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Supernatural recap – “Goodbye, Stranger”

Hello, Barbara here. Welcome to the first of my Supernatural recaps for Sweatpants & Coffee. They are lengthy, swoony, and filled with spoiley spoilers that are spoileriffic, so proceed only if you have seen the episode or, like me, don’t care because you will find any excuse to spend a lot more time with the Winchesters. Particularly Dean. And his firm jaw and beautiful lips. Wait. What was I doing? Oh. Right.

We open on Dean, slinking stealthily through a darkened empty warehouse, gun drawn, ready for anything. Except, apparently for the punch that knocks him on his ass. He looks up, and sees that the deliverer of the roundhouse that took him down (this week) was none other than…Castiel? What the hummunah? Dean puts his hand up, pleading with Cas to stop, and, blank expression in his baby blues, Cas reaches out and casually breaks Dean’s arm. Cas robotically pulls out his angel blade, and despite Dean’s pleas, drives it into his chest, killing him, watching him choke out his last breath. And the Destiel worshippers cry, because although they wanted to see Cas plunge into Dean with all of their creepy little hearts, they never thought the ending would be anything other than happy.

The lights come up, and, to no one’s surprise, Naomi strides in, praising Cas for killing Dean without hesitation. She tells him he is finally ready, and the camera pans up to show dozens—maybe hundreds—of Dean corpses. Apparently Cas has been practicing this moment for a long, long time. Looking at the field of broken, handsome, devil-may-care bodies makes me swallow hard and quote Dean: “I think I’m gonna be sick.”

Back at HuntCave, Dean is trying to sort through the odd collection of weapons stockpiled there, and is pissed. “Would it kill these asshats to label the boxes in something other than hieroglyphics?” he asks, in his rough yet tender drawl. Swoon. I love the way he says, “Asshat.” Sammy is busily working away on his laptop, ignoring Dean completely. Dean opens what looks like a small Fabrege egg, and, to my disappointment, a vengeful fairy with murder on her mind does not fly out. Opportunities missed, show.

Sammy starts coughing. Dean asks, “Hey, Doc Holliday, are you all right over there?” Sam says he is—just “wrong pipe.” Apparently Sam’s pipes are chock full of blood, but he ain’t gonna tell Dean that.

Dean continues to rummage, coming across something that makes him smile: a vintage copy of Busty Asian Beauties! Only because olde timey-time porne was classier than it is now, it is headlined, “Voluptuous Asian Lovelies,” which also sounds somehow less vaguely racist. He flicks through it, saying with a saucy grin, “Koniche-wahhh” and I am jealous of a two dimensional picture being looked at by a fictional character. Sam remains unimpressed, even when Dean asks if he knows what this would go for on eBay. “Nope. Why? Do you?” Sam asks. “No,” lies Dean. “Maybe,” admits Dean. “Shut up,” demands Dean.

Finally (sadly) the witty repartee ends to focus on the job. Sam tells Dean there are dead bodies showing up all over the Midwest. “How is this us?” Dean asks. “Because each of the victims had severe burns around their eyes hands and feet, puncture wounds through the backs of their hands, eyes and internal organs liquified.” “That sounds like us,” Dean concedes. There is no link between the vics, either. Dean postulates some crazy theories as to what it might be (“Are we talking a Maximum Overdrive situation?”) and Sam says he doesn’t know but they should head out in five. Unless Dean needs more time with Miss October. “Make it ten, Dean says, grinning happily, until he sees Sam’s bloody tissues in the trash. He eyes Sam’s retreating back with concern. Mmmm. Dean’s eyes. Sorry. I am easily distracted when I watch SPN.

The boys head first to question a husband of one of the vics, Ann Morton. He says she had no enemies, even after she went a little “out of sorts” over the past week. The boys wonder what that means, and the husband brings them to the basement, where apparently, Ann created a huge true-to-scale model of the town instead of eating, sleeping and not being crazy. There are dozens of bags of dirt hanging over it by twine, and that isn’t creepy at all. Apparently, the dirtbags (ha!) represent the holes she dug in the ground—as much as 10 – 15 feet down. Also? Hubby saw her eyes turn black, but he must just have been seeing things. Right? RIGHT?!?! Sam and Dean look at each other, knowingly. Dean, surprisingly, doesn’t remind Sam that no matter what crazy-ass demon they might find, Sam can’t date her.

