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First Impressions

I really, really liked Supernatural’s season 10 premiere episode, “Black”. I thought it was a fascinating exploration of character, worthy of Supernatural storytelling. From the “Then” montage to the demon, human and angel stories, I hung onto every word of the dialog and every nuance of the acting. Let me share with you both my impressions and my analysis.

The “Then” montage was exceptionally good. I found the choice of scenes in the sequence fascinating and revealing. For example, it was very interesting that the “Then” included Kevin as a ghost. Not just Kevin being killed, which is a significant plot point, but Kevin as a ghost. While the writers’ intention may have been to include summaries of every season 9 episode (a theory that could easily be tested given more time and more rewatches. Is someone up to the challenge?), it could also indicate that Ghost!Kevin is important and will be used again in season 10. Also, the choice of music “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar was curious. I interpreted it to be all about Dean. I’m not sure why that was my read because Sam, Dean and even Cas have all broken hearts, but to me it was the writer’s first opportunity to define Demon!Dean for us. I listened to the lyrics intently to understand the message they were trying to telegraph. Then the last beat hitting just as Dean’s black eyes opened…superb timing, strumming the emotions.

The opening scene with the demon was also meant to deliver a message. The captured demon’s speech was written to make us think she was talking to Demon!Dean:

 “…a Winchester, one of us? Whatever soul you had, whatever Boy Scout code you cuddled up to at night, it’s all gone. Leaving what? Look at you.”

The camera angle suddenly shifting to Sam and the overlaid “shocking” music were production choices meant to accentuate the surprise that she was talking to Sam, not Dean. Unfortunately, so many of us already knew it was Sam because of the promotional videos. The first big message, and intended emotional impact, was wasted and lost by spoiler releases. Then the directional choice of distorting Sam’s face was appropriate for the point they were trying to make about Sam and would have continued the emotional moment, but I actually found it a little distracting, even insulting. Neither Jared nor Supernatural fans need cheap theatrics to create or interpret intensity in a scene. Ok, though, I got the point. Sam is intense.

Then fans were treated to one of the most important revelations of the season - The season 10 title card! It was OUTSTANDING!!  Love it!

S10 Title Card 0012

At this point, the show had only been running for literally five minutes, yet again the music was playing a significant role in the story. Sam was in the bunker, alone. The strings, solo piano keys and haunting cello beautifully framed Sam’s loneliness. Then the curtains on the stage to this play spread open just a little wider, slowly allowing us our first glimpse at season 10’s story. What followed was some sharp dialog and outstanding acting that would bring those stories,and the threads that would be woven throughout its intricate plotlines, to life. So here begins our detection and interpretation of Supernatural’s season 10’s threads…

Let Me Go

Dean left a note for Sam. Sam smiled as he looked at the note he had probably examined dozens of times before: “Sammy, let me go.”

10.01 Note 0095
The “Let It Go” theme was laced throughout all of season 9. It went from being a central message of entire episodes to the words being used verbatim at critical moments in dialog. The closing episode of season 9 used it both literally (e.g. Sam screaming at Dean about the Blade: “Let it go!” and Crowley’s epilogue to Dean “Except, as rumor has it, the Mark never quite let go.”) to the implied, continuous battle between letting go of loved ones versus fighting to keep them with us.

Having a note that said “Sammy, Let me go.” then is extremely significant. First, there is the fact that there is a note at all. Demon!Dean wouldn’t care at all what Sam does, so why warn him off? Surely Mark of Cain Dean isn’t worried about being challenged by Sam, so why take the time to write a note? Why not just leave? Soulless!Sam would have just left. Then there was the use of “Sammy” instead of “Sam”. Only loving, big brother Dean used Sammy. I have a hard time believing the Demon!Dean wouldn’t just say “Sam”. It tells me that Dean’s feelings are in there somewhere. Then there was the specific choice of words. “Let me go.” When Sam lost Dean at the end of season 7, when Sam had no idea what happened to Dean and presumed him dead, Sam felt he had no other choice but to let Dean go. Dean resented or was hurt by this choice and held it against his brother for all of season 8. Now, in an obviously blatant contrast, he is telling Sam to repeat that same choice, despite a full year telling Sam he was wrong to do so.

I have to wonder if “Let it go” won’t then continue throughout this season. Is it exactly the lesson the brothers need to learn to rebuild their relationship? What do you think?

Demon!Dean…or not?

Stage 1 of figuring out Dean’s fate:

When Sam was talking to Castiel about Dean, Sam said, “It will be better when I get him back…after I kick his butt”.  This made it sound like Sam believed Dean was alive and could be “saved”.
Castiel: “Why would he just disappear?”
Sam: “Who says he had a choice?”
Castiel: “Well then who wrote the note? Do you think there’s any chance, any chance at all, that Dean is still…
Sam: “…still even remotely Dean?”

The last time Sam saw Dean, Dean was dead – body getting cold, rigor mortis setting in, dead. Sam and Cas obviously believed that someone brought Dean back to life – someone like Crowley? They both know how possession of a dead body works. The last Ruby possession explained it clearly. Ruby made sure the soul had left the body. It was nothing but an empty vessel. Ruby was “alone in here”. So the dialog revealed that Sam and Cas thought Dean was resurrected and kidnapped or otherwise taken, not that he was possessed. THAT is why Sam was so utterly shocked when he saw Dean’s eyes roll black at the convenience store.

Stage 2 of figuring out Dean’s fate:

Once Sam saw Dean’s black eyes, he changed his theory to believing that Dean was possessed by a demon. That theory lasted only a few minutes because Crowley set him straight:

Stage 3 of figuring out Dean’s fate:
Crowley: “Your brother is very much alive, courtesy of the Mark. The only demonized soul inside of him is his, and his alone. A wee-bit more twisted, a little more mangled beyond human recognition, but I can assure you…all his.” He continued on to say, “You don’t care that he’s a demon. Heck, you’ve been a demon, we’ve all been demons.”

Leading us, and Sam, to believe that Dean IS a demon. That his soul had been corrupted and had become demonic. Yet, there was the next conversation between Crowley and Dean, which leads to …

Stage 4 of figuring out Dean’s fate:
Crowley: “The Mark needs to be sated, otherwise…”
Dean: “…otherwise I turn into a demon. Yeah, yeah. Sort of got that 6 weeks ago.”

