Sam and Dean investigate a small town in Wyoming where people cannot die. They learn that Alastair is planning to sacrifice two Grim Reapers to break one of the 66 Seals in order to bring about the end of the world. But to find a reaper, the Winchester brothers are forced to call upon Pamela. Together they find one young boy who may know the location of the abducted reaper, but during their search, the have a run-in with Tessa, the reaper who tried to take out Dean the previous year. Written by
When Sam and Dean first encounter Cole's spirit, Sam tries to tell Cole that he is dead, to which Cole replies "Yeah, I know that, Haley Joel." This is a clear reference to The Sixth Sense (1995), which starred Haley Joel Osment as a kid who could communicate with ghosts. See more »
After being turned to "ghosts", Sam and Dean are walking down the street. Their breath is visible as they talk and breathe. Ghosts wouldn't be able to expel hot air causing this. (This may also have to do with the phenomena seen in most episodes to alert us to ghostly presence) See more »
In the previous episode, words were said that could not be taken back. The Sam–Dean Hunter partnership suffered a wound that would not heal soon, if ever. Yet, the brothers continue, since that is what they do. Of course, getting back into the Myth-Arc is exactly what we need, because at the very core, it is about being brothers. A very clever viewer may have at this point guessed where the arc is *roughly* going, but it is unlikely that anyone could at this point foresee the endgame. Knowing what will happen, this is one of the important episodes – if any hints are placed but the show-runners later change their minds and contradict the hints, the elaborate arc collapses.
Luckily, this episode passes the re-watch test. The plot is like a battle of wits between the Winchesters and Alastair – or is it? The mind-games are brilliant. Pretty much everything has been thought of: how the Mystery-of-the-Week ties into the demons' plans, why the angels' do things the way they do, and what is the brothers' role. Rewatching this after seeing everything to the culmination at the end of Season 5 reveals only one small problem: as was stated by Castiel at the start of this season, the angels have a work for Dean to do. So if Dean is their *asset*, why haven't they protected him appropriately during the past dozen episodes? Well, it will be explained later on, but not in a wholly satisfying way. Meanwhile, bonus points for how cleverly Alastair drops a hint at the future of things to come.
Everyones favorite hot psychic Traci Dinwiddle is back as Pamela, and there is a very special Sexy-Woman-of-the-Week (not that Traci isn't) surprise in store – unless you paid attention during the opening credits and saw her name. And speaking of the opening credits, there is one name that practically jumps at you: the mighty Christopher Heyerdahl. Mark Rolston set the bar *very* high as Alastair, and when Andrew Wheeler doesn't measure up, in comes Heyerdahl, saving the day. It is uncanny how he gets every mannerism Rolston gave Alastair exactly the same, completely convincing us that inside the meat suit is the very same demon. Compared to Heyerdahl, every other actor who's inherited the role of a demon (including Genevieve) just doesn't convince. And Alastair is not the only memorable character Heyerdahl has portrayed – two years earlier he was Zor-El in Smallville, and more importantly, from 2006 to two months before this episode aired, he made what first was just a nameless Wraith into the unforgettable Todd the Wraith in Stargate: Atlantis. (Yes, the name *is* silly, but that is part of the character's coolness - he overcomes it!)
Finally, this episode is dedicated to the late, great Kim Manners, who, during his almost 30-year long career as a director (among other roles), gave us classics like The X Files' (no hyphen!) "Humbug" and "War of the Coprophages", plus Supernatural's "No Rest for the Wicked" and "Lazarus Rising". And this does justice to him by being a great, tense 8/10 episode. It doesn't need to be a 9/10 classic, considering it is just a prelude to the astonishing "On the Head of the Pin", coming up next
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