As a parent? I can tell you that growth spurts and hormonal mood swings are a bitch. Imagine them from the perspective of the embodiment of an evil older than God himself. That’s something even Taylor Swift and ice cream can’t fix. In this Jensen Ackles directed episode, Amara’s a growing girl, Crowley’s her long suffering guardian, Rowena’s on the run, and Sam and Dean are trying to save Cas, who has succumbed to a spell that makes him kill. Again.
1. Resting Witch Face
Ladies and gentlemen, Supernatural presents the MEGA COVEN…for when a Grand Coven just isn’t enough. I can’t say enough about how much I loved watching Rowena (and her glorious portrayer, Ruth Connell) trying to sell her concept of the greatest coven of all—and its cheesy nickname.
As usual, she cuts a fine and elegant form as she presents her idea to three witches she is trying to recruit and the result? Doubt in the form of crickets. When they mock her she’s irritated enough, but when they inform her that Crowley still reigns? She turns them to dust, leading one to wonder: does she happen to have a broom?
2. Search and Seizure
Back in the HuntCave, the boys are looking for baby Amara, not realizing she is becoming of the age that she wants to consume the souls of, say, 5 Seconds of Summer. Sam, as ever, is virtually chained to the laptop while Cas is literally chained to a chair, fighting off the curse of his puppy love. Sam contends that the only way to find Amara and release Cas from the spell is to solicit the help of the unreliable trinity: God, Metatron and Rowena. (That idea goes over about as well as you’d expect it would.)
Dean, on the other hand, wants an audience with the King, believing he will help them track Rowena down to help him save his best friend, prompting the following adorable exchange:
Dean: “Come on, Crowley, pick up. I’ve left you a dozen messages! Why isn’t he answering the phone?
Sam: “Because he’s a dick. And that’s not breaking news.”
Cas and Sam know: Crowley won’t help Cas. Not even a little. And Metatron? He’s still Thelma-sans-Louising it in Cas’ pimp mobile. Which prompts another adorable exchange:
Sam: “No accidents, incident, violations, or anything remotely interesting involving a crappy ‘78 Continental Mark V.”
Cas: “You think it’s crappy?”
Sam looks to Dean for help.
Dean, to Cas: “Eye of the beholder.”
Cas tells the boys that Metatron loves waffles, leading Dean to wryly remark that they can search every restaurant in the entire country, before Cas flashes back to the spell, falling to the floor in full on convulsions, leading to a third adorable exchange as he recovers:
Sam: “Cas! Hey! You okay?”
Cas: “Relative to what?”
Dean: “You know where you are? What’s the date?”
Cas: “Earth. Several billion years from the beginning.”
The boys vow to help Cas, keeping him calm and warm (Dean wrapping a blanket around Cas’ shoulders and patting his chest set many ships to sail, I’m sure.) Cas says he can hear angel radio again, and that the angels are looking for the “perp” aka: Metatron. If they want to find him first, they’d better do it quick. The chemistry between these three is lovely—always has been. In any other hands, I might say that Castiel has long outlived his true usefulness on the show but I can’t help but say that I don’t want Misha Collins to go. His role has evolved into the boys’ best friend, and a friend is something they sorely need. Especially one with a longer shelf life than a Spinal Tap drummer.
3. Home Schooling
“Uncle Crowley” has a new charge. Amara is in the house with a laptop of her own, and rather than playing Agario and watching Girl Meets World, her new nanny has her watching Hitler’s Nuremberg speeches and footage of natural disasters. Amara asks Crowley to protect her from God, who sealed her away with a move she refuses to discuss. I find it interesting that God keeps coming up in this episode. Might we be lucky enough to see the return of Rob Benedict? When it comes to that wish it’s my lips to Chuck’s ears. (Rrraaaooowwrrr.)