WHAT?? So Dean IS NOT a demon…YET?? He’s just a…. sociopath? According to one description of this term, “Sociopaths have little regard for the feelings of others and manipulate others in order to get what they desire. People who have this disorder often have no sense of right or wrong.”  The official definition of the condition is “someone who behaves in a dangerous or violent way towards other people and does not feel guilty about such behavior.”   This is exactly what we are seeing in Dean! While Sam now believes Dean is a demon, the viewers are privy to insider information that advances the theory. It seems we are being told that Dean has not yet taken his final vows to demonhood. He may be an initiate, a deacon or a demon-in-training, but he isn’t fully converted….yet. That would also further support my pre-season “Threads” theory that the brothers will take all season to track down research and a “cure” for the Mark of Cain branded on Dean’s arm.

Not being a full-fledged demon would also explain why Dean seemed momentarily flustered when Crowley said he had talked to Moose. Dean’s “What?” seemed to indicate he was a bit shaken hearing about Sam again. It caught him off-guard and for a split second he was less cold and unfeeling. The final scene of the episode certainly eradicated any hope that Dean is sentimental about Sam, but there was still a moment… “I left you an open tab at the bar. Knock yourself out”. That line implied that Dean might have felt a fleeting non-aggressive familiar bond toward Sam. After all, knowing Sam was on his way to that location, Dean could have waited in ambush to kill Sam if he wanted him dead (by the way, does anyone believe that Crowley intentionally stayed on the call with Sam too long? Crowley was looking for a way to move Dean out of that bar and Sam’s imminent arrival did the trick! …or was Crowley being truthful again and his human emotions got the better of him?).

10.01 Crowley on Phone 0923

Dean’s inquiry to Cole later, “How do I know my brother is still alive?” sounded more like a factual inquiry rather than a concerned plea, still, Dean used the term “my brother” rather than just calling him Sam or some derogatory name.

Is Dean still on the path to full demon ranks? Dean’s defensive retort to AnneMarie about being “the kind of guy who sleeps with every skank in every small town dive he passes through – that sure as hell sounds like me” reminded me of the self-flagellating dean. The repeat of the reflective cello music, the contemplative look Dean had after AnneMarie left the room, the fact that he got plastered drunk after his conversation with Crowley…all made me think that Dean’s guilt and self-hatred is alive and well inside this new version of him.

10.01 Dean thinking2 1367
Even “Crowley said, “I don’t know what’s going on with you. I truly don’t.” If Crowley doesn’t know, how are we supposed to figure it out? All things considered, this week I think we saw the “ExtremeBadBoyDean”. That’s what AnneMarie called him, so maybe the writers were giving us a hint as to how to view Dean, at least in this stage of his decline.

Two things were established unequivocally. First, Jensen was superb as BadBoyDean.

10.01 Dean Smirk 0311

 I got chills when he said to Crowley, “You sold me out.” He sounded truly menacing.

10.01 Dean SoldMeOut 1181

I wondered if even Crowley had to watch himself!  Jensen’s conflicted expressions and his shifts from violent sociopath to protective wanderer,

10.01 Dean Smug 0425

from carefree bar gamer to willing but unwitting apprentice to the master demon,

10.01 Dean Thinking 1194

to troubled drunk, all conveyed the part-Dean, part-not-Dean character that Jensen admitted he interpreted from the script.

The second thing we know for sure? Dean, demon or not, CAN NOT SING.

Jared’s acting

Even though this episode could have been all about Dean – his fate, his debauchery and his violence – Jared gave a riveting performance that made this episode equally about Sam. The following scenes solidly communicated Sam’s state of mind, his emotions and his point of view partially through dialog, but mostly through non-verbal acting.

·         When the demon continued to taunt Sam with “eat me”, Sam subtly shook his head yes and smiled. Absolutely fabulous acting by Jared! Sam looked like he welcomed the chance to channel his rage, grief and frustration into sadistic torture.

10.01 Sam with Demon 0020

·         Sam called Castiel in his excitement at finally having a lead. Sam exuberantly explained the lead to Cas, oblivious to Castiel’s weakened voice. Then Sam finally noticed Castiel’s coughing. The look on Jared’s face, closing his eyes, rolling his head... you could read his thoughts of “Oh, how could I be so stupid? Listen to him. He is dying and I’m ignoring his situation.” The writing was excellent but Misha and Jared really sold the scene.

·         When Sam first saw black eyes in Dean. The change of expression betrayed the emotions and the racing thoughts of “we were wrong. He didn’t take off, he was possessed!” Superb reveal from Jared.

·         Sam’s declarations to Crowley: “I will save my brother, or die trying…. I am going to save my brother.” The use of the word “save” versus, find or rescue or some other heroic gesture clearly referred back to Sam making the exact opposite decision he made at the end of season 7. The commitment, the passion in Jared’s performance was riveting.

10.01 Sam Mad2 0953

Even though Jared and Jensen deliver great acting every week, their performances in the premiere carried this episode and made their characters’ anguish believable and worth watching.

Castiel, Heaven and Hell

10.01 Cas at Car 0786

In Castiel’s phone call with Sam, Cas asked Sam, “How are you, Sam?” I was particularly touched by this caring moment. It was an exact reflection back to when Castiel first heard Dean’s voice on the phone in 9.18 “Meta Fiction”. Cas paused, smiled, and simply asked, “How are you Dean?” It brings, I don’t know, humanity? a recognition of what’s real? back into their world. I see it as a perfect pause in the action. A way to slow down the dialog, the action, the angst and the worry and have a moment of sensitivity that the show so masterfully portrays.

10.01 Cas on Phone 0167

Castiel repeated this sensitivity when he wanted to listen to Daniel. I really liked Daniel and the multi-layered conversation he had with Cas about fishing and freedom and choices. “With each choice, I begin to discover who I really am... You would understand why it’s worth fighting for.” In contrast, as in some of the latter episodes of season 9, I was frustrated by Castiel’s inability to articulately express his views. We know he agreed with Daniel, yet why didn’t he express all of the lessons he has learned about interacting with humanity? Does Cas get tongue-tied when talking with angels? Does he have trouble reconciling their directive to follow orders with his obvious dedication to free will? He often offers incredible wisdom to the brothers. Why doesn’t he share this wisdom with his own family? I don’t understand this failure in his character. Regardless, the emphasis on free will and the revelation that angels other than Castiel have discovered choice and are capable of embracing freedom makes me wonder if independence of thought might become a thread for Heaven’s storyline. Maybe the angels, through Hannah and Castiel, understand the mission to protect humans by choice rather than edict, and that choice heals their rifts and repairs Heaven. This would be supported by Crowley’s emphasis on trying to redesign Hell with Dean. Maybe the reinvention of Heaven and Hell is where these three years of angelic and demonic wars have been going! What do you think?

