I didn’t even recognize James Marsters at first. He looked like he aged 30 years since Buffy! I know he was older than what he was playing on Buffy, but wow. Maybe it was the dyed bleach blonde hair vs. his natural look that threw me. But it took me a few times seeing him on-screen to realize that was Spike. Maybe running on 10 hours of sleep for my entire week also had something to do with not seeing clearly! Regardless, the much-anticipated Buffy reunion was last night’s Supernatural and it certainly didn’t disappoint. I’ll talk briefly about the episode itself but I’m much more interested in the two things we learned last night (one I seem to be late to the party in realizing.) But let’s bang out the recap first, shall we?
We are witness to what seem to be random yet very disturbing deaths…a young woman at a hair salon gets fried under the blower (makes me never want to get under one of those again) and a man in a port-a-pot gets killed with his own nail, right between the eyes…yikes! At first, the only thing they have in common are an old coin that has shown up in every location. Eventually we learn that they also have in common a real estate development deal that went bad. One of the main parties involved in that deal, is Don Stark (special guest star James Marsters.)
The boys go to see Stark and we learn he and his wife Maggie (special guest star Charisma Carpenter) are having some problems and are currently separated. Maggie believes Don is having an affair with his assistant. Don admits to having a one night stand, but not with his assistant. While Dean is talking with Don, Sam goes to use the “bathroom” and takes that time to investigate the house a bit more. In a half empty closet, we discovers some materials that suggest witchcraft. Now it’s all starting to make sense. They leave the Stark residence and head to where Maggie is currently living.
Dean and Sam break in and find a “target” board of people Maggie is going after. The boys notice that the next target is the assistant and quickly leave to get to her place. But Maggie has already started the spell and while the assistant is baking cupcakes, she takes a bite and the next thing you know, little live hearts are in the cupcakes (gross) and she starts puking up copious amounts of blood and God knows what else. As this is happening, the boys break in to save her. Sam finds the hex coin in her kitchen and shoots the coin, breaking the curse.
Later that evening, Maggie is prepping with her friend Sue, for an art gala/auction. Sue has always had Maggie’s back and has been a loyal friend to her. I also think Sue wants a little more from Maggie than just friendship. As Maggie is preparing her speech and yelling at the staff, she starts to notice the art work melting in front of her. As this is happening and Maggie is freaking out, we flash to Don siting outside the event and we learn that he is also a witch. The paintings are ruined and as Sue tries to comfort Maggie, a silver tray rises up and slashes threw her throat decapitating her. Gruesome! It’s now all our war between the Starks.
Back at the Stark’s mansion, they are fighting and Dean and Sam show up to kill them. They aren’t having much luck because these are pretty powerful witches. The spell they are trying to put on the witches isn’t working so they decide to do the next best thing….couples counseling!!! And it worked. Turns out that not only are these witches very old (the Medici and Columbus references should have made that obvious) but are very much in love with one another. That’s why when it comes down to it, they can’t kill each other. Basically, Sam and Dean counsel them to the point that Maggie no longer wants to kill Don and they make up. Yeah!
Dean and Sam arrive back at their hotel and come to find an unwelcome guest in the most recent leviathan who has been tracking them down since the last episode. It doesn’t look good for the boys when guess who shows up and saves them? Spike!!!!! He was coming to thank them for saving his life when he saw the leviathan and put him down without much effort. He even asks the boys what the hell is that because he’s never seen anything like it. They wrap him up in chains and are on their way to take him to Bobby’s.
Like I said in the beginning, there were two learnings for me in this episode. The first one being that Don Starks is a powerful enough witch to neutralize a leviathan. Bobby, Sam, and Dean hadn’t had much luck with all the information and tricks they have learned over the years on stopping creatures in the past. Nothing would work on these guys. But Starks’ comes in and bam, leviathan down. Was it because he is THAT powerful? Is it something else we haven’t learned yet? But it makes me think we haven’t seen the last of the Starks (which makes me very happy) and that they may come back into play to help Sam and Dean take these bastards down. If we don’t see them again, maybe they can take what they have learned about the Starks and their power and come up with a solution. Everything they have been researching so far, they have come up either empty or it hasn’t worked. At least this is something that actually worked to some degree. Even if they are only incapacitated for a little while. It’s still more than Bobby and the boys have been able to do. Plus it’s so early on in the season, we can’t find out how to get rid of these guys yet!
The second learning I had is that Dean is having a problem with alcohol and the weight of the world on his shoulders is getting heavier and heavier each week. I read in another post on another site last week about Dean’s drinking problem. I’ll be honest, I never noticed it before. I’ve noticed plenty of other issues with Dean’s personality that we have discussed here, but the drinking wasn’t one of them. I always noticed that he likes his booze, but not to an abusive level. But I have to say, I noticed it big time this week. Maybe because I was looking for it more closely, but it seems even the show was purposely trying to point it out with camera angles and of course Sam’s reaction to Dean’s imbibing.
