DETAILS

Writers: Julie Siege
Director: Charles Beeson
First aired: Thursday April 8, 2010.

MICHAEL SHANKS (“STARGATE SG-1,” “SMALLVILLE”) GUEST STARS AS A HUNTER — Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) are outnumbered by demons, but are saved at the last minute by Rob (guest star Michael Shanks) and his townspeople, who are aware of the Apocalypse, and have been training to fight and kill demons. The small town is very religious and Sam and Dean meet Pastor Gideon (guest star Larry Poindexter), who introduces them to his daughter Leah (guest star Kayla Mae Maloney.), whom he claims is a prophet. Leah tells the townspeople they must obey her orders if they want a spot in Heaven but when she starts turning the townspeople against each other in the name of the Lord, the brothers realize they must kill her.

Charles Beeson directed the episode written by Julie Siege.

 

RECAP

Synopsis

A minister’s daughter turns a town full of citizens ready to fight the Apocalypse against each other.

Full Recap

Blue Earth, Minnesota

Dean and an injured Sam are in the Impala driving away from a horde of demons when they come to a flaming roadblock. The demons break into the car but suddenly figures appear and use a fire truck to hose the demons with holy water, and then use a loudspeaker to perform an exorcism. The leader, Rob approaches them and makes sure that they’re okay. He identifies himself as the Sacrament Lutheran Militia. Rob tells them that the creatures were demons.

The brothers show Rob and the others their collection of monster-fighting weapons and convince the militia that they are there to help. As the sun rises, they enter the town, which is barricaded and marked with devil’s traps. Rob takes them to the church where Reverend Gideon is performing a wedding. Afterward, he talks to the brothers and explains that the demons are congregating in their part of the state. In the church basement, the townspeople are preparing anti-demon weapons. Gideon says they were told not to call the authorities in, but refuses to say who. Gideon’s daughter Leah comes in and says that the brothers are safe, and that she’s received word from the angels about them. The angels have also warned her about the coming demon attacks. Dean realizes that she’s a prophet.

Sam leaves a message for Castiel and goes to the bar with Dean to discuss strategy. They figure the angels are sending the townspeople to do their dirty work, but Dean figures that at least they will go down fighting. Sam wonders what happened to the idea of saving people. Before they can pursue the matter further, the bartender, Paul, leaves with the others when the church bell rings. Gideon calls for volunteers and Rob, Paul, Dean and Sam all volunteer. Gideon holds a prayer and then they set off to attach the demons. They approach an abandoned house and start to break in, but the demons attack them. Working together, the brothers and the townspeople defeat the demons.

As they leave, a local teenager, Dylan, asks to ride with them. He shares a beer with them but a demon hiding beneath the car grabs and kills him before they can destroy it.

Later, Gideon holds a funeral service at the church and Dylan’s parents Rob and Jane blames the brothers. As Gideon speaks, admitting he doesn’t know what’s happening or what to say, Leah suddenly has a fit. She tells everyone that Dylan is coming back when the dead rise and the angels give them paradise. In return, the angels ask that the townspeople follow a few commandments: no gambling, drinking, or pre-marital sex. Afterward, Dean admits that it’s not their call and goes back to talk to Leah in the church. He asks if she’s telling the truth about paradise, and what the angels are telling her. Leah explains that it’s going to get bad, but once they inevitably win, the planet will be given to the chosen and everything will peaceful with no death. Dean believes it’s a curse, and she points out it must be hard being the vessel of Heaven and having no hope.

Sam goes to see Paul, left alone in his bar since drinking has been banned. Paul isn’t impressed with the new religious fervor. They share a drink and Paul insists that he’s not going to pray to a God he doesn’t believe in. Sam admits that he believes God stopped caring. Later, Sam returns to the motel and informs Dean that the townspeople have shut off the cell towers and cut off the entire world. He figures that the town is turning into a fundamental compound. When Dean says he doesn’t care, Sam can’t believe it. He figures the angels are toying with the townspeople, but Dean points out that they can’t do anything and there’s no point in fighting. Sam says that he can’t do it alone but Dean goes out to walk despite the new curfew.

At the church, Leah tells her father and the others that the angels are angry and said they can’t go to paradise as long as some disobey the rules. Rob asks her who.

An irritable Castiel arrives at the motel and Sam realizes that he’s drunk. When Sam explains what’s happening, Castiel informs him that Leah isn’t one of the prophets.

In the streets, Dean hears noise from the bar and goes to investigate. Rob and the others are trying to force Paul out of town. He refuses to back down and a fight breaks out, and Jane shoots Paul dead.

The next morning, Dean returns to the motel, his hands covered with Paul’s blood. He tells them what happened and Castiel informs them that it’s starting. Leah is the Whore of Babylon, bearing false prophecy and taking human form. She killed Leah months ago, the demons are under her control and the Enochian exorcism she’s taught them is fake. Her goal is to lure the souls of the townspeople to Hell. Dean says it’s time to take a stand.

Leah reassures Jane and Rob that they did what the angels required, while her father stares at her in shock. He wonders how the angels can condone sin and “Leah” tells him that they have to have faith.

