While Dean investigates a missing persons case in Texas, Sam works with Eileen and Castiel for information on Chuck.
On Supernatural Season 15 Episode 7, Dean takes some time away from the bunker to clear his head. A missing persons case causes him to reunite with an old hunting buddy. Meanwhile, Castiel attempts to assess Sam’s wound from the Equalizer, and must reach out for help when things go wrong.
Sam and Eileen
This episode started off strong with Dean researching cases in the bunker. As soon as he finds one, he runs off to tell Sam…only to find him cooking a full breakfast spread with Eileen. Some additional prying reveals that Sam and Eileen were up late drinking margaritas. After that, Dean quickly excuses himself to give them some “alone time.”
I have been a comfortable passenger on the S.S. Saileen since Eileen’s very first appearance in Supernatural Season 11 Episode 11 “Into the Mystic.” But now Dean’s taking the wheel, and I couldn’t be happier! We’re actually getting somewhere! Of course, right as we are about to get somewhere, things go off the rails. Just when Sam and Eileen are ready to take a “study break,” Castiel interrupts them by barging into the bunker. One of the only ways Castiel’s entrance could have made me scream in agony instead of excitement.
I’m ecstatic to see the writers pursuing Saileen, in part because I was so worried we’d lose Eileen after she was resurrected. At the close of last episode, I feared that Eileen would just disappear into the background, nothing more than a tally in the victory column of the Winchester’s story. There have been other secondary characters treated the same way. In my mind, I don’t need a reason for Eileen to stay around more than the fact that she’s a joy to watch. But the indication that there might be something more to her relationship with Sam makes me feel secure with the idea that she won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Of course, any deep exploration into Saileen is going to have to wait. There are bigger concerns on the horizon, like dealing with Chuck. But for the first time, I am letting myself hope that—just maybe—Supernatural might have a happy ending for Sam Winchester after all.
Dean and Lee
If you read my review from the last episode, you’ll know that I didn’t have high hopes for Supernatural Season 15 Episode 7. Mostly because it only showed Dean in a bar, having a good time, without any real plot. But going in with low expectations, the intricacy of this subplot really blew me away. The preview didn’t let us preview any of the drama, which left all the twists a complete surprise.
Dean finds his way down to Texas following up on the disappearance of a young woman. His investigation leads him to a bar, which he discovers is owned by one of his old hunting buddies, Lee. Their reunion is joyous and boyish, and allows for all kinds of backstories and references. Lee talks about going on hunts with Dean and John, back when Sam was at Stanford. They reminisce about their youth, and Dean tells him some hunting stories of his own—specifically fan-favorite Supernatural Season 4 Episode 6 “Yellow Fever.” The two men sing country music, beat up some brawlers, and overall have a great time.
But Dean and Lee’s talks also have a somber undertone. Lee is retired from hunting, and has been for almost fifteen years. He repeatedly tries to show Dean how a normal life, a life away from hunting, can be just as worthwhile. After all, if anyone deserves a break, it’s Dean Winchester.
The heartbreaking part is that we really see Dean consider his words. We’ve seen how much Dean wanted a civilian life a several episodes of Supernatural: “What Is and What Should Never Be,” “The Kids Are Alright,” and “Exile on Main St.” just to name a few. But his hunger for normality hasn’t been addressed as much since Ben and Lisa left in Season 7. Since then, Dean has mostly been on the “hunter for life” war path. This episode hinted that there might still be a part of him that wishes for that quiet life.
A Hard Lesson Learned
Of course, it is revealed the Lee had his own ulterior motives for swaying Dean away from hunting. He turns out to be the one kidnapping girls, feeding them to a creature called a Marid, which grants fortune and health so long as it is fed. When Dean refuses to drop the case, Lee attempts to feed him to the Marid as well. Talk about a brother-to-brother betrayal.
While Dean is tied up in his chair, Lee spins him another philosophical question. Dean himself has said that God’s not going to look out for the little guy. And if God doesn’t care, if the world doesn’t care, what does it matter who is good and who is bad? The world is broken, and all you can do is look out for yourself. Why should Dean care?
