Well, that’s much better.  Too bad that “Reichenbach” wasn’t the season premiere, because that was so much more of an attention getter.  Dean is evil to the core.  Sammy has his work cut out for him. 

There was far more than the sagas of Sam and Dean though.  “Reichenbach” succeeded where “Black” struggled.  It was able to handle the three stories involving the four main characters simultaneously and blend them together perfectly.  Each one kept my interest for the entire hour.  Actually, more than interest.   I was engrossed and emotionally invested from beginning to end.  To be honest, it’s been a long time since I can say that about a “Supernatural” episode.  

Let’s start first with the angel story.  Last week I wouldn’t give the adventures of Castiel and Hannah the time of day because it was that pointless, but this week, it delivered.  Castiel is still dying, is getting weaker, but Hannah watches him and their experiences with common humans with a fascination.  I really want to believe that Hannah’s intentions are pure.  Castiel even acknowledged her act of being there for him was a human thing to do.  Why is she so devoted to Castiel?  Is it an attraction or is there a plan?  No matter, because watching her tenderness with him was endearing.  I got a little misty when she covered him with his trench coat while sleeping on the couch.  She got to see first hand how humanity has affected Castiel and how he’s embraced these creatures much like God.  She’s technically him back in season four, and I’ll admit this week I enjoyed watching her curiosity regarding humanity and their customs.  

The scene with Metatron was quite revealing!  Finally, something has lit that fire under Castiel and it’s not Hannah’s gesture of making a deal.  Cas resigned himself to dying, thinking that his death would mean another angel wouldn’t be harmed.  I loved his line to Metatron that his imprisonment took him to his happy place.  Metatron’s deliciously evil reply though that he would get out eventually and everybody dies set the wheels in motion.  This is the big bad that Metatron should have been last season when he was being written too cartoonish.  He freaked me out.  Castiel now wants to live, if anything to protect the earth, just as God intended.  He’s off to find that way and it’s kind of curious he’s hanging with Crowley next week.

04

Then there’s poor Cole.  Doesn’t his story make for a much better spinoff than the crap we were saddled with last season with Ennis in “Bloodlines?”  It’s almost like Carver and Dabb are using Cole as a chance to finally get it right.  Travis Aaron Wade is a standout, and one could argue he’s the second coming of John Winchester.  There’s certainly enough parallels.  He’s a well trained soldier who has just found out monsters are real, as in the supernatural monsters, not the human ones he eluded too in Iraq, Darfur, and the Congo.  He took it the way John would, he wants to know more.  He’s ready to take them on.  He’s a fighting his own war, and what do you know, his story is quite similar to how other hunters got started.  A tragic, brutal loss of a loved one right before his eyes.  I felt his pain, his thirst for revenge, and my heart broke over his story in the beginning much like Sam’s did (I saw those sympathetic puppy dog eyes Sammy!).  Somehow, Cole’s story seems more real and more genuine than the stories we’ve seen in the past with other hunters.  Maybe because he’s not burned out by all the horrors he’s seen yet, but he’s still seen plenty.  In a way, he’s just getting started.  

I get that Crowley has gotten in touch with his human side and really longed for that second in command to be by his side, but I’m sorry, that was just going over the top with his lament to “Hey There Lonely Girl” to that goofy picture of him and Dean.  I’m sure that was the point, and I bet it got plenty of giggles, but I’m ready to see fearsome, wise cracking Crowley again.  He’s better than this.  Strange to say, but he deserves better!  Yes, he deserves to be loved.  :)  I love how he refused to stoop to Dean’s level with brutality.  He just went with plan B, getting hold of “Bullwinkle” (Bwah!).  You’ve got to admit, he knows the Winchesters.  The only person who could neutralize Dean is Sam.  Taking the first blade was a brilliant touch.  I think it couldn’t be safer with Crowley.  Although, I do wonder if Crowley has another motive that involves getting the Mark of Cain someday.  No matter what the motive, he’s moving on from Dean and I’m glad.   

Sam has gone through a very long, hard road to get to this point and the things it has to be doing to his already damaged psyche.  It’s been very hard watching him try to hold it all together when he seems like he’s on the verge of losing it all.  Of course he wasn’t going to give up his brother to Cole, although I’m a little disappointed that Sam didn’t realize he was being followed.  I love that the first person he called was Castiel and didn’t beat around the bush with the news - Dean is a demon.  I do wonder if Cas wasn’t so weak if he would have found Dean right away and let the smiting begin.  Sam still believes in his brother though, no matter what horrible things Dean says or does.  

