I loved “The Things They Carried”. It was intense. Too gross for my liking, but still, intense. I owed you a BIG Threads article though, so you are not going to believe what I tried to do with this article. I don’t believe it myself. I wondered if we would be able to predict where Sam and Dean’s story line might end up by year end if we wove together all the threads that had been given to us thus far in Season 10! To try this experiment, we will look at episodes 1 through 15, which is roughly the first two-thirds of the season. In the interest of sanity, let’s exclude a detailed look at the Heaven or Hell myth arcs and confine ourselves mostly to the Mark of Cain plot plus some of the general themes that have appeared in episodes thus far. Ready?

The Story…and The Truth

normal SPN1015HD0138

Sam and Dean have a long history of lying to each other. Sometimes they have lied to avoid an argument because they knew they had opposing views, as was the case with Sam’s reliance on Ruby in season 4. Sometimes they lied because they were uncertain about, afraid of, or ashamed of their actions but felt they didn’t have a choice, as Dean did with the Ezekiel secret in season 9. In contrast, this season we have had a number of examples when the brothers have shared honest feelings with each other. The latest examples include Dean admitting he wasn’t “OK” after beating up Charlie, then later when he told Sam that he was afraid to die in his battle with Cain. Their recent openness may be signaling a newfound maturity and trust between them.

Besides numerous instances of them talking frankly with each other, this hopeful rekindling of honesty has also subtly been woven into the dialog throughout season 10 by repeatedly using the word “truth” in conversations. “The Things They Carried” contained several overt references to “truth”, as when Dean explained his actions to Sam:

normal SPN1015HD0170

Dean: Sammy, when we work a case there’s always that point when we have to face the truth even if we don’t like it. Well, truth is, there’s no way around this. We saw what happened to Cain, OK? I’m not happy about it, but I got to move on. So I’m gonna keep doing what we do while I still can, and I’d like you to be there with me.”

[Kudos to the continuity since Dean used some of these same words when he told Andrew to “move on” in “Halt and Catch Fire”]. Dean may have believed he was facing the cold, hard facts when he conceded that he probably couldn’t avoid ending up like Cain. The reality, though, is that he seems to be accepting only a portion of the truth about his future with the MoC. From 10.14 “The Executioner’s Song”:
Cain: That seems to be weaker than what I would expect from you holding the Blade. I think you can do better…unless…you’re holding back! What is it Dean? Do you think If you hold back just enough you won’t succumb?…that you’ll leave this fight the same as you entered? Look to my example, boy! There is no resisting the Mark or the Blade! There is only remission and relapse!”

Given those two choices, Dean is currently in remission since he had once already succumbed to the Mark. He didn’t know what was happening to him then, but he now knows the entire story. Do you think he truly believes it is possible to avoid relapse if he stays focused on his work and “holds back”, or is he lying to both himself and Sam?  We at least can be fairly certain that Dean has not told Sam about Cain’s terrifying prediction (10.14):
Cain: Has it never occurred to you? Have you never mused upon the fact that you're living my life in reverse? My story began when I killed my brother, and that's where your story inevitably will end.
Dean: No. Never.
Cain: It's called the Mark of Cain for a reason! First ... first, you'd kill Crowley… And then you'd kill the angel, Castiel…And then! Then would come the murder you'd never survive, the one that would finally turn you into as much of a savage as it did me.
Dean: No
Cain:  Your brother, Sam.

The season has been filled with examples of people who fabricated stories to avoid painful truths (see prior Threads articles for examples). Dean doesn’t seem to be blindly lying to himself with a misguided story, as he did in season 3 when he said he was “freed” by the knowledge that he could do anything he wanted because he only had one year to live. Still, he clearly doesn’t accept or believe the prophecy that he will try to kill his brother. In 10.13, Dean admitted to the co-ed that he deals with painful memories with whiskey and denial, so he may be in denial about the whole truth.

Below the façade of being honest, actually both brothers have fallen into their old habit of avoiding the whole truth. Both Sam and Dean avoided talking about the research Sam was obviously doing when Dean told him they were hitting the road.

normal SPN1015HD0123

Then there was Sam’s troubled, ominous silence when Dean told him they had to “move on”.

normal SPN1015HD0199

Both instances were warning signs that Sam is retreating within himself to look for solutions he knows won’t have his brother’s approval. At the end of “The Executioner’s Song”, Sam was terrified when he told Castiel “Dean’s in trouble”. A terrified Sam leads to a desperate Sam, which in all previous situations has led to a secretive then dark Sam. I am anxious to see if this year’s emphasis on honesty and working together will win out over their pattern of lying and separation. Since we know there will be a season 11, something has to go terribly wrong.

