Ugh. Dean Winchester is killing me. Actually Sam is killing me too. Basically Sam and Dean Winchester are destroying me emotionally this season, and we’re only 3 episodes in!
I’m just going to get right into the Winchester goodness/badness/painfulness/angstynesstothepowerofamillion stuff because that's how I roll!.
I’m not going to judge Dean Winchester, I’m not. You won’t find me doing that, and not because he’s my main man, but because I am not going to judge him and his mourning. He’s a raw, open wound and I get it so completely. Yes, he’s apportioning blame where it doesn’t belong, but right now he can’t see or feel anything but his own loss and his own pain, and it’s ringing in his ears and drowning everything out as it drags him into the depths of fury and despair, and I get it. It’s grief, and it’s fresh grief, this is VERY fresh grief, and grief is a fucked up mistress that blindsides you in the worst possible way. It is a force of nature that leaves you in shock, and you can’t always control how you're going to react to things. Grief is a son of a bitch.
For Dean, from the moment everything around him imploded, he has had to look into Jack’s eyes. Jack, whose birth, whose existence Dean equates with his world upending. Every. Single. Day. That’s a lot to try and squash down, even for Dean Winchester. Dean’s had so much loss, harbours so much guilt over every death he feels he was in some way responsible for (which is most of them, and this episode added another one). Jack is a constant reminder of all of that, and of the moment everything went so bad…when that feeling that Sam and Dean had it all, family, their mum, a crew of people on their side, was in a matter of moments, ripped out from under them both, ripped out from under Dean. Is it rational for him to feel like this? Well, it’s completely understandable. Grief is a weird and hideously personal journey, and when you’re mired in it, it can be virtually impossible to see logic.
In many ways Dean’s being asked to care more about this person he’s known for 3 whole days, who is his axis of torment and a completely unknown entity, than care about the people who have been his family for years, if not his whole life, to put aside his own hurt to focus his energy and empathy on Jack, and Dean can’t, and right now that’s okay, because to be honest, to ask that of him at this time, literally a few days after losing his mum, Cas, Crowley, is unfair. Dean’s feelings are coming in second in this situation, and that’s not a judgement on Sam, Sam is conscious of his brother’s misery, we’ve seen that, but Sam’s focus is also affected by his own feelings and his unique perspective on Jack’s situation. Basically, both brothers are being driven by very deep, very old, very familiar pain…
Dean is an angry man at the best of times, a passionate man, he loves hard, he fights hard, he protects hard, and he feels deeply. We’re seeing Dean at maximum pain overload, he’s at boiling point, and it hurts like hell to watch, in every respect, because he doesn’t deserve this level of pain and he doesn’t deserve to be asked to put that on the back burner to focus on something he didn’t sign up for, just like Jack doesn’t deserve to be the brunt of Dean’s anguish. This feels like a very honest depiction of overwhelming grief. Right now Dean is barely going through the motions of living, and I’m not sure he’d even be bothered doing that if he didn’t still have Sam standing in front of him.
Sam sees everything that he went through with his own brush with evil, in Jack. Sam is definitely diverting his grief into the task at hand, and he’s most definitely projecting, but that’s not a bad thing, because he understands, and he’s Jack’s anchor right now. I loved all of the scenes between Jack and Sam, they were simply amazing. I loved that Sam was reading a book about gifted children! He’s so tender with Jack. Sam’s eternal hope and optimism is something that I’ve always loved and admired about Sam even when it’s led him down the wrong path - like with Ruby, the demon blood, and thinking it was God speaking to him when it was really Satan. Sam’s heart is forever in the right place. In the case of Jack, this has become a very personal crusade, not just because there is a chance that Jack could open the portal and if Mary is alive, the brothers could rescue her, not because training Jack to use his powers for good could save the world, but because Sam looks at Jack and sees himself reflected back at him. He understands that feeling of isolation, of what it’s like to fear what you may become…and if Sam could be saved, why not Jack?
