The bad news about nearing the end of Supernatural Season X is that in just a few weeks, we’ll be experiencing another painful hellatus. The good news is that with these last few episodes, there comes a focus. Instead of all these different stories going on, the season no longer feels super scattered.
Cas has his Grace back. Perfect. Now the Mark of Cain story becomes the main focus for the rest of the season (give or take whatever Monsters of the Week they throw at us, of course). But it makes me feel better, that’s for sure.
In “Book of the Damned,” Charlie and Metatron are around to help (Charlie) and hinder (Metatron) the action. Sam starts to make some interesting (and controversial) moves. He’s in full Save Dean mode. And I couldn’t be happier.
Kudos to Robbie Thompson who weaved so many elements together in a great way. My only complaint is that there was a little too much Metatron. I could have used less of his sarcastic-ness, although he did provide some humor. Plus, the show actually used two classic rock music cues in the same episode (Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys are Back in Town” and The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes).
In an episode that was all about getting the Mark off Dean, most of my favorite moments belonged to other characters. But just know that Jensen continues to nail his performance as a marked man.Â Right now, I feel a lot like I did in one of Jeremy Carver’s most famous episodes, “A Very Supernatural Christmas.” Back then, there was a time limit on Dean’s life and he simply wanted to spend one last Christmas with his brother. He wanted to actually celebrate it which is something that almost never happened for them. Everything Dean did and said was tinged with this sadness — it broke my heart to see him get so much joy out of opening gifts and drinking spiked egg nog with Sam knowing full well that hell was going to come calling soon.
Cut toÂ “Book of the Damned.” The entire episode, Dean tries to stay hopeful. He tries not to show how worried or scared he is. Or that his belief in getting rid of the Mark is dwindling. He tries to fight the good fight. And he tries to keep his humor in tact. But the thing is…we all know Dean. He’s worried. He’s not usually an optimistic person but for his brother, he will be. But the act that he puts on is just that — an act — so his enjoying the song on the radio; or making some joke; or even his eating pizza with his pals — it’s all dripping with sadness and heartbreak. And it’s making my heart ache. Jensen conveys all the emotions and the feels so damn well.
5 Moments of Goodness from “Book of the Damned”
#1: Dean wants a vacation
In the Impala, Dean has hope for the first time in forever. The brothers have heard from Charlie. She has the Book of the Damned and she feels good about their chances of translating it and finding the cure. Dean feels good about it too and he allows himself to dream of taking a vacation with Sam:
Dean: “I’ll tell you another thing, if this actually does work, we can take some time off.”
Sam: “What? Like a vacation?”
Dean: “Mmm hmm…And I’m not talking just like a weekend in Vegas or sitting in some crap motel watching pay-per-porn. No, I’m talking about a beach, drinking cervezas, go for a swim, mingle with the local wildlife. When was the last time either one of us was on a beach?
Dean: “Never. Sand between our toes, Sammy. Sand between our toes.”
Apparently, the beach is the new Grand Canyon. I’d like to see the boys take a full on beach vacation, wouldn’tÂ you?
2. Great Sam POV
I don’t think I’m overselling things when I say that this is a momentous episode simply for the Sam POV alone. How long have we been waiting for this? Last time Charlie was in town we thought we were going to get a little somethin’ somethin’. As great as that episode was (“There’s No Place Like Home”), we didn’t get the Sam/Charlie conversation we were hoping to get. And, yes, I’m speaking for everyone.
He and Dean go at it, but at least Sam tells his brother what he’s thinking. Part of the catalyst is the fact that this Book of the Damned is downright evil. It’s calling out to Dean and he realizes that even using it nowÂ is going to mean some bad things later. But Sam clearly doesn’t care. Not if it means he can keep his brother from becoming Demon Dean again.
Dean: “What I can do is I can fight it as long as I can untilâ€¦”
Sam: “Until what? Tell me. Until what, Dean? Until I watch you become a demon again? Until then? I can’t do that. I won’t do that.”
Dean: “Well, you’ll just have to lock me up and bind me to the bunker like you did last time.
Charlie: That doesn’t solve anything.”
Sam: “Look, just let us translate the book, okay? If there’s a cure, we’ll do it and deal with the consequences later. I can’t lose you.”
Sam: “Yeah, really.”
Dean: “You change your mind on that? ‘Cause that’s not what you said last time.”
Sam: “Oh come on, man. You know I didn’t meanâ€¦”
Dean: “This is my cross to bear, Sam. Mine. And that book is not the answer. Now we gotta destroy it before it falls into the wrong hands and that includes me.”
We also get to hear (definitively) that Sam’s finally accepted this hunter’s life and that he’s all on board as long as his brother’s around. He brings up Jess and law school, even. Last season’s bitterness and anger gets covered as well. This all made me smile and tear up and Jared did a great job with all of it.
Sam: “You know, when Dean came to get me at school, I told myself, one last job. You know? one more job. And then when I…when I lost Jess I again told myself one more job. It was always one more job. You know, one more job. And one more job. And then I was gonna go back to law. And to my life.”
