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Supernatural - Episode 6.07 - Family Matters - Recap by Selina

We got answers this week, hard and fast, and that was great because it allowed us to move forward with the story. We now know what's up with dear Sam, and I hope I wasn't the only one who breathed a massive sigh of relief. Let's take a look...

(PS all past reviews and more are located at The Patchwork Blog.)

Soul waver, look around...

We pick up where we left off last week, after that brilliantly brutal ending, with Castiel and Dean diagnosing a bruised and incarcerated Sam.

Sam answers some questions: he doesn't sleep, and he doesn't feel anything emotionally - so Castiel does that torture thing like he did on the child a few episodes back. He doesn't find anything, however: Sam has no soul.

A-ha! Didn't we suspect this?! And better this than Sam's just turned mean, right? Joyful dance of joyfulness!

Bad news though is that the soul is still in the cage. Ouch. But as Cas says, this is an interesting philosophical question, because Sam is there, in front of them, walking and talking and wondering what's wrong with him... so how is the physical and the soul split? What, of Sam's, is in the cage? What unites them? I mean, the Sam before them now, is he like a robot? An imprint, a memory of Sam without the actual essence? Or is he still the one-and-only Sam, just without emotion? Questions...

Dean wants to keep Sam locked up. But Sam, puppy eyes and all, tells Dean, "you're stuck with the soulless guy so you might as well work with me. Let's fix this."

So Dean, distrustful, tells Sam he'll be watching him. And it's funny, isn't it, because this isn't some demon impostor... it's Sam. But... not. I am so confused.

Recapping for the "wing-man". Lulz.

To find answers, the brothers return to the Campbells, to find the place packed. Samuel is reading a letter, which he quickly locks away when they enter.

We find out how big angels are in their true form - about the size of the Chrystler building. "Quit bragging," Dean tells Cas, haha, and Samuel tells them the abridged story. Castiel does the torture thing again and finds a soul in there! Huh. Interesting.

Samuel knew that something was up with Sam. "Sometimes you scare me." Once again we peg Samuel as a great guy... but obviously, nothing can ever be that simple right?

Meanwhile, our side mystery of the alpha demons takes a twist, because Samuel is preparing a hunt for the vampires. He didn't invite Sam because he doesn't trust Dean - or rather, he doesn't know him. But hey, he's his grandson... kind of mean. Dean pledges to captain Campbell, but reveals to Robo-Sam that he doesn't trust him. Good thing Dean's not one of those stupid TV characters who believes everything at face value and takes ages to figure out something that the audience has known all along... I hate those.

Sam notes that it's interesting to see Dean not trusting family. I suppose he's got a point, but there's a difference between John and Sam, and this unknown, long-dead relative who's mysteriously reappeared wouldn't you say? Maybe Robo-Sam doesn't see the distinction. Heehee, I see the line of action toy figures now...

Gwen rocks! If fanlistings were still cool, I'd make her one.

Dean tries to break into Samuel's office and is stopped by Christian. They have a verbal face-off, and their mutual dislike is made painfully apparent. Dean is so much more attractive than that guy. And also, you know, more heroic.

Dean is paired with Gwen, in the reject rear, while Sam joins the fighters. Sam tries to reassure Dean, but "nothing's fine, you're not fine." It's sad.

Gwen is sick of getting left behind, apparently she reminds Samuel of Mary. I forget, she's a cousin right? She does a cool beheading thing with an attacking vamp and that pretty much won me over, I like her.

Dean doesn't though, he doesn't take her offered hand. He runs after the gunshots, and sees dead hunters all over the ground. He sees Sam and Samuel capture the alpha and take him into the van that also took the shapeshifter.

Gwen covers for Dean (woot!) - and I wonder if one of the reasons she's always left behind is because she's not privy to the hunters' plan for the alphas. Maybe she's too pure, too good to go along with it.

When Dean pulls over the car after Sam lies to him, I realise what it is I like about the show's change of pace this season: no more bullshit. Lots of things happen, fast, and lingering pent-up emotion is a thing of seasons past, not something Dean can be bothered with anymore. He is, quite literally, the only emotional lead right now, and he's a great one. He gets things done and talks out his emotions, which is refreshing.

