“Soul Survivor” might be one of the dullest episodes of Supernatural in its 10-season run. It’s a completely necessary episode to get things back to normal, but the whole hour feels like a pit stop on a family vacation. Sure, you need to go to the bathroom, stock up on snacks and fill the tank with gas, but it’s not exactly exciting.
In fact, the whole episode can be summed up in five words: Cas and Dean get cured. That’s all you really need to know. And it’s not even a real, permanent cure. It’s just a band-aid on the problem and I guess they’ll worry about it later. It’s exactly like when Death put that Wall up in Sam’s mind to allow him to stop being soulless. Supernatural loves temporary solutions. And apparently the show also loves introducing completely random new characters without explaining who they are or what they’re doing.
Sam has Dean tied up in the Men of Letters bunker, prepped for the demon cure that involves injecting him full of blood. Since Jensen Ackles directed this episode, he spends the first half of it tied to a chair, taunting Sam about how futile this all is because he doesn’t want to be cured. Sam is worried it might kill his brother, but he has to do it anyway.
Unfortunately, Demon Dean manages to escape while Sam is busy looking at old photos and reminiscing about when his hair was hilariously floppy. What follows is the most boring part of the episode, a cat-and-mouse game as Dean looks for Sam in the bunker. Sorry, Jensen Ackles fans, but this entire scene felt sluggish and lacked any real tension, and I feel like I have to blame his direction.
Eventually the brothers come face-to-face and Sam holds a knife to his brother’s throat, but he can’t kill him. Just then, a newly rejuvenated Cas arrives like a dues ex machine to subdue Dean, tie him up again and finish the cure.
It works, and Demon Dean’s black eyes disappear, holy water has no effect on him and regular Dean is back. Sure, he still has the Mark of Cain, which is probably going to be a problem, but he’s cured for now.
What Sam Did
Do you remember that lady demon Sam was torturing for information from the first episode of the season? And Lester, the guy who sold his soul to have his wife killed from last week’s episode? Well, they’re connected with a tidy little bow.
In flashbacks, we learn that Sam found Lester and told him about Crossroads Demons. He convinced Lester to summon one, though he tried to stop the deal before it happened. He was too late, but he did capture the Crossroads Demon who appeared, who he then tortured.
It’s a clever way to connect the first three episodes, and to make Sam feel badly because the man Demon Dean killed only died because Sam used him as a pawn.
Hell Is Lame
Crowley is in Hell filling out tedious paperwork and remembering the good times he had with Dean. He’s like a girl in a movie whose boyfriend dumps her, so she cries, eats ice cream and listens to sad songs on the radio.
His heart just isn’t in it, and his minions have noticed. They’re frustrated that, after all of the things they’ve done over the past few seasons, Hell is still boring. I assume the show is getting a little meta, because they’ve kind of run out of ways to Crowley scary since every plan he’s ever had has eventually been thwarted.
How Cas Got His Grace Back
Cas and Hannah are still on the road, and Cas is worried that Hannah is starting to develop a little crush on her. They get ambushed but Adina, that angel they tried to take back to Heaven, and she beats the crap out of Cas while threatening to kill Hannah.
Instead, Crowley shows up, kills Adina, spills her Grace into a cup and feeds it to Cas. Crowley claims he did this so that Cas could help cure Demon Dean, because Dean is causing too many headaches for him in Hell. Just like that, Cas has borrowed Grace once again and is all fueled up for another half a season or so, until the writers decide to come up with a more permanent solution. Just like with Dean.
The Lady in Red
The episode ends very strangely, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A mystery woman with red hair hangs out in a hotel room, and then we see dead bellboys on the ceiling. First Cole and now this chick, why is season 10 introducing so many new elements without adequately explaining them? It’s kind of annoying.
Next week on Supernatural: Things return to normal with a Monster-of-the-Week case involving werewolves.
(Image courtesy of the CW)