It has been said: “Guilt is a rope that wears thin.” May I add? “Guilt is the rope the Winchesters always use to hang themselves.” This week’s episode was less about an attacking Banshee and more about finding the peace that has been promised for when they are done. Don’t you cry no more? Yeah, right. When you spend time with the Winchester boys, tears are guaranteed.
1. Bed Written
I love seeing the boys in their cozy beds. It makes the bunker seem homier and it provides great visuals for my fan fiction. (Wait. I’ve said too much.) Seriously, though, I love seeing the HuntCave used as more than just a workplace, even if Sam is driven from that cozy bed, plagued with guilt over Lucifer’s truthful taunts about how he abandoned Dean in Purgatory. When he goes to clean his gun (not a euphemism), Dean strolls by in the dead guy robe, wondering what’s bothering him. Cas? Amara? The impending end of the world? Again? Take your pick. Instead? They’ll take a case about retirees who are bashing their own heads in. That’s much better than dealing with your feelings.
2. Duck, Duck Luce
Feeding the ducks. Enjoying a park bench. Turning an angel into mush with the snap of his fingers. Tasting its blood with a casual “hmmmm.” Just a typical vacation day in the life of Lucifer himself. Misha Collins toned down his Pellegrino impersonation a little from last week, which was a good thing. That said, he still made his Cassifer (Lustiel? That’s what Misha Collins prefers.) distinct from Cas in the light-hearted tone of his voice and the—dare I say it?—devil-may-care nature of his laissez faire attitude. He’s in no rush to confront Amara. He’s taking his—and the world’s—sweet old time. (Side note: the moniker and spelling of Cassifer was dictated by Robbie Thompson, the episode writer. I imagine, much like Cas versus Cass, it will be a subject of great debate. Maybe Collins is right and Lustiel is the better choice.)
3. It’s Wonderful, Wonderful
Let’s hear it for a retirement community that’s not depressing, eh? I liked that the Banshee’s choice of human restaurant was a place full of life. So many retirement homes on television shows are depressing, borderline neglectful places were the infirm are merely waiting to die. Oak Park was so lovely it was hard to believe they had openings for their “Early Bird Registrations,” a path Dean considers pursuing before Sam says with a scoff, “We should be so lucky to live long enough.” Way to play the sad trombone, Sam. As Sam reminds Dean, you’re the one who wanted to go out Blaze of Glory Style—preferably while the Bon Jovi song is playing, but Dean says that now he’s more of a Candle in the Wind guy. Dean’s worried about Sam, and he’s wanting him, as he has said before, to get old and fat, chugging Viagra and having grandkids. Maybe, just maybe, he wants that for himself now, too. (And speaking of such, a bonus elderly moment: The Viagra Scene. Not just Dean’s hilarious pun when he called stealing Viagra a “dick move” but also the way he subtly copycats by pocketing a bottle for himself. Apparently that move wasn’t scripted, which begs the question: what does Jensen Ackles think Dean would do with those little blue pills?)
4. Dee, Dee Phone Home
Building on the previous sentiment, I loved that Oak Park was home to such a vivacious and charming resident. Dee Wallace killed it as Mildred Baker, a former singer in a Patsy Cline tribute band who basically represented all of us, in the way that she unabashedly wanted to bag herself a Winchester. Holding onto his hand, and then his knee? Begging him to not leave her? As was said on Twitter: WE ARE ALL MILDRED. She had the sparkliest of smiles and was still able to convey fear and horror. Plus? She got the best one-liners. And she was a bit of a detective herself. “You two are too cute to be FBI agents,” she said, matter of fact. You got that right, honey. No offense, FBI.
5. Come on, Eileen
I absolutely love that Supernatural very organically incorporated a hearing impaired hunter into the episode. Eileen Leahy was, once, the baby from the opening scene whose parents were killed by the Banshee that deafened her, making for a brief but compelling origin story. What I loved even more? The incorporation of sign language and lip reading throughout the episode as both plot point and humor. Sweet Sam, trying to thank Eileen with clumsy sign language and his attempt being appreciated. Eileen reading Dean’s lips and getting the wrong, out-of-context idea of who the boys were. Best of all? Mildred’s aforementioned conversations with Eileen about calling dibs on Dean (more about that later) and talking about how the boys are even cuter walking away. The best part of Eileen, though? She’s a female version of our Seasons One and Two boys—a Legacy looking to avenge the death of her parents, raised by a hunter, spending her whole life training to be one, too. I loved the parallels of her story to Sam’s, especially, and how much they were able to relate to one another, such that he told her he wouldn’t mind just hanging out. I hope Eileen comes back. Shoshanna Stern made me want to hang out with her, too.
