After the big-bang episode that was “Holy Terror,” last week’s “Road Trip” felt somewhat lack luster. I feared the Supernatural writing team was resting on old laurels. The brothers quarrel and separate, the brothers make up and get back together again. And given that all the previews featured Dean and Crowley, I figured “First Born” would once again be a relatively Sam-less episode. Thank you, Supernatural writers,for proving me wrong.
Jen at Fresh from the… mentioned last week how the show tends to rehash the same old story lines. It’s always Sam who’s possessed or given special powers, etc., and wouldn’t be interesting if Dean were “the chosen one.” (Of course, the one time Dean was given an other-worldly task, to be Michael’s vessel, he fought it tooth and nail.)
Well, Jen, you can kiss that complaint goodbye. Just when you think Supernatural is settling for the mundane, it shakes things up. Dean may not be possessed, per se, but he definitely has some supernatural mojo going on. Cool!
It’s not exactly what Dean set out to do. He’s actually in a bar consoling himself because the hunt for Gadreel has hit a dead end. You can tell he’s upset because his beard is more scruffy than usual. Crowley pops in to ask for his help in locating the “first blade,” the jawbone that Cain used to kill Abel. It’s the only thing that can kill Abaddon. The jawbone is apparently located in a house in Missouri which looks exactly like the house in Nebraska where Sloth claimed the lives of a family watching classic Dallas way back in the season 3 premiere.
Also there? Cain.
In a twist to the Biblical story, Cain loved Abel so much he sacrificed his own soul for his brother’s. (Sound familiar?) Then Cain became a demon and trained the Knights of Hell. Then he “saw the light,” aka fell in love, and killed all the Knights except Abaddon. He tried to kill her, but botched it up and killed his wife instead.
After Dean battles a bunch of demons while Cain watches, Cain passes his FirstiBlade-wielding mojo on to Dean, because the jawbone doesn’t work without it. (Stipulation, that Dean returns and kills him with it.) Cain hid the jawbone at the bottom of the deepest ocean (that would be the Pacific, right?), so Crowley says he’ll retrieve it and bring it to Dean. Hopefully we can trust Crowley with this because it’s the only way he can kill Abaddon.
In another shake-up, Sam and Castiel bond back at the Men of Letters bunker. (The Dean/Castiel lovers—who, in case you didn’t know, piss the hell out of me—are probably aghast. To them, I say “Get over it.” Or “Neener, neener.”) Castiel appears to be back in all his angelic glory, contemplating the molecules of peanut butter and jelly and literally interpreting Sam’s comment that they have a guinea pig. But now Cass’s angelic thinking is tempered with a human consciousness. He remembers enjoying PB&J from his human days.
While Castiel tries to finish healing Sam from the trials, he discovers traces of Gadreel still in Sam. They might be able to use these traces of “grace” (for lack of a better word) to locate imposter angel. The process would revert Sam back to his post-trial damage, but for Sam, there’s no question that his life is worth it. As he tells Cass, his life is no more important than anyone else, including Kevin’s.
The good news, Sam survives the extraction and Castiel is able to completely heal him. So at least we’re done with that story line. The bad news? The spell they’d hoped to use doesn’t work. Probably because if the spell did work, it would be too easy.
I’m happy the writers are exploring the effect Kevin’s death is having on the Winchesters. Although they’re separated, each brother blames himself for Kevin’s death. Both are seeking to find Gadreel in their own way. There’s much talk of remorse, forgiveness, life, and family. Castiel encourages Sam to reconcile with Dean. Crowley tells Dean he’s a worthy successor to Cain, even if he’s full of self-loathing.
Robbie Thompson is my current favorite writer. (Well, with Jeremy Carver, but that’s to be expected of a show-runner, right?) He does a lovely job of exploring the characters’ emotions, showing us their desires and feelings for each other. It’s what this show does so well, and the reason I tune in every week.