Episode 09×11 AKA the Episode When Dean and Crowley Teamed Up
Happy Wednesday, Hunters! This week we welcomed Psych’s Timothy Omundson to the SPN Family, and before I begin talking about this week’s episode, I would like to point out one thing about our newest family member:
Timothy Omundson looks remarkably like the Bollywood star Aamir Khan.
Now, onto our regularly scheduled programming.
The episode lights up on a flashback to 1863. We see Confederate soldiers taking refuge in a cabin. In saunters Timothy Omundson (who we know is playing “Cain”), and he slaughters everyone in the cabin; the soldiers, we realize, are all demons. And ain’t that a clever way of socially critiquing American history.
The rest of the episode is split into two narratives, since our favorite Winchesters are acting like preteen girls and giving each other the silent treatment.
Team Hell-Raisers: Dean & Crowley
Crowley pops in to the bar where Dean is drinking away his emotions and proposes a hunt. He wants to find the First Blade, the weapon that archangels used to execute, and use it to kill Abaddon. Why does he need Dean’s help? Well, it turns out that Dean’s progenitor, John Winchester, may have known the last location of the blade.
Dean’s definitely in a dark place because he agrees to team up with Crowley without much of a fuss. Hunting with Crowley? Dean, baby, we all know that’s gonna end as well as season 5 did. But I digress. Using John’s journal and what Crowley calls the “Hunter’s Hogwarts” as a guide (and the fact that Dean keeps it on his person speaks volumes about how he feels about his dad), the hunter and demon head out to meet up with an old hunter galpal of John’s, Tara. Tara passes a lot of judgment on Dean for teaming up with a demon. “If only John Winchester could see you now,” she says. Perhaps she nominated John for Father of the Year, but at my house, the Collectiva Diva and I told Tara to shut the hell up. Besides, Tara, you don’t need to throw any more guilt onto Dean because the chances are he already has enough to bury himself alive with it.
Eventually, Tara agrees to help them with a locating spell for the First Blade. Crowley helpfully supplies essence of kraken, to which Robbie Thompson tweeted:
The spell takes them to Missourri, where, instead of the First Blade, Team Hell-Raisers find Cain, the Father of Murder, and also the owner of the First Blade (surprise surprise, Crowley lied). The viewers are clued into how serious this shit is when Crowley is scared. But, once they meet Cain, the King of Hell seems to calm down pretty quickly and the First Murderer offers them tea.
So, this is imperfect paraphrasing, but I’m pretty sure the conversation went something like this:
Dean: Give us the First Blade.
Dean & Crowley: Pleeeaaase? We want to kill Abaddon.
Cain: Get off my farm! Err…beekeeping preserve. Whatever.
Dean does not, in fact, get off the farm. In true Winchester fashion, he pretends to leave and breaks back in to steal the Blade. Um, Dean, baby, what part of “Father of Murder” didn’t you hear? Crowley is a shit who knows he’s been followed by Abaddon’s lackeys since he first met up with the Winchester, so when Team Hell-raisers gets ambushed, no one is surprised except Dean. And to quote another Robbie Thompson tweet:
Now, everybody slow clap for Jensen Ackles, who did every shot in last night’s kick-ass fight scene.
Eventually Cain stops shucking corn long enough to give Dean the Mark of Cain (#markofcain trended worldwide last night) and tell him where to find the First Blade. Why is he being so helpful? Well, turns out that Cain has a death wish, so in exchange for the Blade, he wants Dean to kill him. But more on that later.
Team BroTP: Sammeh & Castiel
This week Dean got all the action, but Sammy got all the feels. Cas and Sam are having bunker bonding time. The writer in me can’t help but appreciate how smart it was to put these two characters together at this juncture of the season. Sam has recently become 100% human and Castiel has recently returned to angeldom. Oh the writer in me loves the juxtaposition.
It seems that Castiel has become accustomed to the more human side of things, such as the need to eat. Now, we know the angel has long appreciated a good cheeseburger, but in this episode, poor Cas is no longer able to appreciate a good PB&J because it “tastes like molecules.” It’s a heartwrenchingly adorable moment.
