Sunday, 1 February 2015

Review: Supernatural 10x11 "There's No Place Like Home" - Let's Get To Work

I won’t lie…I love an episode that’s pretty much all bros. For me, Supernatural is at its best when it gets back to its roots and concentrates on where this show all began; with the brothers. There’s something magical about an episode that is all about Sam and Dean facing down a foe, side by side. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy Cas’ and Crowley’s stories…but, when we focus on just the brothers…on just the one storyline…especially if that revolves around the brothers’ current plight, and involves a much loved guest star…well then I’m a happy camper.

“There’s No Place Like Home” left me a very happy camper. The kind of happiness that only Supernatural can give me... The kind that leaves me a sobbing mess! Yep, I sobbed at the end of this episode. Great, big, ugly crying sobs!

I kid you not. I bawled. And it was a mixed up bawling of feels, because I was crying for how sad I am for Dean and what he’s going through; how scared and broken and desperately ashamed of himself he is. He looks so lost. But I was also so happy! So happy that the brothers are facing this demonic tramp-stamp together. It was all as magical as the realm, which the episode revolved around. 

“You can do this. We can do this.” 

Oh, Sammy *hugs TV*.  Perfect brothers are perfect.

I had the warm and fuzzies right from the get go. Well, not when Dark Charlie was beating the snot out of that guy, but from when we opened on the shot of Sam in the bunker and the show title “There’s No Place Like Home” came up on screen. My head knew that was just the name of the episode and a Wizard of Oz reference because of Charlie and stuff, but my heart saw Sam and the Bunker and the word home, and I melted a little *sighs the sigh of a fangirl in love* Then, when I was already going squeeeeee, Dean brings in breakfast for them both. 

There’s something so wonderful about the brothers cooking for each other. And every time we see it happen, I always feel like there hasn’t been any “Hey Sammy, you want some breakfast?” conversations going on. Just that one of them decides to make a grilled cheese sandwich, or an egg white omelette and so he makes one for his brother at the same time. Why does this fill me with love bubbles? I don’t know, but it totally does! 

I could help but giggle at Dean’s attempt to keep the Mark of Cain in check by eating healthy food. The way Jensen played it was very funny. Dean’s 12 steps and Sam’s response made me guffaw. 

“Haven’t had a drink in a week, eight hours of rack time every night, and now this masterpiece.”

“That’s three steps.” 

“Shut up and eat.” 

Oh boys! 

But it was also kinda heartbreaking. Dean is desperately trying to live with the Mark of Cain, trying to stay clean and sober, hoping that would help him to control his dark-side bursting forth and going all killy again - while every part of him screams for blood on the insides. Because what else can he do at this point? There seems to be no answers on how to remove the damn thing. Plus, Sam believes he can do it, and so Dean’s going to try whatever he can, even if that means becoming the anti-Dean. 

Actually, here’s the thing, and yes I’ve been over thinking again. After a few re-watches, it started to dawn on me that maybe what Dean’s doing is trying to be more like Sam. I mean, he’s eating Sam food! He even says that dorks like Sam eat egg white omelettes. Then there was the green smoothie thing (which he also made for Sam…swoon), and that Kale sandwich (nice shout out to Collins, the King of Kale!)

I started to wonder, if to control the Mark of Cain, whether consciously or not, Dean was trying to be more like his brother. Sam’s been through these dark times before. He’s lived with the demon blood and all that brought with it, he’s overcome a blood addiction, he came out the other side of being soulless. He’s been afflicted by the supernatural, gone bad, and come back from it good, with his humanity intact. And Dean was there, watching him go through all of this. So maybe without even knowing, in Dean’s attempts to control his dark-side, he’s trying to be more like Sam. Sam is the good to Dean's darkness. Two halves of one whole. Am I crazy? Probably, but I hope it wasn’t just my starry eyed Winchester loving heart reading Dean’s actions like this, because I seriously hope Sam sees it too. For me it spoke to how much Dean admires his brother and his brother’s continual strength, that he would turn to Sam’s dork food and clean(er) living to battle against his own dark side - a battle his brother conquered. 

