Four years ago, Sam and Dean helped a woman named Nora (guest star Nicole Oliver) exorcise a demon that was systematically killing women in a small town. They managed to save the postal worker, Jeffrey (guest star Russell Sams), while vanquishing the demon but now it seems the black-eyed monster has reared his ugly head and returned for a second helping. The brothers visit Jeffrey, who has been locked in a psych ward since the incident, to see if he can remember any of the demon’s plans while he was possessed. Thomas J. Wright directed the episode written by Ben Edlund.
Hmmm…. Man this one gave me a lot more thinky thoughts than I expected. Let’s see if I can process through them as I go…. You ready?
So, before I get to the traditional rambley part of the Ramble, some thoughts. I liked this one; however, it felt like it was a bit of a ceremonial flipping of a switch in the flow of the overall storyline for the Season. As if after this episode we’re going to go from the boys handling things as best they can – Sam keeping the crazy under one roof, as he said, and Dean doing what he can not to get killed and keep the pain at bay – to their world falling apart around them, completely this time. Because it won’t just be about those they love, it will be about them.
Which, it feels like the right time for it, honestly. We have eight episodes left in the season and a lot of ground to cover; keeping Sam ‘okay’ for much longer (when it was built up so much in the previous season and the beginning of this one as the Great Wall of Sam falling would be a Really Bad Thing) would have tested my patience. Not that it’s all about me, of course, but you get my meaning. There’s only so long I’ll buy the hand-rubbing as a means to keep the Devil away.
Plus, it’s the usual cadence of the show, it seems, to get them to a point when they are doing okay, feeling back on track, and then the rug gets yanked out from under them. SO, Sam ‘letting Lucifer in’ during this episode is the flip of the switch that is going to (as I see it) send them spiraling. The question for me now becomes: how deep will the crack go, and how far down will Dean fall before he’ll be able to climb out, hauling Sam behind him?
Because he won’t lose him again. Not like this. I refuse to believe they (writers) would do that to them (us). *crosses arms*
I think Sam losing control will come very close to breaking Dean – I mean, since Sam went to Hell, Dean’s lost Lisa and Ben, Castiel, and Bobby…if he loses Sam (and there are multitudes of ways to lose someone; this I know from personal experience) so soon after really getting him back, it’s going to rock him severely – but I think that it will also be the catalyst to him recentering on his purpose and finding that reason everyone’s been telling him to find.
Realistically, I think that any person who has been through as much as Dean has would crumble – even just a little bit. But as one commenter pointed out to me last Ramble when I mentioned that Dean had taken a break from drinking, just because it doesn’t happen during the episode doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. So, if I never see him have his ‘straw moment,’ as I’ve taken to calling it, the canon in my head will simply fill it in and follow him forward as he carries himself like the hero he is.
And Sammy…good gracious. He’s shown incredible resilience up to now. Giving way and losing his grip on sanity – especially considering how he was maintaining that grip and the life he was living in the meantime – was only a matter of time. My hope is that he’ll lose it, hit bottom, and be saved by his brother; his return (for lack of a better word) acting as a healing agent for Dean.
That’s my I have to stay positive about their fate outlook. Before it gets to that, though, I have a feeling it’s going to get a whole lot darker. Which…I’m actually okay with. Anything less would make all the buildup that’s come before pointless, in my opinion. I’ve enjoyed the lighter moments, the adventures, the humor, time travel, and sparkly clowns, but I’m all for rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty as we filter through Sam’s damaged noggin, Dean’s desperation, and a way to take out the Big Mouths once and for all.
In this episode, I found myself reminded of a story I wrote with a good friend called Devil Inside (after the INXS song). In that story, we hypothesized that serial killers were actually possessed by demons…the humans had this ‘spark’ in them that the demons honed in on. Once possessed, the demons exploited that ‘spark’ and basically turned the human host into the killer they were ‘meant to be.’ In the story, we used real-life serial killers as examples, like John Wayne Gacy and David Berkowitz (Son of Sam).
Because of that story, my Spidey sense was tingling early on with the storyline of this episode, but I still think it was well done overall. However, I don’t know if it was the sense that this episode was starting the next chapter or the vaguely familiar plotline, but I found myself with more of a sense of waiting for what happens next than truly engaged with this one.
One last thing before I start with the recap and the rest of my thinky thoughts. I have to confess something. I was completely entertained, and often even amused…by Mark Pellegrino’s Hallucifer.
Don’t judge me.