Holy Episode Whiplash, Batman! This episode had All. The Plotlines. Instead of “Girls, Girls, Girls” it should have been called “Girls, Demons, Angels, Humans, Husbands, Daughters, Witches, Kings, Nemeses, Brothers and…” well. We’ll save that last word for the end, shall we?
1. Love Me Tinder
Okay. So how funny was this opening? Dean is finally using technology other than an EMF meter to his advantage—he’s joined a dating app, and Sam, as all little brothers would, has to give him crap about it. “Nice screen name, Dean,” he says, continuing on in a hilarious, faux passionate voice, “Impala 67.” Dean doesn’t care at all. He’s gonna score so big it will be worth an eight hour detour.
“Oh, baby,” Sam continues, laughing, reading some sexts from someone named Shaylene, “Whatever you want. I’m burning up just thinking about you.” (Ummmm…why is that funny again? I think many of us do that. Regularly.) This adorable, if smutty, moment between Sam and Dean is the kind of thing we broment lovers swoon over. Our boys. Being brothers. Teasing each other. Briefly happy. So rare, and thus, so sweet.
2. Hannah with a Chance of Showers
Cas and Hannah are still on the hunt for renegade angels. It’s going well. So well, in fact, that Hannah’s cleaning up. She strips down to head for a wash, seemingly oblivious to her attractiveness, and Cas? I think he’s gonna need the shower first. And make it a cold one. I have developed a deep affection for Hannah, and that is largely due to her portrayal by the lovely and talented Erica Carroll. Carroll plays Hannah beautifully—reserved but curious as she discovers the flexibility of her angelic morality, a perfect counterpoint to the attempting-to-stay-holy Castiel. Also?
She gave the Hannah-watching Cas a hell of a self-satisfied smirk. You go, girl.
3. “No cash for ass.”
(Recapper’s note: I realize this has nothing to do with the plot of “Girls, Girls, Girls” but let me tell you, this episode was hard on a recapper beyond the serious struggle to keep all of the plotlines straight. Why? Because there was an inordinate amount of eye candy to choose from. I normally screen grab about 100 – 150 shots from an episode and narrow it down to 20 – 25 for the recap. This episode? I had to choose between 350+. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. How do you choose, for example, between the shot above and, say, this?
You don’t, that’s how. And that’s just one beautiful Winchester closeup! After three years of doing this you guys should SEE my hard drive. Recapper’s note two: that is not a euphemism. Anyway…)
It turns out Dean’s sexting partner was a working girl, and he lives by a code, which is fine with her because his money’s no good to her anyway. She wants his soul. Or, at least, her demon pimp Raul does. She claims she loves her job, but Dean, the hunter with a heart of gold, knows better. He talks her down, calls Sam, gets the spray paint, and sets Raul’s demon lackey up to fail.
Sam is even more disgusted than usual. “Abduction. Forced prostitution. That’s pretty gnarly,” he says, “Even for a demon.” Apparently Shaylene thinks so too, because she snags Dean’s angel blade and runs the lackey through. “Well, that just happened,” Dean complains, adorable as ever, before the boys head off to Raul’s hotbed for sin.
4. Row, Row, Row—She Smote
Guess who’s already there, ready to take some girls from the brothel to the coven? The world’s second angriest ginger! It’s a witch named Rowena, and she casts her spell on Raul and makes him puke his demony guts up. Literally. She takes two of his former slaves…I mean…employees to a restaurant and attempts to train them in the ways of magick. As Rowena enchants a waiter and scores them free grub, she tells the two entranced hookers of her natural gifts, the three types of witches, the Grand Coven and its disapproval of her, and how she’ll defy the rules and take them on as students and somehow? The exposition doesn’t seem all that contrived. Probably because of the charming accent and line delivery from Scottish actress Ruth Connell. The delicious way she said the word “Fabulous!” alone made me wish she’d be my teacher. Alas, after seeing what her spell did to that waiter I think she’d prefer being a tor-mentor.
5. Average Joe
All angels have human vessels, and Hannah’s, as we see by her driver’s license and credit cards, is named Caroline Johnson. And Caroline’s favorite Beyoncé song must be Halo, because it sure isn’t Single Ladies. Caroline’s husband Joe, the dude who put a ring on it, shows up, wondering why she won’t come home. He sees Cas and rightly assumes what any man would when seeing his wife with someone who looks like Misha Collins—Caroline’s getting some action on the side. Hannah, in an effort to make Joe leave, kisses a surprised Cas, and while the first part is forced, the second liplock is decidedly more exploratory and sensual. Joe, defeated, leaves his bride behind.
Hannah’s plan worked. So why isn’t she happy about it? Cas believes she gave Joe closure. He tries to tell her of the greater good and the sanctity of the mission, talking of his own vessel—poor, lost Jimmy Novak, and the family, including daughter Claire, that he left behind. Somehow? More sad stories do not snap Hannah out of it. She disappears to think her thoughts, while Cas pumps gas into the pimpmobile with a sigh.
6. You’re a Witch, Girl
Sam and Dean find gooey Raul. Dean, being Dean, pours himself a drink as Sam investigates. When Sam says that what killed Raul is a witch, Dean finally puts the drink down and gets seriously skeeved out. Later that night as they drive, Sam tells Dean, with a lovely pronunciation, about a 300 year old spell, Defigere et Depurgare (to Bind and Purge). Apparently, this spell has only ever been used by Rowena. This intriguing new development begs the question: if Rowena is the only one who ever knew/used it, who created the damned Wiki on it? And furthermore, does Sam have a cellular plan with a hotspot? Because, even in the car, he has ALL of the wifi.
