Was anyone else as relieved as I was to see our boys working together again? Sure, it was awkward. Strained, even. But hey, at least they were talking. In other news, Garth’s alive and well. And married. And a werewolf. Wait. What?
1. It’s Garth! No way! Way.
I told DJ Qualls at BurCon and I meant it: the charm factor of this show goes up about 1000% when Garth is onscreen. Garth, our adorable, charming, Bobby-in-training that has been missing for the better part of forever, has been found and handcuffed to a hospital bed. The boys, naturally, want to know what the hell is going on, but Garth has been given an “assload of painkillers” which Dean thinks can only be cured by an adrenaline shot. Sam, however? He’s got a better idea.
When Garth comes to, it’s adorable. “Am I in Heaven?” he asks. “All right, take it easy, Garth,” growls Dean. “You’re in Wisconsin.” DJ Qualls plays Garth note perfect. He is at once a child and a man, naive and deeply wise, gentle and (when those he loves are threatened) ferocious. Just another example of how lucky we are in the SPN family to have been blessed with such talented guest stars.
2. Touched by an Angel, I mean, a Knight from Hell
Sam and Dean worked with unusual partners in their past two weeks, and both of them are unsettled about it. Dean seems a little jealous that Sammy and Cas had their bonding moment, and Sam, unaware at any deep level of how Crowley saved his life, is beyond stunned that Dean partnered up with their arch-enemy. Sam sees Dean’s arm and knows it’s trouble, but what eased the tension was the adorable answer given when Dean confessed he wore the Mark of Cain. “Like the wrestler?” Sam asked, perplexed. “I wish,” Dean grumbled. “That would be awesome.”
3. You Can Call Me Any…Anytime
Sam and Dean are trying to figure out how to deal with Garth when he escapes out the bathroom window. They split up to investigate. Dean calls Sam, lying to him that there was nothing to see, and that he should just move along. Which might have worked, were he not walking past Sam at the time, evidence in hand.
After the trust issues this season, you can imagine how well that went over with our favorite Moose. Sammy is the baby brother no longer. He has grown up and he is beyond sick of being lied to and coddled. “No more games,” Sam says, after seeing the evidence, and he means it. That said? Later, when he and Dean touch base via telephone again, Sam signs off with “Be careful.” No matter what has happened–no matter how angry they are with each other–they can’t live without each other. And they know it.
4. And They Call It…Puppy Loooooooove
Sam and Dean trace Garth to the apartment of a girl named Bess (Side note: why does every girl on Supernatural leave her bras hanging around? Can no one hold on to their underwear? Never mind. I suppose anyone’s underwear would fly off in the face of a Winchester.) Before they can even ask about Garth’s extra curricular activities, Bess jumps out of the closet a full on dog (no, literally) and tries to attack Sam.
It seems Garth’s lady love is a real bitch, and by that I mean a werewolf. And much to Sam and Dean’s dismay, Garth confesses that he got got by a monster in Maine, and now he’s totally Team Jacob too. Bess was born into the pack, and Garth’s a “bitten” but that little difference doesn’t matter. Together? They’re going to make totally adorable puppies.
5. So, Sum It Up for Us, Garth
Garth takes a moment to introduce the boys to his beloved bride. “That’s Dean. He could start a fight in an empty house but deep down inside he’s just a big old teddy bear. And Sam here? Sam can be a bit insecure at times but for good reason. Bless his heart.” And that, folks? That’s how you sum up those Winchesters of ours in just a few sweet sentences. Garth tries to negotiate peace between his…wife? wow…and the Winchesters. Sam snarks about Bess attacking him, but Garth is having none of it, saying the boys incited the attack by busting in in a blaze of glory. He reminds them of just what menacing figures they cut.
The boys agree to ask questions first and shoot later when Garth invites Dean to a prayer meeting at the home of Bess’ dad. Dean arrives to see Garth playing piano as the pack sings “Bringing in the Sheaves” (not, as my husband thought, “Bringing in the Sheep”, which, come to think of it, would probably be a better werewolf song.) Fun fact? According to DJ’s twitter, @theonlyDJQualls, “Playing the piano here was the most embarrassing moment of my career. I CANNOT play, so it sounded like death. Jensen made fun of me.” He also revealed that @jarpad, aka Jared Padalecki, smells like springtime. I can verify that that is indeed true. Swoon.