Castiel produces a stake made from a cypress tree from Babylon. It’s the only thing that can kill the Whore, but Castiel warns that only a true Warrior of God can kill her, and none of them qualify.

The Whore addresses the congregation and says that they have to prepare, and there are still a few sinners remaining. The people look among themselves and start to panic, and Gideon tells them to calm down. When he tries to stop the Whore she says she’ll name him as a sinner if he doesn’t stop interfering.

Reverend Gideon walks the streets and Castiel approaches him and demonstrates his power, teleporting him to the motel. When they explain what he has to do, Gideon balks and they explain that the Whore is not his daughter.

As they prepare, Dean gives Castiel some aspirin for his hangover and explains that he knows all about deadbeat dads. Castiel wonders how he can handle it.

The “good” townspeople round up the ones the Whore has identified as sinners. However, when Whore tells them to burn the sinners, Jane and Rob realize something is wrong. After they leave, Whore goes to Gideon’s office where the group ambushes her. Gideon hesitates and the Whore casts a ritual to weaken Castiel. She manages to escape and Gideon goes after her, and the Whore tells the townspeople to start the fires. A fight breaks out and Rob tries to start the fire. The Whore grabs Dean, who fumbles for the stake. She says he can’t do anything against her, but Dean grabs the stake and drives it into her chest, killing her. Everyone watches as the demon essence is evicted from Leah’s body. Jane wonders how they can get to Paradise now, but Dean warns her that she’s heading in a different direction.

As they get Gideon and Castiel out, Sam wonders how Dean could have killed the Whore. Dean doesn’t try to explain and Sam wonders if he’s going to do something stupid involving Michael.

At the motel, Sam and Dean tend to Gideon, who notes that he won’t be okay. Dean goes out to the car to get some badges, but seconds later he drives off before Sam can stop him.

The next day, Dean drives to see his one-time girlfriend, Lisa Braeden. She wonders why he’s there and he says that when he pictures a happy life, it’s with her and her son Ben. She invites him inside but Dean says that he has to leave and things are going to get bad. However, he’s going to make arrangements with some “people” to keep her safe in return for doing what they want. He kisses her in the cheek and walks away.

Review by Gaelic

5.17 – 99 Problems – Gaelicspirit review

Stream of Consciousness, episode review 5.17

Holy friggin’ crap…

(PS: please forgive typos…rushed due to baby girl getting up a few times…)

I’m writing this first section before watching tonight’s show. I won’t make a habit of this, but I needed to re-center a bit after last week’s episode and the wonderful, thought-provoking discussions that stemmed from all of the fantastic comments to my ramble (waves and smiles at arafel979 ).

I am going into the viewing of tonight’s episode with these thoughts in mind (and remember, I’m not saying This Is The Way It Is…just This Is The Way I Choose To See It):

1) Dean’s action with the amulet was that of a broken-hearted, hollowed-out man. He did it intentionally to both hurt Sam as he’d been hurt while in ‘Heaven’—regardless of whether or not Sam purposely took him through those memories, the honesty of Sam’s happiness during a time Dean was most devastated dug in deep and scooped out a lot of the hope Dean was hanging onto by his fingernails—and signify that he’s given up on God’s help. And I don’t blame him for either. I’m not saying I think Sam deserves to be hurt—far from it, in fact. I’m saying I can see where Dean’s coming from and I know that there have been times when I have needed to put something away from me simply because what it represented was too painful to remember. Dean needs proof (perhaps multiple times over) that the Zach-influenced-Mary was wrong: not everyone walks away from him. He needs to be reminded how strong he is. That he’s a born hero.

2) Sam’s got an important job to do. In our glimpse of one possible future, four years from now, we find out that right around the time we’re currently in, Sam went to Detroit and said ‘yes’ to Lucifer. We don’t know what precipitated that decision, but we do know that seeing that future affected everything Dean has said or done since returning. And by being thus affected, he’s influenced his brother’s resolution. Seeing glimpses of Dean’s pain—from the time he was four through how Sam’s youthful choices and actions impacted him—visibly shifted something in Sam and now, as I see it, the opportunity for him to become the man he was born to be is staring him in the face. Turn his back on evil, save his brother, and in doing so, save the world.

3) God not swooping in to save the day simply because they asked Him to is, in fact, God showing that He has faith in the strength of His creations: all of them, even Castiel. I was told once that it didn’t matter if I didn’t believe in God, He believed in me. Some of them may have lost faith in themselves, but He hasn’t lost faith in them, and that gives me hope.

4) Family (whether by blood or by choice), by its very nature, is a give and take. There’s no “turn” and there’s no “break” and there’s very little that’s “fair.” There are times when you are the best of friends, there are times you would sacrifice anything for each other, there are times you hurt each other like no one else can (purposefully and accidentally), and there are times you want to walk away (and sometimes do). But you’re always connected. Sometimes that connection is your salvation and sometimes it’s your end.

5) It’s going to get worse before it gets better. We’re all gonna hurt with this one. But if we hang in there, we’ll be rewarded.