They leave, and Dean is jubilant. Someone is killing demons, and he wants to send a card. Or flowers. He wonders what kind of flowers you send for that. Suggestions, anyone? Sam is confused—what seems right about this? “I like the part about killing demons. That sounds right,” Dean says. Sam is annoyed.

Dean pulls his baby up to the next location. Sam has found out through phone calls that all of the vics got a little “beautiful mind” before they died. He wonders what the vics were all looking for. They head up the stairs to talk to Wendy Rice, who was the last person to see Ann alive. Wendy greets them in huge hair curlers, and seems cheerful. Sam and Dean introduce themselves as Agent Lynne and Agent Tandy (which of course is in homage to Jeff Lynne and Richard Tandy from ELO. And I love Jeff Lynne—especially his solo work—so I know this is the boys’ way of tipping their hats to me. Personally. Thanks, guys. I love you, too. Wait—where were we? Oh. Right.)

Wendy invites them in and tells them that she barely knew Ann, but that Wendy’s PhD work is on the history of the town.  Ann wanted her help to find an orchard and needed an expert. Apparently Ann’s assitant is on the way over to collect a map from Wendy. And that’s him now!

Of course it isn’t. It’s three demons with piss poor timing. Wendy shrieks as she sees their black eyes, and Sam and Dean jump into the fray. There is much throwing about of people and I swear that doors and coffee tables are made of balsa wood in their universe. One of the three demons runs out with the map, and one escapes his meatsuit before Dean can gank him, diving to inhabit Wendy. The third demon is about to finish cleaning Sam’s clock when all of a sudden he ignites with the powerful glow of deadly Angel Power. Cas is there, holding Wendemon by the rollers, and he’s not gonna take it anymore. Dean looks at me—I mean Cas—with surprise and longing. This is not going to help the Destiel theories any.

Dean offers Sam some ice for his shoulder, while Cas secures the Wendemon in a devil’s trap. He plans to interrogate her. Sam wonders where the hell Cas has been. “You heard me, didn’t you,” Dean says, and Cas admits he did hear Dean’s prayers to protect Sam during the God Trials, but that isn’t why he is there. Cas confesses he has been hunting demons, and the dead vics are his hand-of-Gody work. Sam asks why, and immediately, Cas is asking Naomi in heaven what to tell them. “The truth,” she says. “Most of it, anyway.” She wonders if the Winchesters can get them closer. I wonder that myself, Naomi. Back in the room, Cas admits he is looking for the other half of the demon tablet, solo. This makes Dean testy. Cas tells the boys that Crowley has demons out searching for Lucifer’s crypts. Dozens of them. “Why the Storage Wars?” Sam asks. “What the hell are they all looking for?” And Cas is back with Naomi, telling her he wants to tell the boys the truth. She forces him to lie, sending him back. He tells them that there is a parchment allowing them to decipher the Demon Tablet without a prophet. “A demonic decoder ring,” Dean says. “In Crowley’s hands. Awesome.” Apparently, this is why demons have been possessing locals (including a historian, a real estate agent, etc. Crowley’s not new to this, kids.) Cas stands, abrupt, saying he is going to go find out what the “strange haired demon in the kitchen” knows. “He puts the ‘ass’ in Cas, huh?” Dean asks. Sam agrees Cas is off. They discuss it for a minute until Cas says through the wall, annoyed, “You know, I can hear you both. I am a celestial being.” Oops.

In the kitchen, Wendemon is taunting them, revealing that Wendy is a Sam girl. So that works out for me, then. Before Dean can even thoroughly insult her, Cas drives his blade into her hand viciously, making her scream and shocking the boys. “I thought angels were supposed to be the good cops,” Wendemon snarls, making Cas stab her in her other hand. She begs, and then reveals they have a hostage—one of Crowley’s pets. She is being kept at a hotel, because she knows where the crypts are, since she saw them built back in the day. Sam asks about the parchment. “WHAT parchment?” Wendemon snarls. Dean demands she stop lying. We flash quickly to Naomi who commands Cas: “KILL IT!” and then flash to Cas stabbing Wendemon in the chest, stunning Sam. Both Winchesters try to protest, but Cas says he doesn’t want them to slow him down, and disappears, heading for the hotel and the hostage. Sam and Dean are pissed, and storm out to try to catch up.

