THEN: Cas. Jack. Wraith. Colonel Asmodeus. Sam and demon blood. Huh.
NOW: A psychic in Omaha is killed by a wraith. It's a weirdly sexualized killing - I thought they went through the ear, to get to the brain? And with less hair-nuzzling? She has a picture of herself with a woman I should have recognized as Missouri Moseley, but apparently Loretta Devine has both aged and lost weight in the last 12 years.
Dean's drinking beer in bed, headphones on. Seems like a healthy way to deal with things. Jack's examining the bricks in his room when Sam knocks on his door. Sam's doing his adorable little nervous fumbling thing, saying he's checking on Jack because he hasn't left his room since they (and "they" definitely means "Sam") got him set up, and not that there's anything wrong with that. He brings Jack a laptop and USB stick so Jack can watch the message Kelly recorded for him before she died.
With bonus hand and arm porn
Sam watches from the doorway as Jack starts to play the message - which is a lot longer than the one we saw her record in 12.23 (but maybe we didn't see all of that, it's been a long time, I forget things) but then he gets a phone call and steps out into the hall.
"Sam Winchester? It's good to hear your voice." Yes, mystery caller, I say the same thing every week! The mystery caller is actually Missouri. She's outside the dead psychic's house, and apparently she was notified pretty quickly, since they're just now picking up the dead psychic's body. But maybe she left Lawrence before the woman was murdered. After all, she is a psychic. Or maybe she doesn't live in Lawrence any more.
(No one cares. Move along.)
Back on the computer, dead Kelly tells Jack that he gets to choose who he's going to be - not fate, not his father, not her. Words to live by, Jack. And she knows he's going to be amazing, and he has an angel watching over him. Aw. Just like poor "dead" Mary told Dean.
Speaking of Dean, he comes into the library as Sam finishes a phone call to Jody.
You'll never believe this. I got a call from Missouri Moseley.
Wow. We haven't heard from her since season 1.
No, he doesn't actually say that. He says "what's it been, like, a decade?" but we can all do the math. We know it's been 12 seasons. Which is 14 years if you count the two year-long jumps. Which we don't.
But Sam, how much of our audience remembers Missouri? And they didn't put her in the "Then." Don't we need to do some more exposition?
Sam says Missouri "got out of the life for a while," (which seems like an odd thing to say - she stopped being a psychic?) but she needed help on a case (another odd thing to say - Missouri has cases?) and he connected her to Jody. Dean's all, no, why would you do that, and Sam's all, we need to stay here to help Jack with his powers, and Dean's all, yeah, maybe Jody can handle it or maybe she dies "because you wanted to skip out on her to babysit the Antichrist." Do you think they ever regret that they had the actualy Antichrist as a character once? Or do they even remember? Yeah, I think we all know the answer to that one.
Anyway, Dean's obviously projecting here - someone I love is going to die because I didn't take care of what I was supposed to take care of. Sam is still trying to convince him that Jack can help rescue Mary, but Dean won't even let him finish his sentence. "No, don't. Don't. If you wanna stay here, and Mr. Miyagi this kid, knock yourself out. I didn't sign up for that. So I'm gonna go to work."
I shouldn't like this, because I don't want brother vs. brother this season, but I do. Because it feels temporary, and because Dean is so angry and so hurt (and so obviously converting his hurt into anger) and because Sam is so befuddled (and I love befuddled Sam!) and they're both trying so hard to deal with where they are right now, in completely opposing ways, and whole thing is just very sad and lovely.
I don't know if you all have noticed this thing Dean does, where he puts his fist up to his mouth like he's trying to stop himself from talking while he works out how to put his thoughts into words instead of just punching someone in the face. I like it. I like it a lot.
So Dean stomps off and, wait, we're really doing this? Dean's going to run off to a hunt with Jody and Missouri and Sam's staying in the bunker? No Jody hugs for Sam? No Missouri reunion for Sam? WTF, Show? And this brings up an interesting question. Dean said they needed to keep Jack in the bunker so they could keep an eye on him. But if Dean distrusts Jack so much, why was he willing to leave him in the hotel room with Donatello? Why is he now willing to leave him in the bunker with Sam? Why is he, apparently, willing to leave him in the bunker without Sam?