Aside, did anyone else think Castiel’s squeaky Continental with the bad shocks was meant to be an obvious juxtaposition to the Impala? Cas and Hannah’s road talks were also parallels to Sam and Dean having conversations while driving. The angels even got out of the car and had a conversation over the car roof, Hannah leaning on the roof just as Sam has often done, and Cas remaining on the driver’s side in Dean’s traditional position.

10.01 Hannah 0795

Hannah ended the conversation abruptly when she wanted to avoid further discourse, just as Sam and Dean have done to each other. Later there was the reflective talk in the car, at night, with rain on the windows. Sam and Dean aren’t together so our “car conversation” fix was supplied by the Hannah and Castiel!

“It’s my truth.”

Castiel said that line to Hannah when explaining about his health. That reminded me so much of what the faith-filled woman in the church said to Cas “Your truth, not mine” in 9.03 “I’m No Angel”. I find that reuse interesting and curious. I have to wonder if the boys are going to have to hold onto their own truths to gain peace and some type of closure, happiness and purpose again.

“Now I’m the monster.”

The promotional releases and interviews for season 10 all talked about the exploration of who was the real monster, Dean or Sam. The opening sequence of the episode between Sam and the demon was clearly meant to shock viewers to believing that she was accusing Sam, not Dean, of being a monster. Yet it was Cole who called himself a monster. This seems like it is going to be a farther reaching thread throughout the season.

By the way, I thought it was odd that Cole broke his arm by sitting on the handlebars of his older brother’s bicycle. That reminded me too much of Sam and Dean’s similar story. Anyone remember which episode that was in?


Jared’s hair cut!

10.01 clerk 0837

LOVED convenience store kid! He did a GREAT job! He really put Sam in his place too! Way to give a one-shot appearance everything you’ve got!

Crowley: “I will treasure our flickr albums forever.” Great line!

The jury is still out on the Cole storyline. Gordon was inserted into seasons 2 and 3 to make a point about humans being monsters more than monsters were monsters. Cole seems to be making that same point. I’ll wait to see what happens with him. I wasn’t a big fan of the Gordon distraction so Cole is starting at a disadvantage with me.


I very, very, very much enjoyed this episode. There weren’t any shocking developments or revelations, but so much had been leaked beforehand. I had to watch all the spoilers to be able to post descriptions (not my personal preference by the way), but I am curious if the episode had more of an impact on people who were spoiler free. Still, I was riveted by every word of the dialog (yes, even the angel’s dialog!). I was fascinated by the parallels being drawn and the subtle references to previous character growth. My passionate hope is that season 10 is filled with redemption. I hope that Gadreel’s redemption was the beginning of a much larger multi-year redemption arc that both brothers and Castiel, and maybe even Crowley, share. I want love and hope back in this show. Nothing in this episode made me believe that won’t happen in season 10, so I am still just as excited by the year’s possibilities as I was before the show aired.

As those familiar with my Threads series from last season may remember, I don’t read other reviews or your discussion comments before writing my articles. That is the only way I can ensure the clues I detect and the theories I propose come purely from the episode, unaffected by other people’s interpretations of the story. Now is your time to bring it all together and test if these theories and threads hold up against evidence I may have missed! Please share your reading of the clues and your opinion on my theories! Add anything you’ve been wondering about! Together, let’s find and perfect the threads left for us by the writers! Go!

Screencaps courtesy of


# nickmaniac 2014-10-09 15:11
Great article! I'll need to rewatch the episode before speculating further, but one thing crossed my mind as I was reading: at any point in the show was it confirmed that Dean KNEW he was a demon? What if Dean's line to Crowley about "becoming a demon if the mark is not sated" was intended to suggest that Dean himself is not aware of what he has become? (True, Carver explained it further in the recent article, but knowing what a spoiler-phobe he is, maybe his response isn't what it seems?) ;)
# nightsky 2014-10-09 18:21
Thank you! I was so nervous about posting these theories because I hadn't heard/read them before (but as I said, I avoid other people's opinions before I go on record with my own).

I have to believe Dean is aware of what is happening to him, whatever that may be. He knew he was dying. Crowley said Dean could hear him talking during the explanation speech at the end of s9. He certainly heard the "howl at the moon" part because he mentioned it. I do wonder what he is thinking about all this, though. Hence all his contemplative looks.
I tend not to read too much into Carver's interviews. I greatly love his writing, but whatever he says in his interviews always annoys me for some reason. It's like he is intentionally trying to throw us off the trail. I also think he has so much of the larger picture in his mind, that he finds it difficult to zero in on teasers that are relevant to our viewpoint.
# PENNY JAIME 2014-10-09 15:47
I never even though about Dean not "fully" being a demon. I thought he was just being sarcastic when he said he, Sorta got that 6 weeks ago. It will be interesting to find out. I loved this episode. I was still on the edge of my seat at the end. Everyone I have talked to, said it went so quickly! Because it was so good! Best season opener yet. I am so excited for this season. It seems like it may be something special.
(I would feel better if I knew Jensen and Jared had signed on to do future seasons. Fingers crossed)
# nightsky 2014-10-09 18:24
I'm fairly confident about season 11. They have both talked about it specifically. I am extremely nervous beyond that point, though.
# Rene4 2014-10-09 15:48
nickmaniac - I had seen that idea on another website. Interesting. The MOC may be so powerful emotionally that it swallows up any demon attributes, therefore making it very hard for Dean to tell the difference until he is clued in. Is that why Crowley looked at Dean so keenly when Dean went over to confront Matt-wants to make sure no human emotion is prevalent. That would also mean that Sam might have a chance of changing Dean from a demon back to a human being with the MOC still to contend with. I suppose if Dean was turned back into a human with the MOC still having to be sated, he could go out and kill a demon once in a while??

