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Supernatural S09E11: "First Born"


OH. MY. GLOB. 

That was so good

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Okay. I'm done—done with the button-mashing and the dolphin noises. Let's think critically. Sort of. I'm of the camp that believes that Supernatural's best episodes are neither cartoonish/lighthearted nor liver-exterminating-dark, but rather a healthy blend of kooky antics and crippling angst/mythology. "Mystery Spot," "Changing Channels," and "Everybody Hates Hitler" are all among my personal faves, but when their promos first aired and their episode descriptions first spit out onto the interwebs, I was side-eyeing them. They sounded ridiculous. Search your feelings, you know it to be true. 

Going in, I knew better than to doubt "First Born," but as this season progresses, there's still some level of breath-holding happening each week because Season Fiiiiiine has done an admirable job of living up to its name and I've been damaged by years of questionable television, and I'm just bracing myself for this season's version of "Man's Best Friend With Benefits." 

But we'll worry about that later. In the meantime, Timothy Omundson is Cain and everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. 


Supernatural routinely rewrites biblical lore to suit its needs, but the show did a doozy on the Cain and Abel fable. In the Sunday School Approved version, God asks Adam and Eve's sons, Cain and Abel, to bring him prezzies. He likes Abel's offering better than Cain's and, overcome with jealousy, Cain kills Abel, invents murder, and gets to walk around with a damning mark on his bod for the rest of his life. 

On Supernatural, it wasn't God that Abel was all cozy with, it was Lucifer, and Cain killed his brother to save him from the devil. The mark wasn't a punishment from God, but rather a "gift" (sort of?) from Luci, enabling Cain to wield the First Blade—the one he used to off Abel—to train Knights and slaughter those Knights later on when Cain fell in love and renounced his super-demon ways. 

Except Abaddon. Because we need her. For plot. 


With all the brother and self-loathing issues, I think it's easy to see how Dean and Cain were destined to be anti-besties besties. They both made questionable decisions to protect their brothers. They hate themselves. They drink a lot. It's a match made in... well, certainly not heaven. I really hope Supernatural explores the parallels between Dean and Sam and Cain and Abel later. They were fleetingly touched on in Season 5, but knowing what we now know about Supernatural's version of the Cain and Abel story, there's obviously so much more to dabble in, and given Sam and Dean's current anti-bromance, the comparison is timely. 

In the end, Cain couldn't give Dean and Crowley the First Blade—said to be the only blade that can kill Abaddon—but he let them know where it was and he passed his mark to Dean so that when Dean and Crowley did find the blade, Dean could wield it. Dean taking on Cain's mark is just the latest in heroic-but-probably-really-bad decisions the eldest Winchester has made, but it's okay. It's okay for a few reasons:

1. Dean gets to be the magical special Winchester brother for once.

2. It fits well within Dean's pattern of taking on crappy roles for the greater good (re: selling his soul and becoming Alistair's prized pupil, throwing himself at Michael, becoming Death for a day). 

3. Taking on Cain's mark further emphasizes the gap between Sam and Dean and offers a jumping-off point for conversation and reconciliation. Basically, Dean chooses to do things. Sam has things done to him. 


Despite their different situations, Dean and Sam have, historically, maintained the same outlook—just at different times. With all his talk about "doing the right thing" and his angst over Kevin and Gadreel's other victims, Sam has very obviously reached his breaking point. He still clearly wants to die, or at least sees his death as some sort of worthy penance for things that weren't actually his fault, but he feels responsible for because he's a Winchester and that's how they roll. It's similar to the Dean of Season 5, who even went as far as to pen what was basically a suicide note, before flinging himself at Michael in the name of stopping an apocalypse that he saw as his fault, even though he was manipulated into kicking it off.

Dean has never really overcome the self-worth and guilt issues that led to his actions at the end of Season 5. He's just gotten better at functioning through them and by "gotten better" I mean he probably smells like a brewery 24/7 and doesn't bother trying to hide his self-hatred behind a mask of hair-metal-loving-man-slut anymore. I don't know if this  Dean is better than pre-hell Dean (I miss his goofiness), but this is certainly Dean at his most pure. Sam too. Despite the shiny of the Men of Letters bunker and the promise of their birthright, Seasons Gr8 and Fiiiine have gradually moved us toward these stripped-down Winchesters who just can't anymore. The apocalypse wasn't the final straw for the Winchesters—the final straw was everything that came after... and that actually makes a lot of sense.


So thank goodness for Cas and Crowley, offering their surprisingly human insights alongside these two humans who are struggling to look the part these days. Castiel hasn't forgotten the lessons of his time as a human and for better or worse (but mostly better), is more than willing to let his lingering humanity influence how he acts as an angel. 

Crowley is... well... he's Crowley and he's back to being all-evil-all-the-time, but compared to Abaddon, even Crowley at his most devilish seems like a pretty reasonable guy. 

I'm just really excited about where Season Fine seems to be headed. Yay for magical, special Dean. Yay for Cas and Sam bromance. Yay for all the pieces finally starting to fall into place. 


CASE NOTES

– "You're good, but I'm Crowley."

– Yeeeeah, I think Cas saw where Gadreel was too. 

– "Kraken? I got a warehouse full of kraken." Of course Crowley does. 

