Supernatural 8.17 – Goodbye Stranger

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SPN springtime hiatus is done.

And how do we come back? With a tooth and nail fight between Castiel and Dean. Wait… what? Yup, that’s right. Dean and Castiel are duking it out and Dean’s not doing so well. If you put money on Castiel taking Dean out with his angel sword you’d be a winner. And a sick son of a gun, too.

The lights come on and Naomi comes into the room, high heels tapping in an evil angel way. She’s proud of Castiel because she doesn’t have to give him two for flinching; he took Dean out like an assassin. Which, judging from the hundreds upon hundreds of Dean doppelganger corpses littering the floor, he’s had some practice doing for quite some time.

If you were worried about Dean, well, don’t be, he’s the co-lead, he’s fine. He’s home, digging through Men of Letters artifacts and bitching about their catalog system, or lack there of. Sam is of course researching and coughing up a lung while he’s at it. Dean is worried that Sam is having an Emily Bronte moment with all the hacking and spitting. His concern is shelved when he finds a vintage first edition copy of “Voluptuous Asian Lovelies” which is clearly the great-great-grandma of “Busty Asian Beauties”. Sam’s not up for discussing how much its collector’s item net worth is, he’s got a lead on a case. He does, however, agree that Dean can have a moment alone with his new find. Dean wants ten minutes. Fandom is disappointed in Dean’s stamina. He doesn’t get the chance to prove them wrong, because he spies Sam’s TB tissue in the trash and worrywarts instead.

The case takes them to a quaint home to interview the husband of the victim. The husband says his wife, Ann, had no enemies she just went batshit. No sleep, she just went wandering the streets, digging up 15 foot holes in the playground and hoarding a bunch of lil baggies of dirt to hang from the basement ceiling. Classic possession with a side of obsession.

The boys are stumped.

They head over to Wendy Rice’s house since she was the last person to see Ann alive. Wendy’s got her rollers in her hair, which is not the way anyone wants to great the Winchesters. You want your good hair going on. Wendy gives them as much info as she can, she’s doing her PhD dissertation on the history of the town and Ann was totally into it, wanting to know where an old orchard had originally been. Turns out it was the playground.

A knock on the door stunts the interview. The super polite demons that storm in put the breaks on it for good. They toss Wendy and the boys around the living room, one takes off with Wendy’s research another possesses her body to avoid getting ganked by Dean’s Ruby knife. The last one has the upper hand on Sam but is burned out by the touch of an angel.

Welcome back, Castiel.

Sort of.

Castiel is acting weird. Okay, Castiel is always weird, but right now he’s acting like an ass. He’s hedging, claiming he’s hunting demons and not just ignoring their calls, but he’s also flip-flopping in his head with Naomi. She’s tugging his leash and telling him what to say. He tells them he’s searching for Lucifer’s crypts. Yes, plural. Apparently one houses a parchment that decodes tablets. Creepy cereal boxes of death.

Castiel opts to torture the demon inside Wendy in lieu having share ‘n’ care time. She spills about having Crowley’s henchmen having a hell hostage that can tell them about Lucifer’s crypts, she however, doesn’t seem to know anything about any magic parchment translator. Before anyone can get anything clarified Castiel shanks the Wendy!demon on Naomi’s command and flutters off the motel the hostage is being tortured and kept at.

The boys push the pedal to the Impala’s metal but pretty much fail at catching up before Castiel takes out the whole crew. They do get to help rescue the cowering damsel in distress. And who might that be? Our favorite go-to demon, Meg Masters. She’s been beaten, tortured and to top it all off this is not her best hair ever. Sam is disappointed that she was giving up the crypt locations, but Meg pretty much points to his hair and then her hair and tells him “well, what would YOU do to save your coiffure, Moose?” But not to worry, she hasn’t been drawing them a pirate’s map, more like painting a blurry watercolor Monet for them that lead nowhere.

Meg knows more than Castiel and Naomi are comfortable with so Castiel blanks out to consult Naomi. He’s hesitant to kill Meg and pleads to Naomi that they can use her to help them. Meg immediately spills the beans about there being an angel tablet. Because Sam and Dean STILL hadn’t figured out the ying to the demon tablet yang. They are literally the last to know.

They set up shop at Ann’s house, since her widower hubby can’t stand to be there anymore. Meg isn’t really down for doing any extra-credit assignments and decides she’d rather booze it up than research crypt locations. Castiel goes with her to tend to her wounds. Demons don’t have to actually deal with infections, broken appendages, internal bleeding or decay as long as they inhabit the body, something we learned from Meg’s original body. Which means this patch job is unnecessary. Cue Megstielers around the globe (yes, we exist, even Dean Winchester kinda ‘ships it) going “Awwww!!” As Castiel bandages her up they flirt and they banter and it is lovely in the heart-shaped area.

