caranfindel (caranfindel) wrote,

Initial reaction 14.05: “Nightmare Logic”

THEN: Maggie. Lucifer brings her back to life but she's not okay. Maybe Jack can help us stop all the evil in the world. But then what would we do? Michael is making super monsters. The hunted become the hunters.

NOW: Maggie? Are they really still trying to make me care about Maggie? {sigh} Fine. Maggie is on a hunt, all on her own, in Claremore, Oklahoma, which she calls "delightful" but I'm pretty sure she's being sarcastic. She's in what looks like a mausoleum, hunting what she thinks is a ghoul, and we know all this because she took a camera out of her bag and started talking to it. She's wearing light pink pants that are gonna show ALL THE BLOOD, so you can tell she's still a newbie. And then the ghoul gets her. Bye, Maggie?

Title card!

Bunker. Sam seems to be leading a small hunting class. He wraps it up quickly when Dean comes in, and it seems like he still feels uneasy being a leader when Dean's around. Which makes sense. Dean's been the leader all of Sam's life. For his part, Dean actually seems to enjoy watching Sam in this new role, although he's a little sarcastic about things like hunter check-ins ("that's adorable!"). He asks Sam if he's getting any sleep, and we know the answer is "no" because Sam doesn't really answer. He's got 16 hunters on case, not including Cas and Jack (who are in Sarasota) or Mobby (who are in Texas.) You know, I'm okay with Cas being gone, but I'm not okay with him taking Jack with him. Just saying.

Dean thinks the new people don't need this much help, since they all survived a war, but Sam explains that a war is not hunting. Which begs the question, why are they all hunting anyway? Sam's right - the angel war wouldn't really prepare them for hunting monsters. So why are they doing it? Just because they live in the bunker now, so they have to be hunters? Is that why Maggie's out there in her damn pink pants trying not to get killed again?

As Sam's talking, he gets a notification that Maggie missed check-in. Ruh roh! {Sidebar: Seems like having to call in at a pre-scheduled time would be really inconvenient for hunting, so I've decided this just means she has to check in at least once every 24 hours.} Next we see the guys in the library, with Dean calling Maggie and not getting an answer as Sam works on the laptop. He has pulled up footage from Maggie's bodycam, which surprises Dean and me, but Sam says having the new hunters watch each other hunt is the best way to learn. You know, I'm thrilled with Sam's little vocational training program here, but I think the best way to learn would be to send the newbies out with experienced hunters, instead of sending them on their own and putting bodycams on them so everyone else can watch them die. But what do I know?

Sam says the bodycams upload directly to the server, so I guess Maggie had wifi in a mausoleum somewhere in delightful Claremore, Oklahoma. Of course, if Sam provided them, they'll have wifi everywhere, so let's not concern ourselves with minor details. They watch the ghoul from Maggie's POV, and Sam's clearly upset and afraid she's dead. Dean points that she might be okay, because 1) they didn't see her die, and b) ghouls are scavengers that don't normally feed on the living. Sam says "Yeah, but remember the ones that killed and ate Adam and his mom? And were eating me alive before you killed them?" No, he doesn't say that. But he should. Someone should. Instead he just asks why a ghoul would attack her. Because it's a monster, Sam.

(Hey, remember when Sam was tied to the table and the ghouls were eating him? That was a good episode.)

But this one has several good points too, including the fact that Sam looks like he might be growing the beard again. (I know he's not. Let me dream.)

Cut to a nice transition video of the Impala zooming down the road, and then the brothers in the cemetery where Maggie was last seen. Dean comments that a private cemetery must be nice, because it would be convenient. Yeah, when you die as often as these two, a cemetery in the back yard would be handy. On the other hand, they're usually not buried, so. Maggie was working this cemetery in the first place because some kids said online that a walker tried to end them. Sam then tries to mansplain (Samsplain?) walkers to Dean, who is very aware of what they are.

They enter the mausoleum and go down a flight of stairs. Damn, this thing is big. I've seen little mausoleums in cemeteries before, but nothing like this. They find drag marks on the floor. "But no blood," Dean says, "which means Maggie could still be alive." But those pink pants are gonna be really dirty.

