There are scenes in this episode that just cannot be missed. Some hilarious scenes, some hot Sam scenes and last but not least, some very angsty Dean scenes. I read a fic by gaelicspirit (Living on a Prayer) using the last scene in this ep which forever makes it very special to me. If it had only been what actually happened, Dean may not have made the decision he did.
(No Music :( )
So first scene we have two people, Alice and Russel, who have just had their first date but are being worked by cupids so despite Alice being the promise ring type they kiss and start making out in Alice's home. But then it becomes a bit more than making out. They start biting each other and they don't care. It's like they are oblivious to the pain, just completely taken over by their desire to consume each other. And this is a really really gross scene which I inevitably skip over on a rewatch. But what's interesting to consider here is their inner hunger that Famine has brought to the front.
Next we have Sam checking out the crime scene where Alice's friend is cleaning out Alice's stuff.
There is a big blood stain on the floor by the fridge where they ate each other up. The friend tells Sam that actually the guy seemed to still be chewing when she found them, even though there was hardly anything left of them and he couldn't have been alive. She also mentions how she'd always wondered how Alice was able to keep to her chastity vow. And since we as rewatchers know her inner hunger, we also wonder.
Dean has been to the morgue while Sam was busy at the crime scene, and when Sam gets back to the motel, Dean's researching on the computer.
This is an interesting instance of them working separately I think. We so often see them checking out the crime scene together - one keeping the person occupied while the other checks for hexes etc. They tell each other what they found, which is essentially the same thing.
Dean's rubbing his eyes and Sam takes over the computer saying he's just going to check some more files. Dean should get going.
SAM: Go ahead. Unleash the kraken. See you tomorrow morning.
DEAN: Where am I going?
SAM: Dean, it's Valentine's day. Your favorite holiday, remember? I mean, what do you always call it-- Uh, unattached drifter Christmas?
DEAN: Oh, yeah. Well... be that as it may...I don't know. Guess I'm not feeling it this year.
SAM: So you're not into bars full of lonely women?
DEAN: Nah, I guess not. Ahh. What?
SAM: That's when a dog doesn't eat-- That's when you know something's really wrong.
DEAN: Remarkably patronizing concern duly noted. Nothing's wrong. We gonna work or what?
RED ALERT! Dean's all of a sudden not into girls. Something is terribly wrong and Sam is worried. Now, I don't know how long it's been since The Song Remains the Same when we saw him having that remarkably Dean-like dream. It could be that the loss of these cravings was a gradual thing. It also could be that Dean is like this now because of Famine's influence. While everyone's hidden cravings are coming to the surface, Dean's true craving is coming to the surface too. He's just through. He really just wants to end it all.
Another incident. This time, a guy and his new girlfriend have shot themselves in his office because that's the only way they can be together always. There is a bit of dark humor in that scene involving the project leader - the girlfriend killing the project leader in mid-sentence then a camera cut to his legs at another point in the proceedings, at which I had to laugh :P
Sam and Dean are on the way to the morgue to check out the bodies again. They are walking down the hall when Sam... smells... something. He looks a bit weird, then his face changes to... hate and disbelief maybe? When he realizes that it's a demon. But interesting again, he doesn't tell Dean. He is probably mortified by his ability to actually smell the demon(blood) and doesn't want to freak Dean out.
The mortician is a cute grandpa and he tells them he's going to leave but they can do whatever with the refrigerated body parts - just refrigerate after opening :P
They open all the tupperware containers and start their investigation for any abnormalities. It being Valentines and all, Dean can't help but make a joke -
And Sam looks at him like, "really?" LOL And Dean grins at his own joke. Love that exchange. But then Sam finds Enochian on the hearts and so they decide to call Cas for a translation. Dean pulls out his cellphone and tells Cas where they are... and the next second Cas is in front of Dean for another hilarious scene -
Cas is able to tell them that these symbols show that the match was "made in heaven" and
CASTIEL: What I'm saying is a Cupid has gone rogue and we have to stop him--before he kills again.
DEAN: Of course we do.
First time to even hear of Cupids, and with their image of those cute little fairy-like angels, they have a hard time imagining it or taking it seriously maybe LOL.
Cas knows the type of restaurant that a Cupid would use and takes them. They order food while they wait - Dean a hamburger as always, and Sam a salad of course.
DEAN: (to Castiel) So, what, you just happen to know he likes the cosmos at this place?
CASTIEL: This place is a nexus of human reproduction. It's exactly the kind of-(Castiel watches Dean put ketchup on his cheeseburger) -of garden the Cupid will come to-- to pollinate.
As Dean piles the ketchup on his hamburger, again we find signs of Famine at work. First of all, Cas is fascinated by hamburger all of a sudden. He's looking at it as if he'd like to eat it. Then, Dean puts the hamburger after picking it up once to eat,
SAM: Wait a minute. You're not hungry?