4. Ladies Who Lunch
Poor Rowena. Still trying to sell her Mega Coven idea and getting silence for her trouble. She takes two potential new recruits to brunch at Café Elta (which, as fandom knows, is Jensen Ackles’ wife Danneel Harris Ackles’ given first name, so say it with me: awwwwwwww) and their reception of the Mega Coven idea is more lukewarm than their tea. When she tells them about her possession of The Book of the Damned, however, things get a bit more interesting—and not just to her dining companions. Crowley, still stuck on his Oedipal complex, has demonic eyes everywhere, and a (literally) damned waiter goes after the recruits, killing one before Rowena can cast a bitchin’ spell that makes all the furniture go Les Misérables and form a barricade between her and her doom.
The boys go Fed suit on the remaining witch, who tries to demur and let them know she has rights but Dean reminds her, “I have a fake badge,” with a wink and a smile that would have made me tell him…pretty much anything. Ever.
Sam dumps her purse and she must have the weirdest Ipsy subscription ever because it is filled with all things witchy—chicken bones, hex bags, a pentagram. She tries to cast a spell on them (and not to steal kisses, which is a TOTAL WASTE) but fails, and ends up defeated, scrying for them after the boys make it abundantly clear that she has no choice. (Recapper’s note: Okay, writers, I know exposition can be tough. But Sam’s lines about the definition of scrying were a little awkward, especially if he knew that both Dean and she knew what he was talking about. Haven’t seen that level since Season One, actually, when exposition was all.) The witch ends up showing them exactly where Rowena is. And Rowena? Is on the run.
5. Soul Food
Amara, like most of us, talks to herself. Of course, when she does it it’s in the mirror, and it’s to her swirly, grown-up visage. Amara reminds herself that God did this to them and that He must pay for what He’s done. Grown up Amara reminds her that she needs to remember her purpose—and that they are mightier than God. Of course, since she’s a total hottie that rocks a black gown, Amara’s in a big hurry to grow up and that’s going to eventually mean the consumption of a lot of souls. (Fortunately? Crowley’s put meat suits on the cafeteria menu, so he is happy to provide.)
Later, Crowley tries to bribe Amara with a bloody dress (methinks she would have preferred its occupant) and “Every Little Girls’ Favorite”—the Uncle Hoppity pop up book (which she disses, in favor of Dante’s Inferno—in the original Italian.) Amara confesses the world doesn’t impress her, but she’s had a lot of time to think about how she’s going to fix it. Right after dessert, which Crowley provides in the form of cupcakes and sweets. Amara? Eats her Nanny instead, calmly thanking Uncle Crowley and causing him to pause and if I’m not mistaken? The look on his face is definitely one of wondering if he can break this colt before she stampedes him.
Amara’s goal? Is to change the world from what God wanted. But how? Crowley claims he wants everyone to be evil but does he? Where’s the challenge in that? Amara says Crowley’s not seeing the big picture. And maybe she’ll tell him what that is—after he brings her more delicious black smoke.
6. An Angel and a Demon Walk Into a Bar
Old joke, new twist. Anyone else find it interesting that a worker-bee Demon and a Angelic grunt are sharing libations and commiserations? Apparently, everyone’s in a panic in both Heaven and Hell, leading us all to realize that the Darkness must be something pretty awful if both the white and the black hats are afraid of her. (Recapper’s note: favorite line of the exchange? “After Hannah died Heaven’s pretty much been a suck sandwich.”) This little scene seems more meaningful than it should be. What’s going to happen if the low level dudes from both sides team up? Nothing good, that’s for sure.
7. Three’s a Crowd
New joke: a cabbie in a straw hat, a fake blonde with a bag of spells, and a hunter with enchanted handcuffs end up in a ‘67 Impala. (Feel free to leave your take on the punchline in the comments.) I haven’t seen this much adorable trio flirting since Three’s Company. I mean, seriously—how cute are they when the world is going to hell in a handbasket? The. Cutest. Rowena ends up back at the HuntCave, and though the Book of the Damned isn’t with her the Codex is (which reminds me of Charlie AND Felicia Day in one fell swoop—sadness.) Apparently Rowena has agreed to heal Cas in exchange for her freedom but Dean wants a bonus prize: the Book of the Damned.
