Let me start from the beginning so I can be more coherent. Actually, let’s start with the last scene of the last ep, because I missed an important conversation.
SAM:I feel better, yeah, um, just having a direction to move in.
DEAN:Well, good, cause where we're headed doesn't sound like a picnic.
SAM: We are heading somewhere. We are heading to the end.
Not the light at the end of the tunnel, just the END. And we see here Sam maybe knowing that he will probably die at the end but at this point, he just wants it to be over.
We start this ep with the Windego guy dying... Poor guy to have to go through so much trauma and to be killed by what he thinks is a Windego in the end.
Sam and Dean are looking up stuff on curing a demon at the bunker. Cas comes in, and Dean ignores him, he is so angry with Cas for not trusting him and losing the angel tablet to Crowley as a result.
Sam is finally very candid with Dean about how he is feeling really awful. Everything smells like rotten meat, he feels nauseous and hungry at the same time, his whole body aches. But the only way he is going to feel better is to keep working toward the trial.
Dean tells Sam that he’s going to go get Sam something to eat to keep up his strength, but all he can find in the bunker is half drunk beer and jerky. I’m thinking that jerky might be good if you are feeling nauseous and hungry at the same time, but Sam seems to want something better (which is a little weird if you think about it) so Dean tells Sam that he will go shopping. Cas tells him he will go along, but Dean’s ignoring him again. Cas then apologizes, but that doesn’t work. I read a saying somewhere that mistakes can be forgiven, but once you break someone’s trust, that’s very hard to get back, and that’s true in this case too. It’s not the mistakes that Dean is mad about. It’s that Cas didn’t trust him. And it is going to take a while for Dean to feel comfortable with Cas again.
In the midst of this talk, Sam finds something about a mysterious room. Sam and Dean go search for some information and here Sam tells Dean to take it easy on Cas.
SAM:Dude, go easy on Cas, okay. He's one of the good guys.
DEAN:Dude, if anybody else – I mean anybody – pulled that kind of crap, I would stab them in their neck on principle. Why should I give him a free pass?
SAM:Because it's Cas.
Let’s stop here a bit in light of how Sam is feeling next ep regarding “letting Dean down.” What does Sam think, looking at how Dean treats Cas? Maybe he thinks that Dean would react the same way to him if he let Dean down. Maybe that infamous speech about Dean going to an Angel or a vampire is not really focussing on the “angel” or the “vampire” as a replacement, but on the fact that Dean might treat Sam the way he was treating Cas now.
They find the info, which is marked “Weird!!” and also the secret room behind the books, a DUNGEON!
DEAN:So we have a dungeon. Finally!
And Sam’s disturbed by Dean’s excitement LOL
They go back to watch the film in the package. It is a film of a senior priest exorcising a demon with the help of another younger priest. It is being filmed by the girl that was possessed by Abaddon. The three watch it together.
The exorcism goes south and the old lady that was possessed by the demon dies and the demon is released. The younger priest was so shocked by the death, he didn’t want any part of further experiments but the older priest kept on until a few months later, something tore him apart.
(Abbadon tells the boys later that she had killed the old priest herself, and then possessed Josie and killed everyone else as well. I talked a bit about how killing all the men of letters made the apocalypse possible - not only by killing John’s father so that John ended up marrying Mary and raising his sons as hunters - but by eliminating the one organization that could have prevented it according to Henry.)
Cas notices that the exorcism contains the word “cleanse” and tells them, but Dean is still hurt and not willing to hear what Cas has to say.
Sam and Dean decide to go to talk with the younger priest who is still alive. Cas wants to go too, but Dean’s like - No. Cas says, but I’m better off than Sam, and Dean replies -
DEAN: Even banged up, Sammy comes through.
Now, I think he says this for several reasons. One, he really does trust Sam to come through and by saying this in front of Sam, he is affirming what he believes to Sam. Two, he wants to hurt Cas for hurting him. But, Sam seems to go away thinking that Dean would do the same to him if he ever let Dean down. I really hate that speech next ep - if you haven’t guessed already - and the only way I can explain that outrageous idea is that the trials are influencing Sam in some way, to make him feel like Dean would leave him one of these days because Sam let him down somehow, and the only way to prove himself was to die to save the world. Actually, he felt this weary at the beginning of the season too, so it’s not just the trials. You remember he said that the reason he quit hunting was that others could do the job just as well as he could, and he wasn’t needed. This whole season starts and ends with Sam’s insecurities. Even though he tries to pull himself together to do the trials and prove himself - not only to Dean but to himself I think - he can’t seem to get out of that rut.
While Sam and Dean are asking the priest about the experiments, Sam goes into a coughing fit and has to go to the washroom to clean up the blood on his hand. Dean then talks with the priest privately about Sam.
DEAN:Well, short story is, uh, Sammy there is gonna take whatever shredded your friend and every other black-eyed bitch out there, and he's gonna get rid of them for good.
FATHER SIMON:He is? In his condition?
DEAN:Father, over the past couple of months, I've seen him do crap that I didn't even think was possible. I mean, sure, he's miserable and he's hurting, but you know what? There's not a doubt in my mind that he's gonna cross that finish line – not one. So, will you help us?
So, Sam didn’t hear this and if he did, he may have just felt more pressure to succeed, but again, we see Dean showing how he believes in Sam.