– "Rustic obsessive? Paranoid deco?"

– So how long until Cain calls Dean to come smite him?

– What do you think that downside Cain warned Dean about concerning the mark is all about?

– I really think the Batcave needs a guinea pig now. Cas was so excited!


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/25/2016

Season 11 : Episode 23

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That was a stellar review of the episode! Thoroughly enjoyed reading your insightful, snarky, and inquisitive review. Although we are now several episodes into the search for the first blade I had to come back and watch this episode again. Seeing the way Dean is affected by just holding the blade I had to make sure I didn't overlook something in this fantastic episode. Yep, still no answers....
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Loved it, especially team dean-crowley.

"You're good, but I'm Batman." <= Was anyone else thinking this? Not, well I guess I've been watching too much "How it should have ended". Great line though.
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I thought it was pretty awful. Very cliche.
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Great, great, great episode! I was a little leery about changing Cain and Abel's backstory, but then I remembered that this is a FICTIONAL show and in fiction, you're allowed to change a few details about certain things, even Biblical things.

Dean REALLY needs to get over himself IMO.
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What do you mean 'get over himself'?
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I mean stop making decisions for Sam and thinking he ALWAYS knows what's best for everybody.
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Considering his decisions saved Sams life plenty; there wouldn't be no Sam without him.
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Dean has never really overcome the self-worth and guilt issues that led to his actions at the end of Season 5. He's just gotten better at functioning through them and by "gotten better" I mean he probably smells like a brewery 24/7 and doesn't bother trying to hide his self-hatred behind a mask of hair-metal-loving-man-slut anymore. I don't know if this Dean is better than pre-hell Dean (I miss his goofiness), but this is certainly Dean at his most pure. Sam too. Despite the shiny of the Men of Letters bunker and the promise of their birthright, Seasons Gr8 and Fiiiine have gradually moved us toward these stripped-down Winchesters who just can't anymore. The apocalypse wasn't the final straw for the Winchesters—the final straw was everything that cameafter... and that actually makes a lot of sense.



I LOVE this observation. And the entire review.

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You know what's crazy? I'm really starting to miss Lucy. And not just because Mark Pellegrino was so entertaining, but because he was a bad guy, who actually was a bad guy. Must every "evil" character on this show really just be misunderstood? Saved by love? Doomed to rinse wash and repeat?

Crowley comes close I guess, but I haven't really been able to see him as evil since he started dissecting Alpha's in that abandoned hospital, that was too over the top. Where is his strength? Where is his gravitas? He's funny (which I love) but he's no longer bad ass. Even Dean has him on his, "ya, I'll deal with you later list".

Abaddon hasn't been bad ass since she first appeared last season. Man I loved her then. I hope they show us a good reason for why she's hiding from Crowley instead of kicking his ass like she did in the S8 finale.

"This show needs a better class of villain."


P.S. Put your hands up if you prefer the Cas who slammed Crowley into a wall for even hinting at threatening the Winchesters, to the one who misses PB&J sandwiches. He's too soft and cuddly now. Time to get down off the top of the christmas tree and back into the war amongst his people.
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Although I really like Crowley, I agree.... he isn't much of a villain anymore. He is still hilarious and sarcastic, but I mean, c'mon? Where is his evil mind games and tricks. I liked when he wanted Sam and Dean dead. He was tough then!
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"Except Abaddon. Because we need her. For plot."

I'm still laughing! ^^
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It was the first supernatural episode that Sam and Dean didn't share a scene together! Wasn't it?
That was refreshing.
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There was episode 5.3 Free to Be you and Me where the boys were not together.
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What an improvement on last weeks episode. Is it wrong to love Crowley as much as I do?? His lines just keep getting better and watching him be 'fearful' of Cain was just hilarious. More Crowley please..........which is a good thing because Mark Shepphard is amazing but also bad because we should not be rooting for the King of Hell.

As for the Mark of Cain, I know the writers have turned the story so that it fits into the shows mythology but if they at least keep the part about 'coming back sevenfold' then all Dean has to do is walk into a room full of Demons, let them just try to hit him and they are all toast. Talk about the biggest weapon they ever had!!! But if he kills Cain, who also bears the mark, wouldn't that mean he also kills himself??

Castiel had a good point when he asked Sam why the Winchesters always rush towards death? Are the writers now setting us up for the end of the season or the end of the series???
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This was good.
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Was that scene of Caine by the grave of his wife lifted from Unforgiven? It looked familiar to me
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The whole character was lifted from Unforgiven.
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Btw, did anyone notice that after Cain passes the mark and rolls up his sleeves to fight the demons the mark is still there! lol
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That's because he was able to give it to Dean, as in duplicate it, but not get rid of it himself. If he could've he would've a long time ago, I suspect.
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I really love that "the family business" now goes all the way back to Cain. Cain was a frickin hunter and a "Winchester" to boot! Lassie did the part to the max!
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first scene I was wondering "why do I know that face? oh, Psych!"
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I haven't read through the all the comments,but am I the only one that thinks lassie as cain is the greatest thing in the history of the world?!
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It's rather ironic. I had just learned that PSYCH and SUPERNATURAL share a lot of extras due to their being filmed on the same lot. Lo and behold a couple days later, Lassie shows up..