DEAN: No. What? I'm not hungry.
Cas would have said he'd eat it for Dean if he hadn't right then noticed the Cupid at work and had to leave.
Sam and Dean join Cas in the basement as he tethers the Cupid, and says some words to make the Cupid visible. They are looking around waiting for it to appear when suddenly the huge naked (except for diapers?) Cupid hugs Dean from behind. It looks gleeful. Dean is pretty much going purple with discomfort. Then, noticing Cas, the Cupid moves to hug Cas, and then Sam. Dean asks if he is being violent, but Cas assures Dean that it is a Cupid handshake.
CUPID: Yes! Yes, yes, yes!
DEAN: Is this a fight? Are we in a fight?
CASTIEL: This is... Their handshake.
DEAN: I don't like it.
CASTIEL: No one likes it.
So here, they basically find out that it wasn't the Cupid that was killing everyone. It had just been doing it's job. More importantly, they also find out that John and Mary had also been set up by the Cupids.
DEAN: Wait, wait, you said--You said you were just following orders?
DEAN: Whose orders?
CUPID: Whose? (laughing) Heaven, silly. Heaven.
(Translate to higher up angels who believe in the apocalypse)
DEAN: Why does heaven care if Harry meets Sally?
CUPID: Oh, mostly they don't. You know, certain bloodlines, certain destinies. Oh, like yours.
CUPID: Yeah, the union of John and Mary Winchester--Very big deal upstairs, top priority arrangement. Mm.
DEAN: Are you saying that you fixed-up our parents?
CUPID: Well, not me, but... Yeah. Well, it wasn't easy, either. Ooh, they couldn't stand each other at first. But when we were done with them--Perfect couple.
DEAN: They're dead!
CUPID: I'm sorry, but... the orders were very clear. You and Sam needed to be born. Your parents were just, uh...meant to be. (sings) A match made in heaven- heaven!
And of course Dean cannot help but punch the Cupid. Unfortunately, it doesn't hurt him at all, just as it would not have hurt any other angel :P It does disappear though so that they are unable to question it further.
We do find out here, again, that the angels were making sure from a long ways back that their version of the future would happen. What the angels mean by destiny is actually their power to manipulate people's lives. The Cupid says here that John and Mary hated each other when they first met, and that it was only after the Cupids worked them over that they started to look at each other in a different light.
SAM You just punched a Cupid!
DEAN I punched a dick!
SAM Um...Are we gonna talk about what's been up with you lately or not?
DEAN Or not.
Dean has been acting strange. I wouldn't particularly put punching a cupid in that category - I think it would have been a devastating shock to find out what he did here, just one more piece of proof that the angels had destiny stacked against him and there was no way he and Sam were going to get out of it. But Sam takes the opportunity to confront Dean and of course, Dean will not talk.
Next scene, Sam has gone in to see another weird body. Someone consumed twinkies to death, pushing them down his throat with a plunger when he couldn't get any more in. We also see the first sign of the mortician getting affected by Famine. He starts drinking on the job.
Then Sam, as he talks with Dean on the phone starts rubbing his temple as if he has a headache and we have our second indication of Sam's addiction set in. He sees that same demon walking accross the street and he decides to follow to find out what is going on.
SAM: I could smell you.
He has the demon knife and he is able to get to the suitcase as the demon runs away. If I may say so, Sam's hair here as he fights the demon is just awesome <3 And after the demon is gone, he just looks at that blade, obviously affected by the blood, but is able to resist the urge and wipe the blood off before taking the suitcase home.
I really like this next scene of Sam and Dean opening the suitcase and finding the human soul.
Cas comes just in time to tell them that it is a human soul and he knows what it is that is causing the deaths as well. He has a big back of hamburger sandwiches in his bag and is chomping away at one. Dean has never seen Cas eating since he took over Jimmy and is puzzled.
DEAN: What the hell was that?
CASTIEL: It's a human soul. It's starting to make sense. (Castiel takes a bite out of his burger)
SAM: Now, what about that makes sense?
DEAN: And when did you start eating?
CASTIEL: Exactly. My hunger-- it's a clue, actually.
SAM: For what?
DEAN: For what?
CASTIEL: This town is not suffering from some love-gone-wrong effect. It's suffering from hunger. Starvation, to be exact--Specifically...famine.
DEAN: Okay, but what about you? I mean, since when do angels secretly hunger for White Castle?
CASTIEL: It's my vessel-- Jimmy. His, uh, appetite for red meat has been touched by Famine's effect.
So let me get this straight. Jimmy was resurrected along with Cas after he was blown to smithereens? Isn't that a bit cruel? Why not just let Jimmy's soul go to heaven? Isn't that what God does later? Cas is cute with his obsession, but I don't like the idea of Jimmy still suffering as his vessel.
Well, they decide that they have to go and chop off Famine's finger to get the ring, but Sam is getting affected really bad by this time and he recognizes it and has the presence of mind to tell Dean to lock him up. He can't go with.
