by Sarah James
WARNING: This review contains spoilers for previous episodes of Supernatural.
“We’re not trapped out here with you… you’re trapped out here with us” –Dean Winchester
This past Thursday, the Winchesters returned to their home on The CW after an almost two month break. Fans of the long running fantasy series gathered by their televisions, eager to discover what had happened to the famed brothers after the Season 12 mid-season finale. The show had left off with Sam, Dean, Castiel, and Crowley ridding Lucifer of his most recent vessel, the President of the United States (no one said this show was normal). As to be expected, the Secret Service arrived on the scene to see Sam and Dean looming over an unconscious president and naturally arrested the two brothers. The Winchesters have had issues with the law before, but it’s been a while since they’ve had government officials on their tail.
Fighting against demons, ghosts, and monsters is something we’re pretty used to in the world of Supernatural. Giving the brothers a human enemy and an enemy who is understandably suspicious of the pair of hunters is an excellent roadblock for Sam and Dean. When it comes to hunting vampires, every fan of Supernatural knows how the episode is going to end: Sam or Dean holding a machete, the head of a vampire lying on the ground. But breaking out of a maximum-security secret government facility is a different story entirely. It’s refreshing to see the brothers thrown into new situations, especially when you have no idea how they’re going to get out.
This episode shows a slightly different side of the Winchesters; using strategy and their knowledge of the
supernatural, the boys strike a deal with Billie, a reaper who wants the brothers dead, to die and come back to life… again. After dying, the government personnel move their corpses to the morgue where they wake up and are able to escape. Of course, this deal comes at a cost, and in the end Billie reveals one of the Winchesters must die. Castiel takes issue with this bargain and kills Billie, setting the stage for repercussions at a cosmic level. Sam and Dean are pretty well known in the world of Supernatural as being the “shoot first; ask questions later,” type of hunters. Seeing them take a more intellectual approach in order to escape the government facility is exhilarating for any long time fan.
This episode also does a great job of building the relationship between Castiel and Mary Winchester. Mary has been an invigorating addition for this season, arriving with plenty of moments to reflect on the Winchesters’ past. It’s been interesting to see the lives of Sam and Dean through the eyes of their mother, and her confusion about the modern world is reminiscent of when Castiel was first introduced in the series. Their relationship has been a fascinating one, with this episode adding even more emotion and parallels between the two as they try to locate Sam and Dean.
If this episode did one thing, it proved that the Winchesters are truly a force to be reckoned with, and their years of experience have expertly prepared them for a wide array of sticky situations. The remarkable plan to escape from their prison along with the ending action of the episode, culminates into one resounding fact: no man or monster can stand in the Winchesters’ way. This episode was a great way to bring Sam and Dean back from the mid-season break and set up the main obstacles for the remainder of the season. It will be interesting to see what happens next to the Winchesters; the presence of the British Men of Letters, the broken deal with Billie the reaper, and the upcoming arrival of the spawn of Satan should make for an exciting remainder of Season 12.
Ryan is a Music Media Production major who wrote the first ever Byte music review and has been involved with nearly every other section at some point. He is also an event planner at Village Green Records and the primary booking coordinator for the store’s outdoor concerts.
Supernatural: Season 12, Episode 9 - First Blood
"First Blood" showcases Sam and Dean working as a cohesive unit in order to escape a situation they've never been in before. With great pacing and excellent dynamics between the characters, this episode does a fantastic job of setting up the rest of Season 12.