Demons sometimes need a bit of fine tuning before they can come out just right. The basics have come back to a revenge-hungry Dean as he mows through the Styne family to annihilate the one who murdered Charlie. And just when things are looking their worst for Sam, they get even more difficult to deal with as his efforts to kill Crowley are in vain leaving the king of hell newly rejuvenated in his evil ways.
What started off as a play at sympathy toward the youngest of the Styne family became a blood bath that took too long to get to, from a seasonal perspective. Dean’s whirlwind of death finally spun up to give the audience a show of chaos and carnage befitting a wearer of the mark of Cain. All of Dean’s scenes were feverish but necessary to finally tell the story on his decline in human kindness. I’m less impressed with Sam’s half of the plot as he fails to take down the familiar devil with a piece of humanity stuck between his teeth. It’s since been dislodged thanks to Sam and frankly I’m perfectly good that call. Sam’s bumbling yet tireless efforts don’t earn him any badges this time as he’s sitting on failure after failure with getting the mark removed from Dean. Now with only one episode left, it’s do or die and meet the madness head on.
After burning Charlie’s body, Dean leaves alone to hunt the Styne family. Sam is pressured by Rowena to kill Crowley or she won’t use Charlie’s code cracking symbols to decipher the book. Dean is eventually taken in by local police but he escapes and raids the Styne house only to be captured. Sam lures Crowley to a secluded building and attempts to use a hex bag to slowly kill Crowley, but it fails and Crowley escapes, allowing Sam to live for the time being. Dean escapes his bonds and kills all the members of the Styne family including their leader while Eldon and others raid the men of letters HQ. Dean arrives and kills everyone just as Castiel finds him. Unable to talk down Dean’s bloodthirsty mood, he is beaten and left severally wounded with Dean threatening to kill him should he try again.
To begin, I think it was a horrible idea to include some up and coming prospect who didn’t quite fit in with the Styne’s. All he got for his efforts in the end was a bullet in the head. I get why they did it as he in some small way represented a mirror for Dean (Very loosely) and was also meant to be a sympathetic character so that when Dean killed him there was weight to his acts. As it stood, his rampage was relatively justified considering the rules by which the brothers are governed by (Or lack of). As such, murdering evil people doesn’t necessarily sound like something he needs to be talked down from. Luckily there was more and it came much more smoothly when Castiel and Dean fought at the end. That struggle was much more poignant and carried enough hurt that for a split-second, I honestly thought Dean was going to stab him and I’ll say that would have been such a monumental scene. Not just the act but the image of looking at Dean while he’s engulfed in angelic light the entire time. That would have caused youtube to skyrocket with “Castiel dies-Reaction vids” In the end, Dean held off and left with a warning that he won’t miss next time. All in all, I was happy with how easy he took out everyone especially the last two Styne’s. He didn’t care about punching the bad guy several times, he just wanted him dead. As for Cyrus, well Dean spoke about himself more than anything but thought he proved his own point. Is he wrong? That’s never the point with Dean since the beginning. The point is the grip of evil remains unless one detaches that grip with death. Good riddance to the Styne family. Four seasons ago they might have fit in better, but not this late in the rotating feud between angels and demons.
On the other side, Sam’s scenes didn’t hold up very well against Dean’s “Terminator” vibe. His desperation is sympathetic, but his fear and constant stumbling with decisions made his portion of the episode somewhat difficult to watch. Crowley made up for it with his monologue and what was really tragic was his realization that being evil is the better outcome than his attempt that keeping hell civilized, so to speak. What’s funny is I never got that impression from Crowley at all this season. His attitude in his domain episode after episode suggested his acts were nothing short of boredom and being melancholy. It was always obvious why but I never attributed it to him trying to subjectively be a better person. In any case, Crowley’s eyes are red once more and in a mirror of Dean leaving Castiel alive, so to did Crowley leave Sam alive. Rowena still expects Sam to kill Crowley even though he failed and at this point, it seems like a moot issue. Crowley won’t be fooled twice and Sam is fresh out of ideas. He’s still too easily afraid of Crowley considering what he’s been through his whole life.
Dean and Castiel in the last scene. It was brutal and bloody and brought on all the right feels to really sink in the darkness that’s emanating from Dean once again. I didn’t want Dean to truly end Castiel’s life, but still the act would have made the finale that much more crazy and otherworldly for Sam. He’s essentially all alone in this with no real allies. Luckily Cass is still there to try and patch up what he can, but for that one brief moment, we simply didn’t know what Dean would do and that’s good TV.
It’s that time to give credit to Dean Winchester for hunkering down and ripping through bad guys with that dead-pan style of delivery. He even made jokes at the expense of his victims showing at no point did he really feel threatened aside from that bag that went over his head, but that was incidental. He carried the weight of the episode and finally let loose that mark’s personality that Sam has been swearing up and down was making him worse. Now we finally got to see what that was.
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
Keep Metatron out of the finale. It’s great he has some heavenly endgame going on, but it’s not the time of place to unveil it. Unless he does something surely wicked like depose Crowley with that tablet and becomes the new king of hell himself. Hmmm, that’s a sound theory, I should run with it.
I wish I hadn’t watched that promo for the finale. I did. Now I’m beyond elated because my all-time favorite character is coming back one more time, and he brought a scythe! But now I can’t be surprised.
Will next week be Rowena’s final episode, or will they turn her into a supporting character for next season? Tough to roll the dice either way, but I think she’s interesting enough to keep around. Maybe somehow she and Crowley can part on good terms.
Charlie’s send off was relatively well done. Flashbacks to precious moments while she burned away ala Darth Vader was appropriate though I’m surprised the brothers stood each other long enough to accomplish such a viking task. They loved Charlie, their 1000 yard stares were proof enough of it.
With season 11 in the bag, it means the cliffhanger has every potential to outdo itself from last season, and it better. There needs to be OMG’s slicing through the internet with how it ends. Don’t dull it down, make it rain blood.
8 out of 10. Dean’s scenes capitalized on mayhem and put him in the mindset that truly threatens any future with Sam and Castiel. This is much darker than demon Dean calling on the chaos and what’s more sinister is whether or not Dean’s attitude will change if the mark gets removed. His bloodthirsty habits may dissipate, but his emotional state is ironclad. Sam will continue his noble efforts but will they be enough to turn everything around? I’m convinced he’ll do what he has to, but again, at what price? Enjoyable episode and thanks for removing the Styne nuisance from the show. That didn’t help matters much. 22 down, 1 to go. See you next week.
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