Greetings readers and welcome to our very first edition of "Supernatural Hiatus Hunting"! In keeping with the theme of "Throwback Thursdays", every week Percysowner and/or Elle will honour a popular past episode of Supernatural by featuring The WFB reviews and recaps that were written when the episode first aired years ago! This is a fun way to look back and remember some of the fantastic episodes that Supernatural has featured over the years, and to see the interesting and twisting road the show has taken to get to season 10! Long-time fans can relive the innocence we all had when we first watched plots unfold…before we knew Ruby was going to betray Sam, that Sam was going to say “Yes” to Lucifer, that Castiel was going to become “god” or that Dean was going to become a demon! This series will also be a great opportunity for newer fans to experience the emotions and anticipation the Supernatural Family felt as the story slowly developed, week by week, year by year! We've recently learned (via our survey) that many of you joined The Winchester Family Business in just the past two years, so this series will share with you the piece of the journey you missed.
These reviews reflect the writers’ first reactions to the shocking story twists, revealing in-the-moment feelings and gut responses when they didn’t know how the plot would pan out. In some cases we may include our own current reflection on the episode today, to highlight how thoughts have changed based on what we know now about characters and story-arcs as compared to then – we invite readers to do the same!
We are calling this new series “Supernatural Hiatus Hunting” because, for the duration of the hiatus, we will be hunting through our archives for the best reviews on the best episodes! We are very excited about this project and sharing some of the past works with readers again. The focus for the time being will be pieces from season four through seven, as The Winchester Family Business was launched by Alice during season four and, as many will agree, these seasons do feature an incredible spectrum of episodes to reflect back on.
We are thrilled to present to you “Lazarus Rising” as our premier "Throwback Thursday" episode. Considering The WFB launched during season four and “Lazarus Rising” was the remarkable spark of that phenomenal season, it seems only fitting to begin by taking a nostalgic look at the reflections from our lovely leader, Alice, and her thoughts on the episode that launched the angels and reunited the Winchesters. As a special edition for the series' inaugural article, we are also reproducing the episode recap done by Robin. Since our premier is a "double feature" , we've reproduced only the text from the original articles. Enjoy!
"Lazarus Rising" - As Reviewed by Alice, Originally Published September 22, 2008
Picture Images added by Percysowner.
Kripke, you magnificent bastard.
The long, painful summer is finally over, and in compensation for our agony our reward is a pure gem. Eric Kripke does love us. Sure, Dean getting out of Hell is a foregone conclusion, but in coming up with a plausible explanation, the opportunity is seized to veer this show in drastic new territory, opening up a world of possibilities. We have a whole new show, and it’s awesome.
The script for “Lazarus Rising”is sheer perfection. Every little element transitions seamlessly, a remarkable juggling act considering what’s packed into this episode. On top of the flawless construction, the storytelling is vastly superior and the pacing extraordinary from the word go. Couple this with “No Rest For The Wicked”, and Eric Kripke the writer has risen to master of his craft. Not that the acting, directing, set decoration, visual and special effects, etc. are shabby. Every single part comes together for full circle brilliance.
I’m going to try a new format this season, one that worked well with my analysis of “A Very Supernatural Christmas”; detailed recaps broken into two part segments. Granted, an episode might come along that won’t warrant such scrutiny, but not that’s not the case with this one. Kripke and company gave us plenty to ponder.
Season premiere, and by now we know the drill. Kripke’s the writer, Kim Manners is the director, and there’s a new season opening montage summarizing the previous great season. While AC/DC is an obvious choice, I wasn’t expecting “You Shook Me All Night Long”. It worked though, and we get a rocking start to the season. My favorite is last year’s “Hells Bells”, which set the proper ominous tone, but I’m not going to quibble over one minute of music. This episode is light years better than “The Magnificent Seven”.
Red is this season’s color of contrast, adding a perfect gotcha to any scene. Just look at Dean’s red eyes. Bloodshot, shifting wildly in the middle his red and black face, with loads of screaming and quick bright light flashes. That’s an attention grabber! There’s a deep gasp in the pitch black. We hang there for a second holding our breaths, because the creative team has chosen to break out the mind tricks only a few seconds in. Dean manages to find the lighter in his pocket, and we’re thankful for Sam’s attention to detail. Everyone waking up six feet under should have one. Dean cries for help in raspy and barely audible voice, proving that Kripke pictured the potential fan debate over how his voice could work so well after four months. Way to dodge that bullet.
Dean moves the top board of the pine box, dirt falls on him and lights out. Yikes! Watching his struggle out of that hole in the ground is chilling, and just plain freaky. On top of the incredible acting, the camera work in this scene is outstanding. First we see an unmarked grave marker from the view of ground (A cross? For an Atheist?), then hands popping through the grass, then the rest of Dean following, gasping for air and struggling as the point of view switches between the ground and up above to capture every painful detail of his emergence. The camera goes eye level with Dean when he stands, then circles to capture every detail of his confusion. Here’s the big money shot, as the camera pulls away to show the overhead view, the elongated shadow of the cross right next to the elongated shadow of Dean. Hmm, divine intervention perhaps? The shot rises further to reveal the surrounding trees toppled in a circle around the grave site. If anything, that delivers the message coming back from the dead is not normal. Bravo Mr. Manners!
