Well, Supernatural, looks like you finally had an episode this season that I'm not crazy about!
Now that he's got the Winchesters on his payroll, Crowley isn't shy about sending them off to do his dirty work- this time, bagging the Werewolf Alpha. Dean isn't too crazy over his new job (and Sam couldn't really care less either way), but considering that doing a little messy work for the King of Hell means getting his brother's soul back (and his new boss can give Sam a little taste of Hellfire with a snap of his fingers), he doesn't have a lot of choices.
The two head off to Buffalo, New York, where a shady businessman was found with his heart torn out. Apparently with everything out of whack thanks to the apocalypse, Werewolves don't need to wait for a full moon to get their wolf on anymore.
Driving around with your soulless brother isn't as much fun as it sounds though, and Dean's having a little trouble adjusting to their new situation. Sam does his best to convince Dean that he's still the same person, "I am still me. Same melon, same memories- I still like the same music, still think about Suzie Eiser-can you blame me? Look, I know you don't trust me, and I can't take back what I did, but I'm going to prove to you- I'm still your brother." Dean may not be entirely believing, but it looks like he's at least going to try.
Once they reach Buffalo, they head to the latest crime scene- this time a dock worker found with his chest wide open, heart also missing. While Dean sleeps, Sam manages to find a connection between the victims and under the guise of federal officers, they head over to check it out; turns out that the businessman was the landlord of a couple, Amanda and Cal- whose brother happened to be the second victim.
Sam is sure that Cal must be the werewolf, the guy drinks until he blacks out almost nightly, it would explain why he doesn't remember doing anything to the victims. Dean's not so sure, and he wants to, you know-actually investigate before turning the guy over to a lifetime of demonic torment.
Later that night, Sam and Dean follow Cal on his rounds to the bars. The guy's out drinking with his friends until morning with no sign of wolfing out, so they take off to think of another suspect. After they've gone though, Cal finds the family dog, Lucky waiting by his car. He doesn't know where the dog came from, but he doesn't have too much time to dwell on it, because Lucky attacks and leaves Cal with his insides showing. once his owner is dead, Lucky shifts into a man and heads home, where he creepily watches Amanda sleeping. He shifts back into his dog form and hops into bed next to her, licking her face until she wakes up. Thiiis is getting a little creepy. Amanda, awake and not surprised that Cal isn't home from bar-hopping yet, heads to the bathroom, where creepy, creepy Lucky watches her shower. Oh yeah, I'm never trusting dogs again.
With Cal now dead, Sam and Dean reach the conclusion that he is not the werewolf (geniuses, these boys are), and that means that Amanda must be the one ripping everyone to shreds. Sam isn't sure that Dean's up for kidnapping a single mother and throwing her to a bunch of demons, but Dean promises that he can do it.
They head over to Amanda's, where they inform her of Cal's death and want her to come with them for questioning. Amanda's reluctant to go with them- her kid has the flu and she's apparently been up taking care of him for most of the night. Sam keeps pushing her to find someone to watch him, but Dean picks up on the obvious fact that if she was up with her son all night, she couldn't have been out tearing into the locals. Dean talks to her son, who confirms her story, and Dean is pretty much convinced that it must be someone else. Sam though, he's still pretty sure it was her. "She still had time to wolf out, Dean. The last werewolf was in bed-with me- and she wolfed out." Dean has some doubts about the entire case- things just aren't adding up. Sam suggests that Dean goes to check out the crime scene again while he watches Amanda. Dean's not entirely on board with that plan, but Sam convinces him that he can handle it without doing anything rash like killing her in her sleep or something.
Later that night, Dean's out at the crime scene and Sam is checking in on Amanda…from across the street in the playground (way to look like a complete creeper, Sammy). Everything seems to be boringly normal, until Sam witnesses Lucky shift into his human form. Sam hides in a random alley or a corner (it's not the greatest layout) as Lucky heads outside and and argues with a tall guy by the park. Sam, still in the alley-corner thing, takes gets his gun out and waits until he has a shot; once he's alone though, Lucky realizes he's not alone and takes off running. Sam follows behind, but Lucky gets an even bigger lead when he shifts back into dog form. As he's crossing the street, poor ol' Lucky gets hit by a van. Sam catches up in time to see the accident, but the van's driver immediately gets out and throws him in the van, rushing to the vet.
Dean, finished with the crime site, is back at the motel angstily contemplating calling Lisa when Sam calls him. Dean doesn't have any leads on the Werewolf, but Sam's got more than enough for the both of them. For starts, it's not a wolf at all- it's a Skinwalker. "They can change anywhere, anytime, they can infect you with a single bite- basically, a Werewolf cousin."
The next morning, they head down to the animal hospital where they manage to find Lucky. It's a good thing no-one came into the kennel area when they were there, because otherwise it might be difficult to explain why Dean's threatening an injured dog with a handgun full of silver bullets as Sam taunts him with a tennis ball. Dean gives Lucky the choice of doing things the easy way or the way that involves a silver choke-chain. Needless to say, Lucky walked himself out.
Now that they've got Lucky, they can start with the questioning. Lucky's tied to a chair with silver chains, and Sam's curious: just why is he playing pet to a family? "Is it a kinky thing?" Sam, I can't get over how hilarious you are without a soul! "Roll over Lucky- speak!" Thankfully, Dean stops Sam before he has the chance to carve himself a slice of puppy. He completely understand why Lucky has done the things he has. "Listen, you don't have to tell me why you're with that family- I get it. You killed every threat that came near them; you care about them, in your own wack-a-doodle way."
Lucky swears that he can't tell them anything, but Dean uses his love of the family against him- if he doesn't start talking, whoever he's working with is going to get them hurt. With that incentive, Lucky starts spilling the beans. He's one of about thirty Skinwalkers, they were all…recruited. Lucky was homeless when they found him, and they promised that with one bite, he'd be better than ever. All of the new retreats were told to find families and lay low until they got the signal. Once that came, they were to bite their families, turning their ranks of thirty into one hundred and fifty. Basically, they're a sleeper cell.
Sam is hoping that they can get hold of the Alpha through him, but his pack leader isn't the Alpha, there's a pack leader in every city. Sam, for whatever soulless reason, decides now is the perfect time to once again taunt Lucky with the tennis ball. Dean is not amused, but I'm laughing my head off- I don't even know how many times I can mention my love for soulless Sam; he's honestly the best thing ever.
Dean's in his super-serious mode, and he needs Lucky to help them. "Listen to me, what are you going to do to that family, really? You put your jaws around that little boy's throat- clamp down, listen to him cry for his mom? 'Cause I'm gonna guess that these are the only people who in your pathetic life have ever showed you a lick of kindness. So it's either that, or you can help us stop it." If there's one thing Dean's good at, it's the fear-inducing inspirational speech.
Sam brings up the good point that they're not going to be able to get close to the Skinwalkers easily if they can smell them, but Dean's got it covered- Sniper guns. Oh. Yes. They're going to take down the pack leader from afar. Sam isn't too sure Crowley's going to be thrilled about them killing one of the only people that can lead them to the Alpha. Dean can't believe that Sam cares more about getting his soul back than he does about saving almost two-hundred people from becoming monsters. Sam wasn't really putting himself before everyone else though- he truly doesn't know which is more important.
Dean's had enough- Sam may say that he's the same person, but Dean just wants him to stop pretending. "I mean, it's your gigantor body and maybe your brain, but it's not you."
Sam and Dean set up on a roof across from where the warehouse the Skinwalkers are meeting in. Sam's pretty sure that Lucky's going to double-cross them, but Dean trusts him to go through with it. "You mean because he loves that family?" Sam asks, completely child-like, Dean answers yes, and Sam thinks for a minute. "I'd double-cross us." Good to know, Sammy boy- that'll make Dean trust you. "Thanks Dexter, that's reassuring."
Fortunately, Sam doesn't have much more time to gab, because a van full of skinwalkers is pulling up down by Lucky. The pack leader and his cronies gets out, and with them is Lucky's family, who've apparently been kidnapped. Dean struggles to get a good shot of the leader, but Amanda is blocking him. Sam tells him to shoot anyway, but Dean's not wiling to risk her life. Dean never manages to get a good shot before all of the Skinwalkers are inside the warehouse, so that means that Team Winchester is on to it's unplanned Plan B.
Inside the warehouse, Amanda has no idea what they want from her- she's sure that whatever is happening has nothing to do with her, but of course, she's at the heart of everything. The murders that Lucky committed to keep her safe were unplanned and have caused a lot of trouble for the pack, and because of that. the leader wants him to turn his family right away. Luckily for Lucky, Sam chooses that exact moment to come storming in all Terminator-y and put a bullet in the pack-leader. He falls to the floor as Dean uses the sniper rifle to hit everything he can see. Lucky takes that time to grab the family and hide them in an empty office, but one of the other Skinwalkers sees him and cannot believe he's trying to protect his family. Lucky shifts into his dog form (much to Amanda's dismay), but the other Skinwalker has a better plan- he just shoots the dog. Lucky is injured, but not dead, and Dean manages to shoot the other Skinwalker before he finishes Lucky off.
The next we see of Lucky, he's cleaned up and in human form. He knocks on Amanda's door, and she's absolutely horrified to see him. Lucky apologizes to her and tries to explain why he did the things that he had. No-one else had ever been so nice to him before, and he just wanted to protect them. Amanda can't believe he even came back, and tells him to get away from the house and never come near them again. Lucky, heartbroken, shifts back into dog form and walks lonely into the middle of the street.
Sam and Dean are eating lunch in a park when Sam decides it's time to finally come clean to Dean; "I'm not your brother- I'm not Sam. All that blah blah blah about being the old me-crap. Like, Lisa and Ben, right? I've been acting like I care about them…but I don't- I couldn't care less. I don't care about them, I don't even really care about you." Robo-Sam doesn't really get that this is not the best talk ever, so he keeps on going, telling Dean about some of the horrible things he's done 'in the line of duty'. He knows that "maybe I should feel guilt, but I don't."
Dean's not taking this little talk too well, so Sam gets to the point. "I don't know if how I am is better or worse; it's different, you get the job done and nothing really hurts- it's not the worst thing. But I've been thinking; I was that other Sam for a long time, and it was- it was kinda harder. But there's also things about it that I remember, that I…let's just say, that I should probably go back to being him."
And that is a lane that Dean can get completely behind. "We do what we gotta do; and we get my brother back."
Honestly, it really wasn't the best episode they've done (I mean, it's no 'Bugs', but it's so…boring). I've really enjoyed the Alpha plot this season, but for some reason, in this episode, it felt very much like we'd been over this a thousand times already. Sam was really the saving grace of the episode for me, and I've once again got to say that Soulless Sam is the best Sam. He's funny and inappropriate and has just enough lack of instant and common sense to need Dean to set him right. It's fun watching the two of them trying to work out their problems, and it's absolutely enjoyable to watch Sam do what he thinks is best, especially (or maybe because) he's so morally wrong most of the time, even if his plans would be better for the case.
As of right now, I'm in the very strange place of almost wishing Sam would never get his should back, just because of the wonderful, wonderful things that happen when Soulless Sam is around. Obviously, that will most likely never happen, but I really can't remember the last time i enjoyed watching Sam as much as I have these last few episodes. I mean, with Dean angsting away all over the place and Cas busy with his Angel business, we've got to get our comic relief somewhere, right?