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Supernatural - 6.21 - Let It Bleed - Recap by Selina

The first part of the big finale event, 'Let it Bleed,' really set up what I can only imagine will be one hell of a shindig - but I'll keep this recap about THIS episode specifically, partially because of pacing and partially because... I haven't watched 6x22 yet. See, I went away this weekend and only got back now, Sunday night. Having to get up early tomorrow, I compromised with myself (because I couldn't wait!) and decided to watch and review an episode today, and one tomorrow. And like a reader suggested in the comments, I could keep the two recaps separate. We know how much I love to ramble on, and this could easily turn into a novel-length read! So enjoy this recap, I hope I picked up on some things you might have overlooked (and feel free to return the favour and point out whatever I missed in the comments), and that I provided commentary on some of the things you were thinking, too.

The recap of the season finale, 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' will appear here tomorrow, so watch out for that!

These recaps are also posted on my TV blog, Out of the Box. Also check out Hypable for more Supernatural content by me - I cover SPN, The Vampire Diaries and Fringe over there.

H.P... Lovegood? What? Sorry, I only speak Rowling.

The episode begins with a bang - of thunder, that is. We find ourselves in 1937, surprising only the people who didn't watch the previews, where a man is typing away. He finishes his manuscript, and just as he lays the last sheet on the stack, his door eerily creaks open. This is usually the way a redshirt guest star dies, but this is the past, so who knows. The man grabs a gun and heads towards the noise (was he expecting company?), but he sees nothing in the hallway. He's clearly agitated and keeps drinking - and then his window breaks!

"Please. We didn't know," he says, as an eerie shadow creeps towards him. "I'm sorry!" But the eerie shadow is not in a forgiving mood, and the poor nice man is killed dead, blood splattering all over his manuscript.

The book is revealed to be "Haunter of the Dark," and the man's name is H.P. Lovecraft. Riiiiight, him! Okay, I confess, I've seen the excitement in the SPN fandom that the writers introduced this guy's mythology but I have no idea who he is. His Wikipedia page is giving me nothing. I did, however, do all the unenlightened like myself a favour and look up "Haunter of the Dark," and this is what I got: The book is the sequel to "The Shambler from the Stars" and is part of something called the Cthulhu Mythos, which is a fictional universe developed by Lovecraft but shared by many other writers (now including SPN, I suppose). The central theme in this creation/mythology/lore/whatever you want to call it is that "humanity is insignificant on a cosmic scale." In the Mythos there are "Great Old Ones," fearful and powerful deities who came from outer space and ruled the earth in ancient times, including Cthulhu, who lies "dead but dreaming", and when the stars are right Cthulhu will rise and wreak havoc on earth. (Source: The Wikipedia page)

That was Lovecraft 101, all you need to know. Sounds cool. Let's move on.

"Hi nice to meet ya, Bobby Singer, paranoid bastard."

Back to the boys now, Dean is sad about Castiel - can I have a resounding "Awwww?" Now that it seems the (fictional, cough) pairing of Dean/Castiel will win the (supposedly canonical, cough) Romance Competition here on SpoilerTV, I want to ask you all: are we Dean/Cas shippers, really? Because I always thought shippers of non-existent, sexuality-ignoring pairings were in the minority, so I am confused by the popularity of this "couple". Do you vote for them because it's Supernatural, and you just love the show that much? Or what? As much as I love Dean, and Cas, and Cas and Dean, I don't understand how this is a couple, and why it's being treated like one.

Whatever, so Dean is emo, and Sam tries to cheer him up. "Hey Dean, remember when everyone and their mother was shipping you and me instead?" Okay so he didn't say that. I would have, it might have cleared the tension.

They wonder why Cas even bothered to come - and here we thought he was just saying goodbye - but as Bobby can explain, he nicked a Campbell journal! Castieeeel why you be like this, yo? Breaking a poor fangirl's heart, you are.

