Back at the house, Sam and Dean drop their covers and tell the family the truth while cuffing them to tables and chairs and waving their guns around.  Once again, our favorite heroes look like psychopaths, and it’ll never not be funny.  I believe that Daddy Cassity made the deal because he instantly believe Sam and Dean’s insane explanation for the killings.  A little more digging reveals that Crowley closed multiple deals a decade ago.  Margie thought her family would be happy if they had money, so she made a deal and they struck oil.  Carl made a deal for Alice’s love.  And surprise, Ellie made a deal to save her mother from an agonizing death from Parkinson’s.  She had even figured out that this was her last night on earth, and literally wanted to go out with a bang courtesy of Dean Winchester. 

Now, Dean is determined to gank the beast and for Sam to stay inside.  For the entire episode, I thought Dean’s edginess was him pushing through the fear he associates with the thing that killed him three lifetimes ago.  When he finally explains why, I think even cupid would shed a tear.  Here is Dean’s speech nearly word-for-angst-ridden-word: “God’s little obstacle course, we’ve been down this road before.  We both know where this ends—one of us dies or worse.  I’m a grunt.  You’re not.  You’ve always been the brains of this operation.  You see a light at the end of this ugly ass tunnel.  I’ll tell you what I do know: I’m going to die with a gun in my hand. That’s what’s waiting for me.  I want you to have a life…living ‘til you’re fat and bald and chugging Viagra.  That is my perfect ending, and it’s the only one I’m going to get.  I’m going to do these trials, and I’m going to do it alone. If you try to follow me, I’m gonna put a bullet in your damn leg.”  And that, ladies and gents, is why Ackles will deserves all of the shiny gold trophies ever made. 

There’s an expression, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans,” and that is pretty much the bedrock upon which “Supernatural” is built.  John wanted to find the thing that killed his wife and avenge her, and he died at his hand twenty-five years later.  Sam ran to Stanford to live a safe life, and ended up watching his girlfriend immolated on the ceiling.  Dean made a crossroads deal to save his brother and inadvertently kickstarted the apocalypse.  So naturally, Dean’s plan to kill the hellhound and complete the the first trial is a complete blunder.  The hellhound—a silver, smoky beast that’s both monstrous bark and bite—and slashes Dean across his middle and catapults him into a wall, where he loses his knife and his magical specs.  It advances, snarling, about to go in for the kill, when Sam arrives to pump it full of lead before gutting it like a fish.  He’s showered in vicious, black blood.  Now Sam must complete the two remaining tasks and close the gates of hell.  It's also pretty great that Sam could save his brother from the hellhound this time around.

It’s also Sam’s turn to lay into his brother:  “Closing the gates is a suicide mission for you.  I want to slam hell shut too, but I want to survive it.  I see a light at the end of this tunnel.  If you come with me, I’ll take you to it.  You’re not a grunt, Dean, you’re a genius.  You’re the best damn hunter, better than me, better than Dad. Please, believe in me too.” 

Who could deny their little brother that? 

Dean hands over the spell, and Sam recites it, not three seconds later, he collapses in pain, hand and arm glowing with something decidedly supernatural.  Is Sammy magical again?  What are the other two tasks?  And just how big are Sam’s hands?!  Stay tuned. 

To be clear, this episode was nothing short of awesome, because it built on the established mythology in intriguing ways, and examined the ever-complicated relationship between the brothers.  If the show can milk this momentum, we could see season 16. 

From A to F, “No Rest For The Wicked” to “Family Matters,” this episode was a soaptastic A+.

What did you think of the this episode?  Did you want Dean to hook up with Ellie?  Did you wonder why they never mentioned their history with hellhounds?  Are you excited about the other quests?  Hit up the comments section!

Meet me at Platform 9 3/4 in King's Cross Station, because next week's ep its all about witchcraft and wizardy!  Check out the promo below:  

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