It’s been a while since we’ve visited the Winchester brothers so hopefully you’ve not forgotten them and their tribulations! ūüôā

Continuing on from Sympathy for the Devil, we pick up Season 5 with Bobby still wheelchair-bound and in the hospital. ¬†Unfortunately after Castiel sided with the brothers, he’s been “cut off” from Heaven and its powers and as such is unable to help repair Bobby. ¬†Hoping to rectify this, he tells the brothers that he’s going to search for God and he needs Dean’s amulet to help him. ¬†Supposedly it will “burn hot” in God’s presence.

Rufus (who we initially met in Season 3 when the brothers were looking for colt and Bela Talbot) is at the core of this episode as is a somewhat interesting villain Рnamely the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, War, himself!  Rufus heads to a town he thinks is under attack from demons, based on omens of a polluted river and a falling star. He calls Ellen and Jo and Bobby for help. Bobby not being able to go himself, sends the brothers out to the town, but when they arrive, they discover that  Rufus and Jo have been separated from Ellen.  Ellen has managed to coral some of the remaining townsfolk, but it looks the majority of the inhabitants of the town are now infected by demons.

Dean and Sam go for supplies, and while Sam is getting salt from a store, two teenagers with black eyes enter. Sam kills them with Ruby’s knife, but appears drawn to the blood & when Dean sees him, he fears that Sam is once again going over to the “dark side” in his struggle to obtain the power he needs. ¬†Sam persuades him that nothing untoward happened, and manages to convince Dean that he needs to remain behind to help guard the remaining townspeople while he and Ellen search for Jo and Rufus.

When Sam and Ellen go to find Jo and Rufus, they are attacked. Ellen escapes but Sam is captured by Jo and Rufus – who seem to think Sam is possessed. While he is held captive, one of the townspeople reveals that he is War – one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse and has tricked the people into thinking everyone is possessed, leading them to attack each other. ¬†In reality there is no demon infestation at all! ¬†The people that Sam killed were simply human. ¬†It’s all been a trick.

Returning, Ellen tells Dean that Jo thought she was possessed because she called her a “black-eyed bitch”, and Dean starts to suspect all is not what it seems. Checking the Bible he works out that these signs and the conflict herald the arrival of War. Shortly after, War, in the guise of a townsman, arrives and insists that they all need to attack the demons. As Dean and Ellen try to calm the panic, War turns the ring on his finger and the townspeople start seeing them as demons and attack. Dean and Ellen flee.

The townspeople form a force. They equip themselves with real bullets because they believe Dean had been a demon all along and lied about the effectiveness of salt. Dean and Ellen reach Jo and Rufus shortly before the townspeople arrive and manage to convince the two there are no demons and it’s all the work of War. Dean frees Sam and they rush to catch up with War and cut off the ring that was helping him deceive the townspeople.

Once the battle is concluded, the brothers have it out as Sam tells Dean that he can’t trust himself, and that he needs to take a break from hunting – and Dean. Dean agrees – he can’t focus on the job because he is worrying about Sam. They need to separate so that they can resolve these issues.

Sorry about this – my writing hasn’t kept up with my watching, (!) but I’ll get all of Season 4 up on the site eventually including an end of season recap. ¬†Season 5, however, needs to be told too and I wouldn’t want you to be kept waiting so without further ado, let’s get into it!

At the end of the previous season¬†(BTW do not continue reading if you’ve not seen all of Season 4 as the content below will spoil it for you – you’ve been warned!) Sam had killed Lilith. ¬†Lilith, however, WAS the final seal, and by killing her, Sam had inadvertently released the Devil.

As Lucifer breaks free of his confinement, following Sam killing Lilith and breaking the last of the 66 Seals a blinding light and sound force the brothers to their knees and when they open their eyes they are on a plane flying over Ilchester, Maryland, where Lucifer was confined.

