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Supernatural - First Blood - Review

Supernatural “First Blood” was written by Andrew Dabb and directed by Robert Singer, who once again draws out some really good performances and is right there to capture them. It’s nice to start the second half of the season knowing already that the show will be back for a 13th season! Seems those knuckle-biting renewal days are long gone! The episode starts off with a nice “The Road So Far” to remind of us where we left off before the winter break. A quick shout out for Misha Collins’ performance in this episode as he nails both the comedy, one-liners, and drama.

The episode begins with Mary (Samantha Smith) alone in Mulroney’s diner in Lawrence. It looks a lot like the diner where Dean (Jensen Ackles) first saw her with a young John (Matt Cohen) in “In the Beginning” but that was Jay Bird’s Diner. Names change though, right? Mary is still clearly searching for what she’s lost. Cas (Misha Collins) calls and simply tells her to meet him at the Bunker.

The action then shifts to Agent Rick Sanchez (Stephen Lobo) briefing anti-terrorism Agent Camp (Norman Browning) on the Winchesters. I loved Browning in this episode! It was a nice re-cap of a lot of deep dive history. I loved Camp asking whether the desecration had been all to the same corpse – but I also loved him taking Sanchez to task and telling him to just say he doesn’t know if he doesn’t!

Sanchez wants to take the brothers out back and just shoot them. They are in a secret, secure area – Area 94 – and virtually no one knows they are there. Camp is funny and Browning plays him with a particularly droll delivery, but he’s far from an idiot. He points out that the Winchesters might not be working alone – I liked that the writers balanced white Nationalists and Muslim brotherhood. Camp also knows how to get them to talk – or at least get them desperate enough to turn to Billie (Lisa Berry). He tells them that he doesn’t believe in torture – people talk, but it’s not the truth.

Meanwhile, the British Men of Letters are still trying to expand their reach into North America. I loved that Mick (Adam Fergus) apparently has a remote typewriter that he uses to communicate – has to be safer than the Internet, right? And it naturally reminded me of the one they used in Fringe. Mick has been failing miserably to get the American hunters to work with him. He offers lore, weapons, and money! But Wally (Donavon Stinson) doesn’t want to be told where to go and what to hunt by a strategist – or anyone he doesn’t know.

Cas tells Mary what’s going on, and she’s pretty harsh with him. He clearly believes it’s all his fault. Mary is really upset that her sons didn’t call her when they were in trouble.

In the prison, the brothers deal with their incarceration differently – as you’d expect. Dean keeps track of the days and enjoys the pretty hideous food – I loved that we circled back to the same meal – clearly the diet is based on the days. Sam (Jared Padalecki) hates the food and spends his time exercising.

Cas goes to Crowley (Mark Sheppard) for help and gets turned down flat. Now that finally makes sense. We don’t get any update on what’s happening in Hell, however, which would have been nice.

Mary hears a cell phone ringing and follows it into Dean’s room. It’s Alicia calling for Dean’s help in taking out a pack of werewolves. As she talks on the phone, she sees the picture of her and Dean as a child that we’ve seen Dean carry for the entire 12 seasons. Just as Dean and Sam felt they had to honor the family business, it seems pretty clear that that’s what Mary is doing when she goes to help with the pack in Dean’s place.

Mary eventually meets Cas in a bar to apologize. Neither of them have any leads on where the brothers are. Cas knows exactly how long they’ve been gone – and it’s over six weeks. Cas has tried to bridge the gap left by Sam and Dean’s absence. He tried to take out a nest of vampires and failed – so Mary goes and cleans that up too! Mary tries to get Cas to come with her, but he insists that he’d only get in her way.

Back at the prison, the guard (Michael Kiapway) finds Sam unconscious – and dead! – when he goes to feed him. Camp has Dean’s cell opened and sure enough, he’s dead too. If you were wondering why Billie was in The Road So Far, this had to be it – and we know that any deal they made would have dire consequences because of her declaration that they would stay dead the next time they died.

The Coroner (Donald Hong) is totally freaked out that they both died on the same day. And then we get a lingering shot of the brothers lying dead in a dark morgue with ominous music playing.

Once again, we see Dean rise from the dead. Sam is already awake and comments that it worked. Dean adds, so far. The Coroner is no help in telling them where they are. In typical fashion, rather than killing him, they simply lock him in a locker – hilarious!

Dean tries calling Cas, getting his voice mail – and finally a “What.” Rather than “hello.” Cas’ awkwardness never gets old. Sam finds a map in a truck, and the brothers strike out cross country – the truck they found isn’t safe to take – likely lo-jacked and they also ditch the phone. I love that the only directions that they give poor Cas are to drive along the road! They also tell him that he should hurry – “they’re on the clock.” Which at the time, I took to mean that they knew they were going to have Sanchez and Camp right after them.

Cas contacts Mary who picks him up. I loved Cas commenting on how quickly she’d gotten there. Mary suggests that they might need back up, but shoots down getting help from Crowley or Rowena. One of my favorite moments in the entire episode was Mary treating Cas like one of her kids and telling him to buckle up because she drives fast – did she miss the bit about him being an angel? LOL! Cas somewhat cryptically says he might have an idea.

