THEN: Castiel came back to capture Alastair, the evil demon who tortured Dean in Hell. Sam continued to flex his incredibly powerful evil demon-crushing power.
NOW: Castiel finds a dead angel with her chest ripped apart. He and Uriel seek out Sam and Dean, who are a little troubled just having come from Pamela Barnes’ funeral. Dean is pissed off at Uriel as always, but the big bad angel doesn’t care because seven angels are dead.
They want Dean to help out by interrogating Alastair to find out who the demon is that’s killing angels. Uriel is steadfast, but Castiel clearly has some reservations. It seems Castiel is becoming a bit too close to Dean and is starting to develop emotions. Aww, the relationship between Dean and Castiel (or Cas, as Dean has taken to calling him) is adorable.
Dean is taken to a secret location where Alastair is being held. He’s tired of Uriel’s overly serious nature, but Castiel promises “Urie;ls the funniest angel in the garrison. Ask anyone.” The brilliant part is that he delivers the line in such a deadpan manner. Misha Collins is really getting a chance to do some acting.
Sam meets up with Ruby, asking her to help find Dean. Afer they track him down, Sam says he hasn’t seen her in weeks and needs her to give him a little something. She jumps on him and kisses him, but it’s not about having sex. Instead she slits open her arm and Sam takes a big drink. Uh oh, Sam is drinking demon blood to get stronger. That is so unbelievably wrong, but it’s also fantastic to see Sam get such juicy material.
Dean reluctantly goes in to start torturing Alastair, who is creepy as ever with his lisp. He taunts Dean, thinking that this little Winchester doesn’t have the cojones to go through with it. He ultimately gets through to Dean by asking if he’d be willing to do it “for all the things I did to your daddy.”
There are two things you don’t mess with in Dean’s world, and John Winchester is one of them. Naturally, the Impala is the other. Alastair talks about how he tortured John Winchester for 100 years and offered him the same deal he gave Dean, but John never got off the rack, unlike Dean who broke in just 30 years.
Alastair is pushing all the right buttons, bringing up Dean’s dad and talking about how Dean is not even half the man his father was. Dean fills a syringe with Holy Water and goes to work. Instead of breaking, Alastair makes a Monopoly joke. But Dean is just getting warmed up.
Upstairs, Anna comes back in her old body thanks to calling in a few favors. She begs Cas to stop Dean from doing this because it’s destroying him. She thinks the orders are wrong and she tries to get him to admit that he has doubts. She wants him to work with her to do their own thing, even if it means betraying orders from God. Cas doesn’t like the sound of this and makes her leave.
Back downstairs, Alastair has a trump card. H tells Dean that when he agreed to step off the rack and start torturing souls, that was the first Seal that was broken. It turns out the first Seal, the one that had to be broken in order to allow the opportunity for Lucifer to rise again, was “when a righteous man sheds blood in Hell. As he breaks, so shall it break.”
If there’s a more brilliant twist, I can’t imagine what it could be. Making Dean’s own action be the first Seal to be broken, the one that was a requirement to start this whole process, is absolutely cruel and yet, from a storytelling perspective, it’s wonderful.
Things go from bad to worse when some faulty plumbing in this crappy basement Cas chose starts leaking water onto the salt circle that seals Alastair to his torture rack. When Dean has his back turned, Alastair breaks free and knocks Dean down with a single punch.
Alastair beats the tar out of Dean until he’s a tiny bloody mess. He’s just about to kill Dean when Cas arrives for the save. This leads to an epic battle between the demon and the angel, but once again Alastair gets the upper hand, and even though he can’t kill an angel, he can send one back to Heaven. The spell is broken when a third hero arrives: Sam Winchester.
Sam raises his hand and throws Alastair against a wall, demanding he tell them who’s killing the angels. Alastair says he’s not scared, but he should be because Sam is stronger than ever. He crushes the demon out of Alastair until he finally agrees to speak. However, all he reveals is that there’s no way Lilith did this, because she would kills hundreds of angels, not just seven.
He asks to be sent back to Hell, but Sam has something else up his sleeve. His power is now so strong that he can actually kill demons, so he does just that and kills Alastair. While we were busy watching Dean deal with the angels, Sam was busy getting scarily strong.
They go to the hospital and Sam begs Cas to help Dean. Instead, Cas seeks out Uriel, who has heard that they’re supposed to stop looking for the angel killer. Cas is scared that his garrison is being killed for not doing well in their battle with the demons.
Cas is a lost soul and seeks out Anna, wanting to join her now because he’s starting to feel emotions for the first time. She points him in the right direction, and he goes back to the basement where they held Alastair and discovers the leaky pipe, which he doesn’t think is a coincidence.
Uriel arrives to tell him he’s right, because the only thing that can kill an angel is another angel. Uriel killed them all! And now not only does he want Cas to join him, but he wants to turn against God and worship Lucifer. He only killed the angels who refused to join him serve Lucifer and help usher in the apocalypse. He has recruited a few already, but Cas refuses and the two fight. Uriel gets the upper hand and is about to kill Cas when Anna returns for the last minute save, stabbing and killing Uriel.
Cas visits Dean in the hospital and tells him about Uriel’s betrayal and murder. Dean wants to know if he really was responsible for breaking the first Seal, and even though Cas tells him it’s true, he also reveals that the rightous man who started it is the only one who can stop it.
Dean wants to know what that means, but Cas doesn’t know. Dean doesn’t think he’s strong enough to actually save them and stop Lucifer from returning. “Find someone else, Dean says. “It’s not me.” And then he sheds a tear.
Next week on Supernatural: All this heavy, dark drama goes away for a bit for some wackiness where Sam and Dean don’t know each other, but they work in the same office. Also, I’m pretty sure Dean thinks Sam is flirting with him.
(Image courtesy of the CW)