02

We know Sam’s history, he rarely accepts things with such blind faith, except when it comes to his brother.  He remained calm and stern with Dean, refusing to let anything Dean said get to him.  Again, it reminds me of Sam from “Point of No Return.”  Sam chose to believe that the reason Dean left was because of Crowley.  “It really wasn’t,” Dean replied.  That didn’t deter Sam.  He took out the cuffs anyway and declared he was taking his brother home.  In the Impala on the way home Sam believed that Dean still had a human side.  After all, he let Cole live.  Dean’s chilling admission as to why he did that certainly shook Sam (and me!), but he kept driving.  He’s clearly not giving up and that’s why next week looks so exciting.  

I can hear it now, Dean’s demonic self is probably drawing a lot of comparisons to Soulless Sam.   Setting that thought aside though, he’s about as ruthless as they come.  He’s definitely running with the blood of the Knights of Hell in his veins; hot tempered, brutal, and wildly unpredictable.  Kudos to that stripper for standing up to him, maybe because she’s seen a lot of creeps in her day, and Demon Dean has to be one of the creepiest creatures this show has ever had (if not the creepiest).  On a side note, kudos to the editing as well weaving in Dean’s vicious beating of the security guard with Sam’s own beating at the hands of Cole.  It really amped up the tension rather than just focusing on Dean going off the rails!  

One scene that struck my curiosity was Dean at the piano just before Sam arrived.  He sat there letting Crowley’s words sink in before slicing himself, just to watch it heal.  Was that him accepting himself as a demon or missing his humanity?  Perhaps both?  Given the very frosty welcome he gave Sam (as well as that ending scene) I’m wondering if that was him letting go of whatever humanity he had left and choosing the demon side.  What would Dean have done if Sam hadn’t captured him?  Would he have challenged Crowley like Abaddon?  He obviously blew his assignment (sorry Crowley but Lester did have it coming), but did he do that out of sympathy for the wife (the human thing to do), because Lester was just a jerk that insulted him (demon temper), or because he was doing opposite of what Crowley wanted (defiant underling).  Ah, the motives of demons.  They’re never really quite straight forward. 

01

Still, kudos to Jensen Ackles for that final scene in the Impala.  That had to be one of the most stomach turning scenes I’ve ever seen in any show.  Sitting in the back of the Impala chained up, it’s bad enough he tells Sam that the Impala was just a car.  He had no sympathy for Cole, just total delight that he was able to crush someone’s lifelong obsession for revenge by kicking the crap out of him and blowing apart his world.  Of course he let him live.  “It’s the worst thing I could have done to him.”  Oh, but Dean doesn’t finish there.  “It’s not as bad as what I’m going to do to you.”  You’ve already done it Dean.  Sam is unnerved to the core, but he’s sticking with you anyway.  

The pacing of “Reichenbach” was slower than normal, but that added to the tension and enhanced the story telling, giving it room to breathe.  I’m all for taking more time to let interesting stories unfold rather than throwing the kitchen sink at us.  Okay, I do have one criticism, and it’s related to something I ranted about looking at season nine.  How many times can one human being take being knocked out?  It happened to Sam a ridiculous amount of times in season nine, and here he is two for two in season ten.  Give it up people!  There’s other ways to immobilize Sam than knocking him out.  Get creative.  Technically, he should be a vegetable by now.  

My overall grade this week is an A.  Well done Andrew Dabb, I knew you were due for a good one, despite the deep darkness in parts and often hard to watch scenes.  The story had to be told his way, and now there’s plenty of momentum going into next week’s big showdown in the bunker.  Stay tuned, this is gonna get brutal.  








Comments  

Carol
# Carol 2014-10-15 17:58
I too loved this weeks episode. Dean was so chilling. The angel storyline is still meandering but who cares , this and Black are the first episodes I have delighted in watching over and over since the first episode of season 9. Well done to the cast and crew for bringing it for SNX.
BookLady
# BookLady 2014-10-15 18:03
I agree. This episode should have been the premiere. The storytelling was better all around and the characters, especially Demon Dean, felt more real. Their motives and behavior was believable. The writing was finally equal to the talents of folks in Vancouver. The overall strength of this episode gives me great hope for a strong season 10.

