Fact: Never trust a boy on the swim team
In what seems to be a reoccurring theme this season, “Hello Cruel World” picks up right where “Meet the New Boss” left off, which is with a Leviathan inhabited Castiel being creepier than anything on basic cable has a right to be. My hat is off to Misha Collins for this brief, yet impactful, performance. In just a few seconds of airtime he manages to infuse this characterization with just the right amount of strength, creepiness and power. He also sprinkled some drunken vagabond into the mix. Well done!
Dean notices that despite how badass the Leviathans are claiming to be, Castiel’s vessel isn’t looking so good, in fact it’s dripping black ooze and looks at just about maximum density. You see, I’m not sure if you know this but there are two kinds of exploding angels: there are the ones that are jackasses and get popped like grapes by their mutated brethren, and there’s angels that were once trustworthy and then became power hungry Leviathan vessels, so when you look at them you can sorta see that decent, bumbling angel inside.
Sam is off getting choked by Lucifer!Nick. Are we surprised? Nope. But nobody takes a chokin’ and keeps on tickin’ like Sam Winchester so it’s a reoccurring theme that can stay until the end. I consider it continuity. Lucifer tells Sam that he isn’t going anywhere and that Sam is his bitch in every way. That’s a direct quote. Hell must be like the backroom at Babylon. Dean yells Sam back to reality and they head out just in time to see the Leviathans march Castiel’s vessel into the public water supply like a baptism gone completely wrong and then BOOM! there’s an outpouring of murky darkness into the water and Castiel’s iconic trench coat floats to the bank, waterlogged, empty. Dean carefully plucks it from the water, fold-rolls it up and takes it with him, because Dean Winchester is a sentimental bastard, whether he wants to admit it or not. Bobby says what we’ve all been thinking for years: don’t befriend the Winchesters, don’t talk to the Winchesters, don’t even look in the Winchester’s direction at a diner or offer them some dessert on the house because you will die. Thank goodness Castiel didn’t sleep with Sam or he’d have been a lost cause seasons ago.
We’re treated to a scene showing us the many uses, both necessary and wasteful, of water while The Doobie Brothers play in the background. “Black Water” is a nice touch, and for some reason doesn’t even come off as too on the nose for me. It’s also the second week in a row that we’ve gotten great ol’ classic rock, A+ to SPN for getting back on track with that. We also get to see the literal black water get slurped up by a little girl and splashed on an average man. This can’t be good, little girls are always a bad sign.
Back at Bobby’s Sam has apparently been making up for all the sleep he missed in season 1 after Jessica died, in season 6 when he was soulless and all the years in between by crashing out for 12 hours. Sam handles it way better than I would have being forced from a deep sleep, but then again when I’m woken up it’s never by Dean Winchester with a bottle of water and an almond-licorice Boost Bar. I do recognize and envy the advantage Sam has in his life vs. my life. On the downside of Sam’s life he’s still got a major slice in his hand and he’s still hallucinating to the point of losing the shimmer between real and all in your head. Sam sits down and tells Bobby and Dean everything. I think it goes well, Dean drinks whiskey, Sam stares at Invisi-Lucifer and Bobby bails from the room. Maybe not as well as I thought. Therapy session shelved for now, Sam’s gonna go give his gun a girl’s name, get full-on “Full Metal Jacket” with it and work on his war face.
The creepy little girl is learning the ways of the world in the most effective way 21st century children have of learning: the television. And what does the TV teach her? That surgeons are allowed to harvest organs all willy-nilly for funsies. I’d like to commend her parents and all parents like hers, you’re doing a great job! On a slight age upgrade the swim team has been marinating in a nice mix of fish DNA and sauna steam, which always leads to eviscerated teammates. Just another day on the South Dakota Hellmouth.
Speaking of being in South Dakota, we now pan to the general hospital where we listen to a paranoid patient ramble on to a familiar face, Sheriff Jody Mills. The pretty sheriff is in for a routine appendectomy and as her charming doctor informs her she’ll be back on her feet soon. The paranoid patient in the next bed ain’t buying it. Meanwhile, Sam and Bobby get news on the web about the swim team’s unfortunate incident and send Dean off to deal with the culprit, could be Leviathans, could be gang members hopped up on PCP.
