BOOK OF THE DAMNED
Charlie!!! Yay! Ugh, I don't know what I'm going to do when I get to Dark Dynasty that's not just ripping it to shreds - I usually don't do that one here, but that episode pisses me off so much.
Anyway, Charlie is alive and well here and hiding from people, and successfully temporarily overpowering people... weird, southern-accented people.
This is when we're introduced to the Styne family.
Styne: "And can tip-toe through the tulips like you did in Russia, or you can stow-away on the back of a train like you did in Alaska, but soon enough my kin'll find you. This ends with you being dead."
- We'll ignore the spot-on prediction there, because it angers me.
- But, we WILL talk about how it's obvious that Charlie has actually circumnatigated the world - having, no doubt, flown east to Italy, made a side trip to Spain, and then Russia, then Alaska, and back down through Canada to reach the continental US again.
Then Charlie gets shot. Poor Charlie.
Castiel and Metatron in the car. I do wonder about Metatron not bleeding to death. Just in case anyone is ever shot IRL - please do not treat it as casually as they do on TV. Most likely, the pain of imminnent death will prevent you from doing so, but still.
I love Castiel's phone call to Sam while Metatron natters away.
Cas: "Can I just kill him now?"
Metatron: "You know I can hear-"
Sam: "No, we need him alive, for now. Look, after he gives you your grace back, you can do what you like with him."
Cas: "Well, I'd like to kill him slowly."
Metatron: "I am like two feet from you-"
Cas: "Any word on the Mark of Cain"
- So much to love. I love how Cas just ignores him. I love how we know that Sam is ignoring him too, because we can HEAR Metatron's voice on Sam's end too, but Sam deliberately speaks over it as well.
- I also love how the ONLY reason that Metatron is alive is because he knows where Cas' grace is - and yet Cas is calling SAM to ask if he can kill him... as though it's only SAM that wants Cas to stay alive. Obviously, Cas has a vested interest in keeping Metatron alive - Sam even told him just last episode that it was completely his call. So, I like this phone call because it's basically Cas calling Sam and saying "remind me why I thought this was worth it?" and Sam is like "you might need him to live?" and Cas is like "Riiight."
Metatron: "I don't know why you'd want to cure that little fire-cracker now. He's finally interesting-"
*Cas moves the phone to his left-year so that he can punch Metatron*
- Love it!
Metatron: "Lose reception or did he hang up on you?" *laughs* "He hung up on you didn't he?"
*Cas punches him*
- Love it.
And Dean's in sweats! Proof that Dean DOES work out - even if he also makes fun of Sam for it. Though, that's pretty much Dean's MO when it comes to making fun of Sam.
Dean: "The Mark is a curse."
Sam: "Yeah, tell me about it."
Dean: "No, Sam, it's an actual curse."
Sam: "What are you talking about?"
Dean: "Crowley told me. Or rather, Rowena told him after she tried and failed to kill me."
Sam: "What the hell happened?!?"
- I love how there's a brief moment when Sam glances at Dean's sweatshirt like - "did this just happen in OUR FITNESS ROOM?!"
- But, hey, it's the very next episode and Dean's already coming clean about his solo adventure.
Dean: "...she was pissed at Crowley because she thinks he's going soft."
Sam: "She's not wrong."
- I love how Sam is like "legit - she's got a point." Sam, they are BOTH YOUR ENEMIES, you don't have to choose sides in their fights.
Dean: "Yeah, well, after he and mommy dearest got in a fight-"
Sam: "Mommy dearest?"
Dean: "Rowena's Crowley's mother - more about that later..."
- I love how Sam is still like "Seriously, DID THIS JUST HAPPEN IN THE FITNESS ROOM?!" only, with his eyes.
Dean: "So, anyway, I'm sorry, I probably should have told you that."
- Hahahaha... oh man, Dean, did you not REALIZE how much information you had gathered in a single night?!
- Though, what I like here is that Sam can't really get mad at him, because he is withholding SO MUCH information.
