Supernatural: The Prisoner

"I owe him this. I owe him everything."

It's not like I expected an episode that followed the death of a beloved character to be a laugh fest. But seriously. Bleak beyond bleak, and this is Supernatural we're talking about, a show that majors in bleak.

At least we've finally hit the much overdue dark rampage, because the whole Mark of Cain thing has been back-burnered for way too long. Sam kept saying Dean was turning, Dean was changing, but mostly, Dean seemed to be pretty much himself most of this season. Not any more. It was upsetting to see Dean calmly butchering people, even the Stynes. And killing the unarmed Cyrus Styne who was pleading for his life, and beating the hell out of Castiel -- even worse. Not to mention Dean's blank-faced coldness toward Sam. Dean actually said that Sam should have been on that funeral pyre, not Charlie, and he meant it.

What's with Castiel? He was supposed to be babysitting Dean, so why didn't he stop Dean from massacring the Stynes? Okay, the Stynes needed killing, but it would have been so much better if Castiel had vaporized them, instead. And why did Castiel just let Dean beat him like that? Would Castiel have let Dean kill him, too? That was painful to watch.

Sam making a serious attempt to kill Crowley was pretty cold, too. Yes, Crowley is evil, and I was happy to see him reveling in it with the red smoking eyes and everything, but I didn't like Sam trying to kill Crowley, even for Dean's sake. And I have no idea how they're going to resolve this Crowley/Rowena thing. Will he kill his own mother? That seems like an uglier line for him to cross than her trying to kill him. Did Crowley actually mean it when he said he was improving conditions in Hell? We certainly haven't seen it happening.

Very nice bookending symbolism with the Winchesters building Charlie's funeral pyre at the start of the episode, and the Stynes building a pyre of Dean's belongings and the Men of Letters library at the end. I also thought what they did with the unfortunate young Cyrus Styne was well done. Cyrus was no saint, but he didn't deserve to die. He was just an ordinary kid stuck in a nightmare family and he might very well have become a monster because he had no other alternative, but it wouldn't have been his choice. The old Dean would have let Cyrus go. And he should have.

Honestly, I thought the Stynes were going to be a continuing threat, and Dean completely massacred them. (Well, the Shreveport chapter, anyway. If they're all over the world, then maybe there will be Stynes coming out of the woodwork for however much longer this incredibly long-lived series has to run.) I also thought that the opening vivisection in that obscenely green operating room plus the bully's garish tattoo and the great big Frankenstein stitches on Eldon's arm were some sort of set-up for Dean having the Mark removed physically from his body. I'm grateful that the writers didn't do that to Dean. Not yet, anyway.


But what sort of horrible Winchester bargain will we get in next week's finale? They keep telling us that magic isn't free, so honestly, I expect Dean to finally get rid of the Mark next week, but with major league consequences. I don't do spoilers, so I have no idea what those consequences will be.

But how about this? If eleven is the final season, what about giving us the Winchester brothers saving people and hunting things again?

Bits:

-- Charlie got a well-deserved montage as the Winchesters created her funeral pyre.

-- Dean called Rudy for research help instead of Sam. Rudy who?

-- For a few terrible moments, I thought the MoL bunker would be destroyed. But maybe it should be destroyed. Maybe the Winchesters shouldn't have a home base.

-- I have to mention again how hideously green the Stynes' operating room was. It's not easy to find a color that ugly.

-- This week: Shreveport, Louisiana (I kept thinking of Fangtasia, also in Shreveport) and, I think, several towns in Kansas.

-- Dean used the alias "Ashley J. Williams", which is the full name of Bruce Campbell's character Ash in Evil Dead. How appropriate.

Quotes:

Cyrus: "You like rap, but you're scared of black people. Even Will Smith."

Rowena: "You're just fascinating. An angel that rejected Heaven? That's like a fish that wants to fly or a dog that thinks he's people."

Castiel: "I'd be happy to kill her. She just called me a fish."

Cop: "You can't take on the Stynes. They own this town. They're practically gods around here."
Dean: "Yeah. Well, I kill gods."

