Emily Dunbar ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
In a definite upswing from last week’s fairly boring digression, Supernatural put itself back on the track to tie up—or at the very least acknowledge—a few important loose ends in this week’s, “Inside Man.”
The brothers’ (thankfully civil) split at the very beginning of the episode served the storyline well. Sam (Jared Padalecki) had plans that Dean (Jensen Ackles) would only hinder, and we got a chance to dive deeper into the more cautious approach Dean seems to have adopted toward his incoming “inevitable” destruction. Castiel (Misha Collins) finally returned to the screen without any real explanation of where he’s been or what he’s been doing. That’s fine, though, because his return also meant the return of our beloved Bobby (Jim Beaver) and our not-so-beloved Metatron (Curtis Armstrong).
A lot of the humor in “Inside Man” made up for the not-so-stellar jokes that bogged down last week’s episode. Dean hustling the toolbox frat guys in the bar and the psychic not believing in Cas because he’s an atheist—these were short jokes that provided a fun digression from the fairly heavy plots we tackled this week. Overall, though, both Sam and Dean’s story arcs for this episode were just re-hashes of things we’ve seen before. Sam and Co. have to band together to pick up Dean’s pieces behind the elder Winchester’s back, while Dean is stands at a distance, thinking about going and trying to go it alone. It’s interesting that while hinted at, there is still no clear plan for how to remove the Mark from Dean’s arm. What really made this episode pop was Crowley (Mark Sheppard) and his mother, Rowena’s (Ruth Connell) wayward journey.
We’ve grown so accustomed to seeing Rowena plot in Hell, that it was actually almost a surprise when Dean didn’t recognize her, topside. Then, there was a really great moment when Rowena came in, having roughed herself up, and tried to report Dean’s strange, quasi-immortality to Crowley. While he eventually brushed her off, he indulged his mother just enough to show that he’s not truly in the position of power he’d like to think he’s in. Crowley went to fact check with Dean, to see if Rowena’s version of events held any truth—and this shows a weird kinship to both parties. First, he believed and/or wanted to believe Rowena enough to look into her story, assuming he would have taken action if it proved to be true.
Second, the fact that he runs to Dean to ask about the encounter, that he feels like he can and will get a truthful response from the hunter (and, to be honest, the fact that he does!) shows that the King of Hell really does have a strange soft spot for the Winchesters. This triangle of alliances has been building up and festering all season. Crowley and Rowena’s relationship brings a lot of drama to the screen, and adding a special contempt for Crowley’s love for the Winchesters gives Rowena’s relationship with her son a lot more dimension.
This is a relationship and a plot point that can only get deeper and more interesting with more on-screen interaction, but the episode ended with Crowley making a power play and kicking Rowena out of Hell. It’s clear by Rowena’s reaction that we haven’t seen the last of her, and no doubt, her return is going to be fiery and dramatic. Cross your fingers and hope for a big battle in the season finale!
In the end, this episode served to set up bigger and better things. Rowena and Crowley need to clash on a real level. Sam and Cas need to decide what to do with Metatron, while also accounting for our favorite Angel of the Lord’s missing grace. Dean saw his eyes briefly turn black in the bathroom—is the slippery slope he’s sliding down only getting more grease?
Tune in to the CW at 9pm on Wednesday, April 15th to catch the next episode of Supernatural, “Book of the Damned,” guest starring fan favorite Charlier Bradbury (played, of course, by fan favorite Felicia Day.) Slowly but surely we’re carving out a meaningful to this season, and you do not want to miss what’s coming next!
Overall Episode Grade: B-