In this enjoyable episode, we have the Winchesters investigating the death of a magician who happened to die in the middle of the street from no apparent wounds, other than what looked like the be puncture holes, though without the presence of forced entry anywhere. Another young magician is then found dead, and what do both of these magicians have in common? Both had tarot cards of said death around the site of the crime, so the boys investigate Jay, an elderly magician who is their only suspect. However they learn that it isn't him, but someone else committing these murders by the force of real black magic so that Jay can become popular once again. The twists and turns come from the whodunit, magician-style.
Meanwhile the brothers contemplate their futures and whether they will live to see old age or die before that time; Dean is rather pessimistic and realistic, though Sam believes that they can make it, end everything that threatens their lives and everyone elses. Despite it all, Sam despites to take off with Ruby in her offer to take out Lilith once and for all, without telling Dean of his plans, knowing what the consequences for his choice would be.
Futuritisc Hopes and Dreams: What The Winchesters Face In This Life-long Battle
It's quite obvious this episode highlighted the issue that has been lingering around the boys since day one, the search for being normal in spite of living dangerously extraordinary lives. We were also given the parallel between Jay and Charlie, basically they were the older versions of Sam and Dean in the sense of being together like brothers and having spent most of their lives doing what they did best, however it being revealed of Charlie's immortality also connected what Sam's demonic powers were to Dean. Dangerous, if used incorrectly even for the right causes won't guarantee happily ever after.
They talk about the future in this episode, a rarity in itself because they've only focused on the moment and the short-term effects, never long-term. Though we do know that Sam has always been optimistic or tried to live his life and making his own future happen without the hunting, but inevitably his destiny doesn't lie in Harvard textbooks. Dean tends to go for the here and now, in the moment kinds of things, knowing all too well that doing anything other than that will risk the lives of many who are in danger. What's interesting about this episode is how those two different perspectives clash together as Sam visualizes a way to eliminate the main source to end all their problems. Evil will always be there no matter what, and like Dean said that big bad evil snake has many heads; chop off one there will be more, a continuous line of big snake heads to defeat, and sometimes they'll win and sometimes they'll lose. Sam thinks that Lilith is the main source of everything since she's the one opening all the Seals, and it would be nice to get to her...however there's a problem in his logic. It seems to me that Sam wants to end everything by offing Lilith, neverminding the fact that there are other demons and forces of evil out there.
Fact is, he survived Lilith once, but that doesn't mean she won't have a backup plan to take him out. And although he's practiced with his abilities he's not powerful or efficient in them yet, so going off with Ruby's offer in the end almost seems like there's no exit strategy other than taking it head-on.
Jay felt more depressed and devasted for killing his best friend, despite it being the right thing to do for the greater good. But in his mind it was a regrettable decision, because how can things be in the right when the only person who he trusted and loved and cared about is gone? He is alone in the world now, without anything and will die like that. This is the possible road for Sam and Dean, with the probability of Dean having to put his brother down if he crosses over that line to the point of no return. This is something Dean does not want to think about, and yet it has been scaring him for a long, long time and we're finally reaching the end of the line. Sam is nearly halfway to the point of reaching his full potential. What if he snaps? What if that gray area he's been treading on blurs too much to see the difference between right and wrong, even if he tries to justify and rationalize his actions?
It has always been foreshadowed about Sam possibly going Dark Side, and it has always been Dean's brotherly duty to keep him grounded, and that promise he made to do whatever necessary to stop Sam no matter what. Now both brothers are on opposite ends, battling their own personal demons and sometimes neither of them can help the other in that regard, it has to come from within. Though their separate pathways will lead to the same destination, and that is where I predict the brother versus brother confrontation will happen.
Apocalypse Now...Or At Least It Should Be
Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself here, but I would definitely like to see more action concerning the Apocalypse. I know, I enjoy these normal hunting episodes too and seeing the boys working together on cases just like old times again, though a part of me wishes they would start taking the threat of the end of the world more seriously as though the task of it were completely on their shoulders. Like Ruby said to Sam in this episode, they are continually uses hunts as a hiding device to avoid the bigger issue.
I realize that this is a battle between Heaven and Hell, and Dean and Sam are merely caught in that crossfire of that, however they are inevitably tied to this war whether they like it or not. Sam being in connection with his demon-blood and Dean in connection with the angels from being pulled from Hell, and having an ambiguous mission from God which has yet to be revealed. From the last we saw in "Heaven and Hell" there was a line drawn between the Winchesters and the side of the angels, at least from the perspective that of the boys, but that doesn't mean there isn't work that needs to be done. Yes, Castiel hasn't visited Dean it quite some time
This may seem like I'm complaining, though I'm not really. I know we'll be getting back to the mytharc in future episodes, and non-plot related episodes are bound to happen to evenly spread out all the epic shit that's about to go down. We were given the exact total of how many Seals have been broken in this ep too, as promised by Sera Gamble, and we've known the angels aren't winning the war because of their failure to protect those Seals -- which are sixty-six in like what, over six hundred Seals total? Yeah. This is why I do wish the boys were more active in this battle than bystanders. But I have a feeling we'll get there eventually, as it should because they are inevitably direct links in this war whether they like it or not.
