Sex and Violence – Supernatural s4e14

In the fourteenth episode of the fourth season of Supernatural, a kind of sub-par episode turns into a massive Nope-fest. Intrigued? Adam Benson comes home late from work, to be met by his wife Vicki, making his dinner and teasing him about being late. Adam responds angrily. Vicki then tells him she has accepted an invitation to a friend’s birthday on Saturday. Adam is again angry, and this time he picks up a meat tenderizer and kills her.

Disguised as FBI agents, Sam and Dean visit Adam, who is deeply remorseful and eventually confesses he was deeply in love with a stripper called Jasmine. Adam knows nothing about Jasmine other than that she worked at a club called the Honey Wagon.

This is definitely uncomfortable to watch, too, though I don’t know if that was intentional. From the cold open, we’re presented with images that are not at all recognizable as supernatural. Men beat and kill their wives all the time, and until we find out about the siren and the “drug” that compels them, there’s nothing here to suggest that what we’re seeing is anything other than violence born of misogyny. It’s a case of unfortunate implications, which is one reason why it took me so long for this episode to truly grab me. I know I’m a dude, but even I could see the male gaze all over this thing in terms of how it was filmed, where it was set, and how the use of the strippers went meant largely to act as this vague antagonistic force without ever getting any characterization at all. So yeah. Up until the big reveal about Nick Munroe (and what he compels the Winchesters to do), I was kind of bored by this episode?

Sam visits Dr. Cara Roberts, a doctor who conducted the autopsy on the victims, and took blood samples from the accused. She tells Sam that the men had high levels of oxytocin in their blood, a hormone associated with being in love. Dean and Sam visit the Honey Wagon, where each of the men had fallen for a different stripper. Information from Bobby indicates that they may be dealing with a siren, a creature known from Greek mythology, who disguises itself as the perfect mate to lure men. At the club Lenny Bristol is enamored with a stripper called Belle. They return to his home, where Lenny cares for his invalid mother. After making love, Belle tells Lenny they can be together forever if he kills his mother, which he does.

Dean and Nick watch Cara arrive at a club. Dean describes, as Sam did with Cara, a version of the poisoning theory, that maybe it is something in the Siren’s saliva, as he and Nick share a hip flask. Nick reveals it is indeed in the saliva, and that he has just poisoned Dean as they shared a drink. Nick is the Siren – and he tells Dean that he can’t trust Sam and needs to get him out of the way so he can be the perfect brother that Dean wants.

So, when Nick reveals himself as the siren (HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS OH MY GOD NICK FIT THE PROFILE SO PERFECTLY), he pits Dean and Sam against one another in a fight over himself. Now, there’s a sneaky little queer subtext to a man making other men fight one another to the death for him that’s kind of a neat re-telling of the Siren myth. But it’s an unaddressed subtext. Actually, it was also kind of confusing why the Siren acted as he did? I got the sense that he fed on devotion and euphoria, but it wasn’t outright stated, or I just missed it. ANYWAY. I suppose it’s not important because FIGHTING. SO. MUCH. FIGHTING. Dean gets the better of Sam and is about to swing at him with a fire axe, when Bobby appears and stabs him with a dagger. He then uses the dagger with Dean’s infected blood on it to stab the Siren. It dies, and we see its true hideous form revealed. The spell is broken. The next day Bobby bids farewell to the boys, and they both uneasily apologize for their harsh words, claiming they had no lasting effect.

While the physical fight was certainly a trip to watch, I was COMPLETELY MESSED UP by what these two said to each other. THEY CAN’T TAKE IT BACK. And I can already see that they’re both going to repeat the same thing to one another in the future: that they didn’t mean it, that the siren made them say that, but… is that really the truth? Because I’m pretty certain that what both these guys say to each other isn’t far from how they really feel. We know Dean’s suspicious of Sam and Ruby! BUT I DID NOT KNOW THAT SAM FEELS LIKE DEAN ISN’T A GOOD ENOUGH HUNTER TO TRACK DOWN LILITH, OR THAT HE BELIEVES DEAN IS HOLDING HIM BACK. I don’t want that to be true, but???? It probably is????

