It’s been a week—confess. How many times have you watched saucy Demon Dean from the premiere with lust in your heart? Answer? ALL OF THEM. Sadly, this episode, while just as handsome, was much less fun. Instead of indulging in shirtless sex and tone-deaf karaoke we saw Dean do what we feared most, and it wasn’t killing and maiming. We saw him reject Sam, neglect Baby, turn his back on family and pick the wrong side. What a difference a week makes.
1. “I’m not lookin’ for sympathy, Sam. I’m looking for your brother.”
The mystery badass from last week has a name and a purpose. He is Cole, and his sole goal in life is to kill Dean Winchester. I’m not normally one for flashback scenes, at least ones that don’t involve Sam and/or Dean, but these were effective. A barely teenaged boy, awakened in the night to find his beloved father dead on the floor, slipping in his blood to go to him and crumple to his knees, pitifully calling for his Daddy. Said boy looks up and sees? A young Dean Winchester holding a bloody knife, looking regretful. Cole’s story brought up more questions than it did answers, the most important of which is if Dean killed Cole’s dad, and it appears that is the case, why? Travis Aaron Wade shows us that Cole doesn’t care. He is bitter, intense and maybe a little psychotic and Sam, at least until he can get to Dean anyway, is the one who’s going to pay.
2. “I’m not a psycho. And I’m not lying.”
Sam has never taken well to being called a freak. He and Dean have spent their whole lives hiding what they know from those they know would not or cannot handle the truth, and when Sam is finally forced to define “monster” for Cole, he is rightfully offended when Cole gets insulting. Wade and Jared Padalecki have an incredibly fiery face off, complete with many swings and shouts and dislocations, until finally? Sammy proves what we’ve always known: he’s a tough, smart son-of-a-bitch who, unlike Demon Dean, would rather tell a crazed man with a hammer to shove it up his ass than sell his brother out. He manages to get away from Cole before he ends up knee-capped, but we know the truth. Cole will not rest. We’ve seen what men on this show will do in their daddy’s name.
3. Arrest Warrant
Remember in Season 5’s “The Song Remains the Same” when Dean was dreaming, adorably, about a sexy, strippy match between heaven and hell before angel Anna came in and cold showered him? Well, “Cherry Pie” is back, and this time? Not so sweet. Dean’s in a strip club, gross and lecherous and not at all joyful, groping the talent and beating the bouncer nearly to death. I wonder if the show reused that musical cue to contrast a happily entertained (if a bit embarrassed) Dean to this black eyed (and black hearted) villain who takes without conscience. I wonder, too, if the title Reichenbach refers to how far our Dean has fallen. Either way? I’m still bummed that there was no Sherlock crossover. That fanfic would practically write itself.
4. Hannah and Her Mister
Hannah has a burning need to lay her hands on Castiel’s chest. Not for that, pervs! She wants to make up for his lack of amazing grace and heal his gaping wound with a small smile. And it just gets cuter from there. When Cas heads to meet Sam after getting the devastating news of Dean’s new status, she tries to protect him from the bad influence of the Winchesters. She talks with him about humanity and tells him of her love of the stars. She forgives him when he crashes the pimp mobile (NOOOOOOOO!) and strands her at a stranger’s house, forcing her to wonder what the surprise is in the three-bean casserole.
When Hannah comes to offer Cas a portion, so to speak, she finds him fast asleep on the ugly 70’s couch. She covers him with a blanket, and gazes at him with affection. Hannah, it seems, has a crush. And why wouldn’t she? He’s cute. He’s kind. He’s loyal. He holds her hand. He has a beautiful smile.
And he’s great with kids, even ones who talk about rocket snot. Sounds like a catch to me.
5. “Why don’t you do us all a great big favor and pick a BLOODY side!”
Crowley is bored to tears with the usual brand of demon, and he hopes to lure Dean into being his VP with the promise of MoC satisfying kills. Dean agrees, but only because he feels like it in the moment. Crowley sends him to pay out a contract by killing a cheating wife for soul-selling Lester. Unfortunately for Lester, Dean sees what Lester really is: a “Loser. With a capital L, rhymes with ‘you suck’.” After Lester gets demanding and snotty, Dean decides to gut him instead. I guess Dean doesn’t like being called a freak either.
Crowley is pissed. By killing Lester and not the errant wife, Dean has cost him a soul. Dean? Again with the not caring. He reminds Crowley that they are not besties or colleagues. That Dean is the threatening one now, and unless he feels like taking on a job, Crowley can get bent. Crowley finally admits defeat and decides it’s best to end it. “It’s not me,” he tells Dean, “It’s you.” Hey, Dean? When you’re being told you’re too evil for the King of Hell? It may be time to re-evaluate your life choices.
6. Deal with the Devil
This is a teeny one, but I found it glorious. After Dean kills the messenger and screws the hellhound, Crowley approaches Sam to take big brother off his non-soul-filled hands. “Hello, Bullwinkle,” he purrs. “Did you miss me?” Sam reaches into the back of his waistband, pulling out the demon knife. “So much,” he says, his voice filled with hatred, his glare at once desperate and despising. I loved the chemistry in this scene. Padalecki was great, and Mark Sheppard killed it as always. Also? I’m not saying that I rewound and paused on the brief glimpse we see of the small of Sam Winchester’s back. What I am saying is…that is exactly what I did. Swoon.
