Supernatural "Everybody Hates Hitler" Review: Inglorious Basterds

Supernatural S08E13: “Everybody Hates Hitler”

So, was the image of Sam Winchester warming his hands by the fire of the undead Nazi the guys had just toasted while hapless-civilian-of-the-week Aaron remarked “Oh my God, these guys are psychopaths,” pretty much Supernatural in a nutshell? Sometimes I forget that Supernatural can be a fun show and that not every episode has to end with a funeral. As further evidence of how badly this show has damaged me, I’m approaching the rest of the season with extreme caution because at the end of “Everybody Hates Hitler,” Dean and Sam Winchester had a home with indoor plumbing and a purpose in life that, for once, wasn’t the Worst Thing Ever. They actually looked, dare I say it, happy. If they are, in fact, happy, then Supernatural tradition dictates that something awful must happen, so brace yourselves. I’ve already got my crash helmet and a bottle of cheap whiskey, man. I’m READY.

Please don’t burn the Batcave down, Supernatural. Pleeeeeease.

Supernatural jumped right into making the Men of Letters an important part of the Winchesters' universe, and specifically, a part that had always been there, even though neither we nor they had ever heard of the legendary organization up until now. It works if you don’t think too hard about it, and the writers are doing a pretty thorough job of covering their tracks whenever a questionable point is made. Like, if the Men of Letters worked with hunters, then why haven’t Sam or Dean or Bobby ever heard of them before? Well, they only worked with a select few hunters, and those hunters are all conveniently dead or defunct. “Defunct?” WTF is defunct?

Defunct—adjective—“no longer living, existing, or functioning.” (Thanks, Webster!) So what you’re saying is that there could very well be a few hold-outs from the glory days frozen in carbonite in a basement in Milwaukee or something. I like it. It sets us up nicely for the future.

Despite its blast-from-the-past origins, the Men of Letters storyline has blown a hole (or several) leading the Winchesters into the future, even beyond the whole Gates of Hell thing. For being a secret society, the Men of Letters apparently had an impressive reach, with international branches dedicated to taking down evil on a more regional approach. One of those affiliates was called the Judah Initiative, a group of Rabbi saboteurs dedicated to battling the Nazi’s Thule Society during World War II—like Inglorious Basterds with less scalping! Sam discovered that one of the members of the Judah Initiative was alive and (relatively) well up until a few weeks earlier when he spontaneously combusted in the middle of a college bar. That sounds like a job for the Ghostbust... uh... Winchesters.

Turns out, the Thule Society survived the Judah Initiative and its pet golem, played by “Ghostfacers” alum John DeSantis, who managed to make Jared Padalecki look like a midget just by showing up on set. With the original Rabbi dead, ownership of the golem passed to his grandson, Aaron, who cheated his way through Hebrew school and used the golem owners manual as rolling paper back in college. His grasp on controlling the sassy (so sassy!) golem was tenuous at best, and the Winchesters found themselves fighting a war on two fronts: defeating the Nazi necromancers who wanted their sooper-secret ledger back, and brainstorming an off-switch in the event that their friendly neighborhood golem stopped being so friendly (and it wasn’t even that friendly to begin with).

Despite a tense stand-off when the—undead? Immortal?—commandant of the original Thule Society lineup depowered the golem and got the drop on Aaron and the Winchesters, some good ol’ fashioned firepower neutralized that threat. Faced with the warning, “You can kill me, but you’ll never kill all the Thule!” right before Sam and Dean capped that Nazi bugger, Aaron decided to keep his golem around and the boys allowed it because Aaron had a point, the golem was less of an issue once Aaron had figured out how to control him properly, and they’re not the boss of him anyway. Oh my glob, did the Winchesters just acquire yet another ally who is awesome and relatively angst-free and not dead (yet)? The world-building in the last two episodes has been impressive, not just because the new mythology is actually interesting and fun but because... okay, mostly because the new mythology is interesting and fun. Like I said earlier, though, Carver and Co. are doing an admirable job fitting the Men of Letters and their vast history into a universe in which they were previously unheard of. Yes, the cracks are there if you look hard enough, but for goodness sake, this show has Nazi necromancers. If we’re being asked to believe that no one, no one at all in the close-knit hunter culture, has ever, EVER heard of this directory assistance for hunters, then fine. I’ll bite. They were a secret society, after all.

Last week, I gushed about how the Men of Letters provided the connection to early seasons of Supernatural that the more recent seasons have sorely lacked. This week, their influence on the personal histories of Sam and Dean as characters became more apparent as the brothers settled into their inheritance—an extensive supernatural base with all the comforts of a brick-and-mortar home. Honestly, I was expecting more dust and cobwebs after fifty years of neglect, but maybe the last occupants left a housekeeping charm behind or something.