Hoping for some answers, they travel to Chuck’s house which has been decimated and looks like a warzone. ¬†Chuck, fortunately, is safe and he explains, that the archangel had blown Castiel apart. Zachariah arrives, and tells Dean that he is needed to kill the Devil, but Dean pulls out a sliding door to reveal the sigil that Castiel previously created. ¬†After Dean slaps his bloody palm onto it Zachariah and his angels disappear. Chuck’s part in the story is not done though as he manages to get in touch with one of his uber fans (quite funnily writing some naughty fanfiction about Dean and Sam) and gets her to pass on a message to the brothers.

the “angels have lost Michael’s Sword” and that it is to be found “in a castle, on a hill made of 42 dogs,”¬†

Dean and Sam meet up in a motel room and Sam states that somehow he’s been purified of his need for demon blood also. He tries to talk to Dean about what has happened, about freeing Lucifer, but Dean refuses to engage with him. Dean suggests they treat it as any hunt, and that they should set about finding Lucifer.

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester (left) and Ja...
Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester (left) and Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nick meanwhile is hallucinating about his family – his dead wife and child, but when his wife whispers to him that he’s special he starts to wonder about what’s going on and if he’s losing his mind.

Bobby arrives in the Impala, with research about the archangel Michael. Sam confesses to Bobby that it was his actions that freed Lucifer, and Bobby coldly tells him that once the hunt is over, he wants nothing to do with Sam. . Dean gets an idea, and going through some of John’s old things. He finds the address for John’s storage facility: Castle Storage, 42 Rover Hill.

Not all is as it seems however as Bobby has been possessed and along with Meg (remember her from Season 2?) they attack and restrain Dean. ¬†However before Bobby kills Dean with Ruby’s knife, he manages to battle the demon and stabs himself instead.¬†Sam returns and helps dispatch the other two demons, but Meg escapes by leaving her vessel.

Sam and Dean drop off a gravely injured Bobby at the hospital and race to John’s lock-up. Once there, they find some dead demons and Zachariah with some angel muscle.

Zachariah reveals they misled Chuck; Michael’s sword is at the storage lock-up because it’s Dean. Zachariah explains that Dean is the sword and they need him to be the vessel for the archangel Michael, so he can defeat Lucifer. Dean refuses but Zachariah starts to torture him and Sam to get his compliance. Just then, Castiel appears. He attacks the angels with his angel blade and orders Zachariah to make Sam and Dean whole again, and then to leave.

Castiel is elusive about how he has been brought back from death, but before he leaves, he touches Sam and Dean, burning an Enochian sigil into their ribs, that will hide them from the angels, demons, and Lucifer.

Nick wanders through his house, distraught. His wife and child have been murdered during a home invasion. As he grieves, he starts hallucinating again. Lucifer appears as his wife Sarah and tells him that he is a vessel, and that Lucifer wants his consent to possess him. Lucifer says he is misunderstood, that he was punished for “loving God too much.” He says that, to let Nick’s family be murdered, God must either be uncaring, or a sadist. He tells Nick possession will be painful, but that Lucifer will help him get justice for his family. Nick consents to possession.

At the hospital, Bobby yells at a doctor who tells him he won’t walk again. He says they need to keep fighting, but is pessimistic about their chances. Dean makes a stirring speech, saying they should take them all on – angels and demons – and try to win.

Overall Thoughts

Overall a really good episode with lots of action and a good continuation to the story. ¬†Zach is definitely not acting “angel like” and you really need to wonder about what’s going on in Heaven to allow him to act in this way. ¬†While the overall story is that the Angels are trying to basically purge everything to start again – shouldn’t he just kill Sam as that will defeat the Devil wouldn’t it? ¬†They could literally cleanse the world themselves without a requirement for the apocalypse and the Devil at all!

Sam and Dean … Sam’s descent into darkness was for the best of intentions and it’s actually quite disappointing that these intentions were rewarded in such a negative manner. ¬†While Sam and Dean are currently somewhat at odds hopefully they’ll be able to get over this and realize that they’ve both made mistakes in their fight against evil.

Oh boy … now this one’s a doozy! ¬†If you recall from my previous posts, the past couple of episodes (for example – It’s the Great Pumpkin) of Supernatural have not really focused as much on the underlying story and have been very much “filler material” … well this one is anything but. ¬†It’s an absolutely critical and key episode and has all of the characters we love plus some new ones that we will probably end up hating with a passion!

