It’s been a while since I yelled at a TV show but Sera Gamble got a couple of them out of me tonight.
The newest offering from the “Supernatural” team was aptly titled “The Born-Again Identity”.
The episode opened with a rather harrowing chase scene. Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) has been awake for days and he looks it. Desperate and frightened he’s running and ends up chatting with a drug dealer. Even “downers” from a meth addict can’t help Sam though because Lucifer just isn’t going to allow it. As Sam is just about to nod off to sleep a pipe smashes through the windshield of the car … or does it? There’s no damage to the car when Sam rolls out of the vehicle. He does the only thing that’s left and runs – sadly into traffic and ends up being hit by a car.
Now, Sam is okay. We know that quickly as Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) gets to the hospital faster than the speed of light. The staff have committed Sam, claiming he’s having some kind of mental break. Just how do you explain Lucifer and Hell to a psychiatrist?
Sam and Dean have a rather sad discussion at the hospital. While Lucifer is playing the role of ‘peanut gallery’ Dean tries to tell Sam that he will find some help. But Sam is “too tired” to care. Or maybe, he’s just accepting his fate. He knows all the details of what happened to him and knows that his death may be the ultimate result.
Undeterred Dean goes through every resource he has, journals, diaries – until a business card falls out of a binder that mysteriously falls onto the floor when he turns his back. Bobby? Is that you? A phone call to another hunter reveals a lead.
Now – I’m going to pause here to say that I’m not going to go into all the scenes where Lucifer is tormenting Sam but they were amazing. Padalecki knocked it out of the park as far as I’m concerned. It was like watching Sam Winchester slowly unravel throughout the course of the episode and it was heart-breaking. And while he was in the hospital, Sam managed to find and help a woman who was being haunted. Talk about a kick-ass hunter.
Dean finds the “healer” and he discovers a demon. It’s a very good sign that he’s on to something. Just as he dispatches the demon with his trusty knife the door opens and ‘Emmanuel’ returns … Castiel (Welcome Back, Misha Collins). But Castiel has no memory of who he was before he was discovered on a river bank by his new wife Daphne. He agrees to accompany Dean to the hospital to try and heal Sam.
There’s a pretty awkward car ride while ‘Emmanuel’ peppers Dean with questions about Sam, what happened to him, who hurt him. It’s clear that Dean is still angry with Cas, clear that he hasn’t forgiven the angel for his transgressions. In an interesting turn, Castiel assures Dean that the way he’s feeling is normal.
Another surprise pops up out of the blue – under the guise of the demon we love to hate. Meg (Rachel Miner). She’s still on the run from Crowley and wants to work with Dean, help to keep an eye on the “little tree topper” while he’s all confused. She threatens to tell Castiel who he really is and Dean just isn’t prepared to take the chance the angel might bolt or go all Leviathan-y again.
When they finally get to the hospital it is surrounded by demons. While Dean and Meg are arguing about whether to reveal Castiel’s true nature – he overhears them and begins to put the pieces of the puzzle together. He still remembers nothing of his past – but for some reason – seems to trust Dean.
He heads down the hill toward the demons and after a couple of false starts seems to remember how to dispatch them. With each use of his angelic powers more of his memory returns. And it’s not good. Once the “real” Castiel is back he’s overcome with self-loathing and even says that he deserved to die for what he did. Storming off – he’s chased by Dean – and I found myself yelling at both of them to just go and fix poor Sam who was, by that point being given electro shock therapy by a demon!!
In a rather dramatic scene Dean hands the rather dirty trench coat back to Castiel after pulling it from the truck on another non-Impala. Will you hate me if I tell you I found it hard to believe that Dean has dragged that filthy jacket from one truck to another all the times they have switched vehicles?
Anyway – the magical powers of the trench coat seem to do the job and Castiel appears at Sam’s bedside. But –wait! This is “Supernatural” where nothing is easy and everyone dies and comes back and… well, if you watch the show, you know.
Castiel is unable to fix Sam. There’s too much damage and he can’t rebuild a wall in Sam’s mind when there are no building blocks left.
But then – Castiel finally does what I think he should have done from the very beginning. He reaches once more for Sam and “shifts” Lucifer inside his own mind. We get a final glimpse of Castiel as he sees Lucifer for the first time and shrinks from the now – alert and well – Sam.
So we’re left with Castiel in the mental institute while a rather sinister looking Meg arrives to apply to be a staff nurse. If that doesn’t make you shudder then nothing will.
The episode was enjoyable – in that tear-your-hair-out kind of way – and well-acted. There was a lot of emotion being conveyed in very little dialogue and everyone pulled it off. I’m not sure if Dean has forgiven Castiel yet for all the things he did – for the ultimate betrayal of hurting Sam – but it seems like Castiel has done all he can for now.