Monsters…and their Families

normal SPN1015HD0663

Season 10 has repeatedly studied the effect that families have on creating, or saving, monsters. In “The Things They Carried”, it was Cole’s turn to let go of a best friend….
Sam: Look Cole, we know you want to protect your buddy…
Dean: …but if he’s a monster, we gotta put him down.
Cole: That’s the way it’s gonna have to be, huh?
Dean: That’s the job.

…and a family member, both of whom had turned into monsters:
Cole: My dad, he got something inside him too, right? You think this is what he felt like when he turned?
Dean: Maybe. I mean he was human before he was a monster.
Cole: I get it – why you did it Dean. My dad wasn’t my dad anymore.

This aspect of Cole’s story paralleled Sam’s crisis since Sam refuses to let go of the person who is both his best friend and his family, i.e. Dean. Cole’s story went beyond the parallel to Sam’s struggle, though. When Cole’s body was invaded by a supernatural force, his fight for his life also represented Dean’s battle with the MoC. This parallel was most obvious in the continuation of Cole’s conversation with Dean:
Cole: If I go down that same road, I want you to do that to me too.
Dean: That road? That means giving up. If you think that’s where you’re headed, then you got it ass backwards. You’re gonna fight, harder than you ever have. Understand?

normal SPN1015HD2013

Cole’s struggle to hold onto his humanity depended on whether a friend (Dean) could find a solution before Cole succumbed to the monster’s influence, and (as Dean reminded him) whether Cole’s love of his family could give him enough strength to endure the supernatural force taking him over. The same thing is happening to Dean. Dean’s best friends (Sam & Cas) are in a race against time to find a way to defeat the monster inside of Dean. In the meantime, Dean knows that his fate depends on how hard he can fight the MoC. He knows he is once again in a desperate fight for his life. His admission that he’d like Sam with him means Dean knows he is stronger with family by his side.

As a further parallel to Dean, Cole’s crushing desire to sate his thirst with Dean’s blood mirrored Dean’s on-going “thirst” for blood.
Cole: I appreciate the talk coach but honestly all I can think about is slicing your wrist and drinking you like a fountain. Guess that makes me a monster, don’t it?

The supernatural forces that attacked Cole and Dean are also symbolically linked. The Mark and the Khan worm are both parasites that attach themselves to a human’s body. They feed on their victim, and when their host has given all they can give, the parasite drives them to kill others to be fed. Kit repeatedly said, “I can’t stop myself”, most notably when he was just about to kill his wife (by holding her down to transfer the worm). The parasite drove him to turn on the one person he loved the most, and he couldn’t stop himself. 

Kit turning on Jemma and Cole turning on Dean were strong messages about how Dean will turn on the people he loves.  Cain told Dean that he would first turn on his friends (Crowley and Castiel) then finally the family that means everything to him. Just like the victims of the Khan worm, Dean won’t be able to stop himself.

“Saving People”, i.e. Saving Dean

The dialog of "The Executioner’s Song" was the first time I noticed an emphasis on the word “saving”. In 10.14, Cain taunted Tommy by saying,
“Now, I bet you're wondering what I'm doing here. Did I come to punish you, or save you? Well, the truth is Tommy, I’m here to do both.” [italics added to note the threads]

Saving someone by killing them is an intriguing concept. The idea was advanced more significantly in Cain’s battle with Dean:
10.14 Cain: …I let [Cas] go knowing that he would report back to you; knowing you would bring into battle the one thing that could kill me; the one thing I truly wanted. …This may be hard to believe in light of what I’m about to do to you, but I care about you Dean. I truly do, and I know that I’m doing you a favor. I’m saving you.
Dean: Saving me from what?
Cain: From your fate.

Of course, the boys’ motto is “Saving People, Hunting Things” but I believe the emphasis on saving people is more important than a reference to their mission. It will be interesting during the post-season WFB Rewatch to specifically listen for this thread in earlier episodes, but it was clearly reiterated in 10.15 “The Things They Carried”. When Cole first confronted Sam and Dean about finding Kit, Cole said “we are not going to hunt my best friend…we are going to find him, and that’s the difference”. The reference to “hunt” reminded me of the show’s motto, so I started listening for more references to saving people or hunting things. After Kit’s convenience store spree, there were two references to saving people. First, in Jemma’s phone call to Cole, when she was pressuring Cole to find her husband, she said “you gotta save him”. Then after Cole was infested with the worm, he said, “Heh, hey, Sammy, if we can fix me we can save Kit, right?”

normal SPN1015HD1388

Cole tied it all together when he referred to the hunter’s life:
Cole: “Damn, Day in and day out, you and Sammy saving people from things they just can’t wrap their minds around. Hell, nobody even notices. At least I get a medal for my efforts. But you? I tried to kill your ass.  I almost took you off the path(?). Who’d be saving me now?”

