Supernatural: No Impala? Sink the boat! SINK THE BOAT!
OMG Ellen! We've missed you! Now, is there a way we can keep you AND get the Metallicar back?
Supernatural returned with an alternative-reality episode that set out to prove that you cannot, it seems, fight fate. Especially not when Fate is seriously peeved about a ship being saved, an Apocalypse being averted, and her entire purpose being rendered obsolete.
Down the rabbit hole
We pick up in the aftermath of Rufus' death. Apparently Bobby isn't sleeping but is drinking to excess, and the boys want to get him to talk about it. We knew something was off when Dean defeated Sam at Rock, Paper, Scissors, but we chalked it up to Sam's time being soulless. But then the boys went out to the Metallicar... WAIT A MINUTE. THAT'S NOT THE METALLICAR! IT'S GOT ORANGE STRIPES! NOOOOOOOO!
And that's when we figured out we had well and truly gone down the rabbit hole into another world. And we don't know what it says about us, but the rejiggered Metallicar (a Mustang! AS IF!) shocked us much more than Ellen's reappearance. We guess we had come to terms with Ellen's heartbreaking death, but the thought of the Metallicar being gone shook us to the core.
ANYway. Obviously, something is up. Could it possibly be related to the case the boys are working, which involves some gruesome, Rube-Golberg-esque deaths in a Pennsylvania town? At first, all the victims seem to be related, so the boys start looking for a family curse. Then someone totally unrelated dies in a tragic copier accident, and Bobby and Ellen see a pattern of weird accidents across the country. The only connection: Everyone who's died is descended from someone who came to the U.S. on an obscure ship called The Titanic. Huh.
There's more alternate-reality hijinks after the jump. Read on!
Saving the world from Celine Dion
The guys do some research and discover the good ship Titanic narrowly avoided disaster when the first mate spotted an iceberg just in time. Weirdly, that first mate was a Mr. I. P. Freely, and he looks just like the angel Balthazar.
The boys summon Balthazar, who explains what happened:
Balthazar: It was meant to bash into this iceberg thing and plunge into the briny deep with all this hoopla and I saved it.
Balthazar: Because I hated the movie
Dean: What movie?
Sam: Wait, so you saved a cruise liner because..
Balthazar: Because that god-awful Celine Dion song made me want to smite myself.
Dean: Who's Celine Dion?
Balthazar: Oh, she's a destitute lounge singer somewhere in Quebec -- and let's keep it that way.
At this point, we start sympathizing with Balthazar. However, the boys point out that something seems to be restoring the balance by knocking off the descendants of the people who weren't supposed to survive -- AND there's no Impala. But Ellen and Jo are alive, and the boys -- and Bobby -- decide that they need to save descendants while keeping this rejiggered history the same.
Fate is a harsh mistress
Fate isn't happy with this plan. Actually, she isn't happy with the boys in general, and tries to blow them up, but Cas saves them. In order to keep them safe, they decide they need to draw Fate out and kill her. So the boys take an increasingly dangerous walk (in which they narrowly avoid a runner, a skateboarder, a biker, vicious dogs, people juggling knives, hatchets and flaming torches, and a nail gun) until they are almost squashed by falling building material. Cas freezes time, and he confronts Fate.
But Fate isn't in the mood to be confronted. She knows that Cas had Balthazar save the Titanic so he could add another 50,000 souls to his arsenal. She was already peeved that the boys changed the future by saving the world for its ugly fate, but now the angels are going back and changing the past? Unacceptable! She's perfectly happy to take out the boys as revenge... and she's pretty sure Cas can't watch them 24/7. And even if she dies, she's got two sisters who will make it their mission to squash the Winchesters.
Faced with that compelling argument, Cas returns the world to its established course -- the Titanic sunk, the movie got made, and Celine Dion plagues us from many a radio. But while the rest of the world doesn't remember this little jaunt through alternate history, Cas makes sure the boys do -- he wants them to understand that Fate is cruel and capricious, but that he still believes free will is possible.
And so is freedom from the facts -- he neglects to tell the boys about the whole soul-collection scheme, and instead lets them think that this was just a wacky little whim from Balthazar. Oh, Cas... haven't you learned yet that keeping secrets ALWAYS comes back to bite you on the butt on this show? Sigh.
Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends
The gruesome deaths that fate engineered -- the garage-door guillotine, the strangulation by scarf and document feeder, and the prosaic but still impressive bus accident -- were kind of awesome. Horrible, but awesome.
Bobby is not amused that the boys are hovering over him: "You two just going to stand there like the ugly girl at the prom or are you going to pitch in? This so called Eve mother of whatever ain't gonna gank herself.... Now, do you want to stand there and therapize or you want to get me some coffee? Make it Irish!"
The only thing more awesome than surly, drunk Bobby is the way Ellen forced him to put down the whiskey bottle with a shotgun.
Dean: "I mean, accidents don't just happen accidentally. … You know what I mean."
Dean quizzes one on the surviving relatives on the family's past: "Was anyone ever killed or maimed in a war or some other violent thing? .... Like something so dark it would sully future generations? Anyone own a slave? Any ties to the Nazi party? Did Grandma ever piss off a gypsy?" We can't imagine why the guy kicked him out...
Sam: You totally Butterfly Effected history!
Dean: Dude. Dude. Rule one - no Kutcher references.
Balthazar: Ah yes, unfortunately there's still an Ashton Kutcher...
Sam: I think I saw her, over there.
Dean: Her, like Fate her? What'd she look like?
Sam: Kind of like a librarian.
Dean: Your kind of librarian or my kind of librarian?
Sam: Well she was wearing clothes, if that's what you mean…
Dean: If Fate's going after the boat people, why'd she try to waste me and Sam?
Castiel: Well, I imagine she harbors a certain degree of rage toward you.
Dean: What did we do?
Castiel: Nothing of import. Just the tiny matter or averting the the apocalypse and rendering her obsolete. I think maybe she's a little irritated about that.
Balthazar: Uh, sweetie, before we ego, I could remove that stick --
Fate: Don't. Try. Me.
Balthazar: Oh. We'll leave it inserted, then.
Dean: Did Balthazar really unravel the sweater over a chick flick?
Castiel: Yes. Absolutely. That's what he did.
Dean: Wow. It might be time to take away his cable privileges. Besides, "Titanic" didn't suck that bad.
Sam looks at Dean, incredulous.
Dean: Winslet's rack!
Were we the only ones who got the vibe that Cas and Fate had some sort of history? Like, maybe they dated or something? (Can angels and embodiments of universal concepts date? And what would their Match.com profiles look like?)