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Quick Reaction: 14x11 Damaged Goods


Alright, so, no telling when this episode takes place - but hopefully Dean still has a chance to have a better birthday than this....

Usual rules apply, and episode is being recounted in the usual circumstance - it's late, I've had wine, and I only watched the episode once while taking poor notes.

We begin with Nick, who has taken up the job of Hunter briefly to catch a demon on his quest to find Abraxus. The demon is willing to co-operate and tells him that the Hunter is in Hibbing, Minnesota. So, immediately, I'm like "Donna?" Nick kills her, but like...she was a demon anyway? I guess he also killed the vessel though, so that's sad.

Then we cut to the bunker, where Dean is suspiciously packing. If there's one theme of this episode for me, it's SUSPICION! As you will see.

Sam is researching in low-light in the library, just to look as sexy as possible when Dean finds him (well, that sounded wrong and not at all how I meant it, but whatever floats your boat, I guess.) Anyway, Sam's intrigued by the classification of angels, but hasn't found anything on Michael yet. I'm sure it's at this point that he mentions where Cas and Jack are, but I missed it.

Dean tells Sam that he's going to Donna's cabin to see mom. Sam's like, "cool, let me grab my stuff." And Dean's like "nope, alone - I want some mom time by myself" and Sam's like "uh, okay, I guess." And then Dean does an EXTREMELY SUSPICIOUS THING, because he HUGS SAM VERY AWKWARDLY FROM BEHIND and for a second there I fully think he's about to kiss Sam oh so tenderly on the head (but he doesn't) and I'm like WHOA HOLD THE PHONE! SOMETHING IS WRONG! And Sam's face says the exact same thing, but he keeps it all inside - like Dean is SUPPOSED to.

Once Dean is gone, Sam immediately checks in with Mary to make sure that Dean's legit going to visit her. Apparently he is! Mary isn't as concerned as Sam, but she says she'll keep an eye on him. She also informs him that AU!Bobby was a bit torn up about his AU!son dying and whatnot, so he took off for a while. Then Sam goes to the storage room and notices that DEAN TOOK BOOKS! Sam is like "not only is Dean hugging me, but he's DOING RESEARCH WITHOUT ME?1?!?1" and he is full of SUSPICION.

Dean catches up with Donna before meeting Mary - which means that Donna's cabin is legit not far from Hibbing, I guess? Did we get a location on that before? I don't think we did. Anyway, Donna introduces Dean to the best burger in Minnesota, which is at a place called the Hungry Beaver - which is hilarious. Also, if you want to be thoroughly distracted in this scene, keep an eye on the extra with the white-boots - some background-performer director was doing a poor job this episode.

If you aren't distracted by looping, disappearing, and reappearing extras though, you can listen to Dean ask Donna how Jody and the girls are doing - Donna's been splitting her time. They're training the girls. Alex killed too Vitrali? I know what monster's she's referring to, I just forget how to spell them. New!Doug left the deputy position and is now working private security. Donna is kinda bummed. Donna then turns the conversation back on Dean forcibly, letting him know that Sam's already told her about him being possessed and still having Michael locked up in his head. Dean is like "What - does Sam put out a newsletter?!?!" AND OH PLEASE!

PLEASE HAVE SAM PUT OUT A NEWSLETTER. For the love of god, someone write me an epistolary-fic that consists solely of Sam's Monthly/Weekly/Whatever Winchester Newsletter. Let him use mailchimp! Let it have a little subscribe/unsubscribe button at the bottom of it. OH MY GOD I WANT IT SO BAD. I want to be ON IT. Lord, with the show in the future, I could write it for the next two years. This is a fan project that I don't need, especially since I'm not actually that enthused with the narrative as much as I used to be. If I didn't have to work for a living and didn't already have fifty billion fan projects that I'm not getting to...


Dean then hugs Donna goodbye...and Donna is like 'I AM NOW FULL OF SUSPICION AS WELL!' only with her eyes, of course.

Back at the cabin, Dean arrives to the sound of gun shots and runs into the backyard only to find Mary shooting pumpkins. "You could make soup with those!" my friend says. I don't ask if he meant before or after she shot them.