On comes the new intro, setting the new tone for the season. Birds of the apocalypse, and the Supernatural logo in red. I like it, but then again, I’m ready for Sam and Dean’s take on the end of the world. They’ve been sending us hints for 60 episodes now. Bring it on.
Dean walks to an old gas station in the middle of nowhere, and it’s time for another round of guess that classic car. Here’s one of the reasons why this script is superior, it capitalizes on Jensen’s strengths. There’s a no dialogue scene focusing on Dean’s changing facial expressions as he tries to make sense of what’s happening. This scene alone should be enough for Jensen’s Emmy reel. Water, food, porn mag, flashes of his death, and a perfectly restored chest in the mirror. Yeah, I felt the collective thud too. The tattoo survived, so thank heavens for that. There’s also freshly burned handprint on his shoulder. Notice the bloody knuckles? Make note, for we see that again later. The TV comes on, then the radio, then a loud deafening noise, then glass exploding, forcing Dean to take cover. Not quite a welcome home parade, huh Dean?
What in the world did Dean expect, trying to call Sam and Bobby? Did he really think they were going to believe over the phone that he’s alive? Social courtesy alone reserves that bombshell for a personal visit. Anyone guess the car yet? It’s a 1962 Mercury Monterey. I grew up in a Ford family and I had to look that one up.
Dean hotwires the car and goes straight to Bobby’s, and this is where Kim Manner’s gift for capturing the perfect expressions comes in handy. The scene starts a doorknob level, and a hand opening the door. The camera angles up to Dean before moving in for a close up of his face. By doing such a detailed shot, we get a nice long look at what’s going through Dean’s mind as he sees Bobby. His reaction changes from a standard “I’m here” to relief and happiness over seeing Bobby’s okay. “Surprise.” Leave it up to Dean to have the right words for every occasion! Cut to Bobby’s reaction, who’s freaked out of his mind. Fantastic! These two could do a whole episode with nothing but bouncing looks off of each other.
Bobby backs up, fumbles for a silver knife, and attacks. How does lunging at Dean with blade forward from a distance constitute an effective attack? Dean deflects easily and takes cover, calling out personal facts to convince Bobby that it’s really him. We get Bobby’s full name, and I’ll never tire of the “closest thing I have to a father” line. Bobby gets wiser, pretending to play along and moving in closer before attacking again. Dean gets the knife from Bobby anyway, and does the “slashing-of-the-arm-with-the-silver-knife-to-prove-he’s-not-a-shapeshifter” trick. As many times as Dean and Sam’s arms have been cut, shouldn’t there be a crap load of scars by now?
Bobby buys it this time, and what a hug! We see through his near breakdown how much Bobby’s missed Dean, for even though he still has his doubts, the mere thought that he’s hugging the real Dean shows how weary Dean’s death has made him. “It’s good to see you boy.” I wouldn’t know what else to say. As this show does so well, it goes from emotional to funny in a split second. As Dean tells his story, water suddenly splashes on his face, and the frustrated reaction is hysterical. It’s the Dean equivalent to a Sam bitchface! “I’m not a demon either you know.” Bobby is apologetic, but yes, he can’t be too careful.
Both agree none of this makes sense. The line “looking like Thriller video reject” is funny, but shouldn’t Dean be asking about Sam by now? I would have thought that would have been the first thing out of his mouth when he saw Bobby. When he does gets around to it, Dean asks about Sam’s phone being disconnected and then trails off, showing his fear over whether Sam’s dead or alive. The apprehension is a great touch. Dean’s relieved to find he’s alive, but Sam’s missing and doesn’t want to be found. Judging by the empty liquor bottles and Bobby’s inability to track Sam, we feel his “the last four months haven’t been easy.” That’s putting it mildly.
Sam’s the one who insisted on a burial instead of a salt and burn with hopes he would get Dean back, causing light bulbs flash in their eyes. Dean’s resurrection had to be due to Sam. Oh, the mistrust! Sam’s earned that reputation though, since being evasive and mysterious all the time will make people think like that. This show loves pulling out the Star Wars references, but man did they go obscure this time. I’ve seen that film 800 times, and even I had to look up Wedge Antilles. Sam's in Pontiac, Illinois, which is where Dean was resurrected. Strange coincidence, huh? It also leaves open the debate why Sam would bury Dean there, but hopefully that’ll come up later.
A tacky neon sign at a downtown motel, and it’s time for another over the top theme room. I’m giddy. Hearts on the doors? Animal prints on the wall? An animalistic love nest? Sammy, what have you been up to? We get a clue as a girl opens the door in her underwear. It’s nice to see that Sammy’s been getting some. I guess he’s gotten over the phobia of killing Madison. Out comes Sam in that wonderful grey t-shirt that reveals his perfect features, and surprise, he’s freaked too.
Sam stares, Dean stares, Bobby stares, and the anticipation is killing us. Sam breaks the silence by greeting his long dead brother with a knife attack of his own. Ah, don’t you feel the brotherly love? Bobby convinces Sam he’s real, and time for another great Dean line (do we ever get tired of those?). “I look fantastic, huh?”You certainly do! Sam goes for the mother of all bear hugs, and Dean hugs back. Finally! It only took four seasons for the mutual hug. Bobby’s emotional, reflecting exactly what all of us feel.
