Hell hath no fury like a Winchester scorned. It seems the death of Charlie was the catalyst Dean needed to evolve into what he dreaded becoming, a cold-blooded killer like Cain who slaughters the innocent merely based on their bloodline. I’m sure Charlie, the beloved little sister he never knew he needed, would have wanted Dean to remember her, but not like this. As we go into this week’s episode the question is: how much of Dean is Dean anymore? And how much of him is owned by the Mark?
1. It Gets Better
There’s a lot of reasons not to pick on the school nerd. First and foremost? It’s cruel. Second? You may end up working for that kid someday. And third? Their family may have a long history of dissecting people for parts. Wait. What? Cyrus Styne, the baby of the family, is bullied at school by a kid with a douchey ‘do who wants to know if he has ever seen a boob in the wild. (Yep. He’s looking at you, right?) Cyrus refuses to engage and then shuts him down with a scathing analysis that even makes the bully’s cronies laugh. The bully knocks him down, prompting Cousin Eli to come to the rescue, and allowing him to analyze the bully far less critically but accurately (he calls him a dickbag.) Later, the bully gets bagged by Eli (no, literally) and we know this is going to end up, at best, with him being an amputee. This introduction and the moments to come defined Cyrus quite nicely. He’s smart, if not tough. He’s brave, if not strong. He’s sensitive and thoughtful, and he does not want anything to do with his family. I like him immediately. Which likely means he’s a goner.
2. I’d Pay the Devil to Replace Her
Just as I did with Kevin Tran, I sincerely hoped this week would open with the discovery that Charlie was not dead, and, just like last time, I was crushed with disappointment. While the boys chop and collect wood for Charlie’s funeral pyre, they remember her via flashback, and it is so damned painful. “That’s my boys.” “I love you. I know.” “I forgive you, Dean.” A lovely song plays in the background, and as I hear “You don’t ever have to go to war no more…” my tears for her fall. Dean carries Charlie’s small body over and Sam helps him lift it up onto the wood. Dean leans over her for the tiniest of moments, pained but not breaking.
They watch her burn, and Sam begins to eulogize (and apologize) before Dean cuts him off, reminding Sam that he got her killed and he doesn’t get to say he’s sorry for that. Sam wants to explain but Dean doesn’t care to hear it.
Sam: “What was I supposed to do, just watch you die?”
Dean: “The Mark isn’t gonna kill me.”
Sam: “Maybe not. But when it’s done with you, you won’t be you anymore. Dean, you’re all I’ve got. So of course I was gonna fight for you because that’s what we do. And listen, I had a shot…”
Dean: “Yeah, you had a shot. Charlie’s dead. Nice shot.”
And Sam looks as hurt and guilty as if he killed Charlie himself, but the thing is? Dean’s not wrong, which justifies, in his mind anyway, the final blow.
Sam: “You think I’m… you think I’m ever going to forgive myself for that?”
Dean: “You know what I think? I think it should be you up there, not her.”
Dean demands Sam shut the whole thing down. He’s going to find whoever did this. And he’s going to rip apart everyone and everything they ever loved, and then he’s going to tear out their heart. Sam asks the question that’s on all of our minds: is that the Mark of Cain or Dean talking? “Doesn’t matter,” Dean says, cold, turning on his heel to go, and we are left stunned by how cruel he is being to the brother he raised and protected. Wondering—is it already too late to save Dean’s soul?
3. Maybe It Gets Worse?
Cyrus tells a friend he wants to ditch his hated family and move to LA but they will (literally) kill him because they are scary weird. Disturbingly, he is about to experience how much, as he is summoned to the FrankenLab, which is actually very clean and sterile and kind of nice, except for the dozens of human body parts in jars. One-armed Eldon is there, and he tells Papa Monroe that his former prison, the HuntCave, could provide the biggest magical score the family has ever seen. Of course, he’s going to need a new arm, and Cy’s former bully, strapped to the table, is going to provide it.
