THE ROAD SO FAR
The boys are entering their final ride. An angry deity has emptied hell of all its souls, and the Winchesters are, once again, tasked with saving the world. It’s the Winchesters’ final ride and this time, they’re up against God. Spoilers ahead. I know that I’m a bit tardy with this post, but just like every plan the Winchesters ever had, sometimes a demon jumps in and screws it all up. Anyway, without further ado, here are my thoughts on 15×07.
A Brief Synopsis
Two girls at a bar leave after last call. One, completely trashed, is emptying the contents of her stomach in a far corner of the parking lot when her sober friend disappears, car and all. The kidnapped girl wakes up with a reverse IV, feeding a creepy monster via a blood drip system. Sounds like a case for the Winchesters!
The Incurable Sam Winchester
Like the other “Monster of the week” episodes this season, “Last Call”, written by Jeremy Adams and directed by Amyn Kaderali, has brought us the case-episode…but with a twist. This time, the twist is that the brothers are not on a case together. Sam stays in the bunker with Eileen (“Put a sock on the door,” Dean says. “JUST KISS ALREADY!” scream the shippers.) while Dean heads to Texas to look for the missing girl.
Sam and Eileen are, in a word, adorable. There’s a lot of adoring looks and near hand-brushes and it’s so cute I can’t stand it. The writers this season are giving me everything I need to carry on into the afterlife of Supernatural and I. Am. Living. For It. And then, you know, Castiel shows up and ruins the moment but it’s hilariously awkward and very much a rom-com moment. If Sam and Eileen do not kiss in the next episode, I will eat my proverbial hat.
Um, anyway, Cas is there because–while he hasn’t forgiven Dean–he is concerned about Sam, and he think that Sam’s wound has a link to Chuck (“Horcrux! He’s a HORCRUX!” scream the Potterheads). When Sam shot Chuck with the Equalizer at the end of last season, the “bullet” was actually a piece of Sam’s soul….so then does that mean Chuck is Sam’s Horcrux? (J.K. Rowling has not tweeted ad nauseam on this topic but stay tuned because she’s likely to drop a revelation or forty at some ill-timed moment.) Sam’s wound is still unhealed, so Cas decides to “probe it” to try to get news of Chuck. This sounds like a terrible idea but hey, these loveable idjits are desperate.
Except probing Sam’s wound is a terrible idea and Castiel is forced to call slimy Russian doctor Sergei in to help Sam. Eileen is, of course, skeptical (because she’s the smartest person in the room) so it comes to the surprise of no one that Sergei tries to double-cross them. He’s after something known as the Death Key (who comes up with these stupid-ass names??? You couldn’t call it like the key of Hades or something cooler…but I digress.) The Death Key will allow someone into Death’s library…which we’ve already seen. Remember all those books that Billie showed Dean? Yeah, those are coming back. Perhaps it’s a clue that Death is the only thing that Chuck can’t control. Sergei wants the Death Key in exchange for Sam’s life…but Castiel isn’t playing that game. We see firsthand how far Castiel has come in the past ten years because instead of being duped by Sergei, he came prepared with his own double-cross and it’s terrifyingly hot. No? Just me
and Dean that gets all hot and bothered by intimidating angels in trenchcoats? Okay then.
Sam wakes up and Eileen is by his bedside and, y’all….the ship is sailing itself. My crops are watered. My skin is cleared. And my son, Sam Winchester, is thriving. Well, not literally because he’s still dying but, you know, that’s just the Winchester way.
The Unyielding Dean Winchester
Dean’s trip to Texas is extra eventful when he runs into his old hunting pal, Lee (Christian Kane). Lee has retired from the life and opened a bar called Swayze’s and is basically living what we know would be Dean’s dream life (remember Dean’s fantasy from when Michael trapped him in his mind?). Dean hasn’t seen Lee since Sam was in college, so we can assume that Dean was 25 or 26 the last time they saw each other. They have a few drinks, swap a few stories about cases and…other things…, get in a bar fight, and sing together onstage. Canonically, Dean hasn’t been a great singer but Jensen Ackles is, and it’s, truthfully, one of the most wonderful moment of the entire series. (@spearywrites pointed out on Twitter a good reason for this canonical difference in his singing ability).
In their conversation, Dean asks Lee if he regrets leaving hunting behind. “Not once,” says Lee. And when Dean asks him who’s going to pick up the slack if the Winchesters quit the life? “Somebody else,” says Lee. The former hunter seems very content in his new life, and even though he agrees to help Dean with the case, he spends most of his time trying to convince Dean that retirement isn’t such a bad idea. For a moment, we can almost picture it–Dean picking up where Ellen Harvelle and Bobby Singer left off, having a place to settle down and have roots while helping the occasional hunter that comes through town. We see it, and we want it so badly for Dean, but then, as it always does for the Winchesters, it all goes to sh*t.
The morning after his night out with Lee, Dean goes to a local junkyard to look for the missing girl’s car. He finds it and the poor girl’s body in the trunk of the car. The bad guy, we discover, is Lee, who–after a particularly difficult case, found a Marid and began feeding it. A Marid will give you everything you want–money, happiness–if you keep it satisfied, and it looks like Dean is the next item on the menu.
That’s not going to work for Dean, and after he quickly disposes of the Marid (Lee had no clue who he’s dealing with; do not f**k with Dean Winchester), he goes after Lee. Mostly with the question, “why?”
As Lee figures it, he’s owed “a little happiness” after spending so many years as a hunter. And it’s a commentary on a world filled with narcissism and ego-centric tendencies,; humans are so concerned with their own happiness, that they believe it’s owed to them and that they inherently deserve it. In Lee’s case, he believes his happiness is owed to him, regardless of the cost or the number of lives.
Lee is a cautionary tale of what Dean and Sam could be if they give up, if they retire before the story has concluded. Lee no longer wants to fix things or save people; he’s content in pursuing his own interests ruthlessly, making him no different from most of the monsters that the Winchesters encounter.
“Why do you case so much, Dean?”- Lee “Because someone has to,” -Dean
And here we have another item to add to the legacy of the Winchesters (and, incidentally, Supernatural): you keep fighting until you get it right, no matter how many times you fail. Dean and Sam are not perfect, not even close, but they choose to keep fighting long after others have given up. It’s that resiliency that makes them heroes and allows them inspire others to joining the fight (Garth, Charlie, Rowena, Eileen, Cas…to name just a few). Now that they’re in the endgame, this resiliency is more important than ever: they need to keep fighting to the very, bitter end, and then just maybe, Dean can have a bar of his own after all. And can’t you just picture it? This episode, more than anything else, gave us glimpses of what could be for the Winchesters when it’s all said and done…and it’s not a bad picture if they can make it through the fight. (And if Dean and Cas ever kiss and makeup.)
Next week is the midseason finale of the final season, so, until then, prep your feels. It’s gonna be a rough one.
I realize this is a long-winded rambling kind of post, but if you enjoyed it and want to talk more about SPN, come tweet at us. @collectivenerds