They pull away, and stare in awkward silence. After all, what do you say to your brother that’s been rotting in the ground for four months? How’s it going? So Mrs. Lincoln, did you like the play? The girl goes away (after hilarious flirtatious look from Dean) and why did Sam put on a shirt? Is there a rule he has to dress in layers for Dean and Bobby? Sam takes time to give this girl a proper goodbye, calling her "Kathy." She of course frowns and says "Christy." How funny that these two are playing it up like that in front of Bobby and Dean. You think Ruby would have been freaking out over the fact Dean was there. Or Sam. Anyway, she goes and now Dean can let the accusations begin. Since our minds are already in the gutter, Dean asks, “How much did you pay?” “The girl? I don’t pay Dean.” Ha! Great comeback Sammy.
Dean isn’t amused, convinced Sam is lying about not making a deal, and the brotherly tension is the perfect setup for a heart tugging Sammy speech. There’s the script brilliance again, for Jared is so damn good at these scenes. He wishes it was him, but everything he tried failed, and judging from his total heartache he’s telling the truth. He even said he was sorry for failing. Oh Sam, the past few months haven’t been kind, have they? Dean melts from the puppy dog eyes and backs off, believing him. Aww, they’re brothers again.
Bobby isn’t taking Sam’s story as good news, for the mystery remains. While Bobby calls the psychic, it’s time for Kripke to throw another lump in our throats. Sam takes the amulet off his neck, and hands it back to Dean. I was doing so good holding back my tears until that. Damn you boys! Sam asks with worry what Hell was like, and Dean doesn’t remember. One look in the mirror later though generates the red and black flash, and chances are we’ll be learning more about his time in Hell in the future. Anyone notice the bathroom walls were red? Yes, the attention to detail is that profound.
It’s time for another joyous reunion, maybe the best one yet. Who didn’t squeal over Dean’s wide eyed excitement when he catches the keys and ogles over his baby? He climbs into the Impala, running his hands lovingly over the steering wheel, and but joy turns to horror when spots Sam’s upgrade. An iPod jack! Oh come on Dean, you can’t blame Sammy for catching up with the times. It’s okay give him crap for his bad choice in music (Jason Manns?), but you can’t fight technology. Sam’s response is perfect, the “sorry for me living my life” eyebrow raise and shrug. I haven’t seen that one before. Jared should start using that from now on. Dean tosses the iPod in the back in disgust and off they go.
Here we are, the part that makes the storytelling in this show superior; the brotherly chat en route in the Impala. Dean asks the question we’ve been waiting for him to ask, how did Sam get away from Lilith? Surprisingly, Sam tells the truth. He’s immune to her power. Dean’s mistrust is still there though, and he wants to know what Sam’s doing with his new found immunity. Oh, there’s the lying Sam we all know and love! Nothing he claims. He even pulls the “dying wish” card. Oh Sam, when will be the right time to tell him? Yeah, probably never.
Time to meet the plucky psychic friend of Bobby's, Pamela Barnes. She's pretty damned cheery for someone who's been asked to take the case of a man who just spent months in Hell and was pulled out by a mysterious force. Maybe it's her cool Ramones t-shirt. It just makes everyone happy! She said the spirits are pretty darned confused by what's happening too, so they're going to do a seance to see who the being is that did this. Hmm, something tells me this isn't going to go well. She's too happy and it's way too early in the episode.
Pamela is naturally a pretty hot thing, and you can't blame Dean for noticing the "Jesse Forever" back tattoo that's being flaunted as her shirt rides up. The man did just get out of Hell. She's pretty flirty herself, so Dean naturally has to joke with one really smiling Sam, who also has noticed the hot chick. Hey, they're men with needs. “I just got out of jail, so bring it," Dean tells Sam, but Pamela also heard that! She says to Sam, "You're invited too Grumpy." Here I have to pause the TiVo, for Dean’s “You are NOT invited” sent me to the floor in laughter. All those keyboard taps you hear are the fanfic writers going wild writing that scenario.
Onto the séance, and Dean reveals the handprint on his shoulder. I was thrown by Sam’s reaction. He’s really distraught. Notice in the background how his eyes are fixed on Dean, with Dean responding with a “don’t look at me like that” stare. There’s nothing better than a long nonverbal exchange between these two that delivers a strong message. One of the many reasons why I love this show.
The séance begins, and on comes the TV with static. Uhoh. This isn’t going to end well. She’s not scared of Castiel. Lady, this overpowering force ripped Dean out of Hell and put him back into a rotting meat-suit without a scratch. You’re ready to challenge that? Watch out, for he might” too late, she presses on and her eyes burn out. Well that’s a lesson learned.
A diner, and its time for pie. As I eagerly watch with hopes of seeing Sam eat or Dean going spastic over the taste of the pie, my hopes are dashed when one of the demons joins them at the table. We haven’t seen the tough talking Dean in full form yet, so Kripke must be following his episode essentials checklist. The demon talks smart, but isn’t following through on the threats. There’s no retaliation against Dean’s taunting, even when he throws two punches, so he properly surmises they’re scared of whatever’s out there.
The brothers are so far from being on the same page. Dean doesn’t care about these demons and wants to find whatever pulled him out, where Sam’s single-minded focus is to get rid of them because they’re evil. A real switch from the first two seasons, huh? Dean, Sam tells you he’s been killing a lot of demons lately, and you dismiss it with the smart brother line? Aren’t you curious what he’s been doing? Careful, pick on your little brother enough and he’ll have you against the wall with one flick of the wrist. Younger siblings grow up so fast.
