Supernatural 10.01 – Black

Okay, okay, I know last season I just checked out on y’all, but I’m back and hopefully both the show and myself have spanked our inner season 9 moppets and are ready to move on. And after a very informative, if arguably oddly soundtracked, “Road So Far” (great song, but just because it has the words “soul” and “sinner” in it doesn’t make it apropos) we’re ready to hit the ground.

Now that we’re all caught up we can enjoy Sam Winchester being disturbing as all get out. Yes, torturing a demon may seem a little watery on the demented scale, but it’s about the how on this one. Sam has her strung up and carved into. The only thing that would’ve made it scarier was if the director hadn’t chosen a goofy camera lens to emphasize Sam’s forehead. POINT. I meant emphasize Sam’s point. The demon, Dar, begs for her life and Sam cares not at all, he just wants his brother.

Fast-forward four weeks and Sam is calmly researching in the bunker. He looks tired and he’s wearing a shoulder sling, but yeah, strangely calm. His stoic researching seems to pay off with a vague article about the murder of a man who, in Sam’s eyes, may have been possessed. Hell, a lead is a lead, so he quickly calls Castiel who is sleeping, because that’s a thing angels do. In a loosely tied robe, because getting tangled in terrycloth is totally comfortable. Cas coughs his way through the phone call and Sam is neither concerned nor patient and Cas can tell. Sam figures Castiel the pneumatic angel is just going to slow him down.

Meanwhile, Dean is drunk. In a bar. And eyeballing a waitress he’ll later sleep with. And singing karaoke. Well, at least that part is different. Okay, so I get it, Demon Dean (I will not use Deanmon, nope. NOPE.gif, CW. That was the first and last time I’m typing that abomination out) is supposed to be Dean at his base level. Still Dean, but without the weight of the world. Meaning Dean still cares about good sex, not just good-for-him sex, he still wants to joke and punch and snark and sing badly at the top of his lungs, he just doesn’t want to take responsibility for it or for anything at all. Dean’s taken to teasing the less fortunate? And, uh, there’s a barely noticeable change in both hairstyle and demeanor? And, well, otherwise, all his spare time’s spent lounging about with imbeciles? This is devastating; he’s turned into a 16-year-old boy. Of course, we’ll have to kill him.

Back to Sam, who is in Wisconsin investigating the murder from the article; his loose thread has been tied up into a nice bow, the footage the detective has shows Dean First Blade’ing his way through a demon with an angel blade. Thankfully, even for the supernatural worldly impaired, it’s clearly a case of self-defense. That will be comforting in the episodes to come, I’m sure. On the downside, Dean’s mug is being uploaded to the Cloud as we speak. Considering he’s been legally dead twice for years I’m interested to see the facial recognition software all over the country fritz out. Sam catches a glimpse of Dean’s black eyes and he is none too pleased.

If you weren’t already aware of the C? D? plotline of this episode it would’ve been easy to take you commercial fast-forwarding straight through our Cole introduction scene. Or workout montage, as is more accurate. Thankfully no sweatshirt sleeves or raw eggs were harmed in the filming of said scene. Cole’s fax machine beeps in the background and his kid, who actually knows what a fax is, takes it too him. My hopes for facial recognition software shenanigans are dashed. Cole is obviously pleased with the info. In an extremely creepy way.

Remember Cas? He’s still sick. Hannah, remember her, great hair, cute boyfriend jeans, take no shit attitude? Yeah, she’s back and here to ask Cas for help. Because the angels aren’t floating back to Heaven. Um, Hannah? And don’t take this the wrong way, because I really you, but you and Cas aren’t exactly onboard the back home boat either. Either way, Cas opts to help her because what else is he gonna do? Cough Heaven back into order?

He and Hannah road trip to the mountains. They find Daniel, who just wants to peacefully live a river runs through it existence. The fish have far beyond learned poetry, they’ve moved on to metaphors. Really heavy fish metaphors. He just wants to be left alone, Hannah is opposed, Cas looks conflicted, but better, the altitude is doing great things for his angelic tuberculosis, no a hack or wheeze to be heard.

Sam is questioning the kid that was cashiering during impromptu Dean’s fight scene at the Gas ‘n’ Sip. I like this kid. He’s got moxie. And he’s got dead guy’s phone with “go git ‘im” texts on it. Sam dials the number and no one is surprised to discover Crowley is at the eye of the demons against demon Dean storm. Sam is adamant that he will get his brother back from Crowley, Crowley thinks it’s adorable that Sam is jealous that he’s taken his place beside Dean. That he is the Silent Bob that Dean has always craved. A Sam facsimile, if you will. Sam’s devotion to his self-appointed mission is literally the best thing about the episode and I will fight you if you claim otherwise.

In the aftermath of that phone call, Crowley has to admit to Dean that Sam is looking for them because this time he hadn’t hit a dog and found a vet (or if he has hit a dog, he just kept going this time, which judging by the maniacal look in his eyes is possible), that he’s been the one throwing black-eyed fodder at Dean, and that oh yeah, hanging out in the same bar reenacting Bang Bros scenes isn’t what he had in mind. Also, and he can’t imply this hard enough, Dean as a demon is super lame. Wing eating contests, beer pong, and karaoke renditions from his “Now That’s What I Call…” CD collection have gotten really old, really fast. Hmm… yup, Crowley still sounds like Sam. Dean doesn’t want to give it up though, but since Sam is hot on his heels to drag him back from the frat house to the farm he gives in to one last liquor soaked hurrah, a hurrah that involves a really in depth look into how Dean sees his former self, before driving off into the horizon. Without Crowley.

Sam, in the interim, has gotten himself caught by Cole. The guy has some serious issues with Dean and even though he’s just a human he seems to know what every demon, ghoul, and angel knows: you want Dean? You use Sam.

Except it’s not working that way this time. See for the first time ever Dean doesn’t have the urge to untangle Sam from his own web. Sam’s a grown up, Sam has said as much, and Dean is going to treat him like the strong, independent woman he’s grown up to be.

But make no mistake, Dean as a demon may not be running to save Sam, but he still seems to have a proprietary streak in him because he vows to eventually find Cole and kill him. He’s just in not in any kind of rush.