Supernatural Is Back With Its 250th Episode!

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This was one of those Supernatural episodes that didn’t leave anyone shrugging and going eh, it was pretty good – you either loved it or hated it, if my timeline is anything to go by. I mostly loved it, but there were some things that were an exception. Let’s cover them first, shall we? Then I can go back to my happy Winchester place.

The first quarter – that big chunk before the first commercial – was oddly slow. We jump back and forth between the Winchesters being put into solitary confinement, stoic and silent and looking RIDICULOUSLY hot….but wait, that belongs in my happy Winchester place section…

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Then back to Mary and Castiel feeling bad about letting the boys get captured in the first place. I liked the Mary and Cas interaction, both of them clearly struggling with some guilt. It made sense that they might snap at each other, but eventually decide to work together for their common goal. And then Mic the Man of Letters trying and failing to recruit American hunters. His soft hands clearly worked against him, as did his insistence that hunters would take orders – which goes against that independence we know hunters value.

I’ve complained before about the lack of a sense of urgency whenever one (or two) of the Winchesters are missing, and once again that seemed strangely muted. Mary and Cas were upset, but not as upset as I would have expected. Especially Mary, who must have felt terribly guilty about leaving and not being there when her boys needed her. Either she’s an expert at rationalization and denial, or we just didn’t get to see what I think we needed to.

Both Mary and Cas cope by going off and hunting, which I guess is a way of “doing what Sam and Dean would want us to do”? Maybe? But honestly it didn’t work for me – I needed to see them leaving no stone unturned as they tried desperately to find Sam and Dean. As much as I loathe the British MoL, that was an option I would have thought they would turn to before six weeks had gone by! I can understand Crowley going back to his King of Hell ways and claiming not to care, but I wish we’d seen Mary and Cas doing a lot more desperate searching.

I did like the flashback to the boys’ history of run ins with law enforcement though. Baby!Dean.

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My other major quibble is my continuing confusion about what Cas can and can’t do. He’s an angel – can’t he do anything more than a human?? No powers at all? I was mystified when he just walked out with the Nephilim-carrying woman last episode and didn’t do anything to make sure Sam and Dean weren’t captured, and I was mystified during most of this episode when he remained completely impotent to do anything to help them – until the very last second, when he suddenly remembered how to use an angel blade. Even Misha Collins seemed to be a little unclear about how powered down Cas actually is. A fan at the convention in Jacksonville asked him why Cas had no powers, and he said that he did, just that he couldn’t teleport or time travel. (Then added, ‘don’t pull the thread…’) I’m trying, Misha, but Cas in this episode seemed a helluva lot more powered down than that!

Okay, so I didn’t like those things. But the rest of the episode? Oh I liked it. A LOT.

There was very little humor in this episode, which is unusual for Supernatural – the only really humorous moment was Castiel’s “This is my voicemail. Make your voice a mail.” Which amused me.

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I actually relished an episode that was mostly serious though. It felt more in line with old school Supernatural in the early seasons, when Sam and Dean were almost larger than life – true heroes. At some points over the last eleven years, they have felt a lot less like that, and I realized tonight just how much I value that perception of the Winchesters. I often rage when they’re dumbed down, because I need them to be those larger than life heroes. They’re SMART. Smart and capable and dangerous. Those are the Winchesters I fell in love with, and I haven’t seen nearly enough of them recently.

Also? Call it a competency kink if you will, but those particular Winchesters? Are effing HOT.

Sam and Dean in solitary confinement, jumpsuited and restless and a little bit scruffy? Hot.

Dead on slabs in the prison morgue? Still hot.

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Pulling off an escape from an absolutely inescapable facility and running through the woods wet and dirty? Even hotter.

You get the idea.

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Of course we knew they weren’t going to stay dead (if they indeed were dead), but I also loved that they of course were BOTH dead.

Man who doesn’t understand the Winchesters: “I don’t get it. They both died on the same day? That’s not…”

Sam and Dean? Of course they did.

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That’s the other thing I loved about this episode. Sam and Dean were 100% in sync throughout the episode. Communicating with a nod or a glance, on the same page without even needing to speak. That was one of the things that so fascinated me about Sam and Dean when I first started watching this show, and I miss it whenever we don’t get to see it. That connection is what makes them who they are, and what makes them such compelling characters.