Another idea about Hannah from the other website - that she might be pregnant, told as a joke, still.....Hanna h getting sick. That is strange. It is obviously Hanna's vessel that is getting sick but why? Cas said he would drive faster-so the angels are used to moving very quickly and Cas' driving was too slow and made Hannah sick?
I guess it was a way to get them to talk over the car-like Sam and Dean. But still, why that? Any ideas?
# nightsky 2014-10-09 18:13
Another website?? I can't believe there are ANY other Supernatural websites out there!;)

I actually strongly believe that the boys will be dealing with the MoC the entire season, and yes, I think it might come in very handy!

About Hannah being sick: My 1st thought was that it was just a joke. Another opportunity for Cas to not understand something (his comment about going faster around curves was the exact opposite of what motion sick people need!). My 2nd thought was that it was an excuse for them to have an outside-the-car conversation. A member of my family suggested that Hannah would eventually sacrifice her grace to save Castiel, but I dismissed that because that would only temporarily fix Cas. He needs his own grace to heal properly. I will take your suggestion that maybe her being sick is more important than my first two explanations and we'll watch for it more closely. (I don't think there is any way she is pregnant).
I also thought Crowley's keen observation of Dean's fight was important. I decided it was Crowley trying to understand the Mark's effect on Dean. Crowley did admit that he didn't know what was going on with Dean. Maybe he is just taking it all in trying to figure it out.
# Trucklady 2014-10-09 17:14
Nightsky, the episode I think you were asking about was S9E15 - Thinman when the boys were eating, drinking, and doing research in their hotel room. Dean brought up about them playing Batman and Superman and Sam broke his arm jumping off the shed roof then Dean rode him to ER on his handle bars.

As for the review, I think you were spot on. I felt the same way about all the parallels throughout the episode. As for someone's comment about Hannah being pregnant, I never even went there. I took it as her just being car sick due to all the slow motion in a vehicle which she or any other angle are not familiar with. I don't feel that Dean is total Demon yet since Crowley is so hell bent on him killing demons on a regular basis so I'm hoping this is the out for Sam to bring Dean back to being human (which we all know is going to happen within 4-5 episodes down the road).
# Grace232 2014-10-09 17:32
Thanks so much for this. I was riveted by the episode. Jared and Jensen both knocked it out of the park and I am dying to see what happens next. I also thought Dean was being sarcastic about becoming a demon, so your ideas have me looking at that dialogue differently. I did, however, notice some but not all of the clues that our Dean is still in there. Your analysis of Sam was great too - I love where this is going. The place you really blew my mind though was the parallels between Castiel and Hanna and the brothers. Thanks so much for pulling this all together! By the way - I believe it was Thinman when the brothers talk about Sam breaking his arm and Dean taking him to the emergency room on his bike.
# nightsky 2014-10-10 10:20
You're welcome! I had the exact same reaction to the episode as you. It didn't give me any fall-on-the-flo or shocks, but I was, as you said, riveted to the show. I told my family to stop moving around our front room because I needed to concentrate! Even our dog went into the other room! ;)
# njspnfan 2014-10-09 18:13
# nightsky 2014-10-10 10:45
DemonDean - As I think I said in another comment, I find Jeremy's interviews misleading. His obvious strength with the written word has not yet translated into great PR skills (a different skill set). I have found though, that he chooses his words very carefully in scripts, so I am not ready to let go of Dean's comments. I have to admit, the whole thing is very nebulous. The CW promos are obviously anchored by the "Deanmon" idea, which could either be interpreted as Dean IS a demon OR Dean is PART demon/part Dean - hence the split word to describe a split persona. I will wait to see but it is intriguing to speculate.

I absolutely agree that we do not know Crowley's end game. I still strongly hold on to his word "interesting" when he read the angel tablet.
I also agree that Sam hasn't gone off-the-boards yet. Jeremy said it gets worse than ep1, so again, we'll wait to see.
I agree that Cas and Hannah both deserve a strong plotline.
I am totally confused as to Heaven's, and angels' status. I'm hoping they very clearly address this. For ex., the state of the souls in the veil? Is Heaven open or closed?? When angels couldn't, or choose not to, return to Heaven, their powers should weaken. I seem to remember that happened to Cas in season 4? 5? when he was "cut off" from Heaven. When he was resurrected in "Swan Song" he said he was better than ever (or something like that), referring to his gradual loss of powers. Also, he lost his angel powers entirely when all the other angels left in "The End". In my mind, I thought it had been previously established that Heaven "recharges" angels or their connection to Heaven is what gives them power, so where does that leave us now? Does anyone else know what I'm talking about? I had also assumed angels couldn't teleport on Earth because their wings were burned off or damaged in the fall. I didn't think it was a side-effect of Metatron's spell. Did the angels get healed when they returned to Heaven? I hope some episode clarifies this whole mess.
# sylvia37 2014-10-11 10:45
My assumption was that when the gates of heaven re-opened, the angels were just naturally drawn there. That it was like a tractor beam, sort of, which is why it is hard for Hannah to get why the two rogue ones wouldn't want to go back. My other question is, what happened to the souls in the veil? They didn't address that at all, did they? Is Kevin still with his Mom, or is he back? Did restoring heaven fix the prophet problem? Lots of unanswered questions.
# Rene4 2014-10-09 19:13
A really good review nightsky. Thank you for it.
I agree that the Gas n Mart guy was great.
I don' remember Gordon and his cronies finding out that Sam killed Steve Wandell. I remember Bobby giving the boys their first anti possession charms and saying to them that Steve Wandells friends will be looking for who killed him.
I thought Gordon was just a little confused and paranoid as far as Sam being so dangerous to the world. Gordon's friend thought Sam was the anti-Christ.
Also, the letter that Sam read in Steve Wandell's house was from his daughter. It is possible that he had a son, too.
Had read somewhere that Dean had killed Cole's father.
Too many places and too much info. Aaarrrggghhhhh! !
# njspnfan 2014-10-09 19:49
# Rene4 2014-10-10 02:54
Oh, OK. Thanks for clearing the cobwebs in my head.
# sn_chills 2014-10-09 20:13
I guess the question is do we believe Crowley's comment about the mark needing to be sated and Dean hasn't totally turned, or do we believe that he is lying to Dean and he knows that Dean has already turned. Maybe he knows Dean has turned, but he doesn't want Dean to know because if he did Dean could give him a run for the money and take over Hell himself. I think he's not sure he can control Dean and wants to keep Dean thinking he's not as powerful as he actually is.

