‘Supernatural’: The Things We Left Behind – Review

The writers of the show sure know how to leave us gasping for air and wanting more that’s for sure!

There were so many layers of things going on in this episode, things we’d never seen before and things maybe we didn’t want to see. I had one small gripe and tweeted about it and have a story to tell as to the response I got, but that will come soon. 🙂

Let’s start with the Cas/Claire story line: First off, Kathryn Newton did a truly breathtaking job as Claire and I hope she gets many more roles as well as comes back to Supernatural again. She was believable and captivating from the minute we saw her. She goes back and forth from vulnerable to angry to tough in seconds but we fully feel each emotion she’s trying to convey. When Cas first enters the isolation room and for one brief moment we see the hope in her eyes that maybe it really is her father, until Cas speaks and she knows it’s not brings tears to your eyes. The whole opening scene between the two was sheer acting brilliance. Misha’s portrayal of Cas’s helpless, confused guilt and his desire to somehow make up for the pain he’s caused Claire, especially since he had heard her prayers to him, shines through and Claire wanting to believe her Dad is still alive until Cas tells her he isn’t was the perfect counter to that.

I think people forget that Cas did and possibly still does hear prayers to him and as an angel that’s thousands of years old he has had to ignore millions of calls for help to carry out God’s will. In this episode we can see how that has eaten away at him over the eons and how he wishes he could do it all differently.

Once we leave the group home and get to the restaurant where Cas and Claire eat; Claire’s rejection and brutal honesty that Cas merely feels guilty but that he is not truly sorry for what he has done to her slams into him because he knows that she is right. He lacks the ability to understand and to truly empathize because he truly has no experience, other than with Sam and Dean, of what a family is supposed to be. When she runs off and he calls Sam and Dean for help I think the best indication of how Cas is thinking is when he states that Claire is his responsibility. He knows he doesn’t love her as a father should but he is beginning to view her as someone in his charge, like when he was the Captain of a garrison of angels.  He wants to keep her safe and help her but showing her love is something still foreign to him. That is what makes the hug he gives her in the Impala and his actions to clear her from inside the house after they see what Dean has done such importance. He’s becoming a guardian angel to her, a protector, something that he feels he should have been doing all along. I think we will see that in Cas’s eyes, Claire is becoming a symbol of all the humanity that he couldn’t save since the moment he came into existence and a way to redeem himself after slaughtering so many of his own kind.

Sam and Dean: For the first time, I think, ever in the show we see the boys sharing a positive memory about John that had nothing to do with hunting. We hear about Dean being a rebel and John coming for him but that it was a good memory. The fact that Sam was the one that prompted the story telling is also a landmark because up until now the only memories we have seen Sam have about John revolve around fighting. Not only does Sam prompt the memory but he enjoys it, maybe because Dean was the one in trouble, but more likely because the boys have been taking time to re-establish their brother connection and this is a shared memory of that. Jared has stated in recent cons that Sam is comfortable with himself now, that he doesn’t take on other people’s judgments, views or problems as his own anymore. We see that here, Sam has let go of the crap that he and John fought over, he understands and forgives what John had to do. Sam is finally at peace with the past and that will give him strength to deal with the future. It was also interesting that Dean stated he loved John with everything he had, this is another reversal and a new trend in Dean. Last ep it was him stating that the people who loved him pulled him back from the edge, this one he acknowledges love again. Sam isn’t the only one who’s come to terms with the past and I found Sam’s nod of agreement at that statement telling as well. He was agreeing with Dean’s openly expressed love for John, which Sam always knew Dean had, but not only agreeing with it, he’s almost encouraging Dean to open up. This is something Sam has been trying to get Dean to do for years, we also see it in Sam’s face in the opening scenes where he is walking up to give Dean the grilled cheese sandwich and sees him laughing. You can see Sam thinking, “Yes! Please stay like this! Not hiding everything like you always have.”

Of course it wouldn’t be Supernatural if that lasted.  Before I get into the ending scene and how heart stopping it was I want to get into my one point of contention and story. First off, I was very cranky that we didn’t get to see Dean snap. I have a theory, the kick in the face knocked Dean out and the Mark took over and when Dean came to there were bodies everywhere. This fits for two reasons: 1. Screen went black. 2. How he’s swaying there looking stunned at the end. The dream sequence and the ending fit together, the Mark is driving his subconscious and it’s the first time it has had a chance to break free. Until informed otherwise, that’s what I am sticking with lol.

