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Sliced, Diced, and Cut to Pieces – Fandom, That is. Supernatural ‘Red Meat’

April 1, 2016
Cap S_verasani

Cap S_verasani

I should have known we were in trouble when the THEN segment for this week’s episode included Dean’s emotional confession to Sam, “I couldn’t live with you dead” and then we started getting a montage of Winchester deaths. My head was still spinning with that when we launched right into the beginning segment, which I expect to be non-Winchesters. It’s supposed to be that few minutes of red shirted guest-of-the-week getting mauled or murdered or eaten or something, but it’s not Winchesters so I’m usually more or less calm. But NO. From the first frame, it’s Sam and Dean getting thrown around by monsters and fighting for their lives and OMG I have a very bad feeling about this! Why is it Winchesters in this first segment when people are usually getting killed???????????

My heart started beating triple time right about then. And it didn’t stop for 45 more minutes. No, not even during commercials, which time I used to take to Twitter and plead for someone to come bring me a warm blankie and a gigantic bottle of wine because I COULD NOT CALM DOWN!

The sense of foreboding in the first few minutes was dizzying, and the second there was that pause and the werewolf picked up the gun I KNEW. I think I was screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO before he ever pulled the trigger. Before we saw Sam crumple in agonizing slow motion and fall. Before we saw the devastated look on Dean’s face as he watched in helpless horror.

Dean sinks a knife into the werewolf but I’m too busy sobbing and screaming to even care, because SAMMY!

WB/The CW

WB/The CW

And then, in a cruel capricious twist, we snap back to 48 HOURS EARLIER.

What???!!! No no no, you can’t do that to me, Show, Sam just got shot for godsakes!!

I started cursing Robert Berens and Andrew Dabb at that moment, and that pretty much continued throughout the episode too. Sorry, guys. I’m in awe of your brilliance with this episode, but I really do hate you.

48 hours earlier, we get Winchesters sitting calmly in the Men of Letters study, researching and reassuring. Sam keeps telling Dean they’ll prevail, they’ll find Cas, they’ll get him back. In the meantime, they need to do their jobs. Dean is surly. Pessimistic.

Cap WeLoveSPN

Cap WeLoveSPN

Hyperventilating in the corner, I’m still wondering how gut-shot Sam is doing lying on the floor of some cabin.

Sam: Let’s do what we do.

Me: Not this time, Sam! Don’t do it, Dean!

SNAP and we’re back in the present, Sam bleeding out on the floor and Dean now frantically doing the reassuring as he digs the bullet out before he even so much as glances at the tied up couple that they came to save. Both Jared and Jensen were amazing in this scene – I could FEEL Sam’s agony, the pure physicality of his pain expressed vividly in Jared’s expression, the way he trembles and shakes and screams through the cloth in his mouth because he can’t not make noise, and it’s all so REAL. And Dean’s face, as he fights off panic and tries to ground himself in order to do what he has to do. You can feel his desperation, his terror, as he closes his eyes and concentrates on digging the bullet out of his brother’s belly. It’s visceral in its reality, and I literally started to feel sick with it. The blood, the pain, the terror, it was all too right there, too vividly portrayed.

11.17 s vera sam

I want to give Jared and Jensen and Bob and Andrew and director Nina Lopez-Corrado all the kudos, but I also want to turn off the television and just make it STOP!

Of course, it doesn’t, and the tension just amps up instead of easing when Dean goes to help the tied up people and SAM FUCKING WINCHESTER, shaking with shock and pain and blood loss, tapes up his own stomach and bandages himself up. I’m still sobbing, because it’s so clear that he IS NOT OKAY and that means I am not okay either.

But Sam is a big damn hero and he insists that he can go when the formerly tied up guy (who I already don’t like) says they can’t stay there and Dean refuses to leave Sam behind. Stupid formerly tied up guy, this is Dean Winchester we’re talking about. OF COURSE he won’t leave his brother! Pfft.

Sam leans on his big brother and they limp out into the woods and I’m still rocking myself and trying to calm down because the sense of foreboding is definitely not going away. Jared continues to be amazing – every step Sam takes looks painful, every wince makes me flinch, every grimace and every involuntary little sound that he can’t hold in. It all works, and once again the realism is too much for me. Pretty sure I was screaming “Dean! Your brother needs to lie down, what the hell! Ignore that dick of a rescued guy!!”

Of course Dean doesn’t, he’s a big damn hero too. Winchesters. God.

SNAP and we’re back in the past, boys in fed suits alive and in one piece and breathtakingly gorgeous. They drink and bicker and a bartender is suspiciously helpful while a noticeably huge and menacing guy looms by the door, so we know things are going to go south soon. I want to scream at them NO DON’T GO but of course they’re already effing THERE. Damn you, Show!