Sam sneaks out while Dean is asleep, surprising no one. This time though, he takes the Impala. We know things have changed, for he’s never done that before. Dean’s got his own issues anyway, and I wonder how did Sammy snag a motel room with so many mirrors on the ceiling? It’s the penthouse suite for cheap love nests. We naturally don’t think of such things until Dean is taking a bath in flying glass, but it did set up a cool visual effect.
Bobby rescues Dean and they ride in the Chevelle, while Dean calls Sam to berate him for taking his car. Sam’s staking out the diner, but he’s not going to tell Dean that. Dean’s going to trap the thing that pulled him out, but he’s not going to tell Sam that. Come on guys, work together! Dean pulls out the demon killing ginsu while proposing his plan to Bobby. Shouldn’t Sam have that, since he’s planning to kill demons? Wouldn’t that first on his mental checklist?
While Dean and Bobby go off to have a “beer” (I’m with Bobby, Sam should have been there), Sam goes into the diner to find more eyeballs burnt out and bloody knuckles. I picture the guys in special effects cackling in delight as they made masks for the black eyes. Their mission is most awesomely accomplished. Sam’s tackled by the girl demon, ala no eyeballs but still fighting, and I can’t help but thinking of Monty Python and The Holy Grail when the Black Knight tried to fight with no arms and legs. It’s only a flesh wound! She’s terrified by what she saw, proclaiming “it’s the end, were all dead.” Who’s we? Demons, humanity, the world? Sam tries to get more answers, but she toughens up and tells Sam to go to Hell. Oh boy, you shouldn’t have done that. You don’t want to see Sam when he’s angry.
After a defiant sneer and a flash of the same crazy eyes we saw in “Dream A Little Dream of Me”, Sam closes his eyes, stretches out his hand and with his mind yanks the black smoke out of her! Sammy, what did you learn over summer vacation? She goes down in a violent swirl, and I want to hug the VFX guys right now. We’ve waited four seasons for Sam to finally do something with those “gifts”, and it’s better than we ever imagined.
Sam closes his fist, takes in a deep breath and opens his eyes, and man does he look dangerous. Way to man up Sammy! In walks the girl from before, and Sam calls her Ruby. I’m surprised, but not surprised. Granted, Genevieve Cortese didn’t impress me, but then again, Alona Tal didn’t impress, Katie Cassidy didn’t impress (at least at first), and Lauren Cohan didn’t impress, so I’m ready to stop complaining and accept what I’m given in the female supporting role department. It’s Ruby, she’s helping Sam, and I’m digging the plot twist.
This episode is so damn good that I’d hate to nitpick, but how long did it take Bobby to put those symbols all over the barn? That job would take weeks, not an hour or two, even if Dean helped. Anyway, I dismiss believability, for what we get next is too spectacular.
Ruby asks Sam if he’s going to tell Dean what they’re doing. Sam recognizes that Dean’s going to be pissed when he finds out and will try to stop him but for now, he says nothing and keeps going. “I don’t know if what I’m doing is right”. I don’t know either, but I like it.
Meanwhile, back at the barn: The planks on the roof begin pounding, the barn doors fly open, and in strolls a great looking yet dauntless man in a trench coat and a suit. Lights explode as he walks by, and bullets don’t make him flinch. That’s the way to make an entrance! He stops in front of Dean, whose demanding to know who he is. ”I’m the one that gripped you tight and raised you from perdition”. Dean shows his gratitude by stabbing the man right in the heart with the demon killing ginsu. Geez, remind me never to do something nice for him. The man pulls the knife out, deflects Bobby’s crowbar strike without even looking at him, and takes Bobby out with a touch in the middle of the eyes. “We need to talk Dean, alone.” Judging from what this guy can do, Dean better listen.
It’s time for the big teaser that’ll take us into next week, and what a teaser it is! The man tells Dean he’s Castiel. Dean wants to know what he is, and with a quick answer replies “I’m an angel of the Lord.” Excuse me? Angel? I never thought this show would go there, especially after “Houses Of The Holy”. Just like with Sam, it’s about friggin’ time.
In a big no-brainer, Dean doesn’t believe him. To prove his point, there’s flashes of light and Castiel shows off the giant shadow wings behind him. Damn the visuals are great! He admits to Dean his true form is overwhelming to humans, causing thing like eyeballs to burn out and glass to shatter. Oops! Dean is still skeptical (Holy tax accountant, ha!) and wants to know why an angel rescued him from Hell. “Good things do happen Dean.” Castiel’s eyes are sparkling gorgeous blue, and this has to be the most inspired casting this show has done since Jim Beaver. Heck, even Misha Collins puts Roma Downey to shame. He’s puzzled by Dean’s behavior. “What’s the matter? You don’t think you deserve to be saved?”
Best tag line ever. Dean asks, “Why’d you do it?” With those earnest eyes, Castiel replies, “Because God commanded it. Because we have work for you.” Cut to a shocked Dean, and roll credits! Ahhhhhh! No, I need more!!! Damn you Kripke!!
Oh my my, so many points and questions lingering. Here are the ones I can comprehend off the top of my head.
