We're still not in drinking night mode - unless orange juice counts - because although I am no longer sick, my friend is, and since I can't be 100% sure she has the exact same strain of whatever that I had, I am being safe and staying away so as to not get sick again.
BUT, despite downloading the episode instead, I've still only watched it once. So, everything is still based on my crappy notes.
Also, I REALLY wasn't in the mood to watch SPN tonight, but thankfully, this episode had a few things that I LOVE when SPN has, so it TURNED MY MOOD AROUND. Yay!
So, let's sip some orange juice and talk about this sucker...
We begin in Portland, where Rowena is at a fancy art party - and she gets a call from Dean, Sam, and Cas. One thing I loved about this scene (besides the flirting... and more importantly, Cas' response to the flirting) was the juxtaposing of the two worlds. There's such a big difference between Rowena's light-filled fancy party, where she is surrounded by people and art (even if she doesn't like the art), and then the cut to the boys in the Bunker, sitting just the three of them in a darkened room.
Anyway, more importantly, there is flirting, and I love it. And Rowena makes a quip about how she's surprised they even know what a party sounds like, and then after she hangs up, refusing to help them, Castiel has to agree - as though it just occurred to him - that the Winchesters never go to parties. And I just want to hug everyone.
BUT, first, there's DANCING - well, first there's Rowena trying to put on some sort of weird posh accent? It's HILARIOUS. Then she dances with her henchman Bernard and burns the woman she was talking with alive. So, that's a sucky way to go... and I start getting super disappointed that Rowena has indeed turned evil and Sam trusting her was a mistake like always... and that kind of bums me out.
Then we get a scene between Dean and Cas, where they are trying to think of a new plan. Dean figures if they can't find Gabriel, then maybe they can find Lucifer. Castiel points out how that's equally as hopeless. Then Cas decides that he should ask Heaven for help! And Dean is not a fan of that plan, because Heaven wanted Cas dead last time they checked in... so, Dean's busy vetoing the plan, when Sam walks in and is like " :( Rowena is killing people in Oregon and I guess it's all my fault... but maybe she has a reason?" and Dean is like "THE ENDS DON'T JUSTIFY THE MEANS, SAM! RAR!" and Sam is like "I KNOW! I'll go deal with it :(((((( " and then for some reason, this makes Dean tell Cas to go ahead with his Heaven plan, but "just don't get dead again." And now that Dean is on board with everyone's plans, they can all do them, I guess? Dean is such a controlling bossy pants sometimes. (Please don't get mad at me, I love him - but he IS a little "only my opinion is ever correct", don't even lie.)
Anyway, now that we're all on board and no one is arguing with Dean, Cas can go to the sandbox...
There, he meets Idra (or possibly Indra?) whom I immediately love, and then feel bad for, because he is clearly a hopeless suicidal angel who has given up on life. He is drinking constantly in order to take the edge off, and when Cas seems concerned that no battle awaits him and there are no guards at the gate, Idra is like "you could say we fought and you could just stab me? Whatever. Enter heaven if you want. I'll just be over here, on this springy horse, looking pathetic." And so Cas is like "this is disturbing" and goes into Heaven.
He finds it seemingly empty. But then Duma shows up, and Cas is like "I HAVE SO MUCH TO TELL YOU! SOME OF WHICH YOU KNOW BUT I DON'T KNOW YOU KNOW!" and then he lays out everything - how Gabriel is alive, and so is Lucifer, and how Michael is planning to infiltrate our world and then subjugate it - and how how he needs their help. And Duma is like "yes, okay." And then there's a weird power fluxuation and Cas is like "what the heck is up with Heaven, btws?" and Duma is like "right... about that..."
BUT, we cut to Sam and Dean, who are driving to Portland, having a prepping conversations about how they might have to kill her, because she's not answering her phone - and we all know that not answering your phone might as well be a guilty plea in the Court of Winchester. But then suddenly, there is someone in their backseat! So, Dean reacts like I react when there's a spider in the car, and slams on the breaks and pulls off the road and is like "GET OUT OF MY CAR!" only she is already out of the car, and so they leap out of the car and are like "WHY WERE YOU THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!"
And we find out that it's Jessica, the reaper that Dean has met before - she's been watching them sleep, shower, and masturbate for months! We also find out that Dean MIGHT have food-hoarding issues, which is played off as a joke... but honestly is actually concerning psychological behaviour? So, I was like "oh god, it's a bunch of Dean-Winchester-went-hungry-as-a-child fics bought to life!"
Anyway, the Reaper revealed herself because Billie wants them to know that she's available to help - that this case is on Billie's radar, but before we can find out more, Sam tells her to go away. Then Dean is like "but she could help?" and Sam is like "WHAT?" and Dean is all like "I trust her more than I trust Rowena" and Sam is NOT IMPRESSED. But we all know that Dean and Death are BFFS4EVA (in any incarnation).