6. The MooseMobile!
Okay, so Sam spends this episode driving the (second) most gorgeous car EVER. The 1972 Dodge Dart Demon is painted a shade of blue as arresting as Castiel’s eyes, and she is as sleek and as smooth as you could ever want. In the end, because what we really want to see is our boys in Dean’s baby, Sam abandons the car for good, leaving most of us wondering why he didn’t just drive her to the garage in the HuntCave to live with the rest of the pretty. I mean, come on! Baby needs a best friend! Maybe they can revamp Knight Rider and Baby and Blue can be the new stars of a buddy cop show. Much like the Rufus and Bobby prequel show I have begged for, I’d watch the hell out of that.
7. Family Dinner
Dean stays for dinner with Bess’ (and now Garth’s) family, but not even the promise of pie can get Dean through the bloody meal from hell. He watches the family devour plates of raw meat and organs, his own perfectly cooked steak dinner going untouched. During the meal, the werewolves–ahem, I mean the lycanthropes–tell Dean of their legacy and their humble lives, and how they bear the small pain of wearing a silver bullet as a reminder of their fragility. Reverend Jim, Bess’ dad, seems particularly gentle. Though his own wife was murdered by a hunter, he wants to trust Dean, saying something Dean needs to hear. Repeatedly. “The road to revenge is a dark and lonely one, which you never get off. And that hole in the pit of your stomach? You never fill it. Ever.” Dean doesn’t want to buy it, despite Garth’s insistence that it’s all wonderful. “I found it,” Garth says. “Love and a family. Who cares where that comes from?” This should resonate with Dean, too, but he fears too much for those he loves. Which is still evident as he tells Garth that Kevin is gone, breaking Garth’s beautiful heart.
It turns out that all is not, indeed, copacetic, as Garth thinks. The boys have a nasty run in with a hound of a Sheriff (whom Dean impales with a thrown silver knife like a BADASS.)
They see that the Sheriff is wearing a silver bullet too, but his is engraved with the word “RAGNORAK.” Apparently, this is Thor/Loki/Odin stuff about the Norse mythology end of days, and now you know I have to remind you all of this, from Season 8.
You’re welcome. Anyway, Dean infiltrates Reverend Jim’s church and learns about the Maw of Fenris from a cool-ass wolf bible. Some of the pack, led by the pie-baking Reverend’s wife Joy, are part of a werewolf cult, which wants men to end and lycanthropes to reign supreme. The other half of the pack, including Reverend Jim and Bess? All they want is peace, which they need to be persuaded from. Joy has Garth and Bess tied up in a barn, and it isn’t long before Sam joins them via a blow to the head. (Sam’s unconscious and tied up? To quote Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “It must be Tuesday.”)
Joy intends to murder Bess and Garth and let Sam take the rap. Garth’s despair and frustration override his fury at being beaten, because he is afraid for his wife and his friends. This causes us all to see a side of Garth we’ve never seen before. A scary, scary side.
Sam manages to get the gun away from Joy’s hand with a high-kick worthy of the Rockettes. Dean smartly disguises his scent with a pack member’s jacket, stabs the minions and outdraws Joy to end the whole thing. The whole fight reminds us that the boys are, in fact, much more than those aforementioned jaws and hair. They are menacing hunters who have incredible aim and speed. Who, like Buffy before them, save the world. Like, a lot.
9. Dean Wuvs Hugs
Sam says goodbye, telling Garth to be good. Garth offers to help Dean hunt again, but Dean, standing in front of a “Home Sweet Home” sampler, reminds Garth of where he belongs. “Who cares where happiness comes from?” he says. “Look, we’re all a little weird, we’re all a little wacky, some more than others. But if it works, it works. You got something here…don’t let that go. You’ll never forgive yourself.” Dean willing offers Garth the hug he has given only begrudgingly in the past, and it is clear how much he needs love and comfort in that moment. Dean talks a tough game, but he’s never been good at being alone.
10. “Whatever happened, we are family, okay?”
Sam goes to head off, knowing Dean doesn’t want to hunt with him. Dean stops him–he wants Sam back, He can’t say he’s sorry but he is. “I just know when we rode together…” he begins. “We split the crappiness,” Sam concludes. But before they ride again, Sam says something is broken that a few victorious hunts can’t fix. We don’t see our roles the same, Sam tells him, and he can’t trust Dean anymore. Sam knows that being a family isn’t a cureall that makes everything go away. “If you want to work, let’s work,” Sam says. “If you want to be brothers….” And he trails off, smashing Dean’s heart, causing us to throw the remotes at our televisions as they climb in Baby and drive away.
ARGHHHH! The angst–it’s killing me! Nothing can possibly make me feel better. I’ll guess I’ll just see you for episode 13, “The Purge”, where Sam is a yoga instructor who wears…a tank top? And shorts? Sigh…I’m feeling better already. See you next week.