'Supernatural' Recap: Why Cain Killed Abel
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
This week Supernatural
gets downright Biblical. The show introduces Cain, the son of Adam and
Eve who killed his brother Abel. And the show succeeds in offering its
own take on those events, one that will undoubtedly sound very, very
similar to Winchester fans.
"First Born" is also a great episode that gives two unlikely pairs a chance to share some much-needed bonding time. Dean and Crowley work together to find a way to kill Abaddon while Sam and Cas work hard to heal their wounds.
The First Blade
Crowley wants to kill Abaddon, but the only way to destroy a Knight of Hell is the First Blade. And the only info he has on it came from a demon who was killed by...John Winchester! This, of course, leads to the epic buddy comedy of Dean and Crowley teaming up to find the First Blade. Since Dean is usually the one cracking jokes, it's a nice change of pace to see him playing the straight man.
John's journal leads the unlikely duo to Tara, an old Hunter buddy who clearly had a fling with John (and who seems more than interesting in checking "Father/Son" off her to-do list). She's a bad-ass Sarah Connor-type who doesn't trust Crowley at all, but she helps and sends Dean and Crowley to Missouri. But, like Cecily last week, don't get too attached to Tara.
In Missouri, Dean and Crowley find a beekeeper, and Crowley is instantly terrified. The man is Cain (played by Psych's Tim Omundson). Yes, he's the son of Adam and Eve, the one who killed his brother, Abel. But Supernatural adds a whole bunch of insanely cool mythology to the character.
Cain is the Father of Murder and, after killing his brother, he became a demon, the most ruthless, powerful demon ever. He also trained the Knights of Hell, including Abaddon, but then he turned and killed them.
Cain is retired and has no real interest in getting involved in any of this nonsense. Not even the arrival of Abaddon's demon henchmen (who killed Tara to find their location) changes his mind. Instead, Cain just sits back, shucking corn while watching Dean fight and kill three demons.
The Truth About Cain
This is where Supernatural gets inventive. Cain didn't kill his brother because he was jealous that God loved him more, he did it to protect him. Lucifer wanted to trick Abel into being his pet, so Cain made a deal with Lucifer to sacrifice his own soul to Hell if Abel could go to Heaven. Lucifer agreed, but forced Cain to be the one to send his brother to Heaven.
So the older brother sacrificed his own soul to protect his brother. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the parallels.
Unfortunately, all of this was moot because the First Blade isn't there. Cain threw it into the deepest ocean after retiring from his demonic ways 150 years ago when he met a woman and fell in love. But the Knights of Hell killed her, which is why he killed all of them and retired.
In order to use the First Blade, you need to have the Mark of Cain, the bloody symbol on his forearm given to him by Lucifer. Cain offers to transfer the mark to Dean because he's worthy. There seem to be some very serious side effects to having the mark that Dean doesn't care about.
In the end, Dean gets the Mark of Cain (to go along with his anti-possession tattoo and the Enochian symbols on his ribs) and Crowley promises to find the First Blade and bring it back to him. However, Dean figures out that Crowley knew all of this when their adventure started and set Dean up, allowing Tara to die. Needless to say, Dean isn't too pleased with this and promises to kill Crowley right after he kills Abaddon. Crowley isn't convinced.
Sam and Cas Hug It Out
Back in the Men of Letters bunker, Sam and Cas have some nice bonding time, something they never do. Cas learns that Sam still has a bit of Gadreel's Grace inside of him, and that they can use it to track him if they successfully remove it. This, of course, involves a giant needle.
Sam is up for being the guinea pig because he still blames himself for not completing the trials and closing the Gates of Hell and for Kevin's death. Cas, however, has evolved. After being human and going through his own trials, he now realizes that life is worth living and that everyone is capable of change. His love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches proves that.
The Grace isn't enough for the locating spell, so they're back to square one with finding Gadreel. However, Sam and Cas hug it out in a beautiful and touching moment of male bonding.
It's a nice storyline that highlights how similar Sam and Cas are, both severely wounded and damaged following the trials of season 8, both having accidentally done horrible things. And in the end, Cas literally and figuratively fixes Sam and makes him whole again.
There's also a beautiful bit of storytelling at the end where both Cas and Crowley, independently, suggest to Sam and Dean that they could use help in their missions (finding Gadreel and killing Abaddon). As different as Cas and Crowley are, they're both trying to push the Winchesters back together, and Sam and Dean are being stubborn about it.
Next week on Supernatural: Garth (D.J. Qualls) is back. And he's a werewolf.
(Image courtesy of the CW)