whose deaf, if there was a deaf staff member, I'd be chatting with them! But there's only Marlene and she's on vacation." And Sam is like "Ooooo, shoot." BUT... do any of you know what made Sam so interested in "Marlene" in the first place? He walked over when he saw her fiddling with something on her cart, but I did not see what it was... I assume something suspicious?!
Also, Mildred is like the jackpot of backstory - has seen a ghost before so she believes them, happens to have a deaf relative so would notice and welcome a deaf cleaning lady... oh Mildred, you are a little too perfect, but I forgive you, because you also have good taste in men.
So, then we get Sam trying to track down "Marlene" and my friend was like "She's the banshee!" and I was like "nope, she's the baby!" And I WAS RIGHT! "Marlene" thinks that Sam is the banshee and that the monster has stepped up it's game and is taking human form. And she has traps set up! And they're awesome because they also work ON PEOPLE! That's cool. Sam let's her test him and basically discovers that she's another Hunter. So awesome!
So, "Marlene" is Aileen (Eileen? I'm not sure what spelling their going with - there are multiple for that name.) Probably Eileen? I think that's the most Americanized spelling. And she IS the baby, and the banshee killed BOTH her parents, but she was rescued by a Hunter named Lillian... and man, I love that she's a female hunter raised/trained by a female hunter. And like a weird combination of Dean and Sam, she's been in the life since she was baby and was raised to be a hunter from birth... also, not only that, but we find out that she too is a legacy of the Men of Letters. Her Grandfather was a MoL... awesome! It makes me wonder if there's something about being a men of letters that means the supernatural is drawn to you and your life sucks. :P Hahah
Back with Dean and Casifer - we get the truly heartbreaking scenes of the episode, because Dean CONFIDES in Lucifer, thinking that he's confiding in his BFF... but it's really THE DEVIL. Awww... I mean, on the one hand it's so nice that Dean has a friend that he feels he can confide in, when he probably has big-brother psychosis preventing him from confiding in Sam yet because he doesn't want to admit to being weak/vulnerable/compromised.
My friend said, "so much for the profound bond" when Dean didn't notice that Cas wasn't really Cas... but then we all agreed that it would be worse writing-wise, if Lucifer sucked at impressions. I mean, Lucifer is a formidable threat and a trickster-character, if he couldn't pull off the impersonation well, then that would be unbelievable. But, even with Lucifer's good acting skills, Dean still gets a little thrown when "Cas" earnestly puts his hand on Dean's shoulder. Now, that bit was in the preview last week, so I've already seen a few fan theories about how it's because Cas always touches the LEFT shoulder usually, but here he touches the right one. But, it could also just be that Cas very rarely touches Dean to begin with... so, just the gesture itself seems weird to Dean. But, who knows... the point is - profound bond comes through in the end, and Dean DOES sense something weird, even if it's not enough to tip him off completely.
Sam phones Dean to get him to double-check Eileen's story and fill him in on the fact that they have another Hunter working the case. While Sam is on the phone, we get an awesome conversation between Mildred and Eileen, with them jokingly/or-maybe-not dividing the boys between them. I LOVE Mildred's line of how Eileen can have the tall one because Mildred's "mountain climbing" days are over. (or however she puts it exactly).
Sam and Dean have their own conversation about how Mildred keeps coming onto Dean, and Dean says he doesn't mind it, because he always had a thing for Blanche on the Golden Girls. Sam admits to liking Sophia. I look forward to the meta this will generate.
While they wait for Dean to come back. Sam has a talk with Eileen about revenge - concerned that she's going down a road that is only going to lead to disappointment. It's a really good scene, and I wish I could remember more about it... but yeah, basically, I think Eileen talks about how there was a time she wanted to go to school (law school too?) and Sam tells her a little of his own story and talks about how he was going to go to law school, but now can't see himself as anything but a Hunter - though he admits that he would not do it without his brother.
Dean shows up and they all get introduced... and then Mildred takes Dean aside to show him the sunset and put the moves on him. It's awesome. I LOVED her "It's almost as gorgeous as you are" pick-up line. Smooth, Mildred... and I loved Dean's barking laugh of a reaction. I mean, really, when has anyone told Dean he's gorgous though? It's usually just monsters using it as a feminizing-insult to his masculinity and/or a threat of unwanted sexual agression. Here, it's sincere and also a harmless flirtation.
Mildred tells Dean that the secret to a long life is to follow your heart. Awww.... and then she has another great line, when he tells her that her hand is still on his knee, she says "I could move it up?" And yup, I love it. I'm not going to lie, I want some Dean/Mildred action. I think she's treat him well.
Then the Banshee attacks! But it's not going after Mildred! It's going after Dean!
And I gotta admit, I didn't see that coming. I knew it probably wouldn't go after Mildred - but Sam was so down in the dumps this episode, that I thought maybe it'd go after him. Pray on his guilt for getting things wrong or his PTSD or something... but nope, it attacts Dean.
