Supernatural Recap: "Black"

It's been a long and hard hellatus for Supernatural fans. We ended season nine with Sam and Castiel heartbroken because Dean was, well, dead. Unfortunately it turned out taking on the Mark of Cain kept him alive but at the cost of making him a demon (Or did it?). Add to that, Castiel's fading grace, heaven in shambles, and all manner of other threats and it's time to dive it. Let's see what team free will is up to...

Sam

Poor Sammy is not looking good. He's exhausted and looking for his brothers, whose dead body disappeared weeks ago, leaving behind a note saying not to look for him. He's alone and nursing a bum shoulder, because Castiel is too weak to help much. Fun story: Jared Padalecki's shoulder was actually dislocated at a convention in Rome back in May when Jared decided it would be a good idea to wrestle his costars in the green room. It wasn't a good idea. 

Sam catches a demonic lead and soon enough he's seeing footage of his brother, or at least his borther's body, with black eyes, killing a guy in a gas-n-sip. After a hillarious interogation, Sam ends up with a dead deamon's phone and on the line with...Crowley. Turns out the King has been sending Abaddon supporters to attack Dean. Just to keep him sharp. It also turns out, as Crowley helpfully tells Sam, that the man in black has been living it up with Dean in a epic bromance since he woke Dean up. Sam also learns that t;s still his brother's soul in there, albeit a twisted, maimed version of it.

Sam isn't happy. Obvs. Luckily he was able, through the power of product placement, to track Crowley's location. Unluckily, Dean's face showing up on the wire alerted a new player: Cole. This mystery man with a cute family, a killer workout regime, and huge arsenal has a beef with Dean that we don't yet have the back story on. He moose-naps the younger Winchester and hold him hostage, in an attempt to get a meet with Dean. Anothr plan that doesn't look like it's going to end well for anyone.

Castiel

The prettiest angel in the garrison is not doing so hot. His stolen grace is burning out inside him, making him sick and weak. Lucky for the audience sick Cas is a Cas that traipses around in an open bathrobe. Hannah, the loyal, if overly-rule oriented Angel lieutenant, finds Cas (after he's been told his help is not needed by Sam. Rude.) and convinces him to help her find two rebel angels to bring them back to the fold of the newly democratized heaven.

Cas and Hannah eventually - after a sickening car ride and some earnest talk about Cas' fading health - find the two angels, Daniel and Adina. Daniel is a thoughtful, poetic angel who goes on about living in a land of freedom and choice. I think he's talking about the human world, but it sounded awfully patriotic. Cas listens and Hannah is confused...until Adina comes back and there's a messy angel fight in which Daniel dies, Cas and Hannah are wounded and Adina flees.

After that Hannah and Cas have Supernatural's requisite 'siblings talk saddly in a moving car' scene. Hannah opines that heaven will fall to tyrany without demoracy and enforced rules, and mourns the chaos on earth. Cas notes that chaos can create beuatiful things, like art, hope, love, and dreams. Yes, Hannah, those are human things as you said. Last sason we were clearly told that Castiel is in love with humanity, and it's pretty vlear where he falls on the heaven vs. earth argument.

Speaking of Humanity.

Dean

The elder Winchester opens the season singing karaoke, drinking, banging the cute blonde waitress, and playing foosball with the King of Hell. He's howling at the mmon and having a damn fine time. He's the only one though. Crowley is sick of the "fetid, petrie dish of BO" they've been hanging at and is ready to get to work makinga new hell. The bar patrons hate Dean's singing and even the cute waitress, Anne Marie, is fed up with Dean's ass-holery. Crowley intentionally let Sam find them to give Dean a push. But it doesn't push him quite where Crowley wants him to go. Even after a lecture frow Crowley, Dean just wants to have fun.

After being reminded by Crowley of what he is, Dean throws himself even more forcefully into booze and song...but not women. Anne Marie makes a smart move and tells Dean that's he's not a good guy. And he tells her she's right.  The interesting thing is that we're left wondering how human Dean is and how demonic. Apparently if he doesn't kill, according to him, he'll turn into a demon. But, wasn't he already a demon back at the end of season nine? Wasn't he black-eyed in that surveillance video Sam saw? Maybe his soul, though twisted, is in some state of flux? Hopefully it means Dean can be saved.

Right now, we're hoping that Sam can be saved, though, because Dean won't be doing it. Cole calls Dean from Sam's phone, asking for a meeting with Dean and is told, quite plainly, that no matter what, Dean will kill him. And Dean couldn't care less what happens to Sam!

Shipping News

The sound you heard at the begining of the episode was a thousand Destiel shippers swooning over Cas murmuring "I miss him" regarding Dean. Add into that the fact the hunter and the angel both have scenes where their partners in crime catch them exposed, and Castiel's mention of love and that ship is sailing strong.

And, well, I don;t know how many of you sail on the good vessel Dean/Crowley, but the King seems to ship it hard enough for everyone. I'm getting more a desperate for family or a bestie vibe from Crowley, but hey, he is sharing a room with Dean and got a nice peek and his other first blade.

Other Highlights

"I'm sensing awkwardness."

Gas-n-sip dude.

Did I mention Cas and the bathrobe?

The opening recap set to Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker."