The second episode of the season delved into more familial connections, from the Winchesters getting a taste of normalcy to the relationship of convenience between Rowena and Crowley. There’s also a side plot where Lucifer gets all up in Rick Springfield’s grill. It’s a really solid episode that picks up where the premiere left off.
After a very…intimate form of psychological warfare, we see that Sam is still in the clutches of the dashingly sinister British Men of Letters. Later, when Dean tries a botched rescue attempt, he’s also interrogated in creative ways. Questions arise bringing up things from their past, including Ruby and the vampire Benny.
Dang, they know everything. How? Even if they were savvy about Chuck’s books – which they probably are, they know a lot of obscure facts – I don’t understand how the British Men of Letters know as much as they do. They must have been spying on the Winchesters forever. If that were the case, though, you’d hope none of them would have treated the Winchesters like the bad guys. Saving people, hunting things…it’s what they do!
Rowena makes a reappearance starting this episode. She yearns for the simpler things in life. Like scamming a rich schmuck into giving her a rather comfortable normal life. Crowley arrives to put her back into service.
Y’know, if you think about it, this episode has a lot to do with mothers and sons. There’s a huge difference between the grudging familial relations with Rowena and her son, and Mary Winchester who graciously steps forward in time and acts like the world’s best mom.
Rick Springfield makes a guest appearance in this episode, being haunted by none other than the devil himself. When things start getting weird, he naturally starts calling the front desk. Y’know where you get room service. Typical star. But his scenes were really good, from the general creepiness of his haunting and eventual possession, to the command of this new actor portraying Lucifer as he faces down Crowley. I like him and I hope he stays for a while.
Mary has another great badass moment, proving her worth as a hunter yet again. She kicks Sam’s captor’s ass thoroughly, then orders her to the ground. She then insists “THAT’S the ground” when her orders aren’t followed through fast enough. More of this please. Mary is such a highlight in this season.
Mary, however, was not a Mary Sue – which is important to note as we see a little more of her character in this episode. She’s capable and determined, but also vulnerable as she flips through John’s journal and gets emotional. One moment she’s puzzling over technology since the electric typewriter, next she’s kicking ass and taking names, then she’s being the Mom that Sam and Dean have waited so long to get to know. “Do you still like pie?” she asks Dean. Oh mamma, I didn’t think you’d ever ask.
There’s also several moments that really tug on the heartstrings. Dean gets the chance to tell his mother how her death changed their father and started them on their path. The hardest part for Mary to accept seems to be the inevitability of her boys ending up as hunters when she tried so hard to get out of the life.
There was not a lot of Castiel in this episode, but when he did show, he had some great humorous but attitude-laced dialogue. That seems to be his thing, this season – a big chip on his shoulder that translates into a bit of a grumpier Cass. “I don’t sweat under any circumstances.” Smooth Cass. Real smooth.
The espionage angle with the British Men of Letters is interesting, but I need to see more of where it’s going before it feels like it fits with the side story of Lucifer getting a new vessel. Supernatural isn’t much for globe-hopping, James Bond action – although we did have a moment once when Dean proudly declared himself Batman after a rabbits foot-induced lucky shot.