Tonight’s episode keeps the blasts from the past coming as our favorite deaf hunter makes a very special return.
Eileen Leahy (Shoshannah Stern) comes to us by way of Seasons 11 and 12, she was a legacy member of the Men of Letters and hunted Banshees as revenge for the loss of her hearing and parents. She looks terrible in this episode, mostly because she’s an escaped soul from Hell (she was killed by Hellhounds). She is the first major player in our two-plot adventure, Castiel, is the other. While Eileen’s storyline serves as a potential solution to the problem of souls that were wrongfully consigned to Hell, Castiel’s concerns a little bit of social justice hiding as a monster-of-the-week.
Eileen appears early, haunting the bunker of the Men of Letters (umm…isn’t that place supposed to be heavily warded against pretty much all supernatural beings? Or…maybe I missed whatever undid that – it has been 15 years!) doing her best to get Sam and Dean to see her. She finally succeeds, informing the boys she escaped from Hell when Chuck threw the doors open and got as far away as fast as she could – hence why she wasn’t sucked up by Rowena. She is looking for them to put a good word in for her with the man upstairs so she can go to Heaven but we hear that new rule: Souls from Hell can’t go to Heaven. Dean essentially washes his hands of the situation, but Sam is willing to meet her halfway. They decide, since souls stuck on Earth inevitably go batshit, to trap her in one of Rowena’s crystals.
Along the way we discover a better option: Rowena was working on a way to turn a spirit corporeal thus defeating the necessity for a body to house a returned soul. But, Sam and Eileen aren’t the only ones after Rowena’s secrets: There’s a trio of witches who have been working hard to find them only to lose one of their own to the cause. Sam and Eileen’s appearance works out nicely since it gives them access to the hidden spell cache and a way to bring back their fallen sister. Naturally, things go awry, the boys kick some ass, there’s some cool ghost-on-ghost fighting (did you know it was possible for one ghost to choke out another? I do now!), and the happy ending for Eileen is that Sam does the spell and she lives.
Castiel meanwhile, is in Idaho, investigating a series of deaths around a lake. His story is largely ignorable if only for the boring basis (again – monster of the week) but deserves attention at least twice. Once is when his fake credentials are questioned, and he winds up having the sheriff call Dean to play his director. It gives the angel and the lost boy a moment to chat though the conversation is somewhat odd. See, Dean doesn’t understand why Castiel didn’t return Sam’s calls…really? Is it because Sam called and not Dean? Would Dean have understood if he was the one with unreturned calls??? Dude, you super kicked Castiel out of Team Free Will, again! How the fuck are you surprised the angel didn’t call you guys back!? Ug…I have to say I hate the way Castiel is disrespected in this series. He’s a fucking angel that befriended two humans at the cost of his own place in Heaven, yet, whenever Dean feels like it he just tosses Cass aside and then expects his pet angel to come whenever he calls! I get that Dean was frustrated, but he doesn’t even apologize! Ok…rant over.
The other time is when Castiel is killing the Djinn. Just before this he’s having a conversation with the mother of a missing boy, telling her how his agency kicked him out for disagreements over management. As he stabs the Djinn with his angel blade (which I guess is a kill-all type weapon since previous genies were only vanquished using a silver blade dipped in lamb’s blood) he rants about how the sheriff is just another man who thinks he can just take, and take, and take. It’s an interesting speech given we know he’s really just pissed at God and how petty he’s turned out to be, but it could also be seen as a larger comment on the traditional sins of the straight white male – see the “me too” movement, the patriarchy, Trump, the wealth gap, systemic racism, etc. Granted, this is a straight (arguably, we’ve never actually seen Cass have relations with a man), white male attacking one of his own kind in frustration, but change has to come from within, right?
Besides that, potential stretch of an interpretation, we also learn Cass is not doing well, and although he mentioned this to Dean when he was leaving, we get to see it now. My question is Why? Why is Cass always losing his powers? I thought he got his stolen grace back a while ago? Le sigh.
It’s nice to see the boys get a win, even if Dean is extremely nonplus about it. Also, no mention of Kevin! Dean laments not knowing about this spell so they could have gotten their mom back, but nothing about Kevin!? Geeze…also, also, just cause a witch (hi character actor Keegan Connor Tracy! This is her third character on this series!) said the spell could only be cast once doesn’t mean you believe her. Fuck, it’s worth a try isn’t it?
One last thing before concluding this review: I do not get the title. It’s “Golden Time” and near as I know there is no reference made to it throughout the episode. If someone understands the naming…I’m all ears.
Anyhow, I’m wondering if a little bit of the end game is showing. This episode keeps reminding us that a soul from Hell can’t go to Heaven – and in case anyone has forgotten both Winchesters have been to Hell. Does this mean, if they die, the boys won’t be able to go to Heaven? Or, will killing God negate this rule? Curiouser and curiouser…