Sam is Dean’s stone number one; he’s there 100% for his brother, and it does Dean the world of good to know that the one person he loves more than anything, has his back so completely. Honestly, Sam is giving me hearts in eyes the way he’s standing so strong for Dean.

The other thing Sam’s doing is giving Dean space. He’s not on at Dean all the time – which is a misstep he’s taken with his brother in the past. He knows that to harp at Dean, to continually openly worry, will only end up in pushing his fiercely proud and stubborn brother away. Sam’s not trying to hold Dean back or openly freak out (I’m sure he’s internally freaking the hell out). He’s there for Dean to lean on if he needs him. He’s there to tell Dean he can do it, they can do it. He’s standing beside his brother without smothering him. He’s been down this road himself, and he’s being as smart as hell in how he’s handling the whole situation. You can see he’s watching every move Dean makes, trying to decide whether to jump in or not, watching to see if Dean can control his anger. But he’s not intervening – and he won’t, unless he has to. 

This is massively important, because if Sam says to Dean, “I believe in you, I believe you have the power in you to control this thing”, he can’t then be acting like he doesn’t believe. In allowing Dean trust, in waiting to see if Dean can reign himself in when he’s interrogating the lawyer guy for example, or in allowing Dean to be on his own to keep an eye on Dark Charlie’s next mark, he’s reinforcing for Dean that belief. He’s backing his own words. He may be worried sick about doing it, but if he says, “I believe in you”, he also has to back that up with his actions, and that’s what he’s doing, and it’s bloody brilliant to watch.

Just by being there, Sam calms Dean, His words, his touch, it all goes towards helping Dean see beyond the fury inside him. I appreciate the hell out of Sam Winchester and I’m with Jared, Brother!Sam is my favourite Sam, followed closely by Smart!Sam, and right now, he’s both.

Dean, of course, is killing me. He’s hanging on by the thinnest of threads. At the beginning of the episode his hands are shaking, but by the end, once the Mark has been sated by violence, his hands are rock steady. That just adds to the whole tragedy. Because no matter what he tries to do to control the effects of the Mark of Cain, the only thing that actually controls it, is the thing that drives it. Blood. I totally have faith Dean is powerful enough to control the nasty ass thing on his arm, but as he so rightly said, Cain had years of giving into the Mark before he was able to contain it. Also, for Cain, containing the Mark meant isolating himself from everyone else, which is not something Dean is going to ever want to do. Dean needs his people. The Mark has to go. 

Dean’s internal battle between his good side and his dark side was framed by Charlie’s return from Oz. Because Charlie came back split in two and her battle to reconcile herself with the darkness that lay with in her – but that was actually out roaming on its own (!) - mirrored Dean’s current predicament.

I love Charlie. She’s a character I can relate to. She’s a character I can see actually living in our world! The way she has integrated into the Winchester’s lives warms my cockles. Dean calls her “our” Charlie. He’s so shocked and put out that she’s back and didn’t call them! And I loved the way he defended her at every step, over the video, or the psych report – relating it back to him and Sam. Dean just couldn’t believe that their Charlie would be anything but sparkly! I think that went a long way towards trusting Dark Charlie to go into the office of man who killed her parents, because he wanted to believe that his Charlie would never kill anyone. Of course, he also wanted to believe that the dark side of Charlie could control the urge to kill, because if she can…maybe there’s a chance Dean can too. But of course she couldn’t, which sent Dean off to a bar and stumbling on at least one of the 3-steps in his plan.