Also, this episode was more dealing with Sam coming to that final decision in the end, going away with Ruby from her offer. What will he be doing if it's not what he had been doing before? That has yet to be found out, though as I'm suspecting it will be addressed in the upcoming episodes.
Memorable Moments of the Episode:
++ How much am I enjoying the titles for the episodes this season? Seriously.
++ Was it just me, or did the Metallicar never appear in this episode? It's a rarity to have Supernatural without the Impala unless it's for a good reason (like in the beginning of S2 when it had been totaled) She's like the third beloved main character, yo, an episode would be kinda less without her. Unless she was still recovering from being violated from the last episode or something. ;p
++ DEAN UNKNOWINGLY GOING TO THE BDSM CLUB WILL NEVER NOT BE LOLARIOUS. Though he seemed a little unfazed by it, which leads me to wondering....nah. Won't go there.
++ LOL the magicians knew immediately that Sam and Dean weren't who they said they were. I LOVED IT! Like Bobby once said, "don't try to con a con man" That is so true.
++ So, did we break the record of how many times we can say "douchebag" in SPN? I don't think it'll surpass the usage of "son of a bitch" though, which is Dean's favorite line to say. Haha.
++ Also, BUNNY!!!! WE CAN HAS BUNNY ON TEH SHOW, WITH IT'S CUTE TWITCHING NOSE AND CUTENESS! :D :D :D
++ The story between the older magicians was certainly heartfelt, nothing big bad about it other than Charlie's misdirection of having immortality. Poor Jay having to make that decision of offing his only best friend he's ever had, having his other friend never speak to him because of it, and being all alone and depressed afterwards even from doing what was the right thing to do. This is what it means to be heroic, sometimes the ends don't always justify the means, that sometimes the ending isn't always a victorious win. I have a feeling that is also foreshadowing the Winchester's for the end of the series.
++ Another foreshadowing, although a little blatant, was the parallels between Jay and Charlie to Sam and Dean; their brotherly kind of relationship clashing with their own moralities of the situation, and we know that if Dean makes the decision to kill off his brother if he turns dark will only destroy him, much like how it destroyed Jay in the end. :((((
++ I really enjoyed the twists and turns in this episode. It wasn't spellbinding or as creepy or monster-filled, but they did a nice job with editing and pacing and tricking us to thinking it's one, no it's the other, no it that one! The "whodunit" mystery of the SPN season. With magic, except stage magic, not witchcraft hoodoo stuff the Winchesters are used to dealing with.
++ Which yay, Sammy liked the magician tricks and acts! One can only wonder how John reacted to that little phase of his, though. Saying things like "that's not real magic, those are just fake and cons" or "why get caught up in that when you know the real deal is dangerous? Use your head boy."
++ Oh, how I miss Sammy floppy hair. I DON'T CARE IF YOU GO BACK TO EMO!STYLE, JUST BRING BACK TEH FLOPPINESS OF PUPPY HAIR PLZ!!!
++ Y'know, I did kind of not liked the fact that they watered down Ruby's character, and now with her persistent attitude from being timid and laidback from the beginning of the episode is kind of saying "hey, we're trying to spunk her up - see, look! Ruby's spunky again" and failing. I've said before that Gen's a decent actress and trying her hardest in this role but, my love for Ruby just isn't there. I dunno. I do know that there will be more about her involvement and role in this season, which I do want to see, but only if they stop trying to force the writing on the character.
++ No Castiel this episode, not even in the previouslies! I understand why, it was more focused on Sam and whatnot, but still. Lacking Castiel makes me sad. :((
Overall: Enjoyable episode, nothing hugely spectacular or epic or scary but still, I liked it. It balanced out a lot of what's been happening, with the shared screentime with both of the boys while focusing on Sam as they had with Dean in the previous one. There wasn't any overdone exposition, thankfully, and the storyline of the episode was good and we had the mixture of stage magic with real magic. I had always wondered how they would do something like that, even though I felt sorry for the guys. From the looks of the next episode we might not get Castiel, though I do know we'll be getting him soon and definitely will be playing that drinking game when he does. ;D
Wrote this quickly though with the intent of posting it now because, well, BSG is about to start up in about half an hour and I wanted to get this done and over with before I did my capslock post for the other. OMG Y'ALL THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN TWO EPIC SHOWS ARE ON BACK-TO-BACK DAYS! So, prepared to be spammed with awesomeness, oh yes.