In hindsight, though, there is a lot here that’s completely re-contextualized by the ending. The biggest thing, obviously, is Dr. Roberts’ flirting with Sam. So, this is actually the first time in a while that Sam doesn’t have sex with a supernatural creature??? Also, Dr. Roberts is ALIVE AT THE END OF THE EPISODE. I DID NOT EXPECT THIS. Maybe the show is deliberately toying with our expectations on this one, but still, it was a shocker. That meant that her pursuit of Sam was genuine and not under dubious consent! HEY, THAT’S WONDERFUL.

What was most intriguing about this episode to me was how Nick Munroe used his power to bring out the unspoken tension between Sam and Dean, which comes to a head here in the WORST POSSIBLE WAY. So much of Dean’s characterization involves his reluctance to ever speak honestly about his emotional well-being. Despite that he has made strides towards being more honest with Sam, they both have unresolved issues surrounding their trust with one another. Though, let’s be real, most of that comes from Dean, who continues to mistrust Sam because SAM IS TERRIBLE AT HIDING SECRETS. He’s so clearly doing something else.

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

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 – namely 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.

Another episode that doesn’t really have anything to do with the underlying demon storyline and Sam’s descent into darkness this one almost seems to harken back to an earlier era in Supernatural and in some ways reminds me very much of the very funny movie with Steve Carell – The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.  While there are gags-a-plenty in this episode (the Chief is perfect and you just knew that it was coming), the underlying story is more of a buddy comedy gone wrong than anything more nefarious.

It’s Magic Week and Jay a once great magician sits nursing a drink.  Patrick – an up and coming newcomer heckles him, calling him washed up and becomes increasingly more depressed.  Determined to go out in a bang, he chooses to do the Table of Death trick expecting to die but he unexpectedly and miraculously survives!  However while he might survive, Patrick is not as lucky and the death that should have befallen Jay instead visits Patrick leaving him bleeding on the ground from dozens of puncture wounds.

Sam and Dean arrive to investigate and while their initial suspicions fall upon Jay, they quickly realize that he is as dumbfounded as they are.  Dean meanwhile suspects it might Jay’s friends or at the least they might have some knowledge and when questions them, they advise him that the Chief once crossed Patrick and maybe he knows something about what has happened.  Only arriving at the address he’s been given does Dean realize that he’s been had – the Chief is a gay leather dom.

Sam and Dean confer, postulating that Jay is using black magic to regain his old glory. Sam asks Dean if he thinks they will grow old, but Dean says that their life ‘ends bloody or sad’. Sam asks if Dean wouldn’t want to do something if they could end the demon war. Dean is suspicious that Sam isn’t telling him everything but Sam denies it.

Jay admits to his friend that he doesn’t have a clue how he’s doing the tricks, and that he’s getting frightened of all the deaths, but Charlie (his friend) says he has to continue as it’s giving him life again.  When Jay performs his Table of Death trick again, though, the victim this time is Charlie.  Jay realizing that he needs to do something goes to the boys for help & after investigating the boys realize that Jay’s other friend Vernon might somehow be involved.

When Jay confronts Vernon, a young man arrives – it’s Charlie and he is young again. Charlie reveals he once worked with P.T. Barnum, who gave him a powerful grimoire that contained a spell for immortality – the enchanted pack of Tarot cards. He offers eternal life to Vernon and Jay – although it means Sam and Dean will have to die. However Jay pickpockets Charlie’s deck of cards, leaving one with Charlie, and then stabs himself, killing Charlie.  Afterward, Sam and Dean meet Jay at the bar. He is depressed – his best friend is dead and Vernon has left. Dean tells him he did the right thing but Jay finds no comfort in that and leaves.

On the road for yet another hunt again! Fair warning sensitive viewers concerning this episode. It’s a depressing, tragic story that is very realistic. The acting within this episode is also top notch by actor Brendan Fletcher, who plays Max Miller in this episode. So, let’s get down to the meat of the matter, shall we?