Dean looks at him with worry, but it does show how much strength Sam has to resist. They cuff him to the sink in the bathroom and then put a wardrobe in front of it so he cannot get out. Then they are on their way.
They first go to the mortuary to talk with the mortician, and find out he has died of alcohol poisoning after being sober for a long time. Cas tries to comfort the assistant but when the assistant leaves, he tells Dean that the doctor still has his soul and the demon should be along to collect. Just as they thought, the demon arrives and they are able to trace it back to the Biggersons where Famine was(which is the same Biggersons where Sam and Dean won the years worth of food :P).
We have a really nice closeup of Dean... the suddenly Cas is with him, another bag of sandwiches in his arm and telling Dean that he's eaten a number in the early hundreds.
He asks Dean why Dean is not affected, and Dean has a nice answer -
CASTIEL: What I don't understand is...where is your hunger, Dean?
CASTIEL: Well, slowly but surely, everyone in this town is falling prey to Famine, but so far, you seem unaffected.
DEAN: Hey, when I want to drink, I drink. When I want sex, I go get it. Same goes for a sandwich or a fight.
CASTIEL: So...you're saying you're just well-adjusted?
DEAN: God, no. I'm just well-fed.
And I think this IS true usually...I believe that Dean tries to enjoy life as it is as fully as possible and that's the way he does it - by eating, drinking or finding a girl when he wants. But his drinking and eating habits tend to change according to how stressed he is feeling and are a good indicator of what he might be going through. In Season 3 he drank a lot and ate a lot to deal with stress - and we see that again in Season 9 and 10. Sam is right in suspecting that something is wrong with Dean here too as we see later.
Cas tells Dean that he's going to go in with the knife and cut off the finger and be back in no time - and he disappears but when he doesn't return quick enough, Dean is worried. He goes in the back and finds all kinds of craziness including Cas sitting in the middle of the room eating red meat. Two demons catch Dean and take him to Famine. Famine takes one look at Dean and wonders why Dean has not been consumed by his hunger-
FAMINE: Doesn't take much--hardly a push. Oh, America--all-you-can-eat, all the time. Consume, consume. A swarm of locusts in stretch pants. And yet, you're all still starving because hunger doesn't just come from the body, it also comes from the soul.
Again the lesson we've learned over and over with War and with the demons and specifically Sam and Ruby. It's always "hardly a push" because we have it inside of us all along. But also something new to think about. Inhibitions and how
DEAN: It's funny, it doesn't seem to be coming from mine.
FAMINE: Yes. I noticed that. Have you wondered why that is? How you could even walk in my presence?
DEAN: Well, I like to think it's because of my strength of character.
That answer is so Dean! It reminds me of so many past episodes :D
FAMINE: I disagree. Yes. I see. (Famine touches Dean's chest) That's one deep, dark nothing you got there, Dean. Can't fill it, can you? Not with food or drink. Not even with sex.
DEAN: Oh, you're so full of crap.
FAMINE: Oh, you can smirk and joke and lie to your brother, lie to yourself, but not to me! I can see inside you, Dean. I can see how broken you are, how defeated. You can't win, and you know it. But you just keep fighting. Just... keep going through the motions. You're not hungry, Dean, because inside, you're already...dead.
Dun dun. There it is. What we have been seeing all along since Abandon All Hope, and even before that really, since Lucifer Rising when he tells Sam that he's just lying for Bobby's benefit. But it's gotten so much worse.
In the meantime, Sam is "rescued" by two demons and he gets the juice he was craving.
SAM: Wait your turn.
Sam comes in right on time and saves the day with his powers.
(I like that sign on the wall - fits well with what Famine has been saying.)
He is able to resist draining the demons for his thirst and instead drains them of their souls - which Famine promptly sucks up, and Sam then I think sends the souls back to hell from inside Famine, and we never know what actually happened to Famine because of that. Famine can't be killed - just as War cannot. But they still got the ring, so he must have been incapacitated?? A little too vague there for my liking. Dean picks up the knife and we never see him cutting off the finger. At that point I'm thinking they must have just taken the ring off the finger. Any ideas?
Dean looks at Sam, wondering maybe if it is still Sam, and Sam looks at Dean with a bit of shame and a bit of defiance and mostly "I did what I had to do." I assume he put himself in the panic room to detox at Bobby's too. The next scene is of Sam shouting for help while Dean stands outside with Cas, drinking whiskey with the most pained expression.
Cas is trying to make him feel better by telling him that it's not really Sam in there, but Dean just needs to get out of there.
He goes outside, puts his whiskey on the hood of the car, raises his head to heaven and pleads for help with a look that is just heartbreaking.
DEAN Please...I can't...I need some help. Please?
Who do you think he is praying to? God? most probably, since finding out that God does not care and will not help is what makes him give up.