Cut to the Impala, racing to the hotel. The boys look up and see the blinding Angel Murder Light go off upstairs, multiple times. They bust into the room seeing the slaughtered demons Cas has dispatched in a pile. “Thanks for waiting,” Sam says, deadpan. “The hostage is in there,” Cas says, blank. They open the door to see a blonde, savagely beaten Meg who greets Dean with “Aren’t you a little short for a storm trooper?” AND I LOVE HER!!!!

Dean has to ask Meg a very important question as they begin their investigation: “What’s up with the hair?” RIGHT?!?! Apparently it wasn’t Meg’s idea, it was Crowley’s, and “…it’s just another reason I want to stab him in the face.” The murdersmile she punctuates that with shows us all that demons are chicks, too. We all hate a bad haircut.

Apparently, Meg has only been giving ballpark leads to Crowley and his minions to take a break from constant torture. “Why lie?” Dean asks. Meg needed to buy herself some time. “Dummy.” Harsh, though I concede Dean is the brawn of the operation. Mmmmm. Dean’s brawn. Anyway, Sam is pissed because a lot of innocent people died so Meg could “buy herself some time.” Meg looks at him flatly. “Hi. I’m Meg. I’m a demon,” she reminds him, and I love her with the fiery burning of 1,000 suns.

Meg tells them that thus far the crypts have been empty and that someone has been icing demons to boot. In the middle of her sentence, Cas is back in Heaven, telling Naomi that Meg will out them. “Do I have to kill her?” he asks, and there is a little twinge of pain in his voice. He agrees to get Naomi to use her instead. When he flashes back, Meg is in the middle of telling them the real mission: there is an angel tablet. “This is news to me as well,” Castiel lies awkwardly. His tactics with the demons never revealed this, he insists. Dean calls him on it, saying he watched Cas “zero dark thirty” the demons and he was pretty damned persuasive. Meg interrupts to remind them all that she is a liar and they are hunted. “So, who’s up for fleeing?” “I am!” I shout to her. Wishing we could co-star on a buddy cop show.

They tell Meg they need her help and take her to Ann Morton’s crazy town model/map. She points out the crypt location and then asks for booze. Oh, Meg. You scampy little lush. Dean gets Sam alone (shut it, you Wincest pervs) and they agree: Cas was lying. And if the demon tablet closes the gates of hell, what does an angel tablet do?

We cut to Cas, gently treating Meg’s festering wounds. “You really do know how to make a girl’s nethers quiver, don’t you?” Meg asks. “I am aware of how to do that,” Cas says. Rrraooowrrr. (Megstiel shippers, you may commence.) “Why are you so sweet on me, Clarence?” Meg asks. “I don’t know,” Cas admits, and my heart grows three sizes. “And I still don’t know who Clarence is,” Cas admits. He’s friggin’ adorable. “Would it kill you to watch a movie or read a book?” Meg asks, slugging down some liquor. “A movie? No,” Cas replies. “But a book with the proper spells, yeah. It could theoretically kill me.” I think Cas has Asperger’s syndrome sometimes, or is the celestial equivalent of Sheldon, from The Big Bang Theory. He and Meg flirt a little more. She wants to know if he is himself again or if he is still crazy town. “I’m just me,” he says. And that’s enough, say I. “So your noodle’s back in order?” Meg asks. “My noodle remembers everything. I think it’s a pretty good noodle,” he agrees. Oh we’re all sure you have a wonderful noodle, Cas. Especially Meg, who wants to know if he really remembers everything. “If you’re referring to the Pizza Man, yes, I remember the Pizza Man,” Cas says. “And it’s a good memory.” And Meg and I both swoon a little.

The boys figure out the crypt must be below an abandoned building. “And you really think we can trust Megstiel?” Dean asks. NO LIE! He actually says that! This show loves its fandom. (If you want more proof of that, watch the Supernatural Shake video.) Sam doesn’t trust them, but what choice do they have?