We're going to stick with Dean's story for now, rather than going back and forth. In Omaha, still outside the dead psychic's house (oh, hell, her name is Dede), Missouri tells Jody that she was "the closest to kin I had in my life these days." Well, that sounds significant. Dean pulls up and gets his hugs and his reunion and oh, it's so unfair, poor Sam is missing out on this. Dean claims to be doing "dandy" and it reminds me of the time he told Jody things were "peachy" and they were so, so not peachy. Missouri reads his mind and says she's sorry for his losses. I think that's kind of rude. If I were a psychic, I wouldn't rub it in people's face that I could read their mind. I'd just pretend I didn't know, the way polite people pretend they didn't hear you pass gas.
The three of them check out Dede's house, and Jody says she was found with a hole in the back of her skull, though it looked to me like that wraith went through her neck. Missouri touches and "reads" the doorknob, getting a vision of what happened. She says he's a wraith with a taste for psychics. When she touches Deedee's blood on the table, she gets a different vision, of Dean in front of a different house and the wraith killing a man. "James!" she cries.
Missouri psychs herself up (ha ha, get it?) to call James, who is... her estranged son! Duh duh duh!!! She knows she's "not supposed to call" and tries to tell him about her vision, but he hangs up. She gives Dean an address and asks him to go to Buckhead, Georgia, to save James and his daughter Patience. Aha. I guess this episode isn't named after a Guns N Roses song after all. She isn't going with them, because James doesn't want to see her. Dean balks at that but she demands that he save her family and he says "yes ma'am." Aw. How long has it been since Dean called someone "ma'am?"
Buckhead is about 15 hours from Omaha, in case you're wondering. I wonder how wraiths travel. Do they have to drive? Can they fly? Teleport?
Nighttime. Missouri is still at Dede's. She opens Dede's little pouch of "fermantic gems," which looks for all the world like a little pouch of colorful tumbled rocks you'll find at millions of gift shops at millions of parks and museums. She is not surprised at all when the wraith returns. She tells him "I've seen how this turns out. I run, you catch me, I die. I stay, I die. But this way, my people, they're going to murder your ass." And then he kills her. So, wait. She only saw two possible scenarios? Run and die, or stay and die? What about stay and keep Dean and Jody with you so they can kill the wraith, since you know where it's going to be and they could be completely prepared for it? What's wrong with that idea? It seems like she only believes they'll murder his ass if he kills her first. That's messed up. Anyway, that's the unfortunate end of Missouri Moseley, fan favorite since season 1. They turned you into a plot device, and you deserved better.
Meanwhile, a pretty high school student has a very expositionary conversation with her friend, where we learn that she's brilliant and athletic, but doesn't have enough sense to run when the lights start flickering and there's freaking blood on the floor. The blood trail leads to another dead psychic, this time Missouri, sitting in the corner. She says "Patience" and then the wraith grabs the girl from behind. Then she wakes up. So, this is Patience.
Patience tells her father she had a nightmare and he says "it's just a dream" but then looks away significantly. Duh duh duuuuuhhhhh!!!
Back to Dean, who is at a convenience store. It's daytime, so if he and Jody left Omaha before nightfall - as you'd think they would do, given that they were saving Missouri's family - they should be several states away. They should, in fact, be halfway to Georgia by now. But the news on the TV in the store is about a tragedy in Omaha, so either they're still there, or it was really big national news. The reporter, standing in darkness outside Dede's house, reveals that there's been a second murder, and the victim was identified as Missouri Moseley. So that means she was killed the night before, and obviously her family has been notified. Because you don't announce a murder victim's name on TV until that happens.
(I'm sorry, this is just... it's stupid. It would have been so easy for the reporter to say the victim was an unidentified African American woman in her 60s, and Dean could have stared at the TV in shock and said "Missouri!" It's that easy, Show.)
It's stupid, but it's pretty. I'll give you that.
Dean realizes that Missouri set this up, and he and Jody peel out of the convenience store that is somewhere between Omaha and Buckhead. They show up at James's house pretty quickly - it's still broad daylight - so I guess they left last night after all. His name is James Turner, by the way. Did he change his name? Was Missouri not married to his father? Did she remarry later or keep her maiden name? I mean, it's not unheard of for a man to not have the same last name as his mother, but on the other hand... why bother giving him a different name?
(No one cares. Move along.)
