Well, that episode certainly packed a demon-powered punch! I've got to say, so far Season Ten is looking excellent, and is doing a great job making us ask: "what is a monster?" and "what makes us human?" Answers to come. But now: to our heroes. let's start with the cute one. No...the other cute one.
Cas starts off the Episode receiving the unfortunate news from Sam that his boy best friend, Dean is alive, but has been turned into a demon. He makes his way as quickly as possible to meet Sam in North Dakota, while explaining to trusty angel sidekick Hannah, that the Winchesters aren't bad influences, but the best men he's ever known. Hannah starts talking about stars, which, combined with Castiel's fading grace issues, makes him nod off at the wheel and crash his pimp mobile. There are other ways to end a conversation, Cas.
Thankfully for Cas and Hannah, they are rescued by a cute a friendly two-truck driver who takes them in, feeds them left over three bean surprise and lets Cas fall asleep on her couch. Cute tow truck driver also has a cute daughter who wakes Castiel up in the morning and has just about the custest conversation ever with him, about dreams and snot, as Hannah and tow-truck driver look on. Tow-truck driver of course makes a comment about Cas being Hannah's boyfriend, which Hannah refutes, to which tow-truck driver responds with "too bad." And a hundred thousand shippers respond with "No! Cas is taken!" That last part is just a guess.
Hannah does care enough about Cas, who is fading pretty fast, to try the unthinkable to save him: going to Metatron in prison to see about retrieving Castiel's original grace. Metatron, doing his best douche Hannibal Lecter impression, offers the grace for the low price of his freedom. But not before being an absolute creep and getting his face bashed against his cell bars by Hannnah (yay!). Castiel, or "Asstiel" as ol' Tronny calls him (because he is twelve) arrives just in time to stop the madness and assert that he is a peace with his fate and he will not let Hannah take this decision from him, especially at this point. There's much yelling, posturing and threats between Cas and Metatron, but in the end Cas leaves the former scribe of god alone, yelling after Cas that he's a dead man walking.
Speaking of dead. Or almost dead (which means slightly alive).
Sam and Cole
Poor Sammy. He opens the episode being told by Cole (remember the guy who got a fax about Dean last week and proceeded to kidnap Sam) about how a young Dean murdered Cole's father. Sam attempts to explain that it was probably a monster thing, but Cole makes the valid point that, in his time i the military, he's seen monster. Sam then has to explain he means vampires and werewolves, and Cole understandably thinks Sam is insane. There's a bit of pot-kettle-black here, considering Cole then starts to torture Sam with a hammer. Sam makes a too lucky escape and heads off to find his brother. He of course if told where to go by the King of Hell...for reason's I'll explain.
Dean and Crowley
Our favorite black-eyed bad boy is not responding well to Crowley's commands last week that he shape up and get in line. He's hanging out in a strip club touching the dancers and beating up bouncers who intervene when he touches the dancer. Here's some subtext for you, by the way. Dean is in a club called "Angelz" watching a dark-haired dancer wearing an American flag bikini top and trying to entice her to rebel against the rules and let him touch her. Remember another dark-haired angel, drapped in the flag of heaven that Dean's been a bad influence on? Well played, Supernatural writers, well played.
Anyway, Crowley takes Dean for drinks (who else caught the little pitch fork in Crowley's drink) and enlists his attack dog in following through with a demon deal to kill a man's wife, before she takes everything in the divorce. You see, Dean needs to kills, thanks to the mark. If he doesn't he'll go...I dunno, extra demon bonkers. Dean goes with the plan, much to Crowley’s relief. Except not at all.
In one of the best scenes of the episode, Dean confronts the husband who has sold his soul for his wife's death. Hubby is, shall we say, a misogynist dickbag, who spouts off BS about how men cheating is a biological imperative, blah blah. He came to watch his wife die and then tries to order Dean around. Big mistake. He's killed by Dean and it's very satisfying for everyone.
Well, except Crowley, who is none too please that Dean killed the client. Crowley again tries to threaten Dean into submission, but Dean will have none of it. Dean pretty much dumps Crowley, because it's not fun anymore and he's doesn't want to be Crowley's attack dog. Crowley, hurt by Dean's rejection and also being pushed to the ground by Dean in front of his subordinate demons, chews Dean out and demands Dean pick a side - human or demon.
We don't have to wait long to see what Dean choses. At last Sam and Dean are reunited (thanks to Crowley selling ut Dean, for a price) and it is not pretty. Sam insists he will save Dean and Dean, well, he laughs and makes it clear he doesn't want to be saved. Of course that's the moment that Cole choses to show back up - announcing his presence via smoke bomb. At last Cole is able to confront the man who killed his father...a man who doesn't seem to care. The fight that ensues between Cole and Dean is brutal, funny and tragic all at once; with Dean relentlessly mocking Cole with his apathy and finally flashing his black peepers to reveal to Cole, and tell us all, the he's demon. In what first seems like mercy though, Dean lets Cole live...which distracts Dean long enough for Sam to lock some demon handcuffs (yup, that's a thing) on his big bro. Dean is Sam's prisoner for now.
We end the episode with three dudes in various stages of hope and hopelessness. A bloody Cole makes his way to a library to demand everything they have on demon. A forlorn Crowley sits in a bar, staring at pictures of the good old days with Dean and "Hey there, Lonely Girl" plays in the background (yes, that really happened). And Sam drives the filthy impala toward the bunker with Dean sitting petulantly in the back, telling him how not killing Cole was the cruelest fate, not mercy, and what Dean's gonna do to Sam isn't mercy at all.
Let's take a second to talk about Dean and Crowley. I neglected last week to mention Crowley's line about him and Dean having done "Extraordinary things to triplets" in their time howling out the moon. There also happened to be a set of male twins in the bar scenes with the guys, and a possible third. I mention this because the queer subtext of Dean and Crowley has been so pronounced these first two episodes, it's not even subtext. Crowley consistently uses romantic language about his relationship with Dean. Their falling out in this episode played out like a break up, and, oh yeah Crowley staring sadly at pictures of Dean as "hey there , Lonely Girl" plays in the background. Crowley has always been sort of queer, since he appeared in season five, and well, there have been hints at Dean being bi for years as well...Is this the show actually, very subtly going there? Were we told that Dean had a sexual escapade with at least one man? Is Crolwey just a bit in love with Dean?
On the Dean and Cas front - well, not much happened that we could see. But we d have Hannah, who is following very much the same path as Castiel several seasons ago, and it's implied she may be doing it for romantic reasons. So, we can infer that we are supposed to see Castiel's actions over the years as motivated by love. I mean, we knew that already, him being in love with "humanity" and all, but this makes it clear his love is romantic.
And, you know, that last scene with Sam and Dean and Dean growling about what he's gonna do to the Sammy. I'm sure that set some shipper's hearts a flutter.
Dean quoting The Princess Bride during his fight with Cole.
Did I mention the awesome scene where Dean stabbed the misogynist dick bag.
Crowley's "kill me now" face as his demons explain how they're going to improve demon conversion efficiency.