Sam and Bobby go into the house.
Sam: Is this the part where you pull a gun on me and lock me in the panic room?
Bobby: Do I have to?
Sam (tiredly): No. Dean’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.
He walks past Bobby and Bobby said sadly, “We all do, kid.”
It’s a really interesting question they bring up here. I mean, they’ve established that Sam can’t be trusted to not kill if he decides it serves a purpose, and yet he’s his own person. Dean—and by proxy, Bobby—has decided against Sam’s protestations that Sam needs to have his soul returned to him to restore him to humanity, if not the person he was before. Dean can’t bear the thought of that person suffering in Hell, nor can he bear the thought of a lifetime around this HollowSam.
But that’s all about Dean. It’s interesting to try to look at it from Sam’s perspective. Interesting, but not easy. Because I don’t like Sam’s perspective. I don’t want this Sam. I don’t trust this Sam. But that doesn’t stop it from being any less true that while what Dean wants in this situation feels right, it’s not the only game in town.
Standing in Bobby’s junkyard with the ring, though, Dean utters a breathless, heartfelt, “Here goes everything,” and slips the ring on.
That boy breaks my heart. He meant those three words with everything in him. He was going to play Death on a desperate gamble to save his brother and the complexities surrounding all of the ramifications of that roll of the dice are something that Dean will have to continue to deal with, no matter the outcome.
The moment the ring is on his finger, he’s elsewhere—I’m not sure where, but it’s a city street and Tessa is there, rather pissed off. She wants to get through the next 24 hours with a minimum of screw-ups.
Dean: This is your boss’s idea, not mine.
Tessa: You have a long history of throwing a wrench in the works, so stick to the rules.
And the rules are? Kill everyone whose number is up. Tessa has a list, but she won’t let Dean see. I found it interesting they said “kill” instead of take. But I guess the taking part is Tessa’s job. As Death, Dean has to kill them. Guh.
Tessa: You touch them, they die, I reap them. Remove the ring, you lose. Slack off, you lose.
This is going to be one of the suckiest days in Dean’s life.
Elsewhere, in some random, abandoned warehouse near Bobby’s, Sam is summoning… Balthazar. I gotta say I really dig this actor. He’s got such an interesting face. He’s how I picture Voldemort would look right before he finally went snake (and before you say it, I know Ralph Fiennes plays Voldy, I’m just saying, it looks like he could be the Dark Lord).
Balty is a little ticked that Sam summoned him, and is in his own way admiring Sam’s hubris for summoning the angel who wanted to kill him. After all, the last time they met, Sam said he wanted to deep-fry Balty’s wings. But now, Sam wants advice, and considering Balty traffics in souls, he seemed like the best Being to ask.
Balty: Go ask your boyfriend.
Sam: Cas can’t help me.
Sam wants to know if there’s a weapon or a spell that can keep a soul out—permanently. Balty realizes by Sam’s silence that his soul is still in the Cage and doesn’t blame him for not wanting it back since Michael and Luci (he actually says Luci) are “hate-banging” his soul as they speak.
You ask me? If Michael really has been up to that as everyone and their brother are claiming? He’s kinda lost his place in Heaven. Talk about natural order of things…the reason Lucifer ended up down there to begin with is because he didn’t like that God loved humans more than angels. Michael taking his anger out on a human soul? Not gonna be cool in God’s eyes should He return to Heaven. Just sayin’.
Balty says he’ll help Sam for free because he wants Sam to owe him (so mark that in your book of “what’s coming up for them to deal with in the 2nd half of the season”) and he also doesn’t like Dean one bit and would delight in screwing him. A statement that doesn’t get more than an eyebrow flicker out of HollowSam.
The ingredients to the spell are easy enough to get, but the trick is to scar the vessel (and it actually took me a minute to realize that by vessel, he meant Sam) so that it’s rendered inhabitable. Balty says the best way is patricide.
Sam doesn’t even balk at this idea; he simply says that his father died years ago. Gosh darnit.
Balty: You need the blood of your father, but your father needn’t be blood.
And we have the other side of desperation. Dean is so desperate to save Sam in his way—save the brother he knew from Hell, fill HollowSam with a soul and reunite them—he’s literally willing to die to find a solution. Sam is so desperate to retain his HollowSelf in his way, he’s willing to kill an innocent (yet again) to maintain the status quo.
It’s obvious (to me) which one is more right, but I had to admit that it was an intriguing conundrum they presented. I’m aware there will be those of you who don’t agree, but since the end of Season 4, I’ve written these rambles with an acute awareness of the gamut of preferences in those who read them and this is my way of attempting fair play. Off the record? I’d utter a heartfelt go, Dean, go.
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