Also? As many of you know, I’m a bit addicted to music, especially when I’m writing. I heard a song by Digital Summer called Rescue Me and immediately heard Dean’s voice speaking to his brother. Feel free to point and laugh. *ahem*

So maybe I’m the one that needed saving
Someone to rescue me from myself
And now the memories are slowly fading
Wish I could see me through the eyes of someone else

I remember the look in your eyes
When you were reaching out to me
And I tried to help you
But now I’m haunted by the hero that I couldn’t be

I drown out my thoughts now
As pathetic as it may seem
So just take it away now, help me how
I just stood there frozen by your screams

I know I shouldn’t blame myself
For what I cannot control
It seems so impossible to ever let this go

It’s okay. I know I am cheesy when it comes to this stuff. *grin* Okay, folks! I’m off to watch. We’ll see if my points get shattered…

The Ramble

*is exhausted*

Well, they didn’t get shattered. Some may be delayed for awhile, but…I feel they’re more or less still intact.

Last week I said I thought Dean was going to say yes to Michael, but that it was going to be too late. The angels weren’t going to want him. I doubted the 2nd part of what I predicted until I saw the previews. The angels on this show? *pokes them in eye* Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.

I know this season has divided us, ya’ll. I know there are those out there who used to love Show and now, not so much. I don’t know know because I choose to not venture too far from the safety of this journal, but I can feel they’re out there from your comments and from the small little tidbits I do read. And I really can’t say as I blame us for being divided because the Show is stirring the Pot Of Taboo Subjects with a great big spoon. The only thing they could add to this to add more potential controversy is assign a political party to Heaven or Hell.

That said? I frickin’ LOVE this season. O.M.G. I’ve loved every season for different reasons, but I’m wrung out and invested and worried and excited and and and…this episode? Had so many moments of thought-provoking, gut-bouncing awesomeness…I need more adjectives!!! I have a lot of thoughts spinning in my head, so I hope this review is something that resonates with those of you who read it and isn’t too mired in Deep Thoughts By Gaelicspirit.

*takes deep breath*

Oh, the only thing I’ll say before I dive in? I gotta stop watching the THEN’s because I was looking for Lisa the whole time… *shakes head*

ANYWAY! We start out with a BANG. Pedal to the metal, Impala’s odometer needle buried to the right, Dean’s bloody knuckles gripping the wheel, Sam begging him to go faster, crying out as his wounds pang him. Dean’s worried about Sam, but Sam just presses him to go go go…which, he does until he’s stopped by a flaming wreck.

Forced to stop, they are soon descended upon by multiple demons-in-human-form, grabbed and pulled from the Impala through the windows, crying out in pain until…Holy Water from a fire hose! Mass exorcism! Black smoke! Had to agree with Dean—not something you see every day. They were saved by a former cop, a bartender, and the cop’s kid from the Sacrament Lutheran Militia.

“Buckle up.”

Aside: lovinjackson was your guy the former cop, Rob? I couldn’t tell… *ducks* Sorry! I thought it was, but I wanted to be sure.

So, we get a little, you showed me yours, I’ll show you mine with a reveal of the well-provisioned Impala trunk. The guys tell their saviors that they’re on the same side and ask how they learned what they learned. Apparently they just…picked things up along the way.

Uh, sure they did. That had my radar blipping.

The boys go back with the townies to a church surrounded by cement barricades and barbed wire. They’ve cleaned up, changed clothes, and apparently applied the miracle cream the WB was so famous for that has healed up their scuffed knuckles and whatever stab wound-type-thing that Sam had on his shoulder.

Oh, and after five years, the sets started looking really familiar—I know we’ve seen that church before. It’s all good, though. Kinda made me feel at home. Heh.

There’s a Devil’s Trap spray painted outside the church. They go inside and see a Preacher conducting a wedding—of which there have apparently been 8 in the last week—with the guests all very well armed. Not only that? This Preacher is packin’—he has a leg holster. Is it wrong that I find that incredibly appealing?

Aside: I know the actor who played Preacher Gideon is a familiar guest star. For some reason, I associate him with Shannon Daughtery. Do NOT ask me why. Connect the dots here for me, people.

Preacher Gideon takes them down to the church basement (I think) and shows off the town militia—complete with a 12-year-old packing salt rounds. He introduces his daughter, Leah, who knows all about Sam and Dean…from the angels. She knows about the marks on their ribs, too. *radar bounces up a notch*

Dean immediately guesses she’s a prophet and says he knows about the migraines and headaches.

Dean: “You’re not the first prophet we’ve met, but you are the cutest.” Then with a suitably chagrined expression aimed toward her father he continues, “I mean that with total respect.”

Personally, I didn’t like the idea of another prophet. Chuck was good enough for me. And I also didn’t like that someone knew about their “angel protection tags.” I felt like it could be too easily used against them.

Elsewhere, at what is apparently the only bar in town, Sam calls Cas and gets his voicemail which is HILARIOUS: “I don’t understand. Why do you want me to say my name?” Sam tells Cas they’re in Blue Earth, MN, then heads over to join Dean where Paul the Bartender tells them that since the apocalypse, it’s been like one long last call. Hmmmm…

The boys have a chat, Sam disgruntled because the angels are sending people to do their dirty work, Dean not really seeing the issue because they’re all going to die in a month or two anyway, at least they’re heading to the exit in an orderly fashion—and taking a few demons out with them. Uh-oh.