My other thought was if Dean hasn't gone full Demon yet this might be his version of Souless Dean only amped up because of the MOC. I know we all saw his black eyes but that could just be residual from the MOC and the fact that Cain had become a Knight of Hell. Guess we'll find out soon enough. Great review.
# spnlit 2014-10-14 19:35
Good question: "Do we believe Crowley's comment that the MOC needs to be sated to prohibit Dean from becoming a demon or is Crowley lying and dean is already a demon." Quite honestly, from what we seen so far on screen, I have no idea what type of being Dean has become. I think the writers are developing the canon as we speak/ speculate. What needs to be done is to write down and look at everything that has been said and shown about the MOC from the beginning and try to piece it together. It is complicated and a bit confusing. What I do think is Crowley is evil and a liar and has an end game in mind that will be revealed. It is my hope that Sam is able to see his promise through to fruition and save Dean and kill Crowley for everything he has done.
# mary9930 2014-10-10 08:50
Thanks Nightsky. I purposefully didn't read any spoilers or even watch promos and was very surprised that it was Sam torturing the demon in the beginning. My original take was that I liked the episode but wish I had read this article before I voted in the poll. I really liked all the aspects that you brought up & should have rated it higher. Your articles always enhance my viewing experience and make me feel a little less ridiculous for my insane obsession with this show :)
# nightsky 2014-10-10 10:59
Thank you! I'm so glad these articles help you enjoy the show! It was positive comments like yours that convinced me to continue my Threads series this year rather than switch over to open-style reviews.
(vote again in the poll! People are allowed to legitimately change their minds! unless the poll asked for 1st impressions - I have to look at it again to remember.)

...and most of us are obsessed with this show! After reading Fandom at the Crossroads though, I now understand it is a healthy passion! (I think Fangasm has the same message too!)
# cheryl42 2014-10-10 15:06
I love your threads articles....I'm never very good at them but I love everyone's interpretations.
What I loved....almost everything. I didn't love the angel storyline. It made no sense. Hannah has a problem with rogue angels that want to live peacefully on earth so she and Cas must go bring them home or kill them. However Metatron who caused the angels to fall and killed countless thousands is allowed to live because we must not kill anymore angels. Since Hannah started the conflict and Daniel was trying to protect (?) other angel Cas kills Daniel? Didn't make any sense. I did like the Sam and Cas moments it was sad and sweet.
I am very intrigued by Cole but I got a more Victor Hendrickson vibe from his character than Gordon. He seemed unaware of the Supernatural mostly because of the weapons he packed. He also seemed puzzled by the holy flask. But I do get the feeling he is going to get an education.
Crowley is trying to put on his arrogant face with Sam but he knows already things aren't going the way he planned with Dean. But he did know all the buttons to push with Sam.
Jared did kill it this episode. His heartbreak and sense of loss to his devastation when he saw Dean's eyes and Crowley's revelation about Dean's true nature was just too sad to watch almost. The most heartbreaking moment for me was when Cole was holding the phone up to Sam. His brother who he hasn't seen or talked to in weeks was just inches from his face. The look on Sam's face....he wanted to say something so badly but I think he was trying to protect Cole. Sam now knows that Dean would tear Cole apart. Nothing Cole has will hurt Dean. It just killed me.
Dean was harder to read. Jensen's performance left his character ambiguous. Is there any part of Dean in there? I think there is. His note said "Sammy" not just Let me go or even Sam let me go. It was Sammy. The look on Dean's face after he said those awful things to Ann Marie. There really looked to be regret on his face. He did want to take off with her I think. The drinking, bar fighting, stuck in a sleazy Road House with Crowley isn't sitting well with Dean. Why is he running from Sam? Is he afraid that Sam will save him, kill him? Dean can easily kill Sam. Is he afraid that he will kill Sam? When Cole called him Dean's first question was is he still alive. Why would Dean care? This episode set up so many questions. I can't wait to see where they go with this. Thoughts off the top of my head. ;)
# spnlit 2014-10-14 19:57
I agree about the angel story line. It seemed contradictory. Last season as you stated "Metatron who caused the angels to fall (stole Castiel's grace) and killed countless thousands is allowed to live because angels must not kill anymore angels (and it was a sign Castiel was a true leader). This season starts with "Hannah has a problem with rogue (non obedient - free will wanting angels) that want to live peacefully on earth so she and Cas must go bring them home or kill them. Hannah starts the conflict, and Cas just kills an angel-Daniel! Despite the contradiction, it is to highlight the struggle Cas is having to obey or follow free will; be an angel or human possible die. Although I did not appreciate the contradiction, a liitle more dialogue about how it was absolutely necessary for the restoration of heaven to get the angels in line would have helped. Also, I am always please to see Castiel and his role in the Winchester saga.
# kaj 2014-10-10 21:53
Okay, I liked the episode but it got me thinking and questioning especially about DD's characterizatio n. I must say, Jensen did great. He had a few experience in playing evil character but DD is definitely the manipulative one. One that stand out from his characterizatio n is self serving and yes the song fits perfectly.

One example, everyone keeps saying that DD showed a bit of his humanity when he was with Ann-Marie but I think not. He's just getting rid of the obstacle when he decided to beat up her boyfriend. So that he could continue to have fun with her. She seems willing and her only complain was her boyfriend might get angry with her. "Hey, I've got rid of him. Let's continue to have fun!" It's not actually defending her honor. He did it for his own benefit.

Two, when Crowley kept nagging at him about order and tasks, DD got fed up and annoyed and decided to ditch Crowley, maybe take Ann-Marie to continue have fun somewhere else. No one gets to order him around, not even the King of Hell. But when Ann-Marie refuses him, he decided that she didn't worth the effort. "Fine, skank! I'll have fun by myself. Ungrateful woman!" he sneered and he lashed out and didn't give a damn about her feeling.

So, talking about self serving, yes, DemonDean got it. He's very self centered. Any humanity he seemed to have or feelings he seemed to have is just a front to fuel his own needs. Just a ploy to feed his own interest and he got rid of them quickly whenever he didn't need them anymore.