We check in with Rowena, who is telling her henchman that things are nearly complete, and then complaining that the problem is that she's become sentimental, while she touches a very old photograph (possibly photograph of portrait). And this is where I start to expect that I know what her plan is... that it involves trying to resurrect Crowley/Fergus. (Turns out, I'm right! But we'll get there).
Sam and Dean investigate the dead woman's pile of ashes and see a weird burn mark in the ground next to her. But first, Sam discovers that the woman was high ranking member of a drug company that mislabeled a bunch of drugs, sold them anyway, and killed a whole slew of people. Dean thinks he's trying to justify Rowena's actions again, but Sam is like "I AM JUST REPORTING THE FACTS OF MY RESEARCH, DEAN! IT IS WHAT I DO."
THEN they notice the weird secondary burn mark - which Sam recognizes as a dead reaper.... so they leave Van Dusen gardens (errr... I mean the art gallery in Portland) and have a chat outside with Jessica the reaper, who Dean calls in.
She explains that Billie has taken notice of the case, because Rowena is killing people before their fated deaths, which is throwing off the natural order - and more than that - she's also killing reapers. If Rowena keeps it up, then it's going to throw off the natural order so much that it's going to require a reset - which is a mass-kill off event like a plague or a war. (This is the one weak point in the plot of the episode, and only because we've actually had this happen before in the show and they've seemingly forgotten - we saw what happened when you through off the natural order back in S6, when Balthazar saved the Titanic. We had Fate herself start taking out survivors, and that was only after they've been shifted into a parallel reality. So, why is this time different? We don't know. It just is. I mean, arguably, there's a second weak point that also involves not remembering what they did before - and that comes later when we find out how many angels are left, and it's never implied that reapers are angels, even though they conveniently were in S9... but, that's a change I'm more than happy for them to walk back on, because reapers AREN'T ANGELS RAR!!!!)
Billie has rules, and is hoping Sam and Dean can take care of this problem with Rowena so that she doesn't have to - Billie (bless her and the current writers) is bringing Death and the Reapers back to their origins and being the True Neutral force that she should be - only concerned with maintaining the natural order of life and death.
Jessica also tells them that Billie is confident in their ability to handle the situation, because in all possibilities for Rowena's fated death, it's always Sam that kills her.
Meanwhile, even though Duma was JUST talking to him, Cas is now waiting around in Heaven, bored, while she's off doing other things. She tells him that if he finds Gabriel, they'll help him - and he's like "but I need your help to find Gabriel..." and then Duma is like, "oh." And then we get a surprise return of... NAOMI!!!
I did NOT see that coming at all - and I love Amanda Tapping and I am thrilled, because Naomi had a LOT of potential as a character (villain or not) and I was sad when they killed her off in favour of more extreme villains. Naomi was a villain more a long the lines of Zachariah, and I enjoy that type of villain more than I enjoy villains like Lucifer. So.. yeah... Naomi being back is great on many levels! (And I know Amanda Tapping has been back to direct the show a couple of times, but it's nice to have her back in front of the camera too.)
Sam discovers that the CEO of the drug company is the only one still alive. Sadly, he discovers this just as Rowena is killing the man, so we cut to that...
And here my notes say:
"Oh no! CUTE REAPER!'
- Martin :(
Cute Reaper, Martin, is not long for this world, and dies alongside the CEO dude.
Then Rowena calls the Winchesters to warn them away from her. She tells them to meet her at a bar to talk, and everyone agrees that it's going to be a trap.
Cas and Naomi have a great conversation where Castiel lays out everything Naomi did to him and the abuse he suffered at her hands, and she is entirely unrepentant.... so good. She then explains how the angels power heaven, but there are currently only ~11 angels left IN ALL OF CREATION (geeeeeezus) and so Heaven is barely hanging on. Eventually, if the remaining angels die, Heaven will crumble, and all the souls it contains will return to earth as ghosts, reeking havoc and misery. (I guess SPN is an anti-reincarnation universe.... sucks to be those religions? Or maybe only those religions get to have reincarnation... and so they're sitting around going "goddamn abrahamic religions are ruining EVERYTHING just REUSE YOUR SOULS, GUYS! UGH! IT'S NOT HARD! LOOK, I MADE THAT DOUCHEBAG A WORM! NOW HE CAN IRRIGATE SOIL AND BE USEFUL FOR ONCE!")
Anyway, Cas is suitably distressed at this news.
Sam and Dean meet up with Rowena, who tells them that she's BASICALLY become a vigilante for justice, which is PRETTY COOL, if only she weren't killing reapers and throwing off the natural order and such. But, she's doing that in an effort to get Death's attention.... and it's because she wants to bring Fergus back to life. She recognizes now that it was her horrible parenting/abandonment that led to him selling his soul and becoming Crowley and then getting killed and she feels bad about it... which, hey, speaking from experiences, I think Fergus would be satisfied just knowing she actually recognized that she was horrible and felt BAD about it.
