There be spoilers here. Do not read if you want to avoid them!
Having watch the latest episode of Supernatural “Captives” five times already, my head is swimming with all the layers this episode brings to Season 9 (Season Devine).
I’ll leave the episode recap to others, but the short version is thus: Again…SPOILERS…
Kevin is a ghost. Mama Tran lives. Cas is back! Sam and Dean are still at odds.
Supernatural random thoughts:
Dean is flippin gorgeous stretched out in bed listing to Billy Squire ‘Lonely is the Night’. Sorry, just had to get that out of the way. Here’s a lovely picture.
When Dean yells for Sam, within in seconds, Sam comes running. This is a couple times now where Dean has been in trouble and Sam’s concern and near panic is very evident. In my view, any thought that Sam won’t always go to his brother’s aid and do what he can to save him is misguided and just plain wrong. Sam’s declaration that he wouldn’t save Dean should only be applied to the exact same circumstances of allowing Dean to be possessed – by anything. That’s a line Sam believes he won’t cross. Whether or not that’s actually true, remains to be seen. I think Sam will go pretty darn far to save Dean.
And maybe a few more:
Dean talks to a coffee pot:
Dean comes pretty close to completely breaking:
When Sam leaves Dean to the watch for Kevin, he doesn’t go far. While Dean is baring his soul, trying to apologize to Kevin for what happened, Sam comes rushing back in when the lights flicker. So in my headcanon, Sam was listening the whole time and heard every word. True or not? Maybe we’ll find out.
Kevin (yay!) comes in with an admonishment that he can’t believe he’s stuck in the veil listening to *Sam and Dean Winchester having a self-pity session. I thought this was a tad harsh, but okay. He has a point. I’ll give it to him. And, I think it’s important that he included Sam. Makes me wonder how many times he listened in on both of them. (*others have reported that Kevin only mentions Dean, but I’ve gone back and listened to it a number of times and I’m certain he names them both!)
It was AWESOME to see Kevin, even ghost Kevin. Also, I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of him. Ghost Kevin is just the right touch of his usual adorableness with a dose of creepy. Kudos to the SPN makeup artists.
Everyone who has died since Metatron closed heaven is stuck inside the veil. If the boys needed motivation to find a way to solve the angel problem, this is it. It’s bad in there, Kevin says. I wonder if this war of angels and demons won’t soon include those trapped in the veil.
It’s easy forget sometimes that all the angels know each other and have millennia of history between them, so when Cas was taken to Bartholomew, I was stunned by their greeting of each other (his more than Cas) and intrigued by their history.
It’s also easy to forget, with Cas’ general dorkiness, what a badass angel warrior he really is. I loved all the scenes with Cas, but especially the one where he easily disarmed big ole bad Bart. Best scene: When Cas refused to take Bart’s deal. I was talking to the TV that entire moment saying, Cas don’t do it, please don’t. And he didn’t! Yay! Cas has learned to make better choices that don’t involve making deals with evil dick angels. Yay again!
Another best scene: Taking out Barty. THE best scene ever: Let me pass. And he walks out of bad guy HQ. Awesome.
The rescue of Mama Tran was perfection. Sam having to be the one to tell her that Kevin was dead, without ever saying the words, was heartbreaking and one of the most amazing Jared Padalecki acting moments that I’ve seen. There was so much pain there, etched in his face, so much regret.
The gentle touch of his hand to hers….killed me.
Sam feels responsible for Kevin’s death as much as Dean does. I don’t think Sam is in any way responsible for what happened to Kevin. That really is on Dean (and on Gadreel most of all), but still, Sam is shouldering that burden. I want to believe that he’s doing it to help his brother through that pain. I’m going to keep believing it until Show demonstrates otherwise.
Sam really doesn’t like that Dean is working with Crowley.
The look on his face when Dean says ‘Crowley’. Not a great screen cap, but he’s rolling his eyes. Priceless.
He keeps making these jabs about it, that are more of a personal nature, rather than business, so he’s also having a tough time following his own let’s keep it strictly business mantra. He can’t, and seems to be slowly coming to that realization. He’s worried about Dean’s involvement with Crowley, but trying hard not to show it, so it comes out as Sam snark.
There needs to be a PSA of Sam and Dean in the woods cleaning up after themselves. I’m sure they did, because they’ve always been a ‘leave no trace behind’ kind of team, but still, I want to see it after Dean so casually tossed that can of beer down amongst the others that littered the ground.
And now for the end:
Kevin reuniting with Mama Tran made me cry copious tears.
The joy of seeing her son shines through and momentarily overcomes her sorrow that he is dead.