At the same time the creepy little girl infected with Leviathan ooze is having a very official meeting with the average man that was infected with Leviathan ooze on the playground. It’s interesting to me how no one found it odd that a little girl sitting on a swing was a approached by a random adult male who smoothly sat on the swing next her, nor does anyone blink an eye that they’re having a pretty intense side-of-the-mouth conversation. If they had paid attention they’d know the man was scolding the girl for letting half the swim team go paper shedder on the others. He tells her to take care of it; she tells him she’s got a plan. Her plan is simple: she goes to the hospital, shape shifts into the surgeon (whom she’s also got a wrist crunching grip of) and then rips him to pieces. Voila! Instant adult professional, no university needed and all the potentially harvested organs a hungry Leviathan could want. First stop, the paranoid lady in Sheriff Mills’ room. Sheriff Mills is not pleased with the fact that her surgeon has turned into a razor mouthed monster that eats really fresh human liver. Sheriff Mills calls Bobby for help and Bobby, quick thinker that he is, leaves Sam and his fractured gourd all alone to go help her. Good thing Sam’s only alone if you’re sane and looking in from the outside, if you’re Sam then you’re crazy on the inside and hanging with Lucifer. Good times.
Sam’s just getting cozy with his company when Dean calls him up and tells him the swim team and the Leviathans are definitely connected so Dean’s on his way to pick Sam up for back-up. Sam is not convinced this is the best idea, and despite Dean being, well, a complete dick about Sam’s state of mind goes along for the ride.
The Leviathans all meet up to have a grand feast as the creepy girl turned Dr. Sexy, Organ Harvester, explains that no one cares that people die in hospitals everyday, no one ever looks into the hows or whys.
There appears to be some social commentary spilling into my genre television show.
Bobby has, in this time, tossed Sheriff Mills into a taxi like a drunken Jersey Shore roommate and heads off to investigate. Bobby notices that the curtains don’t match the drapes when it comes to the morgue paperwork and is scratching his beard in thought just as Dr. Creepy Girl waltzes in. Bobby shoots, he scores… the silver rounds do absolutely nothing by make the Leviathan throw its head back and reveal its true face which is a scary mass of Jurassic fish jaw teeth. Bobby bolts.
Dean and Sam are on the case. Sam is trying his damnedest to hold it together, but Dean seems insistent on reminding Sam that he’s one short-circuited synapse from drooling in the back seat of the Impala petting his own hair for the rest of his life. Seriously, he’s being a real ass to Sam emotionally.
For those playing at home, let’s take a quick quiz
A) Dean’s a dick, this is not news
B) Dean’s using tough love
C) Sam’s being really overly sensitive about this going crazy thing
D) Dean isn’t Dean at all! Satan’s trickery!
If you chose D) go grab a cookie, because you are absolutely right. Satan was Sam’s motor the whole time and Dean has barely hit Bobby’s to pick Sam up. Good thing Dean thought ahead and turned on the GPS on Sam’s phone. Now it’s up to Sam to decipher what’s real: Lucifer telling him this entire story is just a set up for the rug to get snatched away or Dean telling him this crappy existence is actually reality. I’m not Sam Winchester, but I’m telling ya, I’m not sure which is worse.
Sam is really struggling, but there’s a plus side to being overly involved, codependent brothers: they’ve both been to hell and back. Dean tells Sam that he understands the difference between real pain and hell’s torturous pain. Sam is rightfully skeptical until Dean shows him that REAL pain isn’t mind games and meat hooks, it’s semi-infected, glass shard wounds on the palm of your hand.
Now that Sam is back on a more even plane, the boys head back to Bobby’s. Unfortunately, Bobby’s house has gone all Sunnydale High and is charred to a crisp, Bobby is nowhere to be found and the Winchesters are scrambling to figure out if Bobby is amidst the rubble or safely somewhere else. Dean dials Bobby, but he gets nothing but voicemail. After a vaguely threatening message where Dean reveals that right now, losing Bobby would drive him to the brink of suicide and he’d be taking Sam and the Impala out with him, they’re confronted with the average man Leviathan.
On the upside, they get told they’re big fish in this little pond. Downside is that there’s a hit out on them. Dean shoots, the Leviathan gets annoyed with that and flings Dean into a junked car, but the Winchesters are rarely without a plan and manage to drop a car on the Leviathan, crushing him into a grease stain. Bad news is the Leviathan got in a wicked crowbar shot to Sam’s already fragile head and now Dean’s dragged himself, broken leg and all, to his unconscious brother.
We end the episode with the Winchesters in an ambulance headed off to South Dakota General Hospital. Where Dr. Creepy Little Girl was and probably still is. Where Bobby just was, but now isn’t anymore. I feel that if they hadn’t all scattered to the wind chances are they’d all be together at this moment instead of playing a round of “oh, you just missed him”. Sam’s seizing, Dean is pleading and the moral of the story is even Winchesters shouldn’t hang around with Winchesters.