The episode starts off with a man pulling into his garage. As the garage closes, the car turns back on a few seconds later. As the carbon monoxide builds up in the garage, the man starts to panic. His car locks down, trapping him inside. After a few more seconds of panic the man finally dies. There is a quick view of his Michigan license plate before the screen goes black.

Sam wakes up with a start, and we learn Sam had a premonition of the man’s death. He wakes Dean up insisting they have to leave right then and there. As they’re driving Dean insists it’s just a vivid nightmare. Sam runs the license plate he saw in his dream, and a name pops up. So the brothers drive down to Michigan to find out what’s going on.

Upon arrival, they find what appears to be all of the neighbors at the house. People are sharing their condolences about the untimely death of Alice Miller’s husband. The boys dress up as priests (and look quite dashing while doing it) as they head up to the house. They offer their condolences to Alice, who invites them in.

Once inside, Sam notices Max for the first time. Max is sitting in the corner by himself in another room. Sam goes over to talk to him and notices how traumatized Max looks. They talk for a few minutes, and we get a glimpse how Sam has a knack for connecting with people. Dean does a quick investigation of the house but finds nothing unusual. So the brothers leave to gather their thoughts and plan their next move.

As they continue to investigate, they are completely stumped by the case. Sam has another vision, and this time Max’s uncle is the one to die next. The uncle’s head is chopped off when a window slams down on his neck. As the brother’s scramble to find out what is going on, they still have no idea what could be haunting a family. Dean suggests it could be a family curse. Sam agrees but is skeptical of a curse being the true cause of the deaths. He still agrees to go to Dean to the family’s old home address to find more information.

When they reach the old address, they uncover a few disturbing facts. It turns out that growing up Max was abused by his father. He was regularly beaten, and even his uncle would take a swing at him sometimes. As Sam and Dean are talking to the neighbor, Sam suffers another vision while still awake. He sees Max crying as he demands to know why his step-mother never did anything to stop the beatings. As he’s crying, he picks up the kitchen knife Alice Miller was using to chop vegetables. Only instead of holding it in his hand it floats in mid-air. Max then stabs Alice in the head with the knife, killing her instantly.

The brother’s rush to Max’s house is intending to talk to him. Sam tries to convince Dean to not use violence, but Dean insists on bringing along his gun. Once they get inside Sam insists on talking to Max. At first Max is hesitant, but after a minute starts to follow him outside. Max catches sight of Dean’s gun in the hallway mirror. All hell breaks loose then.

Max loses his mind and takes Dean’s gun. Sam eventually does convince Max to at least allow Dean and Alice upstairs so they can talk alone for five minutes. Sam soon learns Max dealt with a lot of physical abuse growing up. A week prior to Sam and Dean coming up to Michigan, Max’s father had beaten him yet again. Max even shows Sam the half-healed scars on his side from the beating.

Sam attempts to talk Max down from what he’s about to do. Things continue to escalate, and it doesn’t look good. In the end, Max doesn’t go through with his plan to kill Dean and his mother. Right in front of Sam Max uses his powers to shoot himself in the head.

One aspect of this episode that’s interesting is the foreshadowing that takes place. Leading up to the final scenes Sam finds out Max’s mother died the same way his did. Max’s mother was pinned to the ceiling and burned to death over his crib. Max’s father blamed him for his mother’s death, and this is what ultimately led to Max’s abuse. Sam also finds out his powers and Max’s powers manifested around the same time. This leads to the brothers wondering if what killed their mothers was not in fact up to something far more sinister.

“Nightmare” is a very dark episode for the Supernatural series. Perhaps for the fact it’s not so much ‘supernatural’ as it is striking very close to home on a realistic note. There have been many real life cases of abuse where a victim has simply been done suffering before taking drastic measures, so they no longer feel afraid.

Brendan Fletcher, the actor who plays Max in this episode, does a very good job of acting. In every scene that has Max, he communicates a character who is damaged and has faced a life of abuse. Max is a recluse and doesn’t appear to be able to connect well with other people. In one scene, he even states after killing his father and uncle he’s still scared. He tells Sam he no longer wants to feel helpless or afraid. He wants to feel in power because he still has nightmares about the beatings.