So, that got me thinking of the note. Demons are manipulative bastard. What if Dean wrote that note because he wanted to manipulate Sam to not looking for him.
Sammy, ==> means he wanted to tell Sam that it's really for him. He knew that Sam would get melancholy and maybe even mad at him because he took off.
Let me go ==> After Road Trip Sam didn't stop Dean from taking off by himself. So, DD thought that this time Sam won't stop him either because from past experience (season 8) Sam didn't look for Dean. So, DemonDean this time was sure that Sam won't look for him too.

Mission accomplished, message sent. But not to the reaction that he'd expected coming from Sam.

And I think I can explain why Sam didn't call Dean's phone before. First time he took off, DD put Sam's number in black list (some phone has this feature) so, whenever Sam called it was always blocked. After he knew that Sam was coming to the bar courtesy of Crowley's scheming, DemonDean left an open tab at the bar and took sam's number off the black list to anticipate his call. What for? Maybe to taunt him that he had failed, yet again to capture him. Crowley has turned out to be less and less fun and more and more annoying. Demon Dean needs a new play date. He wants to keep having fun and what's more fun that screwing Sam's mind and playing with him. After all it's just for fun.
# E 2014-10-10 23:43
I am finding the whole "Dean isn't really a demon yet, just nearly a demon" issue incredibly annoying and a huge copout. It comes across more like back pedaling than an actual plot point. It's almost like TPTB decided they'd gone too far in that dramatic lead up to Dean's black eyed reveal in season 9… so now they are backtracking, saying "Demon? Naaaaah, just kidding… black eyes notwithstanding Dean's not REALLY a demon! You thought he was a demon? Nooooo!… he's just ALMOST a demon!" And the Mark? He has to kill to NOT become a demon? Why is that exactly? Why is that he only kills other demons? And how come that satisfies the Mark's blood lust? Why doesn't he just kill whomever he feels like killing? Why is Crowley facilitating this whole thing when letting Dean just go ahead and kill whomever he wants when ever he wants would basically accomplish the EXACT SAME THING? Because that might make Dean look bad? The whole scenario makes absolutely no sense what so ever; it's like an oxymoron. Ugh, its a convoluted and illogical mess, and so incredibly contrived. So far I am not impressed with any of the story elements for demon Dean (Jensen is doing a fine job though, even with all the contradictory nonsense he has to deal with). Season 2 Dean, the Dean who cut off the Vamps head's with the industrial saw and the Dean who was willing to kill Duane without being sure he was infected with the Croatoan virus was ten times scarier and twenty times more compelling. Demon Dean is a giant copout so far.

To me this comes down to a fundamental reluctance that TPTB have to do anything even remotely chancy, innovative or risky with Dean as a character. They set up this wonderful scenario of Demon Dean…. not just any old demon, but the first MoC demon since Cain himself; the most fearsome demon to walk the earth for Millennia. So, does Dean get to actually follow in these notorious footsteps? Be a menace on the earth the way that Cain was for thousands of years? No, that's too risky, that might make Dean look bad. Better just have the regular old self-hating, self-flagellati ng Dean under there just in case the fans get angry. Meanwhile, lets throw Sam's character under the bus again by turning him into the "true monster" that we are to chicken to turn Dean into. So far the only people Dean has killed are Demons that are trying to kill him. How is that in any way demonic or different than what he would have done at any other time? He's so far attacked one human… a douchebag abuser who "deserved it," and wasn't that noble of him. All of this comes across to me like TPTB are having second thoughts about what they had originally set up and are backpedalling like mad out of what they now consider a bad decision. Dean's not really a demon, he just MIGHT become one….. but don't you all worry the REAL Dean is still there, completely negating any reason they had for turing him into a demon in the first place.
# njspnfan 2014-10-11 10:04
# E 2014-10-11 19:43
That actually brings up another issue that I have. I am not sure, or can't seem to grasp why Crowley even decided to go this route in the first place? Why go to all this trouble to get Dean addicted to the blade, and then turn him into a demon? Why does he need a partner all of a sudden when he's basically risen through the ranks to the top of the hell heap all by himself? Surely not just because of the demon cure in season 8 or because he "wants a friend?" If so, then they need to fill that out a little more; show us WHY Crowley went to all this trouble. Currently I am sitting here wondering why in the hell Crowley was so stupid as to engage in a scheme that caused him to ally himself with a Winchester. He knows how troublesome they are…why would he do such a thing? Maybe he has some scheme that we don't' know about yet that requires a Winchester's participation? I hope there's more to it than he simply wanted to howl and the moon because of the demon cure.