(Hey, remember the last time Dean and Sam and Maggie were in a dark underground place, and someone got attacked and dragged away? That was a good episode.)

(Are you really doing this again? We get it. The show repeats itself and has frequent subtle and less-sutble references to older, better episodes. Can you stop now?)

(Fine. Geez.)

Sam doesn't think that's likely, because "ghouls don't take prisoners." I mean, I guess Sam wasn't technically a prisoner when he was tied to a table, but he does at least have to acknowledge that they won't necessarily eat you quickly. Dean's being oddly optimistic, saying that it might have taken her elsewhere to eat her, and maybe "hasn't finished the job yet." So, maybe only her arms and legs have been eaten? Well, that's encouraging. They're interrupted by a groundskeeper, so Sam introduces them as Harrison and Byrne (Talking Heads, so that had to be Sam's choice, not Dean's) from the Historical Preservation Society, sent by the city who wants to make the property a historic site. Oh, and can they speak to the owner?

When we get a view of the house, it's overgrown by weeds and out-of-control shrubs, so I think that groundskeeper needs to concentrate more on his gardening and less on who might be lurking in the convenient private cemetery. The somewhat geeky owner is very excited, saying he always knew this house had historical significance. He invites them in, but is surprised to see them, since it seems like the two who are already there should be enough. Whaaa? They walk into the living room to see the other two "historical preservationists" - Mary and Bobby.

And Bobby is wearing Michael's hat! RUN, BOYS, RUN!

Sam pointedly says he wishes they'd checked with "the main office" before coming all the way out here. {Sidebar: You know, the Show plays fast and loose with geography on a regular basis, but I like that Sam and Dean came from down Kansas and Mary and Bobby came up from Texas and they met in Oklahoma in a completely plausible timeline.} Bobby says they don't need permission from the main office to look at houses, "especially when the main office is run by a bunch of idjits."


Mary pulls Sam away for a private talk while Dean questions the owner, Neil. But it turns out he's not actually the owner, he's only the nurse the owner, Mr. Rawling. Meanwhile, Mary explains to Sam that she and Bobby had been talking Maggie through her hunt, giving her pointers. (Gee, maybe you shouldn't have sent her off alone, Sam.) When she stopped texting, they got worried and came to check on her. Sam asks if they found anything, but before she can answer, Dean calls Sam into Mr. Rawling's room. He's unconscious, in a hospital bed, and they both agree that he looks exactly like the ghoul they saw on Maggie's video. (Which is odd, but what's even odder is that Mr. Rawling is getting a blood transfusion. Why?) If the ghoul is here, they wonder, where's Maggie?

Cut to Maggie, alive and conscious somewhere. She's strung up by her wrists and surrounded by blood bags. Hmmm. Looks more like a djinn to me.

Back at the house, Neil explains that Rawling had a stroke. Just then, Rawling's daughter Sasha shows up. She is considerably less excited to hear that the National Historic Preservation Society is interested in the house. She doesn't even know how long her father has lived here, and she's just here to wrap things up before he dies. She says it's been "a really long week," so I guess the stroke happened recently. And I'm pretty sure old Rawlings would still be in the hospital if his stroke was that recent, so put another check in the "odd" column. Sam does his best empathetic face, but she doesn't want to deal with the National Historic Preservation Society right now and asks them to leave.

Have you ever noticed that when Jared narrows his eyes a little bit, it emphasizes their tilt? Because I have.

The team regroups at the Impala. On the one hand, I like them working on their hypotheses and eliminating monsters based on their extensive knowledge. On the other hand, none of their extensive knowledge seems to have much basis in canon. First Bobby declares Rawlings "not a ghoul" because he "checked him out pretty good back there" and didn't find any bites. So I guess you stripped the old guy down under Neil's watchful eye, Fake Bobby? I don't think so. Mary suggests a shifter, but Dean says shifters don't hang out in graveyards. Sam suggests possession, which Nasty Fake Bobby dismisses because a demon wouldn't have put him back in bed after using his body, and he sprinkled him with holy water anyway. Dean calls him on his even-grumpier-than-usualness...