Hurray to Andrew Dabb! Supernatural is back!
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-10-15 18:05
.....
debbab
# debbab 2014-10-20 10:51
The scene from 2013 looked like an edited scene from the first year of the show. The long,leather jacket and less crow's feet around the eyes/
Kathy Ingram
# Kathy Ingram 2014-10-15 18:21
Great episode. Chilling to see Sam's slow realization of how far Dean has gone. Real fear on his face at the end scene! And Crowley, taking the blade and leaving Dean with Sam like a time bomb. Made up for breaking his heart :) I wondered if the Cole character might be the one to carry over to the next spin-off. I like his parallel to the Winchester story, where we already see where a lifetime of revenge leads. And truly sad that Dean was the 'monster' that started Cole's voyage. I agree with several people who said the premiere should have been both episodes together as a real kick start.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-10-15 18:23
Nice review Alice. I too thought it was great the way they blended the storyline's so smoothly. All the stories were compelling. I have liked Hannah since she first appeared and think she, whatever her motivations are, is good for Cas at this time. He seems so alone and weak. The character of Cole is interesting and I want to know the details of his fathers death. We all know Dean didn't kill him in cold blood. Was he possessed by something or did something kill him and Dean was there to eliminate it and decided to let Cole believe he was a killer rather than add to Coles woes by telling him about monsters? Do you think Crowley has been angling to get the blade back all along for his own reasons? The acting was amazing. I am so looking forward to next week.
Amyh
# Amyh 2014-10-15 19:15
The de-aging of Dean made me think of how they used soft focus on Cybal Shephard in Moonlighting. Maybe they did that? Yeah.... no way can Cole be 23/25 with what looks like an 8 to 10 year old son. AND two tours in the military. Arnt they 4 years each? and that wouldn't include basic?

I enjoyed this episode much more then last week. Still didn't pay much attention to the Angel storyline but a second watch may be required from the sound of it. But Sam and Dean and Crowly fascinated me. Sam isn't the uber duber hunter Dean is so his bravery despite his fears continues to amaze and inspire me. Especially facing Demon Dean who really send a chill through my veins. Hated how Sam keeps getting knocked out. So old.

I wonder if the conflict between Deans humanity and Demonsess was in play when Dean killed Lester. Guy was a jerk...deserved a beat down but not murdered. But i9f you think about it Dean killing Lester basically saved his soul. If he hadn't Crolwy would have sent someone else to kill the wife, ensuring Lester a trip downstairs via deal. No dead wife menas Lester doesn't get an automatic trip downstairs. Its still possible Lester could go to heaven. Killing Lester satisfies the demon. Killing Lester before someone else could kill the wife may be the least the humanity part of dean could do to save Lester. Guy was going to die one way or another.
I'm still not sure the state of the impala can be an indication of Deans demoness....aft er all there have been many episodes where we've seen the Impala litered with food wrappers and dirty. Hell in that one Halloween episode "Astronaut!" Dean was shown to have thrown dozens of candy wrappers haphazardly in the backseat.

Anyway...thank you alice for yet another wonderful review.
mary9930
# mary9930 2014-10-16 13:18
Amyh, I agree that some of Dean's seemingly demonic behavior could have actually been evidence of his humanity. Saving Lester's soul by killing him is quite an interesting thought. Also demons lie so who knows why Dean didn't kill Cole. Maybe there are 2 distinct personalities battling for control. Dean's demonic side convinces his humanity that killing Lester will save what is most important- his soul. Then Dean's humanity convinces his demonic side not to kill Cole because it's a worse fate for Cole. I'm not sure this argument stands up but it would be an interesting way to play out Dean''s inner battle.
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2014-10-15 22:15
Hi Alice. Great review. I agree that last seen was chilling, and my heart just aches for Sam, but for me, watching Dean smile while he killed Lester just made my stomach hurt. It was just sickening. I'm so looking forward to next week.
E
# E 2014-10-15 22:33
Nice review Alice. I liked this episode a lot; fast paced nicely plotted and still time to let each aspect of the story sink in. Like you said, it wasn't everything and the kitchen sink too in an overwhelming avalanche of plot. I felt Dean really came into his own in this episode and wished he'd been more like this in the first ep. He was just really really creepy and unpredictable. Why Crowley had any notion that his plans for Dean would actually go the way he wanted them to is beyond me. Next weeks showdown between the boys is going to be something. Poor Sammy, I feel like he's at a serious disadvantage both physically and emotionally. I am sure he's planned ahead, but it's going to be tough on him and I really hope he manages to stay conscious the whole episode! I also hope that they spend some quality time on the cure…. really dig into each character and have them actually talk. Dean may be a demon but I'll bet he's got plenty to say.

Two small quibbles - like njspnfan said the time line behind Cole is a bit suspect. No way that actor (whom I actually like very much) is 25. NOLANOLA found out that the actor is 3 years older than Jensen which puts him close to 40. He's a bit long in the tooth to be playing 24/25. Also, there's no 25 year old that I know of who could have done two tours in Iraq and fought in Darfur AND the Congo and still had time to get married and father a child who's at least 8 years old all by the time he's 25? Nope, not too good on the time line there. They could have fixed that easily had gone back further in the Supernatural timeline. We learned in season 6 that as soon as Sam hit about 14/15 years or age that John and Dean left him alone many times to go on hunts together… the Cole incident could have taken place during one of those hunts (we didn't need to see John) which would have been more like 1997/98 which would have put Cole at 31/32 now instead of 24/25, much more believable.