I loved their cryptic conversation as they flee through the woods – and the fact that they can calculate how long until it’s midnight. Because they’re HUNTERS. The BEST hunters. I don’t like Show to forget that! I loved them dirty and muddy and splashing through the creek and hiding behind trees. The entire sequence with Sam and Dean setting up that cabin, the glow of the lamp, using their A plus MacGyver skills to rig up a not-quite-lethal but incapacitating ploy for every one of the guys after them? Perfect. That competency kink again.

And damned if Dean didn’t mean it when he smirked and growled at that infuriating guy, “We’re not trapped out here with you. You’re trapped out here with us.” I for real might have gasped out loud at the hotness of that moment.

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The combination of badass Winchesters kicking ass in the fight and smart Winchesters setting all those traps was almost too much for me, seriously.

Also, Sam handing the injured guy the first aid kit and noting nonchalantly, “You’ll live”? Perfection.

The older guy appearing and almost ruining the Winchesters’ escape brought the best moment of the entire episode.

Infuriating guy on the ground: Shoot him!

Fucking Sam Winchester appearing out of nowhere with a rifle to older guy’s head: DON’T.

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Is it RIDICULOUSLY hot in here??

Sam and Dean share a look, and Sam tells the older guy the truth, knowing he won’t believe it.

“Who are you?” older guy yells as they turn to leave.

“We’re the guys who saved the world.”

HELL YES THEY ARE! Those are my boys and they’re big damn heroes!

I might have yelled that part out loud.

Shoulder to shoulder, Sam and Dean walk away. Despite all odds, they saved themselves.

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That’s the good part of having Cas powered down I guess, and I get that it was necessary. Look how much I love it when Show lets them save themselves and be the smart, capable heroes they are. I just need a little clarity about what and who Castiel is and what we can expect from now on.

I usually rail when we don’t get a Sam and Dean hug, and after them being separated for 6 weeks, I would have loved even a brief moment of connection in that morgue. On the other hand, they were in very dire circumstances, so I’m not sure they would take time for more than the “you ok?” – which for Winchesters, carries a lot more emotion than it would for the rest of us. They say a lot more with two words – or even with a look – than most of us, when they’re talking to each other. Cas and Mary are clearly relieved to see them alive, so those hugs made sense – by then it would have seemed odd for them to hug each other. I think too there was an awkwardness between them, almost an avoidance, because they both knew that one of them was going to have to die – and they each were determined that it would be them.

I’m still enjoying Mary being back, though I know not everyone shares that view. I like her badassery, taking out vamps and driving fast just like her son. I expected her offer of self sacrifice when Billie appeared (which I thought might happen thanks to the cue in the ‘Then’ montage) and it made sense to me – she’s their mom, it felt right that she made that offer. That felt a lot more ‘right’ than the early scenes with their lack of urgency.

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I know the fact that Sam and Dean broke and made a deal didn’t sit well with some fans, but it worked for me. My favorite flavor of Sam and Dean is ‘Red Meat’, when one brother will do literally ANYTHING to save the other, including die. And really, I saw this as that same impulse. I’m quite certain both Sam and Dean were set on sacrificing themselves and saving the other one – I have absolutely no doubt, in fact. The problem was that we didn’t get to SEE that. We didn’t get to witness any real emotion between Sam and Dean in the ending scenes, so it didn’t have the same emotional impact as an episode like Red Meat. If Show is doling out the emotionality so it will have impact when it does come, I think that’s not really necessary – don’t worry, Show, we’ll feel it no matter what!

There’s also the comparison of 40 years in hell or the cage and not breaking, versus six weeks in solitary confinement and being willing to die to get out – or, more accurately, to get your brother out. But solitary confinement is actually the worst thing you can do to a human. People start to go crazy in an alarmingly short amount of time – we are just not wired to be able to be isolated. And I think the idea of their brother suffering like that and not being able to DO anything to stop it was intolerable to both of them. If it had just been one of them, perhaps they would have endured it.

I liked the ending – I like to be surprised. And I really didn’t expect Cas to suddenly get a little bit of his badassery back and take out Billie (though I’m sad to see Lisa Berry go). There was real emotion in his speech to them (which Misha did a fabulous job with). I think he really does care about the Winchesters – all three of them. And he seems to have finally rediscovered some sense of purpose, and the courage that comes with it.

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We end with a demonstration of the BMoL’s ruthlessness, and Mary’s sudden capitulation and willingness to hear them out. After what they did to Sam? I find that hard to believe.