Dean requests that they have "Winchester Surprise" for dinner - which Mary is amazed that he remembers, and calls "a heart-attack on a plate"  - furthering my suspicion that this is a 'last meal' scenario.

Then Mary leaves, and Dean looks far too pleased about it - which means that he requested it to GET HER OUT OF THE CABIN! SUSPICION!!!!!

He goes to the shed/out-building out back (because that thing is bigger than a shed - that's a full on garage/workshop situation.) He finds pictures of beef 70s looking mustachioed men - "Donna has a type", Dean says. Then he finds 8 tracks! 8 TRACKS! And puts on The Guess Who (Canadian band, for those who don't know.) My friend, who is from the same region of Canada as the Guess Who, points out how fitting the lyrics are - "on my way to better things/since I found myself some wings" - Dean is probably not on his way to better things, because he's building something...something SUSPICIOUS! 

Meanwhile, Mary is taking a heck of a long time getting groceries, I guess... and the bag-boy, Joe, questions her about her purchases - and I'm like "who are you working for JOE?! DEMONS?!? SUSPICIOUS QUESTIONS!"

But then, after Mary leaves, Nick pulls up and asks Joe if he knows a Mary Winchesters - and Joe's like, "No" - because Jo has good instincts... and then once Nick drives away, Joe makes a call - and it turns out that he's DONNA'S SPY!!! I'M SORRY I EVER DOUBTED YOU, JOE! STAY SAFE! BE WELL! EVERYONE PLEASE PROTECT PRECIOUS JOE!

Donna pulls over Nick, and runs his prints.. but makes the mistake of looking away from him, and Nick is able to get out of the cuffs and tase Donna. Thankfully, this episode isn't written by the needlessly-murderous BuckLeming, so Donna isn't killed.

Dean and Mary have dinner - with Dean helping Mary cook. Mary is SUPER SUSPICIOUS. And calls Sam while Dean is distracted. Sam's like "I think I should come up!" and Mary is like "nah, it's cool, I got this." But Sam is actually already in the car and on his way, because Sam is smart.

Dean then tells Mary some childhood stories - which FINALLY this is the content I wanted when they brought back Mary - I wanted these awkward moments when Dean tries to tell funny stories about their youth, and it turns sour because all of his childhood his tinged with poverty of security and parental understanding of his needs. Dean seems to be telling a story where Sam ended up with bologna and cheese underneath his clothes? (was he stealing them?) and soaking wet, and Dean tried to make "Winchester surprise" out of it all, but it stank up the place - and John came home and got super mad and threw it all out, and then got sad because it reminded him of Mary? Dean trails off when he realizes there's no good way to finish...and Mary remarks about how much she missed, and how "the two of you just..." but she can't finish the thought either about their childhood. 

Mary tries to get Dean to talk about what's currently going on, but Dean shuts her down - he doesn't want to talk about it.

Once Dean is asleep, Mary sneaks out of the house and checks the out-building/workshop to see what the heck Dean was up to. She doesn't appear to like what she sees. 

Meanwhile, Donna has woken up in her car, and calls Mary - waking Dean up. 

Nick is already there though, and intercepts Mary as she leaves the workshop.

Dean rushes out of the house in search of Mary, and instead finds Sam, who just arrived - he informs him that Mary is missing.

Mary, it appears, is in the back of Nick's stolen van. He's trying to find Abraxas - Mary put him in an enochian puzzle-box, because she couldn't kill him for some reason when she came across him before. I missed why, because - I'll be honest here - I got a work-related text that informed me that my Saturday was going to look much different than I had envisioned and it distracted me.... but, point is, abraxus is in a puzzle box for some reason. 

Meanwhile, Donna, Dean, and Sam meet up to discuss everything. Sam blames himself for not following up with Nick, not realizing that he was killing people. Then Donna gets a call that tells them that Nick's van was spotted in Grand Rapids, which is 40 minutes away. Dean says they'll be there in 20.

Mary takes Nick into the storage facility - he keeps trying to make her go first. She steps over a trip-wire, hoping that it'll get him, but he notices it and follows the wire to its set-up. I mean, it's a similar set-up to what we saw John do in Bad Day at Black Rock... except, I can't help but notice that the way it's set up isn't the best, because it would have shot where the person WAS not where they are. You need to put the gun on the other side of the trip wire. Unless it was angled, but it didn't appear to be. Anyway, quibbles which at this point I should just ignore.