Sam: “What happened to us saving them?”

Yeah, well, that was before. Keep hold of that fire, Sammy. You’re gonna need it. Dean’s attitude is totally in line with how someone slowly sinking into the black of resignation would behave in my opinion. Resignation is not surrender. And I don’t want him to do either, honestly. Also, they’ve encountered an interesting situation. They can’t exactly walk away and leave these people to fight the good fight. They have to stay and battle it out…it’s just how they are put together. And if Dean doesn’t think they can win, and all these demons are coming…ugh, what an ugly feeling all around.

Anyway, the bells toll for another vision from Leah and the boys head to church. They get a location about 5 miles outside of town where there’s a bunch o’demons are hiding. Preacher Gideon rounds up his posse, including the boys, then prays for God to watch over them from Heaven (which Dean is predictably sarcastic about). We see Rob the Cop and Bartender Paul exchange looks and I didn’t get it at first, but then realized it was just to show us that not everyone in the town is buying into this New Wave Of Followers.

While most of the town is jumping on the No Atheists In Foxholes practice of religion, there are still some rebels.

The posse gets to the Demon House and the group separates (the boys, too) and we get about four minutes of action. I have NO IDEA how the Militia could tell friend from enemy—except that one would assume they knew the members of their posse. But what about the boys! I mean there was a whole helluva lot of shooting and ducking and rolling and grabbing and shooting and shooting and shooting. I was convinced someone on ‘our’ side was going to get killed.

Dean’s keeping his rock salt shotgun barrel hot while Sam is busy wielding The Knife That Can Kill Demonkind. In a very cool series of events, Dean is jumped by a demon, runs out of ammo and wacks the demon with his shotgun to knock it down just as another demon rushes towards Dean’s unprotected back. And in swirl of synchronized motion, Sam throws the Demon Killing Knife and stabs Demon 1 in the back, Dean turns, grabs knife from Demon 1’s back and turns to thrust it into the chest of Demon 2.

Done and done.

Daaay-uum.

As they walk out, triumphant, Sam muses that is what it must be like to have back-up. Awww…yeah. What a lonely, lonely life. *rubs heart* You don’t have many friends—and those that you did have are being systematically destroyed and/or killed off. There aren’t many you can turn to—if anyone. And even fellow hunters are out to get you. *Nutshell by AIC plays in the background as I write: no one to cry to…no place to call home…* Maybe the apocalypse might be good for one thing: the boys don’t have to be alone. ‘Course, they might not both see that as a good thing…

The townies load up in their tricked-out fire truck and one kid—Dylan—asks to ride with the Winchesters. The boys wait until the townies are out of sight and then Dean tosses Dylan a beer, advising him to not tell his mother. Dylan wouldn’t dream of it.

And then, my 2nd favorite moment of the episode. It’s very brief, but oh, so telling. The brother’s pop the top of their beers and then clink cans in a cheers, man motion that is so natural and automatic that I had to grin. I really liked that moment.

Of course, it’s obliterated a moment later when a demon that’d been lurking beneath the Impala grabs Dylan’s ankles and pulls him down. Sam stabs the demon and Dean runs around to the other side to pull the kid out…only to see that his throat had been cut. Dean takes it hard, uttering a strangled, “No!”

And I could see why. He’d been viewing these fighting townies as organized and going down swinging. Until the boys arrived, they’d been making headway. But the moment they show up, as Dean sees it, they lose one of their own. It doesn’t matter that any one of them could have died in that house. The point was they didn’t. The kid died on their watch and Dean blames himself.

But the death of the kid was a bigger ploy than just a “make Dean Winchester feel like a meep on a flea on a rat” maneuver. It was the catalyst Lucifer’s false prophet used to trigger the fiercest of warriors: a mama tiger. And a mother who has lost her child can be manipulated into doing almost anything to get that child back. Which we’ve seen more than one example of over the years of this show…

It’s Dylan’s funeral and I finally made the connection that the kid was Rob The Cop’s kid, his mother the red-haired bullet-maker named Jane. The boys watch from the outside and as Dylan’s parents enter, Dean tries to say he’s sorry. Predictably, the mother snarls that it’s their fault and pain laces Dean’s face, Sam looking sorry and sympathetic. But, really, did you expect anything different? I think her accusation was typical of The Grieving Mother On TV, but I kinda expected a little bit different from a woman who is fighting demons with her town militia.

I mean, it’s not like Dean killed Dylan. A demon did. It could have just as easily happened inside the house when the town watching. But, well, there you go.

Preacher Gideon has run out of comforting words…he really doesn’t know why any of this is happening…when Leah has a very convenient vision. She gets up from her seizure, beaming, and says that Dylan will be coming back on Judgment Day. The angels have chosen this town to receive paradise on Earth and all they have to do is follow the angel’s commandments.

RADAR IN THE RED.

This is one of those storylines that gets me physically anxious. Because there are times that—no matter how I’ve been raised and no matter what I read—I honestly don’t know who to trust. There are times I walk into a church where I feel I should be safe and be told truth with an anxious pit in my stomach and the almost physical need to shake my head at whatever the pastor is saying.