Re: Cole. my speculation on him is that Dean killed his older brother. There was a lingering shot of a man in uniform behind Cole while he was packing that could have been his brother; also the story about riding on the handlebars of his brother's bike and the broken arm that is so close to Sam and Dean's story from last season. I am betting that the upset woman we saw and the young boy are his sister-in-law and nephew. It does bother me some that TPTB seem to be mining all of season 3's story lines originally intended for Sam and are retreading them now for Dean. Cole is just Gordon all over again, but the monster is now Dean instead of Sam…..oh… no, wait, Sam is still the monster, but Cole wants to kill Dean. Is Sam going to have any kind of story line at all this season after episode 4 when he saves Dean? Doesn't' look like it.
# njspnfan 2014-10-11 21:12
# E 2014-10-12 08:39
I'd love it if Crowley's grander plans (if there are any) were in some way about Sam as well as he is the one who affected the cure on Crowley and was the one who Crowley made a connection with. Carver has pretty much ignored Sam as a character for two full years now. Everything that has happened to Sam, everything he's done (both logical and illogical) hasn't really been about Sam in any way, it's been about Dean, motivating Dean, isolating Dean, worrying Dean and getting him to the place he'd need to be so that he could take on the MoC; it's only really been about Sam by default and not much of it's made sense given whats long been established of Sam as a character. So at this stage, given what's come before, I'd be pleasantly surprised (read shocked beyond all belief) if Carver actually remembered in some small way that Sam is a character in his own right and not just a tool by which we can get things to happen to or for or about Dean. So far? Status quo on that front.
# spnlit 2014-10-14 20:05
Good observation, makes sense if the end game is truly evil: "Another thought also occurred to me - everyone is assuming he is just manipulating, or trying to manipulate Dean. What if his plan is also about Sam? Carver has spoken about which one of the brothers is the real monster in S10. Sam has been known to take out a few powerful supernatural creatures - Lilith, Alastair, one of the horsemen (Famine), and he put Lucifer back in the cage. Maybe Crowley's grand plan involves corrupting Dean AND Sam?" I think it is high time these boys just take Crowley out!
# cheryl42 2014-10-12 11:05
I kind of see Cole as a Victor Hendrickson character. He seems unaware of the supernatural unlike Gordon. I don't know if that changes anything but I think Coles journey may be choosing between becoming a hunter (when he discovers what is really going on) or returning to his life. Maybe Sam is the one who helps Cole.
# E 2014-10-12 13:22
That could be Cheryl and that would be a nice twist on things…. rather than have Cole be this crazed person who could never be brought to see reason like Gordon was. I loved Gordon and would like to have had a few more episodes with him, but the main point of a Gordon type character is the satisfaction you get when he's killed off. Maybe Cole is going to be the new Caleb or Jim, a hunter connection we've met like Garth was before they ruined his character by making him a werewolf. Cole seems so incredibly angry right now and I am not sure he's in the frame of mind to see reason or to listen, but that's one of Sam's strengths, the connection he used to make with other people….althoug h its been a looooooong time since we've seen it. Hopefully that's where this part of the story goes. Sam needs SOMETHING to do this season. I am also sure that we will find out that Dean killed whomever Cole is close to because he had no choice… because he was possessed or something. Can you see Cole trying to explain demon possession to that blond crying woman we saw at the start of the episode? She was a good actress with her one single line "is it him?" I got a world of hurt, pain and long term grief off that one single utterance. I hope we get to see more of her and the boy. I actually find them more interesting that Cole at the moment, but Cole has potential as a character.
# cheryl42 2014-10-12 14:14
See in my head cannon that is how Sam gets out of this predicament (seriously that is how you spell it?), he uses his very special Sam skills that we haven't seen in like forever to talk his way out of it. I don't think Cole is a bad guy and I don't think he really wants to hurt Sam but he does seem driven. Now the way I saw that first scene with Cole and I assumed his wife and kid was that she was so done with his obsession and now he has found his target he is off in mission mode, it broke her heart.
It kind of sounds like Sam is in for a rough time of it. :o
# rabbit_with_fangs 2014-10-14 05:34
Find myself agreeing, E, and it's interesting to note that Demon!Dean is nothing like the Demon!Dean we saw back in season 3. Different body language, different vocal inflexions etc. Whether this is partly Jensen's choice or more likely, as you suggest, a cop-out on behalf of TPTB...well, guess we'll have to wait and see.
# uhmyeah 2014-10-11 10:19
Dean is a demon. His response was meant as a sarcastic way to let Crowley know that since he's already a demon, that's not an effective threat. He was letting Crowley know that Crowley's not in charge.
# novi 2014-10-11 11:43
I've noticed that DD is not as aggressive as demons usually are, never attacks first. When that bouncer comes up to him on the stage he actually smiles and is like "Hey, you want to sing with me? That's great! Ah, so you want to fight, okay, let's do it!" Besides, your typical average demon's characterizatio n will include 1) lying and 2) gloating. Dean is still basically honest, in a bad way, that is he's rude and heartless, but at least, he says what he has in mind, never stoops to manipulation. And Dean is not gloating, he finds no pleasure in humiliating his victims. Fingers crossed that he won't do anything he will have to feel sorry for afterwards. But this Cole man needs a good lesson!
# rabbit_with_fangs 2014-10-14 05:08
I only caught the episode last night as we get it a week later in Australia. I haven't recovered from hearing 'Heartbreaker' instead of "Carry On..." I need some time to accept it. ;)
# cheryl42 2014-10-14 21:35
They play "Wayward Son" in the season finale only (accept S1). The season premiere usually is a song that sets the mood for the coming season.
# rabbit_with_fangs 2014-10-15 06:04
Wow...I am having memory problems at the moment. How embarrassing!
# nightsky 2014-10-15 08:32
Don't be embarrassed! I missed "Carry On" too!! It took me until the next day to realize that it wasn't supposed to be there, I just wanted it to be because it is so much a part of our shared history with this show.
# spnlit 2014-10-14 21:25
Thank you for your insightful thought provoking article Nightsky! I thought the season opener was great! First and foremost I was impressed by Jared's superb performance of Sam, over the top as he took us through Sam's pain, desperation, determination and slow discovery of who or what Dean is. Wow excellent! (Haircut not too cool in back - looks like Bruce Jenner- YIKES! - In need of hair police!) I loved the ambiguity and mystery surrounding the "SAMMY LET ME GO" note. So onto Dean... the transition in the show from sad and despairing Sam and Cas talking about Dean to letting us know where our "care about nothing Dean" is now was great. The music and Dean singing karaoke was just the best depiction of their juxtaposed state of being.

In regard to Dean, I must admit I am confused by what he really is and the effect of the MOC. I would be happy if you/ someone would shed some light on this and maybe start a thread discussion.
What we know: (FROM CAIN): Lucifer tried to corrupt Cain's younger brother Abel. To save his brother Abel, Cain made a deal with Lucifer: Abel's soul would go to Heaven and in exchange Cain's would go to Hell. Lucifer's condition: Cain had to kill Abel. Cain used an animal's jawbone, which became the First Blade. Lucifer marked Cain with a brand that gave the First Blade its power. The Mark and the Blade work together. Lucifer himself or the mark and blade turned Cain (a human) into a Demon- the first Knight of Hell. Cain served Lucifer trained and led his fellow Knights, and they wrecked havoc on Earth. Despite being a Demon, Cain was able to fall in Love .... with and married a woman named Colette. She FORGAVE him for his past misdeeds and he apparently was able to honor her request: that he never kill again. The Knights wanted their leader back and kidnapped Collette. Cain killed all the other Knights, except Abaddon. Cain was tricked by Abbadon to kill his own wife. While dying, Colette reminded Cain of his promise not to kill anymore. Cain was then able to separate himself from the Blade- threw it in the ocean and retired to a peaceful lonely existence. Enter Dean into the retired life of Cain. Cain transfers the mark to Dean stating : I felt connected to you right from the beginning. Kindred spirits, if you will. You and I are very much alike; the Mark can be transferred if the person is "worthy of it"; and taking on the Mark comes with a " great cost and burden." With the MOC Dean began to exhibit more aggressive behavior, along with the First Blade his aggression was amplified and when he began killing with the First Blade dean was literally hooked. If he did not continue to kill he would die. Because as Crowley informs Dean, the human body was never meant to contain the First Blade's power. So if Human Dean stopped killing he would die. In the meantime Metatron kills Dean. Crowley uses the Power of the Blade to raise him from the dead ... turn him into a demon? Stating he failed to tell Dean that Cain tried to kill himself with the blade but he could not die. (Cain also asked Dean to come back and kill him with the blade- so without the mark, Cain can perish and peacefully go to hell? ) Also so Dean would not have died if he stopped killing? Dean has become immortal? And finally is Dean a demon or demonic.... because according to Crowley (who told human Dean if he stopped killing he would die) if Dean does not kill now he will become a Demon! But Cain a real demon from the beginning of time... fell in love in the 1800's and stopped killing! HELP!
# cheryl42 2014-10-14 21:39
Yep that about covers it. :)
# nightsky 2014-10-15 08:29
....So Nightsky is a purple monster now! How funny! We thought it would be fun to give everyone a monster avatar (appropriate for SPN, don't you think?) but they wiped out some of the custom avatars. Still figuring that out...