Count me amongst those who think Lassie nailed the role... Hope to see more of Cain..
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The episode on 10/15/10 was 'Weekend At Bobby's' where Dean is flicking his Bic in Scotland.
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First Born was SPN's most watched episode since October 15, 2010 according to bythenumbers. Season Fine is doing, well,,,Fine! :)
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Wha...? Wha...? Whaaaaat? Nothing but a quick blurb in the second to last paragraph and some quotes in the cast notes? I appreciate that there's some complexity to Dean, Sam and their relationship and a nice "new" parallel with Cain and Able...but c'mon...WELCOME TO THE CROWLEY SHOW, YO!

I can't think of another show, or at least another villain, who has been so bad for so long and done some may evil things that viewers would entertain for a second be teamed up with the hero for a buddy cop episode and not only buy it, but LOVE it.

I'm at a loss to think of another TV baddie with more charm and charisma than Crowley. Not a villain that draws sympathy from a tragic back story, redemption from acts of nobility or love from falling for their own seduction. Just straight charm and charisma using nothing but their words, facial expression and body language.

TV has had some fantastic villains, and separating network from cable ('cause it's only fair), Crowley is seriously starting to contend on my "Best Ever" list. Ben Linus (Lost) and T-Bag (Prison Break) were both fantastic and Nina Meyers (24) was made insta-uber villain in the the season 1 finale...but they were always straight bad, and you knew it. Damon/Klaus (Vampire Diaries) and Spike (Buffy) really aren't/weren't villains any more. Omar (The Wire) is my favourite of all time, but more of an anti hero and coming from HBO, I can't count his own level of charms. The closest I can come up with is Alice Morgan (Luther) as someone who's bad like Crowley, but because of their personalities, you just don't care.

There wasn't much doubt that Crowley was up to something and had/has a long con in mind. I knew it. Dean knew it. And we got sucked in anyway. "You're good, but I'm Crowley."...yeah you are! It was a masterful piece of manipulation and even when the truth came out, Dean couldn't even be THAT upset about it.

Going forward, I'm not sure where last season's incomplete cure attempt story line is going to go, if anywhere, but I'd really like it if Crowley stayed bad to the completion of the series. No switching teams. No acts of nobility. No reclamation of any kind. Be bad, stay bad and love every minute of it.

Villain man crush rant over :)
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Katherine from TVD. Still a villain, a badass, and distinctly different from Elena in thought, action and appearance though both are played by Nina.
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Boyd Crowder from Justified.
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I think Spike was charming even without "love you Buffy, used to be tender guy" thing:), He was very funny.. Raymond Reddington is quite charming also.. hm.. but you are right.. not many villains are interesting without bit of redemption (but I wouldn´t dare to say Klaus isn´t villain - lol - he´s psycho mad - the fact that he can be also nice doesn´t change that.. like the fact that serial killers love puppies doesn´t change who they are:)) .. hey, Moriarty from BBC Sherlock was awsome.. but I agree - Crowley is one of the best.
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Spike was definitely fun and he had all sorts of personality, but when he was truly evil, I don't picture a buddy team up, even for a mutual cause, like we saw here.

I find it tough to categorize Klaus and Damon from TVD. Are they good guys, not exactly...but I wouldn't categorize either as true villains either. Both did very bad things, but people mostly understand and appreciate why. They're both completely damaged.

Conversely, Crowley isn't the King of Hell because he's mad at his brother for turning him into a demon or feels shunned by the rest of his family for being a bastard and an outsider. He does it because that's what he is...that's all he is. He's a bad guy who does bad things because he genuinely enjoys causing pain and suffering. The fact that he's funny and charming and can convince Dean (the most distrustful soul on earth) to work together towards a common goal and have it not seem like a break of character...now THAT'S charm ;)