Meg and Cas are still bonding. There is major chemistry between those two. Apparently Meg misses the apocalypse, because everything was clear: she was bad, he was good, now it’s all messy. “I’m kind of good, which sucks,” she says. “You’re kind of bad, which is actually all manner of hot.” RIGHT, MEG?!?!? Cas is intrigued, as are we all. “If we survive this, I wanna order some pizza and…” and I think she says something about moving some furniture around but I am distracted because I know what it means to “order some pizza” in this universe. She asks Cas if he understands. “No, I…I…” Cas says. Meg looks at him meaningfully. “Wait, actually. Yes, I…” Cas begins before Dean interrupts with an ill-timed “Let’s roll, campers.” Damn it, Dean! Way to demon block your best friend!

The demon that got away calls his boss, who is, of course, Crowley. Crowley appears as the demon tells him there is no crypt, no co-horts and, most important, no Meg.  Crowley is annoyed and disgusted and eloquent as only he can be. “What’s the old expression? If you want something done right…” he says, stabbing the demon to death. “Blah, blah, blah…” he adds. And I love him too. Mark Sheppard can do no wrong.

The fearsome foursome head for the tablet. Dean wants to head into the crypt with Cas. (Seriously, Destiel shippers, you can read innuendo into anything. Including “innuendo” I imagine. I walked right into that one.) Sam is to stay outside with Meg. Dean doesn’t trust her and she is insulted. “Shut up, Meg!” the brothers say in unison. Dean admits he knows Sam is physically compromised and lying to him. He knows Sam hasn’t been fine since the first trial. “Trial?” Meg asks. “Shut up, Meg!” they repeat. Sam says he is okay, and Cas tells him somberly that in fact, he is not. That he is damaged in ways even Cas can’t heal. And he will stay with Meg and protect her. “Since when do I need protecting?” Meg asks. “Since you were held captive and tortured for over a year,” Cas says, all forceful and boyfriendy. Meg is pleased. “Touche,” she concedes. Dean and Cas go into the crypt and Meg and Sam wait outside.

As they walk, Dean asks Cas what he meant about Sam. Cas talks sub-atomic levels until Dean barks, “Bottom line for me, Bill Nye. Is it lethal?” Ha! Cas admits he doesn’t know, and it distracted by a draft coming from the wall which means the crypt is near.

Sam and Meg chat in the alley. Apparently, she is another in a list of people who is pissed that Sam never even looked for her. Especially after she took a shit ton of bullets for them. Sam tries to ignore her and avoids her questions about the trials. She is irritated. “How am I not Team Sam?” she asks. When he continues his sounds of silence, she reminds him she inhabited him once. “I know your sad little thoughts and feelings,” she snarks. “That’s creepy,” says Sam. She remembers that he always wanted a normal life. He cops to that, telling her a little about Amelia, without giving details. She calls it lame. They continue to talk and Meg is human and likable and my heart sinks as I realize what is probably going to happen to her now that we all love her so much. “So, some chick got you off hunting, hmm?” she asks. “That is one rare creature. Tell me, how did you meet this unicorn?”

Back in the crypt, Cas finds the tablet and immediately flashes to report to Naomi. She wants him to lie to Dean and get him out of there so Cas can grab the tablet, but Cas knows it is impossible as it is in a box warded against angels and Crowley and his demon spawn are undoubtedly out to get him. He asks what he should do. “Handle it,” she demands, and sends him back. Cas points out the box to Dean, and he removes the tablet, as Cas needed him to. “Winner winner, chicken dinner,” Dean says, taking it out. “Hand it to me, and I’ll take it to Heaven,” Cas says. Dean clearly doesn’t trust this, and says he and Sam will deliver it to Kevin for translation. Cas offers to blink it to Kevin, and Dean refuses gently. In Heaven, Naomi tells Cas to kill Dean. Cas clearly doesn’t want to. In the crypt, Dean and Cas continue to verbally spar over the tablet. The tension mounts palpably. “I can’t let you take that, Dean,” Cas says darkly. “Can’t or won’t?” Dean asks. “Both,” Cas admits. They stand off against each other.

Dean wants to know how Cas got out of Purgatory. Cas flashes to Heaven, pleading with Naomi that there has to be another way. Naomi reminds Cas he has killed Dean one hundred times over and he is ready. “Kill him, and take the tablet, and bring it home where it belongs,” she commands. Back in the crypt, Dean makes a deal. If Cas is finally honest about how he got out of Purgatory, the tablet is his to take.