6. Primal Scream
Thoughts on the Monster of the Week? It was fun to have a new one. I liked the idea of the Banshee, and I liked the idea of it originating in County Cork and then coming to feed off of the U.S., giving us a chance to meet Eileen and see the subtext of Dean’s vulnerability when it chose him as its next victim. I love the method of trapping her and it giving us new glyphs to puzzle out. The effects, at least on Twitter, seemed to be polarizing, however. Some loved it, some it left cold. I’m somewhere in the middle. I appreciated such details as the way her face blended into the actor’s body in the closeups and the way she swooped around the corporeal characters so smoothly. Other things kind of brought me out of the moment a little. In any case, it was a tremendous amount of work done by the VFX team, and they do their job very well, especially on a television budget.
7. Put Your Hand on My Shoulder
Dean goes back to the Bunker to get a gold blade to kill the Banshee (stash that in the trunk next to the brass, iron and silver) and he bumps into Cassilucistielfer (okay, now that’s just ridiculous) trashing the Bunker, looking for files on the Darkness. Got to give old Luci credit—he gives good Cas as he uncovers the truth: Dean is connected to Amara deeply and he doesn’t know if he can resist her. Cassifer (I surrender, Robbie) comforts Dean as Cas would, holding his shoulder and assuring him that he would not deal with Amara alone. Of course, as soon as Dean can’t see, that mega-watt sinister grin emerges, and we know Cas is definitely not steering that ship. If you catch my drift.
8. Laugh Track
For all of the screaming and all of the broments, little and big, this episode had some pretty funny lines in it as well. Other than the Viagra joke, here are some of my favorites:
Mildred, signing: “I got dibs on the other guy. You can have the tall one. I’m not much of a mountain climber anymore.” Eileen in signed reply, “You sure you don’t want both?”
Sam, about Mildred: “Does this mean she has a shot?” Dean: “Well, I always did have a thing for Blanche on the Golden Girls.” Sam: “Really?” Dean: “Hey, don’t judge what you don’t understand, Sammy.”
Dean, to Mildred: “Your hand is still on my knee.” Mildred: “I could move it up.”
Eileen to Sam: “You can’t call me, though. I mean, you can call, but I won’t answer.”
Mildred, signing, “Wow” with the finger spin and a face-splitting grin as she watches the boys walk away.
This show has made me laugh and cry, and, at its best, has done both. The only thing I didn’t like about the dose of humor in this episode? Finding out Sam is into Sophia. Because as Golden Girls go? I am definitely a Dorothy.
9. A Room with a View
Before the big gank, Mildred and Dean share a lovely little moment as she sits Dean down for a spell in front of a sunset “almost as gorgeous” as he is, and tells him her thoughts on life. She asks him when the last time was that he even watched a sunset and he can’t remember. She wants him to someday stop and live his life without worrying about things going bump in the night. She reminds him that she was on the road once, too, but she followed her heart and settled down to retire and appreciate the little things. She wants Dean to follow his heart, too. And she thinks his heart is taken, and that’s why it’s not the age difference keeping them apart. Little does she know who has that hold over Dean and what she could do with it.
10. Please Forgive Me
Sam’s Lucifer-induced nightmares are what he has most felt burdened by since Season Eight, both at its beginning and its end: not looking for Dean while he was in Purgatory. That’s a heavy load to carry for three years, especially with all else he has had to bear. He cannot even confirm Eileen’s query about his hunting with Dean without qualifying it, saying, “I wouldn’t do this without my brother. He’s had my back all the way. Even when I let him down.” Later, in the bunker, Sam tosses Dean a beer without looking and the best of the episode broments occurs: Sam finally confesses how Lucifer almost brought him down by inducing his guilt over abandoning him. And Dean? Dean finally has a chance to truly forgive him.
Sam: I should have looked for you. When you were in Purgatory I…I should have turned over every stone but I didn’t. I stopped. And I’ve never forgiven myself for it.
Dean: Well, I have. Hey, that’s in the past man—what’s done is done. All that matters now, all that’s ever mattered, is that we’re together.
They head for bed after Dean’s semi-pathetic excuse for why the Banshee attacked him, and Sam takes a moment to reminisce and hope for the future. He opens a memory box with the sweetest pictures of him and Dean as kids and the homemade Samulet from the 200th episode and adds the retirement brochure with a little smile. Forgiven, he has finally found peace and he heads to sleep. Dean, meanwhile? Is far from peaceful, left awake with the knowledge that he is Amara’s and she is his. And he has no idea what to do to let that go.
So where are we heading and whose head might be on the block in the season finale? Your guess is as good as mine. The tension has only just begun its ever-maddening build on the road so far, and we ought to be insane by the penultimate. Thankfully, there are still lots of Winchestery moments to be had over the next few months. Yippee! See you next week for episode 12, “Don’t You Forget About Me.”