They tell him his mother is dead, and he of course doesn't believe them, because he talked to her yesterday, and no one dies right after you talk to them. But your mama did, James, at 9:00 last night, and I hope you feel bad about hanging up on her.
Cut to the same high school we saw earlier, and Patience and her same friend, and we learn that she's not only athletic and brilliant, but also isn't interested in high school boys. (Maybe she goes for college guys.) Then the scene turns into her dream (complete with flashes of dead grandma in the corner) and she does what anyone would do - goes to her locker and gets her math book. Seriously, Patience, your survival skills are not up to snuff. When she closes the locker door, the wraith is on the other side. If he got here around the same time Dean and Jody did, that means they waited until pretty late to head to Georgia, since he was in Omaha at 9:00. I kind of thought they'd head out on that rescue mission immediately. Guess not.
(No one cares. Move along.)
The wraith slams her against the wall (why is no one else in the hall? is Patience brilliant and athletic but chronically late to class?) and threatens her with his pointy thing, which she promptly breaks off. I retract my earlier statement about your survival skills, Patience. I think you might do okay. Now, the last time we saw a wraith get their pointy thing broken off, it was pretty debilitating. She was on the ground screaming. This guy just tells her it will grow back, and then promptly gets shot by Dean. Not in an important place, apparently, because he jumps up, runs down the hall, goes through a door, blocks it closed with a mop so Dean can't get to him, and runs off. Dean doesn't try to kick the door down - and I feel like earlier-seasons Dean absolutely would have done that - he runs downstairs to finds another door. He finally makes it outside, and is almost run over by the wraith's van. The wraith escapes into the darkness. Because it's nighttime. It was broad daylight when they left James's house, and now it's nighttime. Where does Patience go to school? How far is it from Buckhead? Is she at a boarding school in Connecticut or something? And why is she there at night?
Or did it take Dean several hours to find that other door?
(No one cares. Move along.)
Dean makes his way back to Patience and Jody - it's probably the next day by now, given how time works in Buckhead - and she shows him the broken-off pointy thingy. They tell her the wraith stalks psychics, but she's convinced she's not one. "I get deja vu sometimes, but that's normal. I'm normal."
Does Dean look a little thoughtful at her declaration that she's normal? Or is it just me?
Patience isn't impressed that her "psychic" grandma sent them to save her. She says Missouri was a fraud, who ditched them after her mother died. Dean says this person who ditched her family isn't what Missouri was at all, because as far as Dean's concerned, that's one of the worst crimes you can commit. Oh, and also, now that you know she was awesome, you need to know she's dead. Sorry.
Back at their house, where it's still nighttime, Patience angrily confronts her father. He admits that he's the one who cut her off, because when his wife was sick, Missouri predicted she would be fine, but she died. And sure, that's a good enough reason to cut her off. I'd cut off my mom for being an imperfect psychic. It's only fair. James says that, for his entire childhood, she was on the road, hunting. And he was terrified of monsters, and of her being killed.
Wait, what? Missouri was a hunter? We saw her in her nice little house in Lawrence, running a business out of her home, but she was supposedly on the road all the time, hunting? I'm calling shenanigans on this one. This is some pure fucked-ed up recton nonsense. But let's carry on.
James reveals Missouri thought Patience was psychic, and he was convinced she wasn't, but guess what, dude. You're wrong. And that's why the wraith is hunting her. They need to hit the road, so Patience goes upstairs to pack. She takes a brooch out of her jewelry box, and we get a sad funeral flashback, with Missouri giving it to young Patience. And then, since she's not quite psychic enough, there's a surprise wraith in the closet. She screams, but by the time everyone else runs upstairs, there's nothing but an open window.
Dean hacks into a traffic cam, and sees the van, but he can't read the tag. Suddenly James gets into a large wooden box that apparently has Missouri Stuff in it, like tarot cards, photos of her and James - and a pouch of colorful polished stones, the kind you can find in millions of gift shops at parks and museums. He tells Dean and Jody that his mother gave him these "fermantic gems" (really, I can't tell what he's saying) so he could find her when she went on hunts (because Missouri went on hunts, remember?)