Something on your mind, Bobby?

Yeah. Your brother. He let Maggie come here when she had no idea what she was walking into. She wasn't ready.

Oh, come on. When is anybody ever ready?

You are or you ain't. A real leader would have seen that a mile away.

Well, okay then! Clearly I was at fault for accepting AU Bobby so quickly. He's not our Bobby at all. He's not just adorably surly, he's mean. And he's wearing that hat. And now I'm seriously starting to wonder if this is really even Fake Bobby. Did he pick that hat up at the church, after Dean took it off? Is that when Michael made him his vessel? Is Michael that attached to the damn hat? Is the hat a possessed object? Something evil is afoot, and THE HAT IS PART OF IT. I'M SURE.

This is a pretty scene, but my favorite part is Dean's "why are you being mean to my Sammy, old man?" face.

Mary smacks Fake Bobby back down, and then says they should split up. She takes Sam. Aw, this is twice that she's pulled Sam aside to take care of him. I like anyone taking care of Sammy. As she and Sam walk, she tells him not to listen to Bobby, but Sam wonders if he's right about everything. She says no, he's born to do this, and he could respond with "Actually, the only thing I was born to do was to be Lucifer's vessel," but he doesn't. Mary continues, saying that if Bobby can't see what a natural born leader and generally awesome human being Sam is, it's not the only thing he's missing. Oh god, is she talking about what I think she's talking about? Do I even want to KNOW what Bobby is missing? Sam thinks the same thing, and segues into a talk about their relationship. Mary says that ever since they've been back (from AU Land, I guess), Bobby hunts all the time. "He won't take a break, not even for s-" and I swear to Chuck I thought she was going to say for sex, but she says "for a second." And then they have this exchange:

Bobby's not open like your dad.

Wait. Like MY dad?

Okay, at least he's not like your dad was when I knew him.

Oh my Chuck, Mary and Sam are talking about John. Poor Sam, who wasn't even allowed to talk about his mother for most of his life, now gets to talk TO her. About his father. Someone hold me. It's also funny and sad that the John he knew is so, so different from the John she knew. And now I'm imagining drunk Sam and Dean telling stories about their childhood, and Mary being absolutely horrified.

Anyway. Mary says Bobby has "walls" and she doesn't know if she can handle that, "if I even put myself out there again." Oh, wait, so she wasn't out there? So she and Bobby aren't actually in a relationship? They're just flirting and making googoo eyes and hunting together? Huh. Sam makes an uncomfortable face, and she realizes he's not the best audience for this discussion, and it's all very weird and sweet. I'm going to stick with Mary and Sam rather than going back and forth like they do in the episode. Sam tells her that "our Bobby" wasn't very open either, at least not at first, and that he had to kill his wife and they had no kids. And Fake Bobby's walls are probably there for a good (bad) reason. Oh, Sam. You know about walls and reasons, don't you? He suggests that, if she cares about him, she won't give up on Bobby and his walls. Then they see something that looks like a pile of cloth. It's a jacket or something, and it comes with a pile of IDs - FBI, DEA, Forest Service. Must be a hunter!

Meanwhile, Bobby and Dean are having this talk:

You think I was too hard on your brother back there.

He's doing his best. He's doing better than his best. This whole hunter 5-0 thing, he's killing himself over it. He doesn't eat, he doesn't sleep, he grew himself one of those Kenny Rogers beards... no offense.

How much do I love Dean standing up for Sam, noticing everything he's doing? SO MUCH. I mean, I'm sure part of it is the classic "no one gets to talk smack about my little brother except me," but part of it is that he really is proud of Sam and what he's doing. And really is worried about him.

