Thank Chuck, we’re back! SNX is here at last! It was a long hellatus, worrying about our beloved Dean, wondering what his future would hold now that he walks the road demonic. Kudos to the writers: I am fairly certain none of us thought it would include Right Said Fred. Let’s get to it, people, and kick season ten off right.
1. You’re the Right Kind of Sinner
Episode opening montages are always a thrill, but one set to Pat Benetar? Telling us what we already know—that the boys are heartbreakers who release our inner fantasies? Awe. SOME! The musical cues on Supernatural are my favorite since Ryan Murphy’s on Nip/Tuck, soundtracks to some of the most impactful scenes on television. This one was perfect, reminding us of the path that led Dean to becoming his worst nightmare, and our devastation/fascination at the thought of him as the ultimate bad boy. My only complaint about this delicious visual spectacle? We (thankfully) got to see this again:
And this again:
But nothing from the Dean shower scene. What the eff, montage editors? A woman has needs!
2. WHERE IS MY BROTHER?!
A Winchester is torturing someone. Has them bound and bloody and is reveling in their pain. Sounds like the work of a demon, but it is, in fact, a different kind of monster: a broken, angry Sam who has been denied putting his brother to rest. Jared Padalecki conveyed Sam’s bitterness perfectly, smirking a little when the demon he was interrogating snarked at him before plunging his blade into her gut. We see a different Sam from the drunk, red-eyed mess he was in the bunker after Dean’s “death”. Sam’s pissed. And someone—hell, everyone with black eyes—is gonna pay.
3. It’s a Trap!
New season, new title card, and damn—this one sure is pretty. While no title card yet has made me squeal with delight like last season’s, with its unfurling wingspan and keening angel song, this one, its polar opposite, lets us know that this year it’s all about the demons. And don’t forget: our beloved Dean is one of them.
4. “Sammy Let Me Go”
Dean’s body has disappeared, replaced with a four word note, leaving Sam utterly confused and unsettled. Despite his belief that Dean is indeed dead, Sam, as a good Winchester does, is going to find him, and when his extensive, months long research turns up a lead he calls Castiel to be his buddy cop.
Unfortunately, Cas has a lot on his mind, like the other angels and the state of heaven and dying a slow, painful death from what sounds like angelic tuberculosis. Cas’ borrowed grace has been on borrowed time, and it appears, by the look of him, that that time is running out. Don’t let the sexy naked knee distract you—worry about our fine feathered friend. Without more grace? Cas will be even deader than Dean on a Tuesday.
Cas and Sam have a rather clunky parlay about how he got Sam’s shoulder injured (I get that Padalecki had a real life injury that needed a sling but really? Show don’t tell, writers.) Sam, realizing he shouldn’t have asked for Cas’ help in the first place, ultimately gives him an out. Cas feels useless Helpless. And when he tells Sam he misses Dean it is as wistful as it is sincere. Cas lies in his bed, weak and alone, as the sad music jauntily segues into…wait. Is that what I think it is?
5. Imaginary Lover…Satisfaction Guaranteed
It IS! Dean. At a dive bar. Singing karaoke? Oh, yeah. A word to show runner Jeremy Carver: thanks. If for nothing else than for writing an episode where demon Dean (and thus, Jensen Ackles) SINGS! Granted, Dean doesn’t have Ackles’ talent when it comes to vocal seduction, but how funny was it to see him sing about being too sexy for his shirt? (Hint: very funny, and yes. Yes, he is.)
(See? Told you. Also? You’re welcome. This makes up for the montage.)
And speaking of awesome musical cues, I will totally date myself by telling you that Atlanta Rhythm Section’s “Imaginary Lover” was a favorite song of my childhood, even if I had no idea what it was really about when I was kid. I do now, and am thinking about it in regards to the Winchesters. Rrrraaaoooowwrrr.
(Side note, part deux: can we all take a moment to appreciate the demon hair? I might even take a break from the PadaHair to fantasize about running my fingers through it. Rrrraaaoooowwrrr indeed.)
6. Cas and His Wing(wo)man
Apparently Cas isn’t allowed to call in sick. Like, ever. Hannah comes to him and, after they get beyond the awkwardness of Cas accidentally flashing her via an untied bathrobe, she asks him to help her hunt down two renegade angels who have decided that the fall might not have been a bad thing, and they will be keeping their vessels and living on Earth, kthxbai. Cas, who is sick of watching angels die, agrees to help Hannah immediately. Despite his weakness he is still determined to try to fix all he has broken, a mission that is more urgent than ever now that his grace is ebbing away. Also? HE STILL DRIVES THE PIMP MOBILE. This makes me inordinately happy, but Hannah? Not so much. Apparently Cas’ driving can even make an angel carsick.
