Supernatural: The Executioner's Song
February 19, 2015 11:16 PM - Season 10, Episode 14 - Subscribe

Yay! Timothy Omundson as Cain is finally back, and he's killing other killers!

Aaaaand he's dead. Or is he? We don't actually see the death, so either this was a rare moment of stylistic restraint or Cain might be showing up again. Given the nature of the show, I'd say that's about 50/50.

I was a bit disappointed to see Cain, who seemed like he could be an interesting morally ambiguous sometime ally, go full on villain. However, this was the first full on story arc episode that I've enjoyed this season.
posted by brundlefly (9 comments total)
I haven't seen it yet but your intro has evoked this in me:

*shrieks gleefully into fists*
posted by Kitteh at 6:56 AM on February 20, 2015

Timothy Omundson was so, so good this episode.

Also enjoyed how he (and by extension, the writers) totally called out the story-of-Cain-in-reverse thing Dean might be doing. But didn't negate it as a possibility!

I am still not loving the Crowley's overbearing mum plotline. But there was so much great Timothy Omundson in this episode it was easy to get past that. Here's hoping he's not dead! (Or at least not gone forever, even if he is's Supernatural, after all.)
posted by mstokes650 at 11:41 AM on February 20, 2015

Given that I'm mostly aware of Omundson from Psychic and Deadwood, I find it amazing how well he pulls off an utter badass. So imposing.

Also, I just looked at his Wiki page and realized that he was in Starship Troopers for a couple of seconds.

And yeah, the Crowley's mom subplot is so annoying, which is a bummer because I dig that actress. It's just not fun watching the usually canny Crowley be such a sucker.
posted by brundlefly at 12:11 PM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've generally enjoyed the last few episodes and I had to raise my fist when Dean claimed something to the like, "I just like being on the road and hunting down monsters." My inner Supernatural fan shouted, "PLEASE LET US RETURN TO MORE OF THIS!"

I definitely enjoyed Cain's return because he's a great character with an awesome actor behind him. However, the moment that struck me most was when Dean handed the Blade of Cain to Castiel and told Crawley that he had been lied to twice that day. You could almost see the King of Hell's heart break and it was surreal, because it was almost as if this was Demon "The Dick" Dean back again, but instead of focusing on someone we know Dean should have cared about, it was someone we know he wouldn't.

They have succeeded so well in making Crawley sympathetic that one has to recall how he methodically hunted down people the Winchesters' had saved and killed them, or any number of the horrible things he's done, to not go, "Poor Crawley!" I do think Crawley will end up doing something quite terrible to his mum.
posted by Atreides at 8:16 AM on February 22, 2015

We certainly haven't seen Crowley torturing anyone lately. Lately it's all "Lonely Girl" and his favorite pic of him and Dean in cowboy hats.

But I thought the way Dean told him he'd been lied to twice seemed just... honest for once, and not overtly dickish. He didn't have to tell Crowley that Crowley wasn't actually on Cain's hit list.
posted by tomboko at 9:19 AM on February 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I will be heartbroken, HEARTBROKEN, if Cain is truly dead. I loved his weary unrepentant attitude towards, well, everyone.

I feel the same way about Crowley and his mum's storyline as that of the Iris/Barry storyline in The Flash: Do. Not. Want.

Also, I do not know how Timothy Omundson pulls off that look but oh my god he looks amazing.
posted by Kitteh at 10:32 AM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Tommy Tolliver: Who the hell are you? How'd you get in here?
Cain: I've gone by many names in this life. The father of murder is one of them. And by the state's count, you've taken six lives yourself, Tommy. Although by my count, it's nine.
Tommy: ...
Cain: Oh, come on. You aren't one of those "it wasn't me" type fellas, are you? Because I know you're a killer, just like me.

Crossroads Demon: ... 86 last quarter, while I only get credit for 48. And I was working with Alban on nearly all of those soul jobs.
Crowley: [on his phone, not paying attention] If you don't arrive at a point within the next 10 seconds, so help me, I'll --
Crossroads Demon: As a crossroads demon, I have received less credit than I am due for soul collections... my king.
Crowley: So you're looking for a promotion?

Crowley: Mother, you have an opinion you'd like to share with the room?
Rowena MacLeod: Oh, no. Private thought, nothing to do with you or the affairs of the court. It's just not what I would do.
Crowley: Oh, enlighten us all. What would you do?
Rowena MacLeod: This demon asks you to equalize credit for his and another's work, "split the baby", if you will. Well... then I would well and truly *split* the *baby*. [looks at said demon] I'd cut this puling, pathetic, greed-grubbing git in two, literally, then I'd nail his bloody halves to the doors of the court -- a reminder to all not to waste the king's time.

Rowena MacLeod: Whiners beget whiners. You can't reward behaviour like that; it's why I never gave in when you asked for sweeties as a child, no matter how much you cried.
Crowley: ...
Rowena MacLeod: Well, you were a very... chunky child, darling. Bit of a bloater.