WB/The CW

WB/The CW

SNAP and we’re back to Sam stumbling through the forest, shaking and staggering and keeping going through sheer will, and still trying to make jokes about roadhouse chili to reassure his brother. They take refuge in another abandoned cabin, which has no phone service but has working lanterns, so now we can see Sam’s gory injuries by beautiful lamplight and crap, I’m totally feeling sick again.

“We’ve got to keep moving. Those of us who can,” says the rescued guy – Corbin – and tries to convince Dean to leave Sam once again. Oh, Dean’s face when Corbin tries that. I shivered, and this time it wasn’t with terror.

Dean insists that he’ll make a litter and they’ll carry Sam the rest of the way and all I can think of is all the fanart in this fandom with the caption “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother” and for some reason that makes my already watery eyes start to overflow. Oh Sam. Oh Dean. I have such a bad feeling about this.

Meanwhile, snapped back to the past, sure enough the bartender and the big looming guy are the weres. I hate them too, btw.

Dean goes into the woods to make a litter, breaking tree limbs and throwing them down, and once again you can FEEL his desperation. He’s terrified, knows he’s working against time trying to save Sam – trying to do the most important thing in his entire life. The frantic way he’s trying to hurry, his clumsiness as a result, it all rings so true. I know what that feels like – we all know. It’s like the nightmare that you have when you’re trying to do the most important thing EVER and your feet won’t move fast enough, like they’re stuck in thick mud.

I don’t know whether this was scripted or not (I’m guessing not because that’s my new game to play) but what really made that scene so effing real was Dean being so desperate that he’s struck by a tree branch and he lashes out — at the tree!

Dean: Get off me!

Isn’t that exactly what would happen, even with an inanimate object? He has to close his eyes and try to calm himself down and I feel for him so much, my heart is breaking for him already.

Cap S_Verasani

Cap S_Verasani

In the distance, we see the lights of the werewolves’ truck and REALLY Show? How much more can you put the Winchesters through in this episode??

Oh but Show is not done with us, not by a long shot. Inside the cabin, Sam is still being a Big. Damn. Hero. He’s encouraging Corbin and Michelle to go get Dean, to get out of there, to leave him behind.

Corbin, who we already suspect is compromised, regards Sam with a stare that made my blood run cold.

“He won’t leave you. And we won’t last without him.”

I started screaming for real then, yelling NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO even before realization and horror dawned on Sam’s face and Corbin reached down to clamp a hand over Sam’s mouth and nose. Oh shit shit shit, Jared effing SOLD that scene! Everything about the way he fought and flailed – the desperation of it, the strength that desperation gave him even as wounded as he was – once again the realism did me in.

When Sam finally collapsed, I literally collapsed too, sobbing and shaking and still muttering No no no no.

Michele: Is he?

Corbin: Dead.

Me: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I sobbed through the commercial, and right into the next scene, anticipating the awful awful moment when Dean would return and find his brother…

It’s hard for me to even write it up now without getting emotional again. Dean’s first “Sam!” and then the look on his face as he sinks to his knees. His softly uttered, almost childlike “Sammy?” as he shakes him ineffectually. It’s what anyone would do if they found themselves in this position that is the worst possible thing imaginable.

Cap S_Verasani

Cap S_Verasani

It’s denial, for a second, then desperate hope as he Dean searches for a pulse, and then the terrible steely blankness of shock comes down like a curtain over Dean’s expressive face.

It was like watching AHBL2 all over again, when I cried for a week and couldn’t get the scene out of my mind because Jensen Ackles is just that effing good. All those emotions got pulled up again during this scene, making everything even MORE intense, even more heartbreaking.

Graphic _itsokaysammy

Graphic _itsokaysammy

Meanwhile, Corbin tries to encourage Dean to leave with them, that he’ll die if he stays here, and oh, we all know that Dean doesn’t give two fucks about that right now. Sam is dead and that’s all that matters.

Dean: Let ‘em come.

If the scene didn’t remind you of AHBL before, it sure as hell did now. It’s the same tone, the same look, the same deadness in Dean’s eyes as when he fixes Bobby with that stare and says “Then let it end.”

Because for Dean, it has ended. The world ended the second Sam stopped breathing.

Michelle: Help us, please.

Even in his agony, that gets through. Dean is still a Big. Damn. Hero. He will happily sacrifice himself, but he won’t sacrifice the lives of innocent people (okay, person, but…) And somehow that just overwhelmed me with love for this character who’s captivated me for over a decade. That he would pull himself out of the absolute devastation and grief and still do his best to save these people – the ones whose predicament ended up costing him his brother – it touched me so much.

Predictably, that made me cry harder.

And then Dean leans down to talk to Sam, so tender, so gentle.

Dean: I’m gonna come back for you, okay? I promise.

Cap S_Verasani

Cap S_Verasani

Me: That’s it, I’m done. Totally done.

I could barely see the screen through my own tears, but somehow I was clear enough to see Dean look back at his brother on the floor, tears spilling over, chin quivering. I had the odd thought of oh, he left the lamp on. He left the lamp on for his brother. His dead brother.