The scene in the bar with Dean and Dark Charlie was one of my favourites, because Charlie had a line that reinforced something that Sam said to Dean in last week’s episode…

“You know what I learned about being dark, it sets you free, and part of you knows that’s right [too]”

This relates directly back to Sam insightfully telling Dean that there was part of Dean that wanted to give in to the Mark of Cain. Having that thing on him, giving into it, clears him somehow – because there’s something he can blame, but not only that, allowing the Mark to take him back to a demon state would set him free from guilt altogether. That’s when Dean was at his darkest…he was all dark (and all hot) and he was totally free. Dean’s always struggled with the belief that he’s a killer, he’s always lived with, at sometimes, crippling guilt over what he’s done, but being dark freed him of all of that and there must be a part of him that longs now for the kind of release that being a demon gave him. 

Charlie also had some great scenes with Sam. I think I’ve said before that I love that Sam and Charlie have become closer. They seem like two peas in a pod to me. Where as Dean’s relationship with Charlie seems very much big brother, little sister, Sam’s relationship with Charlie seems more of equals and more of a friendship. Not to say that Sam isn’t protective of Charlie, we certainly saw him spin into action to save our favourite geek girl at the end of the episode. Sam holding Charlie in his arms on the ground as she sobbed was so gorgeous. Though Dean over in the corner, looking at his bloodied knuckles, stunned into disbelief and shame at what he’d done kind of hogged my attention a little. Damn these Winchesters pulling my heart in ever which way!

The whole closing scene between Charlie and Dean, as Sam watches on was oh so ouchy. Dean could barely look at Charlie because of what he did to her and she totally calls him out on never forgiving himself. Yay Charlie! But Charlie also said to Dean something us fans think all the time, he’s got something special, he’s got something Cain never had (Dean’s eyes flick to Sam *heart explodes*) he’s a Winchester. YES! YES TO INFINITY AND BEYOND! Charlie, you rock!

I’m hopeful that Charlie will be back. She’s off on quest. Remember how she wanted a quest? Well now she’s got one, and it’s very personal and important to her, because now she gets to try and save a member of her family. Because like so many others that have crossed the Winchesters’ path, Charlie is now very much a part of the brother’s family that don’t end with blood. I’m sure we’ll hear from her by phone, from Italy! But I do hope we see her again, because I like her a hell of a lot and that only increases with each visit she pays us.

There were a few other moments that I really liked and want to mention:

The interrogation of the lawyer… HOT HOT HOT! Those close ups of Dean! Thanks Phil!

The rock aliases “Agents Gabriel and Collins” GENESIS! How very biblical.

Rocket and Groot!

Dean reaching out to touch and reassure Sam when Charlie called him an albatross. Awwwww!

Charlie telling the boys that secrets are bad. RIGHT ON SISTER! (Listen to her dudes!)

Dean eating almonds while listening to Bob Singer teaching him how to quiet his mind by minding his quiet!

Dean yelling out “Son of a bitch”, calling Baby, Baby, jacking a new car, reading up on mammograms, loving bubbly jacuzzis! Oh bless.

The fabulous special effects with the Wizard coming through the broken mirror and the crazy green rope that tied up Sam. 

Sam being tied up. (There’s always something awesome about the boys being tied up. Don’t tell me you don’t feel the same way!)

Dean being honest and saying “No” when Sam asks if he’s good. (I’m so proud of you, Dean.)

“There’s No Place Like Home” ticked all the boxes for me. I loved the further extension of the Oz story, all the brother moments, all the brothers with Charlie moments. There were laughs and tears and feels a plenty, plus I was fully involved in every aspect of the story from the open to the close. Once again, Robbie Thompson turned in a corker of a script. The performances were as usual, spot on. Jensen never ceases to amaze me in how much of Dean he shows without saying a damn word. I’ve never loved a character so much in my life and I know I never will and so much of that is because of what Jensen infuses into Dean Winchester each week. For me, he is the most complex and beautiful character on television and this episode was a brilliant representation of that. Jared’s Sam is always a gorgeous thing, but right now he’s exuding this strength that seems to fill the whole screen – sure he’s gigantic, but it’s like he’s filled with power right now…dare I say, the power of love. I DID! I DARED! Ack. Sam’s awesome. And Felicia’s two Charlies were two perfect halves of a perfect whole. I loved them both. I love her.