Sam sees a kid who without support, without the love and the belief of someone, could most definitely go darkside, regardless of how badly he doesn’t want to. He sees his own struggle against his own powers, his own dark destiny. He knows that it was Dean’s belief in him, Dean’s resolute refusal to follow their father’s wishes to end Sam that was part of what kept Sam grounded, and empowered him to pull himself back from the clutches of the thing that was forced into his blood. What’s also interesting is that Jack’s like Sam in another way too - he thinks he’s let down all the people who believed in him, his mom, Cas…he thinks he’s a screw up, a disappointment. Sam has been plagued by similar feelings of inadequacy, some coming from within him as a response to the mistakes he made, and some coming from his brother - as he explained to Dean at the end of season 8. I think Sam has put most of those feelings to rest, and Dean’s support beyond that moment in the church has helped him to have the belief in himself that has seen him become both a leader, and in this case, standing up for what he feels is right, even when his brother doesn’t agree. Sam has never felt less like a little brother as when he was going toe to toe with Dean at the end of this episode. (Didn’t hurt that the camera angle had Dean having to look up! Heh.)
The argument between the brothers at the end of the ep was so damn gut-wrenching to watch. We really saw Dean’s anguish unleashed, he’d been pretty muted up until that point, but he finally let it all out with ferocity, and Sam got to hear what’s going on inside him in no uncertain terms. I actually adored every single second of this fight. I freakin’ love that Sam’s demon blood past is coming up again, I love that he’s talking about it to Jack, and I love that he’s talking about it with Dean, and acknowledging Dean for saving him. I feel like, even though most of what the brothers have gone through together has been released as water under their proverbial bridge, there are still aspects of those early conflicts around Sam’s powers that have never been thoroughly dealt with. It feels like a conversation that’s been a long time coming and I hope we explore it more. The fact that Dean used the word freak when talking about Jack made everything in me churn, I’m pretty sure you could see that word physically hit Sam like a blow. And Dean’s pure blindness when it comes to Sam is demonstrated yet again when he says Sam deserved to be saved but Jack does not. I kinda adore that blindness to be honest. Forever Sam.
I loved every heartbreaking moment of this argument. Neither side holds less merit than the other in my opinion, because they are both coming from history, both personal and familiar, and they are both coming from the heart. Here lies the brothers’ conundrum, it’s all so personal to both of them. Dean is being influenced by past experience and his own grief, Sam is being influenced by past experience and his own history and there the twain is currently not meeting - though we know it will. The acting in this scene was out of this world. The strength Jared imbued Sam with, and the torment that flowed through Jensen into Dean. I think Jensen took Dean’s pain to a level we’ve never seen. Crazy good. Oh and small point, I adored that Dean argued the whole time with his bag on his shoulder, something in that felt so real.
Meanwhile, Jack was listening to it all, like a kid listening to his parents fight!
Jack’s not just screwed up because of Dean, “I've only been on Earth for a few days and I've already hurt people. I've already done bad things.” Sure, Dean’s vocal lack of belief in the kid is not helping, but hey, the kid grew up in mere minutes, found out his mum and then the person he called father were both dead, discovered his actual father is considered the most evil creature to ever exist, was overwhelmed by powers he didn’t understand and couldn’t control, got thrown into the weirdest new family ever with a couple of angry giants, and he’s only a few days old….pretty sure all of that is screwing up Jack too!
Jack’s powers seem to be totally connected to his emotions, and that’s scaring him, and he’s suppressing them - probably subconsciously. The two bursts of power we saw when we first met Jack burst forth from fear, then when he was opening up the gate to hell for fake Donatello, he was doing something he thought was good for a friend…which brings me to Cas. Oh. My. God. Jack reached out his mind to Cas when he heard how stricken Dean is by the loss of Castiel, and that he thinks Jack manipulated Cas to his death. Maybe Jack thinks this is the one thing that he can put right. If this is the thing that is causing Dean to hate him so, is causing this conflict between the brothers, is causing all this distress to everyone all around him, if he fixes it…. But not only that, if he can show that his powers can be used for good, that he can do something with good intentions, will that stop Dean hating him so? Because you can tell how much he wants Dean to like him, you could see it in the Scooby Doo moment, you can hear it in his voice when he speaks to Sam. Or does Jack just wish for Cas because that would be someone who isn’t all yelly, and angry, and doesn’t want to use him for anything.