Sam: "You have the accent and the suit and the snark, but at the end of it, you are a monster."

Crowley: "I've done things you can’t even imagine, horrible, evil, messy things, and I've loved every damn minute. So thank you, Sam, for reminding me who I really am."

Eldon Styne: "This is what I know about Dean Winchester. He's got crappy taste in music, he's got a hot mom and he loves flannel."
Well, maybe not everything there is to know about Dean, Eldon.

Dean: "You can save me the speech on the three hearts, the two spleens, the seven nipples for the ladies. Or the fellows. I don't judge. But even with all that, you still only have one brain."

I honestly don't know how to rate this one. What do you guys think?

Billie
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Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.

16 comments:

Heather1 said...

Your first quote was not by the bully to Cyrus... but by Cyrus to the bully. The bully wouldn't have had the wit for that quote.

Billie Doux said...

Thanks, Heather1. I fixed it.

Anonymous said...

This was a powerful and upsetting episode, wasn't it? Watching Dean brutally beating up Cas and telling Sam he wished he, not Charlie, were burning on the hunter's pyre was heartbreaking. Dean was so COLD! Like everyone said, Dean is in danger of becoming one of the creatures they end up having to hunt, and that must be Dean's worst nightmare, even if he won't admit it while under the influence of the Mark of Cain. I have no idea what's going to happen in season 11, but I'm terrified for our favorite trio right now. It was cruel of the writers to make us think Dean had stabbed Cas with the sword when he stabbed the book instead. I suspect we're going to be left with a terrible cliffhanger to see us through the hellatus this year.
Love, Robin

Anonymous said...

Ditto to Robin's comments. Couldn't have said it better myself, so I won't. I will add, though, that I was horrified that Dean killed Cyrus -- (excellent, O writers!) and confused that Cas let Dean beat him up. What happened to "Don't piss off the nerd angels?" My rating on this very bleak episode is a solid four out of four glowing red eyes (or is that eight out of eight glowing red eyes?)

Juliette said...

Billie, I'm so glad it's not just me thinking of Fangtasia! Every time 'Shreveport Louisiana' comes up I expect to see Eric Northman, and am irrationally disappointed that he doesn't turn up.

I'm still emotionless about Charlie thanks to the gigantic angel-shaped plot hole, but I was quite emotional about the potential destruction of the bunker. OTOH, destroying the bunker would allow season 11 - which surely has to be the last! - to get back to basics a bit, with the Impala the boys' only home.

Presumably the Mark of Cain also makes Dean so incredibly tough he can beat up angels? Cause there's no way a human should be able to take on Cas now he has his grace back. Either that or Cas just didn't want to fight him. (Since Cas has beaten Dean up at least twice, I guess they're sort of even now...)

Who's Rudy? I don't remember him at all!

Juliette said...

By the way, am I reading too much into it, or was there some nice symbolism going on with the way Cas grabbed Dean's shoulder - right where he left his hand print back in season 4 when he pulled him out of hell? Or have I just been spending too much time on Tumblr?!

Heather1 said...

Wow Juliette... I hadn't considered the symbolism behind Cas grabbing Dean on the shoulder. It just shows how much we all love Supernatural, that it actually makes sense to me. Don't know if the writers and/or the director meant the symbolism or not, but let's say it's true! I, too, am quite upset that they just "let" Charlie "stay dead" when they have Cas at their disposal. Maybe there's a window of opportunity with these things?

LadySidhe said...

I think this was one of the best episodes of this season, if not ever.

The confrontation between Cas and Dean, and Sam and Crowley, had me on the edge of my seat and biting my nails. The character developments of Dean and Crowley were well-done, and the progression of all the characters with regards to the lines they'll cross speaks for itself.

And Crowley finally breaking bad and going back to being the King of Hell we all missed...well, that was absolutely gratifying.

If any episode deserved five Marks of Cain, it's THIS one.

TheDarkShape said...

I feel like I'm blanking on some lore. Why was Dean able to beat the piss out of an angel with his bare hands?

