The plot she is a thickening. And by thickening? I’m talking soup to cement. So much happened this week—we’d better dive right in!
1. Sam’s True Value
Sam’s still determined to save “all of the people,” so he’s holed up in Superior Nebraska’s shopping mecca, Bob’s Hardware, gathering up all sorts of parts to make…what, exactly? A still sentient yet zombie-like infected roams the streets, on the hunt for new vics. (Hey look! The zombie lost his shoe, too! Sam will sympathize.) The infected hears a voice and follows it right to Sam, holding a—get this—homemade cattle prod!
As Sam zaps him to take him prisoner we can’t help but appreciate Sam’s ingenuity. From putting his phone in a metal bucket to amplify the voice bait to knowing how to craft a taser from parts like a tackle box, some electrical tape, a mop handle and a lantern battery, our Man of Letters, even while infected himself, is on his brain game and frankly? To a geek like me? That’s hotter than hell.
2. So Scary Baby
Dean takes Jenna the cop and baby Amara to her grandmother’s house in Iowa and speaking of hotter than hell? Dean has a beautiful girl in his arms, and rather than being jealous it makes us all swoon. Dean has always been so good with kids of all ages—it’s part the softer side of him that we love so much. “You’re so great with her,” Jenna says, prompting Dean to demur, “What can I say? Chicks dig me.” Jenna may not, Dean, but on behalf of us straight ladies allow me to confirm. Yes. Yes, they do. (Recapper’s note: I loveit when a character’s sexuality is casual on a TV show. Charlie being gay wasn’t much of a plot point, she just…was. Jenna being gay? Same deal. People’s race, religion, sexual orientation—when it’s just a fact about them as much as their occupation or height or how they like to dress reinforces diversity in a wonderful way. People aren’t their stats—they’re just people. Or, you know, eventual soulless murderers. Same diff.)
Turns out? Baby Amara? She’s…gifted. Is that a nice way to put that she’s the female version of Damien from the Omen? Here’s hoping, because, as we’ll find out later, she’s the last (sorta)person that you’d want to insult.
3. Mercy General
Sam works with his new friend, affectionately known as BiteMe, to try to suss out a cure for the thing that’s creeping up his throat even faster than I want to. “Do you wanna know how much time you got left?” BiteMe asks. “I wanna know everything,” Sam says quietly, and there it is again. The man who tries to think his way out of everything. Sam may try and fail almost as much as Cas (well, no one tries and fails that much, actually) but his genuine need to save everyone is actually quite selfless and beautiful. Turns out that for answers? BiteMe wants a bribe and it’s PUDDING!!!!! (pantslessness not included, thank Chuck.) Apparently the darkness virus varies in its incubation period, but, in the end, everyone dies, and BiteMe knows that their best option is just to off themselves before it takes hold.
Jared Padalecki is wonderful here as Sam’s optimistic and terrified sides war with one another in the set of his jaw and the tiniest tremble in his lip. He shows us the battle between Sam’s determination and fear—his doubt and his certainty—with these subtle gestures, and remind me why he and Jensen Ackles have never won Emmys again?
4. Angles of the Warning
Boy, Ephraim and Jonah are the Thing One and Thing Two of angelic dickery aren’t they? They cut and stab and slash at Cas while he begs for mercy and man, Misha Collins’ screams went right through me. “Mercy, brother, please,” Cas begs, answering, when asked, “I’m an angel of the Lord.” (Recapper’s note: where, exactly, does an angel blade need to pierce to kill? Just heart and throat? Is that how it’s always been? Please feel free to let me know in the comments.)
Cas fights the pain and fatigue of both his curse and the torture as he begs his “brothers” to believe him about what he knows about Metatron. They threaten to cut off his extremities, including his junk (aren’t Angels supposed to be junkless?) and we realize that Cas’ curse? Might just be the least of his troubles.
5. Baby Signs
Jenna calls the Ghostbusters—I mean, Dean (again, same diff)—and calls him back to Iowa to examine Amara and her new talent for embedding blocks reading “FEED ME” into walls and not since Seymour have we seen that phrase used so creepily. As he heads down the path to Grandmother’s house, we get our only long distance broment as Dean asks for Sam’s input, referring to the wave of the Darkness mist as a giant, crazy fart and making Sam laugh.
Sam lies to Dean (must be Wednesday) about how things are going in Zombieland, and, as he frantically researches, we see that BiteMe’s pudding was his last meal. Sam’s very life is on the clock, and it’s ticking fast.
6. “There’s no singing in Supernatural!”
But wait—apparently there is! As Sam tries to study infectious diseases he hears the familiar refrains of “O Death” coming from the hallway and between this and the pudding I am loving the nods back to episodes past. The vocalist is the beautiful Billie, a reaper who knows Sam by name but says he isn’t her type and that’s okay, Billie, because he is my type enough for the both of us. She lets him, know in the worst of predictive ways, that if Sam or Dean die again it will truly be the end. The Reapers, as a payback for the killing of Death, intend to toss a biologically dead Sam or Dean into the Empty—“And nothing comes back from that.” She tells Sam he is dying—unclean in the Biblical sense—and she’ll see him real soon.
As Sam’s infection spreads, so does his desperation, driving him to chapel to beg for help from God. In spite of all that has happened to them, Sam has always been a believer in God, almost as much as he believes that he is the root of all evil. He offers to die for a sign to save Dean. “Please. Dean deserves better. Dean deserves a life,” he prays, his eyes shining with unshed tears. “We need your help, God. We need to know there’s hope. We need a sign.”
