This week Dean was once again grounded in reality, and I was so happy to see it. He was back to doing what he does best: identify the monster, track it down, and kill it. Only when it came to his own personal monster, the demon who holds his contract, he just couldn't seem to make any headway. He didn't even find out her name until the last moments of the episode, and with the Colt long gone, he seems to be out of options. He's losing hope, but at least he hasn't lost sight of the difference between right and wrong. And cheating death by becoming an immortal monster is just wrong. When Sam urged Dean, "Just think about it," and Dean simply but emphatically answered, "No," I was relieved and happy and proud all at once. Dean Winchester, you are my hero.
This episode saw our boys fighting again, each convinced they knew the best way to save Dean from his deal. And this time they didn't just split the investigation, they split the country, each going his own way to pursue his own plan. Oh, boys, don't you know better by now?
Dean went in search of Bela, and the Colt. He visited a longtime acquaintance of Bobby's, a gruff, scary hunter of many years named Rufus, played by the awesome Steven Williams. In the drinking session that followed, before Rufus gave Dean the information he wanted, he painted a bleak picture of Dean's future, assuring him that one way or another, he was doomed. Man, Sera, you just never ease up, do you? *cries* In the end, however, Dean got what he came for. Rufus not only told him where he could find Bela, he gave him an entire file filled with the hidden details of her life.
Next Dean went to confront Bela, determined to get the Colt back, but it was too late for that. The gun was gone. I loved this scene. Dean was all barely contained fury, and Bela was all false bravado, and the whole thing was amazing from start to finish. Lauren Cohan did a great job in this episode, both here and in the final scene. And I swear I've never seen Dean hotter, what with his growl of a voice, his terse commands, the way he pushed Bela up against the wall and moved in close to demand the Colt, and especially the way he used his gun to communicate his deadly intent. When he shot at Bela, I was shocked and thrilled at the same time. It was immensely satisfying to see Dean feel no sympathy for her after all she's done to the boys, but I was actually afraid he was going to kill her in cold blood. And then, when he pointed his gun at her at arm's length and quietly said, "Don't move," I just died. Oh, yeah, I'm a Dean girl. :)
You could tell Sam was beginning to bow to the pressure in this episode. Our boys are both smart, seasoned hunters, never easily fooled, but put one of them in true danger, and the other one's common sense just flies out the window, doesn't it? Sam hit on a crazy, misguided plan to save Dean, and in his desperation tried to hide it from is brother, knowing as he did that Dean would never go for it. The moment Dean found out (Sam is a really bad liar) was also the moment the fighting started. But this time Sam wasn't backing down.
Dean is still every inch the older brother, but as Sam grows older and experiences more, and especially since the events of Mystery Spot, he just isn't going to do as he's told anymore, and the difference is unmistakable. In the exorcism scene, Sam saw only the demon before him, not the innocent victim he inhabited. Indeed, he now seems to accept the death of the possessed as inevitable collateral damage. He showed no hesitancy or fear during the ritual itself, and even wore a look of grim satisfaction. And did he have that Latin down or what? Guh. I guess all those months of hunting alone left their mark.
So Sam refused to go, and Dean refused to stay. Both boys looked like they might cry (oh, Jared, you break my heart every single time), but they split up nonetheless. And while Dean went to find Bela, Sam went to find a 150-year-old doctor with a secret formula for immortality. Alone. Oh, Sammy.
I'm not going to dwell on the Doc Benton parts of the episode. They were too horrifying for me to relive here. And on top of all those gruesome sights and sounds, the Doc was played by Billy Drago, an actor whose face has haunted my nightmares ever since I once saw him on The X-Files, in an episode directed by none other than Kim Manners, and co-written by John Shiban, called Theef. He played this super creepy hillbilly who used some weird mountain voodoo to kill people. He freaked me the hell out, I tell you. As he did here as well. What I want to know is, what's the point of having immortality if you're going to walk around with a patchwork face and have to hide out in the woods all the time? Unless, of course, you can hang out on the internet. Do you suppose the Doc was on LJ? :)
Okay, I'll give you the condensed version of me watching the Doc Benton parts in this episode: Look out! Blood! Gross! Screaming!... Run away! Oh, no! Maggots! What?! NONONO! Screaming! Heart!! AIEEEE!... Sammy? Oh, no. Dead guy. Dead girl? OMG! Blood! Maggots! *gags* She's alive! Shhh! HE'S COMING! Get out, get out!... Oh, no! Screaming! Go, go, go! Neck! Ewww!... SAMMY?! Hurry, Dean! Oh, no! Not the eyes! Is that a melon baller?! *cries* Don't touch Sammy! MELON BALLER!! NONONONONO!! *sobs* Where is Dean? BANG! BANG! BANG! OMGOMGOMG. *collapses* I'm sending Sera Gamble my therapy bills, I swear to God.
So, Dean came back empty-handed, but just in time to save Sammy, and to make him understand why Doc Benton's brand of immortality can never be the answer. As worried as I am about Dean, at least I know he's not going to do anything stupid or crazy now. But it looks pretty bad for Dean, and I'm scared. Don't kill him, Kripke! I'm getting that panicky feeling in my chest, and OMG, it's just a television show! What is the matter with me?
The final scene of the episode was inspired. We learned Bela's final secret, that she had a demon deal of her own, a deal that was coming due at midnight that night. And even though we now knew she was abused as a child, and then manipulated by a demon, it was hard to summon up any sympathy for her, especially after watching her pump two bullets each into beds she thought held the boys. Besides, as Dean said, it was far too late. And here's the good part. As Bela disintegrated into fear and despair, we couldn't help but think of Dean, destined to share the same fate, perhaps as soon as the very next episode. And Bela betrayed every emotion that Dean has so far held inside, breaking our hearts not because we care about her, but because we care about him. It was torture by proxy, and it was beyond effective. Oh, Dean.
Random thoughts: I loved how their undercover interviews were a bit bumpy this week. "Please go away." hee! The set design was again phenomenal. There were so many perfect little details! Is Bela really gone? I mean, we didn't actually see her die, so I'm not sure what to think. Oh, and I got so wrapped up in the angst I forgot to mention that both boys looked gorgeous this week. Just avoid the scenes with maggots and melon ballers. :)
One more episode, guys. Every time I think about what might happen to Dean, my heart starts to race and I can't breathe. I have faith that the final episode will be good, but I have no such faith that there will be a happy ending. And I'm also pretty sure it's going to make me cry buckets before it's over. Can I save you a seat?
Not much to say, huh? *facepalm*