Camp is struggling to keep up, but refuses to turn back, declaring he’s fine. Sam and Dean are moving through the forest – talking about 6 hours to midnight. Sam insists they need to “talk about this” but in true Dean-fashion, Dean puts him off…

Mary is even less impressed when Cas’ back up turns out to be Mick and Ketch (David Haydn-Jones). It’s hilarious that Mick and Ketch didn’t know that they’d been helping get the “Devil himself’ in Indianapolis and are very impressed when Cas so casually says yes they got him! Of course, if the British Men of Letters know everything about the Winchesters, surely they know that this isn’t the first time that they’ve defeated Lucifer. And surely they should know about the vessel business?

Mary isn’t happy about asking them to help. Mick insists that the only reason he came to the US was to make friends. Mary basically epitomizes the “you’re surly, suspicious, you don’t play well with others.” But Cas agreeing “Well, that is accurate” – is hilarious! Mick wins Mary over.

Ketch knows immediately about area 94. Mick casually suggests having their techs put a satellite over the area – and Mary is impressed. Ketch asks if they know what they’re walking into and isn’t put off when Cas has no idea – he likes surprises!

Somehow Dean and Sam lose their 45 minute head start, so have to take out their followers. Dean tells Sanchez over the walkie talkie he steals off one of the agents to call his boys off and turnaround and go home. Sanchez pushes back and Dean throws not one but two classic movie quotes at him. I loved the glee with which Ackles delivered both of them. First, it’s the classic prison break movie (how appropriate!) Cool Hand Luke – “What we have here is a failure to communicate!” And that is quickly followed up by “we’re not trapped out here with you, you’re trapped out here with us.” The second is from Watchmen and is also highly appropriate as it’s what Rorschach says in prison. Camp has the good sense to look worried. And of course the title of the episode is a reference to Rambo’s First Blood movie in which he is pursued through the woods by authorities.

Dean and Sam come upon an abandoned cabin in the woods – anybody think this totally looked like the cabin in the movie within the show in “Hollywood Babylon” or the one in “Roadkill”? The two set up booby-traps and take the agents out – but as Sam lays the medical kit on the Agent who’s been shot, he tells him, he’ll live.

Dean stabs Sanchez in the leg, and Camp gets the drop on Dean. Sanchez wants Camp to just shoot him, but Camp hesitates long enough for Sam to get the drop on him. Surprisingly, Sam tells Camp the truth – the President was possessed by the Devil. Camp wants to know who they are and – again, surprisingly – Sam owns what they do when he answers “We’re the guys who save the world.”

Dean and Sam come out of the woods basically right on top of Cas – Sam hugs Cas and Mary, followed closely by Dean. Even Sam and Dean are impressed when Cas tells them that Mick and Ketch have a thermal imaging satellite. Mick clarifies that it’s not theirs – they just borrow it from time to time. Dean looks a bit surprised that Mick and Ketch only want a thank you.

Ketch and Mick are taken about when Dean and Sam say they left survivors. Dean clarifies – they were just soldiers, following orders. Ketch goes back and kill everyone, including the Coroner. It also seems short-sighted as Camp actually seemed like someone who was open-minded enough to believe them and work with them. This is clearly the thing that is going to solidify that the Winchesters are never going to work with the British Men of Letters in the long term.

Dean, Sam, Mary, and Cas drive off – until the car is stopped by Billie, and we finally get an explanation for all the cryptic comments. Dean couldn’t take it – Camp was right about that but clearly underestimated the Winchesters’ ability to turn to another answer. Dean called Billie to make the deal, but Sam signed on. In exchange for letting them play dead, a Winchester had to die – for real and ever – at midnight. Breaking a blood bond deal means there are consequences on a cosmic level, according to Billie.

Mary, of course, volunteers to be the one to die. She has the gun to her head and is about to pull the trigger when Cas saves the day by skewering Billie with his angel blade. He says he just did what he had to do: “This sad, doomed little world needs you. It needs every last Winchester it can get, and I won’t let you die. I won’t let any of you die. And I won’t let you sacrifice yourselves. You mean too much to me. To everything.”

Dean, Sam and Mary are overwhelmed by this speech, yet none of them rush to thank Cas. It’s their stupid self-sacrificing thing kicking in. He tells them – yeah you made a stupid deal and I broke it. “You’re welcome.” Poor Cas – they really don’t appreciate him!

Mick continues his report home. He paints a picture of a world without monsters where no one has to die because of the Supernatural – and Mary is listening. On the one hand, it would be very cool for Mary to take over the Bobby role of managing the US hunters – and the support the British Men of Letters can provide could make the job a lot easier. However, there’s no way that Dean and Sam are ever going to sign on to doing things Ketch’s way. Will Mary? She is from the time before anyone considered that not all monsters are “monsters” – something Dean and Sam have learned through experience.

I thought this was a good episode that leaves us with a lot of questions to be answered. What is going to be the fallout from killing Billie? Will it mean getting Death back finally? Really. How do you actually kill Death – I’m just really, really hoping we’ll get Julian Richings back. How long until Dean and Sam find out about all of Ketch’s killings? Will Mick be willing to compromise? Highly unlikely Ketch will. Will anyone ever thank Cas? Is Cas going down a dark and depressive road again? What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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