(This is pretty spoiler free as I am more or less analyzing and theorizing then reviewing. I loved this episode and everything that has happened in season 10 so that sums up the review part).
HELLATUS is over and Carver starts us off with a bang. I just want to say, right here and now that I called Rowena and the First Blade when she was first introduced. My theory, Rowena finds out or already knows what the Blade and Mark are and tries to use witchcraft to control Dean and/or Cain to overthrow Crowley and take over Hell. I would also like to state that Ruth Connell is my new favorite actress and Rowena is the villain we needed to shake things up this season. She’s devious, powerful, a completely unknown quantity in the world and the chemistry and sheer fun that Ruth and Mark are having with this is so evident and an absolute delight to watch. I thought Abaddon was a bad ass until I saw Rowena in action.
I was thrilled when Carver stated witchcraft would be big this season. I have always felt that the show didn’t do enough with it and to see how they are using it now gives me chills while reminding me of some of my favorite books where the witches are the true powers behind things. It’s such a broad mythology with witchcraft that you can truly do anything you want with it. I adore Rowena’s personality and she had some of the best lines tonight, the career woman line among them. I have a thing for witches, what can I say. When done correctly they can drive a story unlike any other dark force.
I saw several remarks on Twitter about “How could Crowley be falling for this?” First off, who says he’s actually falling for anything. I think Rowena showed her hand with revealing a little too much about what she saw regarding the meeting of Sam, Dean and Crowley and he is playing dumb. We know Crowley cares less about demon dead, a few killed here and there won’t hurt his feelings. We also know that Crowley plays a long game and is always looking for an angle to try to bring more powerful people in under him, he tried with Dean and it failed. The fact that Rowena is approximately 300 years old tells him immediately that she is a force to be reckoned with. It’s entirely possible that he is seeing what she is capable of and then trying to figure out a way to manipulate her into a corner and gain leverage. Crowley, is and always will be, a Crossroads demon, which means finding weak spots and leveraging that into a deal for him. So don’t assume that Crowley is being fooled by Rowena. I guarantee you that the fact that he is having a vision of being killed has already alerted him that Rowena is using witchcraft on him, remember he is a witch as well. As always, it’s too early in the game to truly know what’s going on but Carver hinted that these two are dancing around each other. Watch the dance and enjoy it.
With regards to Sam, Dean, Metatron and the Mark: First off, stellar acting from all three. Jensen is really sinking his teeth into this season and Curtis Armstrong is sucking every bit of marrow out of his lines. Let’s talk about Metatron’s line “The River ends at the source.” Source of the Mark is Lucifer, so is this a hint that somehow or other they have to kill or convince Lucifer to remove the Mark? Carver hinted that Cain and Dean are going to have a long conversation about the ramifications of the Mark. How much does Cain know? Does he know how to remove it? If so, why hasn’t he? One reason could be that he can’t get to Lucifer. Well, we know that Castiel can and so can Death. If Dean shares that with Cain are we going to see Cain and Dean going up against Lucifer somehow? There is still the history of Cain killing his brother which we all know Carver will bring in somehow. The mind spins at the various ways he can take this.
Now for the slightly odd story line of Castiel and Claire. This one intrigues me because I am not sure where this journey is taking Castiel and it’s always been a toss up if they are making him an angel again or more human. He’s on borrowed time still, he knows it and it’s obvious he is trying to right some wrongs in whatever way he can. Claire and that relationship are going to teach him some sort of lesson and it will tie in with what’s going on with the brothers. I loved the moments between the two although the random bad humans she hung out with were odd. It was pretty obvious that Carver and crew were using that fight scene to show that Dean is capable of restraint seeing as how it happened right after the conversation with Sam. It was the only really flawed scene in the whole episode, I think they could have held off on that until next week but I don’t get paid to write the show so I won’t bash it. I have a feeling that Carver and crew are using Claire as a way for Castiel to find his path again, to figure out what to fight for and why. He’s still recovering from the blows to his self confidence from seasons 8-9, dealing with the aftermath of the Fall etc. and doing right by Claire maybe what he needs to work his way through all that in his head. The comment about everyone having a monster inside was no idle line. Castiel did have monsters inside him, not just the Leviathans but his arrogance that he could replace God. It makes sense that they would use a character that has ties to when he was “bad ass soldier Castiel” following orders and not thinking of the consequences to help him through this time. I will be very interested to see where this goes.
All in all, this episode was everything I was hoping for! Can’t wait for next week!