That was it. I was wrecked. I’m wrecked again now, just writing this up. Damn you, Show!

 

11.17 kay lite on

11.17 s vera

Onscreen, they snapped back to the past, Sam alive and well and teasing Dean about how they should take some time off and go camping. He’s smiling, cajoling, and he looks so good…

Me: Yes! Why don’t you enact that fanfic instead, you know, a nice pleasant Sam and Dean go camping AU where nobody dies! Not this tearjerker case fic that’s KILLING ME.

Meanwhile, Dean is doing his best to lead the couple to safety and Corbin is confessing to his wife that he killed Sam.

Corbin: I saved us. I can’t lose you. I did what I had to do.

Foreshadowing? Or just a reiteration of the theme of Supernatural for eleven seasons? Either way, it chilled me to the bone.

I had one small moment of almost smile as Dean ran out into the roadway to flag down the sheriff, because tight jeans and bowlegs mmm.

Mission accomplished, civilians safe, and all Dean wants is to keep his promise and get back to Sam.

Dean: I have to get back to my brother.

The sheriff, who I also don’t like at all, does not understand that these are Winchesters he’s dealing with and yes, Dean HAS TO GET BACK TO HIS BROTHER. It’s the theme of the show, for godsakes! Unfortunately Sheriff is not a fan and does not appreciate Dean’s frantic punch to the jaw and attempt to get the hell out of there. As if Dean isn’t having the worst day of his often tragic life, he gets tazered for his trouble. SERIOUSLY Show???!!!

I’m momentarily distracted from my sobbing by how gorgeous Dean looks waking up in the hospital (and looking way too big for that little bed lol). It’s the same thing I thought when Jensen tweeted this photo out during filming, along with a complaint to Jared.

Tweet @JensenAckles

Tweet @JensenAckles

@JensenAckles: @jarpad …Wish I was at a bar. Hell, wish I was in Austin. U don’t care.

We see Corbin being a dick and Michelle being empathic and grateful and the Sheriff continuing to be a dick too. Erin Way did a fabulous job as Michelle – every emotion came through loud and clear. Michelle goes to Dean and tries to comfort him, so I like her very much – though I question her choice of husband.

Once again, Ackles does an amazing job portraying Dean’s shock and grief. He looks almost like he’s been stunned, unable to process the full weight of what he’s lost. He looks up at Michelle like her every acknowledgement of that loss hurts him physically. He can barely look at her; he flinches, eyes watery. The damage done to Dean Winchester is horribly, strikingly obvious.

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I’m assuming it’s the shock and concussion and tazering that don’t allow Dean to think about contacting a reaper until Michelle’s sympathy triggers it.

Dean: I need to talk to a scary crazy death machine.

He rifles the cabinet for pills and I feel sick again, knowing what he’s going to do. It was a tough scene to experience, especially for many in the fandom who have had their own struggles with depression, but I saw it as Dean not being willing to give up. He’s done this before, engineered his own death temporarily to have a conversation with the other side. He wanted to contact Billie and try to make a deal, not give up and join Sam. The fact that he assured Michelle that if he didn’t make it back, no hard feelings, was certainly Dean admitting that life has little meaning without Sam, but that wasn’t his goal – that was an “if this doesn’t work”.

Michelle: You don’t have to do this.

Dean: Yeah, I do.

Oh, Dean. My heart.

11.17 s verasani killself

Meanwhile, Sam. We get a loving voyeuristic pan up Sam’s bloodied body and out of nowhere HOLYSHIT he’s alive!

He’s alive and Dean’s about to kill himself.

11.17 kay sam pan

If anyone didn’t immediately think of Romeo and Juliet, what show are you watching? The situation is the same, and the horrible horrible tragedy of it is just as poignant.

Sam is so clearly in agony – once again, Jared portrays his pain and determination vividly. I HURT watching him. He moves like every movement costs him, sweating and shaking as he lurches around the cabin.

WB/The CW

WB/The CW

It’s pure determination that’s keeping him going, and I’m in awe watching. The bad guys arrive and he drags himself downstairs.

In the hospital, Dean falls down.

In the cabin, Sam falls down.

The symmetry was beautifully filmed and edited, and the symbolism of it only added to the tragedy: the brothers, still together. Always together.

And oh god, the blood. Sam bleeding, holding himself together, gasping.

And oh god, Dean foaming at the mouth, choking, convulsing.

It’s not pretty, none of it. It’s raw and visceral and horrible.

And Corbin is changing into a werewolf in the bathroom for godsakes. What else can go wrong??

Sam is hiding from the weres, as they sniff out his blood, and I’m wondering how much more suspense I can take. Instead of crying, I’m now clutching myself and muttering OMG OMG OMG OMG over and over, which is probably even more alarming looking than the former sobbing. My nails are probably bitten down to nothing and I haven’t even been able to get it together enough to touch that glass of wine I thought I’d enjoy with my Show. Hah!