While Dean and Sam have both been shown to possess excellent research skills, Sam has always been the brother who genuinely enjoys the bookish side of hunting and, it’s been implied, has always felt like an outcast in comparison to his more physically minded brother and father. Lucifer and his demons used this insecurity to manipulate Sam (or try to, at least), implying that he wasn’t really a Winchester, that Dean and John were an “adopted family at best.” Sam has always struggled to embrace the hunting life as freely as the rest of his family and Dean and John have, in the past, found themselves frustrated by Sam’s inability or unwillingness to accept “the family business.” The Men of Letters as a Winchester legacy finally offers an opportunity for Sam to devote himself fully to the unending family mission, in a role (and on terms) that he actually enjoys, which in turn is a plus for Dean as well. The Winchesters have to stay together because that’s how Supernatural rolls, but they don’t have to be stuck together. They can choose to stay “in the life” because they want to, not because they have to. They can hunt monsters and be happy to do it.

So please, PLEASE, Supernatural, in the name of all that is holy and not-so-holy, please don’t burn down the Batcave. I’m begging you. I’LL BAKE YOU CUPCAKES! I MAKE A DAMN FINE CUPCAKE, YOU WON’T BE SORRY. I PROMISE.

See you next week! Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!



CASE NOTES


– Smart Winchesters! Speaking in code! I missed code! Also, Sam basically knowing the Library of Congress catalog system off the top of his head. I worked in a library for five years and I’m not that good. (Okay, I’m kinda good. Kinda.)

– Lol Dean and the scimitar. Lol Dean and his “gay thing.” Lol Dean and his bathrobe and his old man slippers. Just lol Dean.

– How does Sam get wifi in the Batcave? I suspect he is a human hotspot.

– Okay, so now that Sam is diving right into this Men of Letters stuff, can he (and Dean because sure why not) start whipping magic spells out of pockets like Gramps did? Because that was awesome.

– Where do you want the Men of Letters stuff to go after the Hell Gate stuff is resolved? Should Sam and Dean hunker down in the Batcave and start outsourcing missions to their pals like some sort of supernatural Avengers Initiative?

Comments (106)
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Anybody know where the men of letters hub was actually filmed?
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Anybody know where the men of letters hub was actually filmed?
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I like it, the best thing since ol yellow eyes was causing mischief
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I'm callin' it now: Zombie Hitler
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My only question is why the hell did it take so long for us to get a golem story.
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More Sam in nerdy research assistant sweaters, please.
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I chuckled at the Nazis waving UZIs since they're Israeli-made....
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I giggled and laughed more at this episode than I have since watching, oh, season four. WIN.
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i really like the Batcave, though i think it would be better if they used it as a hunters lair. Mainly get Garth there, maybe Kevin, all of them living together and make a "Real World: Men of Letters Lair".
At least it would make a good comedy, Sam labeling his stuff, Dean the untidy slob, Garth the kind of weird cool guy and Kevin the book nerd. Pretty sure CBS would pick it up for 13 episodes
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You don't know what "defunct" means? Seriously?
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Not seriously.
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This episode (and the one preceding it) was such a breath of fresh air. It made me dare to hope that this season - and the show as a whole - has finally found its footing again. And that would be something I couldn't say for the past two years.
The Men of Letters storyline proves to be a great move. We are back to heavy mythology, rich lore, ties to the past, surprising secrets. Hell, the boys have even been given headquarters to operate from - just how awesome is that?! So much potential ahead (and yes, please, don't just go and destroy the Supernatural Hunting Center, showrunners).

It's been a while since I was truly looking forward to further SPN offerings. There is the proof that we can still receive strong episodes without Cass or Crowley in them (yes, yes, blasphemy - but it's true).
Sam is slowly getting back to his good ol' self - oh, how I missed that. Gone are the cheap soap opera nightmares, silly whining and pointless bickering. He seems to feel really comfortable turning into a true Man of Letters (with a dash of Hunter in it). If only we could get back to the notion of Sam's supernatural powers (as someone here in the comments mentioned) - something that's been shoved aside since the early seasons - things could be near perfect.

John DeSantis did a great job playing the golem, the idea of Nazis wasn't nearly as cheesy as I thought it might be, plus we had some great comedic moments (warming hands over a burning corpse, Dean's "gay" thing, or Dean goofing around at the HQ).
Don't ruin this momentum, Supernatural!

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I think "Golem" is the most superb character Supernatural every brought on the screen on all its run. Man that was something really scary. And yes I am reading a comment down there on my screen, and wanted to say the something that yes, that's the Supernatural I am in love with (Actually I did say that 2 episodes before too).

Grandpas really turn the show 360 in an instant. The brothers had the Bat-car, and now they have got their own Bat-cave. And they have also their own Bat-angle!

