This episode of Supernatural had Sam and Dean take the backseat to the main storyline: a flashback to Henry Winchester’s early Men of Letters days. This is not the first flashback to the Men of Letters, but it is certainly the longest departure from Sam and Dean in some time. Strangely, taking a break from the two main characters of the series…worked.
The episode was bookended and sometimes broken up by Sam talking with an elderly woman named Julia. She recounted events from her past when she was in the local convent and she witnessed some demons infiltrating and stealing souls.
The flashbacks to the Men of Letters could get tiresome, but I was quickly wrapped up in Henry and Josie’s story. Their characters were interesting, showing the insecurities they have before committing to the cause. I also liked that Josie was the rare woman in the MOL, but of course that was fated to end badly, being as this character is played by Alaina Huffman aka Abaddon.
We should also expect that the numerous flashbacks to the olden days will lead up to…something. Perhaps it truly is meant only to show Abaddon: Origins. My thought is the Men of Letters will come more into play for the last episodes of the season.
In Dean’s minor arc during this episode (he and Sam get limited screentime, as I mentioned), he’s busy working through the emotional repercussions of wielding and killing with the First Blade. We see him sulking. We see him giving Sam attitude. We see him drinking. And Crowley is the one to knock some sense into him. Crowley jokes that he’s the mistress of this relationship, since he can’t take any situation seriously, and in a roundabout way he convinces Dean to get back into the game. Crowley even makes use of a fake hunter about to attack Crowley to show where Dean’s loyalties lie. Dean still plans on ganking Crowley as soon as this Abaddon business is done, but for the time being a shaky partnership must remain with the King of Hell.
An almost unnoticed moment passes in which Dean calls Crowley out for remaining a junkie. Crowley is still juicing up on human blood. This plotline was introduced in the last episode, and felt like it had been abandoned halfway through. With this small moment here, we’re shown that there’s a bigger arc happening with Crowley’s addiction. This addiction, the MOL, the hunt with Abaddon will all likely come together in a big way by the season finale.
Alaina Huffman proved she could smoothly transition between Josie’s character and Abaddon. And I loved that Sam has learned from the multiple times that demons have choked him. His recording of the exorcism on his cell phone was genius. Slow claps all around.
It was a good episode, and as Mischa Collins directorial debut, proved quite successful.