‘Supernatural’: I can’t be helpless again

“Various & Sundry Villains”
February 1, 2018


“I hate witches. They’re always spewing their bodily fluids everywhere…It’s creepy, y’know, it’s downright unsanitary!”


Cas and Lucifer spend the episode cooling their heels in warded cells and jawing at each other.  It’s mostly filler but for the part when Cas tells Lucifer that his son is a good, kind, and thoughtful boy who doesn’t look anything like his father.

And then Lucifer discovers that rage is a good motivator.  He’s able to juice up long enough for him and Cas to break out of lock up.  But once they’re clear of the demons, Lucifer turns on Cas in a bid to take his grace.  He slashes Cas who stabs him in the heart.


Is that it?  Are we done with Lucifer?  It can’t be that easy, but I can hope, right?

stephen colbert fingers crossed good luck

Dean has been in the stacks pulling reference materials.  He delivers four tomes to Sam – everything they have that makes any mention of alternate realities.  And you guys … OH MY GOD YOU GUYS!


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Dead Sea brine, lamb’s blood, and the bone of a lesser saint.  Slap a sigil on a flat surface and you’ve got a portal.  Dean knows this.  Dean knows how to do this.  Why can’t they cast spells using different sigils until they find the right place?

I know that the Sera Gamble era of Seasons 6 and 7 is underappreciated, and Show seems like it tries to forget they ever happened, but “The French Mistake” is one of the best episodes of the entire series!

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And I’m on record as being down for a season spent hopping from one universe to another, Sliders style.

Anyhoo, Dean continues preaching his gospel that the only way out is through.  So while Sam makes the magic happen with the research-fu, Dean will make a beer run.

He walks out of the store with (only) a six-pack and honestly I’m surprised these boys haven’t just gone to bi-weekly keg deliveries.  A woman calls out for help and Dean rushes to her aid.  Her sister, Jamie, is on the ground, seemingly unconscious and unresponsive.  As Dean checks Jamie’s vitals, Jenny slips a red hex bag into his pocket and whispers an incantation.

Dean’s eyes flare with pink energy and the smooth jazz sax of love begins to play as the spell takes hold.

Sergio SNL Jon Hamm

Dean is whistling a jaunty tune as he all but skips into the Bunker.  He announces that he’s in love.  Full on twitter pated even.  Sam is like, is this what going mad feels like?  Dean says that she’s sweet and beautiful and just kind of perfect and he’s thinking about asking her to move into the Bunker with him.

I love it when we get glimpses of what a light and easy breezy Dean would be like, but it’s just a reminder of all the burdens that he carries.  My heart!

Dean goes to the cabinet next to the mini fridge and pulls out the Black Grimoire.  It’s a gift. For Jamie.  His soul mate.  The claxons begin blaring in Sam’s head.  Dean says it’s cosmic fate that she asked by name for something they just happened to have!


Sam instantly groks that Dean is under a love spell.  He references Becky and “Season 7 Time for a Wedding”.  Dean is not familiar.  No memory at all.  And see, this is what I’m saying!  Stop trying to erase Seasons 6 and 7, Show!

Anyhoo, Sam says that Jamie must be a witch or a demon and Dean will thank Sam not to speak so of his beloved!  He tells Sam to be nice … because she’s got a sister.  Dean beams like it is Sam’s lucky day.  He says they could hit it off … it’s cute when the less attractive siblings fall in love, right?

Sam continues trying to reason with Dean’s crazy, but it will have to wait because Jamie is waiting for him at the market.  Dean reaches for his keys but Sam scoops them up first.  When Sam tries to stop him as he walks away, Dean turns and lays Sam out cold with a massive right hook.


Dean walks back to the market and Jenny pouts that he didn’t bring the car.  She wanted the car.

Jenny needs to die painfully and brutally.

Dean hands over the Black Grimoire and closes his eyes for his kiss reward.  Sam screeches into the parking lot before Jamie can bash Dean’s pretteh pretteh face in with a sledgehammer.  Sam pulls a gun on the girls and Dean bats it away before tackling his brother.  They tussle on the ground and Jenny suggests leaving before one of them actually wins.

