Guess what? The HuntCave is haunted! This week, we open with a cool montage of bunker scenes with flickering lights, creepy noises, and the rush of a filmy chill that eventually forms into the friendliest ghost since Casper. Who is it, you might ask? Here’s a clue: he used to be in Advanced Placement.
1. Mister Coffee
Does anyone else find it adorable that the first way that Kevin Tran communicates is through the coffee percolator? We here at Sweatpants & Coffee totally approve. Once Dean figures out who’s trying to spook them, his heartbreaking apology to Kevin is one he could be making to himself. “You did not choose this life. You busted your ass. You lost everything…everyone…you loved.”
Apparently, though, his heartfelt plea is falling on deaf–or at least non-corporeal–ears. “I did not spend months learning to break through the veil just to get stuck listening to Dean Winchester have a self-pity session,” Ghost Kevin grumbles. “Didn’t I hear enough of those when I was alive?”
Awkward! Anyway, it appears Heaven is closed for business and Kevin is stuck in the veil. And it’s bad. Like, “DMV line times infinity bad.” Apparently it’s also crowded, and with nothing else to do, the spirits talk. Kevin has learned what we suspected all along. Linda Tran is alive. And he wants the Winchesters to find her.
2. This Week on “I’m an Angel, Get Me Out of Here!”
Castiel goes to the angel Rebecca’s vessel’s funeral, and speaks to Eliah, her former cohort. Rebecca was a former friend of Metratron and Naomi before becoming the leader of a new league of hippie angels, called the Penitents, who make love, not war. Unsurprisingly, they are not Bartholomew’s favorite glee club. Eliah is the last of the Penitents. Bart has killed the rest. Of course, Bart’s lackeys were watching the service, and they notice that Castiel is…well..Castiel, and they bring him to the boss. Bart? Surprisingly happy to see him. Apparently they used to work together, and Bart wants to ride again. Bart remembers this time fondly. Cas would, except, you know, rather than keeping angels captive during the battle between Cas and Raphael as he was supposed to do, Bart kind of tortured and murdered them. Now? Bart’s human allies? “Purged”. Bart makes it clear: you are with him or you are dead. The humans on his side? Buddy Boyle and his friends? All vessels now, unless they “went pop”. Despite this, Bart insists that he is Cas’ friend and he is free to go. Cas (and we) suspect otherwise.
3. Ghost Hunting in Candyland
Ghost Kevin has acquired his intel from the spirit of someone who was either a stripper or the inspiration for a Barbie doll, and insists the boys look for her, prompting Sam to whine, “I’m still stuck on the fact that we’re trying to summon a ghost named Candy.” The boys bring various electronics, including the aforementioned percolator, to the spot where Candy died. As they wait, there is a bit of terse, punchy banter between the boys about Sam’s ghost shiver being from actual cold and Crowley ignoring Dean means that “maybe he’s just not that into you”. Finally? Candy makes contact. (Side note? Maybe she was a pop star–she prefers to communicate via radio.) It turns out Candy, who was the kept woman of a powerful Congressman, was one of three captives kept in a storage unit, and the other two included Linda Tran. Candy describes the main captor as “British, kind of short, loved hearing himself talk?” “Crowley,” Sam says, irritated. There is also another captor, ominously called, “the other guy.” Candy managed to escape, but was hunted down by the other guy and killed. But the last she saw? Linda Tran was alive. Unfortunately, the way she says it leads the boys to believe that that may not be a good thing.
4. Mommy, Dearest
I have always believed Mrs. Tran was alive, which made the death of Kevin even more brutal. When Lauren Tom finally appeared on screen, with a panic in her eyes and a series of terrified shrieks that gave me the chills, the devastation was complete. Crowley has been keeping Linda as leverage against the prophet that is no more, and the boys are determined to honor Kevin’s request and set her free. After approaching a hipster nerd employee named Del as Agents Nicks and McVie (Fleetwood Mac forever), the boys pretty quickly figure out where Mrs. Tran lives now. Foolishly, they separate, allowing Del to knock Dean out and bind him up, after locking Sam in Linda’s storage unit prison. Del? Well, he’s not exactly interested in his captive’s comfort. Sam is horrified to see Linda in the condition she is in, and so are we. The horror only deepens when we hear her first question: “Is Kevin with you?”
5. The Work of Bart
The Angel Bart, it turns out, is interested in the unification of the angels, except that his plan is less like the USA and more like Nazi Germany. Bart been destroying uncooperative factions and absorbing the others, all the while tracking Metatron to get the key to Heaven’s locked door. He sees himself and Cas as “the new boss and the ultimate rebel working together”. He formally introduces Cas to the way he works by torturing Eliah until he realizes he has nothing to offer. He then demands that Cas kill Eliah as a show of solidarity. Cas says he is no murderer. Bart reminds Cas of how many he has already cut down–how he killed an angel to steal its grace. “Who I was–what I did–is not who I am!” Cas insists, finally realizing he, too, is Bart’s captive unless he follows orders. Cas offers to let Bart kill him. Of course, Bart uses Cas’ blade to kill Eliah instead.
