I’m going to mention the previous episode Thin Man since I didn’t have a chance to review it and there’s a pertinent (okay, more than one) situation that plays into Blade Runners and the Mark of Cain. Namely, Dean killed a man, a human-not-monster bad guy pretty much in cold blood. And he didn’t even have the damn blade then, so yeah, there’s some bad stuff going on with that thing. Best moment of Thin Man: Sam and Dean sharing their childhood memories. Sweeter times. Dean saving Sam even then, even if it was just from a broken bone. Heavy sigh. Spoilers follow:
Once again I say – Beware the Mark of Cain
Look at his face! Dean is in trouble, Sam. Big trouble.
Crowley is scheming and plotting and is clearly pulling the strings-at least when he’s not high on human blood.
In First Born, Crowley took advantage of Dean at his weakest moment, after Kevin’s death and Sam’s harsh words after finally being freed from Gadreel. Dean was guilt ridden and an easy mark for manipulation (a recurring theme of this season), and he walked right into the trap and the plans Crowley has been cooking up while he stewed (in his delicious juices) in the Men of Letters dungeon. Crowley set Dean before the Father of Murder, Cain, and Cain gave him the mark. There will be consequences, says Cain, and in Blade Runners we start to see what those are. (See photo above)
But is it as neat and clean a set up as it appears? Does Crowley have mixed motives like everyone else has this season? Only future episodes will tell us for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still emotionally compromised after all the human blood he’s taken in.
The episode starts out with Dean highly annoyed that he can’t reach Crowley, who is holed up in a hotel shooting up blood. It was nice to see Sam researching the First Blade and the Mark of Cain.
‘Not Moose’ displayed on Crowley’s phone made me laugh – thank you Show. Needed that.
The laughs are followed by a couple people being bled dry. And we find out fast that hot chick, Lola is working for Abaddon.
And then we get Snookie. As herself…sort of. Supernatural made her a demon!
That does explain a lot. Show biz can be tough, Dean tells her. She ought to cooperate with the boys since all of that fame and fortune could go away if Abaddon is put in charge. My gosh, she is so tiny standing next to Sam and Dean. I never watched Jersey Shore so I don’t have any preconceived notions about her as a person or as an actress. I thought she did a great job with her little part and when Sam started the exorcism, that was the best. Perfect pout for a soon to be ex demon.
Crowley realizes he’s in trouble when he finds out Lola has gone to Abaddon, and told her everything, including that the boys are looking for the First Blade. He does something that’s either out of character or something that’s going along with his schemes. He calls Sam and Dean for help. And they go straight to him. He gets slammed back in the MOL dungeon to dry out – cold turkey as Dean puts it.
Sam grills Crowley who rattles off a lot of First Blade tracks and trails. The moment of sentimental gooey eyes at Sam was a lovely and uncomfortable deal for Sam. More laughs. No tears yet.
And the boys start the search for the First Blade.
The breadcrumbs leads to a dealer who Crowley jumps into his meat suit and finds out where the blade has landed. To the National institute of Antiquities, where a couple guards get jumped by demons -Abaddon is hot on their heels and the boys are playing a game of catch up. It’s a race and the show sets a blistering pace following the trail.
Those suits. With a little demon smoking in and out. The VFX were stunning throughout.
More detective work follows and leads to the realization that Abaddon is closing in. Fast.
Dean gets hit on. Dean quotes federal statutes. Dean gets the phone number – as usual.
But wait – the name of the buyer is Magnus, as in the MOL Albert Magnus code name. They thought all those MOL guys were dead.
Still cuffed, but he’s in the bunker and mentions how he hoped to use Magnus to gain entry to the MOL. Which he’s now gotten, thanks to Sam and Dean. One day they will learn not to trust the sneaky bastard with anything. Maybe by the end of this episode?
The boys discover an expelled MOL, Cuthbert Sinclair, a Master Spellcaster and Crowley takes them to a clearing in the woods. Sam and Dean have a chat with thin air and presto a Star Trek like portal opens, and without a second thought, Sam and Dean go right through it.
Did I mention the effects are just stunning? Yes.
Are they even thinking? Or does the idea that this guy was once a Man of Letters put them off their guard. The vampires that attack the second they arrive should have set them back on guard, but no, they sit down for drinks with said un-aged Cuthbert Sinclair, who says there’s a spell for damn near anything. He’s a slick one and he has a zoo. Of monsters.
Sinclair to Sam and Dean: Hunters? With the key to the kingdom? The MOL boys must be spinning in their graves.
I don’t like this guy.
Oh my, is right, because here is where the shit hits the fan.