And then there are people who tell me they hear God’s voice—hear His words as clearly and plainly as if He were in the room speaking to them. I don’t dare scoff at that. Who am I to disbelieve their truth? Just because it hasn’t happened to me? I’ve never seen a ghost either, but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe others haven’t.

I don’t hear God’s actual voice, but I do have a gut and I do follow it. I feel a sense of peace when certain decisions are made and a sense of anxiety when others happen. I know moments before anyone else that my daughter is sick. Intuition, maybe. Divine guidance? Why not, right?

But it’s the false prophets that worry me. Because until I’m given a reason not to—and if the words they speak make sense to me (i.e., I want to believe what they’re saying)—I trust people. So the fact that these townsfolk, who’d apparently been plagued with demonic deaths of their friends and neighbors, believed what Leah was telling them—and that it came from angels—didn’t really spin me. The fact that they continued to follow her blindly in the face of everything their guts had to be telling them was wrong, sickened me.

Because I think people really could go that far.

The angels laid down the law: no drinking, no gambling, no pre-marital sex…

Sam: “Dean, they just outlawed 90% of your personality.”

Heh.

Dean, though, he doesn’t really care. He’s not a prophet, he’s not a local…when in Rome, right? It’s not his call. He’s so wrung out he looks exhausted. These people have it together—do they even really need him anymore? Does anyone? Really?

He heads back inside the church to talk to Leah. Wants to know if she’s on the level. Wants to know what the angels are really saying to her—skip the rainbows. Leah says that there’s going to be a prize fight, and it’s going to be bad.

Leah: “But after we win, and we will, the planet gets handed over to the chosen and it’s finally peaceful. No monsters, disease, death.”

Huh…looking back through this, knowing what Leah is, her words were true to her no matter what side she was on. Everyone defines ‘monsters’ differently, yeah?

Dean thinks he’s cursed, not chosen and Leah remarks that it “must be hard, being the vessel of Heaven and having no hope.”

You can say that again.

Anyway, Sam heads to the now-empty bar to share a shot with Paul the Bartender.

Aside: Who is that actor? The bartender? I know I’ve seen him before. I recognized the way he talked.

Paul tells Sam that he’s not a hypocrite. He’s never prayed before, he’s not starting now. If he’s going to Hell, he’s going honest. Interesting philosophy, that. It made me stop and think longer than any other claim of faith or belief outside of our boys. When it comes down to it, is it about the person you are inside, the deeds you accomplish in life—good or bad—and what you give back to the world? Or is it simply about saying, “I believe”?

I don’t have an answer to that in this exact moment. Just something that his statement made me think about. If a murderer on death row can surrender and say I believe and be saved despite their misdeeds…is their place in Heaven any better or worse than Mother Teresa’s? Guess I’ll find out one of these days.

Paul the Bartender asks Sam if he’s a “true believer”—and the way he says it you can almost see the airquotes—and Sam says he is. He believes. He just thinks that God stopped caring. Aww, Sammy. Don’t you let go, too, now. You’ll shatter my aforementioned points!

Sam gets back to the motel and Dean is sit sleeping on his one of the beds (not the one closest to the door, FYI).

Aside: Dean sitting on the bed, legs out, arms folded across his belly, rubbing at burning, sleep-bleary eyes…NICE.

Sam says he’s been out drinking.

Dean: “Rebel.”

Heh.

Sam would’ve stayed longer, but there’s a curfew, you see. Shut down the cell towers (which means they can’t call out to Cas again—RADAR blip), Internet, cable. Turning the place into a compound.

Dean’s pretty much like, big whoop. What difference does it make. Sam wants to know at what point does it go too far for Dean? When they’re all drinking the Kool-Aid? Dean’s like, we were supposed to save these people, we can’t, and now the angels have the only life boats on the Titanic. Sam is incredulous. His fighter of a brother, the guy that’s always been the soldier, the guy that never stopped fighting until the fight was done wants to just…stop? Roll over?

*heart cracks a little at this exchange*

Dean: “Maybe.”

Sam: “Don’t say that.”

Dean: “Why not?”

Sam: “’Cause you can’t do this.”

Dean: “Actually, I can.”

Sam: “You can’t do this…TO ME. You think you’re the only one white-knuckling it, Dean? I got one thing keeping me going. I can’t count on anyone else. And I can’t do this alone.”

I kinda had to curl in on myself at that. I knew it; I’d felt it before this even started. But hearing Sam say it and seeing the words impact Dean had me doing that Curl Of Protection as I watched. Points 1 and 2 from my pre-ramble musings echoed for me during this exchange.

Something shifts on Dean’s face…something unreadable but worrisome. He starts to head out, saying he has to clear his head. Sam says—twice—that it’s passed curfew.

Oddly, the fact that he says it twice I found totally, randomly, endearing.

The townies are at the church being obedient when Leah shows up, crying, saying the angels are mad because some people aren’t listening to their orders so they’re going to take paradise away. PEOPLE!! Seriously…doesn’t this just feel WRONG to you?? Or…do I just not believe enough.

Meanwhile, Cas shows up in the motel…drunk. Funniest line in the whole episode:

Cas: “I found a liquor store. And I drank it.”