To be honest, I was hoping that Dean somehow manage to own the Golem even for a little while. The talk-fight between two would be something amazing. I still can't shake away "I Happened" when Cas and Dean fought and Sam asked later to see him all dent up.
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I want a whole season of Sam and Dean fighting Nazis.
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Have been rewatching the all the seasons recently, (halfway through season 6) and watching the new episodes at the same time, I definitely agree that since season 5 there has been a 'flagging' feeling to the storylines, but these last 2 episodes have thrown that into sharp relief - and of course the potential is enormous. At the last scene of the episode, where we leave our beloved Winchesters in their new digs, I realised that this is the first home they have had since...ever. 8 years on the road and bunking at Bobby's, countless cheesy motels, I really felt quite happy for them, that they might have finally achieved some kind of domestic bliss (!)and be able to take to their new home, and maybe they really will fulfil their destiny - Sam the MoL, Dean the Hunter (It did occur to me that there are overtones of Watcher/Slayer, but it also reminded me of Angel moving out of his office to the Halcyon Hotel - halcyon days for the Winchesters! ) Yeah, and get Kevin and Garth to join them , we almost have a Scooby Gang!!
The show has been one long road trip for the boys, and I hope that continues, but at least now they have a base camp to go back to. Just need make sure there are plenty of devil's traps laid! :)
Fantastic story development, can't wait to see how the rest of the season pans out.

Cheers
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Angel's Hotel was called the "Hyperion" not the Halycon. Fyi.
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Cheers for that, as an Angel fan, I hang my head in shame that I actually didn't remember that!! For SHAME!!!LOL!

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finally,supernatural back to track, i never lost hope
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Great episode that gives me hope that Supernatural is getting back in form.
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Should Sam and Dean hunker down in the Batcave and start outsourcing missions to their pals like some sort of supernatural Avengers Initiative?

yes, please. and Garth and Kevin would loooove to work there as well :D (so sad that Bobby died before he had a chance to see this place)
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Did anyone else get that 'back door pilot" feeling from this episode?
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Right now it seems like there isnt anything really pressing they are just going through the motions, always killing off the big bad every season Eve, Dick there is no multi-seasonal build up or tension, all we are waiting for is them to close the hellgate and end the show. Season 1-5 we had demons and angels and there was a build up, seasons 6,7 we introduce a new threat and then get ride of it by the end of the season. I guess that happens when you lose the shows creator.
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This season had one two big demons they shake off a couple of episodes ago, "pop-up banners (I can't think of anything better to compare those flash-backs) and well Sam's new ex-girl-friend." :)
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The first thing I thought about after seeing them chill in the "batcave" at the end was Please let them keep this place!!! I mean it looks the part and is a great way of introducing new stuff to the show like magic and add to the mythology.

I'd love to see Sam embrace the Men of letters side of the family even more (like learning spells) and dean stay true to the hunters while still keeping them as close as ever.

All in all that was a great episode, fun yet really effective in introducing a new arc for this season (and possibly the next?).

PS: We can do better than batcave!!
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Hall of Justice?
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I like your idea of Sam embracing the Men of Letters and learning spells like Granddaddy Winchester. Remember way back in Season 4 when Sam could exorcise demons with his mind...we were led to believe his power was from drinking demon blood from Ruby, however in the season finale Ruby told him he could do it all along, he "didn't need the feather to fly, Dumbo." I think he has some magic in him above and beyond the power the demon blood Azazel gave him as an infant. I hope they keep developing the story line...

And it's nice to have Sam back in his walking encyclopedia of weirdness role. And of course Dean's reactions throughout this episode were hilarious. :)
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I agree, and Sam having powers again is perfect timing considering there is a new "super angel" (Nayomi?) that can not only manipulate memory, but manipulate time, presence, memory, and probably more of another angel.

I just wonder how the two interact. I guess that the secret "Man of Letters" society lair would have to be hidden entirely... from everything, requiring some extremely powerful mojo.

I just hope they A) keep the show going for at least a few more seasons, and B) somehow incorporate god somewhere into this without it being the end of the last season. (A season to cleanup after or work with god maybe?)
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I also keep hoping that Chuck/ God will appear again.
And yes, I know that it's controversial, but I strongly believe he is.
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*God,not reappearing
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S&D Dungeon ? :D MoLD(Men of Letter's Dungeon) ? Please S&D don't burn it down? Safehouse? Vault?....I don't know,I think batcave is ok.
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hopefully if they get picked for another season it will be about men of letters, with them introducing this now it seems that could be possibly setting up for another season
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I didn't know the Observer's were part of the Thule... Oh Fringe World your reach is deep
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I loved the sheer height Dean got when he jumped when the Golem was near. Ah, who doesn't love a startled Dean?

Also, Sam is so excited to get his research going and find out all the information he can, that it makes it even more adorable that Dean is just oh so excited about having a home.
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with the right app you can turn your smartphone into a mobile wifi hotspot... as stated last week, loving the Men of Letters storyline and the new life it can breathe into the series. and really loving the Batcave even if it needs an underground garage and to be hidden a little better.
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THANK YOU Supernatural writers! Keep up the excellent work--this Men of Letters storyline is fantastic and so refreshing.

Thank you MaryAnn for another awesome review:-)
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I want to pretend the levianthans and tablets and campbells never happened and that after they've prevented the apocalypse, the Winchesters met their grandfather, the Man of Letter's. And now they have a batcave. Much more awesome.

