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Supernatural - Tombstone - Review



Supernatural “Tombstone” was written by Davy Perez and was directed by Nina Lopez-Corrado. The episode finds Dean (Jensen Ackles) catapulted out of his malaise by the return of Castiel (Misha Collins). It was definitely the win he was looking for. As usual with the show, however, the return of one character signals the departure of another, and Jack (Alexander Calvert) takes off at the end of the episode – and just when it looked like he was becoming such a promising intern too! In all seriousness, Calvert is killing it as Jack and has been a terrific addition to the cast. He’s got a lock on the comedy, but also delivers on Jack’s struggle to define himself and his terror that he is evil.

The opening teaser is Dean with a strange guy in a cowboy hat – and they both have shotguns at the ready. They are after someone fast, and when Dean goes to flush him out, Sarge (Eric Schweig) is sucked into the earth! Dean looks down the hole with an “aw, Hell” and cut to title card.

The episode picks up exactly where we left off with Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean picking Cas up – 48 hours earlier. I have to say that I’m impressed that they gave Dean the first hug. Cas admits that he was dead, but he annoyed an ancient cosmic being so much that he sent him back! Cas explains that he was in the empty, sleeping, when a voice spoke his name and woke him up. Sam wonders if it was God, but Cas assures him that God has no power there. Sam immediately thinks it was Jack!

When they return to the Bunker, Jack is working away. He asks how it went, but doesn’t look up from his work. Until Sam gets his attention, and Cas comes back. Jack is just as confused by his return as the brothers. Sam asks Jack if he brought him back. Jack doesn’t know for sure. He wanted him back, and he begged for him to come back. Sam thinks it was Jack, and Cas thanks him – and then Cas and Jack hug.

Jack tells Cas that he really missed him, and Cas tells him that Dean and Sam say he’s doing well. Jack shows them just how well by levitating a pencil – and then informing them that he’s found a case – a hunter’s case! I loved the way he confided with glee to Cas that he knows what zombies are now! A coffin has been found empty. Dean is listening politely as Jack describes the case until Jack mentions that the dead are rising in Dodge City, Kansas. And then Ackles kicks it into high gear as this dreamy look crosses Dean’s face – his cowboy obsession kicks immediately into high gear.

Cas and Sam both pick up on Dean’s reaction. The entire set up is familiar to fans and a nice nod back to fan favorite episode “Frontierland.” Better than that even is Dean’s sudden enthusiasm. He lists off – two salty hunters, one half angel kid, and a dude that just came back from the dead… again! It’s Team Free Will 2.0!

The Stampede Motel is a thing of beauty from the façade to every tiny detail in that beautifully outrageous Wild Bill Suite. Kudos to Jerry Wanek and his entire team. Even Jack picks up on how much Dean likes cowboys. Stirrup hangers and swinging saloon doors into the bedroom are just icing on the cake! I loved Jack telling Cas that he can have the couch because he doesn’t sleep much to which Cas answers that he doesn’t sleep at all!

Sam remarks that it’s nice to see Dean so happy, and Dean reminds him that he said he needed a win. Getting Cas back was the big win he needed. As Team Free Will 2.0 heads out for a steak dinner, Officer Carl Phillips (Paul C Grenier) is attacked and dragged under the truck he’s pulled over. Victim number two.

Jack and Cas catch up. Jack tells Cas that some angels tried to kill him and asks about whether Heaven is nice. Cas assures him that it can be. Jack is concerned because that’s where Kelly is, and Cas assures him that he’s sure she is because she was a good person. Cas also apologizes for not being there for Jack, and Jack understands why Kelly trusted Cas and why he did too. Castiel tells Jack that Kelly believed that Jack would do amazing things and change the world for the better. Did anybody else immediately start to wonder if at the end of the season, we are going to see Jack enter the alternate universe and attempt to make it a better place? In the present, Cas tells Jack that he knows that Kelly was right, and he’s sure that Kelly would be proud of him.

When Jack gets an alert on the computer about Carl, he rushes to wake Dean and Sam. Cas tries to stop him, but we get a little more fan service as we revisit the fact that Dean wakes up in warrior mode and he almost shoots Jack. Cas goes on to explain that Dean is an “angry sleeper!”

Sam splits up the workload with he and Jack going to the graveyard, and Dean and Cas going to the crime scene. Dean shows up insisting that he and Cas need to look to the part – and this is a nice bit of visual comedy, from Dean’s bolo tie to Cas’s stampede motel cowboy hat to Dean’s badass cowboy boots. Dean tells Cas to channel the movie Tombstone – did I mention I loved the title of this episode echoing through it? Cas remembers the movie being about guns and tuberculosis.

Cas, of course, goes a little too far with the “Howdy partners,” but I loved “Space Cowboy” as they do a slow motion walk up – and of course Dean is Agent Russell and Cas identifies himself as Val Kilmer. It’s perfect when Sargent Phillips assumes they are Texas Rangers – especially as Ackles and Padalecki now call Austin, Texas home (and are both from Texas originally). Phillips identifies himself as Carl’s uncle and makes it clear that he’s going to take matters into his own hands if he finds the fugitive who killed his nephew.

