Friday, September 11, 2009

Sympathy for the Devil

“Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game”

So goes the lyrics from Rolling Stone’s Sympathy for the Devil. In the Season 5 premiere of SPN we’re introduced to Satan (Mark Pellegrino) himself and the nature of his game is indeed a puzzle, but boy is it gonna be fun figuring it out.

Kripke penned this opener and it started exactly where we left off. Blinding light. Piercing noise. The boys can’t escape and drop to their knees in agony waiting for Lucifer’s arrival and then we see…

…Yosemite Sam. The boys are inexplicably on an airplane with the Looney Tune on TV and a cartoon beezlebub is asking him, “What the devil is your name?”


The boys are just as confused as we are. On the ground the radio is delivering apocalyptic news on every channel and Sam keeps trying to apologize, but Dean cuts him off. In need of answers they head for Chuck’s. The prophet is shocked to see them alive seeing as his last vision showed Sammy going “full on Vader.” He tells them Castiel is dead. An arch-angel smoked the crap out of him and he “exploded like a water balloon of chunky soup.” Ew. Even more ew is the tooth the soothsayer finds in his hair.

“Cram it with walnuts, Ugly.” Dean

Then that abhorrent angel Zachariah shows up to get Dean. He tells them they’re all on the same side now and he wants Dean to kill the devil. Furthermore, they need to strike hard and fast before Lucifer finds a vessel. P.O.’d, Dean slaps Zach back on the Highway to Heaven.

Back at their hotel Dean asks Sam how he’s doing with his blood addiction. Surprisingly, whoever yanked their tushes outta trouble seems to have cleansed Sam too--supernatural sobriety. Once again, Sam tries to talk to Dean, but he’s not in the mood to listen. Instead he suggests they do what they always do and go hunting…for the devil.

Meanwhile, in Pike Creek, Delaware, we meet a despondent man named Nick who’s haunted by the loss of his wife, Sarah, and their baby boy. He thinks he’s having hallucinations, but Sarah tells him he’s special, chosen. You know, whenever, if ever, someone tells you that…run!

And, in the funniest part of the episode, we meet Becky, Supernatural super fan and giggly, blushy WinCest writer. In a totally surreal moment she gets a video call from the Carver Edlund. He’s being watched by angels and he wants her to deliver a message to the real Sam and Dean. She shows up on their motel doorstep drooling and giddy where she wastes no time in fondling Sam’s pecs and telling Dean “You’re not what I pictured.” She also tells them Carver’s newest prophecy. Michael’s sword is on Earth. The angels lost it and it’s at a castle on a hill made of 42 dogs. Well, now, that’s clear as mud isn’t it? So who do the Winchesters call when they need some research help? Bobby.

Bobby shows up and explains that Michael booted Lucifer to Earth with that sword and if they can get it they can send him back to Hell. Then Sam does what he’s been trying to do with Dean for days…he confesses his sins. And Bobby, dear, Bobby completely pulverizes him. “You’re damn right you didn’t listen. You were reckless and selfish and arrogant. You’re sorry you started Armageddon. This kind of thing don’t get forgiven, boy. And if by some miracle we pull this off, I want you to lose my number, you understand me?”

Gulp. The devastation on Sam’s face is crushing. He leaves ostensibly to go look for something, but probably to secretly cry, and Dean and Bobby do more research. Bobby is saying he never would’ve guessed their daddy was right about Sam. Save him or kill him. Sadly, Dean never says anything in his brother’s defense, but he does have an epiphany and digs through his dad’s stuff. His storage locker is at Castle Storage on 42 Rover Hill. Bingo! And then bam! Bobby goes all demon on Dean and starts beating him. Meg arrives in a new meat suit. She says Dean is the only bump in the road for the new world order and every demon is out to get him. She tells Bobby to stab him to death. Bobby fights his inner demon and stabs himself instead and Meg smokes out. The boys get their surrogate father to the ER and then try to beat the demons to the storage locker. Zach is waiting for them. He tells them Dean is actually Michael’s sword aka his vessel. That’s right, Zacariah wants Dean to willingly give up his body and mind to Michael.

“Life as an angel condom.” Dean

Dean refuses and Zacariah starts to torture him into saying yes – he breaks Sam’s legs, gives Dean stage 4 stomach cancer, steals Sam’s lungs. Dean tells him to just kill them and Zacariah says he’s just started the torture. Thankfully, a very put together Castiel shows up and kicks some angel ass. He then implies that God put Sam and Dean on that plane and spared his life. To protect the brothers he carves something into their ribs that will hide them from every angel in creation, including Lucifer.

