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Supernatural 5.01: Sympathy for the Devil: Dean Takes the Third Alternative.
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Tracy Morris
Tracy S. Morris is the author of the award-winning Tranquility series of Southern paranormal humor mysteries. <br> http://www.yarddogpress.com/allen&.htm <br> Morris's story <i> Fish Story </i> will appear in the Baen anthology <i> Strip Mauled</i> <br> <br> Her new novel<i> Bride of Tranquility</i> Is available now from Yard Dog Press.<br> Her website is http://www.tracysmorris.com/  
By Tracy Morris
Published on 09/11/2009
 
It’s been a long summer of ducking spoilers and dodging fan speculation (and the occasional rotten tomato), but the show is back with a rousing rendition of ACADACA’s Thunderstruck.  I think I’ve missed them more than I suspected.

Show Plays God
It’s been a long summer of ducking spoilers and dodging fan speculation (and the occasional rotten tomato), but the show is back with a rousing rendition of ACADACA’s Thunderstruck.  I think I’ve missed them more than I suspected.

The show opens with Sam and Dean watching Lucifer escape from hell.  Then suddenly they’re transported onto a plane flying right over the event.  Given Dean’s fears of flying, the fact that they were put right into his worst nightmare makes perfect sense. 

The plane looks like it’s going down, but then in the next scene, Sam and Dean are in a rental car driving somewhere and listening to the radio go on about how between hurricanes and swine flu, the news is busy.  (From a news standpoint, this is better than killer bees, shark attacks and global warming.  If reporters knew how profitable Lucifer’s escape from his cell would be, they probably would have helped him get free a long time ago.)

The boys go searching for the Prophet Chuck.  They find him standing in a puddle of Castiel, just ahead of the angels.  Dean banishes the angels with a little of Castiel and Anna’s mojo.  Then they go into hiding.  Sam provides Dean with some hex bag magic that he learned from Ruby, and there’s an awkward ‘I refuse to acknowledge how much it hurts that you cheated on me’ old married couple moment from Dean. 

Sam tries to apologize, but Dean is immune to the puppy eyes of doom.  Then, a fangirl sent by Chuck shows up with a message.  (Hey look guys!  We’re canon!) Sam is her dream come true.  And Dean looks nothing like Freddy Mercury from the cover of the novels. 

Her message from Chuck: The angels lost the Sword of Michael (Maybe it’s hiding in Warehouse 13).  The boys can find it at a castle on top of a large number of dogs, or something equally cryptic.  After they get rid of the Samgirl, Bobby brings them the impala and a stack of research.  Sam is still stuck in confessional mode, and spills his part in Lucifer Rising to Bobby.  Bobby says a lot of things that everyone is thinking (even if they’re too nice to kick Sam by saying them), and then tells him that they’re through.  Sam leaves in defeat.

After Sam is gone, Dean realizes that the dog palace is actually John’s storage locker of doom (why not?).  With this figured out, Bobby clocks Dean, and a short brunette and one of the possessed demons from Devil’s Trap in season one (I swear it was the actor from the scene where the boys dressed as firemen to save John). 

Dean assumes that the short brunette is Ruby (Uh, no.  You killed her.  Remember, Dean?).  But the accent and the speech patterns were more Meg-like.  Sure enough, Dean pegs shorty as Meg.   (And kudos to Rachel Minor who played Meg this time.  She perfectly recreated Nicki Aycox’s mannerisms and vocal cadence as Meg, while at the same time, looking enough like Season 4 Ruby that it’s easy to see how Dean could have been confused.

The girl gives possessed!Bobby the knife and tells him to kill Dean.  Instead he turns it on himself in a moment that is a great echo of the moment in Devil’s Trap where John fought of his own possession to save Dean.  For a moment I can hear all supernatural fans, Sam!girl and Dean!Girl alike, unite in their cries for Kripke’s blood. 

Sam shows up to help Dean fight them off, and Meg flees.  They rush Bobby to the hospital (because Bobby is too awesome to die) and then head out to John’s storage locker.  Once there, they find the crumpled bodies of demons lying around a complicated devil’s trap.  The Zachariah and the Pips show up, and Dean lets his smart mouth run off again.  (Maybe it’s a self defense thing.  Dean always seems to crack wise when he thinks the angels are about to layeth the smack down on him most righteously).

Zachariah informs them that Dean is the sword of Michael.  In other words, he’s the vessel that a mighty archangel needs to come down and wipe out Lucifer. But like all angels, he needs permission to possess Dean. (In an interesting side note, demons don’t have to ask permission, but Lucifer does.  Which shows that Lucifer isn’t a demon, but still an angel.  Nice internal consistency, Kripke!) 

Dean refuses.  Predictably, Zacheriah is not happy.  And he responds by removing a few organs that the boys might need.  Like their lungs.  Things aren’t looking good for the boys, when Castiel returns.  He hints that he’s no longer not-dead for the same reason that Dean and Sam were put on a plane and Sam was magically put through demon blood detox: (Kripke) God. 

Zacheriah backs down and Sam and Dean go to see Bobby.  He’s alive, and giving his doctors a hard time.  They seem to think he’ll never walk again.  I expect we’re going to see him wheelchair bound and dealing with the fall out this season.  Bobby tells Sam that he didn’t mean the things the Demon said, and Dean gives a rousing ‘We few, we happy few, we band of buggard,’ speech. 

Afterward, he tells Sam that the speech was all for Bobby’s benefit.  He’s actually fatalistic like a Viking.  I actually preferred the ‘win one for the gipper’ speech.  Then he gives Sam the old married couple breakup speech.  In a nutshell, he’ll never trust Sam again, and he only thinks they should stay married for the (fangirls) kids.

Although the Sam and Dean estrangement is required, I don’t look for it to continue (at least I hope not), because the show is about the brothers.  This is an important part of the story.  Sam has committed about the worst crime a person can commit.  Dean’s estrangement and Sam’s guilt is all a part of the journey, and Sam’s penance. 

But I think that there is some hope to be had in this episode.  There are hints that the highest power put Sam on the plane as well as Dean, and put Sam into demon blood detox.  That says forgiveness to me.  And if God has already forgiven Sam, then there is hope that the rest of the world, especially Dean, can do so too.