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Supernatural - Damaged Goods - Review

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Supernatural “Damaged Goods” was written by Davy Perez and was directed by Phil Sgriccia. It seems that we – and Sam (Jared Padalecki) – didn’t have to wait long to discover Dean’s (Jensen Ackles) latest self-sacrificing plan. The episode was a bit light on plot but heavy on fan-service, family moments. Once again, Mark Pellegrino delivered an amazing performance as Nick – but is this the end of the road for him? It’s always great to see Brianna Buckmaster back as Donna, and I was relieved to get to the end of the episode without her ending up as a casualty!

As the episode opens, the teaser scene has Nick – the monster of the week – torturing a demon (Andrea Stefancikova) for information on Abraxas. The demon is happy to give him the information that the female hunter who got Abraxas is in Hibbing, Minnesota. She doesn’t, however, give him an actual name. Whether she might have is up for debate as Nick hastily stabs her in the eye with an angel blade.

Back at the Bunker, Dean is packing and Sam is deep in research to help Dean with Michael. Dean tells him that he appreciates what Sam is doing, and that he’s going to take Baby out for a spin – to visit Mary (Samantha Smith). When Sam offers to come along, Dean tells him that he wants some one-on-one time with Mom. If hugging Sam good bye wasn’t a tip off, calling him Sammy sure was!

Sam calls Mary, who says she’s looking forward to the visit as the cabin’s been a bit quiet lately – as Bobby (Jim Beaver) took off for a few days. There are still hints that there is a relationship brewing there – with Mary telling Sam that they needed a “little space” – but it’s fine. I loved the fact that she’s just sitting at the kitchen table cleaning her gun. Sam tells her about the hug and her comment is… “that’s sweet…” But they aren’t a hugging family really – unless it’s the end of the world. Meanwhile, Sam sees the books that Dean has packed and taken with him and his suspicions grow.

Dean stops for a burger with Donna. He keeps grilling her with questions, but she finally calls him on it and wants to know how he’s doing. She knows about Michael – Sam’s filled her in. Dean tells her that he’ll make it through. But he also hugs her after getting the news on the other women hunters, and then heads on to the cabin. But Donna is also now suspicious.

When Dean arrives at the cabin he hears shots – but it’s just Mary taking target practice with some pumpkins… typical Mom stuff! Mary also suggests calling Sam, but again, Dean says he wants his own Mom-time. Dean tells Mary he’s hungry – even though he just had a huge meal with Donna. He pulls on her heart strings by asking her to make Winchester-surprise – something she made for Dean and John when Dean was little. She’s happy to go off and get the ingredients – and pie!

Dean barely waits for her to clear the driveway before he’s in Donna’s workshop. I loved the half-naked cowboys on the walls! Dean fights off an episode of Michael, pops in an 8-track of the Guess Who and gets to work. I really did think he was building that cage to send himself and Michael to Hell – but it turns out it’s basically a coffin that will do the same job.

In town, Mary is helped with her groceries by Joe (Dion Riley) who remarks that she usually only picks up whiskey, pumpkins, and crosswords! She mentions that she has family in town. Not long after, Nick pulls into town looking for Mary and asks Joe where to find her. Joe, however, doesn’t tell him anything – but does call Donna.

As soon as Nick got pulled over – and it was Donna – I thought for sure we were about to lose Donna. But Donna has become a good hunter and a better cop since we first met her. She’s already run the plates so she knows she’s not dealing with an honest citizen. Donna gets the cuffs on Nick, but he’s got a paperclip that she doesn’t know about. He gets out of the cuffs just as she gets his ID from her mobile fingerprint scan. The two fight and Donna almost wins – when Nick uses her taser on her.

Dean is coming out of the shed when Mary gets back. He dodges her question about that by saying he has a surprise for her – he’s set the table. He offers to help her cook dinner. Mary is touched – but is also worried about Dean. She checks in with Sam and admits that something is going on, but she wants some time with Dean to figure it out – but Sam’s already on his way.

Dean and Mary have dinner, and Dean shares a story about trying to make Winchester surprise for Sam when they were kids. The story makes Mary melancholy thinking about their childhood – what she missed and what they went through. But Dean tells her that just having her back the last few years had meant the world to him. Mary tells him that whatever he’s going through – he can talk to her. But he doesn’t want to talk about what he’s going through.

Once Dean has gone to sleep – snoring and in an impossible position on the couch – Mary goes out to the workshop. She finds what Dean has been building. Before she can get back to the cabin, Nick is there and takes her. Donna calls to warn them but Dean finds Sam instead.

