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