So, I guess my beef with S10 is that they didn't really build up to the solution... it was like 17 episodes of "well, I dunno" and then suddenly the writers room is like - uh, okay, we actualy like have to solve this problem, so maybe let's figure out how and then quickly get all our elements set up." So, once they get their first clue, it's suddenly BAM BAM BAM pieces fall into place... rather than getting the first clue, let's say, around episode 3 or 5, and then waiting until episode 10 for another puzzle piece, and then episode 15, and basically have the elements come together slowly and in such a way where you aren't SURE how they're going to line up. Rather than, oh hey, the Mark is a curse, and OH LOOK, Rowena isn't under Hell's protection anymore and is just floating around out there being a witch, and OH LOOK Charlie has returned with a book of witchcraft! And OH LOOK, the book of witchcraft comes with enemies that could very easily tip Dean into a rage... anyway, complain complain complain. Shut-up, Romeo.
Dean: "Winchester Accounting, how may I help you?"
- I kinda want an AU now where Sam and Dean have a "front" for their business that is actually an accounting firm... and every tax season they have to farm off their cases to other hunters, because they're swamped with accounting. Actually, that would fit in nicely for the lead-up to finale, if the American taxes are due roughtly the same as Canadian ones are (end of April), because then they'd be like "I know the world is ending, but if we save it, that means we GOTTA GET THE SMITH ACCOUNTS DONE FIRST, SAM!"
Dean: "Charlie? What's going on?! Where are you?"
- I love how much Dean loves people.
Dean: "Okay, hey, hey, take a deep breath, kiddo. We're both sitting here. Tell me what happened. Why are you bleeding?"
- I also just love the tone Dean uses. Like, the absolute care and priorties he shows. I really like how he starts with "we're both sitting here", because it immediately is him saying "don't be scared. We're here with you" even if they're only on the phone.
And I love the look Dean gives Sam when Charlie says she got shot.
Charlie: "The Book of the Damned is a spellbook for creating or undoing any kind of damnation there is. We translate this thing. I think we get the Mark of Cain off you, Dean."
- See, this is exactly the thing, Dean hasn't even changed CLOTHES since the revelation (for Sam) that the Mark is a curse. So, from Sam's perspective, it's been five minutes since he got his first FOR REAL CLUE to the solution and then BAM SOLUTION TOO! Yay! For the rest of us, it's been a week, but that's hardly better.
And before you argue that they set it up by sending Charlie away for the book 7 episodes ago, let me just point out that the book could have been ANYTHING, that's hardly a set-up. It would have only worked if it was just one clue of many, rather than the solution... I mean, if they had decided to go a different route with the solution, Charlie could have come back and been like "It's a lore book made up of pre-biblical manuscripts, that tells us that only Abel can remove the Mark of Cain!" And Sam and Dean could be like, "But how do we find Abel?!" and that would have set them off on a different fun quest. You know? (FYI: I'm not actually suggesting that Abel plot... I'm just saying that it would have been better if the Book was a clue not a solution.)
And I guess they sort of do that with the whole "it's in code!" thing, where Sam then has to go on a quest for the decorder... and then the decoder is also in code...and whatnot, but, ughhhh. You get what I'm complaining about, right? And I do apologize for complaining.
Dean: "Okay, you know what, our friend Bobby has a whole bunch of cabins scattered all around - uh, places for Hunters to crash, it's not much, but there's some gear and stuff to keep you busy 'til we get there."
- I love that Dean uses the present tense for Bobby. It's also cool that since Hunters like Bobby probably have so many false names that they buy things under, Bobby's cabins are probably still all just standing around empty, being used by people - I don't know how the property taxes are being paid, but *shrug*, maybe he rigged that up somehow too.
Dean: "I'll tell you another thing - if this actually does work, I'm taking some time off."
Sam: "What, like a vacation?"
Dean: "Mmhm, and I'm not taking just like a weekend in Vegas or sitting in some crap motel watching pay-per-porn - no, I'm taking about a beach...[...]...when was the last time either one of us was on a beach?"
Dean: "Never. Sand between our toes. Sand between our toes."
- Ah, never is a little harsh... you hung out on a seawall just a few months ago! That's ALMOST a beach...actually, it was probably with in five km of a beach, knowing Vancouver (but not remembering right now what portion of the sea wall they were on.)
- Still, the beach has become the Winchester's new Grand Canyon, after we found out that they actually HAD been to the Grand Canyon as children. Also, because Jensen and Jared keep wishing they could film on one...so, it's their "Grand Canyon" too.