Castiel gently prods Sam to call the other Winchester (interior monologue: please call Dean; I don’t like it when you two fight. Please call Dean. I’m uncomfortable with this dynamic), but Sam clenches up tighter than an oyster with a pearl and says, “[Dean] made his choice.”
Now, the majority of Team BroTP’s storyline revolves around extracting the remainder of Gadreel’s grace from Sam. Castiel thinks they can use it to locate the renegade angel, but doing so will unheal Sam. Sam, however, says that is has to be done. As Castiel extracts Gadreel’s grace, Sam remembers all the horrible things that Gadreel did with his body, particularly Kevin Tran’s murder. Ouch, my heart says. Sammy, once again, is ready to sacrifice himself for the cause, just like he was at the end of season 8. Thank Chuck that Castiel stops himself. He reminds Sam that he chose to stop the trials; Sam chose to live. “You and Dean, you chose each other,” Cas says. Truer words have never been spoken of the Winchesters.
In the end, there isn’t enough Grace to track down Gadreel, but to us viewers, it doesn’t really matter. We’re getting a glimpse of two men…errr a man and an angel…that understand each other. Both have made terrible, awful, apocalyptic mistakes, but their intentions have always been good. Castiel realizes this, and he tries to make Sam realize it too.
The episode ends with Castiel revealing that Metatron is the key to fixing everything, and that they could really use more help. *cough cough* Call Dean *cough cough*
What This Episode Reveals About the Winchesters
Oh, Dean, baby, what have you done? We haven’t seen you have this much self-loathing since season 3. In this episode, we saw a Dean that, perhaps for the first time in the show’s run, wasn’t fighting to protect Sammy. He agrees to go after Abaddon even though she’s not a particular threat to him, but what’s the end game, Dean? He also takes on the Mark of Cain without hesitation. And, most importantly, he allows himself to be manipulated by Crowley. Dean, baby, I thought we were past this. Don’t trust anyone who’s not Sam or your angel.
To me, Dean’s actions scream depression, possibly suicidal. Dean is being reckless, and without Sammy to keep him in check, he’s flirting with the Dark Side. I think I hit the nail on the head when I wrote in last week’s recap that Dean has driven “off to the Land of Self-Loathing.” The Winchesters only work when they’re together, so for the sake of my poor feels, I hope they make up soon.
This is the first 100% Sam we’ve seen since the end of season 8, and oh boy, did the feels from that finale reappear in “First Born.” I love my Winchesters equally and it kills me inside that Sammy thinks so little of his self-worth. I’d go now on a rant about the Winchesters’ daddy issues, but I believe that dead horse is thoroughly beaten. Sam doesn’t believe he is worth saving. He doesn’t believe he is worth more than anyone else. Someone slap him and tell him he’s important. And then give him a big hug. Oh wait, Castiel did that for us.
The Big Picture
We learned several important things in this episode.
- Metatron is the key to fixing a lot of things.
- The Father of Murder was once married and gave up his hobby/job/duty (aka murdering) for his wife. The flashback of 1863 is the night his wife died because he was unable to save her from Abaddon. His self-loathing echoes that of Dean’s. In fact, a lot about Cain is parallel to Dean’s life. Cain says that Lucifer tried to keep his brother Abel “as a pet” (season 5 anyone) and that he sold his soul to make sure that Abel’s went to heaven (season 3!). He walked the earth for millennia and trained demons like Abaddon until he met his wife, Collette (um, Dean’s time spent on Hell’s rack until Castiel saved him. Destiel, anyone? Anyone?). By passing on the mark to Dean, can we assume that Dean’s story will take a similar trajectory?
- Genesis 4:15 says, “And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken upon him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.” Does this now apply to Dean? Is Dean now immortal? And has Dean lost his soul again?
So is that boudoir smile for me? At least buy me a drink first. -Crowley
Lastly, SPN Family, I would like to point out that not only did we have #supernatural and #markofcain trending last night, but we also made last night’s episode the most-watched since 2010. Suck on that Belieber-boycotters.
If you’re gonna start a sass war, I wouldn’t attack JarPad or Mish-Mish. Just sayin.
Until next week, when we will see the return of Garth! (I’m now really, really certain that the writers are taking cues from my fanfic…)
Disclaimer: Images and clips used in this post are the property of the CW. All edits have been attributed credit.