Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Review: Supernatural 9x11 “First Born”

Original Air date: January 21, 2014

We find Dean sitting in a dinner by himself and Castiel feeding Sam angelic chicken noodle soup.  They have gone their separate ways for the time being.  Dean is holding to his “keep Sam out of it” plan and Sammy likewise is refusing to call Dean for help.  I can say though unlike in the past, a few days apart and no one has ended up tied to a tree… yet.  Perhaps its because they aren't completely on their own this time.  They've found new partners for the time being.  I don't think Dean is going to keep his partner longer than he really needs too.  He's not a big fan of his truth be told. 

Sidenote: I am resisting a huge urge not to just quote the entire show below.  It was a very quotable episode.

Sidenote2: I'm also not going to make a reference to that small kerfuffle that occurred between a certain fanbase and a cast member, but I will say, way to go SPNFamily for making this week's episode one of the most watched episode in years. 

Castiel finds something a wee bit interesting while he’s healing Sam.  It seems Gadreel left a sort of angelic fingerprint (I personally would have called it a footprint, but they didn't ask me).  He’s got a smudge of grace left in him.  Grace that could be used for a tracking spell to lead them to Gadreel.  The only thing is, extracting the grace will harm Sam, but healing Sam will get rid of the grace all together. 

Crowley shows up and begs Dean to star in a Buddy Comedy with him.  There is a weapon that can kill Abaddon.  It’s called “The First Blade” and it is what the archangels used to fight the Knights of Hell.  There’s only one problem.  The closest Crowley ever got to the blade, were rumors that one of his demons had gotten close to it, a demon who was smoked by dear old Pappa Winchester before Crowley could get to him.  This is the bit where I screeched at the sight of John’s journal.  I just missed that old raggedy thing, okay?   It reminds me of simpler times of women in white and wendigos. 

The journal leads them to John’s files, which lead them to Tara, an old hunting buddy.  Now is the bit that I try not to rage too hard on the fact that as soon as we met her and I realized that I really loved her, that I knew I had seen the last of her.  Like seriously, can we not? No. I’m really asking now.  Can we please just not? Tara was cool.  She was confident.  She was a badass.  She had a knee that twinged when a demon was nearby!

Tara gives them a tracking spell which leads them to the power source of “The First Blade”.  There we find Timothy Omundson, I mean Cain.  That’s right Cain as in Cain and Abel.  After Cain killed his brother, he became a demon.  He became the “Father of Murder” and he trained the Knights of Hell.  He's pretty freaking powerful and really deadly.  Then one day, he retired.  He was out of the game.  He found a woman who loved him, but that wasn't good enough for his knights.  So he picked up his blade one more time and salughtered them all.  Except for Abaddon.  She was able to escape when she distracted him with the murder of his love, Collete. 

In the mythology of Supernatural, this is not the first time that Cain and Abel have been referenced.  Sam and Dean have been compared a few times before, but we've never had the entire story before. We didn't know all the facts.  Cain didn't kill his brother out of jealous.  He killed him to save him.  
"He said that I had to save you [...] and that if I couldn't I'd have to kill you." - Hunted 2x10 
Abel wasn't speaking with God, it was Lucifer.  So Cain did what he could, he made a deal with the devil.  Abel’s soul goes to heaven in exchange for Cain’s soul.  The catch being that Cain had to send Abel onto heaven himself. 

After a quick stunt demon vs. Winchester showdown, Cain reveals he had felt a connection between them since he walked in the door.  He'll give Dean the Mark.  The Mark of Cain, the source of the blade's power.  He'll be able to kill Abaddon, but of course it comes with a price.  A price we don't know what yet.  I'm guessing it's not sunshine and lollipops.  Cain asks for only one thing in return.  That when the time comes, Dean will use the blade on him after he's killed Abaddon. 

While Dean is gaining some traction on his Abaddon problem, Sam is not fairing so well.  The extraction of the grace, is taking too much out of him.  Castiel still remembers what it’s like to be human and knows what it means to make horrible decisions while trying to do good.  Seriously bad decisions in the name of good.  As a human he had to live with that burden on his shoulders.  Castiel knows empathy for the first time.  So , now he can’t bring himself to do whatever it takes, especially if it comes at the cost of Sam's life.  There will be other ways to find Gadreel. 

Favorite bits of the episode?  
  • Timothy Omundson!!
  • Just about every single line that came out of Crowley’s mouth. Some of the winners being:
“I do love a good buddy comedy.”
“I've been inside your brother. We’re practically family.”
“[…]domestic partner in crime[…]” Can we get that on coffee mugs or something?
“You’re good, but I’m Crowley.”
  • Crowley telling Tara that him and Dean are besties.
  • Castiel’s excited face when he thought that Sam had a guinea pig and then disappointment when he realized it was a metaphor.
  • Castiel x Pb&J = OTP.  From his disappointment at only tasting molecules to his remembrance of what it meant to be human, it all hit my Cas soft spot.
  • This is how I saw it: “The King of Hell and a Winchester walk into my house ... *John Bender falls through the roof*... I forgot my pencil."
  • Crowley crossing himself at the sight of Cain’s mark.  You know things are bad when the Kind of Hell crosses himself (yes I know he was playing Dean the entire time, but come on that’s never a good sign). 
  • “Why must the Winchesters run toward death?”

In conclusion: Demon and angel alike think that Sam and Dean need to just suck it up and call their brother.  As humans we should all appreciate peanut butter and jelly (NOT jam) sandwiches just a little bit more.  Even the King of Hell can’t resist Dean Winchester’s charm and regardless of what Dean says there is always enough time for a Winchester and King of Hell buddy montage. 

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