We see Patience tied to a chair in yet another abandoned warehouse. The wraith tells her he's going to keep her and feed on her for a long time instead of killing her all at once. My, his pointy thing grew back quickly. The whole thing is, once again, very sexualized, including hair nuzzling. But before he can poke her (ew, I can't believe I said that), he hears a noise and runs off. James comes to untie her while Dean and Jody go after the wraith, but the wraith ends up killing James. Well, we all saw that coming. This is how she ends up with Jody, right? Then the wraith stabs Jody (with a knife, not his pointy thing), and I would normally be horrified, but we know Jody's not going to die in this episode. We know there are things in store for Jody. Man, she does look pretty dead, though. Finally, Dean gets stabbed, multiple times, and again, I'm not worried about him dying, but things are looking pretty bleak here. Oh, wait. It's a psychic vision. That works. So when her rescuers do show up for real, Patience is able to warn them and save them. Yay!
(Is it just me, or does the fight between Dean and the wraith seem to take a long time? Like, it feels like this fight got more screen time than Missouri did.)
Outside, where it's broad daylight, Dean is awfully pretty leaning against the Impala. He and Jody ask about Patience's future, and she says her dad said she should "put away" the whole psychic thing, and get back to normal. And maybe he's right. "He is," Dean says. "This life, hunting, monsters, there's no joy in it. There's nothing but pain, horror, and death. So if you get a chance at normal, you take it." Aw. We've heard this before, with Claire, with Adam, and it always hurts.
But it's so goddamn pretty, isn't it?
Patience doesn't seem happy to hear this advice, so Jody pulls her aside, gives her a business card, and tells her "you don't have to do what they say," which might be a theme tonight. She tells her she tried to get Claire to "fight who she really was" because she thought it would keep her safe, and it makes it sound like Claire's dead. Anyway. If Patience needs someone to talk to, or someplace to go, Jody's door is always open, and thus a spinoff was spun.
Let's get back to the bunker. Sam tells Jack that he's powerful, but he needs to learn how to control and focus it. "So I don't hurt anyone anymore," Jack says, and Sam agrees, but he's kind of avoiding the real point, which is so we can use you more effectively. I mean, I love you, Sam, and I believe you care about this kid, but you're training him to use his power, not to keep it subdued. He puts a pencil on the table and tells Jack to move it with his mind. But he can't.
He tries for a while and then gets frustrated and calls himself "useless." He says that when he used his powers earlier, it was like breathing, or blinking - it was automatic. And when Asmodeus had him open the gate to Hell, it was like he was inside his head, controlling him. Sam suggests he imagine Asmodeus in his head, in order to use his power, and I'm just... what? Sam said that? Sam said that? Sam suggested that Jack try to channel the feeling of someone else inside your head, directing your power? Does anyone here buy that Sam would make that suggestion?
Jack doesn't want to do it, and he's tired of Sam watching him and waiting for something to happen, so Sam says "you're right, I'm sorry, this is too much and I'm pushing you too hard and that last suggestion was completely off the rails and we're going to stop." Oh, wait, no, he doesn't. But he does decide they can take a break. Jack's pathetically grateful to hear that. Sam gets up, walks away, and barely looks at Jack when he says he'll get some food and Jack should "stay here, try to relax." And then they'll try again. And Jack goes back to staring sadly at the pencil. I don't know who this is. It's not sweet, empathetic Sam.
But you know what? It is driven-to-the-point-of-obsession Sam. I'll take that. It's just that he's usually driving himself, not someone else. But this time, there's nothing he can do. And we've seen him pretty damn ruthless before, when he was trying to save Dean, so we know what he's capable of. Oh, Sam.
I don't know if Sam was lying about getting food, or if they already ate and he's giving Jack another break, because we see him reading "The Drama of the Gifted Child" (oh Sam, I don't think these people will ever write about your level of drama) and watching Jack on his laptop. Looks like some kind of security camera, and that brings up some uncomfortable things, so let's just concentrate on Sam's long fingers on that book. He glances down at the laptop screen and panics when he sees Jack is no longer sitting at the table. I mean, that doesn't seem panic-worthy to me. Maybe he just got up. Maybe he's looking for that food you promised.
Sam runs into the room (I don't know what room it is - it's got tables, but it's not the library) and finds Jack huddled in a corner. "I moved the pencil," he says. Because he brought it with him, I guess. Ha ha, it's like when he demonstrated how he'd get out into the hall, except this time it's not funny, it's just sad. Sam doesn't understand why Jack can't channel his power, since he's seen him throw people across the room, open a gate to hell, and it doesn't make any sense that he can't do it now. (Because Sam just needs some patience. This title works on so many levels.)