Ruby’s back and she gives the brothers a lead on a mental patient. ¬†An escaped mental patient that is being hunted by a host of demons for reason’s she doesn’t understand. ¬†Anna Milton was locked up when she started to hear voices … unfortunately for her those voices were Angels and the topic of conversation in most cases seemed to be Sam and Dean and the upcoming Apocalypse!

Dean: So, they lock you up with a case of the crazies, when really you’re just tuning into angel radio?
Anna: Yes. Thank you.

After the boys track down Anna they find that her prophecies are actually really, really accurate and when they find her parents dead at her home they realize that they need to protect her. ¬†Ruby arrives to give them another warning though – this time that one of the demon “heavy-hitters” is looking for Anna also and has been tracking them. ¬†Alastair (the demon) confronts them and indicates that he knows Dean from his time in Hell. ¬†Dean looks quite afraid when he realizes who Alastair is and while the boys attempt to fight him, he is much too powerful. ¬†Sam however manages to stab him with Ruby’s knife and while this doesn’t kill him, it does give them the time they need to escape from him.

Dean believing that Ruby had set them up and was still not to be trusted confronts Sam about her again, but in a series of flashbacks Sam relates to him what happened during Dean’s time in captivity and how it was actually Ruby that set him back on the correct path as he was wallowing in his own misery. ¬†Ruby who’d told Lilith that she’d come back to Earth to kill Sam found him in this state, and when Sam told her that she was torturing the body she was in, she departed it and took over the body of a brain dead coma patient instead so that she could help Sam. ¬†Sam then agreed to let her teach him how to use his powers so that he could continue the fight in Dean’s absence & Dean realizing that she’s actually always come through for them and in fact has been there when he himself wasn’t realizes that he needs to apologize to Ruby:

Dean: I guess I… you know.
Ruby: What?
Dean: I guess I owe you for… Sam. And I just wanted to… you know?
Ruby: Don’t strain yourself.
Dean: Okay, then. Is the moment over? Good, ’cause that was awkward.

While I’m personally not sure yet if Ruby is truly on the side of light, the apology itself was classic and worth waiting for! ¬†That’s not how this one ends though … this time the Angels (Castiel and Uriel) want Anna also and demand that the Winchesters hand her over to them so that they can kill her! ¬†Who is this chick and why does everyone want her dead?

One of the best features of Supernatural is the fact that they don’t always take themselves so seriously. ¬†I mean, sure we’ve got the¬†super scary¬†episodes & the ones that are tied extremely tightly to the overall mythology and underlying story – but every now and then they throw in a bit of comedy relief and this one is absolutely up there in terms of humor!

In this episode we find the brothers investigating a wishing well … of course being Supernatural, it couldn’t be all positive could it, with people getting exactly what they wished for with no evil consequences … no, in Supernatural you have to assume that there is always a dark side and in this case it is somewhat of a doozy … namely any wishes that are made, automatically have an unexpected twist, which can impact the wishers in a significant and in some cases deadly way!

While at first glance the wishes all seem somewhat harmless – a “ghost” peeping on someone in a shower, a little girl wishing for a new best friend, a bullied boy looking for super strength and a closet geek getting the girl of his dreams, the consequences in each case are different, weird and varied. ¬†The ghost of course is a teenage boy who’s made a wish to be invisible … with regular teenage hormones thrumming through his body, he immediately navigates himself to a woman showering so that he can watch her unobserved. ¬†Of course one of the consequences of being invisible is that when you’re crossing a street – you need to make sure that you look both ways! ¬†Unfortunately our peeping tom discovers this fact to his detriment when he gets run over by the Impala on its arrival into town.

One of the saddest and funniest wishes is that of the little girl wishing for a best friend. ¬†She ends up bringing her Teddy Bear to life and while the movie TED might have given us an indication of what our stuffed friends could act like … this is another, more negative version of the same.

Teddy Bear: Look at this. You believe this crap?
Dean: Not really.
Teddy Bear: It is a terrible world. Why am I here?
Audrey: For tea parties!
Teddy Bear: Tea parties? Is that all there is? (starts crying)

Sam: Are we… should we… are we going to kill this teddy bear?
Dean: How? Do we shoot it, burn it?
Sam: I don’t know. Both?
Dean: How do we even know that’s gonna work? I mean I don’t want some giant, flaming, pissed-off teddy on our hands.
Sam: Yeah. Besides, I get the feeling that the bear isn’t really the, you know, core problem here.

