Supernatural: Call of Casthulhu
Bobby and the boys keep an eye out for unlikely plot twists.
Supernatural dives into the Lovecraft mythos, sort of, but there's nary a non-Euclidean angle or tentacled monstrosity in sight. We feel cheated. We suppose it's good we weren't driven to madness by the Elder Gods... but we're a wee bit worried about the Younger God. The thought of Cas as an insane deity is a little much to take, you know?
Lovecraft, you idjit!
OK, some background. Once upon a time, there was a writer named H.P. Lovecraft, and his stories were awesome. Seriously, go read them. You've got a summer off from Supernatural, and what else are you going to do, go outside? Feh!
ANYway. Lovecraft was obsessed with opening doors to other dimensions. One day, at a dinner party, he and his friends did just that. (We'll stick to Trivial Pursuits as our after-dinner entertainment, okay?) They cracked open purgatory, and something fell out. This particular something took up residence in Lovecraft's maid and then spent the next year killing everyone involved. Then -- after sending the meatsuit's son to the looney bin -- she settled down to the life of a medieval studies professor and occasional bedmate of Bobby Singer. Yup, Professor Visyak, the woman who had the dragon-killing sword, is a former resident of purgatory.
Read on for angsty Dean, Wooby Sam, deified Cas and more!
Meanwhile, Crowley's minions kidnap Lisa and Ben in an effort to distract the boys. He reasons that while the Winchesters are looking for Dean's "ex-lady-friend and not-kid," they won't be looking for him and Cas. Cas is not happy with this arrangement, but dude, you had to know getting into bed with Crowley would entail things like this.
Dean attempts to torture Lisa and Ben's whereabouts from a passel of demons, but eventually he breaks the Devil's Trap, and a demon almost ganks him. Cas steps in and saves Dean, but Dean is feeling all betrayed, so there's more posturing and "you're like family!" and "You have to trust me!" and blah blah blah not going to happen. They remain broken-up. Sob!
The boys summon Balthazar for help, and he's initially unwilling, but after the guys tell him that Cas is consorting with Crowley, he changes his mind. (We imagine Balthy crying over his diary, scribbling, "But I thought I was the snarky Brit Cas loved!") He brings Sam and Dean to the demon safe-house, and the boys stage a rescue mission. Sam gets knocked out almost immediately, but Dean finds Lisa and Ben -- but Lisa is possessed. Again, this should not come as a shock to Dean. What does come as a shock is that when Dean tries to exorcize the demon, possessed Lisa stabs herself in the gut. If he expels her, the meat suit dies!
Dean completes the exorcism anyway, then drafts a shell-shocked Ben into demon fighting as they battle their way out. Poor kid! They make it to the hospital, but it looks like Lisa is going to die, and Ben can't forgive Dean. Fortunately, Cas has one good deed left in him -- he heals Lisa, and then, at Dean's request, erases him from their minds. Lisa and Ben think they were in a car crash, and Dean says he's the one who hit them, then wishes them a nice life. We now have a convenient plot reason why they shall never be mentioned again. Jealous DeanGirls everywhere rejoice.
Sam, meet Sam
Now a reason for SamGirls to squee -- we've got two Sams for the price of one! See, Cas put a mind whammy on Sam, and he's inside his own head attempting to reintegrate his splintered personality. That entails Wooby Sam having tearful conversations with Snarky Souless Sam, plus gunfights! That was fun!
Then Wooby Sam has to reintegrate Hellspawn Sam, and... it's not pretty. Will he survive? Spoiler alert: Yes. But there damn well better be ramifications next season, or there was a whole lot of buildup for nothing.
Cas decides to renegotiate the terms of his deal with Crowley -- he takes all the souls, Crowley gets none. Crowley can then flee or die. Apparently, angels aren't bound by deals like humans are. Crowley chooses to flee... right to Raphael, who is more than happy to let Crowley have a few souls so long as she gets most of the power. Now Cas has the option of fleeing or dying. He flees.
But guess what! Cas took the secret sauce that makes opening Purgatory so sinfully delicious! While Crowley and Raphael are attempting to open the door with tasteless dog blood, Cas uses the Colonel's Original Recipe of half virgin/half monster blood, which gives him access to the souls. He absorbs them all, and gets mega-powerful -- and more than a little loopy. He explodes Raphael (ick), and lets Crowley run, then turns to Dean and Bobby, who had come to try to stop the whole shebang. Dean tries to placate him, but Cas isn't listening -- and he's not about to give up all the souls. Then reintegrated Sam shows up and stabs Cas with the angel-killing blade, but Cas lives. Why? Let's let Cas explain:
Because I'm not an angel anymore. I'm your new God. A better one. So you will bow down and profess your love unto Me, your Lord, or I shall destroy you.