I think what I love about Robbie Thompson episodes is that there's so much goddamn love in them. Even when Sam is pretending to be exasperated and pessimistic.
Metatron is still annoying though - but he's supposed to be - so both Robbie and Curtis do a great job.
Metatron: "I mean, you used to be human, don't you miss all this?"
Castiel: "No, I don't miss digestion. I don't indigestion-"
Metatron: "No, not that, I mean don't you miss the feeling of all of this? Like the taste of these waffles, the sound of a child's laugher. Look at us, we're a couple of angels that have touched not only the divine, but the mundane. You and I have a lot in common."
- I wouldn't miss digestion or indigestion either... but we DO Know that Castiel misses peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches. So, Cas is really just putting up a front here because he doesn't want to give in to Metatron's manipulations - there ARE things about being human that I think Cas enjoyed, though he did have a really crappy time of it. Fundamentally though, I don't think Cas will ever reach a point where he would want to be human over being an angel... being an angel is what Cas likes best.
Metatron: "...can't we be besties?"
Castiel: "No, because you killed my friend."
Metatron: "Oh, Dean is fine, mostly - can't you get passed that?"
- You tell him, Cas. Though, on the other hand, it kinda irks me that everyone is mad at Metatron for DEAN'S (temporary) death and no one mentions that HE KILLED KEVIN!
I love the effect of Dean getting entranced by the book.
Back to Metatron and Castiel... and the angry cupid. I always feel so bad for the cupids.
Back to Sam and Dean...they find out the books' in code.
Then the Stynes... I love his cool compass thing.
Back to Cas and Metatron... this is the annoying bit about the episode, because why does Metatron need to be uncuffed to look at books?! He DOESN'T!! He kind of sells it because they have to go through a LOT of books, but still.
Back with Sam and Dean, and we get the info on the Stynes.
Dean: "All the spells they used came from a "book of unspeakable evil" which they lost nearly 100 years ago."
Sam: "So, they're bad, so what, we've faced worse?"
Dean: "Sam, read the file. The way the book works is that when you use it there is a negative reaction - I'm talking biblical negative..."
- And here we get the sowings of the finale, where of COURSE there will be a negtive reaction to removing the Mark, because there is a negative reaction for EVERYTHING the Winchester's do...except, arguably, stopping the apocalypse, the only negative reaction to that was a personal negative reaction...oh, and civil war in Heaven. I guess that kind of sucked.
Charlie: "So, you're giving up?"
Dean: "No, I'm not giving up. Charlie, I don't have a death wish - and even if I did, I can't die, not with this thing on my arm. What I can do is that I can fight it, as long as I can, until-"
Sam: "Until what? Until what, Dean? Until I watch you become a demon again, until then?! I can't do that. I won't do that."
- They really are stuck between a rock and a hard place here, because it's true - as long as Dean is immortal, this problem is NEVER GOING AWAY. Sam could lock him up in the bunker, but what's to stop Dean from escaping once Sam is dead? What's to stop Dean from fulfilling Cain's prophecy and killing Sam, and then escaping and becoming the new Cain. Whatever they do, they're unleashing evil into the world - it's just either going to be in the form of whatever is unleashed with the removal of the Mark or it's going to be in the form of a corrupted Dean Winchester. And, I think it's completely understandable for Sam to and Dean to both choose to die fighting evil, rather than to "die" by BECOMING evil.
- So, yeah, despite all the lying and shades of S4, I can't actually criticize Sam for the route that he takes to cure Dean. What choice did he have? The only thing we can take issue with is the fact that he keeps it a secret. I think things would have run smoother, there would have been less consequence, if Sam had come clean with Dean about what he was doing. It's not like Dean could have really stopped him. But maybe he could have, who knows.
Sam: "If there's a cure, we'll do it and deal with the consequences later. I can't lose you."
Sam: "Yeah, really!"
Dean: "You change your mind on that, because that's not what you said last time."
Sam: "Oh come on, man, you know I didn't mean-"
- Ah yes, I had forgotten about the infamous 'I wouldn't' line in S9, where Sam told Dean that he wouldn't compromise Dean's body-atonomy in an effort to save his life... and Dean took that to mean "I don't love you and wouldn't save you if you were dying."
