If you’ve watched Supernatural regularly over the years, you knew the reunion that ended this episode was coming. This show can’t operate more than a couple episodes with Sam and Dean apart so it was only a matter of time before they hit the road in the Impala once more. Something was different this time out, though. Sam said that something is broken between him and Dean and he identifies the source of that fracture a minute later. Sam doesn’t trust Dean like he wants to and should be able to as his brother. Somewhere between talking Sam out of closing the gates of Hell and tricking him into being possessed by Gadreel, Dean drove a wedge in his relationship with Sam.
I stated in my recap of “Road Trip” that I thought things would be different between the brothers even after they inevitably reunited. Things had to be different. How couldn’t they be after everything that’s happened on this show? Going back to the status quo after everything Sam and Dean have been through together – good and bad – would have felt cheap. It would’ve undermined the show’s commitment to putting Sam and Dean through Hell and having them come out stronger on the other side. That doesn’t mean they come out stronger as a familial unit; quite the opposite, I believe. We’ve seen these past few episodes that people close to Dean end up dead. More than anything Dean wants to keep his little brother safe. The great tragedy of this show is that despite his best efforts he might not be able to do that. Dean’s line to Garth this week – “Somebody’s gotta live to tell this story” – felt awful foreboding to me.
After a couple solid outings we were treated to a fairly forgettable monster of the week story that was made interesting by Garth’s presence. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Garth and Dean was obviously more upset about his disappearance after Kevin’s death. Discovering that Garth had turned into a werewolf and not seeing him cured was an interesting choice for the character. With so few recurring characters left it’s hard to imagine why they’re keeping Garth on the shelf for the time being. Dean told Garth to embrace his special brand of happiness and stay with his wife and father-in-law. I found this conclusion contrite and unearned considering: 1) we heard Garth’s wife say a handful of lines, so who cares if Garth stays with her? 2) Dean always airs on the side of extreme caution when it comes to monsters. He doesn’t trust them and rightfully so. His hunch was confirmed 100 percent in this episode. So why is he content to leave Garth in that kind of messed up situation? His own step-mother-in-law just tried to kill him and his wife! Dean’s decision felt very out of character based on how protective he is of people he considers family. Then again, maybe he wanted to keep Garth at a safe distance after Kevin’s death. If so, it would have been nice to hear him say that to somebody.
What’s nice about this season is the sense of mystery it has draped around it after 12 episodes. Usually I have a pretty good handle on where the storylines will converge and how they’ll play after this many episodes. You have to figure that Crowley and Abaddon will come to blows and the Winchesters will confront Metatron and Gadreel at some point before season’s end. That said I don’t know what the fallout will be when these storylines do reach their conclusion. Dean is obviously headed for trouble with the whole “Mark of Cain” business. Gadreel will meet his fate at the end of an angel blade most likely. Which Winchester will deliver the fatal blow? Before we see these threads play out I hope to see much more of the “angels on Earth” storyline. Last year’s major story arc was scrapped in the final episode to set up this plotline and I want to see the writers make the most of that decision. More difficult transitions into human society, more rebel factions rising against one another, more grabs at power by angels desperate for a purpose on Earth – give me all of these angles in the coming episodes. I want to fully explore this new dimension before the show starts fresh in Season 10.
Lines of the week
“That’s a gift from Cain.” – Dean
“Like the wrestler?” – Sam
“I wish. That would be awesome.” – Dean
“Did he steal a car?” – Dean
“Did he steal a car naked?” –Sam
Next week on Supernatural...
The brothers who are claiming not to be brothers anymore look pretty chummy.