Mary also has shitty padlocks on her high-security part of the storage unit, because Nick is able to break them fairly easily. He finds the box, but Mary points out that the demon would need a host to talk, and Mary's tattooed (yay!)

Sam and Dean, meanwhile, race to Grand Rapids, with Dean berating Sam on the way for letting Nick go and not following up with him - and not realizing that he was passed the point of saving. Oh man, I hate it when Dean projects his insecurities onto Sam's optimistic nature.

Nick has dragged in a poor security guard to play host to the demon. Mary tries to fight him and save the security guard, but to no avail. Nick uses a drill to drill into the box and let Abraxus out - then asks him why he kills his family. Abraxas says he'll only tell him if he kills Mary - it looks like he's actually going to when Donna, Dean, and Sam show up for the rescue.

Nick, just to compound his immoral stupidity decides to let Abraxas go. Abraxas rewards him by first slamming him to the ground along with everyone else, and then telling him that it was Lucifer who ordered the murder of his family - that he was just a random guy they chose out of the phone book. Nick kills him... along with the poor security guard.

Donna then shoots him in the leg (yay!) and arrests him.

Before Donna takes him away, Sam asks Nick why he did what he did... Nick tells him it was for revenge, and Sam would have done the same. Sam apologizes to him. Nick tells him that it's not about YOU, that Nick isn't broken. Sam's like "yes you are" and that Nick is going to be haunted now by everyone he killed - and that "you can burn" - which yeah, harsh words coming from Sammy.

Mary pulls Dean aside while Sam is distracted with Nick and tells him that she saw what was in the workshop and that he had to tell Sam, or she would.

So, Dean does... it's a Malek Box (could be spelling that wrong - Malach?) It looks like a giant metal coffin... basically, it'll hold an archangel. Dean explains how he wasn't just planning to be buried alive with Michael, he was planning to be dumped in the ocean, and I guess crushed in a box under all that pressure?. I mean, depending where he was dumped and how deep it went) and trapped for all eternity (his soul anyway, his body would die pretty quick). 

Sam objects - though, as my friend and I point out, it's actually the exact same as Sam's plan at the end of S5, so he doesn't have that much of a leg to stand on there. Dean tells Sam about Billie's visit and how it was the only way (also, not the first time Death has told Dean there's an "only way" that he's then gone against...though, arguably, that didn't work out GREAT last time, though he and Sam WERE still both alive, so it depends on what outcome you're shooting for). 

Sam though, doesn't argue the plan THAT much, what he really takes issue with - and rightfully so - is that Dean set off on a "farewell tour" without even saying a proper goodbye to Sam (also not the first time he's done that). Dean tells him that he knew Sam would talk him out of it, and he didn't want to be talked out of it. Sam is like "okay." and then the episode ends and we're all sad.

So, we'll see what happens! 

I don't get previews on the channel that I watch - but I know next week is 299, which MIGHT be written by my least favourite writers - and then we get 300 - so, my guess is that we'll be, somehow?, in a relatively good place for 300, just so that it can still be fun.

Let me know what you thought in comments! :)

This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/571139.html.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 25th, 2019 08:19 am (UTC)
Still don't get why they had to keep Nick alive, his arc this season is just weird, and why do I have SUSPICIONS that even though Donna is carting him off to jail we're not done with him (unfortunately...)

BTW I loved that Donna was competent enough to take Nick on and be winning until he cheated with the taser (like Ketch cheated with one to stop Mary season ago.) But why didn't Nick then kill her? Though I'm clearly glad he didn't!

When Dean was berating Sam in the car for not giving up on someone when he should, Dean was so clearly talking about himself--nice set-up for the final scene...

Speaking of, that final scene was a killer!!! Firstly, the parallels to Sam's choice at the end of season 5, and Dean, in the most mature handling of Sam's death he's ever had, agreed to it (and it was so awful that he's never been okay with Sam dying ever again!) But when Dean said that he had to leave Sam because Sam was the only one who could talk him out of his decision...that was for me one of the most perfect Winchester moments! And Sam said okay clearly to buy time to do just that!