After much investigation, they determine that the only way to cancel the wishes is to remove a magic coin (that pulls power from a pagan goddess Tiamat) from the town wishing well. ¬†It turns out that the geek that caused a beauty queen to fall in love with him was the originator of this coin and while he is initially reluctant to remove it from the fountain, when one of the wishes results in Sam’s death, he takes it out and all of the wishes are cancelled out.

Dean does finally admit to Sam that he remembers everything that happened in Hell, but refuses to tell him anything else, as Sam wouldn’t be able to understand.

Some of the best episodes of Supernatural are the Halloween ones … in a similar vein to the classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer they absolutely roll out all the stops on these episodes … after all they are quite appropriate to the holiday and this one is no exception.

By the way, in case you don’t get the reference in the title … it’s from Charlie Brown and that’s probably more an indicator of my age than anything else! ūüôā

Overall a really good episode that expands greatly on the mythology of the show and introduces a key new character – namely the angel Uriel. ¬†Uriel is a “specialist” angel … one that has a significant amount of power and isn’t afraid to use it to great if somewhat discriminate effect. ¬†When the brothers investigate some mysterious deaths in a small town – Castiel informs them that they are actually the work of a witch that is endeavoring to summon the demon Samhain. ¬†If they are unable to stop the witch or Samhain, Uriel will cleanse (smite) the town.

While Uriel is a true believer and wants to cleanse the town immediately, the brothers manage to persuade him to hold off in an effort to save the innocent from execution. ¬†Unfortunately they are unable to stop the witch in time & the demon is summoned, breaking another seal on Lucifer’s prison. ¬†Ruby’s knife while potent is only useful if it is actually used on demons, but Samhain is able to knock it out of Sam’s hands forcing Sam to use his power to subdue him. ¬†Unfortunately the seal is still broken and while Sam has been successful this time, Uriel warns him against continued use of his power stating that he will kill Sam as soon as he ceases to be useful to the angels.

Still annoyed by Dean stopping him from smiting the town, Uriel tells Sam to ask Dean what he remembers from Hell, implying that Dean does, in fact, remember what happened to him there. ¬†We also learn from Castiel that while they boy’s thought they’d persuaded the angels to hold off on attacking, in reality the angels are under orders to follow Dean’s lead as he is the battlefield leader of Heaven’s forces. ¬†However, Castiel admits that he doesn’t know if they passed this test or did the right thing in not smiting the whole town and he’s as confused as the brothers in regards to what the best actions in this situation would have been.

While Nia¬†is continuing to cover the earlier seasons and episodes I thought I’d start a little ways in so that we can get all caught up as quickly as possible as this show is one that you don’t want to just provide a one season recap on if you can at all avoid it. ¬†In the first episode of this season they certainly don’t let up on the surprises and challenges that we’ve seen the brothers Winchester go through that’s for sure and if you’ve followed this show and the reviews posted here you know that’s saying a lot!

Last seasons cliff hanger saw Dean die at the hands of Lilith as his one year deal to save Sam’s life was called due… however to prove the adage true that you can’t keep a good man down he awakens this season in a wooden casket buried in some random location in the woods.

He seems to be in perfect condition however with no signs of the hellhound attack or in fact any scars from his previous history… except for a red handprint that seems branded into his left shoulder. ¬†The location where he manages to drag himself out of the ground though … well that’s another story as it looks like a bomb has gone off with trees blown every which way and his grave smack dab in the center.

Eventually making his way to an abandoned gas station he starts to resupply himself but hears a very strange noise gradually getting louder and louder, in addition to which all of the electronic devices in the station randomly come on by themselves.   As the noise gets louder and louder, all of the windows of the gas station blowout in a massive explosion.

Dusting himself off he makes his way out of the station to a nearby telephone and tries to reach Sam however the phone number is disconnected. He next¬†calls Bobby who as you recall is another hunter like Dean and Sam and has helped them over the course of the years since the death of John Winchester (the boys’ father) but Bobby does not believe that it actually is Sam and just thinks that someone is making a terrible, horrible joke. Eventually Dean drive’s to Bobby’s home and despite Bobby trying to kill him thinking that he is a demon he is eventually able to persuade him of the truth and the fact that he has really returned from the dead and from hell.