BWAH!! Cas is quite the disgruntled angel. Sam’s voice is grating on his nerves. You get the impression that he wouldn’t have even shown up to help except…he didn’t have anywhere else to go. Sam recaps the episode for him and Cas is all, dude, Leah’s not a prophet.

D’oh!!

Meanwhile, again, Dean is out walking and hears a ruckus at the bar. He enters in time to see Preacher Gideon and his disturbingly sexy leg holster keeping Rob the Cop from beating in the brains of his childhood friend Paul the Bartender with a bat because Paul is rebelling against the angels. Rob’s wife Jane tells Paul that he’s “standing against the flock.” That had my eyebrow arching, let me tell you.

Rob goes for Paul. Dean steps in, slugs him, there’s a short scuffle followed by a deafening blast of a pistol…and Paul is dead.

Dean returns to the motel room and with worry creasing his face, Sam stands up all, “We were out looking for you—“ then he sees the blood on Dean’s hands and immediately asks if Dean’s all right. Dean tells him that Paul is dead, noticing that Cas is there.

Cas: “It’s starting.” His normally gravelly voice is even deeper.

Dean: “Where’ve you been?”

Cas: “On a bender.”

Sam: “He’s still pretty smashed.”

Sam tells Dean that Leah’s not a prophet.

Cas: “She’s the whore.”

Dean: “Wow, Cas, tell us what you really think.”

Heh.

So, we find out that she’s one of Lucifer’s false prophets and that her goal is to take as many souls to Hell as possible. The demons that have been plaguing this town were all set-ups and the Enochian exorcism actually means, “You breed with the mouth of a goat.”

…wait for it…

Cas: “It’s funnier in Enochian.”

Hearing this—and after seeing the people he thought really had it all together and didn’t need him turn on each other—Dean kinda comes back to himself a bit and wants to know how they “go pimp Babylon all over this bitch?”

Atta boy!!

Now, the pacing of this next part practically laid out in neon letters for us what we were supposed to surmise. Leah’s telling Dylan’s parents what they want to hear—that they did the ‘right thing’ by killing Paul. Meanwhile, Preacher Gideon is all, how the hell can that be right? Back that the motel, Cas is saying that the whore has to be killed with a stick from Babylon—which he just so happens to have—and by a servant of Heaven. Not Cas or Dean.

Cas: “Sam, of course, is an abomination.”

Which, as we all saw clearly, left poor Preacher Gideon who still thinks Leah is his daughter. Leah is busy telling the townies that Judgment Day is coming at midnight (which, I guess would make it Judgment Night) but they still have a few sinners to take care of. She’s got all the names right here. Preacher Gideon pulls her aside to stop her and she warns him, quite sweetly, that if he doesn’t let her go, his name is going on the list.

Duh, duh, duuuuhhhh.

Preacher Gideon does a Dean and goes out walking to clear his head when Cas shows up with a tired “angel of the Lord” announcement then whisks Gideon to the motel room where the boys lay some truth on the poor guy. Gideon wants to know why Cas can’t do it—he’s an angel. But Cas thinks he’s a poor example of one.

Oh…I don’t know about that. Aside from Joshua, Cas is pretty much the only version of an angel I’ve actually believed in all my life. One that would go to the mat protecting humankind. Not one that would betray us all for his own agenda.

Before the fight goes down, Dean and Cas are outside. Cas is on a bench holding his aching head. Dean tosses him a bottle of aspirin and tells him to take the whole thing. He looks at Cas with sad sympathy and tells him he knows how he feels—and he’s not talking about the hangover.

I know that as a whole, those of us who like John are tired of the Show offering up moments of anti-John remarks like “dead-beat Dad.” But I’ll offer this: when you’re low and you don’t really know how to pick yourself up and you feel like the whole world is against you, it’s awfully hard to remember the good stuff and pretty damn easy to recall in vivid detail all the bad stuff. I could tell you all the ways my parents hurt me or left me or let me down.

But I would have to be reminded of the moments when I got an unexpected card in the mail. Or the hug when I needed it. Or a helping hand when I didn’t know how to ask. Because those times happened, too. I just find it easier to remember the times of pain. I don’t know why that is. It just is. And that’s what I see in Dean when he remembers his father right now. There’ve been plenty of times he’s gone to bat for the man, and we’ve seen how much he loves him. But he’s down right now, and he sees Cas—his friend—hurting and he feels like he knows something about that kind of pain.

Cas: “How do you manage it?”

Dean: “On a good day? You get to kill a whore.”

And then he does this quick eyebrow whaddaya say, you with me? bounce that is just…*laughs* awesome.

Okay, everything from this point is a little whirl-wind-like, but that’s what made it so fantastic. Leah The Whore is getting the pliant townies to “round up the sinners” and stick them in the storage room. She’s using the promise of Dylan returning at the moment of Judgment to control Rob and Jane. She wants them to burn the people in the storage room. Jane balks for a moment—there are kids in there—but Leah dangles Dylan in her face and Jane goes to comply.

