If last week’s episode of “Supernatural” ripped your heart out, this week’s installment fused it back together with badassery, a bit of heart and a few artful liberties with the world’s oldest sibling rivalry.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
While Sam tries to avenge Kevin with the “harmless” dregs of grace the sloppy “psycho angel” Gadreel left inside him, Dean opts for good, old-fashioned revenge. Of course, Crowley arrives to harsh his buzz and possibly rescue his loins. "This bar is a bust. That waitress is trouble with a capital VD, and your prey, Gadreel, has left the building. It’s time to move on to more pressing matters like killing Abbadon.”
Once thought of as unkillable, Crowley admits that The First Blade is capable of smiting Queen Abaddon. Smitty, Abaddon’s protégé, was his last lead to the weapon, but he was later killed by John Winchester. Crowley wants to team up to find the blade and kill Abaddon together. "I do love a good buddy comedy,” he grins.
Dean is drunk and self-destructive enough to agree. ("Your problem is that nobody hates you more than you do. Believe me, I've tried," Crowley explains to Dean) A trip to one of John’s storage units reveals that the John had indeed killed the demon who mentioned the blade. The file was unfinished, so they tracked the hunter who worked with case with John—a hot, mature woman named Tara. If Helen Mirren had a baby with Jillian Michaels, it would be Tara. Her knee even aches when a demon is in her presence. When Dean struts into her store and announces he’s a Winchester, she remarks “Well you grew up pretty,” I know I’m going to like her, and that she’s not long for this world. Extraneous hunters come in two categories on “Supernatural”: Batcrap Crazy or Marked For Death. She balks at the idea of a hunter working with the CEO of Hades, but with her incomplete tracking spell and Crowley’s extra Essence of Kraken, our demented duo heads to an idyllic farmhouse in Missouri that’s buzzing with bees. Its owner is a man with bright blue eyes, a bewitching beard and an ability to make Crowley, reigning King of Hell, cower in his boots. It’s Cain aka “The Father of Murder.” Um, gulp!
Here’s very its gets very dark and twisty and awesome, and it’s all developed in fits and starts so suspenseful that nearly give me palpitations. Cain’s story is the type of fairytale I dig: Once upon a time, Cain (“Psych’s” Timothy Omundson) was just a big brother who saw his little brother being seduced by Lucifer’s serpentine charisma, so he made a deal with the devil: Abel would be marked for heaven and Cain would take his place as Lucifer’s pet. Sound familiar? Lucifer would only agree if Cain did the deed. Cain killed his brother with the jawbone of an animal, creating The First Blade. He also became the Knight of Hell, and forged more knights in his image, including Abaddon. Then he met Colette, who forgave and loved him. When he started his “demonic AARP,” his former knights kidnapped his wife. It was Abaddon who possessed her, broke her from the inside out and let Cain finished the job with cursed first blade.
Cain finds a kindred spirit in the Winchester who’s at his darkest moment (which for Jensen Ackles, means the a dashing amount of stubble and an intensely brooding stare that's ridiculously hot). Cain tests Dean’s famed reputation by letting in a gaggle of approaching demons, and shucks corn while Dean dispatches all five of them with a brutal violence he hasn’t unleashed since Purgatory. It would be “Bornesque” if Dean had a rolled up magazine. But it is one of the best fight scenes of the series, even challenging the brotherly smackdown in season 1’s “Skin.” All of the players are amazing tonight, but Jensen Ackles owns this episode.
Dean proved himself to be a merciless killer, so Cain transfers "the blood mark of Cain" to Dean. The mark is tied to the blade’s power, but it's also a great burden. “You had me at ‘kill the bitch’,” Dean grumbles, not bothering to read the fine print.
Not only is our Dean marked by Castiel who raised him from perdition, he’s now been branded by The Morning Star himself. The symmetry is so breathtaking, it nearly brings me to tears.