The episode starts with a flashback to June 21, 2003, with a kid getting out of bed to the sounds of a fight. When he gets there, he finds his father dead on the floor in a pool of blood. It turns out that this is Vengeance Man's origin story. His name is Cole and he's pictured with his parents. I confess to being surprised it was his Dad that has been killed. After Cole related the story about his big brother to Sam last week, I figured it would be his brother who was dead. There isn't a brother in the picture so who knows what happened there.
This stairway seems familiar.
Into the scene walks a noticeably younger Dean with a bloody knife and we're left to assume he's done the killing. We aren't given a reason why. It's nice to see the leather jacket and Samulet again. I don't know how they did the de-aging but it made me realize I like Dean's face with the eye crinkles. As far as Dean's life at that point, according to the SPN timeline put together by hells_half_acre, Sam is off at Stanford and Dean is hunting mostly on his own. It's right around the same time that he met Cassie. I'm not usually so good about being able to figure out where I would have been at a specific point in the past but I know this time period pretty well. My only kid was born a week before this so I know it's a Saturday. I was seriously sleep deprived by this point. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released that day and I read it over the next couple of days in between trying to figure out what to do with this new person who was trying to adjust to eating and sleeping. It happens to be the summer solstice and it's the start of the last quarter of the moon. Whatever was happening with Dean and Cole's father wasn't relying on a full moon.
We find out that Cole was 13 at that point. It might be worth pointing out that right about now, Adam Milligan is meeting his father for the first time. Adam's about 12 so that gives an idea about how much younger he is than Dean. Unfortunately, the actor they picked for Cole doesn't seem to be so much younger than Sam or Dean. In the big scheme of things, it doesn't really seem to matter so much though and the scenes played ok. He's on a vendetta and Sam is just bait and a means to an end. I like the desaturated color here too. I also like the plaid effect of the shadows on the walls.
The irony here of mocking the Holy Water is revealed much later. My favorite bit of this whole exchange was Sam insisting he isn't a psycho. Remove the supernatural element of the Winchesters' lives and a lot of it is just like Cole's.
The Winchesters have done a lot more than shatter a knee cap to get information. However, Cole put a nail in the coffin of any sort of sympathy I might have had for him at this point. I also find it really troublesome that Cole has a wife and kid he's just walked out on to get revenge for his father, continuing the SPN tradition of parenting taking a back seat to revenge.
Sam manages/is allowed to escape and Cole trails him to North Dakota where the crew gave us a random moose sighting.
But before that, Sam drops the Dean's-a-demon bomb on Cas who already looks like a stiff breeze will take him out.
Cas is road tripping with Hannah, who manages to temporarily patch him up.
She doesn't heal him enough to keep him from falling asleep at the wheel and wrecking the car. They are taken in by a kindly, very trusting woman with a tow truck and auto repair business. The rounded building reminds me of Bobby's salvage yard. Have I mentioned recently that I miss Bobby? I really miss Bobby.
Nice plaid shirt.
I love the backpack here. I think we can guess there must be a kid around.
The little girl shows up the next morning to watch cartoons with Cas and talk about the endlessly fascinating topic of snot. I loved everything about this kid including the fact that she has absolutely nothing to do with the plot except show that Cas is a good catch. I love the couch. It's interesting to see that all the orange and yellow don't really indicate danger in this case unless it's death by cute.
Hannah, don't fall for this guy...sweet as he appears. It's complicated.
Too late. She's gone to bargain for Cas's grace with Metatron. I love this shot of the playground with the angel sentry.
I bet no one in the neighborhood lets their kids play there anymore.
I didn't keep any caps from the scenes in Heaven's jail with Metatron, but I think Cas's words about having made peace with dying and deals made of desperation always resulting in blood and tears were really important in light of the SPN story arc. The next two lines sum up last season. "It's my life and it's my choice and I don't want this." Hannah gave the response that Winchesters very rarely do. "You're right. I'm sorry." I'm glad to see this turn up here because it seems as though the show isn't done with that part of the story yet and it hasn't been just brushed under the rug. The bloodthirsty part of me was very glad to see Hannah crack Metatron's head into the bars. I really don't like the character and I'll be really glad when his part in the story is done. I hope Cas manages to stay true to his words here. It would be nice to see that in 10 seasons, someone has finally learned something. I have a theory about Cas's grace, especially based on a recent spoiler but I won't put that here in case people are avoiding spoilers.
I'll finish this bit of the recap up with a nod to Sam and his investigation. He's using the Lemmy Kilmister alias and the supervisor is listed as Tom Willis. That used to be the FBI name used by Bobby. Have I mentioned I miss....? Anyhow, I wonder if Garth answers that number now. Bobby's alias seems to have been a nod to the Tom Willis character on The Jeffersons. It's interesting to google "tom willis supernatural" though and get articles about the Reverend Tom Willis, a clergyman in the UK, who some people claim has done real life exorcisms.
Dean assaulted the stripper and the bouncer at the Angelz strip club. I love Sam's truck.
I like the sets in this episode. The strip club has great lighting with the red table lamps.
I particularly like this shot of Dean lit with all the red light.
