Friday, March 22, 2013

Supernatural: Season 8, Episode 17: Goodbye Stranger

 Supernatural is back from hiatus! And it’s coming back with Castiel! All is forgiven!

Dean is checking out a large room, gun poised and ready when someone we don’t see knocks his gun aside, breaking his wrist and knocks him to the floor. It’s Castiel; Dean asks him to stop – and Castiel stabs him with his angel dagger

Damn it Castiel, wrong brother! Kill Moose!

The lights come on and Naomi, the boss of the angels comes in and praises Castiel for his lack of hesitation and brutality. She declares him to be ready. The camera pans out and we see the room is full of hundreds of dead Deans

At the Winchester Cave, Sam is doing research and bleeding internally (and lying about it) while Dean digs through the various items lying around and manages to find some porn (that fits his extremely creepy Asian fetish at that). Sam has found many dead people in various locations with liquefied organs, burns and puncture wounds. Sounds nasty. As they leave, Dean notices Sam’s bloodied tissue.

They go to see the widower of one of the dead people, Ann, who tells them that she was acting oddly before she died. This is rather an understatement. She stopped eating, sleeping and would go out every night to dig holes – 10-15 feet holes at that – at various points around town, take a soil sample and then dangle the sample over a little map of the town. And when he confronted her, her eyes turned black.

Dean concludes that someone is killing demons and he’s pretty happy with that. But Sam wants to know who and why – and why the demons were acting so oddly before death. Calling the other bereaved reveals a pattern of odd behaviour. They talk to the last person to speak with Ann. She tells them Ann was looking for an old orchard that went missing – the town was wiped out in one of the river’s 100 year floods (yup, I’d be moving about then) and all the old records were lost; as a PHD candidate researching the history of the town, she had found it. She doesn’t know why Ann wanted the map – but her assistant was coming round to see the map himself.

There’s a knock at the door – and when she opens it, 3 black eyed demons are waiting. Battle ensues with lots of breaking things! One demons escapes with the map, another demon de-possesses its host before Dean can stab him with the demon-stabby knife and possesses the researcher instead – and Sam is saved by Castiel angel nuking another demon. He also captures researcher demon


Time for questions! Sam wants to know where he’s been while Dean is a little shellshocked to say the least – but says “you heard me didn’t you?” Referring to Dean praying to Castiel to watch over his brother. Sam has a moment to absorb that his brother prays to Castiel, and Castiel to say yes he did hear but he’s actually in the area demon hunting. Sam asks why – and there’s a flash up to see Naomi asking what he should tell them. Naomi says the truth – most of it anyway.

Castiel tells them he’s looking for the demon tablet (Dean isn’t happy he’s doing it without them) and the demons in the area are being sent by Crowley to find Lucifer’s crypts – apparently he had a few.

Zap back to Naomi, complaining that it would be better if Sam and Dean knew everything. Naomi won’t allow it and tells Castiel to lie. These little Naomi interludes are weird and curious – but I think I like them, they’re well done.

Castiel tells Sam and Dean the demons are looking for parchments that will let them read the demon tablet without a prophet. The location of the crypts has been lost and the demons are now looking – Castiel’s been interrogating them to find out what they know.

As he goes to do that, Dean is worried about Castiel - he’s off, he hasn’t been right since Purgatory and they still don’t know how he got out of there. Sam counters that if Dean is so suspicious, why pray to him? Castiel adds that he can hear them both, he’s a celestial being after all.

In the kitchen, the demon is in the devil trap and telling them all about the fantasies the human she’s possessing had for Sam. Dean begins with questions – Castiel cuts right to stabbing her in the hand with his angel blade. She thought angels were supposed to be the good cops (oh, no – angry city destroying agents of god’s vengeance, remember?) and gets herself stabbed again for back talk. Yes, Castiel makes a scary and intimidating torturer with his deadpan face and tone. And yes Sam and Dean are rather disturbed  and fidgety watching. Castiel asks her where the crypts are and leaves the knife in, the angelic blade sparking and burning, until she finally gasps that they have a hostage. One of Crowley’s pets – who knows where all the crypts are because she saw them back in the day. Dean asks about the parchments – which, of course, she has never heard of; she tells him they’re looking for…

NAOMI flash! Naomi tells Castiel to kill it!

…and Castiel stabs her in the chest with the angel knife. Sam and Dean are a bit upset by this but Castiel says they have what they need to know and that he started this hunt without them so they wouldn’t slow him down – he disappears, angel flying to the motel where the hostage is.