Sam pulls the hex bag from Dean’s pocket but it doesn’t break the spell.  Dean puts Sam in a headlock and tries to choke him out.  He doesn’t want to do it, but he just loves her so much!  They’re separated by a jolt of electricity and the hex bag is consumed by pink flame.  Rowena saunters up.

“Hello, boys.”

SPN_Crowley thats my line

They repair to the Bunker where Rowena pours the drinks and tells her story.  Lucifer did kill her – graphically and as described – but she had taken the precaution of another resurrection spell.  Which is fine, but I kind of wish she’d come back as a demon.

I also wish the cat hadn’t been let out of the bag weeks in advance so that her return could have been a surprise.

Anyhoo, Rowena says it took her a very long time to heal and she’s not interested in it happening again.  Which is why she needs the Black Grimoire.  She explains that years ago the Grand Coven cast a binding spell limiting aspects of her magic.  There’s a page in the Grimoire that may break it.  Dean thinks Rowena is just after more power but she insists she’s only interested in protecting herself.  She’s changed!  Honestly!

“Having your skull crushed and being burned alive can do that to a girl.”

The boys tell her that Lucifer is trapped in Apocalypse!verse, but she sputters at them that the devil is never gone!  And she takes no comfort in Crowley’s sacrifice.  She says she would rather have a living son – even one that hates her – than a dead hero.

Rowena does take some glee in the Winchesters being outfoxed by two young, overly ambitious wee witches.  She purrs at Dean, asking if they got to fifth base.  Dean seems flustered.  He says there’s no such thing as fifth base.

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“Oh, you poor sheltered boy.”

The boys motor to Stillwater, OK with Rowena in tow.  The general vicinity is the closest her tracking spell can get them.  She says with distaste that they’ll have to speak with the locals.  Dean takes the lead while Sam hangs back with Rowena.  Because although her spells can get someone talking, they also tend to boil people’s brains, so.

Rowena suggests Dean start with women.  She peers at him over the top of her sunglasses.  Something tells her that Jenny and Jamie aren’t popular with other ladies.

Dean’s investigation takes him to a hardware store and a clerk who is indeed not impressed.  Brenda sniffs that Dean and every other man west of the Ozarks are trying to track down the Plum sisters.  Dean says if it helps, he doesn’t plan on being nice about it when he finds them.  Brenda is only too glad to give him their address.

She’s also quite happy to watch Dean walk away.

SPN_Dean Jensen butt wiggle

Rowena is bored.  So bored!  She asks if there’s any music.  Sam says Dean has a tape of Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick” with an 8-minute drum solo.

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Rowena asks Sam if he’s very sure she can’t just enslave some townsfolk?  Sam is sure she can, but also quite sure that she shouldn’t.

“Bless your precious heart.”

Hey, Sam would have you know that’s a half-million dollar heart.  Respect.

Sam knows he shouldn’t engage, but he can’t seem to help himself.  He tells Rowena that, even if she gets the Black Grimoire back, it’s not going to change anything.  She’s still going to feel helpless.  Rowena tries to shut him down but the words spill out of her anyway.  She says that Lucifer showed her his true face.  She admits that she’s scared.  All the time.

Sam says he’s seen it too.  It still keeps him up at night.  Rowena wonders how he deals with it.  Sam says he doesn’t.  Not really.  He pushes it down and he does the job and he keeps the world from ending … but it’s always there.  He says he doesn’t talk about it – not even with Dean.  He knows he could.  Dean would listen, but it’s not something that Sam even knows how to share.

What he can express to Rowena is that she won’t ever be able to change what happened or how helpless she felt – or how helpless she still feels.  She’s still going to get scared and that feeling never goes away.  Never.

Baby’s backseat suddenly feels too small.  Rowena gets out of the car as Dean walks up.  She insists she’s not fleeing!  She just needs to take a beat.  Dean pulls the address out of his pocket but says he and Sam will take it from here.  Rowena drops a hex back and freezes them in place.

Sam is closest to the bag but struggles to reach it.

“C’mon!  You’re like eight feet tall.  You can’t reach that?”