When Cy arrives, Monroe says it’s a special day, and by “special” it means your first murder! Yay? Cy doesn’t want to do it—tries to resist—but it is made clear that either he does it or Monroe does, and the next one on the table will be Cyrus himself. The whole ritual of it is horrifying. Dressing him in the lab coat. Guiding his hand with the scalpel. Seeing his brother and cousin egging him on. Hearing the bully’s muffled screams. Cyrus trying to turn away, and Monroe making him look at the legacy he is now to embrace. Cyrus sees the bully on the table, now the one who is vulnerable and afraid, and he has to be thinking: be careful what you wish for.
I don’t normally give this much real estate to single episode characters, but it must be said: Connor Price is truly great in this small role. After it’s all over, he sits, crying, and he really conveys Cyrus’ shock and shame. I felt for him. I wanted him to get away from them. I guess I never thought I’d want to hug a murderer but there you are. Bravo. (Recapper’s note: Not to detract from the gravity of the situation but, as a sewer, I was unimpressed with the huge, clunky stitches holding Eldon’s new arm on. Seriously guys? Hundreds of years of this and that’s the best you can do? Maybe you need to kidnap a plastic surgeon, because if you are going for secrecy that is certainly going to stand out like a severed thumb.)
4. That’s the Book of Love
Cas and Rowena are not getting along. She’s a starer, and he doesn’t like it. “An angel that rejected heaven,” she says, amused, “That’s like a fish that wants to fly or a dog that thinks he’s people.” Cas says, grouchy, that he is a lot like people. “Keep telling yourself that, dear,” Ro replies, and have I mentioned that I love Ruth Connell and I never want her to leave?
Sam arrives, and tells Cas, without a word, that Charlie is dead. Cas is upset—angry at himself, at everything. “What happened?” he demands. “Me,” Sam replies. He tells Cas that the Stynes got her and now Dean’s after them. “So he knows,” Cas says. Sam says he promised Dean he would shut it all down. “Hello?” Rowena calls. “Anyone want to tell me what’s going on?” Sam and Cas duet on the world’s shortest song as they shout NO!, prompting a great face from Ro. Speaking of whom, what will they do with her now? “Guess,” Sam says, menacingly. “I’d be happy to kill her,” Cas says. “She just called me a fish.” And thank you, Castiel, for a moment of levity in this heavy scene.
Sam and Cas check Dean’s location, thanks to the tracking device Dean put on the Impala. As they do, Charlie’s email comes in with the translations. Sam shows Ro, who is begrudgingly impressed that nerd beat witch. She can now read the book. Cure the MoC. Sam hesitates, clearly in turmoil, but in the end, it’s always about Dean. Always. Sam tells Cas to go keep him safe and from going dark. Cas tries to argue, but Sam reminds him of the many times Dean saved him. “I owe him this. I owe him everything,” he says. And if they don’t save Dean he will end up in black eyes and blood.
“Oooooh. I do love a bit of intrigue…” Rowena purrs as she watches. Sam tells her to get on with the translation. She reminds him of their deal—she will translate when Crowley is dead. And she wants it done her way. Now. (Samuel!!!) Oh, Rowena. You pack so much badass into such a lovely little package. Never change.
5. The Dorks of Hazard
The Impala rolls into Louisiana, and Dean is pulled over for no reason by two cops. It’s kind of adorable, the way he pulls a license and registration, compares them, and shrugs like “Good enough.” Apparently, this license is issued to an Ashley J. Williams. “You can call me Ash,” Dean says and awwwwwww! Ash! You and Charlie in Heaven? Literally a hacker’s paradise. Anyway, Dean is clearly not getting away on his ample good looks and charm. He gets out of the car to see Cop Jr. breaking Baby’s taillight. (Uh oh. Bad move, Enos.) “Don’t,” he says, and he breaks another. Nice knowing you, dude.