And the one liners don't hurt any either :D
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...but crush on Mark Shepard in full swing I hope! (channeling Crowley!) he is a great actor, love him. And the writers are giving him great stories to work with, I think they've hit the sweet spot. Ok, NOW I'm channeling Crowley.
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As a huge fan of this show. Watching it since the age of 14 and being a massive fan of supernatural things, this episode gave me chills. I do my fair share of research on the myths and folks takes and I love it. The research I've conducted from this episode, is as follows. As far as "The curse of Cain" and "the mark of Cain" are phrases that originated from Genesis 4 where God declared that Cain, the firstborn son of Adam and Eve, be cursed for murdering his brother Abel. A mark was put upon him to warn others that killing Cain would provoke the vengeance of God, that if someone did something to harm Cain, the damage would come back sevenfold. Some interpretations view this as a physical mark, whereas other see the "mark" as a sign, and not as a physical marking on Cain himself. The King James Version reads, "...set a mark upon Cain...", the New American Standard reads, "... appointed a sign for Cain ..." Take it as you will. But I believe that dean will be forced to walk the earth with all of his burdens, lest he or someone bring forth the wrath of God, sevenfold. Thoughts?
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Thanks for the information. I just searched it up. To be honest, I'm now thinking that Dean will do something to Cain and then another war starts, but bigger. But I think from here on in, Dean is going down a dark path, even if it's not injuring Cain and getting wrath shown upon;
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Dean has been on a dark path since the day his mother died. He hunts supernatural creatures for a living. Consorting with Angels, Demons, and Cain is par for the course.
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Well, I understood that concept already. I mean- now that he has the mark of Cain, I don't think it will just be killing demons and angels.
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Wow love your review, completely spot on! I also love how it seems that with when you get to become the magic special Winchester you also get a demon. Truly enjoying the switch of Dean with a demon and Sam with the angel.
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In my Television and Film Studies class today we were discussing "Supernatural" because an ardent (female) fan brought it up. When she lauded it as under-rated almost the entire class collectively groaned and immediately disagreed citing spectacularly bad acting on the tall one's part coupled with that terribly, terribly affected gravelly-voice thing the shorter one constantly does. One student quite stridently insisted that although the show had its problems, its writers did have the ability to oftentimes manipulate myth and lore into interesting episodes, and after watching this one, I just might agree. I don't think "Supernatural" is ever going to win an Emmy, Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award, or BAFTA, but it did manage to hold my interest. Even so, the person in my graduate class who said that the shorter brother must go through a lot of Halls Cough Drops wasn't lying. Can't a director tell that guy that his obviously affected "gravel" voice is just plain silly? And speaking of him, is the gravelly-voiced one now a demon? Cain said he could transfer the mark; however, it appeared as if he merely shared it. Anyway, the two standout actors are clearly Crowley and Cain, and the guy in the trench coat was quite good too. The rest of them, well . . . at least they got good genes. It's interesting that American TV, which is usually concerned with large ratings shares, has allowed this show to go on for ten years given the show's meager performance.
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Allow me to point out that it's in no way 'cool' to review a show without learning the lead characters' names no matter how many issues you have with the acting. I'm sure that since you could learn a big word like "Crowley" you could, with some effort worthy of being in a presumably specialised course like "TV and Film Studies", manage simpler three-letter ones like Sam, Cas, and for a challenge, a larger word like "Dean". Gone are the days when 'critics' were appreciated for being snobs. Now this nose-up-in-the-air, award-name-dropping sarcasm is just plain douchey.
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Thank you for you polite review of SPN. 9 months ago I would have totally agreed with you. Homebound for 21/2 months due to an accident I was board out my mind and SPN was on TV more than three times a day and night. Soon began watch 1,then two, three episodes all out order of course I truly began to understand the show. Now, as I see it here lies the problem with SPN. Too many fill in episodes that are either silly and comedic. People are expecting horror, fantasy, drama, action. Which SPN has if you catch the right episode. If only SPN could come out with a DVD containing season 1 - 8 exceptional episodes that depict only the horror, fantasy, drama and action in this collection I am sure you and your TV/Movie studies class would thoroughly enjoy and agree that the show is exceptional. ( I would give you a list of episodes to watch but my memory now fails me, which episode was in which season ). A show that has already done before what most all new horror/fantasy show are just now beginning to do. There are just too many acting possibilities in this show sometime covering the obvious lesson or story line. Season 1 - 5 are excellent. 6 is ok minus a few good shows but 7 in my books was poor. I am still surprised that because of the poor storyline in season 7 SPN even made it to season 8. Now being a fan of the show I very, very much like the relationship between the two brothers, comedy, one liners and even the silly fill ins which give the series a break from the foreboding upcoming events. Jensen Ackles (Dean ) is an outstanding actor. His comedic performances are superb and his dramatic acting is undeniably amazing. You just needs to catch the scenes to realize this. I believe he could be Oscar bound if he can show his true talent. And I wish him the best. Jarad Padalecki, (Sam) also is a good actor. He proved this, in the part where he is Lucifer in a white suite. Can't remember the season. Also last season when the angels where falling. Believe me these two guys have it but the writers need to step up again and start writing scripts that would bring them acclimate by the TV/Movie industry, This show is not only popular in America and Canada but also big time in Britain, Europe, Australia. World wide. If your wondering why it's been on the air for so long. The fans get this show. Probably because they have seen every episode and get the story line. Hopefully your class of TV/movie studies will take a chance and take into consideration what I myself have said. Sorry for the long winded remarks.
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Don't waste your time. Benscome is trying to troll.
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Cain is like the Wolverine of Supernatural universe, ot the point of killing his own girlfriend and living in eternal sadness!
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This episode was quite the charm. I loved the overall twist in the episode, and story line. As written above, it's quite impressive how Dean is now the 'magical, important brother' between the two. Although, I have been witnessing people exclaiming that Dean is clueless for not asking about the side effects from the Mark of Cain... Maybe that's the whole point. Dean, perhaps, doesn't want too know because he knows it will slow his job down, and he doesn't want second thoughts on it. It's quite remarkable to see Dean and Crowley 'paired up' and Sam and Castiel. I do find Sam and Castiels parts in the episode slightly boring, as all they did was go back and fourth if there was more angel grace, but I respected that episode overall. There was awesome acting skills, perfect setting, story... I hope they don't kill Abbadon right away like they do with most of the bad guys. I hope she stays for a while(but, of course, get killed off eventually.)
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I am very excited to see where this is all heading..
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Reaaally liked it!!! The mythology twist was cool!! I enjoyed Cass-Sam and Crowley- Dean. Crowley is like the kind of decent bad guy. Kind of. After this episode though I am under the impression that the writers are preparing to wrap it up in case it won't get renewed, which I doubt because the ratings are good as far as I know. Sam in heaven after being killed from Dean and Dean in hell. I think that there will be a time when Sam will be in danger because of Dean. And then they will have to search and find a way to take of the mark. Yep, it was an episode that reminded me of seasons 3-4 which for me is good.
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I love the fact the show didn't seem to forget for as much as Cas is a part of the family he and Sam have spent very little time alone together so Sam forgets he can't use euphemisms. Cas has seemed to increase Dean's patience over the seasons maybe that will be a positive for Sam. Well at least it seems like Dean counts to ten more.