But this is Supernatural, goddammit. On my screen, SAM FUCKING WINCHESTER, bleeding out and half dead, lures both werewolves in and kills them both. This is a whole new definition of badass, people!

Graphic _sassy_cassy_

Graphic _sassy_cassy_

Predictably, we’re not allowed much sense of relief. Dean is still on the floor and it’s not looking good. Billie makes her entrance – which Lisa Berry always manages to make so full of menace that it’s terrifying and awesome all at once – and the way she’s looking at Dean lets us know right away that she’s not here to bargain with him.

Billie: Of all the ways I thought you’d go…

Dean tries to bargain. He pleads. His eyes fill with tears as he grows increasingly desperate, faced with what he thinks is his last chance to get Sam back.

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He offers himself for Sam, the most time honored Winchester way, and say what you will, but it just makes me love these characters more. Makes me start sobbing again as Dean pleads with her.

Billie: You can’t lose him. The answer will always be no. Game’s over, Dean. No more second chances.

Dean: I’m begging you, please. Bring him back. Take me instead.

Billie makes one big mistake though. She tells Dean that Sam is not dead. And that changes EVERYTHING.

WB/The CW

WB/The CW

Billie: The empty, it’s waiting…

Dean turns back to his body convulsing on the floor and you can see the second he turns all that Winchester determination into getting back to it. His brother is alive; his brother needs him. There is NOTHING, not a reaper, not Death, not God/Chuck himself, who could keep Dean Winchester from getting back to his brother.

Bang, Dean wakes up – but he gets no reprieve and neither do we. The dick of a Sheriff cuffs him and wants to sedate him (but the awesome doc refuses). One look from Dean and Michelle knows what she has to do – she knows how desperate he is to get to his brother. Off go the cuffs. And now it’s Dean trying to get to Sam, and Sam trying to get to Dean. He knows Corbin is a werewolf and Dean is in danger. And that’s what drives Sam, terribly wounded and in so much pain, to keep going. He stumbles, wheezing through gritted teeth, but he doesn’t stop. Once again, Jared conveyed all this brilliantly.

I let out a whoop of accomplishment when Sam finally got to the Impala – you can FEEL his relief at just making it back “home”. He throws himself against the car, leaning into her and letting her hold him up for a moment and just relishing that sense of security she gives him.

Gif by saucynewf

Gif by saucynewf

He manages just enough service to call Dean – exactly as Dean is trying to call him – and Dean’s look of absolute overwhelming relief when he hears Sam’s voice made my eyes start to water again.

Dean: Sammy?

Sam: Yeah.

Dean: Ohgod.

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That broke me, that quiet exclamation, full of so much emotion. These boys are going to kill me, I swear.

The call cuts out and the need to warn Dean spurs Sam on. Jared showed us exactly how painful it was for Sam to climb into the car, because holy crap, with those injuries folding his long legs into that car must have been AGONY. He can barely reach up to close the door, but he does it. All those little details once again made it so real, made me feel for Sam and made me just feel overwhelmed with love for that character. Nothing will stop these boys from saving each other. Nothing.

Cap padalecki

Cap padalecki

Meanwhile, werewolf Corbin attacks the nice lady doc, who I want to believe isn’t actually dead, and kills the crappy Sheriff. Dean reappears just in time to save Michelle from being turned, but Corbin attacks Dean instead, choking him and clearly about to take him out and at this point I’m so exhausted I’m just pleading with Show, NO MORE STRESS!

Sam appears and saves the day, shooting Corbin and saving Dean, and OMG seriously. SAM FUCKING WINCHESTER.

My timeline: _Sassy_Cassy_ : Sam Winchester: Gets shot. Murdered. Comes back. Kills 3 werewolves. Drives self to hospital. Saves Dean.

Dean: It took you long enough!

Sam: collapses to the floor.

Me: What, no hug????

11.17 kay sam

But honestly, that’s not what Dean would do. His emotions frazzled, raw, exhausted from the emotional rollercoaster of the last 48 hours, what Dean would do is deflect. Make a joke, so that everyone knows that it’s okay, that Sam is really back. He reverts to the way they are, to the way he relates to his brother, at least on the outside. It’s code for I love you and I’m so effing glad you’re alive, because Winchesters don’t say that out loud. Sam hears it for what it is.

I thought that would be the end of the emotional wringing this episode had provided, but I was wrong. Dean and Michelle’s heart to heart in the hospital hallway was so well done that it pulled up emotions I thought I had totally exhausted. Once again, Erin was amazing; her Michelle was so devastated, so broken. So lost. And we know that’s exactly how Dean would be without Sam.

Dean: You’ll be okay. Eventually you’ll get back to normal.

Michelle: No I won’t. After everything we survived together, I watched the man I love die. There’s no normal after that.

We know it’s true; Dean knows it too. It’s as true for him as it is for her. The look on his face breaks my heart all over again.

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Michelle: Where am I even supposed to go?