In the alley, Meg has a very important question for Sam about life and love and personal transformation so that she can understand it all: “You hit a dog and stopped. Why?” she asks. Sam is stunned that that is all she appears to have taken from his story. “No, I heard the rest,” she says, “You fell in love with a unicorn. It was beautiful then sad, then sadder, I laughed, I cried, I puked in my mouth a little.” Her smile fades. “And honestly? I kind of get it.” Oh, Meg. Please stay with me. “Really?” Sam asks, disbelieving, and Meg’s eyes shine a little with her tears. A car pulls up. “We’ve got company,” she says, avoiding answering.

In the crypt, Cas has his blade out. Dean begs him to listen—he doesn’t have to do this. Cas strikes out at him, hitting the tablet, causing it to flash with light. And then he is in heaven, panicked and pacing. “This isn’t right,” he tells Naomi. She doesn’t care. “I won’t hurt Dean,” Cas says, his voice breaking. My heart pounding. “Yes, you will. You are!” Naomi replies.

In the crypt, Dean pleads for Cas to fight. “This is not you!” he insists. “FIGHT IT!” Cas strikes the tablet again, and as it flashes he is back in heaven, holding his head, eyes wild. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?!” he asks Naomi, who tries to calm him down. He is then back in the crypt, pacing and wondering aloud, “What have you done to me, Naomi?” “Who is Naomi?” Dean asks. In Heaven, Naomi asks, “What have I done to you?” and tries to explain, pretty pissed off that Heaven in a shambles because of Cas and now he won’t even kill Dean for her.

In the alley, Sam and Meg are getting jumped by Crowley’s henchmen. Meg fights them down admirably. Sam is clearly not at his best.

In the crypt, Dean reaches out to lovingly touch Cas on the shoulder (stop it…) and Cas responds by backhanding him viciously across the room. I may have screamed, “Don’t!” as I watched this part. It is all a blur—there are quick cuts between the alley and the crypt and Heaven and it is all I can do to keep up. I do, however, see Cas break Dean’s arm viciously. Just as he did in his training exercises. And my heart is in my throat. Dean tells him if he wants the tablet to take it. “But you’re gonna have to kill me first.” Cas looks unconcerned. “Do it!” Dean demands. Cas begins to beat him savagely.

In Heaven, Cas begs Naomi. “Please,” he says, devastated. She will not be budged. The scene cuts between him pounding a table in Heaven and us seeing that he is actually brutally bludgeoning Dean to certain death. “Cas,” Dean says weakly, refusing to give up on his friend. “This isn’t you. This isn’t you.” Cas is lost and confused and continues to devastate Dean’s beautiful face.

Dean, driven to his knees, looks up at Cas for the death blow as he draws back his knife, and wheezes, lisping through his last entreaty. “Cas, I know you’re in there. I know you can hear me.” Castiel stops, looking at Dean’s ravaged face and body. “Cas,” Dean begs, “We’re family. We need you.” He looks up at Cas and admits, “I need you.” And I am crying. And wondering why Jensen Ackles has never been up for an Emmy.

“You have to choose,” Naomi tells Cas in Heaven. “Us, or them.”

In the crypt, Cas drops his blade and looks away, while Dean gasps for air. He picks up the tablet and it explodes with light. He flashes between Heaven and the crypt, showing Naomi he has the tablet. And there is no way he is giving it to her.

Back in the crypt, holding the tablet, Cas reaches for Dean’s face. Dean assumes he is going to kill him. “Cas, no,” he begs. “Cas..” Dean shrinks back, and Cas reaches forward, cupping Dean’s face gently in his hand. Dean grabs his arm weakly until it becomes clear: Cas is trying to heal him. He does. “I’m so sorry, Dean,” Cas says gently. “What the hell just happened?” Dean asks, lost.

Crowley shows up in the alley with a witty remark, per usual. Sam and Meg face him, and Sam tells him that Dean and Cas are in the crypt, and they will get the tablet and run with it. “Castiel?” Crowley says, surprised. “So that’s who has been poking my boys. And not in the sexy way,” he adds, ‘cause we were all thinking it. He is pissed at Sam for killing his hellhound, and Meg asks if he can just get down to it already. “There’s my whore,” he retorts. Yikes. That was rude.