- It took two seasons, but maybe we’re finally seeing what Mary Winchester meant when she told Dean, “Angels are watching over you”. Also, Roy LeGrange’s reasons for saving Dean in Faith have more substance.
- The reunions are perfect. Not too mushy, they didn’t stretch on for hours, but they were genuine nonetheless. Dean hasn’t changed, since his mind has essentially hit the reset button, but Sam’s transformation is dramatic. As glad as he is to have Dean back, Sam’s emotionally withdrawn and determined to not let Dean’s return stop his crusade. Sam’s learned to survive on his own, and Dean didn’t get the hint that he went on with his life. I sense major conflict coming.
- Interesting how no one, not even the demons, knew or suspected they were dealing with an angel. I’m guessing that it’s been quite a long while since one has made an appearance. This is going to rock everyone’s world, and not just Dean and Sam’s.
- What do the angels think about Sam’s abilities? Is he doing good, or is he caving into evil? I wonder if Castiel’s true “visage” or voice bothers Sam.
- There were actually promos for the Sunday night lineup. Not bad CW. I might check it out since you went through the trouble. Sure there was Gossip Girl and 90210 too, but they weren’t as obnoxious. There were several ads during Smallville and Supernatural for the Season three DVD set also. Thank you Warner Brothers for buying that time!
As I mentioned in my preview, grade on this episode is an A+. It was series defining, and could end up being the most crucial episode of all the seasons. I did see a rough cut of next week’s episode, so spoilerphobes, go away.
The angel thing is expanded further, and Sam and Dean reunite with dead acquaintances in majorly pissed off form. In the end it all means something. There are several great bits in the episode, so I highly recommend checking it out. This is going to be a great season!
If you'd like to experience the full impact of Alice's original review, complete with many, many screencaps, click here!
***As an extra treat in honor of the FIRST EDITION OF HIATUS HUNTING************************
"Lazarus Rising"- Robin's Rambles, Originally Published on April 20, 2010
Picture Images Added by Percysowner.
Red, stark eyes, staring, moving wildly from side to side, screams. Dean, trapped inside a wooden coffin, strikes a lighter and hoarsely yells for help. He pushes upward; dirt falls on his face. Aboveground, a simple white cross marks his burial spot. Dean's hands thrust through the earth, and, like a child being born, straining, wriggling, the rest of his body follows, Dean grunting as if he's in agony. Finally free, he lies on his back, staring at the sky. Rising, he stares at the destruction around him--an entire forest has fallen to the ground like a pile of matchsticks, his empty grave a perfect circle in the center.
Dean trudges along a road, mopping his forehead. Heat waves rise. He finds an empty gas station and breaks in, drinks down a bottle of water, gasping with relief. He notes the date on a current newspaper, 9/18/08, washes his face, stares at himself carefully in the mirror. Recalling the hellhound dogs' attack, he's surprised to find his gorgeous bod scar-free. However, he has a puzzling red, hand-shaped welt on his right shoulder. He grabs candy bars, water, and a copy of Busty Asian Beauties. (smirk!) He empties out the cash register. The TV set and radio turn on by themselves, and Dean, spooked, immediately grabs a container of salt and lines it across the doors and windows. A horrible, high-pitched sound causes him to cover his ears. The windows blow in from the cacophony and he dives for the floor, bouncing back and forth to protect himself from flying glass. Later, he tries Sam's cell phone number but finds it disconnected. Bobby hangs up on him, and when he calls back, threatens to kill him if he calls again. Realizing he has to handle this differently, Dean finds a car outside, hot-wires it, and drives away.
"Surprise." says a hopeful Dean when Bobby opens his door, but the latter attacks him with a wicked silver knife, then punches him. "It's me!" insists Dean. "My ass!" replies Bobby. Hastily, Dean says, "Your name is Robert Steven Singer, you became a hunter after your wife got possessed, you're the closest thing I have to a father. Bobby, it's ME!" Bobby reaches out to touch him, but goes in for the attack again, sure he's either a shape-shifter or revenant. Dean wrestles the knife away from him and cuts his arm to prove he's neither. "Dean?" whispers Bobby in disbelief. "That's what I've been tryin' to tell ya," says Dean. Bobby hugs him, hard. "It's good to see ya, boy," he says, "but how did you bust out?" "I don't know," says Dean, "I just woke up in a pine box. . ." Bobby throws holy water in his face; Dean spits out a mouthful and says, "I'm not a demon, either, you know." "Can't be too careful," says Bobby. Dean agrees that he should look like a Thriller video reject after the hellhounds' attack and four months in a coffin; all he remembers is being a chew toy, lights out, then waking up in the casket. Learning that Bobby let Sam go off by himself and hasn't heard from him in months, Dean is angry. "I tried," says Bobby, "these last months haven't been easy, for him or me--we had to bury you." Sam refused to salt and burn Dean, he said he'd need a body when he got him home somehow--Sam was real quiet, then he took off, wouldn't return Bobby's calls, and couldn't be located. "Damn it, Sammy!" says Dean, sure that Sam brought him back--through bad mojo. He describes the gravesite to Bobby--like a nuke had gone off, and a force, a presence that blew past him. He shows Bobby the hand imprint on his shoulder, like a demon yanked or rode him out. They think Sam made a deal. "It's what I would have done," says Dean.