Of course there is the question of why didn't Dean say goodbye to Cas and Jack? I think Dean's plan was to call Cas once the box was ready and have Cas lock him in and oversee dropping it in the ocean because, though Cas would certainly object, Cas would not be able to change Dean's mind and would ultimately do it. And he probably skipped Jack because he didn't want to face saying goodbye to him--he passed his goodbye to Jody via Donna, he couldn't face her either. In fact, that he could spend time with Mary shows me that he still was emotionally distant enough from her that he didn't fear breaking down while have his farewell with her.

I got into a long discussion with my friend over Billie's role and destiny in this. When all the books changed--presumably at the same point--what kept that one book different? Did it say that 'Death gives Dean a book with instructions on building the angel-proof box'? Back in season 5, Death voluntarily gave Dean the final Horseman's ring with instructions. Had he read the books on how Sam dies? So Death in general wants to assist the Winchesters in saving the world? How is Billie leading Dean along the path to his destiny with Michael different than all the angels' attempts to get Dean to accept his destiny in season 5? Other than they were all pushy dicks, which automatically gets a Winchester to be contrary...

I love that we're getting a multi-episode arc here, that they're not trying to solve the whole problem of Michael-in-Dean's-head in one episode!

Jan. 26th, 2019 04:08 am (UTC)
I swear that it's only because BuckLeming loves MarkP. Otherwise, there's no point to him... besides they want to keep him around to re-house Lucifer when they inevitably bring him back and PISS ME OFF.

I'm also thankful that Nick didn't kill Donna. I think that he's one of those unpredictable psychopaths... or it could be that he's still got enough common sense not to murder a police officer.

Yes, I meant to go on a bit more about that final scene and how both Jared and Jensen knocked it out of the park. They're really great at making me engage with the show even at this late stage in the series when it has plots that aren't to my interest.

From the preview to next week, it looks like Dean may have intended to tell Cas - as you say - but knew that he couldn't tell Sam...or otherwise, he was going to call Cas and meet up before he did it maybe. But Cas does tend to not fight back as much against Dean's plans as Sam does.

And that's a good point about Mary - even though she's his mother, they don't have a strong enough relationship for her to be enough to get him to want to stay. He knows that he can live without her, whereas not really SAYING that he's about to live an eternity without Sam means that he can stay in denial about doing so.

So Death in general wants to assist the Winchesters in saving the world? How is Billie leading Dean along the path to his destiny with Michael different than all the angels' attempts to get Dean to accept his destiny in season 5? Other than they were all pushy dicks, which automatically gets a Winchester to be contrary...

I think it's because Billie/Death's motivation is different. The angels wanted the apocalypse for self-serving ends, not to mention the billions of people that it would have killed - whereas Death is always out to keep the balance, to NOT have people die needlessly (or be saved when they shouldn't be and thus lead to others dying needlessly). Dean SHARES Death's motivations, he learned that he does in Appointment in Samara... but even before that, Dean saw that Death's plan was the one that led to the fewest deaths and the least amount of pain and suffering for humanity. So, there's nothing for Dean to rail against there, besides the personal cost - Dean can be SELFISH and disagree with Death, but whenever he does disagree, it's always because of his own self-interest, not the interest of humanity (ie: S10, when Death's plan couldn't be followed because it came up against his inability to kill Sam).

A destiny where Dean suffers and humanity is saved is one Dean understands and would agree with, because that's been his whole life. Dean isn't the optimistic one. Sam is the one that will sometimes look at a plan and say, okay, but what if we could have our cake AND eat it - and he'll try for that plan, sometimes to success, most of the time not.
Jan. 26th, 2019 01:01 pm (UTC)
Loved it! The only thing that made me not rate it awrsome was the Nick scenes.
Jan. 27th, 2019 11:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it was a good episode! And since Nick isn't Lucifer, I actually didn't mind his presence as much as I usually do when it's Lucifer (would still prefer they retire all MarkP characters - but that's personal taste.)
Jan. 27th, 2019 10:47 pm (UTC)
Two better-than-I-thought-they-would-be episodes in a row! Which is REALLY something, considering that this episode has both Nick and Mom.