The Cyrus bit had no effect on me because it was 100% telegraphed what the kid's purpose was from the beginning of the episode. The moment it was revealed that he was the "nice" Styne, the one who didn't want to hurt people, it was inevitable that Dean would kill him in cold blood to show how dark he's become.

TheShadowKnows said...

I feel the Cyrus bit didn't work because Dean had no reason to believe the kid wasn't as bad as the rest of them - just sneakier and more cowardly. (Considering that we saw Cyrus vivisect someone to save his own hide, I'm not sure that isn't an accurate assessment.) "I'm a good Styne" sounds exactly like something the most evil member of the family would say to save his own life, so I don't blame Dean that much for not buying it.

If the writers had wanted to give us an uncompromising display of Dean's darkness, they should have had him go ahead and beat Charlie to death a few episodes back. To me it feels like they're shielding the character from going too dark - much like Willow in season six of BTVS. That's probably inevitable given he's the lead of a continuing series, but it does remove some suspense.

CH said...

I loved the episode and would give it 4 out 4 whatevers (creepy operating rooms?). Very dark and intense.

I may be wrong, but I believe Dean was speaking to a hunter named Rudy in Inside Man, earlier this season. I think that's the only mention other than this episode of Rudy.

I knew the writers were setting up Cyrus to be killed, but it was still upsetting.

I chose to interpret Castiel not fighting back as him not wanting to hurt Dean. Didn't he say, "I don't want to hurt you, Dean?" So I think he just let Dean beat him up, hoping that Dean would come to his senses. I mean, he didn't even try to defend himself, so I don't think it was that Dean somehow has powers greater than Castiel's powers.

Aside from everyone's grip about Castiel not saving Charlie, I am most befuddled by the fact that Castiel has stopped his instant apparating. Couldn't he have apparated to Charlie's hotel room or to where Dean was in this episode? Did I miss something about him losing that power? Or is that he doesn't have full powers due to his messed up grace?

CH said...

FYI, that should be gripe, not grip.

Jen said...

This episode hit me in the gut. Sam trying to kill Crowley, Crowley nearly killing Sam, Dean beating on Cas. The bunker nearly going up in flames. Geez.

I feel like all season Sam and Cas have been saying Dean is getting worse, but we don't see it. They harp on him and it's basically become a self fulfilling prophecy. I feel like their sneaky lying is what caused Dean to finally break. Not that they intended it, but knowing that doesn't make it sit any better. Stop lying to each other! Rule one!

I also noticed Cas touched Dean where the handprint was, so whether intentional or not I'm choosing to believe he meant to. And count me in as confused about why Cas couldn't save Charlie and isn't able to pop around. Perhaps there's a reason but without it being explained it's just confusing.

Buckling in for the finale. Man I'll miss the show and these reviews over the break.

Juliette said...

I think all the angels lost their teleporting power when they fell at the end of season 8. Their wings are broken - when Cas got his grace back, his wings were still tattered and torn, not all fluffy like in earlier seasons :) They have all their other powers, but they have to drive (except Metatron, until he lost his grace).

CH said...

Thanks, Juliette! That makes a lot of sense re:teleporting powers (forgive me for using Harry Potter terminology!), and we do indeed see tons of angels driving and even taking the bus during Season 9.

GabF said...

CH, I think Cas didn't go to find Charlie because then he would have left Rowena alone, and who knows what that could lead to. I also think at some it was established that either angels can't teleport anymore, or that Cas' wings are too weak to. Plus Sam and Dean said they would find her. And I screamed so loudly when Dean killed Cyrus that my parents ran into the room to make sure I was okay. And I'm still not over it, especially since I have been racking my brain wondering, if Cas is full angel now, why couldn't he have brought Cyrus back to life? I kept thinking that maybe there was something from a previous episode that explains it that I'm forgetting. Maybe it'll come up next season, but as of now, I'm still unsure. I have been trying to convince myself that maybe Cas brought him back after Dean left and recovered from that severe beating.