Dean turns on the tracking device in Sam's phone, using the name Wedge Antilles because, "What don't I know about that kid?" He goes on Bobby's computer and notes the empty booze bottles lying around: "Your parents out of town or something?" "Like I said, the last few months ain't been all that easy," admits Bobby. Dean finds Sam in Pontiac IL, right where he, Dean, popped up--"a hell of a coincidence," says Dean.
Astoria Hotel, Pontiac, IL - Sam's hotel room door (207, in a red heart), is answered by a beautiful brunette in a tight little undershirt and panties. She wants to know where the pizza, that takes two guys to deliver, is. Dean's sure they have the wrong room, until Sam appears behind the girl and stares in astonishment at his brother and Bobby. The girl steps aside as Sam, gasping, attacks Dean. Bobby drags the younger brother off the older. "Who are you?" demands Sam. "Like you didn't do this!" accuses Dean. "It's REALLY him!" Bobby assures Sam. "I know, I look fantastic," says Dean, grinning. Sam steps forward and hugs him, and we are treated to the first-ever, reciprocal brotherly hug. They hold each other fiercely, near tears, and Bobby is close to crying, too. "So are you two like, together?" asks the girl. Dean gives her a WTF look and Sam explains that they're brothers. "Got it, I guess," she says awkwardly, "I'd better go. So call me," she urges Sam on her way out, now dressed. "Sure thing, Cathy," he says. "Christy," she corrects. "Right," he says, embarrassed, and closes the door. Sam joins Bobby and Dean, who asks, "What did it cost?" Sam assures him, "The girl? I don't pay." "Are you some demon's bitch-boy?" demands Dean--"I didn't want to be saved like this!" "I wish I had done it," says Sam passionately “I tried EVERYTHING--I tried opening the Devil's Gate, I tried to bargain, but no demon would deal, all right? You were rotting in hell for months, and I couldn't stop it. So I'm sorry it wasn't me, all right? I'm sorry." Seeing the real despair on his brother's face, Dean assures him it's OK, "I believe you." Which still leaves a sticky question--who pulled Dean out of hell?
Sam hands out beers all around and explains that once he figured out he couldn't save Dean, he'd go after Lilith for some payback. "All by yourself," says Bobby, "who do you think you are, your old man?" Sam apologizes, "I should have called, I was pretty messed up." Dean retrieves a bra from the sofa and ruefully says, "I really feel your pain." Sam checked out some demons in Tennessee and followed them to Pontiac. Dean thinks the demons are here because of his demon bust-out from hell. Bobby asks Dean how he feels. Like a little DEMONIC? asks Dean--NO. "No demon's lettin' you out from the goodness of his heart," Bobby reminds him, then suggests a psychic friend of his--perhaps she's heard the other side talking. He leaves the room to call her. Sam and Dean stand up. "You might want this back," says Sam, and takes off the necklace he gave Dean for Christmas many years ago. Dean holds the devilish face in his palm for a moment and looks at it. "Thanks," he says. "Don't mention it," Sam assures him. Dean slides it over his head. Sam asks what hell was like, but Dean figures he must have blacked it out--"I can't remember a damn thing." "Thank God for that," says Sam. Dean agrees.
Bathroom - Dean gazes at his reflection in the mirror, stares into his eyes. Once again, he hears horrifying screams and sees blood-red, terrified eyes.
"She's about four hours down the Interstate," Bobby tells the brothers. "Try and keep up." Sam throws Dean the keys to the Impala. "Hey, Sweetheart, ya miss me?" asks Dean, delighted. Then he spots Sam's Ipod jack hanging there. "You were supposed to take care of her, not douche her up," complains Dean. "Really?" he adds when Sam's emo music fills the car, and throws the device into the back seat. "I thought it was my car," Sam reminds him. They talk about that final night--"How did you make it away from Lilith?" asks Dean. Sam explains how he was immune to her deadly white light, and she disappeared fast. Ruby is dead, as far as Sam knows, and he has not been using his "freaky ESP stuff," as Dean describes it. "You didn't want me to go down that road, so I didn't--it was practically your dying wish," says Sam. "Let's keep it that way," says Dean.
Dean, Sam and Bobby arrive at the home of gorgeous, flirtatious Pamela Barnes, "Best damn psychic in the state," says Bobby. Clearly smitten by their handsome faces, she remarks, "Dean Winchester--out of the fire, back into the frying pan--you're a rare individual." She checked her Ouija board, but couldn't find anyone who knew who'd broken Dean out of hell, so a séance seems to be their next step. When Pam kneels to get candles, her jeans slip low down, and just above her butt crack Dean and Sam notice a tat: "Jesse forever." Dean asks, Pam laughs and admits, "It wasn't forever." His loss, says Dean. "Might be your gain," says Pam salaciously. Dean says, "I'm so in," Sam counters with, "She'll eat you alive." "I just got out of jail--bring it!" urges Dean. Pam, overhearing, tells Sam, "You're invited too, Grumpy." "You are NOT invited," Dean assures his brother. Sitting at a table with six candles in the center, the four hold hands. Pam needs to touch something the mystery savior touched, but whatever she grabs, Dean says, "He didn't touch me THERE." He reveals the hand imprint on his shoulder. It's the first time Sam has seen it; he winces. Pam touches her hand to it. "I invoke, summon and command you to appear before this circle," intones Pamela. Dean opens one, then both eyes. The TV turns on. "Castiel?" asks Pam. "No, sorry, Castiel, I don't scare easy. It's whispering to me, warning me to turn back, but I don't scare easy. I conjure and command thee, show me your face!" Everything begins to shake, and Bobby suggests they stop. Pam refuses, she's very close! The candles abruptly go crazy, spewing higher and higher. Pamela screams as her eyes explode into flame; blood runs down her cheeks like tears. She collapses on the table Sam rushes to call 911 as Bobby gathers Pam into his arms and Dean runs to help him. Pam opens her eyes, exposing two empty, bloody holes. "I can't see!" she wails. Dean and Bobby stare in horror at each other. What have they done?