Luckily, Bobby cuts a few corners and saves us another half hour of finale, and reveals that he already made a copy of this... I wanna say Moisha? I can never spell these names right. Anyway, her journal.

They discuss H.P. Lovecraft and I learn how to pronounce Cthulhu. Sam is all about it (yay! Personality), but Dean doesn't know anything about it. "I was too busy having sex with women." Well, I can't use that excuse for not knowing about it.

They talk about the notion that is repeated in his stories: "Opening doors to other dimensions and letting scary crap through." Sounds Purgatory-y to me!

Guess someone's a little more Sam than Dean!

I still say that Ben is Dean's biological son. In a funny and I'm sure completely unorchestrated coincidence, Ben is reading the Cthulhu Tales, while Lisa and her new boyfriend are watching TV. But oh no! Evil men break through the glass door (in an eerie parallel to the first scene), and Ben runs down to find his mother attacked and the boyfriend killed. Ben barricades the door and calls Dean. Poor Dean is powerless, and tries to help Ben the best he can, but the men break down the door... and it turns out Crowley is the one who had them taken. Bastard!

We really see how little connection the brothers have to the outside world, seeing as all Crowley can get of theirs is an "ex-lady-friend and not-kid". He warns Dean and Sam to back off, or else he'll kill Lisa and Ben.

Dean decides to go after them, while Bobby and Sam stay working on the Lovecraft mystery. Luckily Sam refuses to be left behind and let Dean be the main character all by himself this time... you know, I'm not cool with this Dean-centric-ness. I used to be an all-out Dean fangirl, and back in season 2 I would have LOVED to see Dean take up this much of the show as he does. But now that we've had like 3 seasons of Dean in the central spotlight with Sam alternating as big bad and the one who needs saving, I'm over it. SAM NEEDS A STORYLINE. And not one which is just a vehicle for Dean to get angsty, like the missing soul. Give SAM a love interest next season, or get Dean abducted or take his soul or SOMETHING, just damn it, give Sam something to do that isn't playing second fiddle to Dean! Grrr.

I'm glad they are going on the adventure together though, and not splitting up again.

Fabulous! It's my second favourite angel!

Yeah, no, Castiel is still my #1, which leaves my good friend Balthazar as a measly number 2, but hey, that's not bad. Sebastian Roche is looking fine as always, and he's nice and snarky.

He seems shocked that Crowley is alive, but says that Castiel has already told him. The brothers figure him out though, and the poor angel can't contain the betrayal he feels. They ask for his help but he just disapparates. Sam says once again that Castiel might not know what has happened to Lisa and Ben, but Dean refuses to call him. Once you've betrayed Dean... well, ever seen Lily's "You're dead to me" look on How I Met Your Mother? I think Dean has given Cas that look.

Bobby investigates Lovecraft, and finds that Castiel has already been to see the private collector who has Lovecraft's private letters. The guy reveals that Lovecraft and some others did a ritual to open a portal to another universe, but it seems that nothing came of it. Of course, Castiel has stolen the letters - too bad for the guy. Bobby also finds out that all the people involved in a ritual died within a year, but the maid's nine-year-old boy survived, and is still alive. Locked in a mental ward.

Dean is torturing demons, trying to find out where Lisa and Ben are. Dean just wants to torture demons, and is running on booze and coffee. Sam doesn't know how to reach him, but knows that they need another way... so he decides to call Castiel. Cas appears, but invisible again. So sad, that he doesn't show himself.

Cas goes to Crowley to get Ben and Lisa back, but Crowley refuses to do as he says. "You want to stop me? Find frickin' Purgatory!" Cas is summoned to heaven so has to leave... at least he tried though.

