Before I get into the plot or character stuff, I need to express how happy it made me see Christian Kane. I've been a fan for years; since I started watching his show Leverage, and I knew he and Jensen were friends, but it made me grin like a lune to see him on-screen on this wonderful show. It also thrilled me to hear his music being used on the show. The song that was used when Dean pulled into Swayze's and walked in was Christian's song, "The House Rules." He's a fabulous singer, as the episode so wonderfully showed, and his album is a favorite of mine. I hope he has more music coming out soon.
Now, onto the episode.
First of all, Dean being so adorably supportive of Sam and Eileen makes me stupidly happy. We've seen Dean be a lot of things when it comes to Sam and his relationships, but I think this might be the first time he was wholeheartedly invested in his brother's relationship with a woman. Despite the brash way he seemed to have handled it at the beginning of the episode, I think Dean likes Eileen and sees her and Sam as a nice couple. Watching Sam and Eileen go this episode was also a pleasure. We've seen Sam be a lot of things, but I don't think we've ever seen him in the stages of a relationship like this one. We've seen him with women, sure, but never with someone he was interested in, and who he could see himself in a relationship with. Jess was the exception, but we never really saw her with Sam. I am fully in support of Sam and Eileen being in a relationship, but I am also really interested in where they take Eileen. Because her death was so widely hated in the fandom, I'm intrigued to see how everything will be handled. Speaking of Sam, I'm pleased to see him so confident about his wound and about the connection he has with Chuck. I know that there is still over half the season left to go, and we've seen things go downhill when the Winchesters get confident, but I like the fact that Sam and Dean are seemingly one step ahead of Chuck, for now.
Alright, now on to Dean and Lee. I have so many thoughts. Let's start with the easier ones. I loved their relationship. I think it's really interesting to see Dean interact with people who he knew before the series began. We haven't seen a lot of it, but Lee provided an interesting insight into who Dean was while Sam was at Stanford. We know who Sam was through context and other information, but we don't have a lot to go on with Dean while Sam was away. Dean's interactions with Lee provide a nice insight into who Dean was then, while also maybe serving as a reminder of who that person was, and maybe not to go back there. I find it insanely interesting that they spent a not-insignificant amount of time in the episode discussing John. We haven't seen a lot of him, even if John was featured in the 300th episode. We've seen glimpses into who John was through Sam and Dean, but it was interesting to see the perspective Lee offered on John. He provided a more objective view of the whole situation, while also remaining sympathetic to Dean's feelings and point-of-view.
I loved watching the scene with the song. I think that it was an apt song choice with a chorus of, "Making their way, the only way they know how / That's just a little bit more than the law will allow..." It's telling that this was the song John supposedly used before a hunt. It also provided an excellent moment for us to see Dean relax a little and be out of the strict hunting mindset. We've seen it now and then, but so far, this season, we haven't seen Dean relax. Because of Chuck and everything with Jack and Cas, I think Dean hasn't felt able to calm down or relax. Standing on that stage with Lee gave Dean the moment he needed to just live in the moment. (I also loved the subtle reference to "Eye of the Tiger". Made me grin like a dork.)
On to the monster and Lee's betrayal. I was honestly shocked by this turn in the episode. I didn't see it coming at all, and I was genuinely surprised by the fact that they would turn Lee. But, later on in the episode when Dean and Lee were shooting it out and Lee said, "You don't, Dean? I am you. I'm just the you that woke up and saw that the world was broken." It didn't hit me until I was writing this piece, but Lee is serving as a warning to Dean. In the last few episodes, we've seen Dean questioning if anything he and Sam ever did was good and their own choice. Dean easily could become jaded and like Lee, think that he is owed something, or deserves something because of his struggle. But Dean's reply, "Then you fix it. You don't walk away. You fight for it," restores not only my faith in Dean as the audience but maybe Dean's faith in himself that something he does can make a change or a difference. Lee's entire appearance serves many purposes, but the biggest is the mirror that it presents Dean. It shows him who he could become if he stops fighting for the world and trying to make it better. While it was rough to go through, I think Dean needed it to begin seeing clearer about the situation he and Sam are in with Chuck. He just needs to take his advice and keep fighting for the world and himself. He knows he isn't owed anything. He knows that he has to fight for everything he has and he's going to continue to do so, even if it kills him. I'm proud of Dean for this maturity. It shows that he's not caught up in the angst so much anymore, and he's thinking clearer about everything that's going on in his life.
I nearly forgot about Cas! I liked his appearance in this episode. I think he is becoming more and more badass as time passes, which makes for not only some great character moments, but provides the character with some real chances for growth and mistakes. No one wants to see Cas make those mistakes, but I think that as he grows more and learns more, he needs to realize that each action he takes can have good and bad results. This time, the results turned out well for him, but next time, there is a chance that things might not go his way. I do love badass Cas, though. Seeing him throw down with Sergei in the hall of the Bunker was fabulous, and seeing him a step ahead through his contact with AU Bobby was a miracle and made me grin from ear to ear. Smart and competent Cas makes me happy.
So, I think that's all I've got for now. As usual, comments are always welcome, and my social channels are open for discussion. Next week is going to be something, I have a feeling.