The whole “previously on Supernatural” could just be replaced with my glaring face.
Time for some catch up with the Steyn’s including a bullied student with a rather awesome come back and the intervention of a family member being all ominous then hunting down and murdering the teenaged bully.
To the Winchesters building Charlie’s funeral pyre – flashbacks, angst and manpain for everyone. Things are definitely not good between the brothers – when Sam begins to say sorry as Charlie’s body burns, Dean tells him to shut up – and that he got Charlie killed. Sam goes back to how he did it all for Dean and how they’re brothers and of course he will fight for him (it’s a nice speech but it has been so often repeated on this show it may as well be recorded). Dean is not in a forgiving mood – he even says that Sam should be the one on the pyre. Now the disposable character has been disposed of, Dean wants the whole book examination shut down. And Dean’s going to go on a vengeance fuelled vampire, possibly Mark Enabled, but he’s past caring
Back to the Stynes and bullied teen-Steyn Cyrus feeling all oppressed by his family’s control, and 1 armed Eldon Styne having to explain that yes he not only didn’t get the book but he kind of left his arm behind as well. Ooops, careless! But the Winchesters have a whole cave full of shiny stuff so he wants to move on past the discarded limbs and focus on raiding their bunker for the haul. But he’ll need a new arm – which means getting Cyrus in to slice and dice his bully for spare parts. Cyrus doesn’t want to (his daddy puts this down to him being “soft” because he’s the baby). Daddy demands he takes part and slicing and dicing follows
I think, in terms of organ harvesting, them being conscious to wiggle and scream et al is not the most practical of means.
Eldon gets a new heart and Cyrus is all sad – and Eldon insists Cyrus come with him.
Dean heads to the Stynes and on the way he gets hassled and harassed by local cops who arrest him on ridiculous charges before finding a whole shed load of very real charges in his car (as well as dropping a hint they were tipped off about him). In the police station Dean decides that the best way out of this is violence.
A couple of beaten cops later he learns that Monroe Styne (Eldon’s daddy) set the police on him because he’s just that influential. Dean isn’t impressed
He makes his way to the Styne compound and people start dying. He’s ambushed by Monroe and a whole army of Stynes with guns and they put a plastic bag over his head (which seems to be a Styne trade mark – I suppose it doesn’t damage the goods)
He wakes up on the slab and explains the situation – they kill him, he will come back because of the Mark – but as a demon and then he’ll kill them all. They let him go and he’ll be human – so he’ll only kill most of them. Sounds reasonable.
Monroe decides to play operation anyway- Dean warned him. Dean snaps his bonds and the killing starts. First Eli, then the nurse then Monroe after a dire prediction of taking “everything” from the patriarch (who tries to splutter about attacking his home and family).
Because, Eldon, Cyrus and Minion have broken into the Winchester cave and plan to burn the place.
Without Charlie to torment, Regina contents herself with poking Castiel before Sam arrives to tell them the news about Charlie damn, if only they’d thought to tell their teleporting warhead about Charlie BEFORE she died!). They plan to shut down the whole research per Dean’s wishes and then go after Dean – except Sam gets the last email Charlie sent including her crack for the code. Rowena admits they can cure the mark.
Change of plan, cure it back on – and Castiel is dispatched to make sure Dean doesn’t completely lose it while they arrange that. He objects but Sam says what I said earlier in the season – it’s Sam’s turn to throw everything out of the window to save his brother, just as Dean has done for him several times. Rowena looks ominously smug. She smells weakness and demands her payment – Sam is desperate and if he wants her help he will do what she wants now – and kill Crowley.
So Sam lures Crowley into a trap by pretending to be Dean in trouble and then shooting Crowley with a trapped bullet making him helpless. He blames Crowley for the Mark of Cain (hmmm yes he certainly helped, but they were looking for a weapon to take down Abaddon. Sounds like a scapegoat and a responsibility dodge. Crowley neither forced nor manipulated them into taking the Mark of Cain –in fact he’s been quite wary of it for some time).
Once trapped, Sam puts one of Rowena’s hex bags on him so she can work her mojo. This is long and slow – and Crowley actually claims to be trying to make Hell a better place. He had the idea that if he “did better” he would be able to feel again. Sam isn’t impressed and delivers a very 4th-wall-breaking but excellent rant “you have the suit and the accent and the snark, but you’re a monster” which is so utterly spot on.
And Crowley’s eyes glow red as he describes how much he’s loved his evil life. He pulls out the bullet and stands up – thanking Sam for reminding him who he is.
Because he may be Crowley with all the fun and snark – but he IS the King of Hell. He casually burns away Rowena’s hex bag. He taunts Sam with how utterly easily he could kill Sam – but instead lets him live so Sam knows he was spared – and so he can go deliver a warning to Rowena (who he, utterly unnecessarily, calls a “whore.” There are so many insults, why resort to misogyny? It’s ridiculously unnecessary and lacks his usual elegance and finesse with insults) who he is now gunning for. He vanishes – and we don’t see him leave
Sam calls Rowena to tell her that things didn’t quite go to plan.
Castiel catches up with Dean at the Styne house and calls Sam – because Dean has left upwards of a dozen dead bodies in his wake so far. All brutally murdered. Jolly good. And he’s now heading home.
Where Eldon and Cyrus and Minion are preparing their bonfire of books and Dean’s life despite Cyrus’s objections. Before he drops the match, Minion staggers in with a knife in his back. Dean is home. Splattered in blood. Eldon actually taunts him without even thinking about where all the blood came from
Eldon tries to be all menacing and taunting but Dean positively radiates badass in how very unimpressed he is by Eldon’s little taunts nor is he impressed by the many upgrades the Stynes may have – because he’s gone and killed them all. And he shoots Eldon in the head.
No battle, no fight. Just bang, dead.
Dean points the gun at Cyrus who begs and says how much he hates his family – showing his lack of stitches. But Dean insists there is bad in Cyrus’s blood. Cyrus tearfully begs for his life. And Dean shoots him in the head. And that would be the over-the-edge Mark of Cain, right there
Castiel arrives. Late, again, to ask “what have you done?” Castiel refuses to leave when Dean tells him too – Cas both calls Dean a monster and his friend; but Dean is still furious with Castiel as well for Charlie’s death. And he doesn’t want a spell from the Evil book of Evil because those spells always come with a terrible cost.
Castiel stops him leaving – because the mark WILL turn Dean. Maybe it will take centuries, maybe after Sam and nearly everyone Dean loves are all dead… except Castiel. Castiel will be the one who will have to watch him “murder the world.” Unwisely, Castiel suggests he’s willing to hurt Dean to stop him leaving.
Dean attacks Castiel, beating him and throwing him aside so he can walk out. When Castiel tells him to stop, he turns back and attacks again – brutally beating Castiel and then taking his angel blade. He prepares to stab the angel… but kids are one thing, stabbing Castiel is a step too far. He walks out, Castiel too injured to follow.
Dean leaves and tells Castiel and Sam to stay away
One of the “funnier” elements of Mark of Cain Dean is that while Sam and Castiel wail about him losing control and going dark, his behaviour isn’t that much different from what it was. Someone breaks the lights on his car? Yes, I’d expect violence. In fact, violence has always been fairly high up Dean’s solution list. And after Charlie was murdered then, yes, I would expect a killing spree from non-marked Dean. I would expect the bodies piled high.
What WAS more Mark was not just the obvious death of Cyrus but also the manner of his death and the death of Eldon – a single bullet to the head. Not a fight, not a battle – it’s a reminder that the Mark of Cain is the mark of a killer, a murderer – not a warrior or a soldier. Quick, simple, brutal death.
I do have to give massive credit to Sam’s rant at Crowley – because Crowley, his accent, his class and, of course, his amazing snark quickly made him a fan favourite. And, like many fan favourites, it went a long way to absolving him for the evil he’s done. He is the KING OF HELL. Crowley isn’t just a bit naughty, he’s utterly and inexcusably evil. And if Sam kills Crowley, that doesn’t make SAM the bad guy –and I think that was really necessary to exposition at this point. Which leads awesomely to Crowley himself reminding us what he is which is also past needed.
I said that I wasn’t impressed by the Styne family as a big bad. They could have worked by pushing up the idea of numbers and subtlety and indirect power – but all the dramatic speeches of their might fall flat next to the many beasties the Winchesters have faced. Which meant this episode worked. The Stynes rant on about how superior and amazing they are – and run slap bang into Dean Winchester with the Mark of Cain and brutally realise there’s a whole other league of power and evil out there they never even knew existed.
And on top of that, Castiel’s speech about being the last one who will have to see Dean fall is also powerful – because, when you link it to Dean’s previous insistence that they kill him before he turns, what he’s saying is that Dean has demanded Castiel be his executioner. Assuming her could.
This episode leaves me a little bitter in that I’m still massively pissed about Charlie – yet at the same time have to say this particular episode was immensely awesome. On this episode, I have to mark it high even while the ghost of Charlie freshly joins Kevin and the legion of other deep major problems this show has hisses in my ear
Which kind of sums up how I feel about Supernatural in general. I love it and regularly want to smash the whole thing with a hammer.