7. Farewell, Hanstiel
And then? The Price is Right losing horns play for those of us who wanted Hannah and Castiel to spend a more figurative seven minutes in Heaven. Hannah questions the whole vessel conundrum, and the mission is no longer a good enough answer. “What of the humans whose lives we sacrifice in the name of that mission?” she asks Cas. “What of them?” She decides she wants to step aside and put them first.
When Cas questions Hannah, she confesses she has felt human things. Passions. Hungers. “To shower…” she says with wonder. “Feel water on my skin.” She knows, though that none of it compared to how she felt when she saw Joe, and his anger and grief. Caroline was screaming inside her for Joe. To get her life back. Hannah knows that setting Caroline free is the right thing to do. Hannah gives Cas a gentle kiss on the cheek, and heads home to Heaven.
Cas watches Hannah go, sad and yet understanding. When Caroline emerges, more timid and stunned than Hannah ever was, he reassures her and holds her close, knowing he’s going to do the right thing and take her home.
8. Grump of Cole
I know. You thought there was too much going on already. But wait! THERE’S MORE! Cole’s back! He has the Guy Fieri of demons tied up and he wants intel on the whereabouts of one Dean Winchester. Which he must get, because he follows Sam and Dean (who are following Rowena and her apprentices) to a fancy hotel fight that takes an armed Dean to a back alley to follow Rowena and leaves Sam and his gloriously swingy hair panting with exertion as he tries to hold off an attack whore. (Don’t ask.) Ultimately, Dean manages to pin a solo Rowena down, and he’s feeling pretty good about himself. Until this.
“We have got to work on your timing,” he sighs. Cole holds him hostage, allowing a smirky Rowena to escape. Cole finally gets to fight the demon that thwarted his revenge—except there’s one issue. Dean’s not a demon anymore. When Cole hits Dean with the holy water and nothing happens, Travis Aaron Wade really gets an opportunity to shine as an actor. The changes in his face are subtle and yet still somehow strong. His cockiness is replaced with uncertainty, which is then followed with false bravado as he decides that Dean is still a monster.
They fight brutally, of course, until Dean gets the upper hand. Cole waits to be gunned down, but Dean hands his beloved ivory-handled pistol over to Cole, instead, telling him they need to talk. (Their fingers touch, and thus, 1000 fanfics were born.)
As Cole holds his own gun on him, Dean tells him that he does remember his dad—he was an unknown type of liver eating monster that had the potential to keep killing innocents unless he was stopped, including Cole and his mom. Dean tells Cole his father was already gone, and then his eyes flick up as he sees Sam enter the alley, ready to take Cole—hell, take anyone who threatens his brother—out.
“Put it down!” Dean demands of Sam. “Sam, put it down!” He points a commanding finger and glares at Sam with authority.
Sam immediately obeys, as we knew he would, and we see it again. The beloved threads of their old relationship entwined with the weary new. Dean, essentially Sam’s parent again.
Sam, grown now, worried for the brother he loves so much, as Dean tells Cole that he knows a thing or two about darkness and that Cole needs to stay away from that edge. “How can I believe you?” Cole asks. “My whole life…” “I get it,” Dean says. “That was your story. Look, man, I got one of those, too.” Stories, he says, “take us to places where I might beat the crap out of a good man just for the fun of it.” And although the people he loved pulled Dean back, Dean knows his story ends at the end of a blade or the barrel of a gun. The question is, will Cole be his killer? Cole, confused and exhausted, is reminded by Sam of his family. In the end, he stands down.
Later, after Cole leaves, Sam asks Dean if he really thinks he is beyond saving. Dean says he just told Cole what he needed to hear, but he says it a little too easily. Sam looks after him, wondering if Dean is as healed as he has claimed to be.
9. There’s No Place Like Home
Cas brings Hannah’s vessel on her last ride in the pimpmobile, taking her home to Joe. He watches Caroline reunite with her husband, happy for her but clearly troubled, thinking of his own vessel and what Jimmy might have wanted for himself.
Cas pulls out his laptop and reads about Jimmy. Sees his ordinary life and extraordinary disappearance. As we watch the pain on his face, we know that Hannah has changed something in him, and that he will never again regard his vessel as just a necessary sacrifice.
10. Mommy Sneerest
I am not one of those people who say “I saw that coming from a crossroad away,” (okay—maybe people who say that only exist in the SPN fandom, to be fair) but I did guess this one way back in episode three. In the end, Rowena has been captured, and taken to the King of Hell himself for a little punishment for interrupting “Operation Skank.” Crowley, less than impressed with his demons, goes to administer it himself, stopping when he sees her, slightly stunned. Rowena is in fine form, taunting him by calling him the King of Lilliput. Crowley just stares. “Wee boy,” Rowena teases, her lyrical voice snide and not a little bit scary, “Somethin’ the matter with ye? Cat got yer tongue? Hmmm? Meee-owwww.” Crowley, the “son-of-a-witch, actually,” responds with only one word. “Mother?”
Curiouser and curiouser! How will Crowley and Rowena spend their mother-son playdates? As fiend? Or foe? We’ll have to table that discussion to focus on two other fabulous SPN ladies next week. That’s right, boys and girls, Sheriff Jody Mills is BACK, and she and none other than the recently Purged Sheriff Donna Hanscum are gonna bring the heat. See you next time!