And a sign he gets—he falls to the ground seeing himself horrifically, hellishly tortured (to the point that I actually winced not for Sam but for Jared Padalecki) screaming in pain. “What does that MEAN?!” he shouts, and we both want and don’t want to know the same.
7. Sister from Another Mister
As Ephraim and Jonah debate over which part of Cas to neuter, He-annah comes in to save him. Cas still cares about Hannah and s/he still clearly loves him, trying to heal his curse and failing. Cas tells Hannah about the release of the Darkness. “God help us,” she says. “I wouldn’t count on that,” Cas replies, bitter and defeated. When Hannah asks Cas to give up the Winchesters he figures out the motivation asking if Hannah hates him just as much as the other angels do. She can’t answer. It doesn’t matter anyway. Hannah’s bad cops to her good break back in, intent on using Naomi’s lobotomy device to crack Cas like a coconut.
In the end, Hannah cannot watch her friend in pain, and tries to stop it, getting beaten for her efforts. Cas, in response? Totally hulks out. His curse kicks in and spits the machine right out of his head and he attacks the Blunder Twins, killing Jonah with his own blade. Hannah looks to Cas for forgiveness but it is too late. Ephraim runs Hannah through the throat and kills her instantly.
Cas, in his rage once again not much more than a rabid dog, takes a beating and then kills Ephraim, leaving three dead angels at his feet and despair in his heart.
8. Bless Me Father, For You Have Sinned
Dean arrives to Jenna’s grandmother’s house to help her with what sounds like a possessed Amara “We got another problem,” Jenna says. “Figures,” Dean replies, before entering to find an exorcist named…Father Crowley? Oh, crap.
After calling Dean “a rather scrumptious young altar boy” and no…gross…don’t…he and Dean go outside to assess the situation. Apparently when there is a demonic possession Crowley uses his contacts in the Catholic Church (including priests with a taste for things we can’t even imagine and again…no…gross…don’t!) to check it out to see if it’s one he has sent or if there’s a demon gone rogue. “So you think there’s a demon in there?” Dean asks. “Not even a little bit,” Crowley says. He knows that what’s in there? Old and deep and dark and powerful? It’s way more than a just a petty demon. In there? Is the Darkness made flesh.
9. Race for the Cure
Sam’s infection rages. He begins to lose control, hearing his own voice in his head reassuring him he is fine, seeing Billie again in his head, calling him biblically unclean. He staggers to the laptop, looks up “biblical purification” and finds what he needs, highlighted as though it were a—dare we think it?—sign. “Everyone will be purified by fire as a sacrifice is purified by salt.” “Holy oil.” Ahhhhhh. So flaming holy oil won’t just purify safety glasses, it seems. It will purify the infected, too.
Sam soaks some gauze in holy oil and lights it up, holding it to his neck while his head tries to tell him “Stop—Wait—Don’t do this to yourself,” intent on allowing the infection to rage on. Fortunately, Sam is stronger and doesn’t allow himself to pull away. He is purified, and using the fairly awesome musical cue of “Sugar Shack” by, appropriately, The Fireballs, he is able to draw infected to the chapel and purify them too, in a ring of holy fire.
There is a moment where Sam’s face is a battle again—he’s not really sure if he is killing the infected or helping them—until he is finally relieved to see they are clean. “Let’s go save the rest of them,” he says, and I am so happy for him. The war rages on, but Sammy has had victory in this one battle, at least, and right now? That’s even more than any of us could have hoped for.
Baby Amara don’t want no stinkin’ formula. She feeds on human souls, and Jenna is her first victim. Soulless Jenna kills her grandmother without care, liking her new self just as much as Soulless Sam did in season six. As Dean and Crowley investigate Grandma’s death, Crowley tries to advise strategy, prompting Dean to say, “Listen, Velma—this isn’t the Scooby Gang, okay? So either shut up or get out!” Crowley, annoyed, mutters that he’s way more of a Daphne, and there it is again, that little moment of humor that makes this episode a winner.
Dean goes to Amara and they lock eyes, causing Dean to realize they are bound—because Baby Amara is the Darkness, and now Dean knows it too. As Dean battles Jenna, Amara turns all Twilight: Breaking Dawn Renesmee and turns into a full on little girl. Just as Jenna is about to kill Dean, Crowley kills Jenna instead. “I was getting bored,” he explains. “You’re welcome.” “Where are you going?” Dean asks. “To see the child that eats souls.” Crowley knows that Dean can’t kill Amara—that in the end, because of their evil link, he will protect her. Crowley on the other hand? Wants nothing more than to use her for all she’s worth.
Dean and Sam end up back at the HuntCave, determined to battle on, finding it left in disarray. Dean muses about maids in little uniforms with big…until something shifts. What is it? What it should be. What it has to be. Cas, weakly begging for help.
Final question: is there anything creepier than an evil little kid? Nope. Bucket of nope their isn’t. Which we see clearly when we close on the beautiful Amara, being lured into a van by Crowley with the promise of candy, in the form of a family full of souls, just waiting to be eaten alive.
Whew! After that one I’m as exhausted as an angel after a torture filled killing spree! Fortunately, next week will invigorate me as our newest favorite redhead, Rowena, returns in episode three, “The Bad Seed.” See you then!