That line of dialogue spoke volumes, and rang so true. That’s what loss feels like, how it changes everything, how it makes you feel like you no longer fit in your own life or your own world. Kudos Berens and Dabb. I hate you.

The episode ends as it should, with the brothers driving off in Baby. We don’t get a hug, but we get Dean with a protective hand on Sam’s back as they walk down the steps.

Sam: What did you do? When you thought I was dead?

Dean deflects, makes a joke, but Sam persists. He doesn’t tell Sam though, despite the new honesty thing they’ve had going on between them this season.

Dean: I knew you weren’t dead. I knew.

11.17 kay

Sam: Right.

He clearly doesn’t believe Dean, but he doesn’t push. Maybe some things are better left unsaid.

As for me, it took me three hours to calm down enough to go to bed. My social media feeds all reflected the same way I was feeling.

“I haven’t been this fucked up over Supernatural in a long time.”

Exactly. I remember the early seasons of SPN, where we would all simultaneously curse Kripke out for destroying us and worship his brilliance. This episode felt like that – it wasn’t pleasant to watch, it was actually physically and emotionally devastating. But that was part of its brilliance, to tap into the depth of feeling we have for these characters, to grab us by the throat and make us unable to look away or pretend that we don’t CARE about these characters. We do care. After all this time, it’s incredible that we care so effing much.

If I had any doubt of that, it was erased by this episode. (I probably didn’t have any, but still…) If I had any doubts about the brilliance of this cast, crew, writers and directors (I didn’t, but still…) that was also erased. Jared and Jensen killed it. Knocked it out of the park. No wonder they’ve been so excited about us seeing this episode.

In fact, they were so excited that they had a watch party in Jensen’s trailer – Jared, Jensen, Misha and Rob all watching together and being ridiculously adorable.

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I watched along with the west coast feed again (since my live watch was with the east coast) and just enjoyed all their tweets and banter. As the episode neared its end, both Jared and Jensen started livestreaming on facebook. Literally from right next to each other. No wonder Sam and Dean’s relationship comes across as so authentic!

Jared: Come over here, Ackles!

They stood in front of the screen and spoke their lines along with their characters.

Jared: This is like meta meta.

11.17 brothergasm heyacklescomehere

Oh boys. Don’t ever change.

Jarpad: That was my chance to do a Revenant scene🙂. I LOVE #Supernatural!!

One of Misha’s tweets echoed a lot of what fandom was feeling:

Misha: this is a bad situation all around. I am too fragile for this. When’s the beach vacation ep.

Exactly! That AU vacation fic I was talking about earlier!

Even Ackles wasn’t immune.

JensenAckles: I was there filming this and I’m having anxiety watching this! #HipsterWerewolf

He also overwhelmed fandom even more by being protective of his character.

JensenAckles: @_LisaBerry, stop making my Dean tear up. Oh this is killin me.

Fandom: MY Dean? Oh kill me now.

Meanwhile, a lot of the SPN guest cast also had a watch party and tweeted along – Ruth Connell, Alaina Huffman, and this episode’s Lisa Berry, Erin Way and director Nina Lopez-Corrado!

Tweet AlainaHuffman

Tweet AlainaHuffman

Tweet Lisa Berry (w Nina Lopez-Corrado)

Tweet Lisa Berry (w Nina Lopez-Corrado)

At one point, Alaina’s live tweets tried to go out with Rob’s live tweets. You can’t make this stuff up, seriously.

The live tweeting was an absolute love fest – writer Robert Berens joined in, as did Briana Buckmaster and other alums. The director gave mad props to all the actors, the actors and the writers gave mad props to the director – and to the guest actors – and everyone basically just overwhelmed poor hapless fandom all over again, this time with the SPNFamily feeling.

Nina Lopez-Corrado: thanks to the amazing cast & crew for making me feel like family.

That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? This episode, this fandom, this whole crazy eleven-going-on-twelve season phenomenon. I bitch and complain and bite my nails and invest in bulk boxes of tissues, but you know what? I’m damn grateful.

Stay tuned for more – we’ll be at DCCon tomorrow and would be thrilled to sign copies of Fangasm or Fan Phenomena Supernatural if you bring some! Come say hi to us in B 29 and 30! And stay tuned for our exclusive interviews, including one with tonite’s kickass guest star, Lisa Berry!

Thanks to @kayb625 for caps!

–Lynn

31 Comments leave one →
  1. Samantha Schultz permalink
    April 1, 2016 5:12 am

    As I watched this episode, I nearly tore my feather pillow apart with my teeth to keep from screaming (kids and hubby were asleep down the hall) and then ran to the freezer for my ice cream during a commercial break. I live this show and everything about it.🙂 The rest of the season shows no signs of giving us any breaks from the suspense/anxiety/trauma.

  2. anafraserlallybroch permalink
    April 1, 2016 7:22 am

    Reblogged this on Ana Fraser Lallybroch Blog.