Charlie: “You were the Dread Pirate Roberts of hunting.”
Sam: “Yeah. I guess I really understand now that…this is my life. I love it. But I can’t do it without my brother. I don’t want to do it without my brother. And if he’s gone then I’llâ€¦”
Charlie: “I get it. I do.”
It’s so great to witness Sam get emotional. After the events of last season there were so many hurtful things said and done by each brother. Now we get a bit of the role reversal — and not all of it is on the up and up. More on that in just a bit. I simply want to savor the Sam POV. It feels good. It feels like the show and this character earned these conversations. They are glorious moments.
3. Cas gets his Grace back
Poor Cas has to spend some quality time with Metatron. I don’t wish that on anyone. However, I do enjoy when the angel gets a couple of punches in on the annoying scribe, who as I said earlier, is much better in smaller doses. And, yes, Meta tricks Cas and takes him to a library where he manages to find and take off with the demon tablet. I’m not going to think about what that means right now.
I’m justÂ going to revel in the fact that Cas’ Grace didn’t fall into Metatron’s hands. Cas was clever enough to figure out where it was. And now he’s himself again, complete with wings. How amazing is that shot of Cas being Cas again? It’s been such a long time since we’ve seen thoseÂ wings. Great. Moment.
4. Cas and Charlie Meet
We’ve been waiting for this to happen for a long time. Charlie was introduced in season seven. This is season ten. And this is the first time Charlie gets to meet Cas. It’s everything I hoped for.
Charlie: “I thought you’d be shorter.”
Charlie’s already calling her and Cas best friends. In turn, with one touch, the angel cures Charlie of her gunshot wound and carpal tunnel syndrome. This guy is so handy to have around, right?Â Charlie asks Cas if he can save Dean now that he has his mojo back but she knows the answer. And then the two proceed to have fun over pizza and the paper fortune teller game. I look forward to seeing these two interact more. But for now, I’m incredibly happy to know they have finally met. And she, Cas and Sam have one thing in common: to save their friend/brother. They will make a formidable team.
5. Sam saves the Book of the Damned and plays Let’s Make a Deal
Oh, Sam. I love the way you lie. I have wanted this Sam for a long time. I know that he’s strong and he’s there for Dean. But I’ve wanted him to go all out to save his brother. This is what we’re getting.
The evil Styne family want their evil book back. They track Dean back to the cabin where a rumble ensues. Dean, once again, reiterates to Sam that he needs to burn the book because if they use it, bad things will happen. If it falls into the wrong hands, bad things will happen. Sam goes ahead and burns it. But we know that’s not what actually happens, right?
Sam pretends to burn the evil book but he hides it away in that souped up lockbox and burns something else. At the very end of the episode we see this happen in flashback. And then we see him meeting someone with said book in hand. And that person is…Rowena. And she’s not going to help without getting something in return.
On the other side of things…Sam was so angry at Dean last season (and rightly so) for Dean lying to him about what he did to save him. But now he’s doing the same thing to Dean. He’s not adhering to his wishes (like burning that evil Book of the Damned). And saving Dean means unspeakable things are going to happen — either to themselves or, even worse, the rest of the world. Now, personally, I love the fact that he’s doing everything he can to save his brother. But I also feel like he was so angry at Dean about his lies that this isn’t cool. He’s not trusting his brother because he knows Dean will put the kibosh on his plans.
Sam’s crossing into some severely dangerous territory. Letting Rowena anywhere near that book is a bad idea. There’s going to be consequences to that. There’s going to be consequences if they actually use the book. And Dean’s going to be majorly pissed. He will blame himself and bad things happen when Dean blames himself for the world going to hell.
Guest Star Goodness: Jeff Branson
Once again, the show kills off what could have been aÂ great villain. The Styne family has the potential to be a supercoolÂ big bad in the future (even beyond season ten). I’d like to know more about them.
What we know now is scary: They are, according to this episode, multigenerational, centuries old wrong. They use spells to create disease; destabilize markets; they helped the Nazis before they came into power and they profited from all of it. They are bad news bears, for sure.
The leader of this field team is Jacob Styne, played by former daytime star, Jeff Branson. He’s been on three different soaps — Guiding Light, All My Children and The Young and the Restless. I’ve personally watched two of those shows while he was on them (GL and AMC). He snagged Emmy nominations for all three roles — he won for playing supercouple Josh and Reva’s son, Shayne Lewis, on Guiding Light back in 2009. And not that you need to know this but Josh and Reva are one of my all time favorite soap supercouples.
Branson is a fun actor to watch. On primetime, he’s guest starred on a couple of the CSIs and a couple of the NCIS shows. I hope the powers that be at Supernatural figure out a way for him to come back in the future. Flashbacks? Twin brother? Whatevs. And, who knows, maybe he’s somebody that can show up at one of the Supernatural Cons someday. It only takes one episode.
Also bonus points because he’s from St. Louis and so am I.