The emphasis on “saving people” came to a climax at the end of the episode,
Dean: Don’t blame yourself for Kit, man.
Sam: I can’t help it Dean. It feels crappy.
Dean: I know it does.
Sam: I tried. I did. I tried.  I just couldn’t save this one.
Dean: You know, you can do everything right but still, sometimes, the guy still dies.

normal SPN1015HD2404

Dean’s message to Sam was the exact same message the Trickster tried so hard to teach Sam in “Mystery Spot”.  No matter what Sam did, Dean was going to die and there was nothing Sam could do to stop it. Sam was devastated that he couldn’t save Dean in season 3 and now both brothers are in the exact same spot again. The longer the Mark remains on Dean, the closer Dean will be to giving into evil and becoming a demon when he dies. The clock is ticking and Sam can’t change that. If we look back to season 3, Sam went so far as to seek out a surgeon’s Frankenstein-type methods to keep Dean immortal so he wouldn’t go to Hell. This brings us to the question that is foremost on our minds for season 10: How far will Sam go to save Dean this time?

Sam’s Role and How It Will End

With so much foreshadowing and some outright predictions, it seems inevitable that the Mark will push Dean to try to kill Sam. For example, “There’s No Place Like Home” (10.11) portrayed Sam as the personification of goodness when goodness was reviled. Even DarkCharlie called Sam an “albatross” holding Dean back. As the Mark makes Dean darker, will he resent Sam’s interference and turn against Sam? In 10.14, Cain directly warned that the ancient Mark specifically wants a brother to kill a brother. In 10.15, Kit and Cole’s actions when controlled by a parasite imply that Dean won’t be able to stop himself from attacking those closest to him. Do you agree that this is where the story is headed?

There’s been another, slower paced story that might also be a clue as to what might happen to Sam and Dean, though - Witchcraft. Witchcraft has being mentioned and explained more frequently as the season has progressed. It was introduced this season in 10.07, “Girls, Girls, Girls”. We got our first close up look at Rowena and a detailed introduction to the world of witchcraft:
According to the Grand Coven, there are 3 recognized kinds of witch in the world:
·         the most common are the borrowers – those who harness the powers of a demon in order to practice the art
·         secondly, and the rarest of all, are the naturals – those who are born with the gift [Rowena’s category]
·         third, the students – those with no natural ability, who, with enough practice and training and a Grand Coven approved mentor to show them the path, can eke out a modicum of witchly power.

Giving such a detailed introduction to the world of witchcraft seems noteworthy. Then in 10.12 “About A Boy”, a witch was the “monster” to be defeated. It was a witch’s spell that removed the mark by throwing Dean backward in time. I can currently see three possible directions for the continued emphasis on witchcraft:

1.       Witchcraft stays within Crowley and Rowena’s arc. Something to do with Crowley adopting witchcraft or Rowena’s witches becoming another threat to Heaven, Hell and Hunters. That would bridge witchcraft as the carryover into Season 11.

2.       Sam starts to dabble in witchcraft to try to find an answer to Dean’s curse. Sam uses his new found dark powers to cure Dean, but that leaves Sam in some kind of world of hurt for S11.

3.       Sam starts to dabble in witchcraft to try to find a cure for Dean, but Dean then tries to kill Sam to save him from turning darkside. Cain supposedly killed Abel to save him from Lucifer, so this path would be history repeating itself. Dean also considered killing Sam to save him from becoming a demon (season 1-4), so again, there is precedent in the brother’s past for this storyline.

Options 2 and 3 would explain why 10.15 introduced Sam as being more secretive. What’s your take on the witchcraft storyline? What do you think will drive Dean to try to kill Sam?

normal SPN1015HD2421

The related question is what will cure Dean? Will it be witchcraft? Alternately, Sam may be getting secretive because he is getting desperate enough to get Castiel to go back to Metatron for answers. Let’s look at Metatron’s clues again:

Clue #1. “The river shall end at the source” - Metatron taunted that the secret to removing the Mark was in this cryptic message (10.10).