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So I can understand the problems some people are having with this episode, and I won’t put it in my all time favorites category. But for a 250th episode? I liked it. I liked seeing the Winchesters I fell in love with 250 episodes ago back and badass as ever.

So for now, I’m staying in my bubble of smart, competent, scary, badass and hot-as-hell Winchesters, the guys who saved the world. See you next week!

Thanks to @kayb625 for the caps!

–Lynn
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15 thoughts on “Supernatural Is Back With Its 250th Episode!

  • I felt this episode had some good parts as well as questionable parts as well.
    For instance, how did the boys “die”?
    The reaper Billie already said she can’t kill people (rules), so what happened? We know there are going to be repercussions with Billie’s death and so far, the boys don’t know about Mr Ketch cleaning up their messes. So many questions. Maybe some answers this next episode.

    • I think the work around the “can’t kill them” rule was that they weren’t going to stay dead. She could make them temporarily dead, bring them back, and then reap the one who died at midnight. At least that’s my working theory.

  • I liked some of the episode but am still struggling with the MOL. Being British I find it hard to recognise any Britishness in the characters. They seem to be cardboard cutouts of the worst kind of steriotyping. The British just don’t think like that! Plus Why did Cas call them? Dean had a phone. Surely they could have Turned the GPS on! Or just called with a location once they’d established where they were on that particular road. Cas didn’t know about the deal so the urgency to find Sam and Dean was a little less immediate. This coming on top of the ridiculous episode about the President (breaking the fourth wall in a bad way) made, for me, the story line contrived and not organic. But I agree, the boys, very HOT.

  • The only thing I missed was “smart-ass” Dean. When he got arrested before, he was giving food orders, etc. I would’ve liked that. I’m good with everything else. This episode was like the old days. It felt like a movie. It’s my favorite this season.

  • Spot on Lynn, as always. LOVED seeing our badass boys again. And also that they did not kill the soldiers, nicely done Show. The Cas question is bugging me too and I hope they give some explanations soon. Not sure yet how much longer Mary should stay….I know, shoot me now! But the odd feeling with her here is not fading for me. Perhaps a visit from Chuck to take her home again??

  • The thing I liked best about this episode is that Billie is gone–because without her, they can continue dying and coming back to life. She is the only reaper so far who’s threatened them with staying dead!

  • Right there with you in most everything. Sam and Dean perfect from the beginning to the end, stupid deal included. Pretty sure they were both ready to be the one to go, Sam even noded at Dean when he said “one of us gets to keep fighting”. The “we need to talk about this” all so them. As for that, episode was perfect but there are these couple of things. Mary and Cas doing little more than just twisting their hands felt like too little an effort on the writing side to create a believable side story that would make them look busy, concerned and explain ineffectiveness. As for Cas’ fluctuating powers Im sorry but I think that happens for having Cas as a regular. If he made only appearances when he really fits into the storyline he could be more consistent. I know many people wont agree but I think storywise thats the way it should be. And the BMoL… dont get me started. As long as they keep depicting them as all efficient and downgrading hunters -who are the real heroes here- I cannot get fully on board.

  • As always Lynn you’re spot on with the review. I’ve come to accept Cas as an enigma. Show can’t honestly have him full strength and fully accessible to the boys without making their actions redundant. Saying that I do wish Show would make up their mind and stay with it on the subject of Cas.

    Bad ass boys what is there not to love about that. It was refreshing to see them both so in sync with one another. No hesitation, no discussion, same purpose, same drive. I have missed the brotherly hugs so far this season. Give us one PLEASE Show! Don’t hold back.

  • The first episode in a while that I wanted to watch again soon after the first viewing. Agree with lots of your review, I was however taken out of the excitement a bit when the soldiers caught up with them, Sam and Dean had a 45 minute start so that was a bit of a WTH moment for me. I also just can’t get on board with Mary, I wasn’t sure right from the start about her coming back and it seemed to work at first but now I don’t like how she is written/portrayed. It seems a bit like the problem they have with Cas, i.e. how to keep him in the story, a lot of the time it doesn’t work for me. I really like the character of Castiel but they, in my opinion, struggle to write him, whereas not only are they not writing Mary well IMO but I don’t particularly like her either (sorry!). As Steff has said the BMOL are just awful (I’m British too) and I would be quite happy to see the back of them now, don’t think I am going to get that wish tho! Most of the other “exceptions” that you have I also had but it was great to have SPN back so mostly enjoying an episode and having SPN back was more than enough for me.