6. Linda Tran: One Tough Mother
Linda Tran is a jill of all trades. For example? She knows how to cut the wiring on an electronic lock, thanks to helping Kevin with his engineering assignments (a mental picture that has me nearly breaking down with sorrow.) At first, Sam deftly avoids telling her about Kevin’s untimely end, his pain and guilt coloring every expression she does not see. The adoring smile on her face when she tells Sam that once they get the door open he will bring her to see her son slaughters Sam where he stands, and he gently takes her hand. “Listen…Mrs. Tran…” Sam manages to say before falling silent. His horrible expression tells her everything she needs to know.
She swallows hard, broken for a moment, and says firmly, “You will take me to my son.” She then demands Sam man the flashlight as she works, fiercely determined, showing the iron fist that resides in the worn and disintegrating velvet glove.
7. Del the Intern
Apparently, the keeping of the captives was just an internship for storage unit manager demon Del. And, as he says, “Internships suck.” Del was less than satisfied with his position, especially since he wasn’t allowed to kill anyone. In fact, irritatingly, he was supposed to protect them. He kills his co-worker Buddy for the blood to call Crowley and, just as there was for Dean earlier, there is no answer. Dean stalls for time, telling Del that he and Crowley are tight. “This job BLOWS!!!” screams Del, deciding to indulge and do Dean in. Thankfully, Sam bursts in at just the right time to save Dean’s hide and they string Del up to be disposed of by a special guest. “Crowley?” Del asks in dread. “Much worse,” Sam says. He gives the knife to Linda, and Dean tells her to do the honors. Linda, undoubtedly thinking of how this cretin kept her from protecting her beloved son, says, “With pleasure.”
And she drives the knife home coldly, telling the boys once more, “Take me to my son.”
8. The Rising of Castiel’s Army
Cas sees promise in working with Bart. But he also won’t kill the innocent and he won’t work with someone who does. Cas won’t even throw a punch. “Angels fighting angels has to stop somewhere. It might as well stop with me,” he says. When Bart, infuriated, attacks, Cas manages to get him under his blade, but refuses to kill him when he has the chance. Of course, after a bit of monologuing, Bart takes his shot, and ends up being killed by Cas in self-defense. Funnily, it turns out? Bart was right. Killing someone is exactly the kind of thing Cas needed to do to impress the throng. Now Bart’s followers have their new leader. If Cas is brave enough to take the job.
9. The Mother and Child Reunion
Back at the bunker, the boys tell a relieved Kevin that Linda is alive. She’s okay. “Does she know?” he asks, and we hear a broken Linda say, softly, “Kevin?” (Cue my tears. Again.) Linda is at once elated and destroyed, seeing him. “Hello, son,” she says softly. “Hey, mom,” he replies, and I am weeping like a child. Dean gives Linda Kevin’s things. His hunter’s tools. His books. The results of his perfect SAT score. The picture of the two of them he always carried. Apparently, Kevin’s dad died when he was a baby and left him a ring, now an object, like Bobby’s flask, that has the power to tie him to the world. Dean tries to warn Linda: there are risks to taking Kevin home with her. “He’s my son,” she says. “It’s my job to keep him safe. For as long as I can.” Oh, Supernatural. You have broken my heart before. Thanks for bulldozing it this week. And then backing up and running it over again.
10. The Word of the Prophet
Kevin tells the boys he is going to guard his mother–that she is his responsibility. Just as he was theirs, Sam argues, and Kevin, blessedly, interrupts him long enough to cleanse his conscience. “Sam,” he says, “I know that wasn’t you. Go put a blade in that asshat who possessed you and we’ll call it square.” Dean tells Kevin to enjoy his time with his mom while they find a way to get him to heaven. “The uninterrupted, 24-7, no escape, quality time.” Kevin calls Dean a dick, with an adorable smile that warms my heart and makes me wistful. Kevin turns to go, but then looks back at Sam and Dean, asking them to promise him something. “You two–get over it…The drama? The fighting? It’s stupid. My mom’s taking home a ghost. You two? You’re both still here.” The boys promise to work it out, and the Trans leave. And just as we hope for our Winchester reunion, Dean turns to talk to Sam and sees only his retreating back. Both boys head to their rooms, Sam hesitating for a moment before ultimately slamming the door. Dean slumps on his memory foam mattress, throws his headphones back on and tries to drown out the world, appropriately enough, with the theme song to this whole episode, Billy Squire’s “Lonely is the Night.”
So. Much. ANGST! Painful reunions and lack thereof are totally breaking my heart. Luckily, next week we’ll get a bit of comic relief as we all, sing it with me now, “Face the ghosts when the others will not! (‘Cause) We’re GHOST! GHOSTFACERS!” That’s right, friends. Harry Spangler and Ed Zeddmore, the longest living recurring characters in the Supernatural verse, are back. Undoubtedly, to totally screw things up for the Winchesters. I, for one, can’t wait to see how.
See you next week!