Clue #2. Metatron said that the First Blade is needed to remove the mark (10.10)

Regardless of Sam’s path to try to cure Dean, if Cain’s prediction that Dean will try to kill Sam is put together with Metatron’s two clues, a reasonable conclusion would be that Dean will inevitably use the same weapon Cain used to kill Abel, the First Blade, to try to kill Sam. Sam’s continued show of faith in Dean, though, as exemplified at the end of 10.11 “There’s No Place Like Home” and 10.12 “About A Boy”, implies that Sam will stick with his brother until the very end, (the reverse of "Swan Song", fulfilling the Reversal theme of S10).  Sam won’t stop believing in Dean even when Dean tries to kill him. This steadfast love has been shown every time Sam’s voice was the only thing that got through to a hypnotized Raged!Dean. Dean will hear Sam’s voice at the end and since we know Dean’s love for Sam supersedes everything else, even Dean’s own life (10.12), Dean’s love of family will give him enough strength to overpower the supernatural power within him (10.15). Since “The river shall end at the source”, the river of blood will end when the source of its power, fratricide, ends, i.e. a brother will refuse to kill a brother. Sam and Dean’s mutual love will thus shatter the Blade and the Mark’s ancient curse (10.11). In 10.13, Dean told the co-ed to “find a way to ask for forgiveness. I mean, real forgiveness. You can’t just bury stuff like this. You got to deal with it.” An added bonus would be if Dean takes his own advice and rather than judging Sam for witchcraft or judging himself for weakness, Dean asks for forgiveness.  Dean will have found redemption by choosing love over guilt, violence, rage and self-loathing.

I feel like I’m writing fan fiction now! Does this scenario stand up to scrutiny? Is there further evidence it is right?

Curiosities

normal SPN1015HD0802

“Sammy’s Highway Cafe”! This is why Sam has been so distracted lately! He opened a side business! By the way, I live in a cold climate and trust me, no one eats at an outdoor café when it is cold enough to see your breath!

normal SPN1015HD1984

Would it have killed Dean to take off his button-down shirt when he was sweating profusely in the cabin?

Would it have killed Cole to apologize to Sam for torturing him mercilessly just a few months ago, or to thank him for saving Jemma?

Hooray! Sam is still a capable hunter! He defeated crazy mummy Kit all by himself!

For the record, I’ve updated the MoC attributes list (i.e. canon) we began in 10.02 (Reichenbach). Here’s what I have so far:

When borne by a human, the MoC:

1.       Drives the bearer to kill.
          - 10.08 Dean confirmed that the Mark had been continually “pushing” him
          - 10.09 Dean lost control

2.       Slowly corrupts the soul through each act of violence, making the bearer lose all their humanity.  If they become a slave to the mark (lose their conscience and their will to choose mercy over murder, i.e. become evil), they turn into a demon upon their death
          - 10.09 showed how far Dean could go if he gave into the Mark’s power.
          - 10.10 Metatron confirmed “Dean, you’re going to get worse”
          - 10.10 Metatron confirmed that the power of the victim is part of the equation. The bigger the prey, the bigger the step into darkness for Dean.

3.       Makes the bearer a nearly unstoppable opponent in a fight, if they give into the Mark
          - We had previously seen the two MoC demons, Cain and DemonDean as nearly invincible. Dean’s ability to prevail despite being vastly outnumbered in 10.09 implied that MoC humans were also invincible. 10.11 clarified that their fighting skills are better only because the dark side doesn’t hold back. It gives into and enjoys the violence, thus fights without inhibition (as proven by the fact that DarkCharlie won the war nearly singlehandedly).
          - 10.14 Cain taunted that he expected more from Dean in the fight and that Dean was “holding back”, proving that Dean had learned how to resist the Mark’s urging to give in to violence. Dean’s victory was from his strategizing talent, his vast experience fighting superior opponents, and luck.

4.       Uses vices to help it gain control over its bearer, i.e. contributes to the corruption of the soul?
          - 10.09 Dean was noticeably eating more. It is still unclear if Dean is substituting food gratification for the allure of violence or if the Mark is intensifying all his vices to further corrupt him.
          - 10.11 Dean practiced self-control by denying himself alcohol and his favorite unhealthy foods
          - 10.12 Dean said he was going to “trust himself” when he took a drink. There was an ominous heartbeat, though, when Dean drank a shot of whiskey, implying the Mark “liked” Dean drinking
          - 10.13 inhaled every morsel of food in sight
          - 10.15 Dean continued his attraction toward food (although it was dessert!). Sam stopped his brother from eating.