Nick tells Mary that he found her by checking Donna’s emails. It turns out that Mary was the one to fight Abraxas. She tells Nick that all he had to do was ask – she killed him. But apparently at some point, the demon told Nick that Mary put Abraxas in a box. Mary eventually admits that she put him in an Enochian puzzle box – and takes Nick to the storage unit where she is keeping him. It was a nice throwback to John’s storage unit from season five.

Donna shows up at the cabin, and Sam takes full responsibility for not keeping a better eye on what Nick was doing. Donna’s force spots the van at the storage unit in Grand Rapids, and the three set off to find Mary and Nick.

Just like John’s storage unit, Mary’s has booby-traps too. Nick, however, doesn’t fall for them. I loved the head in a jar in the first locker – very Silence of the Lambs – and Mary’s little shrug and smile are perfect. The second locker looks like Chuckie. The third holds the box. Nick wants Mary to open it up so that he can talk to Abraxas, but Mary points out that a demon needs a host – it can’t be Nick – and it can’t be Mary because she’s got the demon-ward tattoo!

Dean and Sam discuss Nick as they drive to Grand Rapids. Dean tries to hold his tongue but when Sam tells him to just say it, Dean lets him have it – Nick isn’t a project, like a stray puppy. He was Lucifer’s vessel for years. But Sam identifies too closely with Nick. Dean tells him that Sam need to learn to walk away when people are past the point of saving – and of course, he’s talking about himself here.

Nick gets Jeff (Nelson Leis) the security guard and ties him up in a Devil’s trap to use as the vessel. Mary tries to overpower Nick to stop him from opening the box but he gets the best of her. When he can’t solve the problem, Nick uses a drill to open it. Abraxas quickly jumps into Jeff – and is happy to see Mary. Nick wants to know why Abraxas killed his family. Abraxas recognizes Nick and wonders how he’s still walking and talking. He tells Nick to kill Mary – for locking him up – and then he’ll talk.

Just as Nick is about to kill Mary, Sam shows up and shoots at him. In desperation, Nick lets Abraxas out of the trap. He tells Nick that he was just following orders – Lucifer ordered it. Nick ends up killing Jeff and is about to take out Mary when Donna shoots him in the shin. Donna takes him into custody.

Before Donna takes him away, Sam asks him why. Nick tells Sam that he needed the truth and wanted revenge for his family. Sam tells Nick that he’s sorry. He’s sorry that he couldn’t help him. Nick misunderstands. He tells Sam that it’s not about him. He couldn’t fix Nick because Nick didn’t want to be fixed. He doesn’t see that he was broken. Sam clarifies that he doesn’t feel sorry for Nick – he feels sorry for the people that Nick hurt and murdered – the people’s whose faces will haunt Nick for the rest of his life. He tells Nick that Nick can burn – pretty strong reaction for Sam!

Mary tells Dean that she saw what he was building – and that they are all going to talk about it – and if he doesn’t tell Sam, she will. Dean does tell Sam – it’s a Ma’lak box. It’s secured and warded. Once inside, nothing gets out – not even an arch angel. Sam’s heard of them, but they are impossible to build – no one ever has before. But no one had Death to help them before, and Dean tells Sam he had Billie’s (Lisa Berry) help.

Sam assumes that Dean’s plan is to be buried alive, but Dean tells him that burying isn’t safe enough. He’s going to charter a boat to take him out and dump him in the Pacific Ocean! Sam calls it an insane plan – Dean and Michael trapped for eternity in the box, but Dean assures him it’s the sanest option he has. Dean tells Sam that if Michael gets out – that’s it for this world, and he confesses that he can feel that Michael is close to breaking free. Sam is sure that there has to be another way. Dean thanks Sam for trying, but it’s not going to work. He tells Sam about the end of his book – this is the only way it ends right. Sam wants to know when they started believing in fate – and I loved that we’ve come back to the debate over fate and free will. Dean tells Sam that now is when he started believing in fate.

Sam calls Dean on his farewell tour to say goodbye to Donna and Mary – and to leave with no proper good bye to him. Dean tells Sam he couldn’t tell Sam or be around him because Sam is the only one who could talk him out of it. Padalecki and Ackles are both terrific in this scene. Sam agrees to help Dean – and it’s clear that Sam is thinking about his own decision to sacrifice himself to stop Lucifer – and Dean’s reluctant acceptance and help.

Does Sam have something up his sleeve? Will Jack (Alexander Calvert) or Cas (Misha Collins) come up with a last minute save? Will Mary have something to say about it? There were some really good scenes in this episode, but I felt the Nick storyline came to a rather abrupt and disappointing finish – assuming that it is finished. I’m interested to see how they are going to get Dean out of that box – and still find a way to contain Michael. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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