I’ll admit, I envisioned at least two more episodes for a big awesome showdown with Deanmon and Sam wrecking the gates of hell for the 200th episode and even beyond. Yet, we’re given an 8th season resolution coated and impaled in Dean, turning him back into a human that seems to understand the gravity of his choices as of late. I’m thrilled Dean is back to normal, I just think it happened too fast. This was a golden opportunity to turn demon Dean into a bloodthirsty chaotic arc that saw the brothers stepping into morbid disaster after another for the sake of bonds and hell. What we got instead was a The Shining 101.
That aside, “Soul Survivor” was a patented display of character development for our quartet. Crowley and Castiel stick to their vices as supporting characters do, you also see glimpses into their core as each one relents in familiar ways. Castiel tries to accept his death in battle but is saved by Crowley who treats it like a business transaction when we know a little better. The end result is Castiel saves Sam from killing Dean and the rest is history.
What we’re given is a new clean slate on the demon plot and a promise of new demonic threats to come. Just who is the lady in Oklahoma at the end of the episode and what is her role? Given the amount of episodes that have aired, if she’s someone who’s already made an appearance, please let me know. At the moment, she’s unrecognizable.
Dean’s demonic attitude, as predictable as it was, leaves a few unanswered questions with the demon aspect and what it truly represented. In cases like these, the human counterpart stresses that the force controlling the one they care about isn’t the real version of them. The person in question frantically dictates that it’s the “real” version of them and there’s a lot of back and forth and using words and actions against the protagonists while the power of love, friendship, and family overcomes all, most times. Now that we know that Dean’s demon aspect has been dissolved, all of Dean’s personality was in fact tied to the demon mold and wasn’t realy Dean. In a way it’s like saying he was re-ensouled which always tends to be the driving force of the human conscience. Take away the soul and it’s no holds barred. In Dean’s case you could argue his soul was corrupted, but with the demon aspect gone, he’s literally back to normal. Was Dean in real control, or was the demon aspect it’s own personality? Is it really gone? And how does the mark of Cain fit into the rest of the season?
Speaking of the mark, something is strangely odd and I know I’m not the only one who’s come up with this theory. But is it possible, Sam did something to his arm that is somehow similar to the mark of Cain? For three episodes we’ve been given barely a glimpse into Sam’s dealings with searching for Dean and Crowley except for one flashback which pinpoints how he captured the crossroads demon from the first episode. Now that Sam could have somehow stole the mark for himself, but is there something else going on that’s more supernatural in nature and just a broken arm?
And as great as a sidekick Hannah has become, I’m wondering if she’s overstayed her welcome at this point. Castiel is forming a small bond with her enough that neither will allow themselves to be cornered by Metatron’s offer. As far as angels go, she’s not as annoying as the rest of the bunch, but I wonder if this rogue hunting subplot has a real agenda or if it’s just a plot device to keep Castiel full of grace that isn’t his. The problem is subdued for now, but in the future, we know Castiel won’t kill any more angels to gain that grace back and Crowley no longer has a reason to help him in that capacity, unless he needs serious favors.
There’s a major demon arc coming and I’m excited for it. The ground has been set with some unhappy demons making their voices heard with how Crowley has been running things. He still wants to make the perfect hell. What will he do to attain that goal? What will Sam and Dean do to make sure that doesn’t happen?
Around the second conversation between Sam and captured Dean when it revolves around Dean making Sam feel guilty over what he had done to find Crowley. Either brother is capable of being reminded with the horrible atrocities they’ve gone through. It was Sam’s turn and Dean knew how to drive it home. It didn’t stop Sam from driving more syringes in his brother, but we understood the pain involved. When the show continues to address and tackle over their strained relationship, it brings out the best in their characters, and who knows, maybe we’re in for a comedic treat now that the worst of it is behind them, for now.
Very hard to choose as everyone had an equal number of great scenes. But Crowley and Castiel didn’t have Dean and Sam to play off of and Dean was rather predictable in his capture and how he would react. Tonight’s MVP goes to Sam. He stuck with it, and found that no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t kill his brother. It helps do away with Sam’s attitude in season 9 when he point blank admitted he wouldn’t save Dean if the same life threatening encounter had happened to him. I believe this episode helped wash that away and has once more brought Sam back into the right mindset when dealing with his brother. Whenever they get torn apart, there has to be a way to bring them back together again.
The tally road so far
Dean = 2
Sam = 1
Castiel = 0
Crowley = 0
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
Is closing Hell still a priority for the Winchesters or is it back to the monster of the week again?
Could Dean have been turned into a Knight of Hell and not just a demon, and how does the Mark of Cain fit now that he’s no longer demonized? Will Dean still need to kill even though he has no access to the knife?
Will Charlie ever return from Oz?
Will someone else inevitably let Metatron out of his cage?
The 200th episode will be called “Fan Fiction” I’m hoping for a few alternate takes on how events could have gone down in the universe. Hopefully there’s plenty of room for cameos like Lucifer and Death!
No sign of Cole even though we last saw him looking into demon lore. Could this spark an unexpected play with returning the demon back into Dean later this season?
The episode itself didn’t disappoint me, I just though it should have been pushed further down the season. For what they did pull off and for the story they told, I give it a 7 out of 10. Evil Dean works on a lot of ways, but perhaps not long term. An overly cocky and careless Dean has the potential of being great or stale over time, but we’ll never know now. Castiel’s performance, while solid as always, needs more plot to keep his adventure interesting without the Winchesters involved. That or shoehorn him back into the brother’s main quest, whatever that may be now. Crowley remains the best out of the four that can operate solo and keep the scenes interesting and enticing. Let him work his magic how he wants. We’ll see you at 199 next week!
No more words