5.       Blocks sleep?
          - 10.09 opened with Dean having a nightmare, so obviously he was sleeping. When Dean was addicted to the Blade’s power towards the end of S9, though, it was clear that he couldn’t sleep. This attribute is on the watch list.

When borne by a demon, the Mark:

6.       Strengthens fighting skills superior to all other demons
          - Referenced by Crowley and proven by Cain in 9.11 “First Born”

7.       Grants near immortality through instant physical healing
          - Shown in 10.02 “Reichenbach” during the fight with Cole
          - 10.14 Dialog confirmed “There’s only one thing that can kill [Cain]…The Blade.

So…

I'm sure your heads are spinning by now so I’ll leave the review of the episode to the other WFB reviewers. Don’t leave me hanging here, though! Can you prove or disprove this version of the S10 Threads? What do you think are the answers to all my questions?


screencaps courtesy of www.screencapped.net


Comments  

Jen
# Jen 2015-03-21 18:46
I'm gonna think on this one Brilliant though, I love your indepth writing. While I absorb all I have read. I will suggest one thing. Can you PLEASE get a job as a writer on SPN - Supernatural Ratings would go through the roof You would give the boys beautiful scripts to act and we after very dramatic episodes would have happy endings Thank You Jen xxoo
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-03-22 06:00
That's a tremendous compliment! Thank you. I would insist on happy endings!;)
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-21 19:01
I agree with Jen. Your analysis of this season shows how it could have been outstanding in the hands of better writers who paid more attention to canon, logic and characterizatio n of the brothers. Truly excellent analysis!
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-03-22 06:01
Thank you!
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2015-03-21 19:08
You really did make my head spin with this and I think I need to read it again to get all in. I don't know how you could pile all the things up tbh. :D

One thing that came to mind from first read was of course OZ. Even if Crowley and Rowena wasn't part of the episode OZ is a world that is ruled by witchcraft and Wizard of Oz is just a male witch. And Dark!Charlie was made with witchcraft as a solution to the war in OZ but to use magic gave a backlash and it had almost as worse outcome than the situation it was used to save. Wizard was evil and we got Dark!Charlie. Maybe you have some thoughts on that and how it fits to the threads? Or does it fit just the over all theme of witchcraft this season.

- Lilah
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-21 20:42
Lilah that's an intriguing thought. I thought that if Sam was going to go down the witchcraft route that it would involve Rowena. But maybe that is the "help" that Charlie provides? Some knowledge she gained of witchcraft while in Oz.
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2015-03-22 05:23
Not sure if OZ is directly related for using witchcraft but maybe the book of the Damned which Sam send Charlie to get will have that. I am actually happy Sam has friends who will help him to help Dean. It is Sam saving Dean and he has their friends backing him up. I think that already makes me emotional. I mean in real life your family and friends help you when you get into tough spot so I would see it weird if Sam's friends wouldn't help him right? I mean before Swang Song Amm and Dean had Ellen, Jo (sniffles), Bobby and Castiel to help down the road but in the end it was only Dean and Sam. That is the way I see this going.

Hopefully you know... Not killing anyone of their family/friends like in Swang Song and before. As you remember all of those I mentioned died before the end. I am not a huge fan of Charlie BUT she means a lot to the boys and is their friend and they have lost a lot of those already. So she can help because it would be weird if she wouldn't. I am glad they got now Cole even if he is not on that much friend status with them yet but more a breath of normal life. Maybe if we see him later he grows even closer (and the show doesn't kill him) and he will be more formidable friend. ;)

What I wrote about OZ I was more thinking if it mirrors where this is going. They were loosing the war --> they were desperate --> They used magic to make Dark!Charlie that was the last resort --> Dark!Charlie even when she was powerful and help turned against them = The means to an end created another problem.

Nightsky's words about OZ made me think of this, because the rest of the episodes have had little hints of similar outcome.