While Rowena is annoyed that the Plum Sisters didn’t follow her plan, and forced her to involve the Winchesters, she’s willing to let it go.  She offers to resurrect the girls’ mother, as promised, as long as they give her the book.  Jenny says they already did the spell.


While zombie witch mom has Rowena penned up in the kitchen, the boys burst in on the sisters … but don’t shoot them immediately?  And tell them that their guns are loaded with witch killing bullets?

Shoot dont talk

Maybe it’s the cumulative effects of years of head trauma, but man these boys have gotten dumb.

Fight fight struggle fight.  The boys get their asses handed to them by the “really weirdly strong” magically charged Plum girls.

Momma zombie finally breaks through the kitchen door.  Rowena shouts that magic won’t work on her.  Little help!  Despite the fact that Jamie is holding a knife to his throat, Dean calmly suggests shooting momma zombie in the head, because he’s a professional like that.

Rowena is able to grab Dean’s fallen gun and does just that.  And then she boils the sisters’ brains and forces them to brutally stab and bludgeon each other to death.

And that’s why you don’t disrespect Baby.


Rowena insists that her triple cross to put herself on the Winchesters’ side, recover the Black Grimoire, and defeat the villains went exactly as she planned.  Sam calls shenanigans.  Rowena gives him the sad anime eyes as he tugs the Grimoire from her hands.  She whispers that Lucifer may be locked away, but he’ll be back.  He always comes back … and when he does, she can’t be helpless again.

Sam’s face is stony as he takes the book from her.

And honestly y’all, I’m not even sure why it’s an issue. Why does she keep giving the book back to them when she could just hex them and waltz off with it like she did with the Book of the Damned?


Back at the Bunker Dean bemoans that he fell for a love spell.  And got clocked by a witch with a hammer.  And, adds Sam, zombie mom!  He says it’s the details that sell the story.  Dean isn’t exactly keen to tell a story that involves him getting beat up by a girl.

“Girls beat us up all the time.”


Dean sips his beer and reminds Sam that Rowena isn’t their friend.  He opens the Black Grimoire and points to the ragged edges where a page has been torn out.  Sam insists that Rowena didn’t get into his head. And that if she breaks bad, he will hunt her down and put a bullet in her.  But if she’s right about Lucifer …

“I hope she makes him suffer.”

Dean worries at Sam again some more about being in the dark place, but Sam admits that it’s more than that.  He says he knows what Rowena is dealing with.  Because here’s the thing – Rowena played Sam, but she was also telling the truth.  She told Crowley in “The Devil in the Details” that she hated him because love was weakness and she would never be weak again.

There are no lengths Rowena won’t go to not feel like the helpless girl she was before magic.

Sam says he feels helpless.  Dean prompts him to go on.  Sam tells him he had a plan – help Jack, get Mary back.  It wasn’t much, but it was something to hold on to.  An anchor.  And now he’s adrift.

Dean says they’ll figure it out and Sam demands to know – HOW?  Dean admits he doesn’t know while Sam inwardly curls up into a little ball and begins rocking.  But Dean insists they will.

The two of them together.  It’s the best plan Dean has.

The plinky piano of the Family Theme is overplayed by a moaning cello and my heart!  MY HEART!

Rowena has decamped to the sort of swell hotel she favors.  She casts the spell and the purloined page from the Black Grimoire flares with power.  With a cry, she draws the tip of a knife down her throat.  A burst of violet energy escapes through the incision.  Blood streams from Rowena’s eyes. The glowing tendrils wrap around her,  revealing the bindings the Grand Coven placed on her.

One by one the bonds are broken.

The euphoria of the spell subsides and calm settles over Rowena.  Her eyes begin to glow.  Head of Supernatural F/X, Mark Meloche, says her eyes were purple, which makes sense since it’s Rowena’s signature color.

But on my TV Rowena’s eyes read as bright blue.  When did Rowena become an angel, blue.  The spice must flow, blue.  Winter is coming, blue.

Either way, some shit’s about to go down.  Trust.


Supernatural airs Thursday at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) on The CW. Whitney also watches Timeless and (sometimes) Outlander. Follow her on Twitter @Watcher_Whitney.

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