  • Y’know, Dr. Lynn….I LOVE this show, “our boys” and just about everything that goes with it….but, some of my fav things include reading YOUR reviews…whether about an ep, an interview, or a con. You, my dear, are a treasure….your words, your emotions, so much of what we ALL feel, and with a delightful smile and a smirk. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    I almost cringe when I read some difficulties that others have with a particular ep, character, dialog or situation, no matter how minor….it is like a mother growling at others that find fault with their children. I do try to back off and “listen” with an objective ear, and most times the comments have merit. That often leads to a moment or two of self-doubt that I didn’t question the same things….then I bounce back with….”don’t care, gonna love this show no matter what they do, ’cause there is a bigger plan in place” (yeah, I’m almost 60 and STILL am naive about things like that).
    …and, yes, again, almost 60 (with sons the same age as J2)…but they are HOT!!! After all, beauty is beauty no matter what our age…..

    Regardless, please keep writing and reviewing and I will ALWAYS find a way to read it. It is a JOY!! Thanks again!

    • Hey Ginger Roll, I am in your age bracket as well so I guess that dispells the demographic as being younger so that 8pm choice rationale gets tossed. Dabb set up a lot of possibilities of character growth for Castiel as well as re-setting the fierceness of the brothers-just in case anyone forgot their true characters. Also think Dean has been effected more than was shown by the solitary. Dean saying it was worse that Hell, tells us much about his point of view. The twisted mirror trope works again. And yes, dirt never looked so sexy as on J2. The onesies jump suits, just added to the absurdity of the situation,

  • Lynn- remember when Sam did not look for Dean after exploding Dick Roman? Castiel and Mary have not clues either but it does pose the question of what can Castiel do? This is an angel that could check out a whole town in a second and now he can’t sense the Winchesters? His use of the angel blade to gank Billie is a physical action not a supernatural one. He is in possession of the angel blade and it works for anyone in possession human or angel so Castiel’s powers are apparently still rather dull-but the blade and his emotions are not.
    The going back and forth before the first commercial sets up the rest of the episode. No other way to get it done and it does create a sense of chaos that exists when the Winchesters are not doing their job. I thought it was a deliberate, effective editing tool for the storyline and for the psychological and physical need to keep the Winchesters in the fabric of this “poor little world”. In effect, Castiel helps re set the order. A Winchester hug would have been forced. The one between Sam and Mary was not.

  • I really loved this episode, the way Sam and Dean got out of isolation. I just don’t understand Cass and Mary’s Part. I am a mother and grandmother I would be turning over every rock every stone. Cass’ part was really at the end but was working on it in the human way I do like how it ended now to see how it carries forward. Who will be the next Reaper and will they help or try to stop the Winchesters?

  • I was in the “really liked it” camp although there are some problems as you and other posters said. I don’t want to rehash those, except to say that establishing Cas’s powers and what makes them ebb and flow is long overdue. Keeping an angel in the story is tricky, but making up his “rules” every episodes is clumsy and won’t make it any less tricky down that road.

    I understand your frustration with Mary and Cas’s lack or motivation, but unlike in the season opener when Sam was gone for less than 48 hours and they weren’t frantic, this time we know it’s been 6-7 weeks. The sheer exhaustion from being that frantic would wear them down by then. Even if they were still a mess at some point you have to rein in that energy to survive.

    My biggest issue was with Dean’s worse than Hell line. Obviously, solitary confinement is horrible. The sense of “I’m never getting out of here” has to be terrifying. But the Winchesters mean actual Hell. Really? Hell with Alistair was second to this? Sam was locked in a cage with the literal devil. The devil who, mind you, had been inside his head and therefore knew how to personalize torture to a degree us mere mortals can’t comprehend. And Show wants us to believe that Lucifer, a being with magical power, didn’t come up with a torture more horrible than solitary?

    Overall, however, I liked it. I do think that Andrew Dabb should be commended for being able to write his way out of the hole Team Nepotism wrote as a midseason finale. The brothers were united and working as a team. British MoL showed their brutality to us but not the Winchesters so we know that’s going to be their downfall since Hunting Things, Slaughtering Witnesses and Assorted Others is not the family business. I understand why Mary is listening, but I can’t help but wonder if their willigness to have a human death count will be the end of Mary.

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