  3. Icarus permalink
    April 1, 2016 8:32 am

    I really thought the acting was stellar in this episode but I am afraid I did begin to think it was a bit too much like a “bad” horror flick at times. Like you I was screaming no no when chappie was smothering Sam and Dean’s/Ackles reaction to Sam’s death brought me close to tears. It just seemed that Sam was injured so badly (again kudos to Jared for his acting here) but it just was unbelievable to me that he would be capable of killing two werewolves in that condition and then drive, change cars and arrive in time for the last save. So I sort of lost the “oh my god” bit a little. It was however a very emotional episode and I get how you could get so into it that how I felt would not be how most people felt about the episode.

  4. April 1, 2016 9:18 am

    I am wondering about Billie – she comes across as harsh, telling the brothers that the next time they die she’ll throw them into the empty, that there will be no coming back. However, she has also given both of them exactly what they need to save themselves. She gave Sam the clue to the cure and she gave Dean the words/motivation that he needed to come back. I think there might be more to Billie than meets the eye. Just sayin’🙂

    • April 1, 2016 3:05 pm

      Interesting. I hadn’t thought of it like that. You may be on to something! Nothing motivates a Winchester like a threat to the other Winchester! Hmmmm

    • Laura in Denver permalink
      April 1, 2016 6:01 pm

      Nice catch about Billie! That could be a really interesting character/plot twist!

    • JoAnne permalink
      April 1, 2016 7:04 pm

      You have very good points here about Billie. She didn’t need to tell Dean that Sam was still alive. He would have let himself go and she would have had one Winchester to reap. Also her giving Sam the clue to the cure. She threatens them but, helps them. Hmmmnnnnn.

    • JoAnne permalink
      April 1, 2016 7:29 pm

      I had tweeted Lisa Berry asking her to ask Billie not to harm Sammy & Dean. It worked! 😛 😛 I was worried about this episode the minute I saw the promos. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and couldn’t bear the pain Sammy was going through, nor the grief Dean was going through. You’d think after 11 years I’d be used to it, but, never! Thank you for this great review and the amazing screencaps of such an amazing episode. 🙂

    • Dawn permalink
      April 1, 2016 7:39 pm

      Very interesting. I never thought of it that way. It will be interesting to see if you’re right.

  5. April 1, 2016 9:59 am

    Thanks for this spot-on review. I was in tears and shaking (again) just reading it!

  6. Kelly permalink
    April 1, 2016 12:09 pm

    Omg, you put into words what I couldn’t. Kudo’s to Jared and Jensen for wringing all that emotion out of me!

  7. Freya permalink
    April 1, 2016 12:25 pm

    You so beautifully convey the terror and devastation of this episode, as well as the love/hate thing we fans have going with the writers when they do this to us! Loved that Jared and Jensen and Misha and Rob Facebook-lived it… And did you see that Ruth, Alaina, Lisa, and Erin (Michelle) had a watch party, too? Also, Afterbuzz TV did an interview with Lisa Berry and the director that just came out in YouTube and podcast.

  8. Heather Loughney permalink
    April 1, 2016 12:59 pm

    Love. Amaze. Tears. The trademarks of a great SPN episode. And I had them all. Thanks for a great review/recall of a wonderful 42 minutes!! It always goes too fast and I feel like I’m catching my breath at the end! I am constantly in awe of our Boys and also the guest actors who walk into our SPNfamily with no idea of how they will be engulfed, loved on and appreciated!! Need to go watch again to be able to start to appreciate the amazing job done without needing to wipe my eyes…as much. 🙂

    I hope you are planning to visit the Pittsburgh con, because I for one would LOVE the opportunity to meet you and to hug a fellow fan/writer/thinker-of-deep-thoughts for our Show!

  9. April 1, 2016 1:11 pm

    My fingernails were also bitten during this episode, and that doesn’t happen very often anymore. What an apt phrase you borrow from Firefly: they are Big Damn Heroes. (It should be Dean’s line to say “ain’t we just.”)

  10. Andi Byassee permalink
    April 1, 2016 1:37 pm

    Thanks for getting this out there so fast. I always look for your reviews to sort of relive the episodes–and I knew this one was going to be epic! Now I’m shaking like I was while watching! I love that the cast and crew and even the alums who weren’t in the episode all knew how the fans would react. In one another’s heads and hearts all the way!

  11. April 1, 2016 2:18 pm

    Great review/summary Lynn. I think this episode probably did have everyone at SPN impatiently waiting for it to air because in my mind it was one of the best of this season. There were a couple of minor things I didn’t think felt “true” but to detail them would be absurd compared to how well done the ep was overall. Looking forward to the remaining eps this season…and who knows what cliffhanger(s) we’ll find ourselves with over the summer!