In heaven, Balthazar want to know why Castiel is working with Crowley - "and I can only assume that you'll be the vessel?" That Castiel will suck up the souls and hold the power, I guess I never thought of it that way, I thought the souls would be more of an independent force. But that's interesting. Balthazar argues that the power will make Castiel explode and he'll take a chunk of Earth with him. Yikes! Let's find another vessel, no? Balthazar appears to be concerned for Cas, and that's nice, and still wants to work with him.

Do you believe in monsters?

Bobby goes to visit the old man in the asylum, and Cas has also been to see him. The man doesn't seem very crazy, but of course he knows that the spell didn't fail, and because of what he saw, he was branded as crazy. I wonder why, in all these years, he never just decided to say, "You know what, I did make it up, but I don't believe it anymore" and try to convince them to let him out... poor guy though. His whole life, gone.

He says the spell worked and a door opened, and something came through. But it wasn't a monster, it was a spirit which possessed the boy's mother. She disappeared, and the dinner party began to be killed off.

"I'm sorry about your mom," Bobby says, and it's heartbreaking when the man replies, "You're the first person who's ever said that." He shows him a picture: Eleanor, 1935. We don't see the woman but... judging by the "previously on" clips, I think none of us will be too surprised. That's what sucks about those clips, isn't it?

"I thought you said that we were like family. I think so, too."

Dean is still torturing monsters, but he breaks the seal and the demon breaks free. Luckily, Castiel comes to save the day!

Cas tries to tell Dean that he didn't know about Lisa and Ben, but Dean is of course hurt and stubborn and refuses to believe him.

"Dean, I do everything that you ask, I always come when you call, and I am your friend. Still. Despite your lack of faith in me, and now your threats. I just saved you, yet again. Has anyone but your closest kin ever done more for you?"

I think Castiel makes a pretty sound argument for why Dean should trust him, doesn't he? I'd fall for it. And Dean almost does, if the tears are any indication. Still, opening Purgatory is strictly against everything Dean believes, so I see the dilemma.

Cas tells him that he'll do everything he can to find Lisa and Ben, but he wants Dean to stand behind him the one time he asks (he's got a point there, Dean, you owe him)... but once again Dean refuses. Damn it, Dean! I'm sorry, on any other day I'm 100% Winchester loyal, but this time I think I'm on Team Castiel, guys. Dean is being stubborn for the wrong reasons, and I see no reason not to hear Castiel out and try to understand his reasons for doing what he's doing - he IS, after all, trying to prevent the apocalypse and save humankind, hello!

And it's a devastating breakup if I ever saw one, real couple or not.

Oh my goodness it's Eleanor. I am sooooooooooo surprised...

Ha. Not. But that's not the show's fault. I'm glad this woman is back though, I kind of liked her in the random-ass dragon episode where she looked like the dragon lady from the Discworld MS-DOS game I used to play.

Bobby and Ellie had a relationship (as we knew), and poor guy must be a bit peeved, knowing that she's a Purgatory creature. She's 900 years old, been here for like 100 years... but she's apparently not evil. She hasn't got an agenda, she's on her own side and happens to like it here. She killed H.P. Lovecraft and the rest of the men who opened the portal to keep Purgatory closed, and that's why she gave Dean the sword, too.

"If I found you, he ain't far behind," Bobby cautions, and asks how Purgatory is opened. She doesn't tell him though, and says she'll go into hiding instead. Uh-oh I hope Castiel doesn't find her.

The other angel and the other brother. I sense a new bromance!

No? Wishful thinking? Waiiii not?! Sadface.

Balthazar has come to see Sam - "I'm officially on your team. You bastards," he says. YAY! Me too! Now the team is just even MORE awesome. It's like in school, if all the really hot boys were all paired off in maths and you were just dying to join their group, even though you sucked at maths and would probably get eaten by some really nasty volume calculation assignment... right? Right?

Sam summons Dean in the commercial break, and Balthazar explains that he didn't believe Cas when he said he'd be fine with the soul power. So now he wants to be their double agent, and as a sign of good faith, he's found Lisa and Ben. He can't get them though, because Crowley's angel-proofed the building.