When Jack says,“Castiel” once again he’s super emotional (by that point we all were) - and his eyes flash yellow and his powers flare up…and he wakes up Cas! Which was a total surprise to me because I didn’t think Misha was back until episode 4, and his credit was held until the end of the episode because the show is SNEAKY! And awesome, sneaky and awesome. Cas in The Empty. This will be interesting!
Patience was not just the first of the episodes to set up the Wayward Sisters spin off, it was an episode about family history and legacy, and how this can affect not only our own paths, but how others may choose to see us, judge us, or even try to protect us from that legacy, and we saw that not only play out for Patience herself, but also for Jack, and of course, Sam and Dean.
RIP Missouri Mosley. Well, is she really gone, or will she be able to talk to her grand-daughter from the grave - like we pretty much saw, I hope so, either way, it was sad to bring Missouri back and have her die, but she did go out kick-ass and protecting her family…like all good hunters (called Winchester) would, so in the scheme of things, it was a good death. She could see what was going to happen, no escaping her destiny laying out before her, and so she sent Dean off to take care of the ones she loved, with a “Yes Ma’am” and the knowledge that Dean was as sure as hell going to save that family, (because he wasn’t able to save his own - says Dean's brain.)
We first met Missouri in episode 9 of season 1, Home. This is when we discovered that Missouri was the psychic who introduced the grieving John Winchester to what’s really out there in the dark, propelling him into the life of hunting.
There was some nice symmetry in the (brief) reintroduction of Missouri, with the moment when she hugged Dean and said she was sorry for his losses, just like she did when she first hugged Sam all those years ago. I always really appreciate these nods back to the past of our show, it’s one of the luxuries of having a show in its 13th season - the history that you can mine.
We discover that Patience doesn’t understand that she has powers, and that she’s estranged from her grandmother because of her father’s own anger and fear. There’s a lovely moment when Dean questions that James pushed his mother away. Dean obviously incredulous and instantly angry at that injustice, both for Missouri and Patience, but also in relation to Dean, because he just lost his mum for the second time…and Jody places a gentle hand on Dean’s arm to stabilise him. Such a small moment - but one that expressed who Jody is to the Winchester brothers, and how well she knows them.
I love Jody so much. Every time she’s in an episode, Kim Rhodes just lights up the screen. I absolutely adore her character, and I love the friendship that has developed between Jody, and Sam and Dean. It’s a friendship based on caring, and equality. I don’t think Dean doubted she could handle the case on her own, I just think he wanted out of the bunker and to bury himself in the work. You can see that Dean has all the belief in Jody - they looked like complete equals leaning back on the Impala like that.
Patience’s vision of everyone getting killed was sooooo disturbing. I am never going to get used to seeing Dean Winchester getting stabbed, and I never want to see that happen to Jody! Feel pretty safe in that one now! I loved the final conversation with Patience - Dean understandably telling her to forget her gift, the life, and try to live normal, with all that’s he’s been through since he was four, let alone the last days, obviously he’s going to say if you have a chance at normal, take it. He craved normal so bad for such a long time. But Jody advises Patience to be who she is and who she wants to be - make that choice, don’t let someone else make that choice for you. Wise words from Jody (also a very Kim thing to say). An excellent set up for the spinoff, with Patience onboard I guess she’s going with the powers, and a nice parallel to what’s happening to Jack too, with his mother telling him his destiny is his choice. I look forward to the next time we see Patience and Clark Backo in episode 10!
There has been so much emotional punch in the first episodes of season 13, and Patience was no different. It’s been such a powerful start to the season - I can’t remember the last time the brothers have talked so openly. Even though they’re arguing, it’s not about something either one has done to the other, but instead, it’s about what they’re facing together, and that makes a really lovely change. The man pain definitely tastes less bitter! So on to next week - where I hope there may be the occasional lighter moment! Show? Don’t break us too early!
Until then, as always, thanks so much for reading!