I would be happy if you/ someone would shed some light on this and maybe start a thread discussion.
After "Reichenbach", I predict there are going to be many threads of discussion on Demon Dean! Actually, though, your comment was perfectly timed. The WFB is launching a new Discussion Page. It includes two permanent discussion threads - one for Sam and one for Dean. I've written a paragraph to explain it further, which I hope will soon be added to the initial basic instructions for the page. Until then, feel free to use it to talk about Dean's current predicament!

...and yes, Dean's status as a demon is very confusing. His "Reichenbach" escalation of demonic conduct was chilling. I'm going to rewatch the episode and try to pull out some quotes that I hope will "shed some light" as you said, or at least spark some discussion of who / what Dean is!
# E 2014-10-15 12:49
I agree that the whole Dean is he or isn't he a demon is confusing. I liked Demon Dean's portrayal much more in the second episode than the first and only hope that he gets even more awful before he's cured (probably next episode). My main concern is in the changing nature of the blade; when Dean was still human (or at least before he died at the end of season 9) the blade had to be fed but every kill brought him closer and closer to being a demon. Now that he's died (and I guess been brought back to life again, so he's still not dead, but he's not exactly alive either, and can cure himself and probably not be killed……oy, my head is spinning) the mark now has to be fed so that he WON"T become too demonic? How does that work? Or why is it now this way instead of the way it was before? It's weird and confusing and a bit contrived IMO. The writers are using the Mark as a catch all… writing it in any way they want to write it to suit the story without much attention to logic or continuity. Hopefully this will be cleared up a little bit in the near future. Dean can presumably be brought back to his more normal human self and be cured of the demon aspects of his soul, but he'll still have the mark and probably all of the problems that come with it. I wonder if he'll still be immortal once Sammy cures him? I hope not, immortality in a major character is a total tension killer.
# nightsky 2014-10-15 13:28
I have drafted my threads 10.02 article and HALF of it is trying to figure out this Mark vs. Blade, Demon vs. Not thing. Can Dean cure himself of ALL injuries? Cain couldn't die even by the blade so I'm guessing yes. Dean is choosing to be a demon? Why? Threads should be posted tomorrow (Alice's rview will be coming today) and I'm hoping together we get a working theory that makes sense!
# Passion 2014-10-15 11:39
I see people posting the question: what is it that Crowley wants? It's hard to say and the writers can go in a lot of interesting directions with this character. And a lot seems to ride on how human Crowley now is, which is hard to tell how much is act/manipulatio n and how much of Crowley's humanity is real at this point. Crowley seems to want some knid of change. he has commented more than once (in a "I'm so bored by it" way) how predictable everything has gotten. Maybe he really wants Dean with him to run hell (it would be a change for Crowley since Dean challenges him) but I love the idea that Crowley now wants to leave hell and run heaven, in which case Crowley may want Dean to run hell with him so Dean can be an "apprentice" King of Hell and can take Crowley's place when Crowley takes heaven.
# cheryl42 2014-10-15 12:08
That's funny because I was just thinking that Crowley turned Dean into a demon so he could have a buddy. I hope at some point Dean gets really pissed about that.
# E 2014-10-15 12:41
I can't imagine that this whole scheme of the MoC was simply about Crowley wanting a buddy. I just can't! That's too weak a storyline and doesn't make sense given what Crowley is and how long he's survived. Really, he's the only big bad still standing when Leviathan, Mother of All, Yellow Eyed Demon, Alistair, Lilith, Ruby, Zachariah, Uriel, Naomi, Raphael, Michael, Lucifer (have I forgotten anyone?) have all fallen in the face of the legendary Winchester tenacity. How has he and he alone managed to survive when all else have failed? 1) He has never underestimated the Winchesters; that's key. He's always on his guard against them and knows what they are capable of and 2) He's never allied himself with anyone. He doesn't trust anyone, he works alone always. I can't imagine that Crowley now suddenly wants a buddy so much that he would jeopardize everything he's done by allying himself with a Winchester and then having any real hope of that Winchester doing what he wants or being supportive. He had to have known that Dean wasn't going to follow protocol; he's never been this stupid before, so I am inclined to think he's not being stupid at all. He's just not that dumb, and I can't buy into the fact that his near demon cure has left him that vulnerable to making dumb decisions. I think he's up to something; something that needs a Winchester to make it happen; the next episode really looks like he's got some kind of plan in the works. Maybe he's making an end run for heaven; maybe he's trying to retake purgatory or maybe he even wants to control earth, but this thing with Dean HAS to be more than just a one sided demon romance.
# LEAH 2014-10-15 13:30
I agree E! Mark S. has even alluded to Crowley not being entirely forthright about his true motivations. So I suspect there will be more revealed as the season unfolds.
# cheryl42 2014-10-15 14:26
As I have found sarcasm isn't my strong suit. :( I have no idea what Crowley is up to but I do know it will serve Crowley. I do think that plan A failed and now (because he always has one) plan B is next.
# LEAH 2014-10-15 14:58
LOL Cheryl! On the contrary you are pretty good at it, sometimes it is a little hard to get that across on paper (you know what I mean) sometimes. Maybe we need an 'eyeroll' emoticon. :D
# cheryl42 2014-10-15 17:17
Isn't that what my soybean is doing? ;)