Sam, proving his own legacy, quickly geeks out over Greek mythology, discovering that Shane is actually Prometheus, the proto-god who gifted humanity with fire and was doomed by Zeus to have his liver plucked out by an eagle every day for his sins. Sam and Dean hypothesize that if they kill Zeus, his curse will break for both him and his son.
Of course, it's never that easy if when the research, lore and weapons all fall into place in a matter of minutes. Hayley, who was desperate enough to believe all of it, stupidly thinks that Zeus is just a nice old man in a flashy suit, and breaks him out of the trap once he was summoned.
The resulting showdown between Sam, Dean, and Shane, and Zeus and Artemis is more of a disaster than it normally is, because they are fighting sinister gods with nasty powers. Zeus (John Novak) is as decadently evil as you think he’d be, with a butter rich voice and a perfectly pruned beard, he is a modernized version of the ancient king. “I could never have conceived such a horrible fate for such a beautiful child. We must all leave room for happy accidents,” he hisses. He’s apoplectic because of Prometheus’ actions are “the reason we’re not ruling the world, why they’ve forgotten all about us” and his pain is equal to that of “a thousand children dying in unison.” He tortures Prometheus with gleeful abandon and wicked bright blue lighting while Sam and Dean are pinned to a pole. While the Greek god certainly has more pizzazz and better fashion sense than demons, their powers aren’t much different. But that is a cage match I'd buy tickets for: Crowley v. Zeus.
Artemis, the goddess of hunting and Zeus’ daughter, leads Sam and Dean to their doom. That is, of course, until Sam starts with the reverse psychology and trash-talk, while is left hilarious confused and a little scared. He figured out from her wistful glances that Artemis had fallen in love with her father’s sworn enemy. Sam forces her to see that Zeus' hatred of Prometheus had made him more outrageously evil, and she goes back to kill her father and free both her lover and his son. Ever the god, Zeus uses Shane has a shield, and he takes her glowing, god-killing arrow right in the heart. Before he can die for the millionth and final time, he shoves the arrow through himself and into Zeus, killing them both, and saving his son. It seemed to be the one quest that gave him a purpose. It was a poignant touch that Prometheus' furneral was a traditional pyre, and that the gift he gave humanity would finally bring him peace.
One of the best decisions of this season was to give Sam and Dean a real home, and I love watching them settle into it. Dean relishes in the space and familiarity, and he even flashes some leg Angelina Jolie-style as he struts into the bathroom wearing boxers and a robe. Last week, Sam covertly and inexplicably coughed up blood. What once was a few drops is now a steady stream as he rinses his month and spits out crimson. He’s scared, and Dean immediately notices it, and calls him on it. But Sam is a Winchester, and doesn't say a word. Considering hunter doesn't come with dental, Sam may want to consider going to the dentist.
He later explains to Shane that his sacrifice, the one that had him tortured for millennia for humanity, was wroth it. It’s a small moment that shows just how dedicated he is the cause, and that a pesky little thing like random bleeding won’t discourage him from it. It's a forgone conclusion that it's going to get much worse. I didn't think Sam realized this until he subtly tried to prepare Dean, confessing that maybe he was naïve to think that he’d come out of the trials unscathed as it had never been that easy in the past. Dean doesn't do subtle and will see that his little brother gets to die of coronary shoveling snow at 76 like a normal American, if he has to will it into being.
In the privacy of his own room, Dean crumbles a little under the fear of losing his brother, and reaches out to the only other friend he has. Jensen Ackles, who was nothing short of hilarious earlier, offers up even more flawless, visceral work in the final scene that rendered a perfectly decent episode into a heart-splintering one. “I’m not one for praying, because in my book it’s the same as begging. But this is about Sam so I need you to hear me. We are going into this deal blind, and I don’t know what’s ahead or what it’s going to bring for Sam. Now he’s covering pretty good, but I know that he is hurting and this one was supposed to be on me. So for all that we’ve been through, I’m asking you, you keep a look out for my little brother, okay?” Castiel doesn’t materialize or even answer, and Dean asks the same thing the audience has been wondering for a few weeks: “Where the hell are you, man?”
"Remember The Titans" was as overwrought as a "Homer's Odyssey," and packed with more angst and dysfunction. The production gets slicker with every episode, the writing more deft and clever. From A to F, “The Born-Again Identity” to “Bugs,” the episode was a divine B+.
What did you think of this episode? Did you recognize "Melrose Place's" Brook Langton as Hayley? Were you worried that Shane wasn't actually dead when they lit him on fire? Did Dean's prayer break your heart? Hit up the comments section below.
“Supernatural” has been hitting it out of the park in 2013, and it deserves a little break. The show returns on March 20; Cas, Crowley and Meg do too. Check out the preview below.