Rowena MacLeod: [to Crowley] You don't know this, but after I left you, after I was forced to leave you, I heard of your death; your mortal death. I thought you were gone to me forever. Then, hundreds of years later and thousands of miles away, I find you, the *King of Hell*. And not by luck or accident. You made that happen all by yourself. You're not a mother. You can't know what that pride felt like, how huge it was. But can you try to imagine, for me? Now do you understand why it breaks my heart to see what a colossal numb nut you've become? You've got the crown, but you're no ruler, not really! A sad, bored, wee boy on the throne who'll flop ass-up the second those Winchesters -- hunters who'd as soon see you dead as have you to tea -- ask you to. You're no king, not anymore. You're their bitch.

Rowena MacLeod: You think I had an ulterior motive, that I've been manipulating you?
Crowley: You couldn't be more transparent.
Rowena MacLeod: Well, duh! Of course I was manipulating you! I am *your* mother, after all. Manipulation's who we are.

Sam: Cain abducted a Texas death row inmate named Tommy Tolliver.
Castiel: He's dead.
Sam: What? How do you know?
Castiel: [standing in field full of burial mounds] Call it an educated guess.

Sam: It's called true crime, Dean. It's a hobby.
Dean: No. Bass fishing, needlepoint; that's a hobby, okay? Collecting serial-killer stats? That is an illness.


At the start of the episode when Cass is questioning a demon, the camera pans past an old photograph on the wall with a photo of a man and the inscription, "Congratulations Mr. Riley, fourth grade teacher of the year". This is a reference to Matt Riley, Supernatural extra and stand-in for Jared Padalecki, who died at the end of 2014.

The boys use the pseudonyms Inspector Moore and Ranaldo at the prison. This is reference to Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, founding members of the band Sonic Youth.

The title of this episode refers to the 1979 Pulitzer Prize winning fact-based novel of the same name, written by Norman Mailer, which is about the crimes and execution of murderer Gary Gilmore. Gilmore was the first person to be executed in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, after the United States Supreme Court suspended it in 1972.

When you see Sam look up Austin Reynold's information and birth certificate, his birthday is February 17th, 2003. February 17th is when the episode aired.

The Polunsky unit does house death row inmates and has a maximum capacity of 2,984 offenders. Some inaccuracies in this episode include officers carrying night sticks (they carry chemical agents and handcuffs) and wearing a protective vest over their uniforms. The officer's uniforms are also incorrect. The TDCJ patch is on the left sleeve and the American flag is on the right sleeve reversed. To display the American flag in the manner shown is a sign of disrespect. Also, they show a coffee maker with a glass carafe in the picket and wire coat hangers. These items would never be allowed on the unit as they could be used as weapons by the offenders. Dean and Sam presenting as representatives of OIG is accurate, as OIG is immediately on scene in the case of escapes, injuries or death.

Jared Padalecki said at a convention that Jensen Ackles accidentally stabbed him in the leg with the silver blade during the scene in which Dean hugs Sam after killing Cain and handing the first blade to Castiel. Jared said he managed to stay in character until the director yelled cut.

The way Dean kills Cain is that of a "clean death, a soldier's death". This is the method of execution Maximus, in Gladiator, requested from the Roman soldiers who were ordered to execute him at the beginning of the film.
posted by orange swan at 2:52 PM on December 6, 2021

The visual of Cain's arm stump was quite something. Castiel standing in a field of burial mounds was a decent, rather chilling, visual too. (I'm surprised Cain would take the time to bury his victims, but okay.)

Crowley is surprisingly vulnerable to his mother's manipulations. I mean, he's existed for over three hundred years, experienced what he has, ruled hell for some years... but Mommy Witchiest can still do a number on him any time she likes.

Sam's hobby of studying serial killers is so weird. I mean, he became a hunter very reluctantly, and he spends his time hunting down monsters and killing them, and has killed a few people along the way, and he chooses to spend his leisure time learning about murder? Is he more bloodthirsty and less civilized at heart than he would like everyone else to think?

The First Blade is an unimpressive prop. It looks so cheap and plasticky.
posted by orange swan at 3:01 PM on December 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

Crowley is surprisingly vulnerable to his mother's manipulations.

That it happens right around the same time that he's basically mooning after Dean and killing mostly his own followers makes him kind of strikingly a different character than he was a couple of seasons ago. We saw some of Crowley's human vulnerability in the church at the end of the Trials, but that doesn't seem to have very much to do with why he's receptive to Rowena's extremely hamhanded machinations, at least in any way I can see. It makes the whole thing frustrating rather than tragic or badass.

Sam's hobby of studying serial killers is so weird.

Yeah, some that kind of stuff lands better than others. Getting super into running and eating healthy, okay, I can probably fit that into who I understand Sam is, like Dean wistfully dreaming of a death by cheeseburger. The true crime thing didn't seem to be trying to connect to anything or say anything about Sam or anyone else, it was just there. (I also feel like having a true crime hobby has a slightly different connotation in 2021 than it did in 2015, which isn't their fault but doesn't help.)

The First Blade is an unimpressive prop. It looks so cheap and plasticky.

I almost wonder if it sounded cool enough on paper to commit to but the effect just did not come through in a usable prop.
posted by jameaterblues at 7:04 PM on December 10, 2021

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