Meanwhile, Cas has decided to go shopping for Dean’s favorite things to try to win back his favor. Busty Asian Beauties, etc. But the store doesn’t have any pie!
CASTIEL:You don't understand. I. NEED. PIE
While Cas shows how desperate he is for pie, Metatron comes up to him.
He tells Cas that he’d been to heaven and found it in caos (YAY time for his revenge!). Cas tells Metatron that it is his fault - he had thought he could lead the angels in Season 6, but he had been wrong. We see Cas remembering killing all the angels with the Leviathans inside of him, then in Purgatory for penance… He still feels responsible for what he has done. Metatron uses that and suggests that they need to have a “family” meeting, and to do that, they need to close the gates of Heaven so the angels cannot get out. He leads Cas to a restaurant, where a nephilim works, and when Cas agrees to do the trials, (because Metatron is the pencil pusher - he can’t do them) he tells Cas that the first trial is to kill the nephilim. Cas is repelled by the idea, telling Metatron that the nephilim has done nothing wrong and she does not deserve to be killed. Metatron agrees, but also says, that that is what is difficult about the trials.
METATRON: What’s more important? Her life, or your family?
And here is an interesting point! Going along with our season theme. What is more important, to save your family, or not kill an innocent person(who happens to be an “abomination” according to the angels)?
CASTIEL:But she didn't choose to be a Nephilim, so she's innocent.
METATRON:Yes, she is. I told you it wasn't gonna be easy.
Of course this nephilim is not family, so Cas decides family is more important, because he feels guilty of all the mistakes he has made and wants to atone for them. But… kill an innocent person?? Cas… :(
Also, we find out that Kevin is not with the guys, and that he had been telling Metatron all kinds of stuff so… did he get a room at that hotel to recuperate? Maybe they thought he would be safer with Metatron - he’d just saved Kevin’s life so this is not surprising.
Back to Sam and Dean. They watch another film by the senior priest in which he actually succeeds in curing a demon. Dean has a brilliant idea. They need a demon to cure, and who better than Abbadon?!
(I needed that shot of Sam's hand)
IF they had been able to do this, it would have really killed two birds with one stone. Abbadon who couldn’t be killed, being cured would solve a difficult problem. They dig her up and put her back together to try the cure on her. They leave her hands off so she doesn’t get up to mischief and keep the bullet in her brain. What they don’t do is use the cuffs in the dungeon like they do later for Crowley. AND THEY LEAVE HER ALONE as they go talk to CROWLEY!!!
She gets her hands, takes the bullet out and takes off. They are not only minus one demon, but a Knight of Hell, the most powerful demon of all. Then they look up the location Crowley told them and find that one of the people they saved had died of unnatural causes. Crowley is getting back at them for going through with the trials. But they have to carry on because once they close the gates, Crowley can’t do anything. He leads them to cupcake girl who is already dead in her oven, and Sam and Dean go because they want to catch a demon but no demons in sight.
Crowley then tells them of a hotel room, where they go and find Sarah…. This is the most painful of all. They tell her that they are not going to let her die and She tells them she believes in them. Dean is a bit surprised - but she has always been this way. What I remember the most about Sarah was that she “owned” her life. She recognized that people die. It’s a fact of life. And she could die of a ghost, or she could be hit by a bus and die the next day. And she had been given a second life when Sam and Dean saved her. Sarah’s marriage, her baby… it would not have happened if Sam and Dean hadn’t saved her.
Then Sarah asks him what he has been up to, and Sam tells her, same old same old, but Sarah can tell a difference in him.
SARAH: You seem more focussed. I do miss the old hair cut though.
So yeah, Sam has something to work toward - the end of the tunnel, if not a light. I agree about the haircut, Sarah.
Time is up and Sarah starts choking and we hear Crowley’s monologue in the background.
CROWLEY:From what I understand, Sammy took that bird's breath away. What's the line? "Saving people, hunting things – the family business." Well, I think the people you save, they're how you justify your pathetic little lives. The alcoholism, the collateral damage, the pain you've caused – the one thing that allows you to sleep at night, the one thing is knowing that these folks are out there, still out there happy and healthy because of you, you great, big, bloody heroes!
Sarah dies and Sam is devastated… :((( and Dean is angry and frustrated. He flings the phone Crowley had been monologing on, and breaks it. Inside was the hex bag! If only he had thrown the stupid phone just to shut up that monologuing!
Sam and Dean get back to the bunker and Cas is gone. Sam’s worried, but Dean’s like, yeah well, that’s what Cas does. And yeah, big mistake Cas (AGAIN). If only he had gone back and told them. At least it wouldn't be his mistake only and Dean would have felt that Cas trusted them. Kevin may have figured out the Angel Trial was fake a bit earlier too.
Then Sam tells Dean that maybe they can’t win this. He’s feeling really depressed and confidence down to zero. It’s true that they only thing that has kept them going is the knowledge that there were people that they had saved, that were living their life because of them. If Crowley is going to kill them all, what use is there? And, he is devastated by Sarah's death in particular, I think too. It hit him harder than the cupcake lady or the Windego guy because there had been something more personal between them. Dean tells him, they will get through it, somehow. Like they always do.
DEAN:We'll figure this out. We will. Man, we'll get it done. We'll kick it in the ass like we always do. Are you with me?
Again affirming his trust in Sam and the fact they are in this together.
Finally, a vid I made on anewdream4xmas request In memory of Sarah Blake -