Now that’s more like the Supernatural that I love.  I received lots of tingles of nostalgia and pleasure (the innocent kind, of course) as I watched this tale. 

“This ends one way for us Dean.  It ends Bloody…It ends bad.”  
 
Huh, go figure. While I was engrossed with the whole hour of “Breakdown” and happy that I got a watchable episode of “Supernatural” (first in a few months anyway), it’s that closing scene that still rings in my mind.  I just can’t those words get out of my head.  Sure, Sam’s sudden depression seems like it’s out of left field, but this is the Sam we should have gotten years ago.  This is the Sam that’s been lurking in the shadows, dying to come out.  Why?  Just look at everything this guy has been through.  It’s been a wonder why he isn’t depressed.  
 
I’m taking a different approach to the review this week.  It’s going to be a little review, a lot of Sam Winchester meta analysis.  After all, we have a whole history of Sam and Dean and their “mood swings” but Sam’s latest turn is a little more significant than you think.  it’s been a long time coming and come next week, it might not stick, so I want to savor this moment for as long as I can. 

The Morning After

Let me get this out of way right away – I HATE horror!! “Breakdown” was the creepiest, scariest, most disturbing, gruesome episode that Supernatural has aired since… well, season 12’s “American Nightmare”, which was also written by Davy Perez. That guy really knows how to write horror! When I talked with him as San Diego Comic Con I respectfully told him I would never watch that episode again because it was so distressing. He just grinned and said, “Well then I did my job!”

What made this episode so much more upsetting than the rest of the 250 plus hours of monsters we’ve endured on Supernatural? Monsters are imaginary, this horror was real.

Editor's Note: Bookdal has written witty, thorough, amazingly fast recaps of Supernatural episodes for The Winchester Family Business for many years. Sadly, she has decided to put down her quill and "retire" from our staff. We will forever be grateful for her talent and insights, and wish her all the best. Tonight begins a new era for us as we welcome our new recap writer, "Emberlast". Please welcome her to our staff! She's a huge fan of Supernatural and an excellent writer! We hope you'll love her as much as we do!

Everything we know on episode 11.

So how is this second attempt at a Supernatural spinoff?
 
Bloodlines' problem was that - on multiple levels - it felt tacked on.  It didn't fit in properly with the lore of the world, the themes, or continuity.  Remove Sam & Dean from the episode and you'd barely have to change anything.  Likewise remove the episode from the season and nobody would notice its absence.  If you told a viewer that they took a pilot from a completely different show and filmed some pickup scenes with Sam & Dean to attach it to the SPN brand, I would believe you.
 
This time?  It fits within the lore and continuity of the original series.  You can't remove Sam & Dean from the episode without breaking the plot and character motivations.  Likewise the work put in to make it feel more organically grown from the season also means you can't remove it from S13 without apparently opening up plot problems.  Heck they even went so far as to put several echoes to the original pilot within it to really make sure this felt like it belonged to the same world.  I have no real opinion on backdoor pilots (not sure if I've seen any others in other series to be honest) but if I was to grade them, this would be my new standard for how they should be judged.

It’s not easy to review an episode of Supernatural that had so many flaws, but at the same time made me grin.  Just call me Abby Normal.  Hey, what a great username!  Maybe I’ll use that instead of Mallena, someday.