Wow. It's been a while since I've yelled at my TV so much during an episode of... anything. I don't mean yelled in a bad way. Though, Bobby was acting kind of stupid sometimes ("Don't go in there! It's a trap!"). Some other sample yells: "No, Sam! Don't do it!" "Please don't black out right now, I know you're going to do it. ... DAMN IT!" You know what I mean. You know they're going to do it, and it happens all the same. This is why I have to watch shows that I am obsessed with alone. Yikes.
Anyway! This was an intense bit of televisual entertainment, yes? Yes. Things finally come to a head in the search for Sam's soul, and though I did want it to keep going there at the end, I am glad that they gave us an answer as to whether it would be returned or not, rather than keep that as the cliffhanger. I am digging the pace of this season. I was a little worried that they would drag the soul thing out the whole season, but no. And for that - yay! Moving on.
At the top of the episode, Dean is walking into some mysterious (and gross, naturally) meat shop that houses some kind of disreputable doctor, a Dr. Robert, played by Robert Englund, who had worked on John a time or two. We aren't sure just what in the world Dean is up to, but the Doc and his assistant get to work and we soon find out. They are going to kill him - for a short period of time - so he can go commune with folks on the other side of the veil. Those folks being the reaper Tessa, and Death. One thing I will say is that we really had no lead up to this point in his thinking. What led him to decide to suddenly try to contact Death? Unless I'm missing something from the previous episode, which I admit is possible since I only watched it on an iPod in an airport and didn't have time for a re-watch. But I don't think so. Am I wrong?
The point is, Dean, while in spirit-y form, calls up Tessa to get in touch with Death. She doesn't want to deal, but it turns out that Death was listening in anyway, 'cause he pops right in to join the fun. Dean's proposal is this: he'll give Death back his ring if he'll get both Sam and Adam's souls out of the pit. Well hey! Mention of Adam, for once! Death says Dean can only pick one, so he naturally chooses Sam. Poor Adam, never can catch a break. But Death has another spin to the deal too - Dean has to wear the ring for a day, and act as Death. And he must do this for a full 24 hour period without taking the ring off, or he fails.
Dean heads back to Bobby's place, where Sam is less than enthused about these developments. He doesn't want his soul back, no matter if Death says he can put up a wall in his mind to block out the Hellish details (for how long, though, is anyone's guess). Dean's like suck it, I'm doing it anyway. He sets off on his Death day adventure, leaving Bobby alone to deal with the rather psycho robo-Sam who is bent on not getting his soul re-instated. In fact, he is so intent on being soulless, that he calls up Balthazar to ask if there is some way for that to continue. Balthazar informs him that there is a certain spell that will keep it out, but it requires patricide - the killing of a father. Well shoot, John's dead, so it should all be okay, right? Too bad the blood of the father only has to be a father figure, not an actual biological father, because Bobby just happens to be right nearby, doesn't he? Bobby!
Meanwhile, Dean has started his workday, with Tessa there to guide him to his "victims." Victim is not the right word but, um... I am drawing a blank. His first subject, there we go, is a dude holding up a convenience store, and the second is a dude having a heart attack. These are all easy enough for Dean to go through with, but when Tessa then leads him into the hospital room of a 12-year-old girl with a heart condition, he doesn't want to go through with it. He grumbles and damn near stamps his feet in protest, refusing to do it, and lo, the girl is suddenly okay. He messed with the natural order, and everything is going to be perfectly fine, right? Of course not! Because we've been paying particular attention to the girl's nurse, Jolene, so we know she's going to bite it. And she does, because, you see, since she did not have to help operate on the little girl, she was driving home earlier than normal, and therefore got into a car accident. Boom - dead.
Dean feels epically guilty, particularly when Jolene's husband is very upset and is about to go kill himself off by driving himself into oncoming traffic. Dean tries to stop him, but with the ring on, the guy can't see him. So he takes it off and stops the guy just in time. Uh oh. That means failure, right? Right? He puts the ring back on to go take the little girl like he was originally supposed to anyway, to set things right.
Back at the ranch, or, you know, Bobby's, things aren't going so well for Mr. Singer. This soulless Sam is a rather conniving and smart a-hole, and no amount of my screaming at Bobby that he is walking into trap after trap could stop the inevitable. Sam gets him tied up, and is about to go through with the whole spell ritual to kill Bobby and keep his soul out for good, when Dean shows up and stops him just in time. Phew! Good timing there, dude. They lock Sam down in the panic room, but they know it's not going to hold him forever.
Death shows up to reclaim his ring, and he and Dean have a nice little chat. Dean admits that, knowing what he knows now, he would have killed the girl from the start, so that the nurse would not have died. Death is surprised to hear this, but rather pleased. It means Dean has actually learned something after all. And, in something that was no surprise to me (he learned something, and that was the real test!), he decides he'll go get Sam's soul back. Dean is all bzuh - but why? I failed! Death wants them to continue searching for Purgatory, apparently. He didn't say it in so many words, more along the lines of, "figure out what's happening to souls and why they're important." So he doesn't even know where purgatory is? That is one heavily secret place, for serious. I'm not sure why we need to know where it is either, though.
And with that, he brings Sam's shiny, glowing soul up into the panic room to shove it down into his chest. He tells Sam that he's going to create the wall, and for the love of Pete, don't go scratching at it, no matter how much it itches. And of course, as Sam's screaming his little head off - boom! Black. Damn. Dang damn dang.
- The preview showed virtually no Sam apart from, like, one confused expression. Um! Hello! I care more about what Sam is going to be like than some virgin case they're on!
- Speaking of Sam. Does anyone else feel like this "wall" thing is a bit of a cop out? I mean, I know they've been making a big deal about how damaged Sam's soul will be and whatnot, but it doesn't seem right that he would just sort of be okay unless he starts to dig deeper into his mind. Pardon me for wanting more immediate repercussions. I know the show can't really function with Sam not functioning, but... I don't know. I guess I'll have to wait and see how they deal with it all once the show comes back on, gulp, January 28.
- Didn't Bobby seem like he was acting kind of dumb? I know he was supposed to be watching Sam, but when you get an inkling that Sam's out to get you, why in the world are you going to walk down into basements and barns? That's just asking for a whap on the head, which is exactly what he got!
- Dean's goodbye letter was to Ben. Aww.
"Enjoy the ride down, pal. Trust me, sauna gets hot." - Dean
"I may have been born at night, boy, but it wasn't last night." - Bobby
"Don't say here's Johnny." - Bobby
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