Sam and Dean follow as fast as they can by car and arrive just in time to see 2 demons get angel nuked. They open the door to the bathroom where the hostage is being kept – it’s Meg. And she greets Dean with “aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”

Meg officially wins all the internets ever.

Dean responds by commenting on her new, bushy blonde hair which she says is another reason why she wants to stab Crowley in the face. Sam asks about her telling Crowley’s demons about Lucifer’s crypts to which she snarkily comments about only giving in under torture – and she has been lying to buy herself some time. Sam is outraged – a bunch of people died so she could buy some time. To which Meg responds with “Hi, I’m Meg, I’m a demon.”

Dean, Meg has now claimed the two best lines of the episode. You’re slipping.

NAOMI FLASH!: Castiel’s worried about Meg telling Sam and Dean the truth and Naomi hates the idea of working with a demon. But they need her to find the crypts…

Which means she gets to tell Sam and Dean that in the crypts is the ANGEL tablet. While Dean is suspicious about Castiel’s claim to have been lied to by the demons, Meg’s more concerned about Crowley’s goons coming back – they have to find the tablet first.

Using the map in Ann’s basement, Meg shows them where the crypt is, though she doesn’t know where the crypt is (“do I look like google to you?” No.3 Dean!). Dean is still stuck on Castiel lying to them but Sam can understand it – given the potential damage the angel tablet has.

Castiel treats Meg’s wounds and she tries to flirt with him with Castiel being gloriously clueless, taking all her pop culture references literally and basically being the awesomeness that is Castiel. More flirting happens. Including references to the Pizza man. She even misses the apocalypse when things were simpler – she was bad, Castiel was good; now she’s good and Castiel is kind of bad (which is hot) and when it’s all over she wants to “order some pizza” (that’s it. I can never order pizza again).

Meanwhile, Sam has found the location though Dean is suspicious and is not sure if they can trust Megstiel (yes, he said “Megstiel.” Yes he did. That and Meg and Castiel flirting just caused a thousand Slash fetishists to lose their ever loving minds). They go to collect Meg and Cas, just as he understands Meg’s flirting and seems to be saying “yes.”

At the same time the last demon in town calls Crowley to tell him, as Crowley puts it, he can’t find a hole in the ground, has lost his colleagues and now has lost Meg. Crowley is, as ever, awesome and decides to handle things himself.

To the location and Dean wants to go in with Castiel – Sam protests and Dean thinks of excuses until he finally mentions Sam’s internal bleeding problem. Dean knows he’s not fine and won’t hear any more excuses. Castiel agrees, calling Sam damaged in ways he can’t fix and, besides, someone needs to guard Meg. (“Since when do I need protecting,” “since you were captured and tortured for over a year,” “touche”. Wow, Dean, even Castiel’s getting better lines than you this week)

Castiel and Dean go inside, Dean wanting to know more about what is wrong with Sam but Castiel only dazzling him with science and being unable to confirm if it’s lethal.

Outside Meg asks Sam about them not looking for her after she disappeared – after all the bullets she took for them. She also wants to know about the trial and why Sam is not being damaged, which Sam also won’t tell her. She’s irritated that she still hasn’t proved herself on his team and creeps Sam out by telling him about himself – since she once possessed him and knows his innermost thought. She hits on his desire to live a long normal life and makes him talk about his year with Amelia. Her only question about this? “why did you stop when you hit the dog?” He’s bemused that that’s ALL she got out of his story of the year, she sums it up with “yes you fell in love with a unicorn, it was beautiful, it was sad then sadder, I laughed, I cried and I puked in my mouth a little.” That’s it, game, set, match, Meg. She also kind of gets it – which is when they get company.

Dean and Castiel find the entrance to the Crypt and…

NAOMI FLASH: She tells him to tell Dean the crypt is empty. But he tells her it’s warded against angels. She tells him to handle it.

Castiel points to the tablet, Dean opens the chest and takes out the tablet. Castiel tells Dean to give it to him so he can take it to heaven. Dean counters – it needs to go to Kevin to be translated. Castiel agrees and says he’ll take it to Kevin instead, Dean says they’ll take it.

NAOMI FLASH: if the demons get it they’ll kill us all! Castiel says he can reason with Dean, he’s a good man.

Dean keeps talking about taking the tablet, but Castiel tells him he can’t let him take the tablet. Dean asks him how he got out of Purgatory.

NAOMI FLASH: Castiel says there must be another way, but Naomi tells him he’s practiced a thousand times – kill Dean!