- Does Nick USUALLY have much luck accosting random grocery attendants for info? (PRECIOUS JOE! Hahaha.)
- No one but a Winchester can pick police handcuffs with a PAPER CLIP in under a minute, come on.
- When/how did Mary get her hands on an Enochian puzzle box...? Are we to assume that she locked up Abraxas some time after her resurrection in season 12? (Also, lol that this little box prison is really strong, clever, hard to crack...oh, except for power drills, it's very vulnerable to power drills.)
- Now Mary has a John Winchester storage locker? One thing I wish the show would do is explore how different hunters have different styles, instead of making carbon copies of everything that John, or Bobby, or Sam & Dean have done and assuming that's the norm. It makes sense for someone like Jody or Donna to do things the way Sam and Dean do, because they were trained by Sam and Dean. But Mary would have done the majority of her hunting in a different decade. We toyed around with that idea for about one episode, with having her find hunts in newspapers, and then we discarded it and made her a modern texting/emailing/internet-using woman.
- Sam's "It's called compassion, Dean" in the car was a little too blatant for me. BUT I liked what Borgmama said about how this is clearly Dean wanting Sam to let HIM go. (Oh Dean. Didn't work in season 3...why would it work now?)

- Sam clearly getting into his research at the beginning of the episode. I adore him.
- Whaaaaaaaat is this awkward backwards hug? It's so strange...but I like it? Does this even count as a hug? (Also I like that Mary hasn't quite picked up the dynamic between her sons yet, because when Sam tells her about the hug she's like, "That's sweet." And he's like, "No, Mom, you're missing the point!")
- Dean's genuinely confused "What?" when Donna calls him out on his evasive maneuvers. I don't think he even knows he's doing it. Can I get in line for hugs on the Dean Winchester Farewell Tour?
- Sam's Winchester Weekly newsletter!! I wish you didn't have to work for a living either, because if you wrote that I would subscribe so fast!
- This is one of the first Dean-Mary exchanges that I've actually enjoyed! Both times - when he comes across her shooting the pumpkins, and then when they talk at dinner. Winchester Surprise! I loved everything about that, including the unintentionally tragic Sam-story that Dean told. YES. MORE OF THAT.
- That demon actor did a pretty good job! He was creepy and weird, which is all I ever ask of demon actors. ;)
Jan. 27th, 2019 11:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah - not bad at all.

Agree with your negatives.

Given that the demon was able to tell Nick that the Hunter was in Hibbing - my guess is that it's a hunt that Mary did very recently - as in, since coming back from AU world. Especially since the storage locker was relatively close by in Grand Rapids, rather than New Mexico or someplace random.

I also miss the days when different hunters had different styles. I remember the meta that was generated when John rolled up at the end of S2 with his perfectly organized trunk... or Gordon with his flashy car and hidden weapon panels. Or Bobby, who had his fortress of knowledge, and only kept storage lockers to house physical back-ups of knowledge.

Agree with your positives too. I absolutely love the really awkward backwards hug - mainly, I think it's because I am a person who is EXTREMELY AWKWARD with physical affection - so, not for the first time, I was like "DEAN WINCHESTER IS ME!"

And yeah, I think they did a good job in putting the awkward no-fault-of-their-own estrangement between Mary and her boys - in that she doesn't really grasp the gravity of Dean's behaviour the way Sam does, and that Dean isn't concerned about Mary being able to talk him out of burying himself at sea.

I have to figure out a way to be independently wealthy so that I can spend my time on frivolous newsletters.

Jan. 27th, 2019 10:48 pm (UTC)
I had the exact same thought that you had, re: the Michael plan mirroring Sam's Lucifer plan in season 5. I do like how Sam is willing to be trapped for eternity, but thinks that that is "insane" for Dean. They never take each other's lives for granted, even when the world is at stake.

I thought of Jody way before I thought of Cas or Jack, so I don't know what that says about me.
First thought: Hold up, Dean, you're not even going to say goodbye to our Real Mom, Jody??
Second thought: Ohhhhh...Destiel shippers are gonna be PISSED.
But I like Borgmama's solution. Cas would never be able to change Dean's mind, and he knows it. And Cas, for all of his adjustments to humanity over the last ten years, is still so practical, more practical even than Sam. He tends to accept those This Is The Only Way scenarios rather than rage against them - especially if Dean has his mind made up.