At the station, Cop Jr. is going through the musical mélange of stolen licenses. Oh, look! Dean’s an organ donor. The Stynes will like that. (Side note? Freddie Mercury was misspelled. New head canon: Dean did that on purpose to differentiate from the greatest singer of all time. Accepted.) The Deputy asks who he is, and that’s really the question, isn’t it? (Recapper’s note: all I could think of while watching this was the pilot, when Dean is apprehended and taken into a sheriff’s office. How young and flippant and casual he was. This is not the Dean of yore, folks. Not even a little.) Dean knocks over a mug, and when the cop (stupidly) leans over to clean it up Dean gets the keys and knocks him out. Considering that he hurt Baby? I think he got off light. Dean busts in on the Sheriff who is reporting in to the Stynes but lies that he wasn’t. Dean decks him twice, once for lying and once for his Baby. (There we go!) He gets the info he needs from the Sheriff who warns him that the Stynes own the town. Are practically gods. “Yeah?” Dean says with a little smile. “Well, I kill gods.” And so it begins.
6. Everyone Loves a Bad Boy
Crowley is at a diner, about to make a Crossroads Deal for the first time in forever when the phone rings. It’s Dean. “Hey. I need your help,” he says, and the call drops out. That’s not suspicious at all, huh? A text arrives with an address. Of course, he goes to the location, which is a craphole warehouse. “Dean?” he calls. “DEEEeeeAAAnn!” He is interrupted from his semi-yodeling by Sam, who shoots him from the corner with a devil’s trap bullet.
“Moose,” he says. “Shooting me from behind. Poor form, even for you.” Sam tells him he faked Dean’s call. “Aren’t you a clever kitty?” Crowley asks, and I hope he is at least a little pissed off at himself for falling for something so obvious.
And then we learn why he did— Crowley claims friendship with Dean. Sam is stunned. Furious. “You’re the reason Dean has the Mark of Cain!” he shouts. Everything is ultimately Crowley’s fault. He advances on Crowley with the demon blade, but Crowley says he is not afraid of it. “I don’t care,” Sam says, and he puts Rowena’s hex bag in Crowley’s pocket. “By the way,” he adds, “She said to tell you she should have taken the three pigs.” Crowley crumples as Sam watches. Gotta say, Sam is all too smarmy right now. Don’t count your chicken bones before they hex, Sam.
7. It’s (temporarily) Alive!
At the Styne mansion, Dean breaks in, mercilessly stabbing and shooting guards with his silenced gun. Of course, the lights go on to reveal about eleventy-billion Stynes, all of whom are armed. Dean, too, gets (plastic) bagged and passes out. (Recapper’s note: I dunna like the plastic bag thing. The faces look distorted and fogged and it skeeves me out. Which is likely why the do it, I suppose. Ugh.)
Dean wakes up in the FrankenLab. He is strapped down, about to be stripped and not in a good way. His wrists are bound (again, not in a good way.) “I’d shake your hand, but uh…” Dean says with a smirk, and there’s my boy from the Pilot! Monroe is impressed with Dean. “The way you charged in guns blazing. I’d buy tickets to that show,” he says. (Get in line, Monroe. We all want tickets to that particular gun show.) Monroe asks: he didn’t really think it was gonna work, did he? “It usually does,” Dean says. And that’s fair.
Dean tries to warn them. The MoC makes him immortal.“You flatline me, I will come back. But I’ll come back with black eyes. And then you’ll all die.” Monroe is delighted. He can’t die? That will make him all the more fun to experiment on. They gag him (again, why can’t it be in the fun way?) and Monroe gets the scalpel. Dean busts his bond (not a euphemism) kills Eli, injects the creepy nurse with her own drug and choke holds Monroe. “You took something from me,” he says. “Now I’m gonna take everything from you.” Dean breaks his neck. And he looks not at all concerned or remorseful as he takes Monroe’s gun to slaughter anyone that is left.