Dean and Bobby both speculate that the only reason he is back is because Sam has sold his soul or made a deal with a demon in a similar arrangement to the one Dean initially made in an attempt to recover or Dean back from the dead. They track Sam down where they find him in a rundown motel close to where Dean came back to life.

Sam also immediately attempts to kill Dean thinking that he must be a demon but this time Bobby is able¬†to hold him back persuading him that Dean has actually returned. When they have a discussion together Sam vehemently denies making any deal and actually states that no demon would even talk to him about it. ¬†He is as confused as Dean is and Bobby implies that he knows someone that might be able to help … a local psychic that lives nearby.

Bobby takes the boys to a local psychic and they have a seance to try and find how Dean returned.

Now I[‘m not looking to cover the whole episode as I think that would ruin it for you, suffice it to say that another new character is introduced and he is somebody that is going to change what is happening on Supernatural for the foreseeable future. One thing I will leave you with though? ¬†When the psychic tries to find out who returned Dean from the dead – she gets one warning to stop looking and then her eyes are literally burned out of her head!

Review

Supernatural started out with two brothers fighting demons and while the initial early episodes seem to have no underlying mission or rationale aside from searching for their father the later episodes grew to have many conspiracies and story arcs that were very engaging and compelling and you really wanted to watch the next episode to find out what would happen.

Dean’s death at the end of season 3 was somewhat surprising as you always expected them to find a way out, a way to save him from certain death and damnation so it was quite jarring when he actually did die. ¬†His return this season, while obviously expected is also just as surprising as they’ve not done it in the way you’d expect.

Over the course of 3 seasons the interaction between the brothers would become tighter and you could actually see a real bond develop between both of them – something that transcended a simple TV show, so while they’ve introduced a very real twist in this episode and in the series as a whole, I guess the key question is will he fit in? ¬†It won’t be easy.

If you recall from last episode¬†(In the Beginning), Dean¬†caught Sam literally exorcising a demon with the power of his mind. ¬†After watching Sam harness his powers and realizing that the woman he is with is Ruby, Dean angrily confronts his brother and demands that he stop doing this as it is dangerous. ¬†Sam had previously told Dean that he wasn’t utilizing this power and had kept it hidden from Dean for exactly this reason but with Ruby’s help he’d been tapping into the demon blood – blood that Sam now knows a lot more about thanks to his visit to the past and Castiel – and while Sam’s argument that he’s using this power for good sounds like it makes sense, anyone who’s read history (or comic books for that matter) knows that it’s a slippery slope.

After Dean explains to Sam more of what he’s learned about the nature of his power and the message from Castiel, Sam agrees (again) to not use his power but he obviously disagrees thinking that he can control it.

The Rougarou

There are cannibals and then there are the Rougarou …¬†The rougarou (alternatively spelled as roux-ga-roux, rugaroo, or rugaru) is a legendary creature in Laurentian French communities linked to European notions of the werewolf. ¬†The name in fact comes from two different french words – Loup (French for wolf) and garou (a man who transforms himself into an animal). ¬†Now we’ve seen werewolf’s before in Supernaturalthe Wendigo in the 2nd episode –¬†however in each of these cases, the creature has had some control over its actions. ¬†In this case however the Rougarou has no control and when Dean and Sam are called by another hunter to help solve a case in Carthage, Missouri they discover a man going through a painful process of transformation into one of these beasts.

During the hunt, Sam lashes out on Dean, saying he is tired of how Dean looks at him like a freak and while Dean’s initial plans to deal with the man are the same as normal – shoot first and deal with the consequences later – Sam needs to see if its possible for the man to be more than the blood in his veins. ¬†Sam wants to reason with him and explain what could happen to him and his family if he were to succumb but Dean believes that while regrettable he is doomed.

After a long conversation, they are able to persuade the man and he manages to take some control over his transformation, but unfortunately the hunter who initially contacted Dean and Sam chooses to take matters into his own hands and threatens the mans wife (& unborn child).  This tips him over the edge and he completes his transformation killing the hunter in full view of his horrified wife who he manages to spare.

