This episode is one of my top-five favorites. So many firsts...Bobby Singer and his fascinating salvage yard, his dog, Rumsfeld, the Key of Solomon, the Devil's Trap, demon exorcism! Most of this became common-place, of course, but seeing it for the first timeâ€”ambrosial!
From the moment the brothers learn their father is in Meg's clutches, they realize they need help to find him, so they rush over to South Dakota and Bobby, who, we learn, pumped John full of buckshot last time they saw each other. Yet Bobby is more than willing to help Sam and Dean get John back.
Meg comes to them, making a grand entrance (starting, it seems, with killing Rumsfeld, who is never seen again). They capture her, tie her in a chair under a devil's trap. "Where's my father, BITCH?" demands Dean. "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?" counters Meg. "Oh, I forgot, you can't!" She insists John is dead, she killed him herself, slowly, painfully, and made him scream and beg for his life. She and Dean exchange a lot of ugly insults and she's furious when she realizes he's sending her back to hell even after getting the information he wanted. "I LIED!" he says with great satisfaction. Sam starts to exorcise the demon, even though Bobby warns them there's a girl in there, and only the demon is keeping her alive.
Sam keeps reading from the bible in sexy Latin (his voice sublime), sending Meg's smoky essence back to hell. The boys learn where John is and that he is still alive. Sadly, the broken body the demon used/abused for a year dies. Bobby assures them he's spoken with the cops before and knows what to do. He wants them to go get their father, and he shouldn't be a stranger in the future.
"No Rest For the Wicked"
--Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
Dean dreams he is running from hellhounds. He awakens just as they catch up to and leap on him. He has fallen asleep on a particularly gruesome photo of a hellhound in a book, and he looks up to Sam's worried but hopeful face--Bobby's come up with a way to find Lilith. Only 30 hours to go, notes Dean ruefully, and suggests a Mexico run instead--senoritas, cervesas, donkey show? Sam prefers to NEVER do that, even if they save Dean. Sam sits next to him and promises him he isn't going to go to hell, "I'm not gonna let you, I swear." Dean looks at his brother's face, which distorts in the awful way faces do when a soul is close to going to hell. "Yeah, OK," says Dean, clearly not believing him.
Bobby's House - Bobby sets a giant scrying tool in the middle of a map of the USA. He assures them they will know what street Lilith's on by the time he's done. He says a bit of Latin and the scrying tool stops on New Harmony, Indiana. Dean doesn't want to just go in there--they aren't sure it's Lilith, and he doesn't trust Bela. They have no idea how to kill her! Sam wants to get Ruby in on this, but Dean is equally determined to keep her out; Ruby is the Miss Universe of lying skanks--for all we know, she works for Lilith! "Give me another option!" says Sam. "Sam's right," chimes in Bobby. "NO, DAMN IT!" yells Dean, "Just no--we are not going to make the same mistakes all over again. If you guys want to save me, find something else." Bobby leaves to "find something else." Dean sits down to do more research.
--Robin's Rambles by Robin Vogel
Welcome to the first new episode of season 3! I was disappointed after the beauty of "In My Time of Dying," which was about as perfect as a SUPERNATURAL episode can get, but this episode had its high points, too. "Hell's Bells" plays over the re-cap, which was wonderful, and so we segue into what's going on only five days after the release of all the demons from Devil's Gate.
In a too-long, too-expensive (Kripke even said so) scene, we watch a flock of CGI demons criss-crossing the sky. One shoves itself down the throat of a hapless Chicago man named Walter Rosen, who stupidly put out his garbage. His eyes glow black.
Outside a motel room, Sam sits in the Impala, reading Dr. Faustus, already trying to find a way to break Dean from his deal. Dean? He's wearing a wife-beater and from inside their hotel room, he gives Sam two thumbs up. He's about to have sex with a gal he calls "The Doublemint Twins," presumably because of her lovely breasts. When Bobby calls Sam to find out what Dean's doing, Sam's reply is, "Polling the electorate," which is one of the highlights of this ep for me. VERY funny--and dirty! Bobby tells Sam that he and his brother need to high-tail it to Lincoln Nebraska; there have been omens of demonic activity.
Poor Sam peeks around the motel room door and catches Dean en flagrant dilecto. Later, as Dean wildly drives the Impala over a hill, he reminds Sam that he caught him performing a beautiful, natural act. All Sam wants is to borrow Dean's knife so he can gouge out his eyes. The house Bobby wants them to check out has extraordinarily loud cicadas and three stinky dead bodies sitting on the couch. There's no sulfur and no apparent cause of death. When Dean hears a noise out on the porch and goes to investigate, he's struck by the gun butt of a man named Isaac, who Bobby greets as a fellow hunter and friend. "Bleeding here!" gasps Dean, reaching a hand up for help.