8. The Devil You Think You Know
Later, Crowley, sick on the floor, is talking to Sam. Working with Ro is a joke. Does he trust her? “‘Course not. Not even a little,” Sam scoffs. Crowley wonders what Ro has over him. “Will you just die already?” Sam replies, and I have to admit it made me smile (This show has corrupted me. More.) In any case, Crowley’s working on it, because he is choking up quite the little pool of thick, smoky blood. “That’s what I get for trying to be the good guy,” Crowley says, and Sam is, again, incredulous at Crowley’s claims. Crowley has, apparently, been changing things in Hell for over a year. “I thought if I did better I might actually feel something again. That it might matter,” he says. Well, it doesn’t, because all Sam remembers is all the bad stuff he’s done. He’s watched Crowley kill innocent people he loved. “So yeah,” Sam says, “You have the accent and the suit and the snark, but at the end of it, you are a monster. Just like all the rest of them. And I’m gonna watch you die screaming, just like all the rest of them.” Again, watch your cocky, Sam. (I swear that sounded better in my head.) Crowley, surprisingly, agrees with Sam. “You’re right. I am a monster and I’ve done bad. I’ve done things you can’t even imagine. Horrible evil messy things.” And then his eyes turn evil, Hot Topic Pop Figurey red as he finishes with, “And I have loved every. Damned. Minute.” Uh oh.
Crowley pulls out the devil’s trap bullet. “So thank you, Sam, for reminding me who I really am.” And Evil Crowley’s BACK, BITCHES! (Moment of silence for Charlie, please. I assure you, I wish it were her saying that and not me.)
Rowena’s bag, which might have worked on another demon, didn’t work on Crowley. He tosses Sam about, keeping him from the demon knife. He holds his fingers up, pre-snap, and Sam is frightened. “I could kill you,” Crowley says. “Snap my fingers. Easiest thing in the world. From here on I want you to know that the only reason you’re alive is because I allowed it. And I want you to deliver a message. You tell that ginger whore that I gave her a chance to walk away. And she spat in my face. So now? She’ll never see me coming.” He disappears and damn it! I think I just saw the path to my beloved Rowena’s end.
Sam calls Rowena, spits that her spell didn’t work. Ro is surprised, and then worried because Crowley is no longer trapped. Sam wants to know how he’s supposed to kill Crowley now. “You’ve got a job to do Samuel, now get it done,” she snaps, and Sam is piiiiiiiissssssed.
The phone rings again. It’s Cas. All is quiet at the Styne residence, mostly because everyone is dead. At least 15 people, killed brutally. And I want to feel bad about that, but…Charlie. Yeah, yeah, and all of those other people too, but…Charlie. (Recapper’s note: I get that the boys always manage to evade the law but seriously—how is Dean going to do that now? I don’t think he killed the two cops, who know his name, his car, his aliases and possibly still have his picture. I half expect to hear “Renegade” playing in the background so I can say a hearty “You’re screwed.”)
Sam wants to head Cas’ way to help, but Cas says that Dean is headed for the Bunker. “Dean’s coming home.” There is something in his voice that makes me think that he thinks of the HuntCave as home, too. Take this as you will, but if home is where the heart is? I think Cas’ just might be the Bunker, because that’s where his best friend lives.
9. Honey, I’m Home!
The Bunker break-in has begun. Eldon and Cyrus and their cousin Roscoe (not P. Coltrane, I assume) are going to take whatever looks interesting and burn the rest. Cy looks bummed. (I know, Cy. I love books too.) The Bunker is completely overturned, upsetting me, but even that doesn’t turn Cy off. He seems to love it there. Cy starts reading a book on exorcism before Roscoe interrupts. “Hey. This isn’t a damned library,” he says. Cy looks at him, a little irritated. “Yeah it is,” he says. And again, I like poor, doomed Cyrus. Roscoe takes off for the sex dungeon (?) and Cy finds the boys’ trio photo with Bobby. He seems touched by it. (Stop making me like you, Cy!) Eldon, who I most decidedly do not like, comes in with a box of Dean’s stuff. “So this is what I know about Dean Winchester,” he says. “He’s got crappy taste in music, got a hot mom, and he loves flannel.” (Them’s fightin’ words, Eldon!)He adds Dean’s stuff to the burn pile, splashing gas on it and making me say “No! No! NO! Don’t you DO IT!” out loud at the thought of Mary’s picture going up in flames. Cyrus tells Eldon they don’t have to, and we see the depth of Eldon’s ugliness as he says. “I know, Cy. We get to,” before he strikes a match.
