Tonight’s Supernatural introduces an old friend of Dean Winchester’s, deals outright with Sam’s God injury, and reinstates Cass as the cock-block of team Free-Will.
Last episode we had Dean holding down the fort while Sam went out on a mission that resulted in the resurrection of a fellow hunter. Tonight, we see Sam hold down the fort while Dean takes a little road trip to Texas in order to…feel better? Dean’s been very weird this season. Sam is fairly consistent, holding out hope that Chuck can be defeated, and their lives can be salvaged, but Dean. Well, Dean’s been all over the place. First, he’s all for the fight, then he gets depressed because God’s back pulling the strings, and tonight he’s feeling feisty again. Though, his run-in with a former friend might send him right back to his blue period.
The episode starts off with a girl tied to a chair in a basement. Someone’s hooked up an IV line and her blood is flowing into a cage. We learn that the cage harbors a creature that, if fed, will treat its captor to riches and health. While I’m not entirely sure we’ve covered this kind of monster on the show before, the show clearly believes we have because we don’t even get a name for it. Instead, we get a brief view of it by our victim, and later a tease of it escaping when Dean is taken prisoner. We also get to see its swamp-monster-esque decapitated head, care of Dean.
Meanwhile, back at the bunker, in their efforts to find Chuck and/or Lilith, Sam and Eileen are getting closer (to each other). They apparently got drunk in celebration of her coming back to life, and Dean is pretty convinced they are gonna get busy, but of course Cass totally cock-blocks them by arriving unannounced just as they’re about to kiss. Ah well, the revirgination of Sam Winchester continues. For a show about two single guys (three if you count Cass) there is not a lot of sex. I do believe this is potentially because it’s centered around two men, and sex is generally a selling point for female leads but I could be wrong. They did get seem to get laid more in the earlier seasons…ANYWAY…
Cass believes that Sam’s wound can provide them with a location on Chuck, but his efforts to use that connection backfire and Sam winds up in the “he’s dying” camp again. Eileen is none too pleased (can’t bang a dead guy…well, you can it’s just…a whole thing) but Cass has someone he can call for help. Sergei (Dimitri Vantis) is a shaman first introduced last season, he reminds me of the collector villain in The Venture Bros (Augustus St. Cloud), mostly due to his laissez-faire attitude. I’m not a big fan of him, and this episode is no different. He shows up, “helps” Sam, threatens Cass, gets threatened by Cass, and then actually helps Sam. In the end all we really get is the revelation that Sam now knows they’ve got a shot at beating God.
Some things to point out this episode:
Much like the first couple of this season’s episodes, I’m not a huge fan of this one. The “hunter” stories are getting VERY predictable in their “monkey’s-paw” style twists. Oh, here’s a pair of werewolf brothers who, surprise! Have to kill each other in order to save the world from them. Oh, here’s a vampire teen who, surprise! Has to let himself be killed in order to save the world from himself. It’s been a lot of “Hey, look Sam and Dean, you guys need to die for the world to survive!” We get it. I’m not sure if the heavy-handed nature is on purpose because it’s supposed to be Chuck telling the story, but even before our deranged God got his groove back the b-plots weren’t the best.
Enter Leo Webb (played by veteran character actor and multi-hyphenate Christian Kane) a former hunter who quit the biz after some shit went down in Arizona. He looks to be doing well, got himself a bar, named it “Swayze’s” – and yes, some Roadhouse shenanigans ensue – plays music every night, everything’s coming up Milhouse! Naturally, Dean discovers Leo is getting all his good fortune by feeding a monster in his basement. They have a good chat about it, and Dean gets to sounding a lot like John McClain in Die Hard: Live Free or Die Hard. Leo’s argument is that after all the shit in the world, after all the people they’ve saved, don’t the hunters deserve some good? Haven’t they earned a reward? And, since the world is unlikely to give it to them, why not take it? Dean inevitably kills his friend, but I want to focus on his words.
It’s a fair argument. The world is an unfair place, many people who do incredible good in it will never get any recognition, thanks, or reward. Morally speaking, if you’re truly altruistic in your actions it means you expect no thanks, or recognition, or reward, you simply do right because it is right. But, Supernatural is in the unique position to ask this question. See, Sam and Dean not only do good, get recognition, and on occasion thanks, they have, once they learned about the existence of God and Angels and Heaven, have the potential for a real reward. It’s an interesting twist that God and the Angels don’t often mention rewards for doing good in the Supernatural world. In fact, it almost never comes up. You know what does? Obedience. That’s right. In this universe the religious moral right is quite clear: follow God’s will and you will be rewarded. Not necessarily that you have to do good, or be good, just that you have to be loyal. Loyalty can be extremely morally tricky. God asks Sam and Dean to kill Jack. He commands them. They refuse the order because deep down they realize to kill Jack would be morally wrong, but are they rewarded for this good deed? Nope. God gets pissed and opens up the Earth – leaving the boys to be attacked by “zombies” from Hell. Man, imagine if he’d done that to Abraham – oh, wait, that’s right, Abe was perfectly willing to kill his only son because God told him to.
I’m starting to see a theme for TV Gods. Preacher’s God was petty and bored, angered that his creations didn’t worship him anymore, and Supernatural’s God isn’t looking any better. In fact, in the final season of Preacher we learn that God is trying to end the world so he can start all over again. Sound familiar? I mean, no, Chuck didn’t use the Apocalypse as a means to wipe the slate clean, but he did use it as a distraction while he abandoned ship and went to another world to “get it right” (least that’s what Apocalypse Michael made it sound like).
What will God’s final draft be? Will the Winchesters actually be able to kill him? And, will killing God kill Sam? My guess is yes on that last one. Sergei didn’t get rid of the wound after all, he merely repaired the rubber band (I think? I’ll be honest that shit was not clear).
Absolutely loved this one.
That moment when Leo is about to die, Jensen’s eyes …. man, talk about complicated sadness
Personally I feel this renews Dean’s vigor and enthusiasm. He remembers why he’s in the game.
We have totally seen a monster like this before. I believe it’s called a Marid. A type of god maybe.