Back in Pike Creek, Nick allows his “wife” to talk him into becoming Lucifer’s vessel so he can get revenge on God for allowing a stranger to butcher his family. Possession takes place.

Oblivious, a feisty Bobby gives his doctor hell when the MD dares to tell him he may not be able to walk again. In the ER the guys discuss what they should do about their little Satanic sitch. Bobby suggests they save as many as they can for as long as they can. Dean suggests they take on both sides and win back their planet.

“What I do have is a GED and a give ‘em hell attitude.” Dean

As the boys head out of the hospital Bobby tells Sam it was the demon talking to him that way not him. “I ain’t cutting you out, boy. Not ever.” Sniff sniff. Now that’s more like the Bobby we know and love.

The jam-packed episode ends in a dark parking lot with Dean finally letting loose. He tells Sam he said all that stuff in there for Bobby’s benefit, but he can’t pretend anymore that everything is alright. He also tells his little brother he can’t believe Sam chose a demon over him. Sammy completely let him down and he’s having a hard time forgiving and forgetting. When Sam asks what he can do to make things better Dean says, “Honestly, nothing. We can never be what we were. I just don’t think I can trust you.”

Gut-wrenching pain. It’s a devastating, but true moment. They might be fighting on the same side to save the world, but chances are their separate hearts will make it that much more difficult and probably weaken their efforts. However, I have every faith the wayward son will make amends and earn his way back into good graces.

Overall, I thought Kripke did a killer job on starting off Season 5. I’ll admit I balked a little at Sammy’s instant sobriety, but I can see that it would be a distraction from the real issues at hand. I’m looking forward to seeing the Harvelles next week and watching more emotional fallout among the brothers. How about you?


Trish Milburn said...

For some reason, I wasn't blown away by the episode. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it and love having new episodes to watch, but I just don't know. I do think the end of the episode gave us our arc for the season -- not just defeating the devil but the repairing of the brothers' relationship. It does leave me wondering if it's going to be difficult to work in much humor this season. Also, do you think there will be much room for stand-alone episodes, or will the entire season have to do with the "find the devil" arc?

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I feel the opposite of Trish. I was TOTALLY blown away. Every moment gave me more glee.

I have a feeling Sam's detox wasn't complete or permanent. But we've done the withdrawal thing. It would be redundant, narratively speaking, to have to watch again. And I can't remember how the back-and-forth went, but there's been writer agreement with interviewers, at least, that the demon blood will still be an issue.

I don't think it will be at all difficult to work in humor, because I think that's one of the strengths of the writers room, and plus, at ComicCon and in interviews, they've called it the fun apocalypse. :)

And I think the mytharc will be heavier this season than ever before, but we'll still get some standalones. We always do!

Nice write-up, Terri!

Poppycole said...

I'm with Trish...

This episode didn't completely blow me away. It's had it's enjoyable moments no doubt. But there was this weird vibe. Dean wasn't Dean. While Sam was back into Sammy a little too quickly for my tastes.

Also the whole Bobby being possessed thing....Dean must be really off his game(with good reason of course) if he didn't see that coming from a mile away.

Cheers: Chuck! Gotta love a prophet having a really bad day. :)

MEG: Nice to see a new/old baddie and I enjoyed the actress who played her this week. Meg has this certain way of speaking and enunciating her words that is positively evil. I loved how the new actress was able to keep that up.

And of course the fan girl moment was hilarious. Quite amusing. esp. the "not quite what I pictured." Although one does wonder if they will ever picture a fan not so rabid....but it was good for laughs.

Jeers: For some reason something seemed a little off in this episode and I think it was seeing this new side of Dean. Ackles is of course an amazing actor and brought out new characteristics of the Dean I am still thinking through today. I'm not sure I like's like his spirit/fire(Dean not Ackles) is gone. Oh, sure he'll tell the angels off but it's like his heart's not quite in it anymore. Loss of hope? No end in sight...who knows? I guess I'll just have to keep watching.

Also the whole transformation from evil Sam back into little brother Sammy was so fast, so wasn't believable...

But you now what they say: trust in Kripke. Nest episode at least looks like he might be tempted again.

Anonymous said...

Aw, Trish, I'm bummed you were bummed. I loved it. I thought it had everything. Despite some heavy emotion, I also laughed my butt off. I don't think humor is ever a problem. :) Nat, I'll be curious to see how the demon blood thing plays out. I did feel a little cheated on that front. At the very least he has to mourn the loss of his powers.

