You probably noticed that there’s an episode missing between this recap and the previous one. Or maybe you didn’t. The point is, no, nothing happened. My internet didn’t go down, I didn’t have to rush my nonexistent goldfish to the vet. Nothing. What happened was, I just didn’t care enough about 9.15 #THINMAN to bother. And that’s a shame, because hello! Ghostfacers! Alas, not enough. In fact I really didn’t even pay attention to it, however I remember feeling a bit concussed after having all those supersized anvils fall on my head. When you’re 12% paying attention and 88% alternately playing Cookie Jam and Covet on your phone, but the anvils still get’cha? The episode has a problem.
Let us never speak of it again.
So, in all honesty, I had low expectations for this episode, so color me delightfully surprised to be completely sucked right back in.
This episode opens with Sam “we’re not brothers, we’ll never be brothers, we’ll fight and we’ll… um… um… and we’ll hate each other til it makes us quiver, but we’ll never be brothers” Winchester is research the story of Cain and Abel, the first and apparently second most famous brother duo in the Supernatural lore.
Dean, meanwhile, is trying to obsessing get a hold of Crowley, who hasn’t touched base with Dean except for a drunk dial that Dean missed. Thankfully, Dean saved the voicemail. Not entirely sure why though…
Crowley is ignoring his call from Not Moose in favor of sack romping with a seeming loyal and lovely lackey named Lola. Lola tastes like Coca-Cola and maybe Crowley ain’t the most physical guy, but Lola is satisfied. She rises from the bed to get Crowley a treat: a shot of blood from the hapless schmuck hanging in the closet. Given that the guy is conscious until Lola siphons a few CCs out of him we can only assume that the well is nearly dry. Good think this last hit is enough to give Crowley the munchies and send Lola out for sustenance. While she supposedly gone, she spies on Crowley drowning himself in tearjerker classics and smirks evilly.
Demons. So untrustworthy.
She meets up with Abaddon’s gofer, Aldo. Lola may look like a woman, but she talks like man, and while she gives Aldo the intel she makes it known she expects to speak directly to Abaddon next time.
Over at the nearest crossroads, Sam and Dean decide that researching or summoning spells are so 2012 and reckon that conjuring up a demon is the best way to get info on Crowley.
Okay, I’m going to just come out and say this. I loved Jersey Shore. I don’t even care, having shame is passé. Sometimes when I get home and change into t-shirt and shorts I say, “it’s t-shirt time” in my head. On the rare occasion I take a taxi I want to yell, “CABS ARE HERE”. What I’m saying is I restrain myself, but I loved that stupid show, so seeing Snooki play demon!Snooki is like the holy grail of TV for me. She tells that all she knows is that Crowley is out sifting through marine snow in the western pacific while his well crafted, politically sound Hell template descends into anarchy.
Hers the most news, the most best news, they’ve gotten in forever. So naturally, like real, trustworthy gentlemen, they exorcise her.
Crowley sits in his hotel room, quietly reading about a Meg and Jo that are vastly different from ours, when Lola returns. He lets her know that he knows that she sold him out and that underestimating him was her first mistake. Lola laughs and pretty much calls him a pathetic junkie. So he angelblades her. Underestimating Crowley was also your last mistake, Lola.
Crowley looks around at his rockstar utopia and… y’know what? I’m not gonna say anything about this scene because the writing, acting, and musical choice stand on their own.
Back at the lab, Dean grabs a beer for himself and his not-your-brother-anymore-GOD-DEAN bunkmate Sam, who has researched and found that the Marina Trench is not only in the pacific, but is also the deepest part of the ocean. Naturally, Sam thinks Crowley has the blade and is holding out on him. Dean doesn’t think so, Crowley definitely wants Dean to grab onto that feather and fly. Besides, Dean knows that Crowley wants him to level up and gingersnap Abaddon. Wait, did Dean the daywalker just call a bottle job demon a “ginger”? Might want to check you angsty facial hair before you start throwing around descriptors, Dean. Sam and Dean’s paralell-heavy and slightly jealous/defensive discussion is interrupted by an outreach phone call from Crowley.
Sam and Dean race to Crowley to stage his intervention. They are full-on disappointed parents at this point. Crowley argues that they don’t get it, humanity is part of them, they’ve suffered from that disease since birth, but him? He was past it, clean, until now. Now he’s choking on feelings: happiness, sadness, empathy, sympathy, all of it. And need. Especially the need. So they take Crowley back to the bunker to kick his jones. Sam thinks that drug detox is the perfect time to interrogate the King of Hell about the First Blade. Crowley yellow submarine’d to the bottom of the sea sea sea to see what he could see see see, but he saw nothing. Turns out the First Blade had already been discovered and fenced all over the place. If only Bela were still alive, she’d be the one to obviously have it and taunt the boys with it.
During this time, Crowley tries to have a moment of dewy-eyed connection with Sam. He can’t smile with you, Sam, he can’t laugh without you. Good luck with that Crowley; Sam hasn’t had a well-executed emotional response for like, seasons back. Nevertheless, Crowley insists that he and Sam bonded back in that church. Yeah, Crowley, Dean thought so too…
Crowley knows who the last hands the blade past through, so Sam and Dean suit up and take Crowley out on a field trip. It’s a clandestine, midnight meeting with a dubious dude who’s tight lipped about the First Blade, but that’s no problem when you have a pet demon who can possess a human to maraud their mind. He finds out the blade is housed in a vault at the Kansas City, Missouri, National Institute of Antiquities (which, much like Oklahoma Gas & Power in “Bugs”, is not real).