Dean comes in. Ice cold. Bloody. Ready. Cy is nervous. Eldon is all swagger. “Been lookin’ for you,” Dean says, calm. “Oh wait,” Eldon replies. “You’re not still sore about…what’s her name?” (Eff you, Eldon!) “Charlie,” Dean says. “Her name was Charlie.” Eldon smiles. “Chuckie” got what she deserved, he says. And he follows up with “Wanna know how I did her? It’s kind of a funny story…” and I have NEVER hated a villain on Supernatural this much. Ever. EVER. Dean tells him to shut up. Eldon says he’s got some new upgrades (including the arm) but Dean couldn’t care less. “…You can save me the speech on the three hearts, the two spleens, the seven nipples…for the ladies…or the fellas…I don’t judge.” (Adorable. Even as a mass murderer he can be adorable.) “But even with all that,” Dean continues, “You still only have one brain.” That apparently does not function well, because Eldon doesn’t even see the headshot coming and Dean is going to be GREAT in the zombie apocalypse. Again.
Cyrus shrinks away. Begs for his life. He hates his family. He has no upgrades. He promises—he isn’t like them. Dean says the bad is in his blood. He can deny it, run from it, but the bad will always win. (Projecting much, Dean?) Cy is in tears. Begging. “I’ll do anything you want. Okay? Please. You don’t need to do this. Please,” he begs, crying. Dean raises the gun and I hope for a moment he is not so far gone. That he won’t do what he does. “Yeah. I do,” Dean says, and he shoots Cy in the head. Blank. Eyes dead. The Mark has won again.
10. That’s What Friends Are For
Cas arrives, and sees the carnage. “What have you done?” he asks. Cas touches Cy but it is too late. Dean killed him. “I took down a monster,” Dean says. “Because that’s what I do. And I will continue to do that until…” “Until you become the monster,” Cas says, looking at his friend, covered in so many people’s blood. Dean tells him he can leave. “No. I can’t. Because I’m your friend.” And they have the same old fight, about Sam and Cas’ desire to save Dean no matter the cost and Dean saying the cost will be way too high. It already is.
Cas grabs his shoulder to keep him from leaving to go out and kill Chuck knows who. He tells Dean he might be able to fight the MoC long after everyone he knows and loves is dead. “Everyone except me. I’m the one that will have to watch you murder the world. So if there is even a small chance that we can save you I won’t let you walk out of this room.” He reminds Dean that the old him never would have killed Cyrus (remember Amy Pond’s son that he set free?) and Dean replies, “Yeah, well, that Dean’s always been kind of a dick.” And then he proves it as he beats Cas senseless, throwing him to the ground. Cas staggers to his feet. Lisps, “Dean. Stop.” Dean comes back to beat him some more. Cas tries to subdue him, almost unwilling to hurt him, but Dean has no such restraint. He slams Cas’ head into the table over and over and over. He turns a deeply bloody Cas over, pulls the angel blade from his sleeve, and grabs him by the tie. Cas wraps his hand around his left wrist. “No Dean,” he whispers, a thick trickle of blood flowing from his mouth. “Please.” Dean stares at him, angry and empty, and drives the blade down with a grunt. He stands up while all of us forget to breathe, wondering if the show snookered us. Knowing they won’t kill Cas but thinking of Charlie and kind of wondering if they will. Dean walks away and we see he has driven the blade into a book, and Cas is still alive. Dean walks away, saying “You and Sam stay the hell away from me. Next time, I wont miss.” And Cas stares at the blade, bleeding, wondering who—what—his friend is yet to become.
It’s the finale next week people! And if you’ve seen the preview you know: Death is totally unavoidable. See you next week for Season Ten’s final episode, “Brother’s Keeper.”