I’m all verklempt! But weirdly, I saw a glimmer of hope at the end of this episode, but maybe that was just the light gleaming off Dean’s knight in shining armour standing at his side. Sam and Dean are as together as I’ve ever seen them. United. Trusting. Caring. Talking. Fighting one of the most important fights they’ve ever had to fight. Yup. I’m crying again. Tears of pain and love. How very Supernatural.


(P.S. I need fanart of the MoC actually as a tramp-stamp. Can someone sort that out for me? Please and thank you).


  1. It's as if I wrote this review myself....I agree with everything you said. and you are not alone, I and a few others also noticed and believe that dean is in fact emulating sam....whether unconsciously or not doesn't even matter, what tickles me to no end is that with all the teasing and the griping when it comes to sam and his eating or working out.....dean truly respects and admires him for it. for some reason that pleases me. I guess because when someone emulates the other, it's usually out of love. how many times have we see sam act like dean ...or even admit to wanting to be just like him? i'm with you on this sod, it's squee kind of love for me.

    I too saw a silver lining at the end of this eppy. I know that the popular belief is that dean's hand stopped shaking after his bouts of violence...but I guess what I found important, is that dean, when he heard sam, was able to control himself. sam is his stone no. one. he's his touchstone. sam does and always has kept him human...even though now it's his actual voice that calms dean down, his actual presence, I honestly believe that sam's faith in dean and his love for him will eventually be enough for dean....that he won't need sam in the room, that just knowing sam has faith in him will be enough. after Charlie's talk and sam's talk at the end...I kind of felt that his steady hand had more to do with his control than that of the moc being sated.

    the sam girl that I am, I too am loving sam this season, as I do every season....but I am so impressed with him. I've always felt sam to be more of a think first it makes sense to me that he would be very cautious and careful in how he handles his brother and his situation. I do agree that the power of love, yes a curious thing...does seem to be exuding from every one of sam's pores and i'm loving every minute of it. I have no doubt that dean will have to save himself, but it's going to be sam that gives him the strength to fight.

    I think Charlie kind of nailed it when she told dean it was his move after she told him she forgave him but he didn't. hope he heeds her words.

    1. Hey nappi! Nice to see you came back!

      I'm glad I wasn't the only one seeing Dean emulating Sam. I think he admires his brother's strength a hell of a lot and even though he teases, this is a true showing of that love and respect.

      No matter how sad some of this episod was, the love just bounced of the screen, the love the boys had for Charlie and return and the love that is so clear between the brothers. I'm adoring them. I'm adoring that Sam calms Dean, his voice, his touch and I'm adoring how together they are. And I have a feeling their relationship will only continue to grow stronger from now on.

      And yep, totally agree. Charlie nailed it when she said not forgiving himself was Dean's move. How's that working for him? Pretty damn crap.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Hi Amy, loved your review. I have been checking in heer since you left WFB (still miss you) and haven't figured out how to post so here goes another attempt. Your love for the brothers and the show always shines through and mirrors my views in so many ways. It is so nice to feed my spn loving soul to read your reviews. It can be rough out there! :-)


    1. Hey Leah! Good to see you! Thanks for tracking me down!

  3. I think dean needs to apologize to sam. I don't think metatron's laundry list of dean's sins were just to remind all of us or dean his part he played. I think there was a reason for that. I think the moc is feeding off of dean's self loathing. and I think part of the reason he's so angry at himself is because of what he did to sam. I get that he did it out of love. it wasn't the saving that was the big issue for sam. it was the lying. had dean spilled the beans when sam admitted he believed something was wrong with him, dean would've found out sooner that gad wasn't who he said he was. though kevin most likely would've met his end, it very well might not have been at sam's hand. it was sam's guilt over kevin that exacerbated his anger towards dean...but sam has long forgiven dean for everything...but dean hasn't. he's still holding onto all that guilt and anger at himself and the moc is feeding off of it. I think between metatron's speech, sam's speech and Charlie's....I think the key to dean gaining control is to rid himself of the guilt...and to do set himself free, he needs to say the words to sam that he hasn't had the ability to say....once he does that he can let go of all that self loathing...he will gain control over the moc til they can get rid of least that's my

    personally, I think dean will come to realize this....

