Supernatural: Caged Heat (Review)
Skinwalkers and Faeries have been the order of the day. Sam and Dean continue to search for a way to get Sam’s soul out of the Box while trying their best not to be taken under by the fact that they’re working for Crowley who has hinted at having the juice to return Sam’s soul. With Cas having his hands full with the Civil War in Heaven and Grandpa Sam MIA, the Winchesters are on their own. Just like old times.
Starting off strong from the first scene, the writers mean business. Upping his game as the new King of Hell (though not quite getting that respect old Lucifer does) Crowley (Mark A Shepphard) has the Alpha shifter in chains, playing twenty questions. He wants the location of Purgatory but the shifter refuses to cooperate. Like most hellspawn, Crowley’s not the most patient of entities and quickly decides that the shifter’s head (despite being in Crowley’s image) should no longer be attached to its body.
Meanwhile Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), going against everything they stand for, bring a capture monster to Crowley’s henchmen. Afterwards, Dean swears that they are through with it, unable to swallow working for Crowley any longer. Their discussion is interrupted when Meg (Rachel Miner) and her cronies surprise the brothers. She’s looking for Crowley’s location and Sam figures out just why; as they new tyrant of the down-below, one of items on Crowley’s to-do list is to eliminate all those loyal to old management. Meg just happens to be on that list. Get to Crowley before he gets to her. Sam uses some soulless logic to get Meg to play for them, another black mark in Dean’s book but a necessary evil.
Meg and her crew in hand, Sam calls on Castiel (Misha Collins) as insurance against a double cross. When Cas can’t find Crowley’s location, the Winchesters ask Grandpa Sam (Mitch Pileggi) for help. He refuses and the brothers discover that Crowley has promised to bring his daughter (their mother) back. Dean pleads for him to let it go but he doesn’t. He initially refuses to help but comes back with Crowley’s location.
The unlikely group makes their way to Crowley’s hideout where hellhounds attack. Using Cas’s angelic sword, Meg holds off the charging dogs long enough for Cas and the brothers to get to Crowley. They are stunned with Grandpa Sam shows up, banishing Castiel and handing the brothers over the Crowley’s henchmen. Grandpa Sam visits the imprisoned Dean, who swears retribution. Soon after, they give Dean over to two ghouls but Sam comes to his rescue (after a pretty ingenious escape from his cell). The brothers end up saving a tortured Meg from Christian (Corin Nemec) before ensnaring Crowley. It’s here where he admits that he can’t retrieve Sam’s soul from the Box, as well as echoing Castiel’s thoughts on the shape of Sam’s mutilated soul.
Crowley waits to just the right moment before escaping out of the devil’s trap. He doesn’t have the upper hand long as Castiel arrives, toting Crowley’s bones along as leverage. When he admits that he can’t retrieve Sam’s soul, Cas burns him to ashes. But does Sam really want his soul back? Should he want it back? Sam finally decides that he’s better off without it, not just because of what they’ve gone through but for the most likely possibility of it being torn apart beyond fixing.
After two very average episodes, this week’s helping of Supernatural brought us back to focus on Purgatory, Sam’s soul and, more importantly, the brothers’ relationship. Where Sam’s decision now leads the brothers will be something to watch. There is already tension with Dean being the driving force behind their crusade to regain Sam’s soul.
- Best episode of the year so far, no question. All the elements we were given in the first five seasons—plot, humor, pace, dialogue—were present in spades and flowed like the good old days.
- Rachel Miner was fabulous. Her interactions with everyone on the show—Sam, Dean, Crowley, and most especially Cas—was the highlight of the episode. I am looking forward to her return.
- Now that all pretenses have been shed, Sam doesn’t seem like quite the automaton that he was during the first 8 episodes. There’s still a darkness about him that adds to the show’s intensity and provides a new challenge for Dean.
- In one of the funniest scenes I can remember, Cas watching porn as the Winchesters do research. “You don’t watch porn in a room full of dudes and talk about it…” Classic!
- Speaking of Cas, it looks like he’s got a jones for our friendly resident Meg. There is a tangible attraction there (how about Cas pushing her against the wall to get him some pre-battle snogging!)
- Crowley? No, he can’t be gone, can he? Mark Sheppard is the best character actor on TV, losing him would be a major blow to this season, especially when one takes in mind the uneven pacing of the first half of the season.
- Still no mention of Adam, the Winchesters’ half brother. It’s even more disappointing with the topic of the condition of Sam’s soul coming up.
- Grandpa Sam may want to watch his back; bad business for him to have Sam and Dean after him…
- Once again Castiel shows just how much of a bad ass he is. Banished only to reappear with Crowley’s skeleton firmly in place. Smoldering the de facto King of Hell without so much as a by your leave was both awesome and disappointing (see above).
- Now we know what’s going on with Sam’s soul. Trapped in a box between Lucifer and Michael…that’s not what one would call food for the soul.
– Darryl (follow @djasper07 on Twitter)