At the end of the episode, Sam admits to Dean their lucky to have their dad. He states that their father could have easily taken a different turn. Instead of demon hunting he could have turned to tequila. Sam and Dean could have easily ended up with the childhood Max had.

All in all, Nightmare is a realistic and tragic episode. It opens up the doors to showing there is something more going on than what Sam and Dean initially thought. Until then, the brothers have to continue their hunting in order to find the answers to Sam’s strange powers.

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! 🙂

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.

Quite a cool episode here but also one that at the same time is somewhat poignant and sad as the evil “monster” in this case is a somewhat misunderstood individual that was unjustly killed.  He has taken to haunting the town where he was killed and the boys come to investigate after the they learn of a man that died from a heart attack without any of the usual symptoms – I have to admit in this case that’s kind of reaching as I’m sure there are hundreds of other people that die daily for similar reasons and they aren’t all related to hauntings!

Anyways in Rock Ridge, Colorado, Dean gets “infected” by the ghost sickness which has the effect of increasing a person’s anxiety and fear to fatal levels (basically the cause of death of the man they are investigating) and watching Dean be frightened is actually a surprisingly funny experience!

 

Contacting Bobby the boys learn that the ghost they’re hunting is called a Buruburu & in this case they don’t have a body to salt and burn so they are going to have to figure out another way of killing the ghost otherwise Dean’s life is basically over!  Dean’s visions and fears gradually get worse and worse as the episode progresses and we realize that some of his fears are actually from his time in Hell.

Sam & Bobby discover the source of the ghost and realize that since there isn’t a body to burn there only alternative is to actually scare it to death by reenacting its original death itself.  Bobby utilizing some  spellcraft bewitches an iron chain that Sam manages to get around the neck of the ghost – Bobby then roadhauls him behind the Impala, re-enacting his death and successfully scaring the ghost to death.

Here’s an episode that will get you riled up. You’ll also get to meet Dean’s first love interest.

There is a lonely road out in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. There has been a line of car accidents taking place that are suspicious. Dean’s old flame contacts him asking for help. It turns out Dean Winchester used to have a girlfriend named Cassie. When good old Dean revealed, he hunted the supernatural she promptly dumped him right after. Cassie calls Dean for help since her father and his best friend Clayton, both who were African American, were killed. Apparently the men were run off the road which resulted in their death. Cassie is suspicious because in the days leading up to her father’s death he reported that he had been followed by a black truck.

Sam and Dean show up in the town to do some research. Once they arrive though Jimmy Anderson, editor of the local paper, dies. Sam and Dean dig deeper into their investigation of the deaths. Deans and Cassie soon end up rolling in the sheets with each other.

Not long after the boys are in town the mayor of the town, Harold Todd, is killed too. The brothers, along with some help from Cassie, find out all the men who died are linked in some way to the Dorian family. The Dorian family was once a white family who was very wealthy and influential in the town.

Cassie is attacked not soon after the connection is discovered. When the brothers come to help they, find out Cassie’s mother used to date a man named Cyrus Dorian when she was younger. Cassie’s mother left Cyrus for Martin Robinson instead. Cyrus was so angry over what happen that he burnt down the church Cassie’s mother and father were married in. The burning of the church also ended up killing the children’s choir in the process.

Cyrus tried to finish his revenge by attacking Martin. Martin was able to defend himself and beat the other man to death. Martin and two of his friends, Jimmy Anderson, and Clayton Solmes, got rid of the evidence by pushing the truck and Cyrus’ body into the swamp. Harold Todd knew about what the men had done. Being the young deputy of the town at the time he covered up the murder.

Dean and Sam decide to put the phantom truck to rest once and for all. They drag the truck and its owner from the lake. Burning the body is the easy part, but they have to lead the ghost truck to the grounds of the burnt down church. The brothers win, and Cassie is finally safe from the ghost truck.

Dean does attempt to renew his relationship with Cassie. Unfortunately, the lovely lady turns him down. It forces Dean to hit the road again with his brother Sam.

