Supernatural 8.02 – What’s Up, Tiger Mommy?

Chicago, Illinois. A distinguished looking man in a well established bank wigs out the bank employee by asking to visit his safety deposit box. Box #1, which due to financial institution upgrades, has now been locked in a fancier box. Clearly the man has been a loyal patron of the bank for a long flippin’ time. There’s a bone in a box in the box. Kinda shaky about this guy.

Oh. He just stabbed the demure bank employee clutching her cross necklace.

Yeah. Full on shaky about this guy.

After the title card we come upon Sam, Dean and Kevin chatting about whether or not Kevin’s feelings regarding Channing’s broken neck and his mother’s well-being are justified. Dean, heavily engrossed in his cheeseburger, refuses to validate Kevin’s emotions. Sam chooses to provide a mild and perfunctory scolding in Dean’s general direction. While chuckling.

Remember when the Winchester brothers were all heart, less brains…? But, Kevin Tran wasn’t Ivy bound for nothin’; he uses some heartfelt logic to blow Dean’s mind a bit and they’re off to visit Mrs. Tran.

The trio sits outside Kevin’s old home adjusting their binoculars to get the clearest peek into the house. Oddly enough, no authority figures or concerned neighbors tell them to stop being creepy peeping Toms. Dean quickly figures out, through a loop of banal suburban behavior, that the people on the quiet street are demon guards. They spring into action, demon-knifing everyone in their path, Sam going so far as to give a looking glass recitation of the exorcism to keep a demon in Mrs. Tran’s friend Eunice’s body to stab the demon into silence.

The boys and Kevin sit Mrs. Tran down and explain everything to her. She takes it pretty well and heads off to pack up her stuff. She plans to head out with the guys, but Sam and Dean have a different idea. No one is surprised when Mrs. Tran wins out. Dean tries to dissuade her one last time by telling her she’ll have to get tatted up to roll with them. She’s down, Dean and Co. are shocked, and she tells them this ain’t her first subcutaneous inscribing rodeo. Dean’s intrigued, one can assume it’s because there are no visible markings on Mrs. Tran and Dean’s a perv.

Everything is going so smoothly. Which means the wrench in the cogs is coming and it comes in the form of the Word of God getting robbed out of the bus terminal locker Kevin hid it in. Turns out that thievery isn’t a new trend at the terminal and now the troop is off to the clink to good cop/bad cop the culprit.

And by “bad cop” I mean Dean is a PTSD nightmare that shouldn’t be allowed to handle heavy machinery or weaponry because he likes to shove people against walls and threaten them by holding scary ass knives to their throats. And not in the normal Winchester way, or the post-hell, apt pupil way, oh no, this is a brand new level of unhinged; this is a tried and true purgatory tactic. It’s how Dean found Castiel (more on that later). Sam is a little wary of Dean’s strategy tried and true in purgatory definitely translates to Earth terms and the guy spills all the deets as far as he knows them.

Which leads them to a pawnshop with a sullen guy behind the counter. Dean calls sullen guy “Lyle”, I’m going to call him “Hunter”, because that was his character on Queer as Folk and that’s the same characterization he’s playing now. Dean tells Hunter to give up the tablet. Hunter declines and takes refuge in the fact that it’s a pawnshop and therefore has HD security. Mrs. Tran counters by reminding Hunter that he’s riding dirty, throws some carfax level shit at them, quizzes Kevin and Sam to prove they’ve still got their math skillz and threatens to get Hunter’s car taken away by her connections at the county tax assessor. BOOM.

Hunter gave up the pawn slip and off the group goes to the hotel room on the slip. They knock, no answer. They’re baffled, not at all wondering why anyone that scored the tablet would actually answer the door for them. Turns out the guy isn’t there, but as he saunters up smarmily he informs them that while they were chasing smoke to find him, he was looking for Kevin all along. This coulda been way easier if everyone would learn to communicate.

The man is Plutus’ (who, if memory serves, is the god of wealth, not greed, but whatever) secretary and only wanted to invite Kevin to a very exclusive underground (kinda literally) auction. Kevin asks if he can bring his family and friends, he can. And everyone agrees to not get rough and tumble at the auction house.

Dean, of course, ignores that completely and comes stealthily strapped to his eyeballs. There’s no fooling the house though, and Dean gets stripped down to nothing but his clothes and the fists he was born with. They scope out the party and who’s there but everyone’s favorite King of Hell, Crowley. They act surprised, not sure why. Rocky and Bullwinkle stand down and head into the main room.

On the way Dean gets stopped by an angel hitching a ride in a teenage fast-food restaurant employee. The kid is better off. The angel, Samandiriel, tells Dean he’s there to protect the Word of God, Dean is unimpressed with how well that’s turning out. Samandiriel asks Dean about Castiel (oh how cute, their angel names rhyme) and Dean tells him that Castiel didn’t make it. Which leads us back to our flashback.

