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Sweatpants & TV | Supernatural, Season 12, Episode 9: “First Blood”

Mini-Hellatus is over, and our boys are being held captive. How will they break out of a high security secret government facility designed to hold them for life? Let’s find out!

The Road So Far

Did anyone else choke up a little at the reminder of deaths past? I will never get over the almost visceral pain I felt at hearing Dean cry out for Sam at the end of Season Two and seeing Sam’s tears fall for Dean at the end of Season Three. These days, Winchester deaths don’t stun me as much anymore (though Dean’s dying declaration of “I’m proud of us” at the end of Season Nine broke me inside) so the flashbacks reminded me of the early seasons and how much they hurt me, in a good way, and how horrible it was when the boys were separated. Thank goodness they’re working together this season. Salve to the soul.

Chain Gang

Brief flashes of the boys in shackles. So wrong, and yet so right. Their stoic response (or lack thereof) to the anti-terrorist investigator was expected—his ploy was not. Locking them up. For weeks at a time. With nothing—absolutely nothing—to do. Torture for a Winchester, being unable to hunt. So much solitude would drive anyone crazy, never mind the inseparable Sam and Dean. My question? Not “How are they going to get out of this?”—it’s “How did they manage to make dumpy grey coveralls look so sexy?”

Holy Mother

“How did we let this happen, Castiel?” Good question, Mary. She’s tough on Cas for letting her boys get got but methinks she’s really fighting the blame she feels when she looks in a mirror. She wonders why the boys didn’t call her in their hour of need. “You were out,” replies Cas, his voice a bit tough unto itself. The truth is, Mary and Cas are lost without the boys, proving that, to them (just like us) the Winchesters really are the center of the universe. Mary’s solution? Hunt it out. Cas, on the other hand? Ask Crowley for help. Crowley says no, but never doubts the boys will make it to the other side. As for those who have them, Crowley says, in a growling quote? “I pity the fool.”

Cas on the Hunt

Cas was downright heartbreaking in this episode. He tried so hard to take up the mantle of the boys—even tried to investigate a vampire slaying, with no success. “I just never found it,” he confesses to Mary. “Never found the monster. Never even got close. And three more women died before I left town. Before I ran away.” What a reminder that what our boys do is done with such a practiced skill. Sam once said that Dean wasn’t a grunt, he was a genius, and Sam is too. The world needs Sam and Dean, specifically. No one else will do.

One is the Loneliest Number

Watching how the boys reacted to their captivity was interesting—they were so different. Dean didn’t mind the food. Sam? Not a fan. Dean counted the days. Sam counted his crunches. I can’t imagine how frustrated—paralyzed—the boys would feel at their captivity. Then that paralyzation? Became a little more permanent. They died. Again. And we’re left wondering how exactly they pulled it all off.

Man, On the Run

The boys come back to life, natch, and begin their escape. They call a palpably relieved Cas, telling him they’re in the woods of Colorado and they’ll meet him on State Route 34 (prompting Cas to ask where, specifically, and THANK YOU! I would have asked the same, as fruitless as it would have been.) The head of the President’s Secret Service, the anti-terrorist investigator and a bunch of armed soldiers head off after the fleeing boys, who show off their powers of escape, outsmarting their captors at every turn and staying one muddy-footprinted step ahead. Those feds never stood a chance. As Dean says, “We’re not trapped out here with you, you’re trapped out here with us.”

BMoL

First of all? I loved British Man of Letters Mick Davies’ old timey time tele-typewriter. He and Mr. Ketch do have the best toys, don’t they? Sadly? They don’t cut much ice with American hunters, and recruitment is going poorly. Too bad they don’t have a Winchester on their side to talk them up to the others. (Yet.) They do agree to help with backup, using a thermal imaging satellite and some good intel to track the boys in the woods and bring them to Mary and Cas. That’s a favor that’s gonna cost, I think. What are those “limey paper pushers” up to?

The Truth and Nothing But the Truth

One by one Sam and Dean pick all of their pursuers off, leaving them bloodied and/or unconscious but alive. Finally, they’re left with just the Secret Service guy and the anti-terrorism investigator, and they tell them the truth at gunpoint: the President was possessed by the devil, and they saved his life. Dean tells them to do what they want with the info but to not come after them, or “you know what will happen.” “Who are you?” they ask. “We’re the guys who saved the world,” Sam says. Annnnnnnd…mic drop.

Hug It Out

The boys are reunited with Cas and Mary, and it’s totally heartwarming watching the exchange of hugs. Cas and Mary both have tears of relief in their eyes (Misha Collins, especially, made me melt with his facial expressions.) The boys are surprised to see that the Davies and Ketch have helped to rescue them, and the BMoL are surprised to hear that Sam and Dean left their captors alive. According to Ketch it’s “a bit unprofessional.” And in the end, that clean up will be done by Mr. Ketch, again, who seems to have no problem leaving bodies in his wake.

Bye Bye Billie

As Mary drives them all back to the Bunker, her car shuts down, and Sam quietly turns to Dean and says, “It’s time.” Turns out the boys have made a deal (NOOOOOOOOOOO!) with Billie the Reaper promising that in exchange for killing them long enough to get them out she would get a Winchester by midnight. Permanently. And which Winchester will it be? “Me,” says Mary. Billie is satisfied, and the boys can’t stop it. Mary says she loves them and makes to shoot herself in the head but…GET THIS!…Cas runs Billie through with his angel blade! “Cas, what have you done?” Dean asks, stunned. “What had to be done,” says Cas. “You know, this world? This sad, doomed little world—it needs you. It needs every last Winchester it can get and I will not let you die—I won’t let any of you die. And I won’t let you sacrifice yourselves. You mean too much to me. To everything.” And man, Collins sells that speech with his almost but not quite breaking voice and his earnest delivery. And then? Menacing Cas makes a bit of a comeback as he growls, “Yeah, you made a deal. You made a stupid deal, and I broke it. You’re welcome.” It seems Cas is back to being a little bit bad, and, as, Meg once said about her unicorn, it is all manner of hot.

And what will our boys do with their newfound freedom? Guess we’ll find out next week in episode ten, when “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets.” See you then!

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About Barbara Doyle (141 Articles)
Barbara Sirois Doyle is a Contributing Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee. She is a writer, mixed-media artist, and, most important, a wife and mother to her boyos three. She is a voracious reader, unapologetic uber-geek, and lover of all types of music, from Public Enemy to Rachmaninoff. If she's not watching Supernatural or Doctor Who, she is likely trolling the internet for amusing cat photos. She takes her coffee light with no sugar.

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