I can't even imagine what the negatives are. I hope we see more of Cain.

I really like your comparison of season five Dean and current Sam. Different issues but not dissimilar reactions.
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So Sam has remnants of angel grace inside him and Dean now bears the mark of a top-tier demon. Oh, what a delicious role reversal this is from seasons 1-5. Really, really excited to see where this is all heading.
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My favorite line of the episode:

Crowley: I've been inside your brother. We're practically family!

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yep, creepy but excellent, this is why I love Crowley!
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A good and thoroughly enjoyable episode, something rarely found in this so called season fine. Hope the rest of the season will be at least as good as the last two episodes.

So it's been said that Abaddon is not the dying kind, but aren't demon immortal? Has it ever been mentioned that demon can die like human do? As for Cain, is he immortal because he's a demon or because of the mark?

All in all, good episode, but i hope there's more Sam n Cas.
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Great episode. However a few things. If all of this is to kill Abaddon, are they actually going to do that? Are they going to kill off the best character that they have written in 3 seasons? Please tell me that isn't going to happen and they are going to kill Crowley instead. He was better this episode but is still the same character always. Abaddon is great. Don't kill her off.

Also if Dean is Cain, when is he going to kill Sam. Granted I have always thought that this was the inevitable ending of this show. But this makes it official now right? Death. Actual death. Or at least a hair cut. Something?

As for the downside to the mark. If they go by myth then Dean can't be killed. Also supposedly there is a curse to it all. So likely something bad is going to be associated with it.
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I liked this one. Kind of a throwback to the first seasons.
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So is Dean technically a demon now? Is that the fine print?
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A new knight of hell perhaps? And then new King of Hell if he offs Crowley? Hmmm...
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Oh Lassie, if own Shawn and Gus could see you now. :)
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OK I'm calling this: Cain killed Abel to prevent him from being Lucifer's pet....as far as we know, Lucifer is back in his cage, right?
So what if the death of the King of Hell (sorry Crowley), perhaps or probably through some ritual, opens the cage?
Enter the return of Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino, of course) who enters Sam's body to wreak havoc on the world and Heaven, being a little undermanned at the time and whatnot, unless Dean fulfills the prophecy of the Mark of Cain and kills his brother?
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I don't see the point of bringing Lucifer back, he served his purpose.
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This is from the episode "The End", Dean and Lucifer standing in a garden:

Lucifer: [quietly] I know you won't. I know you won't say yes to Michael either. And I know you won't kill Sam. Whatever you do, you will always end up... here. No matter what choices you make, whatever details you alter, *we* will always end up... here.

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Well "here' doesn't have to mean in the garden in Detroit. It can mean Lucifer in Sam's body with Dean powerless to do anything about it. And that did happen already. And Lucifer was right Dean couldn't stop it. Only Sam could.
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But WHY? There's nothing new to do or say with Lucifer. All it would be would that Micheal would get out too and they would want to have their prize fight. No matter how much you want Mark Pellegrino back (who BTW is probably too busy with "Tomorrow People" to show up anyway) that's not reason enough to bring him back he has to have something new and interesting to do otherwise it's just fan service.
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I just... I JUST ABSOLUTELY FREAKING LOVED THIS EPISODE!!! A storyline for Dean! Bring back Cain, puuuuhleeeeeease!
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For the first time EVER I agree with pretty much everything in a review!! This was an exemplary episode of Supernatural, it found the old perfect balance that's been missing from most recent seasons. Definitely one of my fav episodes in recent years :)
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Anyone else notice how of course the map they use for the locator spell only covers the US of A?
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But of course, they only travel the lower 40 except for that one quick trip to Scotland which I NEVER bought in the first place.
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Please tell me you meant 48 states, unless you just emerged from hibernation in which case kudos for adapting to the future so quickly.
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I live in Australia so my knowledge of US states is a little off, but by 'lower 40' I think he may have meant that they never travel to the upper 8 states? I'm not sure how many states stretch across the top of the US, but I think that maybe that's what he meant. I know it's really cold up there (Minnesota is one of them, I believe from watching HIMYM) and I don't remember Sam and Dead ever going to the snow off the top of my head. Sorry if none of that made sense, like I said I'm not too good with US states. All of my knowledge comes from NBA and NCAA, haha
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Lol! I'm not even gonna judge. All I know about Australia is kangaroos, sharks, on fire constantly, Perth or is that Victoria, everything is deadly, aborigines and Native Americans should form a club, adorable accents, sexy ass rugby players, and Crock Hunter. It's on my list of places to visit though!