  12. April 1, 2016 3:02 pm

    I read this review last night, but I couldn’t comment on it then because, like the show, it was too much all at once and I’m with Misha – I’m too fragile for this! Season 11 and this is the caliber of episode we get from this magnificent show. Oh holy wow.
    Jared just blew me away with the physical portrayal of Sam’s injury. I don’t know if in reality, someone with a wound like that could actually get around? But if they could – GollyBoyHowdy –that is exactly what it would be like. The pain when he had to use his core muscles to get up? Perfect. Once he was on his feet, the jarring hurting, keeping his hand/pressure on the wound when he could (and never forgetting he had too especially getting into the car – I’m so glad you pointed that out!) — the struggle to not vocalize the pain when the Wolfe was in the house? All perfect. P.E.R.F.E.C.T!
    And Jensen with Dean’s pain and desperation? Also perfect! And yes, I keep using that word and it means exactly what I think it means. That’s my lame attempt to throw a Princess Bride reference in — which is canon now because each Winchester was only ‘mostly dead’, right?🙂 But the Winchesters don’t need Miracle Max — they have each other.
    Billie is an interesting character but she’s gonna have to go – I mean, she made that clear to Dean when she said the ‘answer will always be no.’ She’s basically threatened Sam twice now, once right to Dean’s face. Doesn’t she know how that turns out for the supernatural beings that do it? The big empty? Pffft.
    Anyway — just a wonderful episode. And what a crazy time on social media. That is so, so very cool to be able to interact with the cast and crew like that.
    As always, thank you for the great review!

  13. Laura in Denver permalink
    April 1, 2016 6:07 pm

    Great review as usual! Jared said in Vegas that the last few episodes this season were going to be kick ass and so far he’s been right. I’m on pins and needles waiting for the next episode but also not wanting the season to end!

  14. JoAnne permalink
    April 1, 2016 7:30 pm

    This post is meant for Lynn: I had tweeted Lisa Berry asking her to ask Billie not to harm Sammy & Dean. It worked! 😛 😛 I was worried about this episode the minute I saw the promos. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and couldn’t bear the pain Sammy was going through, nor the grief Dean was going through. You’d think after 11 years I’d be used to it, but, never! Thank you for this great review and the amazing screencaps of such an amazing episode.🙂

  15. Dawn permalink
    April 1, 2016 7:46 pm

    I really enjoyed the episode. It started with a bang, but I felt it ended with a bit of a whimper. I was hoping for a brother hug or another heart-to-heart. Dean had thought he might have lost Sammy for good this time! Am I the only one who feels this way?

    Dean has been so good about being honest with Sam this season and then he goes back to hiding the truth. I was ready for a big emotional scene between them.

    • April 2, 2016 2:05 pm

      I agree a hug at the end was in order. Maybe after all that pure-adrenaline effort, Sam would have collapsed after shooting Corbin, Dean would have rushed to him, made sure he got the medical attention he needed, and Sam would’ve stayed in bed a couple of days, not just bounce back so fast from nearly-dead to full recovery. Then probably Dean would’ve had time to adjust and find his inner balance to tell Sam the truth. It happened all too fast and when pushed like that, thats exactly how Dean reacts, he pulls back. But he’ll come around, I’m sure, whether we get to see it or not, he will. Besides, I’m sure killing himself by swallowing pills isn’t something he’s so keen to share, even with Sam. Sam would tell him off, and he just cant take that right now.

  16. April 2, 2016 1:21 am

    Very good and gut-wrenching episode. I was totally into it from the first shot…or picture or…well you know what I mean. The only problem I have with this episode is that is was so compelling and dramatic that I am very worried about the season ender. Can they really make it even more unbearable? If so, can I handle it?? It’s going to be a long, long, long hiatus this year.

  17. Catherine Abney permalink
    April 2, 2016 2:31 am

    Thank you for expressing even emotion I was feeling. Like you I could not stop crying. It was like AHBL & Swan Song all over again. Trying to calm down and sleep wasn’t easy. I drive a school bus so I’m up at 5am.
    I managed to get some good sleep. I was out like a light last night.
    Jared sold Sam’s death perfectly. Jenson sold Dean’s grief, like you said, to the point where we were all in tears for two days.

  18. April 2, 2016 3:23 am

    LOVED this episode! It was brilliant start to finish. Jared and Jensen both gave amazing performances as did the guest actors.
    Jensen’s suicide scene was so authentic it triggered memeories of been with my grandfather when he attempted suicide the same way. I was wrecked!

  19. April 2, 2016 6:18 am

    Random, meaningless observation…anyone else spot that the headline on the newspaper they’re reading at the bar is misspelled. “For Missing Hikers” instead of Four. I have to think the prop dept did that on purpose to see if everyone was too emotionally traumatized to notice. Lol. I sure was. Only spotted it on my second viewing. Hard to read when bawling your eyes out!