He ends up beating up the bouncer and we see that intercut with Sam being beaten. Cole is beating Sam to get him to give up Dean (and because he's a vengeance-driven nutjob.) Dean is beating up the bouncer for doing his job and looking after a club employee like he's supposed to. Dean's just fighting because he can and he's itching for a fight. I like the casual drink he takes afterward. I'm liking how Jensen's playing this Dean.
Cool shot through the car window.
He encounters punk-ass teenagers who have no idea what they've just insulted. All the way through until the very end of the episode, there is a lot of red, white and blue, plus US imagery around Dean. He's in blue here.
Punk #3 has Washington crossing the Delaware and stars on his shirt.
Later, during his confrontation with Sam.
The stripper had stars and stripes. (It might be worth noting that a killdeer is a ground-nesting bird that will fake a broken wing to draw predators away from the nest. They like to put their nests in convenient places like on paths in the vegetable garden, rocky driveways and under the clothesline. They are an argument against Darwinism.)
Often, Sam is the one with red and Dean has blue but in this episode, Dean wears both and Sam's in green with light purple. I don't think it means anything, it's just an observation. I really love the set for the bar where Dean hangs out with Crowley. The flamingo and starburst divider looks like what would have ended up in a motel room in an earlier season. I have to wonder if the place is run by demons because they seem to be letting Crowley use the place as his office. The bar is the Flamingo Lounge and I wonder if it's a nod to the Flamingo in Las Vegas that was built and run by Bugsy Siegel. He was a prominent gangster and founder of Murder, Incorporated, established to become the enforcement agency for the mob in the 1930s and 40s. He was later gunned down, possibly for skimming the funds for the Flamingo building project.
It seems plausible now that Crowley is sending Dean out on contract murders. More red candles.
Even the bar surface has flamingos and starbursts. ash48 has some observations about both the flamingos and starbusts in her episode review pointing out that we've seen them before.
caranfindel pointed out the red pitchfork in Crowley's drink.
The rest of the episode is pretty much this version of Dean acted to perfection by Jensen. It's his smirky smile that is the scariest part of it. We know what it means but the husband is ignorant and consequently dead before his contract was up. I think Dean would have killed the wife but the husband showed up, putting a much easier target in front of Dean that also represented the biggest poke in the eye to Crowley. Crowley fusses because if the deal doesn't go down correctly, Hell doesn't get the soul. If a guy who makes a demon deal to put a contract hit out on his wife isn't destined for Hell anyhow, what is the point of Hell to begin with?
Crowley is baffled as well.
Now he looks like me in economics class in college. Supply and dema.....snore.....
Dean comes back and pisses Crowley off, who sells him out to Sam for the price of
I like the reveal of Sam standing there.
Dean's been there long enough to know the bartender which makes me wonder if the guy is possessed.
More of that desaturated filming.
Except for a bright pink flamingo.
Then Dean insults the puppy dog eyes and we know things are really bad.
How is Sam going to take him down with one arm?
When Sam ducks, you can see the upcoming entertainment. Eddie Valiant (the investigator in Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Tiffany Divine, and maybe Francine Terracino. I don't have a clue about the last two.
The smoke doesn't do anything to Dean and he goes out another door.
The lot has great shadows, graffiti and a livestock transport truck.
The whole fight sequence was good, especially Dean taking Cole's gun.
Just some more shots of the stock truck and graffiti.
I like the bit over the trashbag that looks like a gingerbread man.
This face...run, run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me....
unless you're Sam.
Totally shallow aside, that red shirt always makes Dean's eye's look really green.
Yeah, look smug now Crowley. You're in a world of trouble.
Crowley probably ought to leave the planet with Metatron. The consequences for selling Dean out are going to be dire for both Crowley and Sam.
And the state of the car is a tragedy. You know Crowley isn't going to get rid of the blade. It will be back when it can do the most damage.
In the meantime, Crowley's going to relive howling at the moon...
and plotting out his next move.
Cole is going to go learn everything there is to learn about demons. He doesn't have Missouri but he does have another half hour or so before he bleeds out internally so he'll try other resources. Even in his badly battered state, he's managed to find religion in the stacks. BL1624 to 1729 covers Semitic and Ethiopian religions, mythologies, and rationalism.
The only other times you see patrons this desperate are the parents of children with bizarre homework assignments due tomorrow and it's 15 minutes to closing, the person looking for SAT preparedness guides because the exam is tomorrow morning, or the taxpayer who has waited until April 15 to do the taxes and they need the most obscure form possible, their internet connection is down, and they've just realized that the library print copy has been stolen by the last desperate library patron.
The librarian is thinking several things. Why do the complicated ones always come in on Tuesday night? When will pigs fly and the budget increase go through so I can get better lighting? Why is this patron in the Bs when he should be looking in the Rs to learn how to stop bleeding all over my shelves? Yes, she probably feels like those are her shelves. Where is the biohazard kit so I can clean up that mess? Why didn't I call in sick so I could have watched Supernatural? That demon Dean is so hot and Sam is so gorgeously tragic. No, no...I must protect the freedom of speech, defend banned books and patron privacy, and keep the stacks in order. Dang it Mister, go wash your hands.
All caps from homeofthenutty