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Supernatural - The Scar - Review

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Supernatural “The Scar” was written by Robert Berens and was directed by Robert Singer. There were definitely some excellent emotional scenes in this episode and all credit to Singer’s direction in adding that comfort level for the actors to bring their A games. Jensen Ackles (Dean) and Alexander Calvert (Jack) should get special mention. I did feel sorry for Ackles as his character is saddled with yet another scar – and I don’t think it even works as a cover up for his tattoo, which is on the other arm! Overall, I did feel like this episode was a bit all over the place. It’s always nice to see Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) back.

The episode begins with a nice bit of humor as Dean criticizes Sam’s (Jared Padalecki) beard! He clearly shames him into shaving it – which is too bad because I agree with Sam – it looks good! I did like the Duck Dynasty comment though. Dean does what Dean does best – he stonewalls Sam by telling him that he doesn’t remember anything. He’s good and he’s happy to be home… only home is now a thriving hub of hunter activity, not the solitary sanctuary he’s used to.

The other hunters are a bit taken aback by Dean’s appearance, and call Sam, Chief. Dean is clearly going to have to find his own place in this new hierarchy. Jack, however, is thrilled to see Dean – as is Cas (Misha Collins). There’s a great look on Padalecki’s face as he enjoys the moment of them all re-connecting. It’s a nice bit of acting that goes unnoticed if you aren’t paying attention. It’s also a nice moment when Jack asks after Mary (Samantha Smith). Sam hovers as Dean goes off to shower – assuring Sam he’s still ok.

Cas tells Sam that Nick (Mark Pellegrino) is awol. Once Dean is out of the room, Cas asks Sam for answers. Is Dean really alright? Why would Michael just leave? Sam confesses that the truth is that they really don’t know anything. This is nicely shot with cut aways to Dean, who is clearly not ok and discovers a huge scar on his shoulder. I loved how this scene with him looking in the mirror really parallels the scene with him returning from Hell in the season opener of season four. That scar lead to the discovery of Cas – this scar, much more disappointingly, leads to the discovery of Dark Kaia (Yadira Guevara-Prip). While Guevara-Prip is fine, she’s no Misha Collins, and I missed the iconic delivery of a “I’m the one who gripped you tight…” Just not the same oompf here.

Happily, for once, Dean doesn’t run true to form and immediately reveals the scar to Sam and Cas. In fact, Dean insists that Cas do a “Vulcan mind-meld” on him to discover how he got the scar. Cas doesn’t get anything until he lays his hand over the scar itself – also a nice call back to the handprint scar – though it was also on the right side. Cas sees a hooded figure – and we know who it is because we know she got through.

Sam calls Jody and Dean himself gives her the good news. Then they break the news that the thing that killed Kaia in the Bad Place (really? We can’t get a better name for it than that? It sounds like a 2 year old named it….) is in their world. Sam asks if she’s had any rift action. She says no until Dean describes his scar, and Jody immediately recognizes the giant meat fork that she’s seen on a number of murder victims.

Jack is eager to go with them because Michael is his enemy, who he fought for months, and he feels responsible for Kaia’s death and this monster being in this world. He wants to help. Dean flat out won’t even consider it – and is hurtful besides. The whole 90 pound weakling thing is straight out of Spiderman or Captain America…Jack simply retreats to his bedroom. Cas is about to go with them when Jules (Catherine Lough Haggquist) returns from a witch hunt with Lora (Natasha Calis) – one of the victims who is aging rapidly. Cas stays back to try to heal her when a simple touch won’t do it. Sam is reluctant to go, but Dean is insistent that they can’t let the trail go cold.

We get two nicely parallel scenes in the car. In the first, Dean is racing towards Sioux Falls. Sam presses him to deal with what happened, but while Dean says that he’s going 80 to deal with it, we – and Sam – know that this is classic Dean running away from dealing with it, using hunting to deflect and avoid. Sam is willing to accept that everything happened in a blink for Dean, but he also wants to deal with his own emotions over the frantic search for Dean. He asks Dean to slow down for him. And of course, Dean can’t deny Sam anything. But all he gives him in the car is to let Jody know that he was there as Michael.