BTW, in the journal of John Winchester, he makes very clear that the hunters don't have much knowledge about the supernatural. They have a bunch of pieces of information, some more, some less. For a long time he thought demons didn't even exist, althought he had already met Bobby, who had his own experience on the matter while other hunters never had it and said it was BS. That way is not so difficult to think that many hunter never even had heard about the MoL.
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I figure if you ever have your body and mind extracted from a cage with Lucifer and Michael pounding on it, sans soul, and then you temporarily capture Death and he re-installs your soul for you, it probably comes with free wi-fi for life. Sam IS walking internet access. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Okay, so I've been harsh on the show lately for being so sub-par compared to the first 5 seasons. I still think the writing and directing have fallen off noticeably, but the show is doing itself a huge favor with this Men of Letters thing. I've said it ad nauseum, that there was nowhere to really go but down after the Apocalypse, as far as continuing the Judeo-Christian mythos of the show. They could go back to simple freak-of-the-week, but the show had already evolved beyond that in seasons 1-5, so going there again would feel like a step back for the audience. Which gets to the heart of what's been wrong with Supernatural the last couple of years. I think it's floundered trying to find out what it is now supposed to be about, post-Armageddon. But they've been trying the post-Armageddon angle anyway, and it hasn't really been working, imo. The show needs to just leave all that behind. I'm not saying leave Cass and the angels and demons behind, but their whole post-D-Day war thing isn't gonna cut it. I think the sooner these Everything Tablet and Rogue Angels story lines wrap up, and the sooner the show can naturally morph into Sam and Dean moving on into other things--such as being Men of Letters--the better. If the show had ended after s5 or even s6, that was a good, working arc for the characters. If it's going to continue, they need to move in the direction that we hope it's heading.

But....um, yeah.....still......plz do something about the directing. One thing that I used to love about Supernatural was it was never cheesy. Even when the characters were being so, on purpose, the show itself never was. I miss feeling like this show isn't directed at 15-yr olds.
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I always thought it would have been badass if sams wall breaks down he becomes Lucifer and over a few seasons dean simply has to kill him.
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Let me start by saying I am german and I took no offense whatsoever by all the Nazistuff. It was the perfect amount of respect, repel and fun that the world needs to work this out (imo)

That said, I don't even know where to begin with fanboying.
This feels incredibly well done. With slaying and flaying(or something like that) began a streak of great episodes, that make me as excited for new episodes as I was back in season 3. The lore is soo interesting the golem idea alone, let alone the rivaling secret clubs.... the potential makes my head spin.
And Sam beeing a man of letters is just so fitting... we are going back to the roots. Same with Dean just beeing happy about Sam and enyoing "home".... I nearly cried out of happiness. I just hope we stay with this, wouldn't mind a few more seasons of Nazi/Winchester/letterman stuff. All the infos in those books...
Please stay this good Supernatural! We know you can! Supernatural does not need to settle like it did the last few seasons. This is proof it lost none of its juice.
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No offense dude, but I didn't know Germans felt the need to sanction negative representations of Nazis. I'm Jewish, speak German, and have been to Germany several times, and given the many times Germans have actually felt the (completely ridiculous) need to clarify to me that the Nazis were horrible people I never would have thought they might have a problem with Nazi necromancer jokes.
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I finally get what you mean, oh god I did totally not try to say Germans feel the need to defend nazis. I wanted to say, that as a german I still kinda feel it is our fault what happened, but the show did not go anti-ger... or something but rather it was fun to watch because quote: "everybody hates hitler".
I reread my comment and its quite ambiguous. well... I just hope by the likes we can see most people took it the right way.
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As a German myself I can only speculate about what he meant.
It's a fact that making fun of Nazis is a big no-no in our society, because "How can you joke about something that was so horrible?"
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Have to say I loved me some of Sam's researchers outfit with the jumper and blazer... the story was good I guess.
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I wish they show more of the batcave. We've only seen the obsolete computer room and the library. Sure there is a bathroom, but I wonder if it has bedrooms or something. I like that they have a hideout now. They've always been in the road since season 1. It is a good change and I hope its permanent. I also wouldn't mind seeing Sam become head librarian, he did want to be a lawyer right? But then again, Sam has always been the better fighter than Dean IMO.
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A lot of people are making valid points about the first half of the season being slow/a letdown, to some degree, but I think we can chalk it up to them having to course correct after mistakes that were made in seasons 6 and 7, as well as building up the new story, mending the brothers flawed (from a storytelling standpoint, it was boring to watch, old and tired for quite some time) relationship...the writers have done admirably, in that regard.
I just wish they'd been on for 6 & 7. Possibility of the writers giving a shit about Adam, y'know...it's too late now. There'll always be the knowledge that they went almost 4 years without MENTIONING him. 6 & 7's writers decisions seriously took a toll on the story/characters.
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Yeah, it never sat well with me either that they just completely dropped the subject of Adam alltogether after Dean's half-assed attempt to bring him back in 6x11.
Even if they totally un-Winchester-like accepted that Death doesn't bring people back they could have at least tried to get him out of hell and into heaven, but since not everything happens on-screen I think they could still make revisiting that topic work, emphasis on "could".
Maybe that could also help with the feeling that the series lost every connection to the earlier seasons.
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I didn't even remember 6x11, which is either due to bad memory, or it truly being THAT hald-assed.
And it really has felt unconnected. You could argue season 6 and onwards slower pace is kind of a good artistic choice, because of all that happened between then and the end of season 5...but it felt TOO different. Things were odd from 6x01 and they literally never made an attempt to lift that oddity away. Even Sam with his soul restored made no difference. I only really watch new episodes when the audience, as a whole, seems to think it was good. I'm not in it like I was. So what the writers seem to be doing, splicing together the current storyline with older ones, is clever...again, the subject of Adam won't be easy to deal with, the brothers basically never talk about him, so they probably never think about him, which is very un-Winchester-y...
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I still watch every episode out of my utter love for the first 5 seasons.
For the Winchesters everything always was about family and obligation, so when the writers decided that their brother didn't matter anymore I made the decision that all the talking and thinking happened off-screen so as to remain in my happy bubble of consistency.
But Sam's out of character ways this season aren't explained away that easily, they spend a considerable amount of time showing us that Sam, despite his intellectual tendencies, is more like his father, more of a hunter than Dean ever was, but they want me to believe that he dropped hunting alongside the search for Dean to play normal life after they rescued (or at least tried to) each other time and time again?!
Add to that the fact that he always was the one who was the most likely to trust a "monster" like vampires, demons and whatever his childhood friend was but was against Benny from the get-go and I'm seriously challenged to remain in my happy bubble.
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I want Men of Letters to be a spinoff. And yes, I felt like a sicko when I LOL'd at S&D warming their hands on the Nazi Necromancer's burning corpse haha! I also enjoyed S&D's faces and body language when giant Gollum was mad close by.
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I knew right after hearing the code part that it would be a "smart Winchester sighting".
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Predictable recapper is predictable. It's true. I'm just so delighted that they're capable of functioning on their own again. It's been too long!
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True, this season more than ever they've seemed to be quite on the ball which is nice, it makes it more believable that they're super hunters when we get to see them acting like intelligent individuals.
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I liked Aaron and his pet golem very much. I shook my head when Aaron admitted to smoking the book his grandpa gave him. That book was most likely really old and it was filled with helpful information, but he was like nope, I'm going to smoke it. And Aaron called it when he said the brothers were psychopaths. They kind of are, but we love them anyway.