    hey sod, did you notice that the da Charlie beat up was on fallen idols and the drunk driver was the professor who took a header out the window in tall playing which ep was he/she on before?

    my favorite line though did come from Charlie when she told dean: you hit like a girl who's never learned to hit.

    all in all.....loved loved loved this the eps that are about love and family....which this totally was.

    always a pleasure reading your reviews....looking forward to next week's.

    1. I think you could be on to something. The brother's are communicating so openly, we could well be moving towards that kind of conversation between them. I hope so. It would do them both the world of good.

      I did notice those two actors - also the Men of Letters fellow, Clive was the God Odin in Hammer of the Gods! I love how this show recycles!

  4. didn't everyone just look so delicious in pink

  5. once again, you are living in my head.

    I was so glad to get an episode that was all about the brothers; as much as i love Cas and Crowley - i'm not one of those who wants them to have their own SLs, for me, it's all about the brothers and how the ancillary characters intersect with them - that's when show works best in my opinion.

    i was especially taken with the idea of Dean emulating the best person he knows, (Sam) in order to be strong enough to fight the MoC. the support and love that Sam is showing fills me with ALL kinds of warm and fuzzies for Sam. Jared is right, BrotherSam is the best Sam for me.

    Show often shows Sam and Dean themselves through the story of another character - it's not always successful, but it really worked in this case. if felt like Dean really "got" the message of watching Charlie struggle with being all one or the other, and recognizing she had to re-integrate both sides of herself and choose which side to feed.

    i'm continually amazed by the quality of our Show - 10th season, and they still kick it in the ass every week. truth be told, i wasn't crazy about 'Slumber Party' - didn't dislike it, but i felt like it could have been better, but i loved this episode so much! Robbie has become one of my favorite TV writers of all time, can't wait to see what else we get from him.

    1. It was super episode and I feel the same way, I like other characters to populate the brother's lives to further their story most of all. That's when, for me the show truly shines. The story of the Winchester brothers is just that epic.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

  6. I was thinking that maybe you might be wondering how I came up with an apology from dean to being the key to ridding himself of all that anger ...and I thought I should explain myself a little better.

    my thinking is that an apology would open the floodgate to dean's true monster/ his real's not so much what he's done as to why it is he did it that he needs to face and come to terms with.

    once dean tells sam he's sorry then he will be forced to come to terms with himself as to why he did it in the first place and hopefully will confess this to sam....when he can face the truth about what his real fear is, his real monster then hopefully he'll be able to conquer it. at the very most, with sam by his side, with sam truly understanding where dean is coming from, sam will give dean not only forgiveness, but I believe sam will give him the love and words he so needs to hear...assuring dean that nothing he does will ever make sam think any less of him or ever see him as a failure...which I believe dean feels himself to be....

    1. I really do hope it happens. I think Sam saying Dean never had to thank him for saving him was a really big moment between the bros, but I think Dean's got a lot on his chest that he needs to get out. A lot of guilty surrounding what happened to Sam and consequently to Kevin and those negative emotions only fuel his darkness. I think the last couple of seasons has been all about the brothers learning to understand the other's position and point of view, that's why they are both taking mirrored journeys, so hopefully Dean will finally be able to be honest with himself and Sam about the guilt that he continues to carry.

      Love having your here commenting nappi, I've missed your insights.