Johnny Mac's Diner - A waitress has taken Dean's order and promises to be back in a jiff. Sam sits down at the table with him and reports that Pam is out of ICU. "But blind because of us," says Dean. "Now, they have a name--Castiel. With the right mumbo jumbo, we could summon him right to us." For obvious reasons, Sam won't hear of it; he prefers to follow up on the demons from Tennessee and find out if they know anything. The waitress brings their pie and sits down at their table. Dean asks if she's angling for a tip. "I thought you were looking for us," she says, revealing black demon eyes. The brothers are instantly on guard as a male demon locks the diner's door. The waitress calls Dean a lucky duck and wants to know what makes him so special that he was able to just stroll out of the pit. My perky nipples, he replies with a small smile, but gets nasty when he tells her he REALLY doesn't know. She accuses him of lying, he assures her he isn't--what does SHE know? When she threatens to drag him back to hell herself, Sam makes a violent motion, but a look from the waitress stops him. Dean knows she's bluffing; she would have done something to him already. She's just as spooked as they are and looking for answers. Whoever it was, Dean figures, they're a lot stronger than she is, and they want him out of hell--"so send me back, but don't come crawling to me when they show up on your doorstep with some Vaseline and a fire hose." She threatens to rip out his lungs. He smacks her, twice, to prove how helpless she is. "That's what I thought," he says, "let's go, Sam." He tosses her a tip, "for the pie." They leave. She is infuriated, but can't do a thing. Sam doesn't want to just leave the demons there, but Dean points out they only have one knife between them. "I've been killing a lot more demons than that lately," says Sam. "Not anymore," says Dean, "the smarter brother's back in town." Although he should have said something to his brother about that unkind cut, instead Sam said, "We've got to take 'em, they're dangerous." "Scared," says Dean, "of whatever had the juice to yank me out--we're dealing with a bad mofo here--one job at a time."
Astoria Hotel - Dean lies asleep on a sofabed under a mirrored ceiling. Sam leaves quietly, slips into the Impala, and drives away. The TV and radio turn on by themselves, awakening Dean. He jumps up and grabs his gun. That piercing, horrible sound starts up, shattering all the glass in the room, including the mirrored ceiling. It rains down on his head. Bobby enters. "Dean!" he shouts.
Bobby drives Dean, complaining of the sound of church bells ringing in his head, away from the hotel. Reaching Sam on his cell, Dean asks, "Where are you?" "I couldn't sleep--went to get a burger," says Sam. "In my car?" asks Dean. "Force of habit, sorry," says Sam. Dean tells him Bobby is back and they're going for a beer. "Spill some for me," says Sam. Sam, however, is actually parked outside Johnny Mac's Diner. "Why didn't you tell him?" demands Bobby. "He'd just try to stop us from summoning this thing," says Dean. "It's time we face this thing head on." Even though they have "everything we need," Bobby thinks this is a bad idea--'We could choose life!" Dean doesn't want to get caught with his pants down again. Although Bobby insists they could use Sam for this, Dean insists he's better off where he is.
Sam enters the diner. The cook lies dead on the floor behind the counter, his hands stained with blood. Sam turns him over--his eyes have been burnt out. Flo, the waitress, pounces on him and begins viciously punching him. He gives as good as he gets, knocking into her head with his. "Your eyes," he gasps, realizing that she, too, is blind, her eye sockets bloody holes. She assures him she can SMELL his soul. She saw what it was, but all she tells Sam is, "It's the end, we're dead, we're all dead." "What did you see?" he asks. "Go to hell," she snarls. "Funny, I was going to say the same thing to you." He stretches out his hand, closes his eyes and concentrates very hard. Her demon smoke begins to spew from her mouth, a little at first, then more. Soon, she falls to her knees, the smoky essence sinking into the ground into a little flame, then dissipating altogether as Sam moves his outstretched hand into a fist and drops it. He opens his eyes and checks on the waitress' pulse. "Damn it," he says, finding her dead. Cathy or Christy from his hotel room exits the back of the diner. "Getting pretty slick there, Sam," she praises, "better all the time." "What the hell is going on around here, Ruby?" he asks (he lied, she is alive)! She doesn't know, but she doesn't believe it was a high-level demon--this guy bleeds, the ground quakes, it's cosmic--no demon can swing that, not Lilith, not anybody-- nothing she's ever seen before.
Bobby spray-paints sigils all over a huge barn--faiths and talismen from religions all over the globe. (There is no way this project wouldn't have taken days.) Dean has prepared all the weapons and salt. Bobby is still sure it's a bad idea, which Dean heard the first 10 times--but ring the dinner bell. Bobby sprinkles things, makes smoke, recites Latin, all to summon God-knows-what.