Jody is glad to see both boys. Dean’s bravado is firmly back in place – and Jody doesn’t press for details, simply accepting that of course, Dean would win over Michael. Jody, of course, likes Sam’s beard, and Sam asks after the girls. This has to be bitter-sweet for those who were hoping for the spin-off series. As an aside, I suspect that if Ackles and Padalecki had made a commitment to guest star/do crossovers, in the long term, the show might have gotten picked up. I don’t think that the network or studio are wrong to assume that the fanbase wouldn’t support the spinoff in the same way.

Jody shows them the locations of the headless victims and tells them she hasn’t been home since they called – because she doesn’t want Claire involved. It’s a good call, and likely a necessary one as Kathryn Newton’s movie career seems to be blowing up and I’m betting she’s less available. It also turns out that Dark Kaia is gunning for Claire… Jody tells them she thought it was a serial killer – and I adored that they went back to Sam’s nerdy love of serial killers as he immediately knows the last one in Sioux Falls – Robert Leroy Anderson. Sam suggests waiting until daybreak to start hunting – but Dean is off and running.

It looks like Jack is about to run away and he’s left a note to his three Dads. But he’s stopped by Lora – who he thinks is like Sleeping Beauty, which is a nice reminder that age-wise Jack is still a child (hence the running away). Cas tells him that she’s been hexed and the aging spell is killing her – they’ve got a spell from Rowena that is more powerful to try. Kudos to Cas for actually noticing that Jack is carrying a bag and asking if he’s going somewhere. Jack denies it but Cas looks suspicious.

Dean is hunting aggressively which worries Sam. They come upon the heads of the victims on spikes. They are clearly vampires – but Jody says that she tested the bodies, and there was no reaction to all the tests for monsters. Dean has a flashback and then is attacked by the actual Dark Kaia, who has no problem taking out all three of them. Jody is stunned to see Kaia’s face. Jody confirms that they saw Kaia die. Dean confirms this figure dresses like the figure who killed Kaia but doesn’t move like her. So, now we are left to wonder if this is Dark Kaia or Real Kaia. Robert Berens – who also wrote the episode in which Kaia “died” – “Wayward Sisters” – tweeted out a picture after the episode that said “Kaia lives.”

Jack tries to comfort Lora and asks if she wants them to call her mother. She tells Jack that her mother likely hates her for running away – nice touch as Jack was about to run away from his family. And it’s always nice to see him refer to Cas as one of his Dads. She tells Jack that she hated school, rules, and her town – but mainly being treated like a kid. She tells Jack how she was duped by the witch. Calis delivers a terrific performance, and Jack promises that Cas will fix it.

Sam tries to get Dean to slow down again. He points out that Dark Kaia’s face is covered in bruises. Dean suggests it was vampires, but Sam thinks – rightly – that it was Michael and that Michael has sent these vampires to finish what he started. Sam points out that these vampires are different the same way the werewolves were different. Jody just keeps her head down during the exchange, and Dean simply insists that it doesn’t change the plan.

Cas and Jules work the spell – and their chanting is really silly. In the end, it doesn’t work. Jack watches in horror as the spell continues to work on her.

Jody continues to avoid Claire’s phone calls, explaining to Sam that she’d promised to share all the monster cases with Claire. However, because Claire had bonded so closely with Kaia, she doesn’t want her involved. Jody has naturally noticed the tension between the brothers, and Sam tells her Dean is “working something out – alone.” Sam doesn’t think he’s ready for the case, but Jody suggests that maybe he needs it – and she’s not wrong.

Dean takes Dark Kaia out with a rifle butt to the face while Sam and Jody look a bit concerned. Dark Kaia denies being the Kaia they knew when Jody asks her what she is. They realize that she is a dark double, but Dark Kaia insists that they can never know what they were to each other. She also tells them that killing Kaia was an accident – she meant to kill Claire! She then refuses to answer any more questions. She tells Dean that she knows he’s not Michael anymore – he’s much weaker. She’s afraid, but not of him, of the monsters that Michael keeps sending.

Calvert is terrific as he weeps over his inability to save Lora because he doesn’t have his powers. But then we get proof that Jack doesn’t need his powers. Jack has deduced the link between the necklaces and how the witch was stealing the girl’s youth to remain young. He also realizes that the reversal spell didn’t work because the witch-killing bullet was still inside the witch. I loved that Jack says Lora’s life force is in the necklace – and just before he smashes it, Cas asks if Jack is sure and he says no! But of course, he is right and brings Lora back from the dead. I loved Cas’s look of pride.

