Supernatural --"First Blood"-- SN1209b_0025.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Misha Collins as Castiel and Samantha Smith as Mary Winchester -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved
ReviewsTelevision & Film

SUPERNATURAL and the Art of the Very Bad Deal


Season 12, Episode 9 “First Blood”
Written by Andrew Dabb
Directed by Robert Singer

All of the members of the Winchester family have made some stupid deals with the devil in the past. Dean (Jensen Ackles) once sacrificed his soul for Sam’s (Jared Padalecki) life — but only got a year before collection! Traditionally it’s at least a decade. In this case a deal is made that has an even shorter amount of time. It’s not the only bad decision in this episode.

I don’t know if I’ve told you before how nervous it makes me when the boys run up against real law enforcement. There’s no way they can explain what they are really doing and be believed. There’s always the ethical problem of defending themselves against people who are essentially on the right side, or trying to get through them to finish the hunt. And it’s so UNFAIR. They are treated as criminals when they are heroes.

There’s not much to show that their captors are on the right side. The Secret Service hides Sam and Dean in a hidden cell without due process. Only the agents that made the arrest and the people at the prison know about the incident at all. Oh, and the POTUS, but he has no memory of the time he was possessed.

Don’t I get one phone call? (Dean Buscher/The CW)

A little thing: when they show Dean’s mug shot, he is clearly over six feet. It’s not that he is short, it’s that Sam is so tall!

Dean and Sam aren’t talking. The younger agent Rick Sanchez (Stephen Lobo) wants to cap them right away, but the older agent wants to know if they are involved with any terrorist organization. He thinks that nothing will make them talk — absolutely nothing. They will be left alone in solitary confinement til they break.

Castiel (Misha Collins) has the uncomfortable task of telling Mary (Samantha Smith). He then goes to Crowley (Mark Sheppard), who says not to worry too much and says he pities the poor fellows who have them. So, no help from that source.

Mick (Adam Fergus), in the meantime, really is trying to make friends with American hunters. He’s doing a terrible job of it, and he writes a letter back home on an antique typewriter that types itself. To be carried by owl, no doubt.

Mary helps Asa’s daughter with a werewolf pack. Cas tries and fails to solve a vampire case. They can’t find any information about where Dean and Sam are. The boys are going crazy being locked up, and they’ve been gone six weeks. One morning the soldier slides the food in and gets no response. Both Sam and Dean are dead.

It’s not like they haven’t died before. I figure that they have planned this long before in case of a situation like this and would do it after a certain amount of time. Two months now. Or, they got help from the other side. They just need to wake up before the coroner (Donald Hong) does the autopsy or Billie the Reaper (Lisa Berry) drops their souls in the void. And they do!

They get a phone message to Cas and run off through the woods. (why they didn’t take the truck, I don’t know). Agent Sanchez does a Tommy Lee Jones impression and they go after the escaped prisoners.

Cas and Mary get together (she’s been killing those vampires he didn’t) and decide that they need help from the British Men of Letters.

We must be getting along. We’re late for our GQ shoot. (Dean Buscher/The CW)

Sam and Dean find an old cabin and wait for the soldiers. They find an old first aid kit and glance significantly at each other. They talked about how midnight is coming and how they need to talk, but they don’t. Then we have the pure pleasure of watching them take out five soldiers and two agents. I won’t give you a blow by blow. It’s best watched. Even though they take them down or incapacitate them, they are all alive. I love the bit where Sam tosses the first aid kit on one of the soldiers.

As they leave, one of the agents asks, “Who are you?” Sam answers “We’re the guys who saved the world.” I would add, a lot. More than once.

Family reunited. (Dean Buscher/The CW)

They meet up with Cas, Mary and the two Men of Letters, Mick and Ketch (David Haydn-Jones). They used a satellite to find them by thermal imaging. The Men of Letters aren’t happy to hear that there are survivors.

Cas, Mary, Dean and Sam drive off but the car loses power on a bridge, because bridges are symbolic. Deans says it’s time and Billie the Reaper shows up. Sam and Dean made a deal with her. They could die and come back one more time if one Winchester dies by midnight. I’m sure when they made the deal that Dean thought it would be himself, and Sam thought the same. But Mary volunteers and holds a gun to her head. Billie is quite willing to accept her to fulfill the bargain. But before she shoots, radiance bursts from Billie’s chest. Cas stabbed her in the back with an angel-killing blade.

Cas then gives a speech about how they made a stupid deal and he broke it, and he wasn’t going to let them die or sacrifice themselves and he loved them. It’s a great speech and a great moment for Cas. Mick finishes his letter and we see that they went back and killed all the soldiers. He also is making friends. He gives his spiel to Mary, who is listening. After all, he helped her find her boys.

The deal they made with Billie the Reaper was abysmally bad. So after running and fighting for their lives all day, someone gets to die THAT NIGHT. Geez. Dean can’t make a bargain to save his life. And Mary and Cas, too. I know that they don’t know how bad the Men of Letters, London Chapter, really are, but they should know from the way they tortured Sam. They really could have gone down the road until they found the boys, because Sam and Dean took care of the soldiers themselves. Crowley was right, more right than anyone else.

I don’t get too upset when the boys die anymore, but I really thought that they were going to kill off Mary. She’s only here by a miracle anyway. Billie really wanted her back in Heaven, where she belongs.

We’re glad you are alive again, Mary Winchester. (Dean Buscher/The CW)

Billie the Reaper of the lovely voice is dead. There will be consequences. Probably for Cas, because the others were going to fulfill the bargain. Word is that there are going to be a couple of Castiel-centric episodes, and this might be the storyline. I know before this that he was feeling incompetent. Maybe this built up his confidence a little bit.

As for the Men of Letters; I think Mick thinks they are in the right. He never has to get his hands dirty, either in hunting monsters or killing humans. I don’t think he thinks that they are the bad guys at all. They are saving the world.

I don’t know about Mr. Ketch. He’s very polished but droll. I think there’s humor under there. He tells the boys that it’s not professional when they leave witnesses, but he looks like he thinks it’s cute. There’s more going on there than just a Supernatural James Bond.

Jim Beaver, who played Bobby Singer on Supernatural, is going to be in Timeless in the last three episodes of the season. Misha Collins is also taking a turn on Timeless as Elliott Ness in episode 15. As we all know, Eric Kripke created both series, so watch those last three episodes for a mini Supernatural reunion.

Next episode, someone is taking their revenge out on angels. Could Cas be next?

 

And please remember, Supernatural is an hour earlier than it was! It airs on the CW on Thursday nights at 8pm/7c.

 

Teresa Wickersham

Teresa Wickersham has dabbled in fanfic, gone to a few conventions, created some award-winning (and not so award winning) masquerade costumes, worked on the Save Farscape campaign, and occasionally presents herself as a fluffy bunny or a Krampus.

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