- Lilah
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-03-22 06:56
Quote:
They were loosing the war --> they were desperate --> They used magic to make Dark!Charlie that was the last resort --> Dark!Charlie even when she was powerful and help turned against them = The means to an end created another problem.
=> they need DarkDean to get them out of some awful situation? Interesting parallel. Very possible.
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-03-22 06:21
I completely forgot about the "Wicked Witch"! She was a big part of 9.04 "Slumber Party". With Glenda being "The Good Witch" too, it's clear that witchcraft is a big part of Oz. I have never thought of Oz as having "witchcraft" though. My childhood perception of Oz never put witchcraft together with witches so even when looking back at "There's No Place Like Home", I didn't connect Oz with witchcraft. You are completely right, of course. The writers have been planting the seeds of witchcraft into this storyline for much longer than I considered. Continuing with that thought, Oz set up the dual identity arc with The Good Witch/Wicked Witch Good Charlie/Dark Charlie, Good Wizard/Dark Wizard and thus Good Dean/Dark Dean. Interesting. It was witchcraft that healed/reconnec ted Good Charlie and Dark Charlie so that lends credibility to the idea that Sam would think witchcraft could reconnect Good Dean/Dark Dean. The witches, Charlies and the Wizards were all in separate bodies, though, i.e. there were separate people. I don't see Dean's identities getting split up. It would kill Jensen to play two parts again, as in 5.04 "The End"! So my best guess is that this split personality arc highlighted the battle that Dean has to fight within himself and that the juxtaposition to Cain/Abel is still what breaks the curse. I'm so biased though, because I desperately want the brothers' love to be what fixes things!
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-03-21 19:27
Thank you for putting this all together. Great read. Now that was one angle I hadn't considered with the river shall end at the source. The source of the Blades power is the act of murder. I would assume with each of the prophesized acts of murder Dean will sink further into madness. But at the end of the river, the source of the Blades power is the murder of Sam. That is really interesting because Sam is the only one so far that has been able to get through to a MOC induced act of violence. So will he be able to get through to Dean specially if Dean was able to complete the first two kills? Great possibilities here for a corker of a cliffhanger.
We also have a de-aged Dean without the Mark but as was pointed out to me it came back when he aged. So I don't know how witchcraft will fit in. But we do know it will be a factor. We have the book of the Damned that Charlie is going to bring back at some point. Metatron knows how to remove the Mark but Dean kind of screwed that up and Cas alluded to the demon tablet as possibly holding the answer. With only 8 episodes left it sounds like there is a lot of ground to cover. Which (unacceptable to Dean) path Sam is going to choose and how far gone Dean will be when Sam tries to save him is what is intriguing me. I'm starting to get angsty now.
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-03-22 06:37
Quote:
I would assume with each of the prophesized acts of murder Dean will sink further into madness....So will he be able to get through to Dean specially if Dean was able to complete the first two kills?
I hadn't thought through the earlier parts of Cain's prophecy. First, killing Crowley. I accept that the writers might actually make this happen. Mark Sheppard is dearly loved by the fandom and has been a fabulous addition to the plot, but Bobby was also considered a cornerstone of the series and they killed him off in due time. I did an extremely in-depth character study on Bobby (look on my author page to get my list of articles. It will be in there). Jim Beaver was made a "regular" on the show right before they killed Bobby, so I think it's withing the realm of possibilities that would happen to Crowley. Crowley's own nightmare introduced the idea of his death. Maybe his human half, i.e. Good Crowley finally wins out over Evil/Demon Crowley and we have some closure to the half baked character that has been tormented with feelings since "Sacrifice". Maybe witchcraft heals Crowley, not Dean (see my reply to Lilah Kane about this)!! I hadn't added Good Crowley/Dark Crowley to our list of split and embattled identities!
As far as the next murder, that of Castiel, while Dean might kill him off, I don't accept that the writers would write him out of the show for very practical reasons - Misha's audience is a large component of the overall audience base. Maybe Cas dies (how many times has he been killed already?), but something will bring him back.
Maybe finding the demon tablet is tied back to rekindling Kevin's ghost, the veil and fixing heaven? The trail of clues has gone cold on that one!
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-03-22 11:27
Please correct me if Im wrong but was Jim Beaver ever contractually a regular like Misha and Mark are now? I thought that Show wanted him to be but because it's shot in Vancouver and he has a little girl and their home is in L.A., he declined it.