They go to the home of husband and wife hunter team Isaac and Tamara. The two argue fondly over the location of palo santo, a wood that keeps demons nailed down while you're exorcising them. Sam asks how they got into hunting in the first place, a question that disturbs the couple, and Bobby, too. Dean, on the phone with a coroner's assistant, agrees to have an. . .appletini with her, even though he has no clue what that is. She does tell him those three people died of starvation and dehydration, even with a stocked kitchen right at hand. Isaac refuses to hunt with the Winchesters; they let the Devil's Gate get open in the first place! When Dean starts to get huffy, Tamara wisely pulls her husband out of the room before the testosterone gets too thick.
Bobby draws the curtains, not knowing there is a blond hunter woman who steps from the shadows and is intently watching the house.
The following day, Walter Rosen goes into a store, rubs a blond woman's shoulder, points and says, "Those are nice shoes." Another woman, brunette, has already decided to buy the hideous green shoes. The blond follows the brunette to her car, brutally smashes her head into her windshield until she's dead and her car alarm is blaring, then picks up the bag with the shoes and walks away with it. (A terrible but very effective scene.)
Later, inside the store, Sam finds Dean "comforting" a bereaved woman, obviously with more horizontal pleasures in mind. Dean fake coughs, reminding Sam he's sold his soul (and this seemed very out of character for Dean and bothered the hell out of me. I simply couldn't see Dean rubbing Sam's face in it, knowing how upset Sam was). Bobby, all dressed up in a suit, played fake DA and questioned the woman, who didn't respond to being splashed with holy water"”she just REALLY wanted those shoes!
Dean proves he's not just working on the ladies by pointing out the security tape camera. They watch the tape together and notice the man who touched the blond who went crazy and killed the other woman. They suspect he's a demon. Later, Sam's walking down the street and feels he's being followed, which he is"”by the same blond who was watching the house the previous night. When Sam turns around, no one is there.
Dean and Bobby are on stake-out in the latter's truck outside a bar; it's shortly after midnight. They showed Walter's picture around and this is his usual hangout; they're waiting for him. Sam bangs on the window, causing both men to jump. Sam laughs and climbs into the back seat. Sam has ID'd the guy"”Walter Rosen from Oak Park, IL, went missing right after the demons escaped the gate. They spy Walter heading into the bar, and Bobby and Dean argue over whether they should enter now or wait. Spotting Tamara and Isaac heading in, they realize they must act immediately.
Tamara and Isaac are seated at a table, awaiting drinks. Isaac has a flask of holy water. He tells her to bring the truck around to the back. "I love you," she whispers. When Isaac stands up, a bouncer comes over, revealing black eyes. "I don't like hunters in my bar!" he declares, grabbing Isaac's flask and hurling it away. Suddenly, Isaac and Tamara are surrounded by demons, crowding in with malice in their black eyes. Dean, Bobby and Sam are trying to get inside the bar, to no avail. "I like the girl," says the waitress salaciously, "there are a thousand things I could do with her." "Wish I had me a girl like that," says Walter eagerly. Isaac warns them away from his wife, but he suddenly finds himself chugging down drain cleaner"”to Tamara's horror. Isaac, blood falling from both sides of his mouth, falls to the floor. (This was so gross"”I was imagining what it was doing to his insides and feeling the burn.) Tamara becomes hysterical. "All right, honey, YOUR turn!" exults Walter. At that moment, Bobby's car screeches right into the bar, leaving wood in its wake. They splatter the demons with holy water, grab Tamara, who doesn't want to leave with Isaac, and end up shoving Walter into the trunk before Dean throws himself into the shotgun seat and they take off.
Tamara has only one thing on her mind"”getting Isaac's body back home. Dean is willing to go with her to retrieve it, since he's already dead, something Sam really isn't pleased to hear him say. Bobby reveals that he finally knows that they're up against"”the SEVEN DEADLY SINS! Gluttony got Isaac, Envy the shoe shopper, sloth those who sat and died. These demons are a whole new variety, and he isn't sure how to go up against them, so when Tamara starts insisting on going back for Isaac, he screams at her, reminding her she and her husband went off after these demons half-cocked before and things turned out badly; they have to THINK about their next move this time! Gently, Bobby tells her he's sorry for her loss, but they're doing it his way this time.
They have Envy tied up under the Devil's Trap. Asked what he wants, he says he already has it"”freedom, fun"”he likes seeing people's insides on their outsides. Then he accuses Dean of being a walking billboard of gluttony and lust, Tamara of harboring wrath"”so she punches him, twice. You're all horny, greedy, hungry and violent, accuses Envy, no better than us demons. When Dean volunteers to stay behind and face the other six demons who would be showing up to save Envy, Sam's response is, "If we're going down, we're going down together." Handed a bible, Tamara is only too happy to exorcise the demon, and is indifferent when the host body dies, too.
In an attic room lit only by candles, Sam fills bottles with holy water while Dean cleans guns and fills them with ammo. The brothers don't speak, but the communication going back and forth between them speaks volumes of hope and love. They hear singing: "I shall not be moved." Isaac's corpse, reanimated by one of the demons, calls for Tamara. Bobby tries his best to talk to her, convince her that's not Isaac, but it has and uses his memories, reminding her that she left him to die and left their daughter, too! Tamara screams and runs outside, opening the door and the protective salt line, allowing the other six demons into the house. She uses the palo santo stake to shut Isaac up. Bobby easily traps an overweight demon under the Devil's Trap, and taunts, "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son." (A line taken right out of ANIMAL HOUSE.)