Over the course of seven seasons, we’ve seen all different sides of Dean…the funny side, the kick ass side, the family side, the loner side, the asian porn loving side, the serious about his work side. But there is one thing that has always been consistent about Dean (beside his hotness) and that is that Dean goes through his life with a very heavy heart and allows each and every decision he makes (whether good, bad, or indifferent) to define him. After a while, that type of self burden will destroy you. Whether it’s mentally, emotionally, physically, or a combination of all three, no one person can carry all that around forever. And I think we are starting to see it catch up with Dean.
Think about this. When was the last time Bobby and Sam were really worried about Dean for an extended period of time? Probably not since Season Four when he came back from hell. It’s always been Dean worrying and Sam and Bobby. Now I know that Bobby will always worry and care about the boys, but he also realizes that they are grown men who can take care of themselves and live their life and they choose to live it…consequences and all. That’s how Bobby lives his life and hopes people respect that about him. So he respects Sam and Dean and their choices. But ever since the start of Season Five, Dean has been in worry wort, protective mode when it comes to Sam and Bobby but more so Sam. And yes, Dean has ALWAYS been protective of Sam because he is his older brother and Sam is his whole world. But it’s different now and it has been for a while.
I would even say that starting with the middle of Season Four, after everyone realizes that Dean is ok from his return from hell, he and Sam start to spilt a bit…Dean is more connected with Castiel, Anna, and the angels while Sam is connected more to Ruby and the demons. We eventually find out that Ruby used Sam the whole time to get to Lilith so she could open the final gate and let Lucifer out. She got him hooked on demon blood and Sam became someone no one liked. Ever since that point, Dean hasn’t really had a moment to stop worrying about Sam. In Season Five, Sam wanted to make amends for siding with Ruby while Dean wants to take that burden off of him and find the solution himself for getting Lucifer back in his cage. As a result of Lucifer being out, Lucifer wants to use Sam as a vessel to destroy the world. That burden isn’t hanging over Sam as much as it is Dean because Dean, always needing to be the fixer, needs to find a way to prevent this from happening. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a burden hanging over Sam as well, but since they both handle these types of situations so differently and Dean is always so much harder on himself than Sam, it’s a completely different type of burden for Dean than for Sam. Skipping ahead, not only can Dean not stop Lucifer’s plan (Lucifer takes over Sam AND Archangel Michael takes over half-brother Adam’s body) both Sam and Adam jump into the portal of hell and get trapped in Lucifer’s cage. Talk about a devastating blow! And we are still seeing the repercussions of what happened at the end of Season 5 today.
All of Season 6 was about Dean wanting to figure out what was going on with Sam and beating himself up because of what Sam is going through. In Season 7, Sam’s wall is down and he is still fighting those inner demons (mainly one BIG demon in Lucifer.) All Dean wants to do is figure out how to not have this brother feeling this way any more. Add to that, he killed someone he felt was dangerous even after Sam asked him not to. Compounding all that guilt, Amy’s son witness Dean murdering his mother. I think that’s another big part of this weighing on Dean’s head. Yes, he’s upset about what he did to Amy and going behind Sam’s back, but look at what he did to that little boy’s life. Remember, if it wasn’t for the Azazel killing Mary Winchester, Dean wouldn’t be in this life because his father wouldn’t be in this life. Same with Sam. If Jessica isn’t killed the same way Mary was, Sam would be a lawyer in Ohio right now. But this boy witnessed the killing of his mother and Dean knows, it will be that kid’s life mission to track him down and find him and kill him. He will probably ruin his life in many ways because of what he will be tunnel visioned to do because of Dean.
So Dean has ALL this hanging over him. And the one escapism he has right now, is booze. Dean is not a sit down and talk about his feelings type of guy. He just isn’t. He’s a brooder. Sam will talk until the cows come home and he is trying like hell to get Dean to open up because he sees him going down a dark path. But not only will Dean not open, he can’t. How can he talk about Amy and her son to Sam without risking destroying his relationship with him? No wonder he’s drinking a 750ml of scotch a day! It’s really sad to watch quite frankly. But it’s so fascinating at the same time. I am so curious to see where they take Dean and just how dark this storyline is going to get.
I think this is one of the dynamics that makes this show so great. Yes it’s fun to watch them chase monsters and we love all the tongue in check moments and of course there is the strong mythology surrounding the show. But this show is much deeper than that on so many levels. With the main level being Sam and Dean and their relationship with one another. And major credit goes to the strength of Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki and their acting chops and chemistry. This show doesn’t work without them.
So what are your thoughts on Dean and his developing dark passenger (Dexter reference yeah!) Are you as worried about him as I am or am I reading too much into this as usual? Let me know!