Leah goes into the adjoining room and we get a quick face-freak-out when she looks at a cross (which, why bother? She’s been around crosses all this time and has been plenty creepy…) and Team Free Will plus Preacher Gideon attack. Only…Gideon can’t stake her. She speaks something in Enochian and Cas drops to the ground, writhing in pain.

It’s a free-for-all. Townies start to beat up the preacher, Rob goes to light the storage room, the boys pull the preacher away and tangle with the townies…

Then suddenly, Leah knocks Dean down and pounces on him, choking him. Desperate, Dean flails for a weapon and see the Babylon Stake close by. Leah scoffs, “Please, like you’re a servant of Heaven. Pathetic, self-hating, faithless… it’s the end of the world and you’re just gonna sit back and watch it happen.”

Dean stakes her, gasping: “Don’t be so sure, whore!”

YES!!! That. Was. Awesome.

Sam’s holding Jane and they all stare in shocked amazement as the whore flames out. Jane’s all, “How are we supposed to get paradise now?”

Dean: “Pretty sure you’re headed in a different direction.”

Sam’s staring at his brother like whoa. They go to pick up the priest and I have to say that I did feel a small amount of sympathy for the misguided flock. They trusted a false prophet. They went waaaayyy too far. When does your gut override your blind faith???

The boys leave, Dean half-carrying Cas, Sam half-carrying Preacher Gideon. I guess…they just…left the people in the storage room???

Sam wants to know how Dean was able to kill Leah. Dean waves it off as his long run of luck held out. But, see, I think it has more to do with GOD having FAITH in DEAN. If we’re going to go so far in our Show to say that these two blue-collar guys from Lawrence, KS, are the destined heroes of the universe, they why can’t we say that there’s more to them than just meat suits for angels?

If Sam can use the Force—according to Ruby even without the demon blood influence—then why can’t Dean have something inside of him that he can channel to be used for the greater good?? And…and…perhaps that is what will ultimately kick in when saying ‘yes’ to Michael doesn’t work out quite like they were led to believe. I’m going on this assumption based on the previews, but it seems pretty likely that the “it’s going to be too late” idea could hold water.

Sam’s demanding to know how Dean is a servant of Heaven.

Dean: “What do you want me to tell you? I saw a shot and I went for it.”

They load their wounded charges into the Impala and Sam catching Dean’s eye across the hood of the Impala.

Sam: “Are you going to do something stupid? Like Michael stupid?”

I think that’s going to me my new catch-phrase: “Dude, that was Michael stupid!”

Dean simply says: “Gimme a break, Sam.” Which in Dean-speak basically means, “I’m thinking about it.” He might not actually outright lie to his brother about the big things. He just avoids committing to a definite answer when he doesn’t want to trigger Sam. And whenever he doesn’t give him a definite answer is when I worry. A really lot.

Back at the motel, Cas is on the bed and does not look good. Poor guy. They fix up the Preacher and Dean says he’ll be okay. The Preacher says he won’t and looks at Dean. There’s this moment of heavy realization where Dean looks like he can feel the weight of the Preacher’s world crashing down around his shoulders and his face sets. You see it happen. He goes to the door and Sam calls out, worried.

Dean says he’s going to get clean bandages from the trunk and the next thing we know, the Impala’s engine is roaring, Dean’s driving off and Sam’s running after him, yelling his name, looking full-on panicked. Guh, poor Sam. I get what Dean’s doing—and it’s not like Sam hasn’t done it before when he wanted to do something he knew his brother didn’t want him to do and he didn’t want to deal with the whole argument… but still. That’s just freakin’ heavy. And echoes Point 4 from above. Family doesn’t always make sense.

Not only that, he totally stranded Sam in that town. ‘Course, he stranded him with an angel after they got rid of the baddie, so maybe he figured he was safer there than anywhere else, but…gah, Dean! He drives away and you get the impression that he’s basically just…driving away. Wheels spinning, thinking about what he just did—left his brother—what he’s planning to do—say yes—when he tilts his head slightly like something just occurs to him.

I wonder when he first thought of her in all of this. I wonder if he’d tucked her away in a pocket of his mind that no one—angel or devil—could get to. So deep that he didn’t even really know he kept her there until he let down his defenses in his dreams. I wish they’d left us a breadcrumb or two along the way, hinting more often than one episode last season that she was still in his heart, but I can overlook that because it was a wonderful scene, in my opinion.

I mean, we don’t really get to see what women they’re thinking of unless it’s pivotal to the point of the episode—we aren’t that privy to how often Sam thinks of Jessica or Madison, or if Dean thinks of Cassie at all. So, knowing that Dean actually has thoughts of happiness outside of hunting and his brother made him suddenly, incredibly human.

He goes to Lisa’s house. Now, they were in Blue Earth, MN, and last we knew Lisa lived in Cicero, IN, so that was a bit of a drive. She looks surprised then pleased then worried. He says he didn’t have her number…but then says she moved. So, uh, how did he find her? *waves it off*

She wants to know if he’s okay, to which he honestly replies no. And then he looks at her and people? Knife. In. Heart. The raw honesty and need in his eyes should have turned Lisa to ash.

Dean: “I know the life I lead. I know how it’s going to end for me. But when I do picture myself happy, it’s with you. And the kid.”