Dean and Fake Bobby come up on an old shed and open the door. It seems to be full of pelts. Dean goes inside, but Bobby sees a man in the woods and runs off toward him. Without saying anything to Dean. Dammit, Fake Bobby. Dean finds a body. Must be a dead hunter! He turns toward Bobby, just now realizing he's been left alone, and then something attacks him from behind. It's the old man Rawling ghoul! Dean grabs something off the windowsill, I can't tell what, and stabs the ghoul with it. The ghoul dissolves into dust. Huh. Weird. Bobby returns to find Dean covered in ghoul dust.

Back at the house, Sasha is going over some paperwork when she hears noises that seem to be coming from upstairs. She goes up and wanders down an oddly angular hallway. She opens a super-squeaky door and a vampire leaps out. On first watch, I only noticed the teeth, but on rewatch, it's one of the AU-style vampires, with the big pointy ears. She flees and falls {Sidebar: At this point, The Husband asked why women are always falling when they run away from monsters; I said it's the high heels} but as she cowers on the floor and awaits her doom, she realizes nothing is after her. The vampire is gone.

Sam and Mary are back at the Rawling house, and while it was bright daylight when they were wandering around and Sasha was being attacked, it's dark now. She explains that whatever she saw couldn't have been real, because it looked like a vampire, and Sam tells her she's not crazy. She gets the "monsters are real" speech, and Neil is more disappointed that they're not from the Historical Society than he is to learn that monsters are real. Then Dean shows up.

You're not gonna believe what I found in the shed.

You hunt monsters!

Oh, good. You told them.

What did you find in the shed?

Dead guy.

Hee! This little scene just cracks me up. Dead Guy matches the fake IDs, and Sam tells Dean they think something is killing hunters. Mary notices Bobby's gone, and Dean says he went to get something out of the truck. Alone??? She runs out after him. Dean tells Sam about Ghoul!Rawling attacking him, and Sasha's all, "he's right there," and Dean turns toward Rawling but all we can see is the foot of his bed, so I'm fairly sure it's going to turn out he's not right there after all. (Spoiler alert: I'm wrong.) Sam tells Dean about the vampire, but since the vampire didn't feed on Sasha, and the Ghoul!Rawling "died weird," Sam suggests maybe these aren't monsters at all (relieved sigh from Neil) but some kind of manifestation (not-relieved, confused looks from Neil and Sasha) like B.J. Hunnicut Fred Jones, who made all the Looney Tunes violence.

(Hey, remember when Fred Jones made the Looney Tunes violence, and Dean's gun had a flag that said BANG? That was awesome.)

(I can't help it, guys, the Show is feeding them directly to me!!!)

Sasha assures them her father is narcissistic but not psychic, and Dean wonders why he would manifest a vampire to scare his own daughter. Well, I mean, sounds like he was a bad father, so. When Sasha tells them what happened, Dean notices that she was scared away from what she was investigating, which is probably the reason the vampire was... manifested. Sam volunteers to go upstairs and investigate. Dean hands him a machete.

Downstairs, Dean sharpens another machete while Sasha downs some pills, and I know how you feel, Sasha. I've felt like cracking open the Xanax this week myself. She vents about her father and reveals that, because he was gone all the time, she was the one who found her mother after she (I assume) killed herself. "You what the most ridiculous part is?" she says. "I worshipped him when I was a kid. Didn't know any better. He's the only family I have left." Oh, gee, who else in this room can relate to that? Dean offers her some advice, which is to let it go. "The past is... nothing you can do about it now, so. It's just baggage. Let it go, you'll feel a lot lighter." She asks if that's what he does, and he says "I try. Every single day." Oh Dean!

Upstairs, Sam walks carefully down the oddly angular hallway (really, it makes NO SENSE) and opens the door Sasha had been peeking through. It's access to the attic. Sam peers around with his flashlight find finds old toys and a spooky taxidermied animal and blood bags and Maggie, strung up like the victim of a djinn. He pulls a needle from her neck and she wakes up, saying "it's here." There's a growl behind Sam and then the AU vampire attacks. {Sidebar: I wonder what kind of PTSD flashbacks Sam's going to have the next time he tries to go to sleep?} Sam hits it with the machete and it explodes into a cloud of dust, just like Dean's ghoul.