Meanwhile, Sam and Jack call on Athena Lopez (Sarah Troyer) – the undertaker with a very distinct sense of style and a love of loud music. They use aliases Elliot and Paxton for Sam Elliot and Bill Paxton who also played Earp brothers in Tombstone. Athena thinks Jack is awfully young to be an FBI Agent – and isn’t that a nice throwback to the “Pilot?” Sam explains that he’s a trainee. Athena tells them she wasn’t there when the body went missing but tells them to go ahead and check out the grave.

Jack is eager to use the EMF – which naturally goes crazy in a graveyard. Sam tells him to put it away. The coffin has a giant hole and Sam finds a chewed on pelvic bone, which Dean later identifies as “leftovers.” They decide it’s a ghoul, and Cas explains what that is to Jack – who likens it to a shapeshifting zombie. Decapitation kills them – or bashing in their skulls. Sam also surmises that there are tunnels all over the graveyard.

Dean and Sam rule Athena out as she has access to the bodies before they’re buried – she wouldn’t have to dig them up. Hmmmm iZombie! anyone? They check out surveillance footage of the truck, and Dean recognizes Dave Mather (Jonathan Cherry), one of the Dodge City gang – a cowboy, outlaw, and one of the greatest gunfighters ever, who died in 1886. Dean is super excited!

As it turns out Dave and Athena are an item. Athena, however, has just gotten in to a prestigious movie make up school in Los Angeles. Dave points out going to school in LA will be really expensive and they have a good thing there. She tells him about the FBI dropping by. And Jack remembers seeing a picture of Dave and Athena at the mortuary…

Dean and Sam go in to tell Athena about Dave, leaving Cas and Jack in the car. They tell Athena that he’s involved in the grave robbery and a murder and want to know where he is. She tells them he’s gone to the bank – not realizing that he’s going to rob it to get enough money for them to go to LA.

Dean, Sam, Cas, and Jack are waiting for Dave when he comes out of the bank. Naturally, a gunfight ensues. Jack insists that he’s got it even though Cas tries to hold him back. Jack is shot a couple of times – and just smiles. He uses his power and brushes Dave and the Lenny, the security guard (Jason Asuncion) back. Lenny hits the pole behind him and is instantly killed. Cas tries to help, but it’s too late. Jack is devastated. Once again, Calvert is terrific in this scene.

Dean chases and loses Dave. Back at the Motel, Cas asks if this is the first time that Jack has hurt someone. Sam says no, but it is the first time that he’d hurt someone who didn’t get back up. Dean sends Jack back to the Bunker with Sam and Cas. The cops will be on their way – they’ve got to get him out of Dodge…

Dave goes back to the mortuary and tells Athena that he’s robbed the bank for her. They can move to the big city and she can go to school. He also admits to being the grave robber and killing Carl – all of which is a big turn off for Athena. She’s terrified – and she doesn’t even know he’s a ghoul!

Dean arrives at the mortuary in a new muscle car. Where do the find them at short notice? Clearly, the Impala has gone back to the Bunker. Sarge is already there – the cashier, Shawnte (Hana Kinani) recognized Dave’s voice and the fingerprints at the bank matched fingerprints at Carl’s murder scene. Dean asks where Sarge’s badge is, and he says he doesn’t need one: “This is family business.” Yep. You got that right, Sarge – it’s THE family business! They agree they aren’t taking Dave alive, and Dean tells him to aim for the head.

We get a brief repeat of the opening scene. I loved that Dean definitely did not want to go down into that tiny little hole – but does it anyway. I loved the, “Nope, don’t wanna…. Ok.” And of course, the clever Die Hard reference in the tunnel – “Come to Dodge City… we’ll have some laughs…”

Cas tries to comfort Jack. He tells him that he’s killed people – even people he loved. He tells him it doesn’t get easier or hurt less – I don’t think comfort means what you think it does Cas! He also tells Jack that just because he made a mistake, he should keep fighting. It’s just a mistake. It doesn’t mean that Jack can’t do better, be better. Sam chimes in with “we believe in you.” And Jack tells them to stop.

Dean ends up in the mortuary and finds Athena tied up. Dean tells her that her boyfriend isn’t exactly human. Sarge is hurt but still alive. Dave gets the drop on Dave. Dean does as he says and raises his hands and turns around. Athena tries to stop him. Dean keeps him talking and then steps aside to let Sarge blow Dave’s head right off – Dean’s only comment? “Happy trails, cowboy!”

Dean debriefs Sarge – but doesn’t tell him anything. He does insist that Dave killed the security guard – and he was never there.

Back at the Bunker, Dean fills the others in. Jack is still very upset. He wants to know if the security guard had a family? It’s not ok. Dean tells him the truth – yes. Sam again tries to offer comfort. He tells him that this life isn’t easy and that they’ve all done things they regret. When Jack gets irritated and frustrated, Sam raises his hands and backs away. Jack is appalled that they are afraid of him.

Jack wonders if he’s just another monster. Dean tells him that he’s not – even though he thought he was at first. Dean seconds Sam’s sentiment. They’ve all done bad and have blood on their hands. Jack doesn’t see it as equivalent. Every time he tries to do good, it goes wrong. He knows that he can’t make the world a better place like this. He’s upset that he can’t even do one good thing, and he’s terrified that if he stays, he’ll hurt them. They are all he has, so he has to go. He blasts them all and disappears.

So. One character back and one character leaves. This was a fun episode with lots of humor and lots of throwbacks and fan service. Calvert and Ackles were standouts for me in this episode. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!






 
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