- I love how Sam's genuinely outraged, before Dean cuts him off, that Dean would take something he said mostly in anger to be the truth... because yeah, part of me feels like his tone of "are you an idiot" is half-directed at fandom for taking Sam's line as literally as Dean took it.
Back to Cas and Metatron...
Castiel: "What we did back there was unfortunate - no more of our brothers and sisters should die!"
Metatron: "Brothers and sisters? Listen to you! Still spitting out the company line like anyone cares - like we're actually a family. When what we really are is a bunch of glowing lights, filled with self-loathing or delusions of granduer, or both."
Castiel: "You shut-up"
Metatron: "No! If I'm going to die, I want answers - like, who are you now?! You're obviously not an angel of the Lord and what about all of this walking the earth like Caine from Kung-Fu crap, cleaning up Heaven's messes. How many more rogue angels are there out there? And what are you going to do once you're done with all that? Go back to Heaven, please! The angel formerly-known-as Hannah has returned order up top - smoothest it's run since God cut the ribbon on the pearly gates - so tell me, Castiel, truly, what is your mission now?"
Castiel: "You shut-up and keep looking."
Metatron: "Well, cannot say I didn't try."
- What was he trying? Why does he want to know what Cas is now? What does it matter? Would he have not tried to kill him based on the answer? Doubtful. Was he hoping to turn him to be his lackey? Manipulate him into being sympathetic? I think it's obvious that the ship's long sailed on that possibility.
- I do LOVE all of Metatron's questions though - because they're the same ones I have. What is Castiel's standing with Heaven? Is he free to roam the earth, unlike the other rogue angels, on Hannah's indulgence?
- I think Metatron is right and that even if there was no longer business on earth for Castiel, he'd probably still stay - I'm not sure if he'd be welcome OR happy in Heaven. And I don't think it's just a question of his life with the Winchester's having changed him - I think they've sown enough evidence into the series to suggest that Castiel has ALWAYS been different than other angels. He's always been the one to protest, to be the wrench in the works... and well, yeah, my personal headcanon is that God designed him that way, which is why Castiel never dies.
Charlie: "What did Dean mean, when he said you changed your mind?"
Sam: "So, a while back we had a chance to close the gates of Hell, and in order to do that, I would have had to die. And I was okay with that, and I AM okay with that. But Dean was not, and so he uh..."
Charlie: "He saved you."
Sam: "Yeah, he saved me."
Charlie: "And let me guess, in doing so, he did something you didn't want, and that pissed you off, and you said something that hurt him."
Sam: "Yeah, that sounds about right."
-I love how succinctly Robbie explains this, how he takes something that seemed against Sam's character, and explained how it actually wasn't - because Sam was pissed, and we all say stupid things when we're pissed.
- I also love how he very clearly sets up how Sam's well within his rights to completely march across Dean's will and do whatever the hell he wants if he means saving Dean - because that's the precedent that Dean reset when he came back from Purgartory and got mad at Sam for not looking for him. He basically said "we ignore promises due to our deep and abiding love for each other"...so, then, can you really be mad at Sam for ignoring promises?
Charlie: "Brothers. You know, I haven't been a Hunter for very long, but it seems like this is the life - mostly ends in Sophie's choice or death or tears - usually all of the above, huh? How did this become my life? I was going ta own my own start-up, marry Scar-Jo, now I'm just... I'm just happy to be alive."
Sam: "You know when Dean came to get me at school. I told myself, 'one last job, one more job!' And then when I, when I, um... when I lost Jess, I again told myself 'one more job', it was always one more job, and one more job, and one more job, and one more job, and then I was going back to law, and to my life."
Charlie: "You were the Dread Pirate Roberts of Hunting."
Sam: "Yeah, I guess I really understand now that, this is my life - I love it. But I can't do it without my brother. I don't want to do it without my brother, and if he's gone, then I don't..."
Charlie: "I got it. I do."
- God, I love that speech by Sam. I'm not sure, but I think this is the first time Sam's actually EXPLAINED his POV of things, the way he sees stuff. With Sam, we usually always have to infer by his actions, or look at the words he isn't saying rather than the ones he is... but here he just lays his motivations on the table, for his WHOLE LIFE. Or at least, his life since the Pilot. "One more job" until somewhere along the line, probably, ironically, while Gadreel healed him in S9, Sam realized that he actually loved his life - that he didn't want to go back to being normal, that he didn't LIKE trying to be normal, or at the very least, preferred Hunting. But that it's all contingent on Dean... that he only loves it if Dean is beside him.