And then another nugget: The ring that Kevin is attached to belonged to his father. Go back to 8.02 What’s Up, Tiger Mommy where Crowley, after possessing Mrs. Tran, says this: ‘Surprising what mommy dearest has rattling around in her head. Want to know who your real father is? Scandalous.’
So who is Kevin’s father? What’s up with that ring? Will this be part of the plot going forward. Crowley knows, and as he puts it, he’s got schemes and plans out the jaxie. Crowley, who is carrying on with a bit of Kevin’s blood in his veins. File that under ‘things that make you go hmmm’.
Sam again with the confession that he feels he let Kevin down. Kevin’s reassurance that he knew it wasn’t Sam. I’m soooo soooo glad this was stated. How horrifying it must have been for him to feel that Kevin’s last sight in this world was of Sam killing him. Hearing from Kevin, something he didn’t think could ever happen, that he knew it was Gadreel, brought such a look of relief to his face.
Having that resolved for Sam might go some distance to help him heal from everything that’s happened. Sam needs to heal as much as Dean. Sam needs to rebuild himself as much as Dean. The only way they are going to do that, is to do it together.
But we didn’t get that far this episode. I didn’t expect we would.
The very end:
Kevin telling Sam and Dean to get over it was as if he spoke directly for Fandom. My hopes were raised for about 3 seconds that after that gentle but direct admonishment that the brothers would turn to each other, and if not hug, at least nod to each other that yes, they would work it out, share a look, or something, but no. Kevin leaves and almost before the door is closed, Sam is walking off.
Aside from the possibility that the Mark of Cain is playing an as yet explained role –
Sam is struggling with coming to terms with himself, with his brother, with their lives and all the horror that goes along with it. Sam obviously hasn’t heard from Dean what he needs to hear and be able to trust as truth. He’s not able to let it go just yet, maybe because Dean just told him he’d do the same thing again, which is something that has to scare Sam to death. He can’t accept the thought. It’s a line he doesn’t want crossed ever again.
Dean has to come to terms with that demand and agree that no, he won’t ever let Sam be possessed again to save him. But at the same time, I want Sam to realize Dean’s state of mind when that fateful decision was made. Dean has let Sam go before, but he had plenty of warning about it, had time to come around to the terrible idea that his brother had to jump in the box with Lucifer, that he had to let him do it, and he did. In S5.23 Swan Song, Dean not only accepted that Sam was going to hell to save the world, he helped him through that whole ordeal. Dean refused to give up on Sam and in doing so, helped Sam save humanity.
All through season 8, Sam talked about wanting to live, to help Dean see that light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel. We arrive at season 9, and Dean is totally unprepared to face Sam’s death, not just because he doesn’t want to be alone, but also because he firmly believes that the world needs Sam Winchester in it and is better off with him than without him. He said that a number of times during the latter half of Season 8.
Things go terribly wrong when Sam isn’t around. It’s an absolute Supernatural truth that they keep each other human. Sam needs Dean. Dean needs Sam. The world needs them both. And they both have to realize this together.
Signs of hope:
They part ways without a word spoken between them. Sam goes to his room, but we see him hesitate on the threshold, questioning his actions for a long enough moment that the struggle written all over him is evident.
Whatever he needs, he’s not getting yet and the flash of determination on his face tells us that he’s going to wait for that need to be fulfilled. He’s not backing down this time, which is a new way of operating for Sam.
Dean goes to his room and instead of drinking away his sorrow, he deals with it with his other love – music. This is one of those scenes that makes Dean Winchester incredibly real and makes me adore Jensen Ackles even more, if that’s possible. Haven’t we all done this very same thing? When the crap is so hard and too much to deal with, we crank up whatever our favorite tunes happen to be and check out. It’s telling though, the music Dean listens to, to help him cope. I’d rather it be music than booze. An improvement. We get them in increments.
One step forward. Two steps back.
And lastly, in the final shot, I don’t see dejected Dean. Surely, he’s still full of pain and sorrow, but what I see is steely-eyed determination.
Determined Dean – now
Determined Dean – then (Swan Song approaching the battlefield).
Those are the same eyes, the same furrowed brow. I think they are both determined in a way we’ve not seen before. I have hope they’ll fix themselves and each other. Eventually.
Up next is the episode featuring our favorite bumbling ghost hunters, the Ghost Facers. I’m really looking forward to it. The preview promises it’ll be full of great one-liners and at least a few laughs. But being that it’s Supernatural, it’s sure to be full of pain and sorrow too.
That bumpy ride we all need to strap in for? It’s going to get bumpier, but with the usual Supernatural flare. Laugh, scream, cry.
Hugs for fandom: