'Supernatural' 7.22 Recap: The Winchesters And The Bloody Horcruxes
I’ve always admired the old adage, “Don’t work hard; work smart.” While I’m assuming the crew and cast toil their hot little asses off, the writers have always worked smart. This week’s installment of “Supernatural” is proof. as it brilliantly connects the bizarre dots scattered throughout the season and still manages to poke fun at both Americans who love mass-produced junk food and the heated political climate.
“There Will Be Blood” begins with a “Dateline”-esque segment about Dick Roman's purchase of Sucracorp, the largest manufacturer of high fructose corn syrup, aka the ingredient even the vegans can’t escape. Dick Roman (James Patrick Stuart) isn’t remotely camera shy and continues his snarling, sinister double-speak, oozing out doozies like, “It’s why we are diving whole hog into what keeps Americans living longer and tasting better.” As “Supernatural” villains go, he’s right up there will Azazel.
I am delighted to see the Kevin Tran, played by Osric Chau, is still alive. After the interview, Dick presents Kevin with the God Rock, a recommendation letter to Princeton, and his gagged mother held at knifepoint as motivation to translate the obscure writing. It works. Kevin, who hails from Advanced Placement, is not a stupid kid and he’s actually pretty brave. Being the protector of God’s word, he knows that this is the key to defeat the Leviathan, so I’d bet the Impala that he purposely messed up the translation. Even though Kevin and his mother will be released unharmed, they’re one Twinkie away from becoming part of the mindless herd.
Back at Rufus’ cabin, Dean and Sam work through the confounding language of the Kevin’s translation like a freshman does "Romeo and Juliet." “Cut off the head and the body will flounder,” Dean recites with a frown. The brothers guess that if they kill Dick Roman, the rest of the Leviathans will die. Sam is parked at the computer, his Wolverine-inspired sideburns glittering its light as he searches for loopholes and any red flags in the text. He learned from killing Lilith in "Lucifer Rising" that what's not said is just as important as what is. Dean wisely points out that it’s the word from God, so they could probably trust the source.
If Dean is antsy to start collecting the blood of the fallen like Harry Potter did horcruxes, Bobby’s ghost is vibrating with anticipation. He has also soused out the spell. Leviathan can be slain by a “bone washed in the three bloods of the fallen.” The first is the blood of a fallen angel, which they already have. The second blood is “father of the fallen beasts” or an alpha. Unfortunately, all of the alphas were smote by Castiel last season. Finally, they need “the blood from the ruler of fallen humanity,” which is Crowley. Sam and Dean summon Crowley (Mark Sheppard). His dark sarcasm has been greatly missed. He succinctly tells the Winchesters that he won’t volunteer his blood until they have the others because of the “sheer number of nefarious spells my enemies can use that blood for.” He is also the reluctant bearer of good news: the Alpha Vamp escaped before Castiel nuked his monster prison. He leaves in a flash, burning the location onto the table. He sure knows how to make an exit.
On their way to Hoople, North Dakota in a ’69 Roadrunner that Sam can't possibly fit in, they abandon the flask and duck inside the talk about Bobby’s increasing strength and rage. “The stronger he gets, the closer he gets to going full vengeful spirit.” The boys have the unsavory task of trying to figure out what to do with him before that happens, because once he goes vengeful, he'll be nothing but “pure hatred” who could kill people, possess someone to do his bidding or take down buildings. Because throwing a house on Dick Roman is a bad thing.
Dean, who happily drops disgusting, over-processed crap in his basket, still can’t deal with the idea of setting his spirit free. His love for Bobby is blinding him to what two decades of hunting and centuries of lore dictates: ghosts aren’t friendly and killing them is the right thing to do. While I agree with Sammy, I can see the benefit of having a supercharged spirit gunning for the same human-eating monster they are. As “The Girl With The Dungeons And Dragons Tattoo” proved, Bobby could subdue Roman long enough for Sam and Dean to stab him. I understand that if Bobby hulks out, it would be like trying to contain a nuclear blast with a coffee filter.
The debate is interrupted by the older patrons of the gas station, who all seem more stoned than Ke$ha on a Saturday night. The tainted corn syrup is already taking effect, meaning Dean can't eat his "road food." They leave with Sam’s preferred fare: fresh produce and bottled water. “I can’t live on rabbit food; I’m a warrior!” Dean whines, two seconds away from a tantrum. Dick Roman has stripped him of his surrogate father, his beloved car, the only home he’s never known and now his comfort food—pie. Now, it's personal.
Sam and Dean discover that having a ghost riding shotgun does come with perks as Bobby inspects the Alpha's estate, using his ghostly invisibility cloak. The house is clear, but this being “Supernatural,” there’s something spooky inside: three dead vamps tenderly laid out on a table, their mouths agape, crusty and burnt. It’s not the grossest picture “Supernatural” has painted (that goes the couple who literally ate each other during coitus in season 5’s “My Bloody Valentine”) but it’s pretty creepy. Sam quickly realizes that the room is too small. Bobby flickers behind the wall as Sam finds a button hidden behind faux book, “How To Serve Man.” The wall swings forward to reveal a Pepto Bismol pink room with bed doused in flowery linens and teddy bears. There’s an alarmingly pale young woman inside, clad in the nightgowns I stopped wearing when I was nine. She skitters away from Sam and Dean, who whisk their machetes away and try to gain her trust.
A few minutes later, Emily is wrapped in Dean’s new leather jacket (finally!) and drinking tea. She reveals that she was taken prisoner when she was eight and fed intravenously, making her a source of untainted “virgin” blood for the Alpha Vamp. She also explains that the three vampires died from drinking the blood of a few easy, unresisting kills. That’s right, the additive not only turns humans into doped-up lemmings, it poisons monsters. Emily, also volunteers that the Alpha Vamp has a “retreat” that he goes to when things get hairy. She doesn’t know how to get there, but she thinks she can point them in the right direction. As they leave, my spidey sense tingles. Sam and Dean are bred heroes and are often snowed by sob stories from pretty faces. Emily is far too calm for someone who’s endured 12 years of imprisonment, and as she guides them to the Alpha’s hideout, her memory of landmarks and distances is a little too vivid. I don’t trust her, and I’m irritated that Sam and Dean do. They find the house conveniently located a few miles away from of Missoula, Montana’s only monastery. They scope out the massive, old manor and drop Emily off at a hotel. She watches television, asking what a Kardashian is. “Just another bloodsucker,” Dean correctly answers.
The boys decide to leave Bobby’s flask in the wall safe, and head to Vampire Manor armed with tainted blood from a Leviathan. The scene of Dean saying, “It’s friggin’ Woodstock. Everyone’s hopped up on the brown acid. We don’t need the song and dance,” and ordering some poor blitzed schlub (who’s wearing a Plucky Pennywhistle shirt) to hold out his arm so they can take his tainted blood is one of my favorites. A cop car ambles by blasting War’s “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” and the sirens while stuffing his face. It's a colorful way of showing how fast Roman's poison is spreading.
It feels like Season 2 again when Sammy wonders if it’s a bad idea to blast into Alpha Manor with machetes blazing. The last time they tangled with him, they had a dozen hunters and barely made it out alive. They head in, and are predictably ambushed, thanks to Emily’s Oscar-winning performance of Traumatized Victim No. 2. Vampire goons haul them into the ornately decorated dining room, complete with lit candles and intricately carved high-backed chairs. Alpha Vamp is played to skin-crawling perfection by Rick Worthy. He’s dressed in a fabulous suit and has disgustingly long talon-like nails. Slap a coat of glitter polish on them, and they’d be just like the manicures most celebutantes are rocking these days. Sam wants to talk to The Alpha, but he’s still holding a grudge. “You captured me, tortured me, sold me to the king of hell,” The Alpha recaps. “That was more our grandpa,” Dean sasses. A thug smashes Dean’s pretty, pretty face into the table. No one can sell a bludgeoning like Jensen Ackles but I didn’t know whether to laugh or wince. I settled on both and watch it six more times. I didn’t feel guilty because Dean swipes the blood from his mouth, and snarks, “That was awesome.” This smart ass will never learn.