They tell Rowena how Sam's the one that will inevitably kill her. And then Sam tries to cuff her, so that they can get her to stop and/or talk sense into her elsewhere, but they find out that she's astral projecting from across the room, and then she and her henchmen flee. Bernard lets Sam run by him, but he clotheslines Dean and they get into a brawl.
Sam catches up with Rowena in the alley and she says that he'll have to shoot her to stop her. Sam REALLY DOESN'T WANT TO, and is all teary about it - but the fate of the world is kind of in his hands, so he pulls the trigger - which Rowena than stops, NeoStyle, and is OFFENDED!
Dean finally wins his fight against Bernard, which Jessica is impressed by, because Bernard was a "highly trained military operative" and YES! THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS! The WINCHESTERS ARE ALSO HIGHLY TRAINED MILITARY OPERATIVES!!! But when Dean gets to the ally, he finds Sam's gun on the ground and Sam missing - and he is CONCERNED and Jessica's "oh man, you are not going to like this" face is NOT HELPING.
Rowena has Sam tied to a chair in her motel room... and they chat... and okay, so, this is another thing I love - characters that have more connection with Sam than they do with Dean. Mainly, as you all know, because Dean usually gets all the connections - I am VERY HAPPY that they've started, in recent seasons, to give Sam stronger relationships with people around him, and I love exploring those relationships. Anyway, I love this exploration of two people who are.. mostly enemies, but in the sort of classical enemy way.... like they respect and love each other too, and that what makes them such great antagonists for each other, and then their such great antagonists, it makes it all the sweeter when they work together as tenuous allies, but always with need pitted against need, and their unchanging personal agendas that keep that sliver of antagonism through every exchange.
We also get an exploration of Rowena's changing perspectives (which is something I wanted more of last season, so I'll take what I can get here) - but we see that with the unleashing of her powers, she's seen that her pursuit of them has corrupted her entire life, but still left her not powerful enough to get what she wants - which is her son back. Ironically, she gave up her son, and her adopted son Oscar, all in the pursuit of power, and once she had it, discovered only regret because it did not satisfy her the way she thought it would. The ends truly didn't justify the means, and she discovered that the hard way.
And sadly, she still hasn't learned that lesson, because she's now on a similarly destructive mission - and she decides, with a lot of regret, that she obviously has to kill Sam in order to get Death's attention - since Sam is the one meant to kill her, this will certainly work. And it DOES - a little... Billie shows up, but only to tell her that she won't respond to blackmail, and that Rowena can kill Sam if she wants, and bring Fate's resent down upon the world, but that Billie's stance will remain unchanging.
Sam tries to talk Rowena out of it again, and it appears to not work, as Rowena loses her temper and attacks everyone in the room - but it is very much the temper tantrum of a person who knows that she is defeated. She can't bring Fergus back, and she doesn't want to kill Sam.
Dean barges into the room, just as Rowena collapses in tears, about how unfair it all is. Billie says her goodbyes, telling Dean that she'll see him again soon (ominously!).
Back with Castiel, he's optimistic that they'll be able to find Gabriel and turn Heaven around, and everything will be okay... and Naomi is like "oh you sweet summer child" and is all pessimism (and you all know how much I love optimist-pessimist duos) and then Naomi says that until they find Gabriel and get things sorted, she's closing the gates of heaven. And she does. So, there's that. Sandbox is just a sandbox now.
Sam, Dean, and Rowena, are hanging out on the floor, as you do after beatings and emotional breakdowns. Floors are so supportive.
Rowena talks about how full of regret she is. Dean tells her that she can't take all the blame for Crowley, that Crowley made his own choices in life (which is true - it's not 100% the parents' fault 100% of the time.) Sam and/or Dean point out that EVERYONE has things they regret, that EVERYONE is trying to make up for something in their life.
Sam says that if Rowena wants to find redemption, maybe she could start by helping them - and he breaks the news that Lucifer is back (but they have their fear of him IN COMMON AND I LOVE THEM) And while we don't hear Rowena's answer, it looks good?!
Anyway, it should be an interesting final 4 episodes, because they're ALREADY getting the most powerful witch in the world to help them out. I am MIGHTLY CONCERNED about the finale, as something disastrous always happens, and at this point it could be SO MANY THINGS - Michael arriving, Dean dying?!, Heaven crumbling? And we haven't even gotten to whether or not Sam and Dean will successfully save Mary and/or Jack or whether one or both of them will die and/or continue to be trapped in alternate realities.
So, as usual, let me know your thoughts in comments!