This review contains spoilers.
6.7 Family Matters
Following directly from last week’s episode, this week Sam awakes tied to a chair and is questioned by Dean and Castiel. Castiel examines Sam and discovers he has no soul and is incapable of feeling any emotion. Dean reluctantly agrees to work with Sam to help him get his soul back and they head off to the one lead they have, the brother’s grandfather, Samuel.
At Samuel’s hideout, Castiel establishes that Samuel is who he says he is and has a soul. With no further leads, Castiel leaves.
Samuel is preparing to go after the alpha vampire. Dean and Sam convince Samuel to allow them to help. On the hunt, Dean is left guarding the perimeter with Gwen, one of the Campbell cousins, while Sam accompanies Samuel and company to raid the house where the alpha is.
Dean leaves Gwen and heads to the house where he sees Sam aiding the capture of the alpha. Before he’s noticed, Dean returns to Gwen. On meeting Samuel, Dean questions him about the hunt and Samuel tells him that the alpha is dead.
Later, Dean asks Sam about the hunt and confronts him about truth. Sam confirms what he knows and tells him that Samuel has been interrogating and torturing monsters for information, but doesn’t know the information Samuel is after.
Dean and Sam track Samuel to a warehouse and sneak in. They see him torturing the alpha vampire. Samuel leaves the room and they talk to the alpha who tells them what Samuel is after: the location of Purgatory, where the ‘freaks’ go when they die.
Samuel returns and escorts Sam and Dean from the room. While they are arguing outside the alpha escapes. Whilst they are trying to hunt the alpha, he kills Christian and has Sam at his mercy. Christian is revealed to be a demon and attacks the alpha, incapacitating him and then vanishes with the alpha.
The demon Crowley appears and reveals that it’s him that Samuel has been working for. Since Lucifer has been returned to the cage he has become King of Hell. He brought Sam and Samuel back to use them to find Purgatory and he has the power to return Sam’s soul.
Sam and Dean reluctantly agree to carry on working for Crowley until they can find a better alternative, preferably one that involves Crowley’s demise in a very painful way.
The big plan first. The explanation of trying to find the location of Purgatory poses an intriguing prospect. In simple terms, it is quite easy to understand that if you’re good you go to Heaven and if you’re evil you go to Hell. To bring Purgatory into the mix strikes me as a bit odd. Souls end up in Purgatory when it is unclear if they should be in Heaven or Hell, and the soul can be purified so that it can enter Heaven.
The alpha makes reference to Dante, who was a 13th century poet whose work, The Divine Comedy deals with his travels through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. In Dante’s version, Purgatory is made up of levels to climb to reach Paradise. Now, even before you consider whether or not vampires are evil, the idea of them being able to ascend to Heaven doesn’t seem right and I really hope there is a better explanation of Supernatural‘s version of Purgatory to come.
Crowley’s plan to expand into Purgatory does make him seem like an evil property developer, but the idea that you can access Heaven through Purgatory does make me wonder if it will all tie in with Castiel’s civil war and whether he is trying to take over the whole afterlife.
And so, we get the answer to the million dollar question. Sam. He’s not evil and he’s not possessed, he just doesn’t have a soul. I like the idea. Had it been him simply being evil, to a certain extent the series would have been treading old ground. Now we have the quest to get his soul back whilst giving the character some interesting traits.
However, the idea of him not having emotions is a bit annoying. Not the lack of emotions itself, but once the writers establish that Sam has no emotions, you can’t have him expressing surprise or being indignant later in the same episode.
Overall, I’m happy with the resolution of Sam’s resurrection and Samuel’s deal with Crowley. It feels like the series is very much carrying on from season five, and while this season doesn’t feel like it has the weight that season five had, it is still well worth watching.
Read our review of episode 6, You Can’t Handle The Truth, here.
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