- I also like how we see Charlie sort of... regret joining Hunting. She wanted an adventure, and found it grisly and not at all fun... then she found a quest, but discovered that it was also not fun and involved choices and compromises that she regretted... and now she's back to the Hunting world and it's lost it's sheen. I know it sounds horribly depressing, but I LIKE that they did that. I like the fact that they didn't make it shiny... it's what anchors the show in reality - that there are no happy endings. And I'm not saying that death is needed to anchor a show in reality - what I'm saying is that REALITY is needed... in that, when you get engaged, you then have to plan a wedding, and where the hell is your crazy drunk uncle going to sit and how do you keep him away from the bar? And then when you get married, you have to figure out how to live with this person for the REST OF YOUR LIFE and what if they fall into a depression? What if they get reassigned at work and you have to move your entire family to a new city, and now you don't have any friends and it's like starting over, except that you still have this spouse-person who you supposedly love, but now you're the only two people you have to talk to and you're driving each other CRAZY... and this isn't BAD, but it's not sunshine and rainbows. Love and life is only 10% sunshine and rainbows, 50% mundane things like brushing your teeth and taking out the trash, 20% wishing you knew what the hell you were doing, and, if you're very lucky, only 10% fuckin' tragedy. (Actually, it might be 20% mundane and 50% wishing you know what the hell you were doing - it depends who you are.) And THAT'S how you write realism... realism isn't just rape and murder and vivid descriptions of gross things, sorry GRRM fans.
- Anyway, my point is, Charlie's feelings towards Hunting are how I feel towards life in general - I'm just happy to be alive.
(I know I keep harping on it, but it really makes me wonder about those missing weeks/months, between the end of S7 and when Sam 'hit a dog' - did he try to hunt on his own? Did he realize that it had lost all possible appeal if he didn't have Dean at his side? Or was he too filled with grief to even contemplate it? Anyway, I still maintain that the whole storyling was OOC and only makes sense if you consider that Sam's half-mad with grief... and I know from secret sources that Jared agrees with me, and that's good enough for me to make that explanation canon (or at least make it canon that Sam was OOC and his actions therefore can't be held against him... because Jared is enough of an authority on what's what in my books.) )
And Castiel discovers the clues are quotes... shouldn't he have recognized that?
Why did Metatron want the demon tablet? What did he think he was going to do?
Metatron: "The places I'll go with this and... your grace. Well, one out of two ain't bad."
- Ah, that's the spanner in the works. Metatron had plans for the demon tablet as an ANGEL... as a human, I guess there wasn't much he could do with it.
Castiel: "What's the maddest thing man can do? Let himself die."
- So, yeah, if Castiel KNEW it was a quote from Don Quixote, why not check that book first? Or did he not realize it was a quote until he recognized the quote/response formate of the demon tablet clue that Metatron found after Castiel had already been attacked. I guess that's what we're supposed to believe. Maybe Castiel's imported knowledge of Don Quixote isn't in the forefront of his brain that much.
- I do like the quote though and how it fits with what Cas WAS doing before this. :P Cas has always been a little mad.
- Also, I like it because it's also what Dean is advocating for. I mean, yes, he can't technically die - but the part of him that is DEAN, that is good and righteous, can die...and that's, inevitably, what he has to advocate for if he's not willing to suffer the consequences of saving himself.
I love how when Cas stole other people's graces, it was just like *drink* *good to go* but when he consumes his own grace again, he's like *drink* *immediate distruction of everything around him in a flash of light!* I mean, Anna set that precedent, so I'm not saying it's WRONG - but it does support my theory that angels are made up of two parts Grace+Essence (not soul, because Castiel has told us before that he doesn't have a soul) - because they obviously have an essence that is uniquely them, it's the part of them that turns human when you take their grace....but it's obviously not something they can trade on, like humans can with their souls.
So, whatever it is, it's the part of them that is non-removable. Sam could walk around soulless, and angels can walk around graceless... but Sam can't walk around (at least on earth) without a body, and Castiel can't walk around without the essence of what makes him Castiel...so, therefore the "essence" is whatever constitutes their true-form, probably...it's the wavelength of celestial intent. :P
Oh yeah, and we get the WINGS! Poor damaged wings. So sad.