While all of this is happening, Mary goes outside and finds Bobby isn't at his truck. We see him walking in the dark, and then the man he ran after earlier comes out from behind a tree. His eyes are burned out.


Hey, Dad.


Bobby is shocked to see him, since apparently he died in AU Land. He kicks the crap out of Fake Bobby and then pins him to a tree with an angel blade through the shoulder, even though he doesn't stab him nearly hard enough to go through the tree, and even though Bobby remains completely level instead of hanging from that point. Mary shows up and Bobby yells at her to run. She shoots Dead!Daniel instead, but bullets don't do anything. As Dead!Daniel chokes Mary, Bobby pulls the angel blade out and falls down from the tree. He says "I'm sorry" and stabs Dead!Daniel with the angel blade, which causes him to explode into a cloud of dust.

Downstairs, Dean and Sasha go into Rawling's room, where Neil is fiddling with something. Dean finally asks what I've been asking the whole time, which is, why is the old man getting a blood transfusion? Neil says it keeps up his iron. Dean gives him a funny look and then asks Sasha to go make him a sandwich. She's all, what, seriously? He mouths go and flicks his eyes at Neil and she finally gets it and she's all, yes, that sounds like a great idea, I will go make you a sandwich.

He's so not subtle at all. I love him.

Dean pulls his gun and says he recognizes the rig now, from when he was hooked up to it. "You're not giving him blood. You're taking it." We see a flashback from "What Is and What Should Never Be," with Dean strung up in the djinn's warehouse.


{Sidebar: The thing is, this would never work. The blood bag is hanging above Rawling's head. If you've ever given blood, you know the collection bag is hung below the needle. Your blood's not going to flow upstream. Gravity, people.}

"You're a djinn," Dean says. "But you knew that already, didn't you?" says Neil, as his eyes flash blue and his tattoos briefly appear. Dean asks why he's going after hunters, and he says "Because you told me to! Is this still part of the game?" Um, whaaa? Neil thinks Dean is Michael. The Michael who told him to set up a trap for hunters. He thought this was just a test. The new power Michael gave him is the ability to read minds and see nightmares just by touching his victim. And he can bring those nightmares into the world and make them do whatever he wants. Rawling's nightmare was dying alone in this house, and Neil is making it come true. Maggie's nightmares were the AU vampires. Ah, that explains why the monsters disintegrated - they weren't real. And it also explains why the AU vampires were over here. They came from Maggie's head.

Dean is still threatening Neil with the gun, and Neil says it won't kill him, and he's pretty sure Dean doesn't have a knife dipped in lamb's blood. (Silver, Neil, it has to be silver.) Dean does what I always wish they'd do in a "your mere gun won't kill me" situation, and shoots him in the knee, cause it's gotta slow him down, right? But it doesn't actually slow him much. He lunges for Dean and says he won't hurt "Michael's favorite monkey suit," but he does want to see his nightmares. He smacks a hand on Dean's forehead and is horrified. Neil backs away and says "you... you..." and then Dean says "I don't have a blade dipped in lamb's blood, but I can improvise," and smashes Neil's skull with a bookend. Okay, but. If that would work, why would you need a silver knife dipped in lamb's blood? Isn't it a lot easier to destroy the head?

It does work, but Neil has some evil plot to reveal before he dies. "You think I'm the only one? The only trap? He made dozens of us. Just out there, waiting for you, and your family." Dean shuts him up with the bookend, and then unloads his gun into him for good measure.

So, let's talk about this. What did the djinn see? I mean, Dean's been to Hell. His nightmares are pretty awful. Was that it? Or was it something else? Something, someone, maybe, hiding deep inside?

Aftermath! Dean pulls the needle out of Rawling's arm. It's daylight now, so I wonder why he waited for the sun to come up before ending the poor old guy's misery. He tells Sasha that he'll come back around after the djinn's poison wears off.