Anonymous said...

Poppy, I agree that a dispirited Dean is a bad thing, but I think that's realistic. As for a whipped Sammy, I'm sure it won't last. At some point I figure his temper will get the best of him, but man alive can you imagine his GUILT? Says the former Catholic who still feels guilty about everything. LOL

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

See, I just don't see Sam as evil, ever. He thought what he was doing was good. He was so obsessed with getting Lilith that he made bad choices, but he was totally manipulated into them. What he did is SO much less than what Dean did in Hell, and we're not calling Dean evil. Both led to the same consequence, too! We can't forget that Sam never could have broken the final seal if Dean hadn't broken the first, and neither one knew what they were doing. Sam at least thought he was vanquishing evil and saving people's lives.

Which doesn't mean I'm condemning Dean. I just think they are on equal ground, with one exception--Sam betrayed Dean on a very personal level, choosing Ruby over Dean, even coming close to killing his brother. THAT'S what Dean can't forgive.

I'll acknowledge a couple of small things--they didn't explain how Bobby could become possessed, because wouldn't he have a tattoo, too?--but I just really don't sweat that small stuff. And I'm really good at coming up with answers to those, too. LOL

Poppycole said...

Hey Nat!

I think our definitions of evil are different. LOL. How about if I replace evil Sam with bad ass Sam?

And I do think the brothers are on equal ground when it comes to starting the "end of days" per say. I do think there are significant differences in the paths they choose to get there though which trace back to Season 1's message of Dean sacrificing and Sammy wanting to live his own life and make his own choices. And both of them got screwed in the end. Dean finally decides to make a choice that benefits himself and it ends up involving torturing other souls and breaking the first seal...yeah.

And Sammy decides to take control of his life again and make his own choices and decides that hooking up with a demon is the best way to do this.

So yeah...both brothers....guilt abounds.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

HA! Poppy, I think you're right. BadAss!Sam works--so does Bad!Sam. :)

Yes, the paths they traveled were very different, the choices they were given different. Dean knew the choice he was given was wrong, but he was pushed beyond any person's endurance to make that choice. Sam, on the other hand, convinced himself he was doing right, even when it felt wrong.

I have to admit, I always felt a little too much sympathy for Sam in the face of Dean's disapproval. He WAS saving people, and I cringe every time they knife a human with a demon inside. That's murder of a sort. And Dean was SO intractable about "psychic=evil" yet had zero problems with Pam and her psychicness. So his own treatment of Sam helped push him down the path, too. Even when it comes, as you said, to Sam trying to take over his life and make his own choices. Dean never let him do that. It goes back, of course, to the way Dad raised them, and Dean fell into the common parental trap of holding on tighter, trying even harder to impose his will rather than let Sam be even a full partner, never mind rule his own destiny.

Poppycole said...


In light of a Dean girl and a Sam girl meeting in the middle I present:

Tv Guide's favorite lines from last night's episode. LOL

Favorite Lines

"How did we end up on Soul Plane?"

"You're ok?" "Well, my head hurts?"

"He like exploded. Like a water-balloon with chunky soup."

"Do I have a molar in my hair? This has been a really stressful day."

"You want to kill the devil, we want you to kill the devil. It's synergy."

"And I'm just supposed to trust you? Cram it with walnuts, ugly."

"This sucks ass."

"Supernatural methadone."

"We just gotta find...the devil."

"You got my letters and my marzipan." "Yeah. Yeah. Uh. Yummy."

"You're Sam Winchester. And you're...not what I pictured."

"Angels. Nice change up to the mythology, by the way. The demon stuff was getting kind of old."

"I memorized every word for you."

"Can you quit touching me?" "No."

"That's Michael. Toughest son of a bitch they've got."

"You kidding me? Tough? Guy looks like Cate Blanchett."

"We really owe your brother a fruit basket."

"Oh thank God, the angels are here."

"It's you, chucklehead."

"Now put these boys back together and go. I won't ask twice"

"You two need to be more careful."

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Awesome, Poppy! I love every one of those. They forgot the angel condom one, though. LOL

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the condom line isn't on that list!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I was going to say it's TV Guide, maybe they were trying to keep it family friendly, but the used "ass" and "methadone" so that can't be it. LOL

sarah said...

Here is my spin... I don't think that there was enough action in this episode - but it was setting at least two things up:

1. Lucifer's body suit
2. Something else is paying attention to Sam and Dean.

Whether it is God/Diety/Surpreme being/the boss man or even Michael - someone brought Cas back (so happy to see that), did a rapid detox on Sam's ass, and got our boys out of harms way.