Oh yeah, and Sam and Dean figure out where the crypt is. Which means they interrupt the Megstiel innuendo-fest to tell everyone to gear up and move out. All work and no play makes Sam and Dean major ‘shipblockers.

The trio and their demon mosey up to the abandoned building that now sits over the crypt in question. Dean’s plan is to split up; he and Castiel will go tomb raiding for their lost ark while Sam and Meg stand guard. Sam is not okay with the plan. Dean says, verbatim, “Sam, I saw your bloody rag in the trashcan, okay?” and then everyone gets really quiet. If Dean is implying that menstruation inhibits one’s ability to hunt, well, Buffy Summers would kick his ass on principle for that. Oh. He means Sam’s blood-flecked croup Kleenex. Oh.

Anyway, Castiel says that he’s with Dean on this one, in fact the trials have damaged Sam in ways that even Castiel can’t heavenly heal. Also, he’d really appreciate it if Sam stayed behind to protect Meg. Because Castiel doesn’t want his crush to get crushed.

Sam begrudgingly complies.

So while Castiel and Dean go search for the holy grail, Sam and Meg catch up a bit. Her feelings are more than a little hurt that no one looked for her after all the help she’d been during the whole Leviathan thing. Sam’s only mildly apologetic, he didn’t even look for Dean so, y’know, Meg wasn’t super high on his priority list. In fact, he won’t even tell her, the original Sam fangirl, about his trials. Meg reminds him that she rode his meatsuit in the nonsexual way and knows him just about as well as he knows himself and that deep down in places he doesn’t talk about at parties he wants out of the life and away from ghost, goblins and black-eyed freaks. She’s right, so Sam tells her all about his year of domesticity. She figures it’s a rare woman that gets a man to put away his rock salt shells (actually, not really, seems every time one of the Winchesters finds a gal, he pours his holy water down the drain), but she understands that he found his unicorn and joyrode her to normalcy.

Dean and Castiel are having grand luck on the tablet front. Now that they know the location for sure, Naomi wants Castiel to lie to Dean about it being there and circle back alone. He can’t. The tablet is in a box covered in anti-angel wards. Dean cracks it open and is ready for them to all motor off to Kevin so he can Rosetta Stone it for them. Castiel has other plans; he thinks he should take it. Dean doesn’t like Castiel’s sketchy demeanor and declines handing it over. Dean has questions. Castiel answers with his fist. Castiel beats the pretty out of Dean’s face as Dean begs for him to come out of his fugue state. Castiel fights, he fights with Dean, fights with Naomi, fights with himself. But Naomi screws up, she makes him outright choose and as always, Castiel chooses the Winchesters. Chooses his family. Chooses to fix Dean’s face. For the greater good.

Sam and Meg have company. Crowley and his crew are there to get the angel tablet. Sam puffs up his chest and says it ain’t gonna happen. Meg sends him off, she’s got this, and she needs Sam to go save Dean and save her unicorn, the one that would make her hang up her demon ways and stroll through the farmer’s market.

Castiel tells Dean all about Naomi and how he has to protect the angel tablet from her. But also how he has to protect it from Dean. And with that he blips away. Just then, Sam comes running in telling Dean that Crowley’s found them and they gotta book it.

Meg is proving to be a fantastic distraction; Crowley is so enamored with beating her that he fails to notice the Winchesters sneaking into the Impala. Unfortunately, the creaky doors give them away. Meg notices that they are minus their angel and taunts Crowley about missing out on his rock of angels. She takes that opportunity to stab him with an angel sword, but she misses all the major organs. Crowley retaliates and doesn’t miss the soft parts. Meg bleeds out as the boys drive off.

Down in the crypt Crowley and Naomi have a meeting of the disturbed, untrustworthy minds. They go back, way back, Cradle of Civilization back. This won’t end well.

As they drive, Dean fills Sam in on as much of the Castiel situation as he can. He also tells Sam that he’s tired of the lies and secrets. Sam agrees. Dean pulls a Samwise Gamgee and tells Sam that he can carry him, even if he can’t carry the burden. Mr. Frodo Winchester is laughingly okay with that.

Castiel is off everyone’s radar. Even Naomi and her angel goons can’t find him. Where is he? Riding a bus to nowhere.