Ah, season two. How I miss you.
Dean was ready to die in Sam's place. Swallowing a lot of pills that had barbitol in the name, trying to bargain with a reaper, ready for a permanent stretch in the "Empty", which doesn't sound too good. Actually, it sounds empty. Hell would almost be better. Purgatory would definitely be better. Dean liked Purgatory.
Fortunately, as moving as it was, this death rehearsal was just that. Sam wasn't dead, after all. Dean managed to get back into his body before Billie reaped him away, and let me mention again that I am absolutely thrilled that there is a continuing Supernatural female character named after me. Sam took out Corbin, but not before the guy wreaked a whole lot of havoc and tried to turn his loving wife Michelle into a monster like he was.
Was that the point? The definition of love? Corbin killed Sam, or thought he did, so that he could force Dean to save himself and Michelle. Michelle also realized the limits of love. What she felt for her husband Corbin took a serious hit when Corbin killed Sam, and she was determined to help Dean with whatever Dean wanted to do with those drugs. Good for her.
While Dean tried to sacrifice himself in order to trade his own life for Sam's. Either that, or Dean couldn't bear to live without Sam. Of course Dean would follow Sam into death. I don't slash the Winchesters in any way, but at one point, Dean killed himself and Sam woke up, and I thought, how Romeo and Juliet of them. I also thought at the cabin that Dean was going to try mouth to mouth. Would that have felt awkward?
This episode deviated a good bit from the usual Supernatural formula. There wasn't much in the way of funny or sarcastic; it started out deadly serious, and stayed that way. Many of the scenes were shot in darkness. The National Park cabin in the woods looked realistic -- no poorly decorated motel rooms this time. The focus was on the Winchester brothers, and that their lives are so dangerous that they could die on any old run-of-the-mill werewolf case.
Of course, we were also reminded of what badasses they are. Sam was shot and nearly suffocated, and was staggering around bleeding profusely, but he still took out two pureblood werewolves by luring them into the basement, got to the Impala (that looked so painful) and arrived in the Cottonwood clinic in the nick of time. Dean fought off the cop and the werewolf as well as a handful of pills and death itself in order to get to Sam.
In the end, Dean didn't tell Sam the lengths he'd gone to get back to him. But that's very like Dean. Gold acting stars for Jensen Ackles, who got to me again. But he always gets to me. Which is why I'm still watching, eleven years later.
-- 48 hours earlier. Why the in media res, and the back and forth? Just so it could start with Sam getting shot? I thought this episode would have flowed just as well in regular chronological order. But I'm not a showrunner. I'm a reaper.
-- Did Corbin kill Sam because Corbin was already under the werewolfy influence, or was he just a lousy human being?
-- I thought it was something of a cop out that Sam wasn't actually dead, and that Dean was conscious and ready to go after swallowing all of those pills instead of sleeping for twelve hours. But whatever.
-- This week: We were never told where they were, but the cop car was labeled "Orangeville County, Idaho".
Michelle: "What are you doing?"
Dean: "I need to talk to a... well, I wouldn't call it a friend. More like a scary crazy death machine."
Billie: "Just savoring this. Though I have to say of all the ways I thought you'd go: heart attack, some fang, choking on a burger while binge watching Charles in Charge...
Dean: "Well, that was peak Baio."
Billie: "The Empty. It's waiting."
Since it's been brought up several times, I'm betting we'll eventually see The Empty. Maybe in season fifteen.
Dean: (to Sam staggering in the door covered with blood) "It took you long enough."
Perhaps a bit flawed, but I thought this episode was a successful departure from formula and an interesting way to explore the brother bond. Three out of four cabins in the woods,
Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.
- Next episode
- Supernatural season 11
- Supernatural home
- Stream this episode or the entire season on Amazon now