Second quibble is with the blade itself. When Dean was still alive, every time he used the blade it drove him closer and closer to being a demon. Now that he's already a demon (or mostly a demon) every time he uses the blade it keeps him from becoming too much of a demon? Am I getting that right? That just seems like an illogical and inconsistent bit of slight of hand from the writers who suddenly needed the blade to do the opposite thing it did originally for the sake of the plot. That's been happening a lot lately. Hopefully the issue with Dean and his connection to the blade will become more clear soon. All in all a very good episode.
debbab
# debbab 2014-10-20 11:03
I am hoping that Cole's age and experience is somehow addressed and is at the core of a supernatural experience although he seems pretty unaware of those types of happenings. The blade was Crowley's price for locating Dean for Sam. Crowley knows that Dean is capable of challenging his position and with the blade even his life, so why not use it as the bargaining piece with Sam. Although the blade saved Dean from his "noble" death, it requires satisfaction. So while the blade is out of play, the MoC is still present and can be played with by the writers. They had to find a way to keep Dean from being permanently dead. After all Cas has lost his mojo and can't do it this time. My "quabble" is with the history Cole gives about his time as a soldier and his age. I do like the comparison to John Winchester. It draws a focus to the boys as boys of a vengeful father turned hunter. And i agree that this storyline would make a better spin -off, but I also suspect there are going to be reveals about Dean in 2003 that we will find of interest.
Daisymae
# Daisymae 2014-10-16 06:56
Isn't Cain Immortal? He wanted Dean to come back and kill him because the blade was the only way he could die. So, does that make Dean immortal also?? This MOC thing is rather confusing. Alice did you catch that Lester was the same as Lester in the Fargo series? The actor got Fargo Lester down perfectly. If you watched Fargo it was funny. Of course, this ep is an A and I love A episodes. As for Jensen, who complains when one or the other of them is not the true S&D, I say look in the mirror and see the terrific actor you are. He should have a great future after this show um, you know, bye for now.
Freebird
# Freebird 2014-10-16 10:55
Does anyone know what "Reichenbach" refers to? The death of the main character, like in A.C. Doyle's Sherlock Holmes? Your thoughts?

This was a very good episode, I agree with you, Alice. Yet, this has reached my threshold of enduring violence. It's one thing to watch monsters being killed, "hunting things, saving people". And another to see Dean doing (and saying) monstrous things so brutally. I already had issues with Soulless Sam, but the scenes of violence now have become too brutal, in my opinion. And yes, I agree, that by now Sam (and Dean as well) should be a vegetable, no one can take so many beatings and walk straight. It's just too much!

I realize, I miss the first seasons - hunting things, saving people, the brothers teasing each other and standing side by side.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-10-17 07:35
I realize I am definitely in the minority here. The episode was good but I didn't think it was great. Dean was appropriately cold and menacing. Kudos to JA. I especially thought the last scene in the car was chilling. While I appreciate Sam actually being himself and having an active role with dialogue this season, I do wonder about an experienced hunter like Sam being captured by Cole and then tricked into leading him to his brother. I'm not sure giving Crowley the blade was a good idea either. As Cas pointed out these deals only cause more tears and blood,

I also didn't buy Cole's age and experience and he looked small next to Sam and Dean, not very threatening. I definitely don't see him as the second coming of John Winchester and I wouldn't be interested in him as a spin off character. Just my opinion.

Still excited for the showdown between Sam and DD next week. Sam definitely has his hands full.
Dion7
# Dion7 2014-10-22 12:51
I was really happy with this episode. While watching it I felt that half nervous, half exited feeling in my stomach. The last time that happened was when Lucifer's cage was opened. Though I might be biased, since Sam is my favorite character, I was really impressed with Jared's acting. I like seeing this side of Sam, he can be incredibly smart and determined when he has a clear purpose in mind. And Jensen said in interviews that he found it difficult to play Dean like this, but it looked great to me. I do find it a bit strange how different he is from other demons. Maybe it's the influence from the mark that makes it different. He's basically still Dean, but without his moral code to hold him back.
I liked the pacing in this episode and all the characters' stories were interesting. I especially loved the car scene. Though Dean's lack of care for the Impala was quite funny, it's what he said about Sam that made a shiver go down my spine. It's been a long time since I've been so exited, and I was incredibly impatient for the third episode.