I don't see them killing off Cas again. Talk about redundant. Maybe Crowley dies sacrificing himself in some way - trying to save someone... but in order for the prophecy to play out MOC!Dean has to kill him... I dunno. I got nothin. I'm wondering if just when you think it isn't going to happen, that Crowley and Cas are safe so the prophecy has been foiled, Dean will kill Sam. They keep talking about this big dark season end - well, you can't get much darker than that! That would send Dean completely off the deep end and somehow Sam would have to be saved. Would Dean become the new Rage!Cain? Technically the MOC would have the brothers death but the prophecy wouldn't have been completed so I think not. What would Dean do at that point? Kill himself? Insta-DemonDean . Will this be the cliffhanger? Sams death at Deans hands. Ouch. This is all too heartbreaking to contemplate - even if you know they can't kill off the two leads! I just can't figure out where they are going with all this! It is compelling. A guilty pleasure!
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-03-27 17:39
Quote:
Please correct me if I'm wrong but was Jim Beaver ever contractually a regular like Misha and Mark are now? I thought that Show wanted him to be but because it's shot in Vancouver and he has a little girl and their home is in L.A., he declined it.
I had to go back and look to be sure! Part 3 of my Bobby character study states that he remained a guest star.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2015-03-22 13:02
My maybe solution for Castiel's murder is that he isn't carrying his own grace. So maybe his grace still being out there somewhere will be the way he is brought back. I think I heard that Misha had signed on for S11 so I'm pretty sure his "death" won't be permanent. Crowley on the other hand is in a more precarious position. He needs to become a true adversary again though if he returns. And he is the son of a witch. Maybe Dean kills the good Crowley and the truly evil Crowley remains (I like that possibility)? It kind of looks like that is where he is headed now that he was betrayed by Dean. Now how Sam gets saved that is going to be the big question/cliffh anger. There are so many avenues for his story to go, but they really need to get on that (stomps foot my biological clock is ticking..).
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-03-22 13:51
Stomping foot right alongside of you!!!!!! Interesting idea over Cas' own grace saving him!!!
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2015-03-21 19:28
Wow - you covered a lot of ground with this Threads article - nice job.

1 - I thought it was odd that Dean showed no ill effects from his confrontation with Cain; after the lead up, with Dean appearing to be so broken, and Sam so concerned at the end of Executioner's Song, I was expecting something.

2 - Isn't Dean also putting Sam at risk by keeping him close by? I have a feeling when he finally "snaps", he will be in no position to exercise good judgement about being a risk to Sam.

3 - Witchcraft - It looks as though witchcraft is the wild card at this point; Alice mentioned this in her review, and I think this was brought up in some earlier Threads articles as well. I suppose it's possible but at this point there has been no movement in that direction so it would kind of come out of left field. The prevailing theories are that Sam will turn to witchcrat, but what if it turns out to be Dean instead? He had seriously considered remaining a teenager to eliminate the MoC.

4- Witchcraft and "borrowers" - harnessing the power of demons in order to practice the art. Sam has ties to the creator of demons, Lucifer. And, it was established that angels leave behind some grace when they leave their vessel so perhaps Sam has some of Lucifer's grace left in him and will tap in to that? That's a pretty powerful source. I know Lucifer was technically an archangel but he created demons so this kind of fits, as well as tying in to Sam's past. And, as Metatron said, "the river shall end at the source" - does this mean Lucifer? Two mindsets on this - I don't think the show would go back and tackle the Lucifer story again; that was Kripke's story to tell but, since they are repeating a lot of themes from S3/S4/S5, with Dean being the one infected/touche d by evil this time, it is possible.

5 - Sam going darkside - it is a possibility, but would eliminate any iota of character "development" over the past 3 seasons. But, on the bright side, it would make both brothers active participants in the story.

6 - Both brothers going darkside - not entirely on board with this but Dean is already in a bad place, and if Sam goes darkside as many have conjectured, just wanted to throw it out there. You could have a scenario that Castiel would have to save them, finally giving Castiel a meaningful story arc. Crowley might also have to help Castiel because dark Sam and Dean would not be good news for Crowley. And, this is something the show has never touched on before and would certainly add some excitement to the story.

7 - Crowley - going back to something brought up in an earlier Threads article. There was a lot of questions about Crowley's interest in Dean early in the season; I brought up the possibility that Crowley wasn't just necessarily interested in Dean, but what if he was also looking to turn/recruit Sam. Since Sam was originally supposed to lead a demon army in S3, it once again ties in to earlier seasons, as well fitting in to the narrative of Sam going dark to save Dean. I don't think this is very likely but just throwing it out there; Crowley knows the extremes the brothers go to for one another and has always taken the most advantage of situations such as this.
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-03-27 17:53
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Possible. If I jump ahead by a week (since I'm so late answering you!), Isabella paralleled Dean, and Isabella was burned as a witch. Hasn't Dean got enough problems, though?!
4. The trials supposedly purified Sam of his demon blood, so I don't think they'd retrace their steps there. They might touch on the angel's grace that's still in Sam, though, as you suggest. They've left the question of Castiel's grace completely unaddressed so they might talk about angel's grace at some point. I think it would be exciting if they did!
5 & 6: Both brother's going dark would be new,and would reinvigorate the show! I think that's a fascinating idea!
7: Sam really hates Crowley. It would take a lot for them to ally themselves. Still, if Rowena gets a full head of steam and Dean is side-lined, I could see Sam making some kind of arrangement with Crowley of I'll help you if you help me. Both Crowley and Sam might end up being desperate enough.
sugarhi15
# sugarhi15 2015-03-21 20:37
nightsky I really enjoyed this read...thanks.