Dean demands Castiel be honest with him for the first time since leaving Purgatory. Castiel, draws his angel knife. He attacks Dean who blocks with the tablet.

NAOMI FLASH: Castiel is having kittens over attacking Dean, Naomi demands that he will hurt Dean

Dean demands Castiel fight this, it’s not him and Castiel attacks again, blocked by the tablet.

NAOMI FLASH: Castiel demands to know what she did to him. She tells him to let his vessel do what he knows is right

Castiel asks “what have you done to me Naomi” and Dean asks who Naomi is

NAOMI FLASH: she talks about the carnage he inflicted on heaven and tells him she FIXED him.

Castiel and Dean fight, Castiel easily throwing Dean about the room and avoiding his counter attacks. Outside, Meg and Sam kill 2 demons – and Crowley appears. Castiel continues to beat Dean, blood pours down Dean’s face and Dean tells him he’ll have to kill him to get the tablet (not technically true, I mean, Castiel could pick it up, and fly away, what could Dean do?) Castiel continues to hit him

NAOMI FLASH: Castiel begs Naomi and she tells him to end it

Cas keeps hitting Dean in the face, over and over – flashing back to Naomi looking more and more distressed while she demands he bring her the tablet. He raises his knife and Dean gasps and gets through. He says they’re family and that he needs Castiel.

NAOMI FLASH: Naomi says Castiel has to choose – us (angels) or them (humans).

Castiel drops the blade. He reaches down and picks up the tablet and it glows with a bright, white light which covers him as well. In Naomi’s office she cries out and shies back from the light. Castiel is gone – she calls out for him but he’s not there.

Castiel comes to his senses holding the non-glowing tablet and stood over the bloody and injured Dean. He reaches out to touch him and Dean reacts with fear, saying no – until Castiel touches him and Dean’s injuries disappear. Castiel apologises.

Outside, Crowley is there with all his snarkiness and double entendres. He’s also not happy with Moose (Sam) killing his hellhound. But he’s here for the stone with the funny scribbles on it (damn I love Crowley). Meg tells Sam to go and help Dean, she’ll hold him off. To which Crowley does more snarking (“Timone and Pumba tell you their big plan?” oh Meg you need some more witticisms, Crowley’s catching up). He tells her they mean to close the gates of hell, kill him and all demons – Meg says he had her at killing him – he attacks.

Inside Castiel has told Dean that Naomi has been controlling him since Purgatory. Castiel doesn’t know what broke the connection but he does know he has to protect the tablet from Naomi. And from Dean – Castiel disappears. Dean calls for him – and Sam arrives telling him they have to go.

Outside, Meg is badly mangled and Crowley, untouched, drags her to her feet. Behind them Sam and Dean drive off and Meg points out that there’s no Castiel in the back seat – the stone is gone. She stabs him in the arm with her demon knife – and he stabs her in the chest, killing her.

In the crypt Crowley meets Naomi. Crowley comments that neither of them have the tablet and Castiel is in the wind with their prize. She says he’s meant to protect the tablet which leads to Crowley asking “even from you?” (because he’s awesome like that). She gives him a look and he holds up his hands saying he’s a lover not a fighter (as she knows from their time in Mesopotamia… uh-huh). He offers to make a deal but she disappears before he finishes. He remarks “tart stole my move.”

In the car, Dean fills Sam in and adds that he can’t take any more lies. Sam apologises for lying about being ill and Dean says he can’t carry the burden of the trials, but he can carry Sam. Sam points out he just quoted Lord of the Rings.

As they drive off, we see an irritated Naomi being given bad news by a subordinate angel and Castiel on a bus with the tablet

Castiel! Castiel! Castiel! Castiel! Castiel! Castiel! Castiel! Castiel!

What, I’m supposed to make sense and analyse? But but but Castiel is back! Fine… I do like how Dean looks at Castiel, this mix between deeply concerned friend who knows something is up – just as he does with Sam – and doesn’t know how to handle it. While, at the same time, being an equally hurt friend who feels more than a little abandoned (and guilty for abandoning Castiel in Purgatory). Yet, at the same time, still almost revering Castiel to the point that, even with his concerns about him, he still prays TO him. Dean, a man who has almost no faith in anything, prays to Castiel.

Meg had some beautiful, amazing lines this episode. She was an awesome character – it’s a shame she’s now gone (and the fridge just got fuller).

But there was such a lot of epic this episode. And any episode with Castiel and Crowley in it is always a good one