There was some great funny Dean moments. That always warms my heart. I kind of wish Dean was only wearing a towel and... We're not going to go there! Anyway... Dean makes me happy.

Sam Winchester can get wifi anywhere because he is Sam.

I love that the brothers have somewhere safe to go again. It's not just some cabin in the woods, but something to do with their family. I really want to know if Sam is going to step into the Men of Letters role, while Dean gets to shoot things. I really hope we get to explore the batcave and the Men of Letters thing more. It's a really cool new point. The brothers are doing well so something very bad is going to happen.
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I'm just glad to see the show have a direction again, as it seemed this season (and a part of last season) was just turning the crank until someone decided they were done. Even Jensen and Jared have seemed a little more tired this year, but this new addition to the SPN mythos has invigorated the show, the actors, and myself that they CAN still build new additions to the ever growing Winchester saga.
I did get a little Buffy vibe on the library. I think it's the winding staircase, but I was wondering when Anthony Stewart Head was going to pop out from behind something.

There was one tiny thing that made me worry about the "batcave": Dean and Sam were both a little curious as to why everything still worked and was rather well kept. It was throwaway and they both spent no time pondering it further, but you KNOW it's something we'll find out soon enough. Like "powered by a bound demon or something as ass-tastic" find out.
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Great review. I loved Supernatural before and after these last 2 episodes I love it even more!!!
Aaron can be great addition to show and hopefully he won't die by the end of season. Loved Aaron,loved Nazi's jokes and loved whole episode. I LOVE this whole Men of Letters thing and it is really not that hard to believe it. Even if some random hunter learned about them,who's to say, he/she wasn't kill on some monster hunt later on or far stretched theory,that Men of Letters killed him/her.

They should put angel proofing and demon proofing on that Batcave! I know,it already must be protected by many things and spells,etc. but this is Winchesters we are talking about! They need to NOT FUCK THIS UP!!!
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Word. They should really get around to installing a proper sprinkler system if the place doesn't already have one. Also maybe work on finding some kind of cloaking spell in their massive library. If this thing burns down, I'mma be pissed.
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That Bat Cave's got an impressive music library as well. Ella Fitzgerald and Frankie Laine! Two of my all-time favs. You can count me in on the Bat Cave Bake Fund -- I'll bring the Halloween Cookies.
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Yeah and my fear is Cas. I love him,but he is under Naomi's spell(pun intended :D) and if he gets to batcave,somehow it will be destroyed and I will officially start rooting for Crowley to off our brothers:D(on the inside)
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That was my favorite part of the episode when Sam warmed his hand on the burning Nazi. It was so subtle it was genius.

This was a great episode in my opinion. It doesn't make up for the lack of nowhere the great characters who were introduced and promptly killed off last episode. And they kind of did it with this episode as well. (I wanted the head Nazi to stick around, ) Where were all of these good characters over the last 2 seasons? Adam is a great character, Herr Necromancer was a great character, heck the Golem is a fantastic character, I keep seeing so many better episodes in my head with these guys than we had with the Mother of the monsters and the Leviathans.