Route 666 is not an episode for the faint hearted. It goes out to make a point about the unfairness of the period. On the other hand, it’s very inspiring. For example, Cassie’s mother despite being white chooses the man she loves for who is. Not his skin color. Cyrus is a shallow soul, and lets his judgment blind him to gain his ‘revenge’ for Cassie’s mother leaving him. Cyrus’ hatred eventually led to his death.

One part that does make this episode very interesting though is that Athens, Ohio is mentioned first thing at the beginning of the episode. Athens, Ohio is seen as one of the most haunted areas in the country. It’s another way Supernatural has shown to have some real world influences, and even mentions them in the series.

All in all, Route 666 is a very touching episode. It touches on true love, real world influences and shows a part of Dean never seen before. Turns out the hunter, for all his womanizing ways, does desire a connection with someone. Only time will tell if he will ever find it.

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.

Well I’m not sure if you’ve taken my advice and watched this show or not but from this point on I’m afraid I can’t really resist giving you some spoilers as each episode very much does build upon the previous like a Lego tower.

If you recall from my previous post I mentioned that there was a new character introduced into this long running show and that he would change our perceptions of not only the brothers but their fight forever. Well the new character is an angel… literally an angel from heaven! His name is Castiel and he was responsible for raising Dean from Hell. The raising is what caused the explosion around Dean’s grave as I mentioned in my previous post and his voice is what caused the windows to shatter. To say that he has power is to be a little bit less than melodramatic.

Today however the boys have been contacted by Bobby as he needs their help to find out what is killing the hunters around town. Actually all around the state. As the brothers investigate they discover that some of their own ghosts from the past are hunting them also and they don’t know why.

When they finally meet up with Bobby  in the process saving him from some of his own nightmares they investigate some markings that they saw on the bodies of the ghosts and realize that these are the markings of the “witnesses“. This is a sign of the upcoming apocalypse and again goes to explain what Castiel and the other angels are doing now on Earth.

The witnesses all accuse the boys and Bobby that they had the chance of saving them, but they failed and when Bobby does his investigation he realizes that they have literally been driven mad by the spell used to raise them and that is why they have a brand on their hand.

Bobby comes up with a plan to release the witnesses but to do that they all need to escape from the panic room that Bobby has created and they are currently hiding in. Bobby it seems is nothing if not paranoid.

As Bobby is preparing the spell, the brothers search through the house for the ingredients fighting off ghosts in the process and then they have to hold off the ghosts while Bobby completes the spell. Just before Bobby throws the concoction into the fire to activate it, Meg attacks and almost kills him but Dean is able to save the special powder and throws it into the fireplace destroying the ghost.

Later Castiel appears to Dean in a dream and reveals that the rising of the witnesses is one of many – 66 (… I wonder if there is another six in there somewhere that they just haven’t mentioned?) – seals that are stopping Lucifer from escaping hell. Castiel says that they lost six other angels in this battle and that their numbers are not infinite… He indicates that Dean is back for a specific reason and they need to stop what is happening to protect the Earth.

Review

Okay I think I managed to get the most of this episode covered here so whatever I’ve missed I apologize however the one thing I do need to say is that the show … holy cow it’s just getting better and better. I hope you’ve been reading some of the posts that Nia has been putting up you really need to see where they came from to understand how good they are now and its only by looking at their past that this will become obvious. Bobby has always been a solid father figure to both of the boys and Castiel although only two episodes in it’s somebody I really I’m enjoying learning about

One thing I have noticed over the course of seasons is that it seems the power available to the monsters seems to grow… Once upon a time the ghosts were not really able to do physical damage to anyone but over the course of many seasons this has changed.  In this episode you almost feel sorry for the “monsters” as you know that they were in some ways good people and they are acting in the way they are simply because they have been coerced.

When Meg launches into Sam about him letting Ruby run around in different bodies you really see where she’s coming from and do you tend to agree with her to be honest. Hell, Ruby might be helping for whatever reasons she has – which we still don’t really know and you have to wonder what is her real reason and while Sam as I didn’t mention previously in last episodes encounter at the diner is obviously using his powers in the fight against evil… the question of course what is he becoming? And will he be someone on our side or against us?