Supernatural: First Born (911)

Timothy Omundson plays Cain

The First Murderer shucks some corn.

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.

Dean battles three demons while Cain watches.

Dean Winchester vs thee demons? Odds sound about even.

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.

Castiel prepares to extract the remains of angelic grace from Sam.

The Men of Letters bunker comes complete with an infirmary.

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.


4 responses to “Supernatural: First Born (911)

  1. Random thoughts as I read your recap:

    The bar Dean was moping in was also the bar where Tamoh-the-vessel worked before Gadreel took him back over. Crowley made brief mention of it (Gadreel long gone, or something like that). (My husband and I both scoffed that Crowley would have known that guy was a demon, and we were very glad to learn it wasn’t the writers being dumb. 🙂 )

    The house Cain lives in actually looked a lot like Bobby’s house to me (the pass-through into the kitchen), and one of the actors tweeted something teasing that last night, too. I’m sure they’ve used the same house for MANY locations.

    I’m very excited about the mark of Cain. Anyone read The Mortal Instruments? In that series, the Mark of Cain renders the person bearing it invulnerable. If someone attacks him, their attack comes back at them seven-fold. It’s obviously a burden as well as a blessing, and I’m eager to see if something like that comes with this mark. Cain alluded to the drawbacks.

    I LOVED the twist on Cain’s story!

    Backing out a little bit, to cast a broader view… I think a lot of shows rehash storylines when they go on for so many seasons (and very few go as many seasons as Supernatural has). Part of it, I’m sure, is human nature. People make the same mistakes over and over again, even ones they’ve tried to learn from. Mistakes are made because of the kinds of people we are. Personalities have a core that doesn’t change. So if they went too far away from the natures they’ve established in Sam and Dean, it wouldn’t be believable. Part of it probably also the writer’s “what if?” brain. “What if Dean was never going to lie to Sam again…and then he HAD to? He really, really didn’t want to, but didn’t have a choice?” That kind of thing. It leads to twists on old choices, and sometimes that can work really well. Sometimes (it’s been nine seasons!) it’s going to wear on us a bit.

    Back to details. I never *want* Sam and Dean to be on the outs and/or working apart, but I do love seeing them interacting with others, and OMG, I adore Crowley. I’m very much digging his and Dean’s dynamic. Crowley’s always been so much the businessman, which tempers his evil with pragmatism, and I’m still wondering how much of his returned humanity remains. As for Cas and Sam, I like seeing Cas on the upswing a little, maybe capable of forgiving himself and acting with a sense of optimism rather than desperation.

    Holy cr**, this is a long comment. I’m sorry! LOL But one more thing. I’m not sure how I feel about some of the breakdown of their own canon. “Only an angel can kill another angel” becomes “unless you possess an angel blade” and then there are angel blades everywhere. Grace seemed to belong to a particular angel, a whole entity, like a soul. But Cas took that other guy’s and now they have pieces left behind. I think I’m okay with it because it always seems to be part of a devolution rather than a writing convenience. Heaven’s hierarchy fell apart, and chaos grew, and all of the little things do follow all of that. It still seems like there should be repercussions of Cas using another angel’s grace, though. Maybe we just need to stay tuned.

    • Never apologize for a long comment! I love ’em! The OUTSIDE of the house was the same one from “The Magnificent Seven.” 🙂 The inside was a set, and they do tend to have a sameness to them. (Think of all the motels.) Although I didn’t catch the similarities to Bobby’s. I did recognize the bar, but forgot to mention it.

      Wow, you could have been a psychologist. I love your thoughts on people always making the same mistakes because they’re the same person. Of course, psychologist try to get you to NOT make the same mistakes over and over. (Something about insanity says Albert Einstein.)

      I’ll have to check out “The Mortal Instruments.” *Adding to GoodReads list* Having never read much as a young adult, I’m catching up now. Just finished the 11th chapter of the “How to Train Your Dragon” series. (12 is to be the last one. 😦 )

      • Ah, yes, the outside. 🙂

        Writers are kind of like psychologists. I have a friend who keeps telling me “my therapist said the same thing!” It’s very validating. LOL

        I think you’ll like The Mortal Instruments. And you’re making me want to check out the Dragons. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Supernatural: Season 9’s Top Seven Episodes | SciFi Chick (s)

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