Right. So. Remember how we debated whether or not Supernatural should return after season 5, and one of the reasons for our unease was that it's hard to see where they'd go after the apocalypse? This season finale seems to have borne out those fears. They raised the stakes by having the guys go up against God (sort of), and we're not buying it.
Our main problem with elevating Cas to God (ignoring theological ramifications and fear of blasphemy, etc.) -- who or what brought Cas back when he was exploded at the end of last season, if not God? And if that God is still around, being all omnipotent and such, won't he smite the crap out of this jumped-up new God? At this point, God will HAVE to pay attention, right? And once you get God battling New God, what's the point of the rest of us even sticking around?
Then there's Lovecraft. As you probably figured out, we're fans. So it seems like a terrible waste that he, and his mythos, were used so scantily in the episode. There is so much that the show could do with Lovecraftian horror, and they just make it a convenient plot point to purgatory? We feel cheated.
Onto the boys. It felt like the show wanted to give each of the boys a showcase episode, one for the Emmy reel. Maybe if they weren't back-to-back, it wouldn't have felt so obvious? But scheduling being what it was, it just felt like a lot of pandering to the various fan bases. (Not that we always object to pandering -- sometimes the show does it really well, and hey, who doesn't enjoy Shirtless(!) Winchesters every once in a while?)
Both Jensen and Jared knocked it out of the park in their star turns. Jensen completely sold his desolation when he said goodbye to Lisa and Ben, and they didn't know who he was. But were we alone in thinking it felt a little rushed? And really, show? You're playing the "Let us never speak of this again" card? That's some grade-a retconning right there, and don't think we don't know it..
Jared was similarly wonderful when he battled himself. We love Wooby Sam, and we love Snarky Soulless Sam, so it was great to see them go head-to-head (in his head). And we guess this should put to rest any question on whether Sam was better off without his soul, as Wooby Sam defeated Soulless Sam. Poor Hellspawn Sam seemed to genuinely want to protect himself from... himself, but he knew he had to go. We're unsure on how Sam is still vertical, much less able to get stabby, however. Does he just have superior mental control, or has a lifetime of Winchestarian denial finally turned out to be a good thing? Again, we better get some explanation next season.
Fun with quotes
Sam: So we gotta get it back, right?
Bobby: Or just read the copy I'd already made. Hi, glad to meet you, Bobby Singer, paranoid bastard.
Balthazar: I'm sorry, boys, do I look like a manservant to you? No? Then quit ringing for me, please!
Dean: This is important, Balthazar.
Balthazar: I was drinking a '75 Dom out of a soprano's navel when you called -- that was important.
Lovecraft geek: This guy is literature. He should be taught in schools - he's up there with Dickens and Dean R. Koontz.
Bobby: I know what you are, Elle. You're not exactly from Milwaukee, are you?
Eleanor: Not exactly...
Bobby: And not that I'd have minded, but, you kind of fibbed about your age too.
Eleanor: Just slightly -- 900 years.
Robin: You're staying in this dump?
Robin: Maybe you're a hooker.
Sam: I guess I'll find out.
Robin: It's very "Beautiful Mind" meets "Se7en."
Robin: Nice to meet you, Jimmy Page. And Neil Pert. And Angus Young.
Castiel: You can't imagine what it's like. They're all inside me. Millions upon millions of souls.
Crowley: Sounds sexy. Exit, stage Crowley.
We were seriously pissed at Cas when he let Crowley go the first time -- come on, Cas, you HAD to know he'd come back at you. You were willing to kill Balthazar (sob!), and you're not willing to kill Crowley? It didn't make sense to us. (However, we're glad ONE snarky supernatural Brit survived...)
Dean doesn't know Lovecraft, and Bobby tries jog his memory with story titles. Hey, Bobby: tell Dean Lovecraft wrote "Re-Animator" -- we guarantee he's seen that movie.
Day! Night! We insist that that's an Ed Wood/Plan 9 from Outer Space shout-out.
Apparently, not having a soul makes you a crappy shot.
So, what did you think? Were you satisfied by the season-ender, or do you have some of the same quibbles that we do? Were you hoping for tentacled monstrosities, or were you oblivious to Lovecraft? And are you thinking the show is getting a leeeetle too close to blasphemy territory by making Cas God? What's your take? Talk about it in the comments!