When the man tries to kill Dean, Sam is forced to kill him by burning him alive. Seeing what the man went through, Sam decides to stop using his powers.

One good thing about Supernatural is that they like to leaven their horror with a light sprinkling of comedy (I know sounds a bit weird, but they manage to pull it off quite admirably) and this episode is a perfect case in point. ¬†Basically – we’re going Back to the Future … allow me to explain.

Recap

Castiel transports¬†Dean¬†back in time to where he has an opportunity to change the future of the boys. His very cryptic remark that Dean must stop it but with no further details doesn’t really help matters, however when Dean bumps into his father accidentally and eventually his mother he starts to piece it all together.

It turns out that Mary – Dean’s mother as well as her parents Samuel and Deanna (do you notice the similarities in the names or is it a bit too obvious)¬†are all hunters! Surprise Surprise¬†– bet you didn’t see that¬†one coming did you?

Dean eventually figures out that the person he’s meant to stop is the Yellow Eyed Demon as with his father’s book in hand he knows exactly where the demon is going to be next. He manages to persuade the current holder of the Colt pistol of his need for the gun and takes it with him to the next location. However his grandparents or actually his grandfather and his mother have also gotten to the site as the girl is actually a friend of Mary’s and she doesn’t want anything to happen to her.

Dean meets his mother outside and while he doesn’t tell her any details about what he’s doing there he informs her that she should not go into the bedroom on the day that she dies in the future.

When they all confront the demon Dean is unable to make the shot and he is able to escape however when he takes his grandfather back to the house to explain what is really going on,¬†Dean tell his grandfather about the demon and about what has happened to him and the family in the future specifically with regards to his mother . His grandfather however doesn’t act the way you expect and seems to accept the fantastic story astruth and asks to hold the colt but¬†Dean tells him that he will not let anyone hold the gun. It is at this point that the Yellow Eyed Demon reveals that he is actually possessing the body of Dean’s¬†grandfather and now knows all of the secrets about his future!

He speaks to Dean and eventually tells him that he can save no one including his grandfather at which point he stabs himself with a knife.  When Deanna (his grandmother) sees this she calls out but the demon quickly kills her also and then disappears. Dean is finally free and realizes that the demon must be going to hunt Mary and heads off to find her also, but he is too late as by the time he arrives the Yellow Eyed Demon has already killed his father.

Now while you might expect to see the whole fading away Back to the Future effect when Michael J. Fox gradually started to disappear as his father and mother did not hook up, here the demon actually speaks to Dean’s mother and tells her that he can bring John back from the dead if she will simply make a deal with him to so that in 10 years time she lets him in. He actually indicates that as long as he is not interrupted nothing will happen to her. With John dead she feels that she has no choice and makes the deal just as Dean arrives.

Dean is returned to the future by Castiel who actually tells him that there isn’t really anything that he could have done differently but now he knows the same thing that the angels do which is that Azazel (the name of the Yellow Eyed Demon) was going to bleed into Sam‘s mouth as a baby so that Sam would have demon blood inside of him. He says that he needs to find out what Sam is doing and stop him so then goes to look for Sam and he finds him exercising a demon with his mind. Now while we already knew about this, this is Dean’s first exposure to it and it incises him as he’d specifically asked Sam if he was using “his freakymind powers” and Sam had lied to him when he said No.

Review

OK I guess one thing I wasn’t sure about¬†at the beginning was the whole Back to the Future shtick.¬†I mean I know that one of the better things about that show is the fact that it’s not afraid to mix comedy with horror and it isn’t all dark dreary and miserable but this started to feel like a filler episode almost right from the beginning and while that might have been some small steps forward … my initial impression unfortunately was correct.

Knowing that Azazel was led to Mary by Dean himself while somewhat poignant didn’t really impact the overall story and also having Dean (& Sam’s) parents killed by demons prior to his birth – again didn’t really impact us overall as the only real parent they’ve each had is Bobby (you could say that their actual birth father was their parent but it seems that he’s been busy fighting demons and creatures most of their life so you almost have to discount him).