Regardless of how you felt about Deanmon’s debut last week - I was lukewarm - there’s no arguing after “Reichenbach” that Jensen Ackles is nailing this demonic side of Dean. Supernatural needed a shakeup headed into its tenth season and the writers have struck gold by turning the eldest Winchester into a black-eyed monster.

Dean’s violence so far this season has only been matched by his ruthlessness. Killing Lester was cold enough, but things ramped up once Sam stepped into the picture. Hearing Dean threaten the younger brother he’s died while saving numerous times was jarring. Even more disheartening was the unrelenting determination of Sam to do what he knew (non-demon) Dean did for him way back in Season 6 when Sam was soulless. Granted, Sam wasn’t an unstoppable killing machine back then, but the sentiment is appreciated all the same. For the first time I felt a real sense of danger watching Dean. His unpredictability scares me when it’s Sam that’s in his crosshairs. The show has unfortunately robbed death of its sting, but I still cringe to think of Dean destroying Sam physically and psychologically.

Speaking of which, I found it hard not to feel a little bad for Cole in that fight with Dean. Cole’s father was almost certainly a monster, but he didn’t know that when Dean killed him. If it wasn’t Dean in his sights, we’d almost certainly root for him to get revenge. The way he naively approached Dean with such confidence, his little Inigo Montoya speech (as Dean called it), and his rising horror as Dean dismantled him was heartbreaking. Then to hear Dean’s explanation for why he didn’t just kill Cole confirmed just how sadistic the Mark of Cain has made Dean. With Cole, beaten and bruised, turning up at the library to begin researching demons, it’s safe to assume we’ll see him again very soon.

Before the big fight, we had the expected falling out between Dean and Crowley. It was easy to see this moment coming, given Dean’s utter contempt for everyone but himself, but that didn’t make it any less juicy. When Dean killed Lester, every fan knew immediately the king of the crossroads would not react kindly to such a decision. Crowley wisely chose to back down when Dean turned violent during their next confrontation. Slippery as he might be, Crowley is no match for the Mark of Cain. What I didn’t expect was the heartbreak on Crowley’s end over this breakup. His wistful glance at that hilarious photo on his phone said it all – Crowley enjoyed having Dean as an ally and a friend. Part of it might have been to torment Sam, but there’s no doubt Crowley envisioned big things for his future with Dean. The fallout will be just as deadly as Crowley predicted when Sam handed over the First Blade. Dean Winchester does not forgive, especially when he’s hopped up on demon juice. Could Crowley’s life be in danger?

One life we know is in danger belongs to Castiel. His stolen grace is rapidly failing him. In a desperate move to recharge Castiel’s batteries, Hannah almost makes a deal with Metatron, who’s even slimier than we remember. Curtis Armstrong has done a marvelous job making a physically weak character so intimidating. When he said his release would end with everyone dead, I believed him. Castiel was right not to accept his deal, but how long can he stay on this suicidal path? Perhaps Hannah, who appears to be developing feelings for Castiel, will sneak behind Castiel’s back and accept the deal anyway. She believes Castiel is the key to rebuilding Heaven in the wake of Metatron’s destruction. Is it better to have that monster behind bars and her desired leader dead, or save Castiel and let Metatron free? The angel storyline has been overshadowed thus far only because it’s been impossible to turn away from Sam and Dean’s impending train wreck. With Metatron in play, I’m quietly excited to see where this arc, which will likely last longer than the Deanmon arc, goes once Castiel’s grace is worked out.

I’m hesitant to say whether I think next week’s episode will resolve the Deanmon storyline. On the one hand, it took 11 episodes for Sam to get his soul back in Season 6, so I could see Dean being a demon for quite a while longer. Yet next week’s episode promises a cataclysmic showdown between the brothers in the bunker. Dean wants to kill Sam. Short of Dean escaping the bunker and disappearing, I don’t see this episode ending any other way besides Dean being cured. Sam is obviously not going to die. So what’s the play here? Regardless, Supernatural deserves three cheers for keeping us guessing after nearly 200 episodes. That’s a remarkable feat for an incredible show.

Lines of the week

“I think the Winchesters are a bad influence on you.” – Hannah

“I know what an alibi is. I watch Franklin and Bash.” – Lester (TNT love!)

Next week on Supernatural

Will the bunker be home to yet another murder?

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