Forget you two, Crowley adds. He wants the tablet. Not gonna happen, says Sam. “I love it when you get all tough,” Crowley says. “It touches me right where my bathing suit goes.” Ha! and Ew. He pulls out his blade, and Meg turns to Sam, breaking my heart. “Go,” she says. “Save your brother.” She smiles a little. “And my unicorn,” she adds, and I am crying. Megstiel forever.

Crowley tells Meg “Timon and Pumbaa’s” plan is to “Close the gates of hell. To kill me. To kill all the demons. You included.” She laughs. “You had me at ‘kill you,’ Crowley,” she says. And as Crowley reaches out to strike at her, I realize I haven’t been this pissed about losing a character since Rufus and Bobby. Damn you, show. Why can’t I quit you? Oh, right. Jensen Ackles. And Jared Padalecki. And Misha Collins. And all the pretty boys. Right. My mistake.

In the crypt, Dean finally gets the whole story on Naomi. “What broke the connection?” Dean asks. “I don’t know,” Cas admits. Liar. You know. We all do. Especially the Destiel fan-fic writers. Anyway, he has to protect the tablet from everyone now. Even Dean. He flies off before he can explain. Sam runs in, asking for Cas. Dean tells him he is gone, and asks about Meg. Sam, knowing Meg’s unavoidable fate, simply says, “We have to go. Now.”

In the alley, Meg is crawling now, physically decimated. Crowley pulls her up. “I could beat on you for all eternity,” he promises. “Take all the time you want, you pig,” she lisps, fierce even as she is suffering. The doors creak and the boys charge out, running for the Impala, looking forlornly back at Meg. “No Cas in the back seat,” she says, weary, but satisfied, too. “Your stone is long gone.” She stabs Crowley but only gets his arm. His aim is better, sadly. The boys see her die, and race off, leaving Crowley in the dust. And I am angry crying now.

In the crypt, a very weird meeting happens between Crowley and Naomi, who clearly know each other. They discuss the tablet. Naomi lies that Castiel is doing exactly what he is supposed to do. Crowley knows she is lying. She seethes. Crowley eases her down, reminding her of their time in Mesopotamia and that he is “a lover, not a fighter.” (Question: are they Naiowley? Craiomi? Because both of those words apply and are equally fun to say.) Crowley tries to make a deal with her, but she flies off, ignoring him. “Tart stole my move,” Crowley complains.

In the Impala, Sam asks Dean what happened, and Dean can’t explain it, saying that all he knows is that Cas is “off the reservation with a heavenly WMD.” Dean tells Sam he can’t take any more lies. From anyone. Period. Sam agrees and apologizes. Dean is hugely worried. “Listen,” he tells Sam, I might not be able to take over the burden of these trials. But I can carry you.” It is a beautiful, touching moment. Until Sam says, tentatively, “You…you realize you just kind of quoted Lord of the Rings, right?” “But it’s the Rudy hobbit!” Dean protests, annoyed. “The Rudy hobbit always gets a pass.” Just like Swayze. “Shut up,” says Dean, snapping on the radio. And there is his profile and fjkl;lkjtr„„asdi„lo,. Oops. Sorry. Lost my ability to type there for a sec. “Goodbye, Stranger” by Supertramp begins to play, and I manage to not mention that I would be a supertramp for Jensen Ackles because see? I’ve grown. As the song plays out, we see a montage of Naomi, frustrated, as she realizes there is no word from Cas, who is on a nondescript bus carrying the tablet and giving a new meaning to the term Messenger Bag. The train enters the tunnel (SERIOUSLY, SHIPPERS! Stop!) and pans silently to the mountains before the sad and inevitable cut to black.

I adored this episode and the many ways it made me cry. What did you think, SPN fans? Are you mourning the brief, forbidden love of Megstiel? Worried about Sam’s raging consumption? Wondering if the hundred dead Deans can somehow be revived so there are enough to go around for all of us? Let us know! And come on back next week so we can dish about Hunter High School when the CW airs episode 18, “Freaks and Geeks.”

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