See after Dean kabob’d Joshua-gone-wrong, Dean and Benny trotted off to track down Castiel. They found him by the stream, alive and bearded because insane angels can grow beards in purgatory, but questionably sane humans like Dean remain Gillette smooth. Dean wonders if Castiel is mentally competent, Castiel is pretty sure he is, but figures that since 94% of psychotics think they’re sane and 92% of statistics are made up, his faculties are kinda up in the air. Benny wants to know why Castiel left Dean abandoned and alone with no one but Benny to pick up the pieces (that’s how I heard it). Dean tries to defend Castiel’s actions, Castiel tells Dean that he did, in fact, bail on him. He explains to Dean that despite hearing Deans nightly prayers to him, he ignored him because he was trying to keep Dean as safe as possible in purgatory. Dean rejects Castiel’s logic and inserts his own.

Back at the auction, Crowley tries to convince the Winchesters that the Word of God ain’t no thang really and that if they lock away the demons he’ll just make more. Obviously, Crowley wouldn’t be there if thems were the facts, so the group pools their money and gets ready to drop a hefty two grand and their pocket lint on this hunk of rock. After an amulet goes for several tons of dwarven gold and Thor’s hammer goes for giant finger bone and 62.5% of a former bank employee virgin, they quickly realize that what they have is chump change. When the Word of God is up for grabs Samandiriel and Crowley go head to head bidding billions of bucks, works of art and the Vatican, but even after Crowley shoots the moon the reserve price on this eBay war still hasn’t been met. The auctioneer sweetens the pot by added Kevin to block and that’s when Mrs. Tran cracks, she offers up her fat 401k and her immortal soul.

Well played, Mrs. Tran.

Crowley offers up all the souls in hell, Samandiriel refuses to counter-bid, but it doesn’t matter because Plutus reminds Crowley that it’s not the size, but what you do with it and the sacrifice attached to a mother’s soul in trade for her child is of greater worth and is the right amount to buy the egg salad back.

It’s all for not though, because after Mrs. Tran makes her peace she’s double crossed by Plutus’ secretary who was bought by Crowley for the cheap price of a private island. He singes off her protection tattoo (oddly, no one hears her scream…) and Crowley catches a ride inside. Dean cottons on before the deal is done, but not before Crowley and the secretary takes out Plutus and his bodyguard. With the wards down, Sam and Dean try to take Crowley out, but he grabs the tablet and runs out still hitchhiking Mrs. Tran’s meatsuit. Sam takes out the secretary auctioneer with the power of Thor’s hammer and his magnificent hair. Then, upon realizing that he borrowed the hammer from the skeevy virgin hoarder, takes him out too. Sadly, Sam leaves the hammer behind instead of keeping it as his new fancy weapon.

While that was happening Dean’s causally holding the demon-knife to Mrs. Tran’s throat, but he just can seem to seal that deal and Crowley takes the opportunity to ditch that popsicle stand and remanifest as himself. He snatches the tablet from the ground, blithely tells Kevin that his dad wasn’t his real father (that’s what happens when a demon rolls around in your grey matter, they learn all kinds of facts to know and halfway tell) and dashes away, but not before telling Kevin that everyone the Winchesters touch turns to blood and ash.

Needless to say, Kevin is pissed at Dean for even thinking about slitting his mother’s throat. He’s irrational like that. Mrs. Tran is catatonic, which, y’know, happens. Kevin tells Sam and Dean that he just needs a moment alone with his mom. The Winchesters are trusting and sometimes not that bright, so they give him a minute. And in that minute Kevin disappears with his mother to parts unknown. He did leave a note though, because Mrs. Tran raised her boy to have manners.

The last thing we get to see is a flashback into Dean’s mind of him letting Castiel literally slip from his fingers.

Trusting the Winchesters is a bitch, man.

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  • Sue

    this ain’t her first subcutaneous inscribing rodeo you have written many fine phrases in the past. This one goes in my top 10.

    I have more to say but…well, it involves a feathered boa and a theme to ‘A Summer Place’. I can’t discuss it here.

    • The question I’ve always had is… What color feather boa? Important stuff right there.

  • Katy

    Mrs. Tran is a badass. I wish we could have more of her because sadly the show has been lacking in badass women lately.

    this ain’t her first subcutaneous inscribing rodeo Here, have an internet for that phrase. *hands over*

    • Mrs. Tran was the hero of this ep in every way. It was great to have a strong woman around and a mother to boot. I love a strong, sincere mother character.

      Yay! I’m so glad that line seemed to work. I wasn’t sure about it.