Also - I think that if it was Michael - shouldn't he have the pull to know that Dean, after being treated badly by Zachariah, wouldn't just say yes to being a vassal. And that Dean would only trust Cas.

I have a feeling that Cas is going to become a spokesperson for someone higher up the angelic food change.

Meanwhile - I think that this is probably the biggest rift we have seen with the bros. Dean was betrayed and it is going to take some time to get over it. Sam I think is desperate to make up for his mistake which is why I think we haven't seen a bigger change in his behavior. Maybe it might be an attempt to put everything back in place between them - see I'm normal Sammy - but I think that Dean is too scared now for that.

I so didn't see Bobby being possessed - mostly cause - yes - I thought he would have a tattoo to match the boys too! But I do like that his will was stronger than the demons. Go Bobby! Now get the freaking tattoo.

Go Chuck!

And the more than brothers chick... so hurts my head.

Gail Elaine said...

here is my question... Who thought of "Pike Creek Delaware"? I lived there and was floored when I saw that... Normally if DE is ever referenced it is Wilmington or Dover... not the smaller locations like Pike Creek... Pretty cool...

Kim said...

I wasn't blown away by this episode either, but then, I knew it would be really, really hard to make it work! And they did a pretty good job. The problem is that it all seems so rushed. You know we're in Times of Epicness but they still have to fit the apocalypse into palatably short 45 minute weekly bursts - so I'll forgive.

A good example is the conversation where they are like "we'll do what we always do, hunt" which seemed awfully flippant, and not in a funny or defensive way, just in a sloppy shorthand way.

That said, I really really enjoyed seeing Bobby's speech to Sam when possessed and how it was kind of believable but just not believable enough, fantastic work there all around. Watching Dean stand up to the angels was also a stunner of a scene!!

Natalie - great, insightful comments about the brothers' mutual guilt and responsibility!

I'd like to see them both lose it just a little bit more. Sam has to deal with a whole seasons' worth of literal demon-diddling which, while no match to a stint in hell, oughta be messing up his personality a little more... well.

There is plenty of time for that. :)

Great recap. Thanks so much for posting it. :)

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Thanks, Kim! :)

I think "losing it" is on the agenda for both guys, or at least Sam. A drawback to compiling news for News Monday is accidentally seeing spoilers. :) But I won't say more--I don't really know more!

N&GE--Maybe someone who works on the show is from Pike Creek. Otherwise, maybe they just pointed to the map--used Bobby's swingy thing. LOL

Sarah, when they had the whole angel confrontation scene, my very first thought when the light shone was that Michael took offense to being used by Zachariah. But Zach seemed pretty darned sure Michael would just zip right into Dean. I'm keeping an open mind there. :)

Trish Milburn said...

I don't know that I was bummed, and perhaps some of it was I'm sick and was feeling like doggie doo last night. I just can't put my finger on what it was. I did like the episode, and it definitely sets up the arcs for the season.

Trish Milburn said...

I can't imagine Sam's guilt. I felt so sorry for him. He was right when he said that sorry just didn't seem to cover it.

Trish Milburn said...

Poppycole, nice list of quotes. I did chuckle out loud when Chuck said, "This sucks ass." :)

And I forgot to say how much I loved when Castiel showed and started kicking butt. I heart Cas.

Anonymous said...

Sarah said: I have a feeling that Cas is going to become a spokesperson for someone higher up the angelic food change.]

Totally agree!

[ But I do like that his will was stronger than the demons. Go Bobby!]

Me too! I was cheering him on. :D

Anonymous said...

Nate & Gail - That is cool! I wish they'd visit Centennial, CO.

Anonymous said...


ROTFL! Love that.

Anonymous said...

Trish, I hope you feel better ASAP. I'm fighting something myself.

I think that kind of guilt would do me in. How do you make ammends for that? Oh! Maybe you give yourself up to Michael when your brother won't. Naw....

Anonymous said...

I think my favorite part was Dean's attempt at a peptalk in Bobby's hospital room. "I've got a GED and give 'em hell attitude!" I did immediately turn to hubby and announce "That is so NOT Bobby" but considering how guilty Sam felt (and how guilty by extension Dean felt for not being able to stop his bro.) I can see where they would buy into Bobby telling Sam to lose his number.

Here's my ? tho... Back in Jus In Bello, didn't the boys show tattoos that keep them from getting possessed? Why doesn't Bobby have one of those??


Anonymous said...

Tanya - I think everyone wants an explanation why Bobby got possessed.