"It'd make sense... if I'm evil," Jack says.
He tells Sam that Dean threatened to kill him, and he's already hurt people in his brief time here, and he can't do the one good thing Sam wants him to do, so he must be evil. Sam tells him none of it is his fault, and he's probably afraid of his power, and the pressure Sam's putting on him isn't helping, so they're going to stop. Good for you, Sammy. I don't like that the writers had you do this kind of OOC thing, but I like that you're recognizing it and fixing it.
Jack asks Sam why he's being so nice to him. "Because I know what it feels like, to feel like you don't belong. To feel like there's this darkness inside of you, to be scared of who you are, what you can do. Dean, Cas, my family helped me through that. So now I want to help you. Because you're not evil, Jack." Now that he's not pushing Jack, Sam is so sweet and soft and sad and scruffy here and I want to bundle him up in an afghan and make him some tea and give him a dog.
The way he looks up when he says "Cas" is going to be the end of me.
Later, Sam's sitting in the war room when Dean gets back, and they have a glorious argument. And there's a lot going on here so I'm just going to write out the whole thing.
How's the kid? He go darkside yet?
Nope. He is pretty messed up, though.
You're telling me.
No, Dean, he's messed up because of you. Dean, you said you'd kill him.
It wasn't exactly like that.
Then how exactly was it?
I told him the truth. See, you think you can use this freak, but I know how this ends, and it ends bad.
I didn't end bad. When I was the freak. When I was drinking demon blood.
Come on, man, that's totally different.
Was it? Because you could have put a bullet in me. Dad told you to put a bullet in me, but you didn't. You saved me. So help me save him.
You deserved to be saved. He doesn't.
Yes he does, Dean, of course he does.
Look, I know you think that you can use him as some sort of interdimensional can opener, and that's fine. But don't act like you care about him, because you only care about what he can do for you. So if you want to pretend, that's fine. But me? I can hardly look at the kid. Cause when I do, all I can see is everybody we've lost.
Mom chose to take that shot at Lucifer, that is not on Jack.
And what about Cas?
What about Cas?
He manipulated him. He made him promises, said paradise on earth. And Cas bought it. And you know what that got him? It got him dead! Now you might be able to forget about that, but I can't!
I love this. I love Sam calling Dean on the way he's treating Jack. I love Sam making the explicit comparison between his freakhood and Jack. I love Dean saying that was different, because the rules about killing monsters and things turning evil are always different when it comes to Sam. I love Dean still being so angry about Cas's "death," because Dean turns guilt and grief into anger. I love the way Sam stands up and looms over Dean, which makes me think Jensen is standing on a box a lot of the time because he has to look up more than he normally does. I love that there's no background music.
I love angry Dean. I love stubborn Sam. Heart eyes all around.
Of course, Jack ends up listening in on this entire argument. I really wish Sam had denied it when Dean said he only cared about what Jack could do for him - I do believe Sam cares what happens to him.
When Dean talks about Cas's death, Jack's eyes glow and he says "Castiel." And somewhere, lying on a black floor in a black room, Castiel hears this, and he sits up.
Well, okay then. I'd hoped we might somehow get the return of Original Recipe Cas, back when he was fluffy and snarky and not the Winchester's poodle. Or even a new Extra Crispy Cas, stolen from AU Land, who might be even more snarky and would have no history with the Winchesters, and we could start from the beginning. But it looks like we're going back to mashed potatoes and gravy. Oh well. A girl can dream.
A lot of non-Winchester storyline in this one, which I could have done without. I mean, I know they wanted to introduce Patience for the spinoff, but couldn't her backstory have come on the other show? Couldn't they have introduced her without killing off Missouri? At least it wasn't Bloodlines-level nonsense, thank Chuck. So now we've got Patience, this smart, pretty, athletic young psychic, who lost her mother at a young age, who just wants to be normal, with a father who distrusts her psychic ability, and Dean Winchester telling her to keep it all under wraps. Haven't we been here before?
And speaking of that earlier young psychic - twice in this episode, he gives Dean credit for "helping" or "saving" him. Did he? Did Dean really save Sam from the dark side of his abilities? From the demon blood? Discuss.
I'm looking forward to your opinions. Remember, no spoilers in the comments, please!