Things I loved
Crowley labels Dean as “Not Moose” on his phone. \o/ Best visual of the episode.
“When you were saying any of that, did it sound at all creepy?” Best line of the episode.
Those sheath things the guys were wearing at the end, like, thigh holsters for knives? Were awesome.
Sam looked great in the second half, especially when they were outdoors (and we also got some hair in his face and post-exertion huffing). Yum. Maybe Sam’s hair was the best visual of the night. I’ll have to consider this on rewatch.
Things I hated
Snooki. So much hate. I guess she would have been okay as a guest on a crack episode, but in a dramatic one, no. Her presence yanks you right out of the story. Also? It doesn’t even follow the show’s internal logic. Crossroads demons grant wishes for others. They are not those who have had their own wishes granted. (Ha ha. Show’s internal logic. As if there was such a thing. I crack myself up.)
Things I didn’t exactly hate but they made me roll my eyes
Again with sticking a needle anywhere into an arm to draw blood.
More Microsoft product placement.
Why wouldn’t Sam and Dean recognize Enochian? And while we’re at it, why wouldn’t Sam and Dean ward the entire Impala instead of just the trunk? (And speaking of warding, DID SAM GET HIS TATTOO REDONE YET??????)
The elephant(s) in the room and other discussion…
First, Crowley’s interest in Sam is kind of adorable. And I like that they show us, rather than just telling us. Mark Sheppard does such a great job just gazing at Sam with subtle concern and affection. And I love that Dean is simply “not Moose.” I want to find out that everyone on Crowley’s phone is either Moose or Not Moose, because if you’re not Sam, he doesn’t care who you are, he’s not going to talk to you.
And because of this, it breaks my heart that the brothers were SO harsh to him in this episode. Sure, he’s a demon. He’s the enemy. But he saved Sam. Doesn’t he get any credit for that? Can’t they at least behave neutrally toward him, like they did with Meg at the end? He just wants to be loved, people!
And I’m not sure what I believe about Crowley’s role in the whole Mark of Cain situation. Did he plan, from the beginning, for Dean to get the mark and the blade? Or did he just take advantage of the opportunity once it presented itself? He knows something about the blade and/or the mark. He obviously knows something. Too many significant looks.
Is Crowley injecting demon blood? There was a third body in his hotel room - where did his additional snack come from? And wasn’t he gazing longingly at Lola’s body? And this brings up, again, the question of why he rejected Sam’s blood earlier in the season and insisted on Kevin’s instead. Was there something about Sam’s blood he didn’t want? Or did he just feel like a change of pace?
It’s interesting that Cuthbert/Magnus figures out pretty quickly that the way to manipulate Dean is to use Sam. But it was foolish to reveal that he doesn’t plan to kill Sam.
And speaking of foolish reveals… “Oh, hey, Dean, remember we were gonna kill Crowley?” HE’S RIGHT THERE, SAM. YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE SMART ONE. (Facepalm) (Also? Why would you kill the one thing that’s distracting Abaddon from you?)
So, elephant #1 in the room (the boys’ relationship) is completely ignored in this episode, but that’s okay, because we finally address elephant #2, the Mark of Cain. And boy do we address it. Sam’s researching Cain and Abel, but it’s not going to do much good, is it, because we now know the story of Cain is different from what’s been written. (Hey, you know who might know something about the significance of the Mark? An angel. If only we knew an angel.)
Now, what exactly is the Mark doing to Dean? How much of his reaction, after picking up the blade, was because of the Mark, and how much was because of Cuthbert’s spell? I know after watching Dean methodically kill the bad guy in the previous episode, many think the Mark is turning him into a cold-blooded killer. But if that were the case, would Sam have to remind Dean that he was planning to kill Crowley? Wouldn’t he have done that all on his own?
Anyway. The Mark is finally becoming an issue, and I like it.
I’m mostly unspoiled for future episodes (though I do know of one guest star, dammit) so please help me stay that way!