A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 9×16 (Snookie was a…you know what, not even going to question it)

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The search for the first blade brings the Winchesters back on Crowley’s sights, who has continued his addiction of human blood. After killing a traitorous demon, Crowley calls to Sam and Dean for help. They find and take him back to HQ and discover that Abaddon knows about the blade as well. Crowley leads Sam and Dean to an empty forest containing an exiled men of letters who has purchased the blade and hides in a warded mansion. Once allowed entry, Sinclair, the exiled man detains Dean and plans to add him and his mark of Cain to a mass collection of rare pieces. Sam and Crowley find a way to infiltrate and save Dean, who then kills Sinclair with the blade. Crowley then steals the blade and mentions he won’t allow Dean to have it until they locate Abaddon. He disappears with Sam and Dean on their own.

The demon-centric plot built more on the men of letters history by adding an exiled and eccentric character who wanted nothing more than to grow his collection. Considering the elements poured through this episode, I’m not certain it was all that necessary to bother with it. If Crowley had found the blade in the trench of the ocean, then it would have been up to Sam and Dean to recover it on their own. They would have ended up exactly where they were at the end of this episode only Crowley would still have an addiction to human blood. Currently, Crowley considers himself absolved of it and maintains his role of the distrusting king of hell.

So, in the end, what was really accomplished? Either way, Crowley was going to end up with the blade, only now, Abaddon knows of it’s existence, due to Crowley’s lethargic belligerence. There were fleeting moments of Crowley trying to reach out to Sam with their “bond” so to speak over what happened at the church, but Sam wasn’t interested in using that to his advantage, altruistic or not. Their mutuality is strained at best now that Crowley is back to his old self again. Does that mean there’s no more need for Crowley to engage in those tearful human emotions? Not sure on that. Crowley’s been showcasing glimmers of substance but without Sam and Dean to somehow nurture its development, it will do nothing but work against them in the end.

Sinclair’s role seemed rather pointless and disengaged. To be fair, I thought there would be reason to keep him around as some attempt at an eccentric ally, but that clearly wasn’t meant to be now that he’s headless. Considering the late point in the season, there doesn’t seem to be much room for new supporting characters to invest in, not withstanding how they intend to introduce us to the spin-off. Hopefully this means the end of the history of the men of letters. Good on that.

Dean’s moment of restraint with attacking Sam shows an interesting promise of things to come. On one side of the fence, Dean could be seen as simply resisting an overall urge to use the blade on whatever was in front of him, but I think there’s a deeper sign of how the brothers must deal with this looming threat. I think Dean’s inner turmoil perpetuated with the mark of Cain will exclusively draw him more toward killing Sam specifically and not just in general. The symbolism is easily there, but I wonder if they’ll keep it intact and build on it as the episodes weigh in. Dean stopped himself for the moment, but what will transpire when he can’t control it? And that’ll happen, it has to.

The Snookie segment was another jab at demonic celebrity status which to me, never gets old. Little gems of that caliber are always welcome to free of some lighthearted moments on the show and they shouldn’t stop, so long as those celebrities agree to cameo as themselves as demons. Keep ‘em comin’.

Overall, I consider this episode relatively satisfactory. It told a story that could have been summed up in two scenes but fleshed out Crowley’s addiction and inserted Abaddon’s search for the blade. The brothers had barely a sliver of bickering over their lost connection and for the moment, I forgot it was even there. The Impala was the only real casualty, but I doubt those keyed Enokian marks will last long. The villain of the week was used in a way that didn’t offer sense but it did give Dean one more credit in the kill counter. I don’t recall a moment that truly stood out aside from Crowley’s tearful mood swings. He referred to the situation as being turned into a junkie by the Winchesters which creates a certain aspect of denial and responsibility for his actions as an evil being. He still has a ways to go if he’s ever going to be a real ally on the show, but maybe that isn’t something that should be considered, because he performs well as a serial antagonist to Sam and Dean. I expect the angel plot to continue as we hopscotch our way closer to the spin-off now known as “Bloodlines.”

No more words

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