Thursday, October 16, 2014

Supernatural, Season 10, Episode 2: Reichenbach

Time for a flashback to what made this random guy want to hunt Dean down – as a kid he heard a fight downstairs and came down to find his dad dead and Dean with a knife (Dean also managed to stop the aging process). So there are a bazillion explanations with this starting with shapeshifters and ending with possession. Revenge guy wants to get Sam to help him kill Dean but like me Sam thinks Dean probably had a reason. Sam tries to convince the man monsters exist but “vampires exist, honest – look I even carry holy water” isn’t that convincing.

So time for some Sam torture but he takes a time out to take a call from his family – therefore leaving a restrained Winchester unattended for 10 seconds so of course Sam escapes. Honestly Houdini is easier to tie up than these guys.

On to Castiel who is scraping the barrel of his Grace – he can’t even heal himself, having to rely on Hannah. The newly freed Sam calls Castiel to let him know where Dean and Crowley are – and that Dean is a demon now. Dean and Hannah set off though Hannah disapproves of the Winchesters. She should probably also drive since Castiel passed out at the wheel and nearly ploughed them into a truck.

The nice repair-truck lady offers to host them while she fixes things, bemuses Hannah with humour and three bean surprise (I think I’d be bemused by three bean surprise as well). And poor Cas isn’t doing well – you can tell, he takes of the coat. Even half dead he manages to be immensely adorable with a small child.

Hannah goes to heaven to make a deal with the imprisoned Metatron to release him (on the understanding he will leave the planet) in exchange for the remainder of Castiel’s grace – restore him back to full power and, he guesses, to put him in charge. He snarks about Hannah needing someone in charge –someone to “dominate” her – and she smacks him against the cage bars.

Words cannot describe what a bad idea this is. Castiel agrees, having taken his own trip up to the heavenly cells to declare no no no, hell no. Castiel would rather die than make a deal with Metatron. Castiel and Metatron posture at each other a bit before Cas leaves.

Over to Dean at a strip club (a nearly empty strip club at that) – he keeps pushing for more than the stripper is willing to do and she walks away from him – he tries to stop her which leads to him fighting security. Dean’s rage issues are even starting to concern Crowley. Time for a heart to heart with extra spooky because Dean can now do the black-eyes at will. Crowley thinks Dean is losing his temper because he needs to kill due to the Mark of Cain. Crowley wants to help with that – pointing him to victims: in this case, a woman called Mindy who cheated on her husband and he went on to sell his soul to have her killed.

Dean agrees. Except Lester, the murdering husband, is very very very inept at ordering a murder for hire and shows up at the scene. Dean takes the chance to interview him and points out a) he wouldn’t blame Mindy for cheating on Lester because she’s 8 gazillion times more attractive and b) Lester’s cheating on her. Lester pulls out a grossly sexist reason for why it’s ok if he cheats and Dean smacks him. When Dean is unimpressed by your sexism, that’s saying something. Dean stabs Lester.

No-one is sad by this. Well Crowley is. When Crowley tries to tell Dean off, Dean pushes him to the floor; much to the shock and minor amusement of his demon lackeys. Crowley demands Dean pick a side (demon or human) and Dean, rather menacingly, basically says “nope and you can’t make me.” He makes it clear he’s not working for Crowley and it’s equally clear Crowley is too afraid of the First Blade and Mark of Cain to challenge Dean. Crowley declares them done with a lot of relationship clichés.

Fully pouty, Castiel gives Dean’s location to Sam – who catches up with a troubled Dean (he does do troubled well). Sam talks about curing demons, Dean points out if he wanted that he wouldn’t have run off and told Sam not to follow.

Sam: we’ll fix it.
Dean: Don’t wanna be fixed, also fantasising about murdering you.

Sam, of course, won’t leave and does the full brother-loyalty speech which is usually Dean’s lines.

Big show down is called off because the Kidnap guy throws tear gas through the window. He knocks Sam out and it’s just him and Dean. He tries to lay out his whole revenge spiel to Dean – but Demon!Dean is really indifferent about the whole thing. Kidnapper guy even has his own elaborate revenge fantasy which involves killing Dean in a knife fight rather than shooting him. This probably would have been a really bad idea with old Dean. Demon!Dean with the Mark of Cain?

Dean let’s him live though (for REASONS) and is distracted enough for Sam to use holy water and holy cuffs on him. In exchange for the information of where Dean is, Sam gives the First Blade to Crowley – who promises to get rid of it - it can’t be used without the Mark anyway and Crowley doesn’t want Dean with the Mark. Also Dean is giving Crowley death-eyes. We then have sad image of Crowley staring at a pic of him and Dean together.

Kidnapper guy, meanwhile, researches demons.

Sam and Dean drive off with Dean being menacing and dark.

Bonus for Lord of the Rings and Princess Bride references

Demon Dean is dark – and fun and evil. He’s very very good at that. Oh yes yes he is. I also like the contrast with Sam and how much Sam has moved into a role Dean would normally occupy. Two or Three seasons ago, I wouldn’t have been surprised if Sam wrote Dean off and planning his demise – I’m curious as to where this goes and how that’s explored.

I was very pleasantly surprised over the Lester murder – given the dead women that litter this show and this extremely common misogynist trope, it was nice to see it reversed at the last moment. Also Hannah not taking Metatron’s crap. I will stay lay odds, though, that Hannah will be sacrificing herself for Castiel in the near future.

The hints, winks and jokes they’re throwing as Dean and Crowley isn’t funny, amusing, inclusive or remotely respectful and is part of the ongoing problem this show has with subtext and gay jokes which they play up constantly for marketing, then crash when it comes to any kind of follow through.