If all good things must come to an end, I’m sad it only took Supernatural three episodes to conclude its best storyline in quite some time. “Soul Survivor” brought the Deanmon arc to a satisfying and abrupt conclusion. The Mark of Cain still looms as an obstacle that must be overcome before Dean can truly be back to his old self. But thanks to Sam and Castiel’s help, Dean took a big step toward normalcy in this week’s episode, as his demon affliction was cured with the trusted sanctified blood treatment.
Even with Jensen Ackles behind the camera for director duties, this hour still managed to give Demon Dean a fitting final act. The scenes between Sam and Dean in the bunker during the treatment were some of the best acting this show has ever seen. In those moments, we saw the culmination of nine full seasons where two actors have perfected every nuance of their characters. Deanmon pushed all the right buttons with Sam during those scenes, and the pain Sam felt showed in every facial expression. Despite his brave face, Sam was deeply wounded by Dean’s words, even if they weren’t his own.
I was extremely impressed with Jensen’s directing tonight. There were several scenes that skillfully utilized the “less is more” approach. Sam looking at the photos in Dean’s room. Crowley halfheartedly reading the charges against Abaddon’s troops, then vaporizing the poor demon who dared take his BFF Dean’s spot as wingman. Castiel foolishly challenging Adina in order to save Hannah. It’s easy to be too “on the nose” with scenes that hint at something larger. Fellow CW stalwart Arrow has struggled with that same problem. I have to applaud Jensen for getting the most out his actors and turning in a solid episode of television.
“Soul Survivor” won’t go in the pantheon of all-time great Supernatural episodes, especially after I was reminded of so many good ones during the retrospective special that aired before this season started. (Lot of love among the cast and crew for the funnier episodes.) However, tonight’s hour of Supernatural was a solid resolution to a storyline I didn’t want to see end. It felt like we were just scratching the surface with Deanmon as a character. Alas, the Winchesters are back in business.
We have some interesting nuggets to ponder as this season truly kicks off next week. Crowley is all over the map right now. Demons are restless in his kingdom and he seems dangerously adrift without his BFF by his side. He’s keeping tabs on Castiel and even saved his life by stealing grace from Adina and then killing her. He has larger plans in mind for Castiel that have yet to be revealed. We all remember what happened the last time these two worked together – Castiel became God and the Leviathans were released. Perhaps Crowley’s new strategy won’t lead to Castiel’s newest downfall. Furthermore, the episode's closing moments reveal a new threat in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A red-haired woman who looked slightly deranged was shown enjoying her tea while two hotel employees dripped blood from their spots on the ceiling. No black eyes so we can’t yet assume she’s a demon. Could she be this season’s big bad?
Is anyone else worried about where Supernatural will go this season now that the Deanmon arc is over? Like Castiel said, Heaven and Hell are in decent shape. Sam succeeded in removing the demon from Dean’s system. The Mark of Cain is still around, but we dealt with that problem a lot last season. That’s why I have to believe the lady we saw in Tulsa will factor into this season’s big storyline. If that’s indeed the case, I’m cautiously optimistic about her chances at being as scary as Deanmon. When it comes to female villains, you have Lillith on one hand and Eve, Mother of All, on another. Scary and silly, this show has trotted out both variations. I’m seriously hoping for the former this time around.
Line of the week
“You’re guilty of something, which I won’t tolerate. Whatever it was.” – Crowley
Next week on Supernatural
The Winchesters get back to saving people, hunting things… the family business.