The "lower 48" refers to the 48 continental contiguous states, below Alaska, the state that is secretly Canadian. Hawaii is the state most likely for Americans to forget is a state and not a foreign country. And the 7 territories are all forgotten, except for Puerto Rico, which is mostly forgotten.
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No, it's a typo of course. My bad. :)
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I can't wait to see Cas react to Dean just walking up and having the Mark on him.

He'll probably go into battle mode for a few seconds before realizing it's Dean.
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..and we still don't know about the borrowed Castiel grace, unless I'm forgetting something from last week. So, that could go wrong in oh so many ways. Seems it was working okay on healing Sam for a bit...
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I got an image of Cas reacting like The Doctor when he met Jack again and was recoiling because he was Wrong in my head.

It would be one of their better reasons for keeping Dean and Cas apart, aside from fears of accidental gay or whatever is going on in the SPN writers' dungeon.
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Sam and Dean are really in a bad place, now. Both of them want to die. Dean wants to go back to Hell to pay for what he's done. The problem with that is the first time he went to Hell and Alistair broke him, he enjoyed being there and torturing souls. I don't think Sam cares where he goes. He just wants to die.
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All pieces aren't falling into place at all. What about Bartholomew and the other angel faction? How do they factor into all this. Whilst I loved this episode I'm wondering where it's all going. Will some angels team up with Dean to go after Abbadon? Will it become Winchester's Vs. EVERYTHING as usual. This season is all over the place but I always seem to forget whilst watching that everything else isn't moving forward (I know that doesn't make much sense but hopefully some people will get it.)
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I agree... I liked the episode by itself but the season isn't really meshing well. We have Metatron and Gadreel, the-war-of-Bart and however many factions, and now Cain/Abadon.

Unless these things mash up together greatly and have factions joining each other things are going to get a bit messy.
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I agree, we've barely gotten a good look at Bart and what he's trying to accomplish, and the focus has certainly been shifted more on Abbadon. I think the writers are smart in splitting Sam and Dean up (again) in order to pursue two seperate storylines at once, even though Sam and Cas didn't get anywhere in this episode. I think that for now, we have no idea which plotline is strictly for Season 9, as the news that Supernatural will most likely go past 10 seasons means that some of the plotlines we see today are likely being put in place for the future seasons. I think that Bart in particular, being a new entry, is destined for Season 10, while Abbadon or Metatron/Gadreel will likely see their end in Season Fine's finale
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So true man
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i liked that the lady was reading Locke & Key when Dean & C walked into her store. great comic
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I didn"t notice that. How excellent!
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This season is really by so far the best season since season 5.
I was watching the prev seasons out of loyality but I find this one really GOOOOD

this episode is really spectacular ... out of the norm and I mean i thought I saw it all but Cane and he's a demon. This was not excpected and never invested story at all

side effects Cain warned Dean about ... what if he is partially becomes a knight of hell. the same thing happened to Cane. I mean it is not like Dean is new to the idea of serving hell. he did that once upon a time and lived in purgatory ... He'll become powerful as a Abadon... even more powerful than Crowley ... Imagine that :)

Loved Cane... wish we see more of him
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I bit over-the-top, but I'm guessing this will pass by season end.

The mark of Cain allows Dean to wield the blade and some nasty side effects, aka, totally bad for your body, so I'd bet he will not have powers like Sam had when he was demon blood thirsty.
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This season is really by so far the best season since season 5.
I was watching the prev seasons out of loyality but I find this one really GOOOOD


This x 1 million.
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Can you picture Dean taking over as the King of Hell? I can easily see it happening.
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Not a chance.
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I'm not so sure about that. Remember how easily he fit in after Alistair broke him down. He admitted to Sam how much he enjoyed torturing innocent souls.
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That's not a good analogy and to be King of Hell is to be against all that is Dean.
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So I have a question. For the Finally of season four, didn't that say that Dean had the blood of Abel, that's why he could become the Michael Sword and Sam had the blood of Cain, that's why he could be the host of Lucifer? I love the show but now they are grasping at straws.
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Yes, they are both descendants of Cain and Abel. But spiritually Dean is on the side of Angels (all I do is right in selfless pursuit of good and others) and Sam on the side of demons (Self pity, and self before anything else). It worked. I thought it was an inspired choice for the show to mirror their relationship on.

Now however, that's been torn down. Suddenly Cain is actually a good guy who did the wrong thing for the right reason (though this again sounds more like Sam then Dean) and not only are we supposed to have sympathy for him, but he's also Dean's spirit animal.

I can't say I like it. I wish they had gone a different way, but I guess I can understand why the writers would think it's an interesting choice.

