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.
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.
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).