Now for the Batcave, cool. This could be an interesting plot point for next season, even though I would rather them wrap up the whole thing with Crowley and Kevin and just be done with it, and start the good stuff now. But ah well.

Case notes;

I nailed the code, but then I spent an obscene amount of time in libraries due to the length and depth of my education.

Dean is funny when he is uncomfortable and or just messing around with sharp things.

The Batcave is magic. They said that they don't know how they are getting water and electricity. So my guess is that it is a spell that the Men of Letter left that has somehow been given an update when Sam and Dean logged in.

My guess is that if they keep this plot around for next season (and they better) they will come back from summer all studied up. But likely it will be just Sam, since clearly he is supposed to be the Men of Letters and Dean is a hunter. Which may result in their inevitable split and war with each other. Sam with magic and Dean with hunting ability. Who knows, I am still wanting Abadon to pull herself back together, free the Devil and he jumping back in Sam.

I want this current plot to go anywhere. It is a good plot, it is a great premise to further the show. This should have been done earlier. They literally could go anywhere with it because it is an entirely new mythology that they can put whatever they want in it.
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Haha, I really want to know if the hand warming was in the script or improvised. I cracked up at it.

I wouldn't mind seeing the Thule show back up, or Aaron and his golem. I'm so pumped about the Men of Letters stuff that the idea of going back to the main story this season is kind of a downer. :/

My LC is a little rusty. I was a student librarian in grad school and most of undergrad. If I think about it, I can get the general sections down, but there was no way I was narrowing it down to "birds."

As soon as Dean started messing with the scimitar and going off about how the Men of Letters weren't badasses and I was like, "He's gonna cut himself."

No more splitting! No more! You take that back!

No, actually, I can see that going down eventually too. But for now I'm going to float in my magical batcave happy land.
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I am willing to bet that was Jared improvising.

Any of the characters introduced in the past two episodes would be great as further characters and Abadon and Thule would be great as potential big bads. And I agree that heading back to Crowly and Kevin is going to be a let down in comparison.

I wasn't a student librarian. I just spent tons of my time during grad school in the library. And I likely would't have recalled that it was birds if they didn't show the bird book first.

And there is going to be splitting. There has to be. I want Dean to hold Sam sown and cut his hair.
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Yeah,if "batcave" will get burned down,after it stood for 1000 years or so,because of Moose and Squirrel(calling Sam and Dean based on how Crowley calls them,when he is bascially insulting them) I will be pissed. Everything they touch, turns to shit it seems. Didn't read the whole review,but as I saw your plea to keep batcave alive,I scrolled down right away and shared my thoughts on that topic:D

Back to reading rest of review...great so far...
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I rather liked this episode but I'm not sure I'm watching Supernatural anymore. Have the writers been watching Buffy recently? Hunters were always akin to slayers but now we have men of letters = watchers and the Winchesters new hideaway looks rather like a library. Add to that last weeks episode with Abaddon = Glory, attacking what looked like a bunch of monks and grandpa Winchester being given a key which he must protect with his life...hmmm.
I feel as if it's all just a little too contrived....
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I think it's safe to say that any and all supernatural shows that came after Buffy borrow from it, or owe a lot to it, or straigh up steal original plotlines (HEY Vampire Diaries).
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Obviously as time goes by the harder it is not to be derivative but I feel Supernatural has managed 7 years (most of it successfuly) with its own mythology. It's as if I'm suddenly watching a different programme. Anyhoo I'm interested to know what happens next which is more than I could say last season.:)
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I hope we get to see Dean more in a robe and slippers... :)
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Yes, Jared Padalecki is a hotspot, I'll say. *_*
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LOL. I find this interesting how many people seem to like this little comment. It makes me feel a little less alone in my little infatuation. :P
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Dude needs to get a haircut. Or is he trying to live up to the whole Sasquatch thing?
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+1
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Here's how I think the Men of Letters thing should pan out. Garth and Kevin (if they're still alive) and the Winchesters should reside in the Batcave. Sam will be the researcher, Kevin will be the translator, Garth will be coordinating the other hunters, and Dean will be maintaining/making weapons (carving pentagrams into bullets takes up a lot of time). Aaron should definitely stop by from time to time, since the Batcave is bound to have a lot of Jewish Mystical texts, and occasionally team up to take down more difficult opponents. This is how things could operate pretty well right now.