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We really only have Cain's side of the story and it's not like they haven't been lied to before.
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I don't recall that, but they could just throw in a line that Abel sired some chilrun prior to his head being bashed in.
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Well its not like this episode retconed that at all.
hey just didn't address it...
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No, don't recall anyone saying that. Yeah being Micheal's vessel is in the Winchester blood (as he was able to possess both John and Adam) but nothing like that was ever really said.
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You know what...you make a really good point. I think they/their relationship was compared to Cain and Abel (I can't remember who actually said it...maybe Cas or Zachariah?), but I don't think it was explicitly said which brother was who...does that make sense? If you do find out, let me know!
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So this is from supernatural.wiki.com

Cain and Abel (deceased) - It was revealed by the Archangel Michael that through the Winchester bloodline, Dean, Sam, Adam and John are descendants of Cain and Abel, making John a temporary vessel and Dean his true vessel.
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Yeah, but as someone else pointed out elsewhere everyone is supposed to be decended from Cain and Abel so it's kind of a meaningless statement.
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Think there was brother angst last episode? We haven't seen anything, yet. Just wait until Sam finds out
Dean has taken the Mark of Cain. Or will Dean start lying to Sam again
and not tell him? This was a fantastic episode, but after Dean's speech
in Road Trip about his always making bad decisions, what does he do in
this episode? He charges straight ahead and makes another bad decision.
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I vote for the humanization, or at least the good-guy-ification of Crowley! Sam and Dean with an angel and a demon on their shoulder sounds way too good (although it'd be kinda repetitive as this theme was already used with Castiel/Ruby). Still, Sheppard and Collins simply have the greatest chemistry.
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Oh, no, no, no.
I love asshole/murderous/cunning Crowley. That's the reason he's so fun.
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Diddent they also need a "bone knif" to kille levithan dick???
the creative tank is on fumes.
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What else would an anchient weapon be made of but bone?
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Wood? Rock?
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Doesn't really have the same look and feel as bone. :)
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fujin_mage, I was talking about from a visual/show standpoint.
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that would be the point...
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That was a specific bone. This is a knife used to commit the first murder. It isn't remotely the same. That is like saying that using a gun is the same as the colt.
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Greeeaaat episode. Really enjoyed the Cain character (LASSIE!!) and I liked the twist on the whole Cain and Abel story (Cain actually killed his brother so that he wouldn't work with Lucifer, damning himself to Hell and sending his brother to Heaven - such sacrifice) I loved the connection between him and Dean - two guys willing to do anything to protect their brother. I definitely see some trouble ahead for Dean now that he has the mark. As soon as Dean said yes all I could do was yell, "NOOO Dean WTF is wrong with you!", but it makes perfect sense that he would say yes right away and not think about the consequences. That is who he is. Dean is such a broken man, and its true he hasn't been the same since his return from Hell, and I doubt he ever will be, especially with friends/family dying because of choices he makes. He will always blame himself (whether right or wrong) for the deaths of those he loves and cares about, he holds the weight of the world on his shoulders. I loved Dean and Crowley working together and can't wait to see what lies ahead with the two of them on the road together.

I enjoyed Castiel and Sam spending time together, we really don't see alot of Cas and Sam working solo. I do believe that Cas left some of Gadreel's grace in Sam because Sam was weakening to the point of almost death. And as much as Sam was/is willing to sacrifice himself, I am glad Cas had the right mind to stop (even if Sam doesn't know). Sam is still seeking redemption for all of the things he has done, which is understandable but I kind of believe him giving up his life and jumping into the pit with Lucifer and Michael MORE than gives him a pass on his past mistakes. Hopefully he will see that he HAS done a lot of good and helped a lot of people. Can't wait to see what happens next - this season is turning out awesome!
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Ok, so... this episode is confusing. Specifically Cain's relationship to Dean. Michael told Dean that he is a direct descendant of Cain and yet this is NEVER brought up? When Cain told Dean that he's worthy of bearing the mark, I felt like screaming at the screen "of course he's worthy! That's your great-great-great-great-great-great grandson!"

Cas eating a peanut butter sandwich... did they just make a Meet Joe Black reference?

So... Sam, Cas and the grace... I admit I think Cas is lying to Sam about the grace being completely gone. It appeared that Gadreel was actually holding up his end of the bargain in fixing Sam, given that the more grace Cas took the more Sam's body started to decay. It was nice seeing how Cas's time as a human has changed him from an "ends justify the means" type that he was in season 6 and 8, Although, once again, the writers seem to be ignoring season 5 entirely... CAS WAS HUMAN FOR A FEW DAYS AT THE END OF THAT SEASON!

This was a pretty average episode. On one hand, it was great seeing Crowley and Dean work together again, something they haven't done since season 5, and Cas and Sam get some quality time together, something that hasn't been done since season 6 (love the callback to the hug, too.) However, ignoring key points of season 5 and Dean's relationship to Cain is just lazy writing. I give this episode an 8.4 out of 10.
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The Cain situation is what happens when you retcon story lines to fit your new agenda. It could have easily been explained by saying that saving Abel was a deal. So after ten years when Lucy came to collect, he then became a Knight of Hell. Leaving those 10 years for him to have children.

In the bible Cain fled with a relative after killing Abel got married and had kids. I'm sure that's what Kripke was working from when he created the confrontation with Michael.