Rowena finds it all amusing. When Dean threatens to give her up to Crowley, she informs him that she has all the power, and Ruth Connell does it all with her most delicious line delivery yet. “Call. Him. If I’m dead, you’ve got a big fat pile of nothing. No book. Ever. And your friend with the bent halo? He goes foaming at the mouth mad and dies. Your turn!” I swear, this show and their redheads. Girl crushes galore!
(Also? Bonus Dean Winchester close-up. You’re welcome.)
8. Bang a Gong, Get it On
Speaking of talking to themselves, Cas is trying to use the laptop to do some investigating of his own. It’s so cute, watching him hack into the Missouri Highway Patrol Intra Agency Communications site, trying to find his beloved car and its waffle eating occupant. It’s even cute when he stumbles across what appears to be a very confusing “Fortune Nookie” website, clearly put there by a horny Dean. Before he can puzzle it out, though, he ends up flashing back again and breaks free, worrying the guys and sending the reluctant trio on the hunt.
Rowena offers to be a team with the boys, and to break up the road trip with her “strapping lads” with a singsong, prompting a couple of duets of “No!” (“Oh my God, I love it when they talk at the same time!”) She clues Dean in on Sam’s deal with her to kill Crowley if she removed the Mark of Cain from Dean’s arm, and how Sam’s a welsher, taking delight in the new conflict between the brothers. Secrets, Sam. Secrets. It’s been eleven years. HAVE WE LEARNED NOTHING?!
9. “Cas. It’s me. We’re family. We need you. I need you.”
Cas, meanwhile has gone doge—I mean rogue— pursuing a particular young woman (for reasons that I am unclear on—anyone know why her?) intent on maybe eating her alive. Dean looks for him, passing a pretty blonde with a “Hey!” who tells him to get a life and I am willing to buy the Darkness and witchcraft and angels and demons and all of it but a straight woman? Turning down Dean Winchester? Uh, yeah. Not a chance.
Anyway, Dean finds Cas and is once again put in the position of reminding him who he is and that he can fight a spell, all the while being beaten near to death for his trouble. Eventually, Rowena stops him, at the hands of Sam and his witch killing bullets. Cas has a powerful seizure but ends up a weak version of himself again, with Dean, holding his face and patting his chest to reassure him (and again, with the ships.) Rowena, of course, is no fool, and while the boys are distracted with Cas’ miraculous recovery she flicks Sam’s gun away, throws him into a pile of boxes and locks them behind a gate. She’s not taking any chances.
Cas tries to apologize, both for the beating and for the loss of Rowena, but Dean will hear none of it. He won’t even allow any healing via Cas’ grace—he says that he deserved what he got and leaves it at that. Dean knows—they have bigger fish to fry in the form of the Darkness, and maybe that’s what he means.
Dean won’t ever stop beating himself up about releasing the Darkness. Maybe he just needs the wounds to be physical.
10. Baddy Day Care
Amara has a new nanny—a demon dude who looks like her next meal—and Crowley wants him to limit her snacking to avoid her from being an entitled, pudgy kid. He’s trying to run Hell as it has always been, but of course, Amara, like any selfish tween, won’t hear of it. When Crowley finds her next? Nanny has become her snack, she’s had a growth spurt, and her smile has become positively demonic. She tells Uncle Crowley that she is once again hungry, and he proposes a wait and a chat. “I said, I’m hungry!” she replies, and Crowley is made abundantly aware that to the Darkness? He is more serf than King.
Next week? Is the episode we’ve waited for for eleven years: the story of Supernatural as seen from her third most important character. Join me and the girl who’s seen even more Winchester butt than the Busty Asian Beauties for episode four, “Baby.” See you then!