Dark Kaia knows that Dean wants her weapon – at any cost. It hurt Michael, so Dean is going to do whatever it takes. Again, this is interspersed nicely with the scenes in which Jack discovers he can still be useful and save lives. Dark Kaia knows how to push Dean’s buttons – she tells him that he’s no different. He uses threats and violence – whatever it takes to get what he wants. Dean denies it, but Kaia insists that he always has been like Michael. Dark Kaia saw what Dean did to Kaia – and let’s not forget how out of character that was in that moment. I don’t thank the show for continuing that. Let’s also not forget that Sam just stood by – also OOC. Here, Sam deduces that Dark Kaia and Kaia are connected because they are dreamwalkers.

Kaia knows where Dean’s anger and impatience some from – he’s scared. She’s not wrong. She’s clearly perceptive. She knows that Michael hurt him – as he hurt her too. We flashback to Michael dropping in on Dark Kaia. He’s not there to fight – unless he has to. This was a better performance from Ackles as Michael as he settles into it. I suspect we will slowly get those Michael weeks filled in as the season progresses. Michael wants her weapon because it bleeds power – we still don’t know why.

Sam suggests that they should get out of there because Michael will continue to try to get the spear – and of course, Jody notices it’s too late. And we’re treated to more bad werewolf teeth. The fight between Dark Kaia and Michael is good – though a few too many cuts and close-ups for me. The werewolf fight is going really badly, until Dean shoots out Dark Kaia’s chair and releases her. It looks like she’s just taking off – but the werewolves don’t follow her. Jody gets her arm broken – and then Dark Kaia is back. She easily kills all the werewolves – and I could do with a little less dramatic posing. Jody thanks her for coming back, but Dark Kaia tells her she came back for the werewolves – she would have had to deal with them eventually, right? Sam points out that as long as she has the spear, she’s a target. Dark Kaia tells them that she’s used to it. They let her go – and now Dean has to face what happened.

Jody stops Dean before he can apologize. Jody is more worried about what she’s going to tell Alex and Claire. Jody is dreading the conversation with Claire but knows she has to tell her that Dark Kaia is out there – if for no other reason than Dark Kaia is also gunning for Claire! Rhodes is great in this scene as she shares her fears about raising three hunters – and the loss she felt for Kaia without even really getting to know her.

This scene dovetails into the last scene with Cas and Jack. Cas apologizes to Jack for not being there for him the way he should have been. Jack tells him it’s ok. Cas tells Jack how proud he is of him. He tells him that learning to fight takes time and training, but Jack has proven that he has the mind and heart of a hunter. Cas even suggests that the two of them could go on a hunting trip together. Jack is clearly pleased – but lies to Cas and tell him he’s getting his first cold when he starts to cough. But when Cas leaves, we see that Jack is coughing up blood. Are the brothers and Cas about to experience the same loss as Jody? Not likely as Calvert is a regular – and it is Supernatural, so even if they kill him, now that they have their own multi-verse they can easily bring him back…

And finally, we get the second brother-Impala scene. I do like that they aren’t dragging this out with Dean lying and stonewalling. He’s already ready to talk to Sam. Dean tells Sam he didn’t want to look at what Michael used him for. He just wanted to skip to the end where he gets the weapon and kills the bad guy – Michael. Dean admits that it was stupid – he was stupid – to say yes to Michael. Sam tries to absolve Dean by telling him that he did what he had to do – Sam more than anyone knows.

Sam listens as Dean admits that it wasn’t a blink. He was possessed. He doesn’t remember most of it because he was under water. Drowning. And he remembers every second of fighting and clawing for air. He’d thought he could make it out, but he wasn’t strong enough. Dean, being Dean, now feels guilty for all the pain and suffering that Michael caused – it’s all his fault.

So, we’re rather back to Dean after Hell on several fronts. Calvert and Ackles give particularly good performances, but Collins, Padalecki and Rhodes also have strong scenes. Even the supporting cast of Guevara-Prip and Calis are really strong. Of the three four young female hunters from “Wayward Sisters,” Guevara-prip was – and still is – one of the best actors, so I’ll be happy enough to see more from her. So far, however, I’m not feeling like the storylines are really breaking much new ground. What did you think of the episode? Is Jack dying? Should Dean be consumed with guilt yet again? Is Dark Kaia really Kaia? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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