A cool thing that could happen next season would be something like what happened in Season 2, where Sam and Dean would occasionally meet other children who had been fed demon blood as babies. In the next season I'd like to see them meet various people/creatures who fight the good fight, so that by the end of the season everyone could team up to take down the uber big bad(s) together, like the Avengers. They could have a ghost working with them, Benny (if he's still alive) could be the resident vampire, an actual witch (like the ones played by Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters) would be nice, and it would be especially cool if that djin woman from two seasons ago (who I thought was going to be a lot more important than she ending up being) came back. If this happened, I may die of happiness.
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Well, I certainly agree that Garth and Kevin need to relocate to the batcave. That makes all the sense in the world. But it looks like we're getting major Kevin action next week, so we'll see.
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yes yes a 1000000 times yes i want the Men Of Letters story to be the main story of Supernatural because i'm bored with angels & demons (enough already) and i want sam to start casting spells and stuff that would be totally awesome
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This episode made me so incredibly happy. It was like Christmas and my birthday were on the same day, but not in the awkward way that it actually is for some people. I had a similar feeling about last week's episode as well, what with the introduction of the Men of Letters and all that, but I was preparing myself for this hyped-up vault to be destroyed in the next episode. I don't know if I've ever been more happy to be proved wrong. I was both surprised and pleased when the Winchesters just walked right into this super cool and elegant bunker, that includes the kind of library I'd like to own, and proceeded to make themselves at home. There were no other occupants they had to fight off, no ghosts leaving them mysteries to solve, no self destruct activated so that they had time to take a few books with them before it blew up. Thankfully, nothing like that happened and this bunker could hopefully become their long-term home and base of operations.

And the case of the week was incredibly good as well. Nazi necromancers, Rabbi's raising Golems; it was a fun cross between Inglorious Bastards (as MaryAnn pointed out) and Hellboy (the movie). While this case had a nice tie-in with the new men-of-letters storyline, it was really it's own thing, and did a lot in its own right to add to the show's mythology. Basically, this is the Supernatural that I want to watch. Sure, I like stand alone cases with ghosts, gouls, and especially tricksters (we need another one of these, btw. The tricker/Loki/Gabriel episodes are by far my favorite.). But it's these rich, enjoyable, mentally stimulating season arcs, which have a perfect blend of history, myth, and Winchesters that make this show the jewel that it is. I just hope that even though all of this goodness that the show has just created probably won't last, the spirit of creativity, surprise, and legacy that these last episodes have will remain.

Now I know that quite a few people wish that the first part of this season just didn't happen, and that it looked more like the last two episodes. Obviously this doesn't mean everything that's happened so far, just all that stuff with Amelia and such. I can see where they're coming from, since Amelia has done more to make people miss Becky than any other character, and at this current place in the show that entire storyline seems rather pointless, especially considering the fact that it got more screen-time than the Purgatory flashbacks (which ultimately means we'll probably be seeing Amelia again at some point). However, while I had my fair share of problems with the Amelia flashbacks, and while a good bulk of this season doesn't hold a candle to these new Men of Letters episodes, I do see the first part of this season as complimenting this new part.

Look at where the Winchesters are right now: for the first time in a long time they are both happy to be in that bunker/batcave researching, and to be going out there to fight demons and Nazis and whatnot. And this makes sense for where they are right now, in a large part because of what Sam when through with Amelia. Like Dean, he had the taste of a normal life, but he ultimately chose to continue to be a hunter, even when Dean was understanding and told him that he would understand if he left. So all of this uncharacteristic happiness and contentment is in part due to what happened to both characters in the first part of this season, since Dean also went through his own little arc of "oh know Castiel's in Purgatory because of me" to "He stayed on his own accord and now he's back" and "Benny it's been fun but this is the end of the road and I'm sticking close to my brother from here on out." If this season had just started with the Men of Letters storyline, especially after Dean coming back from Purgatory, the resulting 180 turnabout would have been a lot to swallow.

Ultimately, the Men of Letters, and everything they've brought with them, has come at the perfect time for this show. So much of Sam and Dean's world has been destroyed. Everyone they've ever known is dead, family and friends both, except for Garth and Kevin, who they've only known for a relatively short period of time. Most of the familiar places, like Bobby's cabin, have been blown up or otherwise destroyed. And now that they've suffered all this loss and destruction, it's time for them to reestablish themselves and their place in the world. A major theme of these last two episodes has been the legacy and continuation of something old and great. The Winchesters have inherited the Men of Letters' greatest treasure, and both of them, especially Sam, are embracing their new identity of being Men of Letters (which they pretty much are at this point, because (story of their lives) everyone else is dead). And in this episode Aaron embraced his legacy of being in the Judah Initiative, or at least his responsibility of commanding a golem and fighting the Thule. A lot of phoenixes are rising from ashes here, and I think that is a very good thing.

Like you, MaryAnn, I am very worried about Batcave. No single location has remained standing in this show (unless you count the Impala, which has been destroyed at least two times), and things don't look good for this newfound Winchester dream home. But I hope, I really do hope that it stays on this show for at least a couple of seasons. It's really nice to see Sam and Dean hanging out somewhere that isn't dilapidated, dusty, and littered with rusty nails. Not only that, but I think it's a good fit for this show. Supernatural is the show, after all, that started its mythology with ghosts, worked up to demons, brought in angels, and at this point has included not only God but just about every single god and deity it can throw in. This isn't a show that it afraid of thinking big. And while most shows wouldn't have the imagination required to keep a library with all the secrets known to man up and running, this show is constantly spewing out tons and tons of both real and made-up information. So I'm pleading with you, Supernatural, don't destroy the Batcave. Not only will MaryAnn bake you cupcakes, but keeping the Batcave around is objectively the best thing for the show right now. And if neither of these things convince you, I'll bake you some bread as well. I make a good loaf of bread.
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One thought that comes to mind (probably has flaws but I haven't thought it through completely) is the following:
Given their history, they need to scan all the books and upload them to many "safe" online data storage sites and electronic devices that can be hidden. Next find a spell to keep the saved data safe from everyone else... Also make hard copies of everything and hide it--also need some sort of cloaking and protection spell and whatever else:)

