When a young babysitter is murdered seemingly by the husband she wanted to steal away, the Winchesters follow the strange clues to the wife who played a role in a curse disguised as a love spell meant to draw her husband back to him. The curse is in fact a shape-shifting entity that rips the hearts out of those connected to the castor and the castor itself. As the brothers track down the witch responsible, Dean allows himself to become afflicted and faces against his darkest desire in the form of Amara. Sam confronts and stops the witch just in time to save Dean who later reveals that the entity took the form of The Darkness. Sam attempts to persuade Dean that its not his fault and doesn’t have control over Amara’s pull, but Dean is unsettled and confused over his feelings with the sister of God and leaves to handle his issues alone for the time being.
The previous segments leading to the intro of the episode gave the impression that all the holiday elements were going to play some role tonight, however that wasn’t the case. It was loosely related to Valentine’s Day only in the heart-ripping aspect and that they referenced the date. Notwithstanding, it was a very solid episode with some poignant moments that delivered including Dean’s reveal to Sam about his desires for Amara which, at best, completely conflict with his logical sense to destroy her. The villain’s weapon was a reflection into Dean’s emotional state, trying into the main over-arcing plot which helped solidify this one-shot as a necessary piece of the seasonal puzzle.
Even though it was telegraphed, the entity taking the shape of Amara was a necessary segment to get out in the open for both Dean and for him to explain it to Sam, which he didn’t have to, and I’m glad he did. When the brothers show trust it helps them figure things out as a team. Granted, Dean may not agree with what he’s hearing, but at least it’s honest feedback, which he’s been avoiding for a while now. This doesn’t really solve much or get the brothers any closer to figuring out how to stop Amara, but at least its out in the open and not hidden like some diabolical secret. Its incremental, but the development is there and its rare to see within a one-shot episode.
These kinds of mystery-driven episodes hinge on the result being far from our typical guesses, in this case, instead of a shape-shifter, we get a curse brought on by a witch who’s fed up with those who deal in affairs. I like when its nearly impossible to figure out based solely on the one or two scenes we see, usually the murders that take place. When the brothers are stumped, we’re stumped, and as long as the payoff delivers, the episode will be in good standing and I believe it delivered tonight. The witch being responsible may have been slightly weak, but its not like we can have Rowena back.
Not much went wrong tonight in my view. The storytelling was good, the tone was there, the comedy was appropriate when it needed to be, and the mystery element didn’t drag too far away from the theme which was facing the desires as they are and not as we want them to be. I did expect the wife to kill the witch, but in the end, Sam shot her, sparing her the need to do it. I might have thought the entity showing up as Amara would have been more strange effects, but considering the form of the darkness doesn’t mean the power, it was fine. It played its role as it was supposed to. I suppose it was a bit too cliche that the husband was having an affair with the babysitter, but its 2016, I guess that still happens.
When Dean faced off against the entity as Amara. Tying the episode into Dean’s arc with the darkness was important and if anything the episode was written around getting Dean to admit he somehow wanted Amara and really didn’t like it. He plays really well at denying his passion and hides it with anger, humor, and a very cynical attitude. But tonight, he had to face the truth and face it he did.
Dean had a lot going for him tonight. His passive, but cavalier attitude with who he slept with early on, the easiness in his figuring out the husband’s affair, and courage to tell Sam that who he really saw as the entity was Amara. He’s always the first to take one for the team even if it meant passing the curse onto himself, and he’ll do whatever it takes to handle his issues on his own before putting his brother at risk of knowing his secrets. When Dean is conflicted for the right reasons, he carries himself in a more positive light and tonight he was much more resonant than what normally comes out of his personality during dark times.
Have we done an April Fool’s day episode yet? That month is coming up soon and another dimensional bopping episode into the real world would be most amusing.
This might be a record for how many episodes sans Crowley. It would be interesting to see an entire episode from Lucifer’s perspective on how he’s been existing and what he’s doing on the side to combat Amara, if he’s doing so at all.
Since Sam and Dean aren’t aware that Rowena is dead, I’m surprised her name didn’t come up when the wife mentioned a witch being responsible for the “love spell”. I also mean before she was named Sonja too. Perhaps Rowena would never take up hairdressing as an alternate occupation.
I know the husband had an alibi, but it seems like an odd thing to do with showing who he thought was an FBI agent some pretty strange and incriminating evidence that showed himself killing the babysitter. And on his work computer of all places too. Even if he was 1000% certain he wasn’t responsible, he can’t believe in strange phenomena that easily to trust an agent with that video footage. Seemed odd.
At this rate, I question what Amara’s real agenda with Dean is. Does Dean somehow hold the key to stopping her and she needs him close and complicit to her wishes? Or is she truly in love with him as she perceives it because of his role in freeing her? Either way, I think Lucifer will discover this truth before anyone else does and be forced to utilize it for his own diabolical scheme.
8 out of 10. Again, a solid stand-alone with enough mystery and tie-ins to the main plot that didn’t make this a forgetful episode. Dean is showing he can trust his brother with his conflicted feelings toward Amara and the effects all around weren’t half bad at all. Lucifer will need to play a bigger role soon whether he stays hidden as Castiel or not. That dynamic is certain to cause chaos when Sam and Dean find out which I’m very much looking forward to. I also want Lucifer to deal with Metatron and any other angel he thinks needs to be dealt with. As always, thanks for reading. We’ll see you soon.
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