I've been saying all along and I still believe that since the moc wins with the death of a brother by a brother, the only thing that seems to make sense is that in order to rid the mark, the opposite must take place. So I think the way to rid the mark is for the boys to break the original curse. Now I know witches will become a factor in this story, but i'm not sure that sam will be dabbling in witchcraft. I am very eager to find out how sam saves dean. :)

it's been a great season so far and i'm really excited to see where this story takes us....
:)
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-22 09:10
While on the one hand it would be emotionally satisfying if, after all of the problems between the brothers the last few years, Dean's love for Sam and refusal to kill him is what finally cures Dean of the MOC. However, that would mean that after a year and a half of an excruciatingly slow progression of the MOC story, the climax is ..nothing happens. Dean NOT killing Sam would be seriously lacking in dramatic effect as the culmination of a 2 year long arc. Plus, how would his refusal to kill Sam set up a story for next season? We've been told/threatened that the MOC story might be accordioned into next season. I like the idea that another commentor has suggested in which Sam somehow compels Dean to kill him with the blade, thus breaking the curse. Then they just have to figure out how to bring Sam back, which should not be a problem! I'm not itching for one of the brothers to kill the other, but at this point anything else makes this entire MOC arc seem pointless.
novi
# novi 2015-03-22 00:39
Do we know anything about the origin of the Blade? The source of its power may be hidden there. But I still think that at some point the writers will have to return Cain and ...I don't know... reconcile him and Abel, so everything should end just where it started. Sounds cheesy, I'm afraid, but can't come out with a better idea.
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-03-22 06:48
Quote:
Do we know anything about the origin of the Blade?
Somebody in the show said once it was the jawbone of an ass. That is the only kind of weapon that could be made at the beginning of the human race. I don't remember Cain actually saying that the power of the Blade came from his act of murder, but I got that strong impression from all of his and Crowley's exposition on the subject.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2015-03-23 15:10
Yes, the First Blade was made from the jaw of a donkey and was used by Cain to kill Abel. The First Blade draws its power from the Mark of Cain, which was given to Cain by Lucifer.
nicknicknicknick
# nicknicknicknick 2015-03-22 10:56
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned in Alice's review or the 'Let's Speculate' section (and there are too many comments for me to go through now, heh!), but what do you think is the significance of the 'Then' montage in this episode? It showed, repeatedly, the boys not knowing what they were up against - "I don't know" being the refrain. Is it a reference to the Kahn worm - the writers' "explanation" for why the brothers don't actually try to find out what the worm is? Or do you think it's deeper, more sinister and foreboding, than that?
Lilah_Kane
# Lilah_Kane 2015-03-22 18:09
I also found this from Fangasm ("http://wp.me/ pHXAJ-12e")

Quote:
I remember my son reading “The Things They Carried” in middle school and being very moved by it, so I went digging to remind myself what the book was all about. It’s a book of Vietnam War stories, told as fictional but ringing very true. In a significant portion of the book, we witness the bond that develops between two soldiers, Jensen (yep, for real) and Strunk. At first they drive each other nuts, but being in the trenches together, the shared stress and horrors, draws them into a deep respect and friendship. They eventually make a pact that if one of them is wounded, the other must deal the fatal blow as a form of mercy.
I don't know if it is foreboding to the boys situation but I think it was a good catch to toss that in here. :)

- Lilah
AlyCat22
# AlyCat22 2015-03-23 00:37
Thanks for bringing that over LK!
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2015-03-23 15:02
Not to threw a wrench in the works, but the synopsis for this weeks' episode has Dean being the one to confront Rowena and Sam and Cas going off on their own this week, so maybe it isn't Sam who is going to be dabbling in witchcraft or making deals with witches. I hope it is Sam because I think it would interesting, but I guess we'll see.
I always enjoy your insightful reviews. :)
nightsky
# nightsky 2015-03-27 17:58
NJSPNFan said something similar above about Dean and witchcraft. I really can't wrap my head around any scenario where that makes sense. Talk about jumping out of the frying pan into the fire - but the show has done crazier things!

And thank you for faithfully reading my reviews!