The thing that I don't understand is that there are TWO other hunters in the room and yet neither of them run to one of the symbols and wait to trap the banshee - instead they both run towards Dean. Dudes, leave SOMEONE by the wall!
The banshee can throw people too, so Eileen gets thrown into bookcase and Sam gets thrown a differnet way, and then it's all up to Mildred to use the trap. I was super worried that Eileen wouldn't get the kill - that after introducing her and making her an awesome (and diverse character) with great potential for return, they'd then ruin it by making her fail in the hunt (as they often did with Garth, who had the running joke of being knocked out in every boss fight) - but I shouldn't have doubted Robbie, because she might have failed at using the traps sooner, but Eileen does get to kill the banshee and get her revenge. Yay!
Then it's just the end scene.... and guys, guys, guys... SAM HAS MADE A FRIEND!!!! I mean, I don't want to get too excited, because maybe she'll never return... or maybe like Robbie's other awesome female character, she'll be killed off horribly by other writers, but I WOULD LOVE IT IF SHE WOULD RETURN AND BE SAM'S FRIEND FOREVER! I just want Sam to have friends, you guys.
Sam and Eileen have an adorable conversation about how the revenge just felt like another Hunt to Eileen... and she's just going to keep hunting. And Sam tells her that if she ever wants to know about the MoL or need help, or even just wants to "hang out", that she should call him... and Eileen is like, well, you can call too, or you can't, because I won't answer. And it's adorable... and I want all the Sam+Eileen BFF4va Texting Fics.
Seriously, I just want Sam to have a friend!
Walking behind them are Dean and Mildred. Mildred tells Dean that she thought it was worth a shot to get with him, but she's lived long enough to tell when someone is pining over somebody else. And my goodness, the destiel shippers are going to have so much fun with that line that I almost feel bad that the vibe she's picking up on is PROBABLY Dean's weird supernatural attatchment to Amara. I'd love it if it were Cas though, I would... I'm just pessimistic about the show ever actually going there. Also, having it be Amara is WAY more sinister, which is usually the route the show chooses.
The button scene is back in the bunker - with Sam in the kitchen and Dean walking in. And I LOVE how Jared and Jensen are working in their awesome blind throwing skills... because Sam does a wonderful blind over the shoulder throw to Dean with a can of beer.
Then they're HONEST WITH EACH OTHER. And seriously, I love Robbie Thompson episodes so much.
Dean thinks there's something off about Cas. Sam points out that there's ALWAYS something off about Cas, and optimistically assures Dean that he's probably fine and just spooked by Lucifer like Sam was... but that they'll keep an eye on him. Awww.
Then Sam tells Dean that he was right, which Dean loves hearing. But Sam goes on to admit how he still feels guilty over not looking for Dean when Dean was in Purgatory. Dean immediately reassures Sam that he's already long-since forgiven him, that it's in the past, and that all that matters is that they're together now. Awww... (I would have preferred if Dean said something about understanding WHY Sam didn't look for Dean, just because I feel like we still haven't had an adequate explanation for that OOC behaviour... but whatever, if they never explain it, I can continue to headcanon "psychotic break brought on by grief and a really rough year")
Sam thanks him and then goes to get some sleep - but pauses before he leaves the room to ask Dean why the banshee would go after DEAN, if it's supposed to go after the vulnerable. And Iove how Sam doesn't understand because he doesn't understand how Dean could be vulnerable... like, he could say "why did it go after you? Is it because of X? or your issue with X?" but instead he's genuinely mystified. Dean just says that it was because he was with Mildred and the Banshee recognized him as a threat... but, once Sam leaves, we see that Dean doesn't believe that.
Dean IS vulnerable... but WHY?! Is it because of his weird connection to Amara? Is it because he's feeling GUILTY about his weird connection to Amara? Is it because of something else?! I'm curious.. hopefully it's not because he has cancer. I thought that was interesting in Eileen's backstory - how Lillian, her guardian and Hunting mentor, died of cancer rather than anything supernatural related. Anyway, I'm sure that was just a "not everyone goes out in a blaze of glory" point and not a "the Winchesters could die of something mundane" point. :P )
Then we see that Sam has a little momento case! It's cute! He puts the brochure for the retirement home in it. Awww.... is he saving it just in case he and Dean ever get to old age? Or is it to remember where he met his new BFF Eileen (seriously, Give Sam a Friend 2016)... or is it just a momento like any other momento.
It's sleepy time for the Winchesters, and we see that Sam is now sleeping soundly, because he apologized to Dean for not looking for him (yet again) and feels better about that failure... but poor Dean isn't sleeping soundly at all, because he didn't come clean to Sam about the weird Amara connection, or why he REALLY thinks the banshee came after him. Poor Dean.
Next week looks great too! I don't know who's writing it, but hopefully it's someone good!