He steps out of the car (as he always does before a big con-fron) and tells Sam what he saw. He's sick of secrets, of beating around the bush. Turns out it was Sam's idea to keep the alphas alive and torture them: while Dean shoots first, Sam needs answers. Yet he doesn't really care what those answers are. He doesn't see the shadiness of what's going on, he's lost his instincts. He is pure math-brained, all reason no rhyme, and Dean can't stand it. He wants control, or no part of it.

All Vampires Go to Legoland.

So Sam, in a slightly predicable but still really awesome twist, appears to choose Samuel over Dean but really chooses Dean. It's a total Snape situation, guys. And it's nice to see that soulless or not, Sam still goes with Dean. Just cause.

They track Sammy Sr. to the alpha vamp, who is of course being kept in a shady warehouse. Complete with massive pipes and danger stickers. Where else? Just once, I'd like to see something like this go down at some nice horse stables or something. But I digress.

They've done a Jesus thing on the alpha vamp with dead man's blood, but nothing seems to hurt him. He sits quite comfortably in his cell, doing some recreational nail growing, and calls the brothers in to see him.

For a time, Dean was "his child", so he feels all connected to him. He's totally alpha, old and stuff. The First + vampires, seriously, it's Buffy all over again. All we need now is for Gwen to get called as a slayer and we're golden.

The vamp knows instantly that Sam has no soul... as is often the case, once the characters know, suddenly it becomes commonly discussed knowledge. "Do you feel how empty you are?" When vampires die, they don't go to Legoland... but purgatory. Isn't that a Lost-thing that's in between Here and There, like a waiting place? Apparently it's a whole third place for the souls of the non-humans. God is such a favouritist. Turns out Samuel wants to find that place, he "does as he is told..." but just as we're about to learn to big truth, we are interrupted.

The boys are taken hostage, and boo, Gwen is still loyal to the Campbells. Meanwhile the alpha breaks free, so the merry band must reassemble for one night only to chase after him.

Me Charlie. You angels.

Dean starts calling the shots (as he should, show Christian what he's made of), convincing the others that he alpha should be killed, not kept as an absurd, deadly pet.

Christian bites it, and alpha has "big plans" for Sammy. Get in line dude, behind all the other SPN villains who's expressed such a sentiment.

He doesn't get to bite Sam though, because something weird happens: Christian, eyes black, rises to stab the alpha with the dead man's blood, then there is a flash and Sam, Dean and Gwen stop in shock and watch three black-eyed hunters take the alpha and disappear with him.

Crowley applauds. They were demons, the ones who took the alpha away. Turns out it's Crowley who Samuel has been answering to, Crowley who's been looking for purgatory. He wants it, and... he's the one who brought Sam and Samuel back to help him find it. And he's the one who's keeping Sam's soul in limbo.

So now the extended Campbell-Winchester association answers to Mr. Crowley, or Sam ends up back in the cage. And I just found such an awesome still of Sam in this scene that I just had to use for this week's recap, even though I had a more appropriate one lined up... look at the way the lamps are reflected in his eyes as he shrewdly regards Crowley, no real emotion there, just comprehension. Jared is really an excellent actor.

Get the vaaaan, Gwen, and don't you come back no more no more no more no more...

So now we see the warrior close-ups: Samuel, Sam, Dean... and Gwen. Great. We need some girls in this show, they seem to keep dying.

Samuel has his reasons for sticking with Crowley - you reckon he's bargaining for Mary, trying to get her back? That would certainly throw a big wrench into the big plot wheel of awesomeness. I'm not sure I'd like it though, they keep bringing people back left and right and it kind of diminishes the whole thing.

"You boys... you're my family," Samuel tells Sam and Dean, sounding an awful lot like John. Sam is ready to kill him, but Dean still values family enough to let him go.

And Sam and Dean form a temporary game plan, for once ending the episode on ano-bullshit equal footing: they'll follow Crowley's plan for now, and when they get the chance, they'll "give the son of a bitch what's coming to him," as Sam so eloquently phrases it. "You with me Dean?" and SCENE. But I'm guessing that yeah, he's with him.