    • April 2, 2016 2:12 pm

      I did. But I thought maybe they had meant a different thing I was not getting because I was so out of it and I couldnt give it much thought because I had to go back to holding my breath and wringing my hands, so… but yes, I noticed.🙂

  20. @Alianka11 permalink
    April 2, 2016 4:59 pm

    Love it! ❤

  21. April 3, 2016 1:17 pm

    Well, TBH, I had allowed myself to be spoiled by the east coast feed, so I kind of knew, but no amount of spoilers prepares you for that. I didnt sob, I didnt cry, I just kept watching, staring blankly at my screen babbling incoherent warnings that Sam and Dean just kept ignoring. By the time the anguish was finally over I was so exhausted I simply couldnt say a word. Im still having trouble writing this. First things first, J2 performances were an absolute delight if one managed to remember they were acting, because they felt so devastatingly real. These guys really are award material. You know I was kind of expecting that Sam was faking his death so that Corbin would let go and that he would get up and have Corbin tied up and delivered to the Sheriff for attempted murder but mostly, for being an ungfateful SOB! And when minutes kept passing by and he didnt wake I thought he was gonna wait for Dean to leave and take Michelle to safety, but it just seemed so cruel that he’d alow his brother to believe he was dead. And finally it struck me, he WAS dead. OMG.
    I dont think Billie was in any way trying to help. Telling Dean that Sam was alive sound to me like a cruel remark that not only was he going to die, but that it would be for nothing, making him go with the pain and regret of leaving Sam alone and wounded behind. Thats mean, Billie. And her expression when she saw Dean brought back to life… no wonder to me she felt how it slipped through her fingers.
    The only thing that bugged me -well, besides it all- was Sam’s way-too-fast recovery. Im willing to believe he did all what he did -save himself, ambush and kill wo werewolves, drive two different cars, not crash and get in time to save Dean, all in severely blood loss conditions and a lot of pain- out of sheer will and a massive adrenaline rush. But Id expect we’d see him lie in a hospital bed for a couple of days before he was released with so much as a slight limp. That would have allowed Dean too some time for emotional recovery. I dont think it was OOC for him to react the way he did. It was too soon and it had been too much to bear. Dean needed some time to adjust if we expected him to admit the truth to Sam, which he didnt have, so he pulled back, made a joke and took the easiest way out. He’ll come throug, though, Im sure of it. Me, putting the pieces of my heart back together and hoping they wont make it a practice to do this to me because damn, Im getting too old for this.

  22. Lynn permalink
    April 3, 2016 10:04 pm

    As always, great review, and covers everything I felt. I found this episode really hard to watch, i think because it felt so real. I live in the UK and mistakenly watched the guys live stream before i watched the episode #spoileralert. Even though i knew they were both ok at the end, it was so upsetting to see our boys go through that. Again, it all felt too real. I think i pretty much cried my way through the whole episode. Jared and Jensen have really brought the Winchesters to life. As amazing as this episode was, i think it will be a while before i am emotionally prepared to watch it again.

  23. April 5, 2016 3:47 pm

    More lunchtime thumb typing for me. I was at DCcon, too, so I wasn’t able to read this until today. (And this was a hell of an episode to watch before the annual trek to a con.)

    I’m not particularly bothered by Dean not giving Sam the whole story at the end of the episode. To me, it looked like that great unspoken communication they do so well. Sam clearly didn’t believe him, but knew not to push it at that moment. Honestly, he might not have had it in him either after all he’d been through. Sam senses something went down, but he can’t deal with that right now anyway. Might as well wait until they’re back in the bunker to push Dean.

    I joke around about my head canon that Sam’s fast recoveries are some sort of latent demon blood power, but I’m going with that again here. It’s the only way this makes sense. I’ll chalk Dean missing that Sam was in severe shock up to his extreme distress. Both Winchester boys are essentially field medics. I bet Dean would’ve figured out it was shock with anyone other than Sam.

    Additionally, I liked how #HipsterWerewolf (Can we make that a thing? Let’s make that a thing.) didn’t figure out that he needed to also cover Sam’s nose at first. The guy wasn’t a proficient killer and that showed. Sam, who lets face it, is frequently strangled, knew that. I loved the confusion on Sam’s face when Corbin covered his mouth. It wasn’t until Corbin figured out in his panicked “let’s kill this guy” plan that he’d have to block both airways that Sam really seemed to get that he was being murdered. The fact that it didn’t take all that much effort to take Sam down showed just how bad his injuries were. Well played, Show.

    As disturbing as the convulsing and foaming at the mouth was, I love that it was shown. It made that all the more real and showing that in all its terrifying glory helps show Dean’s level of desperation.

    I concur with kgrahamjourneys – there’s something off about Billie’s interactions, and that seems intentional. I’m not sure what she’s going to turn out to be – there are too many options right now – but her threat of the Big Empty is vague enough to be terrifying. Although I do wonder if that’s where Mary and John are hidden.

    Over all, I just loved this. (Obviously.) The combination of old school monster gore and emotional wreckage was amazing. You don’t get to put those two things together in equal parts very often.

  24. SnazzyO permalink
    April 6, 2016 5:09 pm

    Shattered by this episode. Well written play by play review. #INeedADrink

    -SnazzyO

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