So...is this the end of Nick? If so, kind of a bizarre way to wrap it up. And if not...WHY NOT? D:

BuckLeming is up next, so the better-than-I-hoped streak might end here, heh. But then...episode 300! :O I can't believe we're already here!
Jan. 27th, 2019 11:53 pm (UTC)
I also think Sam can't measure how dire the situation is - because the situation is in Dean's head. In S5, Sam's plan was the soundest, because the angels were really ramping things up - people were dying on large scales and it was only going to get worse. Right now, I think Sam sees Michael as being contained in Dean's mind, and so they have time to work on the problem and find a different solution - only Dean can feel how precarious that containment is, so from his perspective, things are really ramping up and if he doesn't do something soon, people are going to die on a massive scale.

I liked the reading that Dean didn't say goodbye to Jody for the same reason that he didn't say goodbye to Sam - that Jody was someone who was practical but in the "don't sacrifice yourself" way and would be able to talk Dean out of it - or get him to stall. Practical but optimistic. Cas is practical but pessimistic - and therein lies the difference. THOUGH, from the look of the preview, Cas possibly isn't THAT practical. We'll see what he actually says once the episode airs though.

I don't think it's the end for Nick. I think it's literally a holding cell so that he can re-house Lucifer when Lucifer comes back - because the show hates me.

I really hope that BuckLeming pull a decent episode out of their hats - or that the actors are able to turn it decent after the fact. We'll see though!

Man, I remember the days where I speculated that they'd end after S11... I can't believe we're at episode 300 soon. Also, I remember taking some friends on a location tour while they were FILMING episode 200. It seems like it was only like - 2 years ago. I'm not sure how this happened.
Jan. 28th, 2019 12:06 am (UTC)
That's a good point that Sam can't gauge the situation without being in Dean's head. And they've pulled crazier solutions out of nowhere before..."We'll figure it out, just like we always do." That being said, Sam does know what it's like to have an archangel in his head...and that wasn't even real Lucifer, just a projection of his trauma...so I think if he was able to shelve his concern for his brother's life, he might see Dean's perspective. That being said, I NEVER want him to shelve his concern for his brother's life! Save him, Sam!
Jan. 28th, 2019 12:06 am (UTC)
Peek into the SPN writing room:
"So this week we're dealing with Dean's Michael dilemma, and also setting up the 300th episode, which is - "
"Hold on, Eugenie."
"Yes, Brad?"
"I just remembered something very important."
"What's that, Brad?"
"We hate Alix and need to ruin her life."
"Oh that's right! How could I forget? ...Let's resurrect Lucifer."
"And kill all our supporting characters."
"Great idea, Brad."

And then they toast each other with the tears that we cried over the deaths of Kevin, Charlie, Eileen, etc.

Edited at 2019-01-28 12:09 am (UTC)
Jan. 28th, 2019 12:21 am (UTC)
Yup, that's how it happens... only, you forgot:

"Oh hey, don't forget to include a glaring continuity error."
"No worries, I gotcha, I'm going to arbitrarily change the lore on reapers again"
Feb. 3rd, 2019 04:35 am (UTC)
When they said Hibbing, the first thing I thought of was The Benders. Wasn't that in Hibbing too? (I guess I've rewatched season one on TNT more recently that Donna's episodes)

I did like all the hugs this episode! And the boys and Mary actuall talking. And Dean's expressions when he was trying to hold back his emotions. I think they're setting a lot of things in motion that will be handled in upcoming eps...
Feb. 4th, 2019 05:02 am (UTC)
You aren't wrong! Hibbing was the same place as the Benders - and then they put Donna there years later, and never had Dean ask after the other deputy that he met during the Benders. It'd have been cool if they did, but alas. I headcanon that she retired.

ETA: ACTUALLY, I should amend that. Donna wasn't in Hibbing, she was in Stillwater. Hibbing is where the convention took place where she met Jody. I often get the two confused because of that. My point is that they've put Sam and Dean in Hibbing before working with the sheriff/deputies there, and they haven't address The Benders.

Edited at 2019-02-04 05:04 am (UTC)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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