-Dean in a hoodie is a beautiful thing. He looked so young in it, didn’t he? Almost as young as he looked in one in season 1’s “Faith.”
-Hmm. Turns out I still appreciate Alanis Morissette “Ironic” humor. Who knew?
-Some other humor I love is when people are talking about a person in the room and they’re all like, “I am right here.” (I’m greatly paraphrasing Metatron to Cas)
-“No one here by that name. Sorry.” Sam is still the worst phone cover upper / liar around.
-Will wonders ever cease…Dean came clean re: the Mark of Cain being a curse and Rowena trying to kill him. And he actually apologizes for not telling his brother sooner. Which, obviously, gave Sam an idea. On hindsight, maybe he shouldn’t have come clean.
-Charlie shows she’s mighty tough and badass in this episode. Where did she learn to fight, again? Did all that happen in Oz?
-That compass trinket the Styne guys used to track the book and Charlie — did anyone who watches The Vampire DiariesÂ think about the time-traveling ascendants? Just me?
-I like Crowley’s buddy comedy schtick more than Metatron’s.
-“Samateur hour?” Boo, Metatron. BOO.
-Okay, it probably sounds like I have it out for ol’ Meta baby. I love Curtis Armstrong. I’m just tired of Metatron getting away with everything. It’s time for his major comeuppance. And I’m not talking jail time. Because we know that he will never be behind bars forever. He’ll find a way out and will cause lots andÂ lots of pain while he’s loose. And like Cas said, he KILLED Dean. Unacceptable. Unforgivable. Especially since he took such joy in it. Yes, I hold grudges.
-Sam’s lying to Dean, Cas and Charlie. Cas is lying to Dean.Â My head hurts.
-I love the way Dean makes Sam smile. Sam’s not much of a smiler. But Dean finds a way to get his brother to experience lighter moments every once in a while.
-I think the directors of this episode (P.J. Pesce) and “Inside Man” (Rasheed Ernesto Green) are keepers. I hope they are two of the go to directors for season 11.
What did you think of “Book of the Damned?”
Supernatural airs Thursdays at 9/8c on the CW.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Dennis Heaton Talks The Imperfects
Longtime readers at TV Goodness will know that Motive is one of my ride-or-die series, and as such, I am fiercely loyal to its creator, Dennis Heaton. He followed up that fantastic reverse procedural with Netflix’s The Order and is back on our streaming screens with The Imperfects, which dropped…
Kelly McCormack Talks Favorite Moments in A League of Their Own
[Warning: Mild spoilers for season 1.] Now that you’ve had a chance to watch A League of Their Own, here’s the rest of my chat with Kelly McCormack about her favorite moments of the season. Seeing the iconic Peaches uniforms for the first time wasn’t just a goosebump moment for…
John Griffin and Harold Perrineau Talk From on EPIX Season 1 Finale
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] How are we doing, #FROMily? In case you missed it this morning, the very good news is that that cliffhanger will be followed by a second season, which was gifted this morning ahead of the linear broadcast of the finale. I always legitimately appreciate when we…
Elizabeth Saunders Talks EPIX’s From
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the things that makes EPIX’s From such a fun ride is the abundance of Canadian cast members. Elizabeth Saunders, who plays Donna, is a favorite from her turn on the third season of Mary Kills People [streaming on Global TV in Canada and Roku…
Corteon Moore Talks From “Broken Windows, Open Doors”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight’s episode of From had us all in our feels as we learned through flashbacks about the Sophie’s Choice Boyd had to make to save his son, and back in the present as Boyd said his piece with Ellis before heading into the woods with…
Pegah Ghafoori Talks From “All Good Things…”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode] Tonight on From, Fatima’s anniversary celebration turned into a Colony House of horrors when a misguided Kevin let his monster bae in and she promptly killed him and left the window open for her crew. While the party devolved into terror and sent everyone running,…
Shaun Majumder Talks From “Book 74”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight on EPIX’s From, Father Khatri made a bold move, kidnapping Sara instead of turning her in, and then recognizing her as a vessel for some big messages. That startling realization speaks to him on multiple levels–as a man of faith, a man trapped in…
Avery Konrad Talks About Sara’s Struggle in From “Silhouettes”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Over the course of the season so far on From, we’ve witnessed Sara’s battle against the voices telling her to to do terrible things, and tonight we saw her unravel further, threatening the Matthews and lashing out in a moment of terror with horrifying results….
Hannah Cheramy Talks From “Choosing Day”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight, on EPIX’s From, the Matthews participate in the show’s version of the sorting hat, choosing where to call home–the town or Colony House. At the end of the episode, Julie makes the decision to split from her family and instead settle in with Fatima…
Ricky He Talks From “The Way Things Are Now”
[Warning: Spoilers for episode 102 of EPIX’s From.] Epix’s new series From is two episodes in and it’s already laying the groundwork for a seriously spooky season. Tonight’s episode demonstrated the careful balance of relief and horror that the show hits, with our characters’ worst fears realized, just not when…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…