Good God. *dies* She smiles, invites him in, but he says he can’t stay and asks her to take care of herself. She stops him.

Lisa: “You can’t just drop a bombshell like that and then leave.”

No joke.

Dean says he doesn’t have a choice and Lisa says he does. He can come inside with her, now. I’m so used to not trusting people that I got a little “is she really Lisa” vibe going on for a bit there, but really, I think she just felt his desperation and seeing him come back out of the blue like that, after all this time, and hearing what he was saying—that he’d made plans for her and Ben, they were going to be okay—I think she was just trying to protect him. The only way she knew how.

Dean is going to make The Powers That Be agree to a few things before they get anything from him—and I’m guessing one of them is that Sam is officially Off Limits as Meatsuit Material—and Lisa and Ben are part of that package. Lisa begs him to stay, just an hour. Say goodbye to Ben. Dean says it’s better if he doesn’t. He presses his lips to her temple for a long time while she tries to hold herself very still, though she’s trembling, a lone tear rolling down her face, and then he walks away.

I tell you I didn’t know if I wanted to hug him or shake him! I know he didn’t want to face Sam’s argument, but…erf! He’s not in this alone! No matter what he thinks or how he feels. And how is he going to guarantee that angels that can manipulate memories in Heaven are going to keep their word and protect those he loves when he says yes?? Oh, they are making this so gut-wrenching it’s maddening.

Stubborn man. He just makes me hurt for him. I want him so badly to be rewarded for his fight–both of them, yes, of course, but right now my minds on Dean. I want the fact that he was able to kill Leah The Whore to be significant.

Next week is the big century mark and it looks like it’s going to be The Moment of Truth for Dean—and I’m glad because I’ve been coiled up inside for way too long. I want him to say yes, I want them to say no, and I want it to be the final straw for fighting this fight the way we know they can. Remind themselves they’re heroes. They’re the good guys.

We have five episodes left. Show us what you got, boys! 
 

GUEST STARS


Misha Collins
as Castiel
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TRAILER/CLIPS

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MUSIC

 Roadhouse while Sam and Dean talked to Ash:
“What A Way To Go” by Jesse Turnbow

QUOTES

Pastor Gideon: So, Rob tells me you boys hunt demons.
Sam: Uh, yes, sir.
Pastor Gideon: You missed a few.

Dean: ‘Course, that’s if you can get past the velvet rope. Must be nice–being chosen.
Leah: Well, Dean… you’re chosen.
Dean: More like cursed.

Sam: No drinking, no gambling, no pre-marital sex. Dean, they basically just outlawed 90% of your personality.

Sam: What’s wrong with you? Are you… drunk?
Castiel: No! Yes.
Sam: What the hell happened to you.
Castiel: I found a liquor store.
Sam: And?
Castiel: I drank it.

Dean: Where the hell have you been?
Castiel: On a bender.

Castiel: Her goal is to condemn as many souls to Hell as possible. And it’s just beginning. She’s well on her way to dragging this whole town into the pit.
Dean: All right. So then how do we go pimp of Babylon all over this bitch?

Castiel: The Whore can only be killed by a true servant of Heaven.
Dean: Servant like…?
Castiel: Not you, or me. Sam, of course, is an abomination. We’ll have to find someone else.

Castiel: This creature has the power to take a human’s form, read minds. Book of Revelations call her the “Whore of Babylon.”
Dean: Well, that’s catchy.

Dean: And the Enochian exorcism?
Castiel: Fake. It actually means, “You, um, breed with the mouth of a goat.” (the brothers look blank) It’s funnier in Enochian.

Dean: Heads up. [tosses Castiel a bottle of aspirin]
Castiel: How many should I take?
Dean: You? You should probably just down the whole bottle.

Jane: I don’t understand. How are we supposed to get to paradise now?
Dean: I’m sorry. Pretty sure you’re heading in a different direction.

Sam: Are you going to do something stupid?
Dean: Like what?
Sam: Like Michael stupid.

Sam: I got one thing, one thing, keeping me going. You think you’re the only one white-knuckling it Dean? I can’t count on anyone else. I can’t do this alone.

Dean: I have no illusions. I know the life that I live. I know how its going to end for me. Whatever. I’m okay with that. But I wanted you to know, that when I do picture myself happy, it’s with you. And the kid.

 

TRIVIA

Sam’s comments, “Wedding, Seriously?” refers to Jared’s real-life marriage to Genevieve Cortese only a few weeks prior to the premiere of this episode.

The title is referencing the Jay Z song “99 Problems” from The Black Album released in 2004. It is also the 99th episode of Supernatural.

Pastor Jim’s, the hunter friend of the Winchesters, also was based in Blue Earth, Minnesota, and it was here that he was killed by Meg  in the episode 1.21 1.21 “Salvation”.

At Comic Con 2007, Jensen suggested “You know, we ought to just mount one of those old-style sprinkler systems on top of the Impala and have it spit out Holy Water.”

When Sam says to Dean “I can’t do this alone” it echoes when Dean said the same thing to Sam in the Pilot.

 

ALLUSIONS

Title:
Referencing the Jay Z song from The Black Album released in 2004, as well as the episode number.

 

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