Seeing this episode, which charted the continuing impact of John’s death on Sam and especially Dean, I truly do trust how the rest of the season will unfold. Sera Gamble’s script and Robert Singer’s direction kept the brothers’ relationship battered but essentially intact even as Dean in particular was falling apart, to the point where he actually belted Sam. Sam stayed solid without fighting back, and in the end, Dean admitted in shame that it was only because of Sam that he had done the right thing. Sam was Dean’s lifeline, the anchor for his conscience, and Dean thanking him for it was the first small but very significant step toward eventual healing.
Before getting into the heavy stuff, let me pause for a moment to applaud the episode’s love song to the Impala: beauty shots of Dean’s rebuilt baby on the road running to the tune of AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” of course. That was sweet – Dean’s ecstatic “Whoo! Listen to her purr! You ever heard anything so sweet?”, Sam’s amused “You know, if you two want to get a room, just let me know, Dean.”, and Dean’s stroking “Aw, don’t listen to him, baby. He doesn’t understand us.”, made me laugh out loud. I do SO understand Dean in that moment, and I grinned when he asked Sam how far they had to go, got the answer “Uh, about another 300 miles,” and replied, in utter satisfaction, “Good” – and pressed the accelerator. Welcome back, Metallicar!
This tale rocked the brothers’ world in many ways. Meeting yet another hunter they had never known existed, and finding out that he knew all about them, begs the question of why John had kept them isolated from most of the hunting community all their lives. Ellen’s warning to Sam about the danger inherent in Gordon may help to explain some of it – how many others are like Gordon, too much of a risk even for John to tolerate, especially around his boys? – but it will be fascinating to see how they piece together their place in the whole as they learn more of the shape of it.