Episode 10×10 or “Dean Goes Off the Deep End”
So far this season: Dean’s been cured from demonism; Crowley was his BFF; Cas was losing his grace until Crowley saved him; and Sam has done his best to reign in Dean’s homicidal tendencies. Claire Novak has also reappeared and swears she doesn’t need a father figure. And Crowley has a mother?
*Spoilers ahead, darling*
“The Hunter Games” lights up on Crowley’s nightmare–which includes his minions surrounding him and stabbing him to death. Turns out Mummy Dearest, Rowena, is jinxing Crowley’s dreams. Why? No one knows. She’s evil. Better question: why does a demon need to sleep? Also, doesn’t backstabbing and possible coups come with the territory of ruling hell? No? Demons are trustworthy? Okay then.
Really, the meat of the episode is sandwiched between Wonder Bread slices of Crowley’s tenuous dominion of Hell, leaving the narrative pull lacking and relying on snazzy one-liners from Metatron to keep us entertained. The crux of the episode is this: Dean has decided that he wants to get rid of the Mark of Cain but he doesn’t know how. He asks Sam and Castiel for assistance, and the angel retrieves
MetadoucheMetatron, because why wouldn’t the Scribe of God know about the Mark?
Metatron is not as all-powerful as he’d like us to believe. When it is revealed that Dean is alive and (still) Marked, he tells Sam to keep his brother, who is, according to the angel a “total foaming-at-the-mouth, balls-out, maniac,” the hell away from him. He then reluctantly reveals that to rid Dean of the Mark, they’re going to need the First Blade, which is in the King of Hell’s possession.Since Crowley’s always up for a Winchester booty call, he leaves his dear old Mum alone in Hell while he runs errands for the Winchesters.
And while the cat is away, the mouse (Rowena) will play.
Meanwhile, Castiel is splitting his attention between Dean and Claire, and as a result, is distracted. Dean, who really shouldn’t be left alone, given how the midseason finale ended, is left alone with Metatron while Sam, apparently, is taking a shower and Cas is texting Claire. Now that Crowley’s re-obtained the First Blade for the brothers, Dean coerces Metatron into revealing the next step. Or tries to. “Each step costs you,” says Metatron, and we assume the Scribe is going to barter for his freedom. What actually happens is that Dean goes apeshit and almost kills the angel. Luckily Cas BAMFs the door down and Sam restrains him before he can turn Metatron into graceless angel goop. Castiel returns Metatron to Heavenly prison, with the Scribe swearing that next time he’ll choose death over helping the Winchesters.
Claire, unsurprisingly, doesn’t want to be anywhere near Cas or the Winchesters since Dean butchered her pal, Randy. Cas feels responsibility to Claire, and encourages Dean to reach out to her. “One extremely messed up human to another,” Castiel says, “you could explain why you murdered her only friend.” Claire resists, however, and strikes out on her own–hitting up a pool hall/bar in true Winchester fashion. The new “friends” she makes offer to help her “take care” of Dean. When she calls Dean to set up a meeting, she doesn’t know how fragile his self-control is. Dean doesn’t succumb to the temptation to butcher her new friends, and leaves her without a word, proving that he can control his impulses to kill, if only just barely.
The episodes ends with Castiel catching up to her as she’s hitchhiking from the side of the road. They form some kind of truce, with Claire telling him that he looks better in a tie.
What This Episode Reveals About Team Free Will
This was a very Sam-light episode. In fact, I have nothing in my notes about Sam except: why did he try to break down the door when there was a fucking angel standing next to him? and glorious hair. The episode’s lack of narrative cohesion was particularly prominent when it came to the younger Winchester, giving him neither narrative weight nor action. Sam doesn’t know what to do with a Marked brother, and the writers don’t know what to do with a Winchester who can only rely on the help of others (Cas, Crowley, Metatron) to fix the problem of a Marked Winchester.
One word: subplot. If Cole Whatshisface could have one, why can’t Sam?
People die just because you want them to. -Metatron
Dean, baby, where do I start with you? Where did the “greater good” go? It’s been seasons since we’ve seen Dean truly give a damn about the greater good. Hell, it’s probably been since the Apocalypse. It’s not that Dean doesn’t care about people, or that he doesn’t want to save them, it’s more like the good intentions have taken a back seat to the bloodthirst and self-hatred.
It’s possible there’s a little monster in all of us. -Cas
Castiel feels a responsibility to Claire because she’s Jimmy’s daughter. I wonder, though, how one takes responsibility for someone who refuses to allow anyone to be responsible for her. Castiel attempts to guide the wayward teenager toward an almost Winchesterian approach to life. Again, Cas exhibits a side of himself that’s more in touch with humanity than we’d first guess. The Castiel who acknowledges the “inner monster” is a far cry from the one who swept in, shattering light bulbs, and viewed the Winchesters as a mission to complete rather than as friends.
Really, can you picture the Cas from “Lazarus Rising” texting? With emoticons?
The Big Picture
Rowena’s discovered the First Blade, and manipulated Crowley into thinking that his minions aren’t loyal (or so it appears). Chances are, Rowena’s plotting a coup by festering Crowley’s paranoia about his kingdom. On the surface, it appears that Crowley (and the rest of Hell) are underestimating Rowena–because she’s a witch, because she’s a woman, or because she’s his mum? Who knows? My best guess is that Rowena’s going to steal the First Blade and use it to control Dean and turn him into her own personal Ronan the Accuser. That coven she keeps talking about? I’m guessing that’s first on her kill list (after taking over Hell, anyway).
The River Ends at the Source
“The river ends at source,” Metatron says to Dean during their tense confrontation. The most obvious interpretation of this is that Dean’s ordeal with the Mark will be ended when he meets with Cain again. Cain was the source of the Mark, so Cain would be the most logical solution to the problem? [insert sarcastic remark about why they didn’t ask Cain in the first place]
The “source”, however, could refer to several different things:
- the source of Evil (okay so maybe I just want Lucifer to come back, alright?)
- the source of the Winchesters’ hunting lifestyle–Mary Winchester’s death
- the source of the Winchesters’ emotionally fucked up selves–John Winchester
- possible biblical references (see: Isaiah 19:5-8 and Revelation 16:12)
Personally, I’m hoping that the source is Cain’s angry beard.
Until next week, SPN family.