(Okay I admit it, I'm hella excited for the American X-Factor to start up...)

Balty takes Sam and Dean to the building, and they start off strong by killing a demon. Inside, though, they split up and Sam is taken down by a demon and dragged into a cage of some sort (the kind they keep in all abandoned warehouses, you know).

Of course it's Dean who finds Lisa and Ben, and there's fun off-the-stage punching and grunting. Dean appears to save the day, yay, but of course it's not that simple, because LISA'S BEEN POSSESSED! Okay, I actually didn't see that coming.

"I was just gonna tell him that you're his real daddy... just kidding." DAMN YOU SHOW! Whatever, I still think it's true. And if you want to convince me otherwise, you gotta show me the birth certificate. Heh heh.

Demon Lisa continues to spout off truth/lies: her wishing she'd never met Dean, I can believe that in this moment when she's got a knife to her son's throat... her wishing she hadn't kept Ben, no way, that's just preying on an insecure teenager's worst fears. Giving Dean a C- rating, I point-blank refuse to believe this, but of course the 10 miles of daddy issues is true.

And that this isn't all about Dean, but also about Ben and Lisa, I like this. For the first time, I'm actually finding them interesting as characters. I think it's cause finally we're seeing some characterisation, some development and a chance to act as something besides Dean's dead weight.

"You know, she's begging me to kill you," Lisa whispers to the terrified Ben. "She says you're holding her back." And I'm actually glad that Lisa isn't breaking free and having a heartfelt "I don't want to hurt you!" moment, because while I believe a parent could absolutely do that for their child, I like that in the show we've only ever seen Bobby and John be able to do it for the brothers. Family is important and powerful in SPN, but no family bond is more powerful than the extended Winchester bond, and I'm relieved the writers are staying true to this.

Dean manages to free Ben, and tries to fight Lisa without hurting her. He tries to exorcise her, but before he can do it - the demon stabs Lisa! Ohhh crap. He still exorcises her, and Lisa's still alive... it's a very, very powerful scene with Lisa dying on the floor, Ben completely frozen in shock and Dean having to slap him to get him to pull it together. Desperate times.

Dean gives Ben a quick talk-through on how to fire a shotgun as he carries the bleeding Lisa through the building. Jeez, way to grow up, kid. Ben shoots the demon and they find Sam. They get out.....

Lisa's not dead! Raise your hand if you're surprised that you were relieved by this.

And phew. Lisa isn't dead. Though apparently, "She'll be dead by midnight," so guess it wasn't all good. And Dean, sitting by her bedside, looks like a little boy, terrified by the lack of power he has in this situation. Jensen really is an incredible actor.

He apologises to Ben, who gets up and leaves the room. Poor Dean. Just then, Castiel appears. He tries to explain, but I think anything is too little too late with Dean at this point. I know he's in special circumstances here, but come on Dean. Hear the angel out. Take back the "you're dead to me" look, you know that Lily ended up regretting it, too.

Of course, Castiel has come to save Lisa. Brownie points if you already guessed as much, though I guess Dean didn't. Hopefully this will make him a little less hostile!

But all Cas gets for his troubles is a "Thank you. I wish this changed anything." Oh for crying out loud, just give him a hug!

And now Dean wants more. Castiel erases Dean from Lisa and Ben's memories... and I guess that's it, the end of that chapter. I guess a lot of you are happy about this, but honestly? For the first time since they were introduced, I truly began to like the characters and found their bond with Dean believable and substantial, and kind of hoped that eventually he could go back to them. Guess that can't happen now, and this makes me sad. So... turned around, but too late. No more Stable Mr. Nice Dean. You never know a good thing till it's gone.