I don't want the bat cave destroyed but I would put in some type of back ups in the event of destruction.
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didn't end of last episode kinda foretell destruction of said place? Sam was told to destroy it. It's too dangerous. They are setting us up to love the place, and the boys in the place, because they're not doing yet what they have to do. (I hate it too. I wanna live there!)
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"... Amelia has done more to make people miss Becky than any other character..."

I feel mean, but I LOLed really hard at this.

Also, YES. SAVE THE BATCAVE BAKE SALE. You've got bread duty. I'll bring the cupcakes. Anyone good at cookies? Anyone at all?
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Great episode, I really enjoy that we can see new world, creatures, myths... Supernatural needed that. And maybe writers will finally remember that Sam actually HAS a magic power.. I was always confused how is it possible that noone mentions it..yeah, bring magic to us!
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For some reason it is bad for Sam to drink demon blood and be able to cast out demons instantly but it's ok to stab demons with a knife, simultaneously killing the victim... I never understood that reasoning.
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I knoooow. I miss Sam's powers. I get that they were tied to the demon stuff, but, well, I LIKED THEM. And I want them back. Or some variation of them. That would be okay too.
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Actually that´s the point - they weren´t tied to the demon stuff or at least blood...Ruby told them that Sam has even normally superpowers..he just wasn´t patient enough to learn how to use it without driknking her blood.. so I don´t know..
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Yeeeeeah, they just kind of...stopped talking about the powers, which is really sad. They had a lot of potential.
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I just watched the episode "In the Beginning" and the charm bracelet Mary is wearing has a Men of Letters charm on it!! I don't know if it was intentional but it was pretty cool.
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It's probably not intentional. The unicursal hexagram is the symbol of Aleister Crowley's secret society Ordo Templi Orientis ... surprisingly (cough cough) some of TPTB at Supernatural are Crowley fans.
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OMG, now I want to go back and check it out. That's so cool!
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Love the fact that each brother now has his own path to follow which is a legacy passed on from a different part of the family. Sam can be the Man of Letters and Dean the Hunter. Makes for a new great dynamic between the two brothers. This new mythology works for me and has actually made the series interesting again. I have to admit that I've been watching the last couple of seasons only because I hated to give up on the show after investing so much time into it. Two amazing episodes! Hope they keep it up.
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I know how you feel. I'm committed to to the end, but it's been way less fun than it used to be the last few seasons. I really like where S8 seems to be headed now though. I'm excited for the show in a way I haven't been in awhile, which is awesome!
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This episode and last are like a whole different season and I love it. The Gates of Hell arc was getting sooo boring.

As far as the WiFi in the bat cave, I'm assuming they're just using a cell hotspot from their phones?
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That's true. I was just under the impression that they were underground or something and I know when I turn it on on my phone, it doesn't work very well if I'm in the middle of nowhere or even just in the basement. :/ To be fair, my phone is crap though.
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This whole review made me smile (which isn't as good as you would think cause I'm goofing off at work). I would just like to take this moment to say that I truly appreciate the reviews you've put out this season. They are well thought out, in-depth, and (even while pointing out the flaws) positive. They've even inspired me to go back and start re-watching from season 1. So thank you.

I particularly love the last few episodes because they've had humor without being cartoonish which I miss about earlier seasons. It really feels like they are moving back towards the shows roots, which I'm all for.

Re: Sam and wifi: he was very confused about how they had electricity, and water, so throw interwebs on that list and hope for an episode expanding the world even farther that would explain it. I was worried at the end that Dean was going to be at odds with Sam over the continuation of the society and was so glad when he said "Good". I do hope they bring the society back; Bobby started a web of hunters that Garth has continued and it would be nice to see it grow.
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Thank you! I'm glad you're having fun and I'm super-glad they got you to revisit the series as a whole. That's awesome!

I was holding my breath at the end there because Dean was kind of apprehensive about the Men of Letters, which is understandable, but still. I'm so glad he gave Sam his blessing to keep working at it. I'm delighted that they're both happy with their own roles and each others' roles.
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yes, I noticed he went from "don't go all geek" when they got there to "cool" at the end so I hope that continues.
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I've been a fan since episode one, I can still remember scaring my college roommate at the season 1 finale by yelling at the tv. After the last few lack luster years I've forgotten how much I loved the early days of the show.

Here's hoping the brothers find a balance between revenge fueled drive for the job and complacency going forward.
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I love this whole new Men of Letters story line; It can open up so many doors and we'll be able to explore so many things! I love how Dean is just so right away comfortable with living in the Batcave with his old man slippers and bathrobe :P
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I love it. For once they BOTH get to be happy.
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