  7. Thank for another wonderful review. I have watched this episode 3 times now (and might be going for a 4th) and it gets better every time. The only other episode I have watched even more is that other Robbie Thompson script the wonderful Fan Fiction. He so gets the feel of the show and the brothers. You are right this show is on a level that no other show achieves for me when it focuses on Sam and Dean. Jared and Jensen have an electric chemistry with each other and the viewers that makes you believe these are real people living real lives. And Felicia Day goes toe to toe with them in every one of her appearances. Loved this episode and loved your review.

    1. Thanks Cheryl! Robbie is a gem that's for sure. Certainly my favourite writer on the show!

  8. I loved the episode. For me Dean was also trying to copy Sam to how to handle the MoC. I don't see it working though. I mean the healthy part and usually it is not good to just snap your fingers and give up immediately all your guilty pleasures. I saw it a bit like Dean was also punishing himself at the same time with the healthy stuff. Its Dean, come on! :D

    Also I loved the effects the episode had and the brotherly moments. Well, all of them made me go a puddle of messy goo. I mean how Sam is. I just love it and my heart breaks for Dean. He really tries so hard. How the boys are to Charlie and how everyone the boys know and love are on board to save Dean. Charlie got that mission this episode, Castiel was present by phone talks and checking up on Dean.

    I love Charlie's relationship to both boys. I melted with Sam!hug and drowned on the Dean one. This episode was just... damn good.

    PS. Dean being a master cook made me cheer. :D

    - Lilah

    1. I would say copy, I'd say emulate or aspire to be like and though I don't think it will be the way he conquers the Mark, I think that the fact that he is even doing that conciously or not, it's so wonderful.

      I also love that Dean can cook. That's super adorable!

      Thanks for commenting!

  9. As usual, a wonderful review Amy. I am just loving the broments and how they are working together. Just yes on everything S10! Understanding and gentle Sam. Angst filled Dean who is TALKING to his brother!

    On a side note. I listened to your podcast today and I thought it was just me but YES, I agree, Sam is looking taller. In many of the screen shots of the eps I swear he looks a foot taller than Dean!

    1. Thank you! And thanks for listeing to the podcast! :)

  10. So I was just thinking about your awesome review and how the relationship between Sam and Dean has shifted this year. I remembered how in Sacrifice he asked his brother who Dean was going to turn to the next time he was in trouble, and it was obvious that Sam didn't think Dean believed in him, would ever turn to him.

    This feeling of unworthiness I think attributed to Sam's decision that the world was better off without him, and certainly no better off with him, in season 9.

    Now Dean is in more trouble than he's ever been in. And the person that he is leaning on, the person he is counting on to help pull him through this, is Sam.

    To be Dean's rock? That's all Sam ever wanted, to be to Dean what Dean has always been to Sam. I think that is why Sam is walking taller (lke you said if that's possible), that he's become more open and accessible, than he is blossoming this season. You can see the other characters in their lives responding to Sam's new confidence- Cas is calling him up daily, good!Charlie relied heavily on Sam to see her through her crisis.

    I am a samgirl so this is making me incredibly happy. I love your reviews by the way, I think they are awesome (as well as the women of letters podcasts. I listened to the lastest "half hour" podcast for almost an hour and a half today :)

    1. I think your spot on about Sam and feeling worth because his brother needs him. This is all Sam wants and on the flipside, all Dean wants is to feel like Sam is there for him. These two are doing so great this season!

      And thanks for listening to our podcast! I don't know what we were thinking when we decided to make it 1/2 hour. In the 32 eps we done, not one has been a 1/2 hour!!!! :D

  11. Not much to say other than, your review/recaps always bring a smile to my face. No Place Like Home is one of my favorites so far in a wonderful 10th season. It had just about everything that I love about SPN and getting to see Dark Charlie was awesome!

  12. Yeah, this one will rank up there as a favourite.

    Like musical!Dean sang, 'wish I could be as strong as Sam."