Never see a crash till it's head-on, either (hehe spot the song lyrics). Dean comes in to explain that "I'm the guy who hit you," in the car crash that Ben and Lisa now believe happened. And I guess it's the perfect metaphor. "I just lost control for a minute. And I just wanted to say that I'm sorry. I'm real happy you two are both okay. And I'm glad your life can get back to normal now. Anyway, I'll leave you two alone." And finally, his voice cracking: "You take care of your mom."

OH MY GOD GIVE THIS MAN AN EMMY ALREADY. This is the first time I've ever thought about how ridiculous it is that Jensen Ackles has not won 1,000,000 awards for his portrayal of Dean. Okay, I'm back to being a Dean fangirl, screw Sam and Cas and Bobby and anyone else, THE DEAN SHOW HERE WE GOOOO....

Oh who am I kidding. I love them all. This show is amazing.

It's so poignant though, how Dean -or Ben, for that matter- doesn't get that moment that usually follows such a huge emotional blow-out. The "I didn't mean any of the things I said, I love you really" speech in the hospital bed when everything ended happily after all. It's typical SPN to defy convention like that and leave it at the heartbreak, which is great. It is also challenging for the viewers, however. I know that I personally find it difficult to accept that we won't get this closure moment. We'll just never know how much of what the demon said was real, and will be forced to speculate forever.

Oh wait, this is only part 1.

As far as a 1st-part finale goes I guess it got a bit off-tangent there in the middle, but in the last few minutes we're brought back to what matters. Dean goes back to where Sam is waiting, and Sam gives him a hard time about erasing their memories. "If you ever mention Lisa and Ben to me again I will break your nose." I think that's the audience's cue that this really is an over-and-done-with storyline, so back the hell off, fangirls. Well, fine.

The episode ends on Ellie, who of course was never going to make it out alive. Cas abducts her....... THE END. Aaah, cliffhanger!

Bobby: "Hi, nice to meet ya, Bobby Singer, paranoid bastard."
That's my one, my only favourite quote. OF ALL TIME.

Rating: 4/5
Okay, 4/5 is a compromise score. For a first part of a season finale, it really wasn't all that relevant, and while I personally enjoyed the Lisa/Ben storyline, it took up too big of a chunk considering it was most likely a way to wrap up and effectively end their roles on the show. For concept, I'd give it maybe like a 3/5. BUT for Jensen Ackles' acting? It deserves like, a 7/5. 10/5. 50/5, I don't care, the highest rating possible +1, that's what I'll give it. It was outstanding, possibly the best performance ever done on the show by any actor. Which mainly means that he out-acted himself, because Jared really hasn't been given the same material to work with. But Jensen really brought it - both in the scenes with Ben and Lisa, but also the scenes with Castiel. There was heartbreak of all kinds for his character, and having not seen 6x22 at the time of writing I can only imagine Dean's mindframe when, after having lost everyone except Sam and Bobby, something starts going awry with Sam's soul wall. Sometimes, this show is so depressing, I wonder why it doesn't bum me out more. It's just cause it's so GOOD. Saying goodbye to Lisa and Ben actually kind of sucks, and my surprise at this feeling continues. I just wasn't expecting their departure to be sad for me, but maybe it's cause it's so sad for Dean. I thought Lisa's performance was outstanding, and it was great to see the characters get a bit more life breathed into them. Balthazar switching allegiance was an interesting twist and I wonder what's going to come of that... and of course, I wonder what will happen to Castiel. I'm very worried, you guys. I still say he deserves Dean's trust and support at this point, but I can shout at the TV all I want and Dean still won't hear me, so I might as well just get over it and wait and see what happens. GREAT episode - though again, not necessarily finale-part-1 worthy - and it's got me so excited for part 2 I wish I was watching it right now! But I'll have to wait for tomorrow, and so will you for part 2 of this recap! Leave your comments and let me know what you think - and spoil away, I'm not going to read them before watching 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' (which, final prediction, I think refers to H.P. Lovecraft), anyway.

By the way... I still think Ben is Dean's biological son. So THERE! Don't break my nose.