Diner: Ruby asks Sam if he's going to tell Dean what they're doing. Yes, but he's got to figure out the right way to say it. "He's going to find out, warns Ruby, and if it's not from you, he'll be pissed." "He'll be pissed either way," predicts Sam. "He doesn't want me using my psychic stuff." She offers to take a step back for a while; Dean doesn't like her, and she doesn't want to come between them. "I don't know if what I'm doing is right, or if I trust you, but I'm saving people, and stopping demons--and that feels good," he says, "I want to keep going."
Barn: Dean and Bobby wait for their prey to show up. "Are you sure you did the ritual right?" asks Dean. Bobby gives him a dirty look. "Touchy, touchy," teases Dean. Suddenly, the entire roof above their heads begin to shudder, as if blown by a gigantic tornado. All the lights explode into glass splinters. The doors open of their own volition, and a man with dark hair, suit, tie and trench coat walks steadily toward them, despite their firing a barrage of bullets at him. They shoot him over and over, but he still continues his approach. Dean and Bobby exchange looks of disbelief; nothing is killing this guy! Dean grabs the demon-killing knife. The man is within stabbing distance now. "Who are you?" Dean asks. "I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition," the man replies, no expression on his face or tone in his voice. "Yeah? Thanks for that," says Dean, and thrusts the knife into the man's heart. Nothing happens. The man looks down at the knife, then at Dean. He pulls the knife from his chest, reaches up without looking to prevent an attack by Bobby with his sawed-off, then gently touches the latter's forehead and sends him to the ground, unconscious. "We need to talk, Dean--alone," the man says. Dean, mouth hanging open, just stares.
Dean, anxious, kneels to check Bobby. "Your friend is alive," the man in the trench coat tells him. "Who are you?" demands Dean. "Castiel," replies the other man. "I figured that," says Dean, "I mean, what are you?" "I'm an angel of the Lord," says Castiel." "Get the hell outta here," says Dean. "That's your problem," says Castiel, "you have no faith." Castiel stands and reveals his wings to Dean, who gazes at them with wide-eyed amazement. "Some angel you are," scoffs Dean, "you burned out that poor woman's eyes." Castiel gazes down, seemingly ashamed. "I warned her not to spy on my true form," he sighed, "it can be overwhelming to most humans--so can my true voice, but you already knew that." The gas station and the motel, guesses Dean--'"Buddy, that was you talking? Next time, lower the volume." "Certain, special people can perceive my true visage, I thought you would be one of them--I was wrong." "What VISAGE are you in now?" asks Dean sarcastically--"holy tax accountant?" "A vessel," says Castiel. "You're possessing some poor bastard?" asks Dean angrily. "He's a devout man who prayed for this," says Castiel. "I'm not buyin' what you're sellin'", says Dean, "so who are you really?" "I told you," says Castiel, clearly puzzled by this human. "And why would an angel rescue me from hell?" asks Dean. "Good things DO happen, Dean," says Castiel. "Not in my experience," Dean retorts. "What's the matter?" says Castiel, tilting his head curiously, "you don't think you deserve to be saved." "Why did you do it? asks Dean, his face twitching. "Because God commanded it," replies Castiel. "Because we have work for you." Dean gazes at him, shocked, disbelieving.
1. This ending was a total shocker for us viewers. Kripke had said there would be no God or angels added to the show, but the shortened third season forced him to change Sam saving Dean from hell, which meant he had to save him some other way. Enter Castiel, who has proven popular with many viewers. They can't seem to add a popular gal to the show, but a third male worked” go figure! What did you think of this character the first time he appeared” and now?
2. We see that Sam is working with a brand-new Ruby. Many viewers did NOT take well to her. How about you? What did you think of Sam's new skill? About Sam's douching up the Impala?
3. I didn't like the way Dean wanted to take over everything. (The smarter brother's back in town was not necessary!) What did he think Sam was doing all the time he was away? Why didn't he even ask?
4. LOVED Pamela Barnes! Her lust for both brothers matched the way we fans feel about them, and her hinted three-way was a fantasy entertained by. . .ALL of us! What did you think of this sexy psychic?
5. The humor didn't let up, despite the awful stuff that went down in this episode. Tell me your favorite funny line. Dean's perky nipples? Sam's insistence he didn't pay for sex? Or the fact that, right out of hell, one of Dean's first actions was to take a copy of BUSTY ASIAN BEAUTIES?
6. This episode, IMHO, was on par with In My Time of Dying, the best of the best season openers. Agree or disagree?
Robin's Original Recap can be found here.
Enjoy dozens of images from this epic episode by visiting our complete Photo Gallery for "Lazarus Rising"!
~ 2014 Reflections ~
Ah, the unknowns that are so clear today - isn’t it interesting to look back at them now? Here are some questions and thoughts we leave you with:
- What was your first thought when this episode finished?
- When did you first see Lazarus Rising? Live? DVD? Hiatus Re-Run? Was it your first introduction into our beloved show?
- Did Castiel blow your mind?
- Finally, based on this episode and only the knowledge from episodes before it - how did you think this would all play out?
Next week we’ll feature another great episode from another WFB writer. Let us know what you think of this new series and if you have a favourite episode from seasons four through seven you’d like to see revisited- don’t be shy!