The Alpha is disturbingly nonchalant as if even his own rage is monotonous. He almost sings, “I’m going to peel off your faces and drink you slowly.” Sammy, having served centuries in the devil’s romper room, is all “been there, done that” and gets to business. “They’re poisoning the food supply. There’s pesticide in the formula. We can stop all of it.” The Alpha assures Sam that he and Dick have already broken Fred and made peace. Sam assures him that he’s been double-crossed. “So now you want to prevent the extermination of the vampire race?” The Alpha wonders. Um, awkward. “You do not live through centuries of fire and ice and continental divide by jumping to conclusions,” The Alpha advises. He dumps a protesting Sam and Dean into the study and decides to get answers of his own as his other “virgin,” a little boy named Allan announces Edgar’s arrival.
Dean surmises, The Alpha has a false sense of security, “You got the oldest monster on earth thinking he can hold his own because he always has.” “He’s going to get torn apart,” Sam says as he finds an IV needle from a blood bag to pick the lock and Dean whips out another syringe of Vamptonite that he’d stashed in his boot.
The meeting between “Pac-Man and True Blood,” as Dean so colorfully calls it, makes me wish the Leviathan exhibited such badassery earlier in the season. The two exchange pleasantries but it dissolves into a snarling monstrous bitch-fest a matter of a minute. “You are aware that your little additive has side effects, right? My children are in a panic.” “We want you to burn like the little roaches you are. Our additive kills anything with a taste for human. Mankind’s a limited resource after all.” Edgar's tone suggests a “GOTCHA!” giddiness at their own ingenious. The Alpha shoves Edgar (Benito Martinez) who launches back with power that horrifies him. He swipes the wine bucket, splashing it in Edgar’s face. Mama Eve didn’t raise no fool, and The Alpha made sure he had a weapon with quick access. The borax sears and burns Edgar’s face, but he recovers too quickly, unleashing his shark-like teeth, prepared to devour every drop of The Alpha. Dean attacks with his purloined knife, knowing it’s futile, but creating a diversion so Sam can hack Edgar’s head off from behind.
With The Alpha temporarily neutralized, Dean’s ready to juice him by force. The Alpha’s hurls Dean across the room like a rag doll, and he offers his blood up in a gold-rimmed chalice no less. Sam refuses to leave without Allan, the enslaved little boy. Trapped, The Alpha reluctantly agrees. They exit without trying to gank him, because they understand the principles of war: the enemy of your enemy is your ally. “See you next season,” The Alpha smirks, obliterating the fourth wall.
With the Winchesters gone, Bobby only grows infuriated as he watches the piece on Dick Roman from the opener. His rage breaks mirrors, fans the flames in the fireplace and bang open drawers. An inquisitive maid enters the room to investigate. Bobby wastes no time in jumping into her. Wearing the maid like a prom dress, he cracks the code to the safe—it was his birthday—takes the flask and goes rogue.
Sam and Dean return to a deserted room and flask-free safe. "How could he do this? We have a half the weapon,” Dean sighs. His EMF trail is fading, so they have no choice but to surge ahead without Bobby. I hate to be insensitive, who cares? The ugly truth is Bobby’s already dead and nothing worse can happen to him. If he does manage to subdue Dick Roman, the damage could be immense, but it could also save millions of lives, including Sam and Dean’s. I couldn’t fear it if Bobby turned vengeful, but the world is at stake and the Winchesters need to focus. Dean’s glowers and decides to jinx the entire mission by uttering, “Good thing we got Crowley in our corner, it all comes down to him. What could possibly go wrong?” But it’s with a cynicism that suggests he’s waiting another blow of misfortune.
Cue Dick Roman summoning Crowley, who has yet to donate his blood to the cause, and binding him with a devil's trap projected on the ceiling. Dick smiles ominously, “We have so much to talk about.” Crap.
This episode was the methodical, perfect pitch for what could be a home run of a finale that I’m not at all emotionally prepared for. I am, however, stoked that the Impala will be back and Sam and Dean will finally bring the fight to Dick.
What did you think of the episode? Did you want to see Sam and Dean blow up Sucracorp as much as I did? Do you blame Bobby for possessing that poor maid? Hit up the comments section.
Here it is, folks, the last promo of the season: