The HighlightsAbaddon rocked. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a strong, menacing demon that actually felt like a threat. Yes we’ve had Crowley, but let’s face it. She’s right. Crowley’s a salesman. Alaina Huffman was a great casting choice who is paying off. Yes, bringing her meatsuit back after Sam burned her in the season 8 finale requires a suspension of disbelief, but I think you have to be willing to let certain things like that slide to watch a show like this. The definition of the powers demons possess has always been fluid, and I’m willing to let this one go to get a great actress back. Her scene was Dean was both menacing and steamy. It takes a lot for a demon to scare Dean Winchester, but it seemed that Abbadon was able to get under his skin.
Crowley also started his nefarious scheming, still being held captive in Sam and Dean’s dungeon, as he worked on Kevin. What he hopes to accomplish is unclear, but Crowley is scrappy. While he doesn’t have many resources on his side at the moment, being restrained in a devil’s trap, he’s good at turning things to his advantage, so Sam and Dean should watch out.
We got a great scene with Ezekiel letting the angel come out within Sam. The scene of him lighting up the diner was reminiscent of season 4, when angels were awe-inspiring and powerful. Jared did a really good job of transitioning between Sam and Ezekiel so that it flowed very naturally.
The GoodI’m really starting to like Kevin. He’s a kid who has been pushed into this absurd situation of being a prophet of God, being hunted by the King of Hell, being forced to remain isolated while scary things happen that he doesn’t truly understand or is prepared to confront. He’s a great addition to the team, and he’s merging into the group seamlessly. Kevin is filling a void left by Bobby. And as great of a character as Bobby was, Kevin’s different methods and personality will brings some freshness to the dynamics that was needed. Also, as the junior member of the team, rather than the all-knowing seer and parental figure, Kevin is not a risk for detracting from Sam and Dean having more active and influential roles in the action, which as the shows’ leads, they should have.
The scene of Sam and Dean looping Kevin into the call, unsure of how Kevin would respond, was awesome and one of my favorites from this episode. All three actors did a great job, but my eyes kept being drawn to Jared’s reactions. He has a very expressive face, and every now and then – not often enough in my opinion – he hams it up a little with a comic scene, and it’s really funny to watch. My best example of this from prior scenes was season 2’s The Usual Suspects. Sam and Dean are talking to the victim, and Dean is making brash, insensitive comments. Sam’s expressions alternate from disapproving looks shot at Dean to puppy-dog, sympathetic looks as he turns to the victim.
Sam with the angel wings and Dean with the heated foreplay with a demon was a nice switch up – although a little unsettling.
The pace moved along nicely. Overall I enjoyed the episode on the first watch, and a lot of it seemed to transistion nicely from one action to the next. On a second watch, I was a little more critical. It's an episode I probably won't remember a few months from now, but it did its job.
Dean used the “f” word with Kevin (family). I’m in the camp of those who thought Dean’s comment about considering Kevin family felt premature. He cares about Kevin, sure, but they don’t have that type of relationship yet. With other characters, being on the same team would be enough cause for them to start talking about family, but for Dean that term takes on whole new levels of meaning. And of course his comment that both he and Sam would die for Kevin brings up the unpleasant recollection that when Kevin was kidnapped from Crowley, Sam ditched his phones rather than try to look for him.
Finally, there were missed opportunities to have Sam interact with other characters and add a little balance to Dean’s one-on-one scenes with Abaddon, Ezekiel, Kevin, and the female hunter, compared with Sam’s scene with the male hunter. It’s almost a joke now with how lopsided this has become. The writers need to burn that memo from season 6 that said that going forward, a minimum of three-quarters of the interactions with guests and supporting characters will be with Dean. The missed opportunity of the week was between Crowley and Sam. There was a scene in which Crowley was left alone to think about his humanity – a change set in motion during the Sam/Crowley interactions in Sacrifice. Why not throw in a few lines of dialogue that has Sam reminding of Crowley of what happened that day? The added benefit would be that it would make it look like Sam and Dean have a plan and aren’t so incompetent around Crowley.
The SpeculationWas anyone else thinking that Ezekiel knowing everything that Sam knows is a really huge risk? It’s like the threat that Cas posed in season 7 when he was God and knew all of Sam and Dean’s habits. But this is even worse. Sam has a lot more knowledge about Sam and Dean than Cas ever did.
Since Kevin is now considered “family” by Dean, and seems to be prey for demon manipulation, does this mean he’s being set up to “betray” (disappoint) Dean?