And Dean walks into the convenience store where the Stynes have just killed someone.
Dean: "What's it to you, Mr. Styne."
Jacob: "My friend's call me Jacob."
Dean: "Well I ain't your friend."
- I love how Dean uses the guy's accent back at him. I think Jensen did that in Dark Angel once too, though, in truth, I've only seen a couple episodes of that show, so I might be taking a clip out of context.
I love this whole exchange and fight. Not much to say about it though, beyond that it's awesome. Also, Dean, if chest shots don't work, try the head.
I wonder if Dean's holy-oil fire would have actually destroyed the book - or if the Styne's were correct and it's indestructible.
I just realized that their war-table, the map of Europe is coloured funny... because, they've got Norway, Sweden, Finland in green (understandble - three great contries to live in), but then all of Russia, Mongolia, most of the middle east, Eastern Europe, Germany, and Great Britain, are one colour, and then France, Spain, Italy, and Portugal are blue. LIke... why the colour change in Europe? They also have India and... possibly Pakistan in blue, China in yellow, and then it's just coloured by continent. Anyway, obviously I'm easy to distract.
Sam is comforting Cas about losing Metatron.
Sam: "You know what, Cas, you got your grace back - you're back. You did the right thing."
Cas: "You did the right thing, that book needed to be destroyed - we will find another way, Sam."
- Awww, even my Sassy time is now tainted with LIES.
Charlie: "We're back bitches! Whoa! Is that who I think it is?"
- I love how Castiel is actually nervous.
Sam: "Charlie, Cas, Cas, Charlie."
Charlie *hugs* Cas: "I thought you'd be shorter!"
Charlie: "Do you think you can do anything about my carpal tunnel?"
*Cas heals her*
Charlie: "Is that it?"
Cas: "You're carpal tunnel and your bullet wound are now healed. You may want to continue wearing your wrist brace at night though."
- I love the fact that Cas knows she wears a wrist brace at night. I love the random "I can obviously read minds - but only seem to do it randomly* things that they do with Cas.
- Also, Charlie had to have been on some MEGA painkillers to not realize that Cas had healed her bullet wound before he told her. Or, there's an information delay between the healed nerve endings and the pain-processing part of the brain.
Charlie: "Did we just become best friends?!"
- Yes you did. And it would have been glorius.
Dean: "Hey, look who decided to show! So! You're back, 100%! How did that happen?"
*Cas and Sam look at each other*
Cas: "It was Hannah, she managed to get the location of the remainder of my grace out of Metatron."
Dean: "Awesome! I told you we were due for a win. Good to have you back, pal."
- Aww, and now Cas has to lie to Dean too... oh, lies, you are always the plot of Supernatural. :P
- I do love how Dean counts Cas as a win though... I mean, if anyone ever doubted Cas' standing as an honourary Winchester brother, it's there. Cas' health is a win for the Winchester team.
- And man, I bet early S4 Dean would be flabbergasted at being told that he'd one day affectionately punch Cas in the arm and call him "pal" sincerely.
And this is a really great song-cue, my goodness.
Sam takes the book to Rowena... in the same shirt he's wearing in the scene where everyone is having fun and eating pizza. So, I gotta wonder, did he do this right after, or did he do it BEFORE the scene with Cas in the Bunker...while Dean and Charlie were out getting pizza or whatever.
Also, how in the heck did he find Rowena?
It's a conversation between Charlie and Sam in the cabin, before Dean comes back with the Stynes on his heels. Sam is on his laptop.
Charlie: "What do you got?"
Sam: "Nothing, it's uh, it's a long shot - maybe someone who might be able to help. It's probably a dead-end, but I gotta kick all the tires, right?"
- Ah, so Sam somehow tracked Rowena down with his laptop! Interesting! Well, that answered that question then.
Woot! Okay, no promises to when the next one will bem but I did want to try to get my rewatch done sometime before the end of S11, if only because it'd be embarassing if I didn't...so, I'll try for a double-shot this week. I'm also supposed to be writing fanfic... man, I wish my fanlife earned me money. It's a full time job.