7. Dirtiest. Superhero. Ever.
What do human Dean and demon Dean have in common? A lust for Busty Asian Beauties! Sam discovers that Dean, aka “Porn Guy”, killed one of Abaddon’s followers that was out for revenge, stabbing him to death in a convenience store with the First Blade as an intermission to his naughty reading material. His consistent devotion to all things XXX is kind of adorable, and makes us all smile. That is, until we see Sam’s reaction to Dean’s new eye color.
Sam questions the porn-peddling convenience store clerk who is more than happy to re-enact the whole thing, complete with the judo version of jazz hands. Sam? Unamused.
The only thing that saves the clerk from needing to borrow Sam’s sling is that he has the stab victim’s cell phone, which he gives to Sam to return to the police station. A Winchester? Working with the police? Oh, kid. You’re adorable.
8. The Misadventures of Growley and Squirrel
Sam, as expected, does not return the phone. He uses it to call what he thinks is the president of the Abaddon fan club. Of course, Crowley answers, and he can’t resist a dig. “Moose. Took you long enough. Your brother and I were beginning to wonder if you’d hit another dog.” Ouch.
Sam is convinced some demon’s wearing Dean to the prom…I mean to the porn…and Crowley tells him that nothing could be further from the truth—Dean’s twisted soul is all his. Sam is hurt. Furious. He tells Crowley that he will save his brother or die trying, and it is emotional and lovely and desperate and sad. Crowley assures him that Dean is not a kept man. Dean is with his new, King of Hell best friend, and he is having the time of his life.
Crowley’s not wrong. Dean’s new status has made him happier than he’s been in years, mostly because he doesn’t feel one iota of responsibility to do anything, be anything or save anything that he doesn’t want to. Crowley expected a vicious, violent second in command. What he essentially got was what Dean would have been without a purpose: a selfish, drunk, promiscuous, fist-fighting smartass. Crowley may call him a jerk, and Dean may reply with a slurred “bitch” (again, ouch) but they are not friends at all. At best? They are roommates, and Dean sullies both beds without even putting a sock on the doorknob.
9. Daniel, My Brother
Cas and Hannah continue to search for wayward angels, Daniel and Adina. Hannah, clearly the Heavenly control group, wants to lead them straight to their new lives as Metatron’s cell-mates. Cas? He’s not sure it’s that simple. When they meet Daniel, who is peacefully fishing in the forest, Cas realizes that all Daniel and Adina want is what he himself briefly once had: the freedom to choose his own path and live amongst the humans. Still, Cas tries to convince Daniel, and eventually Adina, to return home with reason. Hannah wants to use something a little pointier.
Cas is discouraged by Hannah’s black and white attitude, but she refuses to budge. Chaos, she says, led to Naomi, Balthazar and Metatron, the hat trick of angelic betrayal. Despite Daniel and Cas’ efforts, there is a battle, and, in an attempt to save Adina, Daniel tries to kill Hannah. Cas gets to him blade first. Daniel dies in a blast of light and Adina runs away, but not before both Cas and Hannah are slashed themselves. They are left panting, and not in a good way, Cas physically compromised more than ever and emotionally compromised to match.
10. “I am a man of my word.”
Also in this jam-packed episode? A mystery man who, for some unknown reason, hates Dean so much that he kidnaps Sam to use as bait to lure Dean to his death. Sam? Tied to a chair? Again? It was bound to happen. (See what I did there?)
We don’t learn much else about the man outside of four Fs: he is fit, he’s got firearms, he has a family, and, to find Dean, he uses a…fax machine? Really? Do they even still make those? Huh. Who knew? Anyway, the one F word the man is not is fulfilled, because Dean basically tells him that his bait means nothing. He already told Sam to let him go, and now little brother is on his own. Dean also, with a calm we’ve rarely seen in him, makes the man a promise: someday, somehow, he will find him and he will kill him, just because. And as the man stares at the phone, surprised and stumped, Dean drives down the road, his eyes as cold as Lucifer’s breath, knowing it’s a promise he intends to keep.
Soooooo…guesses on what Dean did to the kidnapping ne’er do well? Thoughts about how Cas can possible replenish his mojo without killing another angel? Fantasizing about Sam being tied to yet another chair? Tell us in the comments! Maybe we’ll get some answers in S10E2, Reichenbach, an episode that I hope will include a Sherlock crossover. (Hey, a girl can dream.) See you next week!