Sam, Dean is in trouble. Time to get over it but quick.
Sam gets poofed out to the woods where he is clearly upset that Sinclair has Dean, who is dangled the fountain of youth card to get his cooperation. To be part of the collection. Sam rips into the MOL files to find a way back inside, with Crowley whispering in his ear about their lovely partnership. Crowley is scheming. We just don’t quite know the full motive.
Meanwhile Dean gets handed the First Blade.
Sinclair tells him in that silky smooth voice: Next time it’ll be easier. You’ll get used to the feelings, even welcome them.
The look on Dean’s face, the realizations that are written there make me just plain terrified. When Dean is afraid of something…that can NOT be good. He says he’ll take a knee to stop Sinclair. Dean says this! Damn. But Sinclair has a spell that can, with repeated use, sap away Dean’s will to refuse him. Sinclair says a few truths too, about the power of the Blade. “Nothing can stop us. Anything we want to own or destroy is ours.” So many not-good things happening here.
Meanwhile outside, Sam is reluctant to even speak to Crowley while he’s researching what to do, but discovers he’ll need the King of Hell to collect the ingredients for a spell that will open the portal into Sinclair’s lair. And so Sam works with Crowley to get to Dean. Nothing will stop him. Unfortunately, he walks into a trap, but not before we hear these beautiful words from Sam when he confronts who he thinks is Sinclair – take me to my brother.
Sinclair intends to use Sam to make Dean go along with his plans, who foolishly asks Sam just what is Dean going to do to save him? Oh Sam knows the answer to that.
He’s going to kill you.
In yet another crazy Supernatural twist, while Sam is being tortured, Crowley gets to Dean and frees him from his chains. With the First Blade in hand, Dean uses it to neatly remove Sinclair’s head from his shoulders.
The first kill. And then…
The blade takes control.
Who is this man?
The struggle against its influence is so very apparent it is frightening to watch. Dean’s eyes grow distant. His face twists into a snarl. His hand is shaking; as if he is desperately trying to stop from using the Blade again, trying to control it, rather than it control him. I’m terrified for Dean now. Completely. I sat curled up in my chair watching while Dean Winchester changed into a different man before my very eyes.
His voice, calling to his brother, not a business associate this time, but Sammy, telling him it’s over and he can let go. And finally Dean hears him.
And drops the blade. He comes back, but the realization of how horrible this thing is has marked him, and Dean Winchester – the bravest man on the planet, seems very afraid.
He’s in way over his head, Sam. You hear? We see that fear clearly in Dean’s eyes as he looks to his brother.
Sam carries the Blade out. And then loses it to Crowley. Now here is where there could be a touch of mystery as to Crowley’s motives. Crowley could have taken the Blade for his own self-preservation. After all, Dean looks at him with pure hatred. But I wonder if he took the Blade to protect Sam. In Sinclair’s lair, he watched the same struggle Sam did and recognized it for what it was. If the legend of Cain and Abel has any bearing, then Sam could be in danger every time Dean picks up the Blade. It’s possible the Blade makes him want to kill everything and anyone all the time. It also seems likely that desire of the Blade, a kind of demon-blood like addiction, will drive Dean to get it back. The way he looked after it when Crowley took it didn’t seem so much like anger, as longing.
I’m not sure I can handle evil Dean. Really, Show. I can’t.
In this amazing and intense episode, hope for the brothers relationship seeps through the underlying tension of the job. Sam starts out very much against working with Crowley, as he’s been all along. His tone of voice is challenging, and he insists that Dean agree to kill Crowley as soon as they have the Blade. And yet Sam worked with Crowley to get to his brother. He didn’t hesitate or pause to consider the murky moral ground. He doesn’t like it, but he does it, and despite the trap he falls into, in the end, Sam does save his brother, calling him back from the brink. They may not always see it, but the bond between them is there, as strong as ever.
This episode was another payoff for fandom, a tiny reward for our suffering. The brothers aren’t quite there yet. More pain is headed our way, as the effects of Sam’s possession and Dean’s contact with the Mark and the Blade will surely play a dividing role. They are going to have to fight for each other. Blade Runners gave us a little glimpse of that fight in action.
And hey! I didn’t cry! Not even once. I was only scared to death.
A couple more show shots and if you want even more, click on the Blade Runners link on the left side bar to get to my flickr slide show. 300 screen caps for your viewing enjoyment –
Dean is distraught over Baby getting keyed. Don’t blame him.
If looks could kill, this surely would. Sam watching Crowley steal the First Blade.
ALL photos screen capped from CWTV.