My other major contention was Sam getting into Baby without making damn sure Dean was behind him. I tweeted about it and politely tweeted Guy Norman Bee who’d replied to one of my tweets during the livetweet last night. I wasn’t at all expecting a response but he replied. So I will let the man himself explain.
Kat Loveland ‏@ChaoslilKat 1h1 hour ago
@guynormanbee One question? Loved ep but why is this the one time Sam doesn’t check that Dean was in the clear? They always have before.
0 replies 1 retweet 4 favorites

Guy Norman Bee
@ChaoslilKat He assumed Dean was right behind him as he left the house – realized something was wrong when he got in the car…

Reply to @guynormanbee
Kat Loveland ‏@ChaoslilKat 1h1 hour ago
@guynormanbee Thanks for replying!! I can see that as a plot driver, I would have thought he’d heard the door shut or worried about Dean+

Kat Loveland ‏@ChaoslilKat 1h1 hour ago
@guynormanbee alone with armed men and the MOC. However I loved it! I am a writer too so those things stand out to me more than maybe to +

Kat Loveland ‏@ChaoslilKat 1h1 hour ago
@guynormanbee others! Well done episode though and thank you!
0 replies 0 retweets 2 favorites

Kat Loveland ‏@ChaoslilKat 1h1 hour ago
@guynormanbee I dislike critiquing others who are far more successful than I am, It just stood out. Enjoy your holidays!

Guy Norman Bee ‏@guynormanbee 1h1 hour ago
@ChaoslilKat Sometimes in narrative storytelling The necessary evil is a bit of suspension of disbelief… Any longer of a beat and it

Guy Norman Bee ‏@guynormanbee 59m59 minutes ago
@ChaoslilKat Would have been unbelievable… Sam wouldn’t have left him any longer…

Kat Loveland ‏@ChaoslilKat 58m58 minutes ago
@guynormanbee True. It’s the difference between writing a novel and a TV show and I am fully aware of that. Usually I can suspend….

Kat Loveland ‏@ChaoslilKat 58m58 minutes ago
@guynormanbee disbelief but you know how it goes. lol. Thank you for replying I know you are busy. (totally fangirling right now by the way)

Kat Loveland ‏@ChaoslilKat 57m57 minutes ago
@guynormanbee I fangirl more over writers and directors than I do over the stars lol. I hope to meet you in person one day!
0 replies 0 retweets 2 favorites

After I finished fangril crying because I was so astonished he replied I had to admit he had a point for two reasons. One, if Sam had run back in either he would have stopped Dean or Dean would have killed him. Since neither of those things can happen as that would not propel the story forward I get it. Two, Sam probably assumed that Cas had taken care of the guy upstairs with Claire and that Dean would be backing out right behind him and since Dean had the gun out and the others didn’t he was safe.

My first thought when I saw the end was why the hell would Sam leave Dean alone with armed men and the Mark of Cain on his arm.  I have to remember that Dean has not told Sam about his dreams and although Sam knows there are issues he does not know how deep they are. We also are not aware of how much actual time has passed either, so if Dean has been doing well, although Sam is obviously concerned, his guard may be down. The other thing is the men in the house were simply humans which could give Sam a sense of safety.

Now, back to the episode in progress. The last few minutes and Sam begging Dean to tell him he had no choice ripped at me and gives a bit of credence to my theory that Sam had been fooled or fooling himself into thinking that things were not as bad as they are.  As soon as Sam heard the gunshots we could tell that as concerned as he was that Dean was in trouble he was almost more worried that he would see what he ended up seeing. Bodies strewn everywhere, even those that were not a threat and Dean in the middle, covered in blood and holding a weapon. The expressions Jared showed, his instant rush to Dean’s side, all of it was perfectly orchestrated and delivered. The contrast between Cas’s face and Sam’s was all too evident as Cas understood, truly, why Dean had told him to kill him and not let Sam interfere. As Cas walked out, almost in resignation, knowing that soon he may have to destroy Dean to save him, you could see the weight of all those eons of angelic decisions come back to him and the reason Dean asked him to do it. Dean knows that Cas is the only one who will be able to separate how he feels from what needs to be done. Cas at his core, is, and always will be, a soldier and sometimes choices that no one wants to make have to be made

Crowley and Rowena: I can’t leave these two out. What fun!! Devious Rowena and sly Crowley. Now we know a little bit about both of their pasts and we know the game is on. The question is, who is playing who? Rowena seems willing to sacrifice anyone to save herself, that’s for sure. Did Crowley believe her when her killed Gerald or did he do it to see exactly what she’s capable of? The fact that she’s still alive tells him that she’s powerful and could be useful. Loved the lines of “Freedom” and “Braveheart” not to mention the name disagreement. Just delicious! Crowley has the blade and now he has Rowena. Can the two of them use witchcraft to control the two remaining Knights of Hell? Cain is coming back and we know that witchcraft plays a huge role this season so I am eagerly anticipating what will come.

All in all this is ep set us up for what continues, in my mind, to be one of the best seasons of Supernatural.