A fact about most Supernatural fans: We love the Winchester Bros. most when they’re together, fighting baddies side-by-side. That’s their natural state and a magical formula for instant awesome. A fact about this Supernatural fan? I usually try not to throw around my praise like dollar bills in a ’90s rap video. But in this case, I have to make it rain: Tonight’s episode — which found Sam and Dean pursuing their own paths following a Brother Break-up at the end of the last new episode — was one of the best episodes of the season so far. And I’m saying that as someone who has really enjoyed the season thus far. But when you have an episode that shows Dean Winchester kicking some major demon ass, Castiel making a simple PB&J sandwich a metaphor for life, the introduction of Cain (of freaking Cain and Abel), and Sam learning a valuable lesson about himself after having a needle jammed in his neck — well, what can you give that other than high praises?
But I’ve gotten ahead of myself. I’ll start at the beginning…
As I mentioned, at the start of this episode, Sam and Dean were separate — but not solo. Sam found himself in the company of reformed PB&J fanatic Castiel (who had apparently lost a taste for the classic snackwich after turning back into an angel) and was held up in the bunker, while Crowley and an extra-stubbly Dean crossed paths at a dive bar in Somewheresville, USA. Odd pairings? Definitely. But like Crowley, I too enjoy a good buddy comedy. Neither storyline was particularly funny, though. In fact, both dealt with some pretty serious stakes.
For their part, Crowley and Dean’s storyline had them on the trail of a blade that had the ability to kill Abaddon. Their search not only led the to one of John’s old “paranoid-deco” storage lockers but also to a person from John’s past — a woman named Tara, who turned out to be extremely useful in the search because she helped them carry out a tracking spell (with help from Crowley) that indicated the blade was in Missouri. Sadly, I wouldn’t count on seeing Tara again — she was killed by a demon who was on Crowley and Dean’s trail. RIP, Tara (and your amazingly buff arms).
In Missouri, the duo soon realized that the spell had plopped them down in front the house of the legendary Cain, who was the keeper of the blade’s power. And let’s put it this way: He was not an extremely friendly man. We soon learned why, though.
I always anticipated the show putting its own spin on the Cain and Abel tale, but I never expected a tale as twisted and wonderful as the one presented here. The gist? Cain, indeed, killed his brother Abel, but per Supernatural lore, Cain only did so because he made an agreement with Lucifer, who had been planning to make Abel a “pet.” As part of their pact, Abel’s soul would go to heaven while Cain’s would go to hell. But the only way Lucifer would agree to these terms was if Cain was the one who sent Abel to heaven. Cain agreed and thus, became a soldier of Hell. Tragic, right? Well, it gets even worse for Cain…
Enter Collette, a wonderful woman who fell in love with Cain. (Yes, even his whole Knight of Hell thing.) This love changed Cain and he soon planned to stop fighting for Home Team Hell, which caused the Knights of Hell to retaliate. They took Collette, which, naturally, angered Cain and sent him into a Hulk-like tailspin in an attempt to get her back. This whirlwind left all but one of the Knights of Hell dead. The sole survivor? Abaddon, who soon possessed Collette and left Cain with no choice but to stab Collette in attempt to eject and kill Abaddon. But before he could do so, Abaddon jumped ship. Meaning Cain killed Collette. Heartbreaking, right?
After Cain told his story, I understood why Cain had been so hesitant to get involved in any fight — he was honoring Collette, whose dying wish was for him to stop killing. And had anyone else been asking him for the blade, I’m sure he would have remained on the sidelines. But Dean proved himself (both with his epic fighting skills and conviction), and Cain saw in him someone worthy of the power, which, it turns out, sort of comes in two parts. The first is the blade itself, which Cain had hidden at the bottom of an ocean (and Crowley had to fetch). The second was a mark, which Cain transferred to Dean, with a warning that it would come with a “burden” and “cost.”