7. The Adventures of Asstiel and Booger-tron
Hannah decides she wants to give Cas the gift that keeps on giving, so she goes to Metatron to ask if any of Cas’ mojo is still left in the bottle. Metatron, of course, assures her there is, and he wheedles and bargains and sasses his way into nearly getting her to agree to let him go in trade. Curtis Armstrong, whom I have always adored, manages to make the most of his single scene, tearing up the screen with behavior both subtle and scary. It’s no wonder this fandom despises Metatron. Armstrong, with his expert line delivery, made us do it.
Cas finds out what Hannah’s up to and he blocks her play. “I have made deals born of desperation,” he tells her, “And they always end in blood and tears.” Hannah concedes, clearly upset, and Cas and Metatron volley back and forth, Cas delighting in Metatron’s imprisonment and Metatron assuring him that he will get out and when he does? Everyone dies. “You talk too much,” Cas says, storming off, and as Metatron calls out to him that he’s a dead man walking we know: Cas may have resigned himself to his fate, but oh, what he wouldn’t give for a recharge.
8. He Ain’t a Heavy, He’s My Brother
The thing I love most about our little show is the way our boys fight for each other. It could be argued (and I have) that they are soulmates in the truest sense of the word, and Sam will ultimately never, no matter what Dean is, turn his back on that. Despite Dean telling Sam that he won’t go home, that he loves the life demonic, that he has done things that cannot be forgiven, Sam doesn’t care. “You are my brother,” Sam says, his eyes shining with unshed tears, making mine do the same, “And I am here to take you home.” I expected a fight of words or of fists. I never expected Dean to laugh. To mock him. To joke about Lifetime movies and puppy dog eyes. Jensen Ackles is a master of his craft. In that moment, despite what this show and that character means to me, he made me do something I thought I could never do: he made hate Dean Winchester. Ackles has played demon Dean with such finesse I can forget the human Dean that I love. He and Padalecki are masters at taking characters we are so familiar with that lesser people would become bored and constantly reinventing them, imbuing them with new life while never losing that which we have always loved. Does a girl have to make a crossroads deal to get these guys an Emmy? Chuck knows, they are richly deserved.
9. Prepare to Die
The emotional rescue is, at the very least, postponed by the arrival of Cole, who is utterly delighted at the thought of achieving his long lost revenge. Ackles continues to be amazing in this scene—he is funny and expressive and lethal and terrifying all at once. And damn, demon Dean. Why you gotta have such a killer (probably literally) smile?
Dean sasses Cole and taunts him, quoting the Princess Bride and The Matrix (two of my favorite films of all time) and letting him know without question that he is in charge. He toys with a frustrated, rage-filled Cole until Cole (barely) gets the upper hand, slicing Dean across the cheek, watching it instantly heal with horror. “What are you?” he asks. And Dean, as Crowley demanded, picks his side. “I’m a demon,” he says, flashing black eyes before knocking a broken and bloodied Cole completely out.
Of course, being a demon also has its drawbacks. While Dean is distracted with his gloating, Sam manages to douse him with holy water and cuff him, preparing to drive him back to the bunker and cure him. Dean? He’s unamused.
Yeah. That’s one way to put it. Jeez.
10. Take Good Care of My Baby
Sam apparently didn’t hear Cas’ advice about deals made in desperation, because he pays Crowley for the intel on Dean’s location by giving him the First Blade. Crowley promises to keep “the precious” from Dean—especially since now that Dean knows Crowley sold him out he might be on the receiving end of it, and he doesn’t want to get…boned. (Ba-dum. PSSSSSH!) Crowley claims to be relieved to be free of his uncontrollable former best bud but, later, he cannot help but think about the good times by looking at one of the funniest shots in SPN history.
Sometimes? When I’m sad? I look at this picture too. And, unlike Crowley, I always feel better.
And you thought the uneaten cheeseburger was a big deal. As Sam drives Dean back to the HuntCave, he scoffs in disgust at the litter desecrating the Impala’s dash. “It’s just a car, Sam,” Dean says, and the gasps of shock were heard throughout the fandom. Baby’s never been just a car—she has always been a character unto herself, and to see Dean act like she means nothing is almost as heartbreaking as when he did it to Sam. Sam wants to believe that Dean is still in there somewhere, and he thinks that Dean showing mercy by not killing Cole is proof positive. Dean smiles once more, completely sinister, and lets Sam know that by leaving Cole alive, knowing he has failed his life’s mission, he wasn’t merciful at all. And we end with a warning: “And what I’m gonna do to you, Sammy? Well, that ain’t gonna be mercy either.”
Last week I thought I wanted Demon Dean to stick around for a while, with his bad foosball playing and his charming lack of pants. Now? After seeing what he is capable of when he is Hulk level angry? Not so much. If Sam wants his brother back he’s got his work cut out for him. I guess we’ll see how he fares in episode three, “Soul Survivor.” See you next week!