Is it just me, or has season 13 been super good so far?
The dark stuff is super creepy, and the fun, light stuff is grounded in the joy we get from having gone on such a long journey with these characters. I happily cry with them, and laugh with them, and these episodes have been exactly what I watch this show for.
And then, something happens that is totally and completely unexpected.
No, not the phone call at the end of the episode. Anyone who has ever watched television knew who was on the other end of that call. I meant the sudden appearance of Death.
That totally caught me off guard, and how exciting is it when the show is able to pull off something like that? Dammit, I love this show.
The episode starts with some dumb kid (Evan), dragging his nervous friend (Sean) to a creepy house so they can get a video of creepiness, I guess. I was never one of these kinds of kids. I would have been like their friend Mike, who was scared enough to not go, no matter how many names his dumb friend Evan called him, and thus avoided being drilled to death in the brain by some psychotic ghost monster.
Anyway, Sam Winchester is on a mission, and it’s very cute. Over the course of the episode, he offers Dean a beer for breakfast; brings Dean some hair of the dog after a night of drinking and (implied) debauchery; let’s Dean be “Agent Page” when they go looking for Dr. Lobotomy; and then offers to go to the strip club The Clam Diver, because it has good reviews. Sam checked the reviews of a strip club before offering to take Dean there! How effing cute is that? (I don’t think I’d need reviews to convince me to go. Maybe I would go to a strip club called The Clam Diver just because the name is so perfect, it would be a shame to not just take a peek.)
Of course, this is one nicety too far for Dean, who after relaying Sam’s need to talk strippers into going to nursing school, wants to know why Sam is being so weird (aka nice) to him. And while Dean appreciates Sammy’s concern, Dean pushes him away, claiming he will deal, like always, “with bullets, bacon and booze. Lots of booze.”
And this is how Dean “deals with it”: The moment killing himself is an option, Dean takes it. Yeah, he’s done this before. Dying for a Winchester is practically a milk run at this point, but Sam and I are quite upset that Dean is willing to jump so easily into the abyss. Before Sam has a chance to even make a case against it, Dean has stabbed himself in the heart with his handy needle of death he’s been carrying around, giving Sam no choice but to watch over his dead brother for the allotted three minutes before stabbing him in the heart to revive him.
This is an awfully dramatic way to find some bodies, Dean!
Jessica, a reaper, greets Dean as he trails a fellow ghost, and when he greets her, saying he is Dean as he hurries past her, Jessica catches on to which Dean this is. She heads back to Death’s reading room, announcing that Dean Winchester is dead, which is probably a regular thing that happens in Death’s reading room, right? Winchesters die all the time!
Not only has someone taken Death’s place as the New!Death, but that someone is Billie. The reaper that Castiel stabbed in the back last season! She has a stylish new scythe, a more feminine ring, and looks GORGEOUS.
Death really becomes her.
Turns out, if Death dies, the next reaper who bites it, becomes Death. This is ultimately handy for the Winchesters, because knowing Death, even if she had it out for them in her previous job, has always been a positive for the Winchesters. And now that Billie is running the death show, she seems to have come around to the side of our beautiful boys, telling Dean that she isn’t letting him die today, because she now knows that Dean and his brother “have work to do.”
Let’s stop for a minute to enjoy how awesome this scene between Dean and Billie really is. It didn’t feel like some exposition dump, or a means to an end, but a compelling back and forth between two very powerful characters. Dean, broken from all the losses around him, maybe, finally, broken for good, and Billie, explaining her revelations, now that she has seen the bigger picture. It gave us lots of information in a really emotional, character driven way, and once Billie refuses Dean’s deathwish, and sends him back to his increasingly panicking brother, it makes the sorrow that Dean is carrying feel important and weighty.
And then Dean’s cell rings, and the audience knows that Dean is gonna get one of those wins he has been achingly desperate for since everything went kerflooey at the end of season 12.
Castiel is just as emotional as we are, as Sam and Dean are, and suddenly, everything seems possible again. Castiel, back in his original trench coat and tie, fought to get back to his family, and if the promos for next week are any indication, his appearance gives Dean a much needed lift.
Oh my god, I can’t wait for Jack and Castiel to finally meet. After lots of tearful hugs from Sam and Dean, I hope. We all need some tearful hugs, right?