Dean, of course, escapes the clutches of the Marid. He decapitates it and goes on to face Lee one on one. Both men are incredible fighters, but Dean comes out on top. And after he stabs Lee through with a cue stick, he gives Lee his answer. Dean cares because someone has to.
I thought this whole subplot was incredible. There was just enough doubt in my mind about Lee’s bar that I felt very vindicated finding out he was the bad guy all along. And while Dean has considered getting out of the hunting game, he’s now learned a much more important lesson. God checking out does not mean that Dean gets to check out, because that’s not who he is. He can’t sit by anymore and wallow in how impossible the stakes are. He is going to fight for what’s right, because that’s what he’s always done.
I also thought that the whole conversation with Lee was a wonderful parallel to Dean’s conversation with Castiel in Supernatural Season 15 Episode 2. In that episode, Castiel tried to preach this very lesson. God might have been writing the story and calling the shots, but that doesn’t make any of it less real. At the end of the day, they are real, and that’s all that matters. Hopefully with Dean and Castiel back in the game, we can begin making some real progress.
An Inside Look at Chuck
While Dean is in Texas, Castiel comes to the bunker to take another look at Sam’s shoulder wound. The injury left behind by the Equalizer still hasn’t healed. Castiel reveals his theory that when Sam used the gun, it shot a piece of Sam’s soul. If that is true, there is now a bond between Sam and Chuck they might be able to investigate. Something the rest of us figured out several weeks ago.
Castiel warns Sam that probing the injury could be dangerous, no matter how great the payoff. But Sam takes the warnings in stride and, disregarding Eileen’s concern, tells Cas to proceed. Everything seems to be going fine until Sam is spontaneously thrown back against the wall, and is knocked completely unconscious. Castiel proceeds to make three calls. His call to Dean goes unanswered, as his cell phone was collected at the bar. His second call is to Sergei, a Shaman the boys briefly worked with in Season 14 to save Jack from dying. Castiel’s third call was to an unknown party, only revealed later in the episode.
Sergei arrives at the bunker under the premise of helping Sam. He reveals that Castiel’s attempt to assess Sam’s wound have stretched Sam’s soul beyond its limits, caught between both Sam and Chuck. Without assistance, he will die. Rather than provide this assistance, Sergei makes Sam’s condition worse, causing him to have visions of Chuck’s recent memories. He attempts to barter for the solution, asking for the Key of Death, which would give him access to Death’s library. But Castiel reveals that he’s out-conned him, by having Bobby track down Sergei’s niece as leverage.
All of this boils down to three truly important plot points. The first, that Castiel is truly back in the game and absolutely ruthless. He will stop at nothing if it means stopping Chuck and getting revenge for Jack’s death. Second, that Death and her library will certainly come back into play later in the season. And third, that the Winchesters finally know that Chuck is weak, and can begin plotting against him.
The final scene of the episode shows Sam, Dean, Eileen and Castiel all bound together. Sam tells them what he saw, and assures them that he truly believes they can beat God. The episode actually seems to end on a note of hope rather than hopelessness. But I’m not buying it. We still have a long way to go, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Chuck will power up before we can power him down.
I really had no idea what to expect this week. I was worried I’d get a filler about Dean avoiding his problems in a bar, and Sam waiting resentfully back at the bunker. Instead, what I got was gift after gift. Sam and Eileen still have chemistry, Castiel came home, and after a rough case, so did Dean. All that, and we still had time to listen to Jensen sing come country music.
Happy as this episode made me, I’m all the more nervous for next week. The preview shows that we may be taking the fight to Chuck soon, which can only end poorly on this side of the mid-season finale. But we also get the long awaited return of Adam, after a long, long decade of ignoring his character. In case anyone’s wondering about the math, that means he’s been alone in the Cage for approximately 1,200 years. Yay family!
Catch Supernatural next Thursday on the CW at 8/7c.