Emily Dunbar ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
After last week’s tear-fest, it wasn’t obvious what direction Supernatural was going to pull us in next. Unsurprisingly, as it’s the end of the season, we were dragged just a bit further through the mud of pain in this week’s episode, “The Prisoner.”
During Charlie’s “proper” send off (refer to last week’s review to understand why proper is in quotes) Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) made it more than clear that he wasn’t feeling like himself. He said horrible, mean things to his beloved brother, Sam (Jared Padalecki), including that he thought the younger Winchester should be on the pyre instead of Charlie. Then the elder brother went on a rampage. In a thin shroud of mock-calmness, Dean went from Styne to Styne, killing any- and everyone who may have been directly or indirectly involved in Charlie’s death. Supernatural desensitizes us to senseless violence, so we don’t even bat an eyelash as Dean slices and bleeds his way out of Styne Manor. But then he returned to the Bunker and refused to show mercy to Cyrus Styne, the youngest and clearly most moral member of the family. The boy pleads with Dean, insisting he isn’t like the rest, and he never would be. A Mark-less Dean would have recognized this boy as good, as someone who was cursed by circumstance—he might even empathize—but this Dean shot him in the head and turned around to beat Castiel (Misha Collins) to a pulp! All this stands to show that the Mark has already changed Dean for the worse. And despite the fact that Charlie worked out the code for the Book of the Damned before she died, and Sam has Rowena (Ruth Connell) working on translating the it to find a cure, Dean could very well be charged forever. Even if the Mark can be removed, how can we be sure we’re going to be looking at the same hunter we’ve known so well for 9 seasons?
With Dean and his issues being front and center for the majority of the episode, it’s easy for other good plot points to get lost. First, we can’t forget to acknowledge how great Sam’s interaction with Crowley (Mark Sheppard) was. It’s a shame his streak of goodness is probably over, now, but boy was it great to watch! With Crowley on the edge of death, coughing up blood and baring his soul, it was hard not to sympathize, to wish for a different ending, to even hope Sam fails his end of his deal with Rowena. Then, surprise! The King of Hell was faking all along. Now, Crowley’s alive and well, and Moose (and subsequently, we) are in for it. No news yet on whether Crowley despises Dean by proxy. Stay tuned for that. Speaking of Dean: the one part of his behavior we can condone was leaving Cas alive after beating him senseless. Our poor, sweet favorite Angel of the Lord was left in a pool of his own freaking mouth blood. But hey! Dean stabbed a book instead of his celestial heart! So we can rest easy another week.
Overall, this episode worked to set the scene for next week’s season finale. Rowena is (theoretically) decoding the Book of the Damned, which means that Dean could (theoretically) be cured, which means the brothers could (theoretically) get back to business as usual, Cas could recover and find a new mission, innocent people could stop dying senselessly. But it’s all in the balance now. Next week’s episode is going to be action-packed. It looks like Death (portrayed by Julian Richings), somehow a fan favorite, has something to do with the next leg of Dean’s journey. Is Dean going to have to die? Is he going to become Death (again)? Tune in to the CW next Wednesday at 9 pm to find out what’s next in Supernatural’s season finale, “Brother’s Keeper.”
Overall Episode Grade: B