Turns out Abaddon has the same info; two of her followers possess the night watchmen, search the vault, kill a research assistant, and then kill their meatsuits. Which is how Sam and Dean find the scene. Luckily, they find out that nothing was stolen because the vault had been housing nothing but air for the past few weeks. They question the curator, Dr. McElroy about the blade. She’s apparently Miss Dr. McElroy, given the up/down she’s giving Dean. She tells them that she hadn’t had the blade authenticated and worried that she never would, so she sold it to a man that went by the name “Magnus”.
Sound familiar? Well it does to Sam. Dean’s paying more attention to McElroy, really. The name “Albert Magnus” leads the boys back where they came from, their batcave. They ask Crowley about what he knows about the MOL massacre of ’58, because as far as they know all the good ‘ol stuffy shirts are dead and buried. Crowley is a little ticked off that not only did the Winchesters go all Mexican cartel on him and force feed him humanity smack, they also have yet to repay, or even thank him, for his continued assistance. In trade for a comfy chair, a tumbler of scotch, and a peek at Dean’s vintage skinmags, Crowley leads them down the road of critical thinking.
The records show that all the active members were killed in 1958, however there were rumors of an inactive, shunned, former member who was booted in ’56 and as a result missed the massacre by the skin of his teeth. And oh, hey, would’ja look at that, right there, conveniently at Dean’s feet is the shunned member’s dishonor on your cow file.
Cuthbert Sinclair, master of magic, warder of wards, was excommunicated for having some creepily progressive ideas that the MOL leadership felt were not just box adjacent but hanging way below the crazyface equator.
Crowley leads Sam and Dean to the dead end he hit decades back when searching for Sinclair. So, okay, Crowley knew about the MOL, other demons knew, I assume the angels knew, yet JOHN WINCHESTER and BOBBY SINGER never found out about them? Yeah, alright.
Anyway, the clearing Crowley leads them to is empty, but they suspect it’s just a cloaking spell, so they plea their case and their lineage to Sinclair and a just like that a shimmery portal opens up. They find themselves in the middle of a Cornell Club replica and immediately have to fight two vampires, but easily take them out.
Test passed, boys. You may now sit and have a drink, you are, after all, both family and faculty.
Sinclair’s face and style have been time capsule’d, if only anti-aging skincare worked as well as dark magic. His home is not just a home, but a museum, a zoo of sorts. He’s a collector, because well, what else would a man with all the time, but not a friend, in the world do but collect rare, mint condition toys? The brothers try to strike up a deal with Sinclair: he loans them the First Blade and they give it back after Abaddon is permanently sliced and diced. Sinclair is very intrigued by Dean bearing the Mark of Cain, what a lovely addition to his collection. He magics Sam away and keeps Dean for himself.
On the plus side, Sinclair didn’t hurt Sam, he just pulled the welcome mat out from under him. He’s right back outside with Ruby. Ruby, who reminds Sam that he’s the one that helped Dean find Cain and take on the Mark, the one that helped Sam gather up the testosterone needed to boot Gadreel out of his head.
Wait, did I say Ruby? I meant Crowley, of course. Sam finds a spell to get past the wards and sends Crowley off with a grocery list. Crowley is very proud of himself for finding all the ingredients, but does Sam give him a treat? A hug?
Anyway, Sam sifts through the file trying to find a way back in, while Dean is incapacitated by Sinclair. Sinclair is curious to see what happens when he hands Link the Master Sword, so he forces the blade on Dean. Once its in his grasp, Dean’s Mark begins to ember up and Dean is overwhelmed by the feelings it creates and drops it. Sinclair assures him it’ll get easier, but Dean doesn’t want to play. The quarterback wants out and there’s no second string. Too bad, Dean. Sinclair doesn’t need you to offer up, he can take. Mind control is easy magic.
Sam and Crowley chant their way in and right away Sam sticks it to Sinclair. Except, it’s not Sinclair, it’s a shapeshifter. Now both brothers are tied up. I it better when Meg had them tied to poles. It was sexier. And her leather jacket was the stuff of fashion dreams.
Sinclair begin torturing Sam and suddenly the will-less Dean has found the presence of mind and body to spring into action, grab the First Blade, and lop Sinclair’s head cleanly off his body. Only problem is now that he’s holding the blade again, the feelings of “kill all the things” are coursing through him. You can tell because his lip is curling dramatically and he looks like an 8-week-old puppy learning to growl at a butterfly. Thankfully, the power of Sam’s dulcet tones pulls Dean out of his Mark-induced stupor.
First Crowley, now Dean; it’s tons of fun dealing with drug addicts, isn’t it Sam? At least you have your years of sobriety; maybe you should be Dean’s sponsor? Or is that too brotherly or friendly of a task?
They make their way back out and toward the Impala, which has been vandalized. Worst. Dean. Day. EVER. Since she’s still warded up they weren’t able to ransack the trunk, no news on whether Dean’s tapes remained untouched. They did do a doozy of a scratch job on the doors. A warning for Crowley in Enochian. Which Sam suddenly has not only forgotten how to read, but also even recognize. He’s also forgotten that stage whispering about killing Crowley when Crowley is 3ft away isn’t exactly smooth.
Crowley now has found clarity in sobriety and uses his powers to pin the brothers to the car and float the First Blade to himself. Yes, Sam, Crowley has powers. Did you forget? Crowley decides that he’ll hold the key and Sam can take care of the lock until the time comes to fit them back together and take on Abaddon.
Again I say: demons, so untrustworthy.
Winchesters, as well.
But y’know what’s really interesting? Both Sam and Dean being distressed about “his brother” on two separate occasions in this episode.