And yes, that was totally a Meet Joe Black moment. Followed by a "tribute" to Unforgiven.
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Well, given his lifespan and he likely wandered before ending up where we found him he could have sired who knows how many offspring and not even know about them or who they are.
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Let's be clear, what Micheal said was that the BLOODLINE ran back to Cain, that's not exactly the same as being directly related to someone. Seems pretty plain that Cain himself didn't carry on but some blood related to him may have.
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But that later we met a cupid, who explained the extents of the genetic tampering the angels had been doing with the Winchester bloodline I think it's safe to say they are direct descendants.
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Yeah, but as someone else pointed out elsewhere if you take the lore at face value so is everyone else in the world so it's not as impressive or special as it sounds at first.
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Actually that multiple wives thing isn't commonly accepted it's more mainstream that Adam had just Eve and all humans are children of Adam and Eve. Anyway, not sure what the issue is just because this episode didn't mention it doesn't mean anything and it would have been a kind of awkward reference just for the sake of making the refrence.
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But they're all related to each other so it's one large incesty mess really. :) In any case not sure what the issue is exactly. So they didn't refrence it? So what?
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Not really. According to the lore Adam had 2 wives and at least 7 children. So we're all descendant of Adam, but no necessarily from Cain and Abel's line.
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Why or how would Cain know? It didn't even look like he had kids... or were they before Collette?
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Maybe you can fill me in on how not super powered Cas healed Sam after removing the grace when full powered Cas couldn't heal him before. I know not all of the grace was taken but wtf?
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Gadreel did most of the healing. Castiel is finishing it up.
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Plus Cas was human during the period between the last trial and Gadreel killing Kevin (when Cas got recharged) There'd be no way he could fix Sam cause he had no powers.
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I think he's asking why Cas couldn't heal him earlier... like when Cas looked at Sam after doing the 1st or 2nd trial and said "I have NO idea what's wrong with you or how to fix you."

The difference being that Gadreel actually had to step inside Sam and fix him piece by piece... something that was draining the heck out of him (which is saying something).

Cas was looking at it like "I don't know how to magically wave my hand out here and fix you"
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Yeh, Gadreel mostly healed him.

What's throwing some people for a loop is when Cas said that Sam was starting to revert to pre-Gadreel due to sticking the needle so far into him. So.. how much did he revert? Because if he reverted too far then Cas shouldn't have been able to do anything.

Or... was he just starting to revert...
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Or maybe it was his memories that were reverting. It's just from the line Cas says about reverting (and the condition of Sam), the impression I got was that the more of the left over grace that was removed the more the healing was being 'undone'. When I meant superpowered Cas not being able to heal before I was referring to his line between the second and third trials'.
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@Coodookie
It wasn't the grace keeping him alive... Gadreel was healing him while inside and had MOSTLY stitched him back together before Crowley helped kick him out. It's just that up until recently had Gadreel left, Sam would have died... because he was healing him AND holding up the foundation. But by the time Crowley kicked him out, most of the damage was fixed.

I don't think it was losing that grace that was killing him on the chair, just sticking that needle in there as the MenOfLetters said the procedure was nearly fatal. The procedure itself is what was undoing some of Gadreels healing .

So Cas stopped, healed him, and thus the last of grace was removed by healing.
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That's what I mean, enough of the grace was removed that Sam should have been beyond help (just look at him when Cas stops). Also, Cas isn't even fully powered at that point. Guess it's just a nitpick that will never be explained.
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oh my god i found this a great episode like it did have that balance and it made it very watchable and i was so surprised when it finished because it didn't feel like an hour. i like how even though cas was a human for such a short time they still managed to wrap it up cas talking about what he learned and have some character development and then cas and sam hanging out and having time for their friendship to grow it was great
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Yet another fine episode with the acting, writing of story line and one-liners spot on. Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins getting some excellent one-liners to deliver with their usual wry facial expressions.

The thing that really made me smile was the fantastic rewriting of the early Bible Myths - whether by Rob Thompson directly (writer on this episode) or as part of the general writing pool that Supernatural uses it was great! If the bible mythology had been written the way Supernatural is written I might still be a Christian and not an Atheist!

LOL! No not really! Still great story telling.
Superb Story telling "Full Stop" in fact.

Though Cains killing of Abel never mentions (in the bible) a weapon so an Ass Jaw Bone Knife simply works. Even if the direct reference to an Ass Jaw bone is lifted from Samson & Delilah story it worked. It also worked for explaining why Cain is effectively immortal. Even if Supernatural very fairly rewrites the lore to its purposes as all great story telling should do. In the bible Cain is cursed to wander the Earth forever by God for being the first murderer. Also it is worth noting Cain might have been the son of Satan (in some versions of the bible) rather than Adam allowing him to kill and therefore it would make sense he would become a full demon.

I loved the fact that Crowley played Dean like a fiddle and as usual Dean only really gets it after the fact! Though he can do nothing about it because he needs Crowley. Excellent! And almost finally though it was an obvious plot line the extracted grace not working was cool!
It will allow for some great hunting episodes and longer term the reuniting of Sam & Dean when they realise they only work best as a family team whatever their failings!

One very small niggle. When the Demons find Cain, etal and one says "bring everyone". I am sure there are more than 10-20 demons in hell. CGI hordes a la Buffy in Season 7 would have been amazing. It is only a small niggle!

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I think the "bring everyone" was just everyone in the area loyal to Abbaddon.
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Thanks. Well spotted. I was just thinking Demons in general. Doh!
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That would have been impossible without serious help!
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i wasn't a big fan of your reviews, but you grew on me.........lol
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I only jumped on the Supernatural crazy train this season, so I can't compare this episode to any in previous seasons, but this was my favorite of this season so far.
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