The pretty Lust demon captures Dean, who seduces him into a heavy lip-lock. Sam is attacked by three demons, headed up by Pride, who is able to break a Devil's Trap. He calls Sam "Boy King," but mockingly, he's not impressed and won't bow before him, now that Yellow Eyes is dead"”it's Open Season on Sam! Dean controls his lust well enough to break the kiss and push Lust-gal's head into a bathtub full of holy water. Pride had Sam in a chokehold. The mysterious blond appears with a magic knife, easily, quickly killing the other two demons. Pride drops Sam and turns to Blondie, who then needs rescuing by Sam. Between the two of them, she's able to thrust her knife into Pride's throat, where it glows inside his mouth (wonderful special effects with that knife on the demons), and he goes down. "Who are you?" gasps Sam. "The girl who saved your ass," she gasps back. "I saved yours, too," he counters. "See you around, Sam," she says, grinning, and disappears. Sam is unable to find her.
In the aftermath, host bodies are salted and burned; Bobby reports two are alive but will need extensive therapy. Isaac is given a proper hunter's burning send-off and Tamara, after a warning from Bobby that the world is a far more dangerous place now, leaves, alone and much sadder. Dean teases Sam for having to be saved by "that masked chick," whoever she was, and they all wonder what kind of knife could kill a demon. When Sam asks Bobby if they can win this war, the old hunter doesn't answer.
Left alone, Sam and Dean begin to argue over Dean's decision to sell his soul to bring Sam back. The latter wants to go to Louisiana to consult a hoodoo priest, while Dean prefers Reno. Sam's pissed off at his brother, but Dean tells him, "We welch, you die." How could you make that deal? asks Sam. Because I couldn't live with you dead, replies Dean. So you're doing the same thing to me, says Sam, which is selfish. Dean is OK with that, he's tired and sees a light at the end of the tunnel. "That's hellfire, Dean," says Sam sourly. All Dean wants to do is make the most of the time he has left"”kill some evil sons of bitches and raise a little hell"”he feels good! You're unbelievable, says Sam.
"Very true," says Dean. They climb into the Impala and drive away.
1. The suits at the CW requested they make the show less dark, and season 3 was the result. This episode was far too bright for me, and I didn't like it. Like they said in "Hollywood Babylon," horror is supposed to be dark. I agree.
2. This episode introduced Ruby, the mysterious woman who will have a huge affect on the brothers' lives, especially Sam's. We already know the end of that story, here is the very beginning. She swoops in and saves Sam like he's a damsel in distress, but she gets in trouble, too, and needs help from him. Many people despised her before she ever showed up, and hated the slow motion of her demon-killing scene. I liked that. I came to like Ruby, too, but many fans wanted her gone when she was merely a concept. How about you, now that her story arc has come and gone?
3. Sam says everything to Dean he couldn't say at the end of S2, about how selfish he is for making the deal, that Dean is forcing HIM to live without his brother, etc. Yet Dean says he's fine with that and wants to spend his last year killing evil SOB's and raising a little hell. Is he justified? Does he really expect his loving brother to just accept this and shut up?
4. Given that we really only "met" Pride, Lust and Envy (and briefly, Sloth), did you think Bobby made too big a deal about the SEVEN DEADLY SINS? Did you think perhaps it might have been better if they had two in the episode or three, instead of all of them at once?
5. How horrible was the bar scene with Tamara and Isaac? I FELT their terror. First time around, I was sure both were going to die. Forcing Isaac to drink drain cleaner was one of the worst things I've ever seen on this show. Then sending Isaac back reanimated by a demon was so cruel and terrible for Tamara, but effective in getting inside the house. I still hope we'll see Tamara again someday. She lost her husband and child to the supernatural, and probably became as driven as John.
6. I was disappointed with "Magnificent Seven." In comparison to "In My Time of Dying" and "Lazarus Rising," it left a lot to be desired. It had good points"”the introduction of Tamara and Isaac, married hunters; effective MOTW in Envy and Pride (I did like Envy's speech about how humans are no better than demons, especially talking about hungry, horny Dean); that terrifying bar scene with its horrific death for Isaac; Dean's Doublemint Twins scene while Sam waited in the Impala, then had to go in and interrupt him; and the final discussion between the brothers, where Dean told Sam how it's going to be, period. Your opinion?
Reviewing "The Magnificent Seven" is weird since I'm going from something unbelievable like the finale last week to this episode, easily one of the worst of the season. Last week I marveled at the awesomeness of the Kripster for his flawless script in "No Rest For The Wicked", and now I get to ask what the hell he was thinking for this season three premiere. I forgave him for this misstep a while ago though since nobody is perfect but still, it pains me to be so harsh. I suppose there are pitfalls to being a critic. Forgive me Master Kripke.