Back to the bunker, which is full of refugee hunters. Everybody joyfully greets Maggie and her dirty pink pants. "You did this," Dean tells Sam. "You got her home." Sam smiles, but it's quick and kind of sad.

Elsewhere in the bunker, Mary is bandaging Bobby. He tells her that he was a hunter in AU Land because his wife was killed by a monster, and then his son Daniel was taken by angels because Bobby got him involved in the angel war. He feels guilty about it, but it's not like the kid would have been safe even if he hadn't been fighting. Bobby always thought he'd die in the war, but he didn't (does that mean he considers the war over? he's never going back? because there's still a bunch of angels over there), and now he's "considering other options." So the constant hunting has been a way of trying to get killed. Nice of you to drag Mary into that, Fake Bobby. She tells him she's not letting him give up, and they'll find another way to live.

Sam's reading at the map table (wearing that magnificent red plaid shirt) when Dean comes in with a couple of beers. He says he talked to Maggie and she "can't wait to get back in the saddle." Sam's surprised to hear it, and I'm surprised to hear that Dean was the one to have this conversation with Maggie. How close do you suppose they are? Because really, the most time they've spent together was the long walk to Dayton after Sam was killed, and I can't imagine Dean was a pleasant companion. I'd think she'd be terrified of him at this point. Anyway. Dean says "she learned from the best," and again, Dean noticing and commenting on Sam's actions just makes me melt into a happy little puddle.

Sam's red plaid shirt also makes me melt into a happy little puddle.

Bobby and Mary come in and say "we need to talk," and the next thing we see is Sam arranging for them to stay at Donna's cabin. Which OF COURSE has a garden gnome. Bobby calls Sam aside and Sam is SO NERVOUS to be talking to him alone, and dammit, Jared, you break my heart on a regular basis. Bobby says "this job is no picnic, and I don't know if I ever really had it in me, but you do." You know, I think it's great that people are acknowledging what a good hunter and leader Sam is. But I just can't forget how much he didn't want to do this. I know he's accepted it now, and he claims to love it, but when someone tells him he's good at it, his smile is too tentative, too fleeting. I'm probably reading too much into it, but to me it says "Yeah, I'm good at the one thing I tried to get out of doing, yay me."

Mary and Dean say their goodbyes, and he actually seems to be okay with it this time. We do get the sad piano music, so we know it's significant. But the door slams shut and Sam doesn't flinch, so all is well.

(Hey, remember that time Mary slammed the door and Sam flinched? I loved that.)

Bye, Mommy! Bye, New Daddy!

Next we see the guys calling every hunter they know, warning them about super monsters. "Use the buddy system," Sam insists. Dean feels guilty about the whole thing, and says he knows it's not his fault, and he's trying to move on from "what I - what we - what he did," so it doesn't sound like he's moved on much at all. Sam says they'll work harder.

How, Sam? You get three hours of sleep a night.

Then I'll sleep two.

Oh Sam! I love his "I will do anything you need, even if it kills me" determination. He insists they'll find Michael and kill him, and Dean asks how. Sam brings up Monster!Kaia's spear again, and WHAT ABOUT THE FREAKING ARCHANGEL BLADE???? WHY HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN IT????? But the scene ends with Dean sadly walking away (something else I love? Dean's "I'm gonna pretend I believe you can fix this but I know you can't" expression) and Sam sadly biting his lip and oh, so much sad.

So much pretty, pretty sadness.

So! A little bit of nonsense, but mostly a pretty decent episode. I do wonder why they brought up Jack's powers, and the possibility of "ending all of this," in the THEN, since it wasn't addressed at all. But we got Chief Sam getting the respect he deserves. Some nice brotherly stuff. But most importantly, this episode made me realize that if monsters are the Big Bads this season, that means mytharc episodes can also be MOTW episodes. Praise Chuck. This could turn out to be a pretty decent season after all.

As always, no spoilers in the comments, please! And keep in mind that casting information is a spoiler. Thank you!
Tags: 14.05 nightmare logic, initial reaction, pretty, season 14, supernatural

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Posts from This Journal “initial reaction” Tag

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