Supernatural: Book of the Damned
April 18, 2015 4:56 AM - Season 10, Episode 18 - Subscribe

Charlie returns with some potentially good news for Dean. Sam and Dean are increasingly at odds about how to deal with the Mark of Cain.

Charlie has managed to find the Book of the Damned, but not without some trouble on her tail. Dean can sense the book's evil power, but despite this Sam wants to use the Book to remove the Mark. Sam becomes increasingly desperate to do whatever it takes to save his brother.
posted by cfoxhi (9 comments total)
"Behind Blue Eyes" was the best use of music since "Hey There Lonely Girl" in Reichenbach.
posted by cfoxhi at 4:59 AM on April 18, 2015 [4 favorites]

Let the SHITSTORM OF LYING begin!!

I was very happy to see Cas and Charlie meet.
posted by tomboko at 2:29 PM on April 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

It wouldn't be Supernatural without a secret being out there between the brothers. I appreciated how they connected the evil clan dude's behavior with what actually happened.

Rowena, though? How'd Sam even get in contact with her? Not sure how I feel about that turn.

Castiel....back to 100% full angel. Awesome, though what's with his feathers falling apart on his shadow wings?

I thought this was a much better turn for Charlie after the last episode. That one with the evil Charlie was just...not quite that good. The fact that as a woman on Supernatural and she isn't dead yet....bravo!
posted by Atreides at 5:42 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was kind of surprised they dispatched the Stein guy so fast. Something about him was making me think he was going to be a problem for a while. I was also a little surprised Sam went to Rowena instead of Crowley. Crowley is basically a frenemy and will usually help the boys with this stuff so long as he can at least pretend he's doing it purely out of self-interest, but Rowena is just totally untrustworthy.

This season seems to be perking along pretty well. It's not kicking ass quite like the old days, but it's still rather surprisingly fun for a show that's been on the air for 10 freaking years.

I'm not a fan of the whole Wincest thing at all, but when they did the shot of Dean looking longingly at the book, panning up to a flustered-looking Sam, all I could think was, "Man, in a couple of hours a few thousand teenage girls are totally gonna be editing this clip into their D&S 4EVA Youtube videos."

The fact that as a woman on Supernatural and she isn't dead yet....bravo!

Don't forget the lady sheriffs, whose names unfortunately escape me and I'm too lazy to look up! I suspect (and hope) we'll see them both again.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 8:54 PM on April 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah I can't believe it took them 10 seasons to use "Behind Blue Eyes," but it was such a perfect use.
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:03 AM on April 21, 2015

I am hoping Jacob Styne isn't really dead somehow. He was quite menacing.
posted by cfoxhi at 1:32 AM on April 24, 2015


Radio DJ: Our flashback playback continues with a song that climbed up to number four on the charts. Here's Alanis Morissette's "Ironic".
Castiel: [shuts the radio off]
Metatron: Really? That song is a classic.
Castiel: ...
Metatron: Yeah, I hear you. I do. And you're right. Inclement weather on the day of your nuptials... and the wrong cutlery at inopportune times is hardly ironic. But it sure is catchy. Yeah, fair point. Can’t argue taste. But since I became human, it’s just so… strange. All these feelings, you know? I mean, I can feel music. Like that last song, “Sussudio”. I don’t even know what it’s about and I love it. I always enjoyed lyrics, words, stories. Gives me goosebumps. And goosebumps -– don’t even get me started on those. Creepy! And yet….arousing.
Castiel: [pulls out his cell phone and makes a call.]
Sam: [answers his cell phone] Cass?
Castiel: Can I just kill him now?
Metatron: You know I can hear you, right?
Sam: No, we need him alive for now. Look, after he gives you your grace back, you can do whatever you want with him.
Castiel: Well, I’d like to kill him slowly.
Metatron: I am like two feet from you.
Castiel: Anything on the Mark of Cain?
Metatron: Every word -– crystal clear.
Sam: No. I mean, I’ve been digging for something, for anything, but… I don’t know Cass.
Castiel: There is an answer out there. We will find a cure for Dean.
Metatron: I don’t know why you’d want to cure that little firecracker now. He’s finally interest...
Castiel: [punches Metatron in the face]

Charlie: You know, I haven’t been a hunter for very long, but it feels like this is the life. Mostly ends in Sophie’s choices, death, or tears. Usually, all of the above, huh? How did this become my life? I mean, I was gonna own my own start-up, marry ScarJo, invent something cool. Now I’m just….I’m just happy to be alive.


Charlie tells Sam, "He's right. Let's get our Alan Turing on. Decrypt this bitch." Alan Turing was a British computer scientist, mathematician, logician, and cryptanalyst who played a key role in deciphering intercepted encrypted messages that helped the Allies defeat the Nazis in key battles and shortened World War II by several years.

When Castiel and Metatron are in the car, the voice on the radio is that of Robert Singer, executive producer and oftentimes director of Supernatural.

Charlie calls Jacob Styne "Gambit". Gambit is a mutant superhero from the Marvel Comics X-Men series who hails from Louisiana and speaks with a thick Cajun accent.

Metatron references Alanis Morrissette's song, "Ironic," twice. Alanis Morrisette played God in the 1999 Kevin Smith film, Dogma, which was about two rogue angels trying to get back into heaven. The angel Metatron was also featured in this film, played by Alan Rickman.

In the beginning of the end credits the following text appears, "In memory of Jaap Broeker 1950 - 2015". Jaap Broeker was a stand-in in "Born Under A Bad Sign" (ep. 2.14).

As Metatron is devouring the waffles, he says, "Food! Glorious food!" He is quoting the opening song from the 1960's Broadway musical/1968 film Oliver!

Charlie refers to "the Dread Pirate Roberts", which is a reference to the persona Westley adopts in The Princess Bride.

Charlie says that she didn't know that phone booths existed outside of Bill and Ted. Bill and Ted are the main characters in the 1989 comedy/fantasy Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Charlie says she has "no fracking" idea what language the Book of the Damned is written in. Fracking or frack is a slang word from the tv show Battlestar Galactica which is used in place of f*cking or f*ck on the show, presumably so it can get past censors.

The bad guy's tracking device is a modified brass nautical sundial compass. A couple hundred years ago these were standard navigation tools, on land as well as at sea.

Jacob Styne says to Dean, "My friends call me Jacob." When Dean replies, "Well, I ain't your friend," he does so with the same Louisiana accent that the Stynes have, and which Charlie noticed when they caught her.

The hint Metatron's angel left to finding Castiel's grace is "What is the maddest thing a man can do?", which Castiel takes to be a riddle. When he is incapacitated from Metatron's spell later, he realizes that it is a fragment of a quote from the book Don Quixote. The full quote is "...the maddest thing a man can do in this life is to let himself die." Cas could have indeed let himself die had he not gotten his grace back -- it is a clear commentary of what the other angels think of Castiel. The book where Castiel's grace was hidden, Don Quijote de La Mancha, was written in the 17th century by Miguel de Cervantes and is the second most-sold book in the world, after the Bible.

Charlie asks Castiel, "Did we just become best friends?!" This is a quote from the 2008 Will Ferrell movie, Stepbrothers.

Charlie's first words when Sam and Dean wake her up in the cabin are, "Merry Christmas!" Charlie says the very same thing when Ezekiel brings her back to life in the season 9 episode "Slumber Party" (9.4). This may also imply that Charlie still dreams of the Heaven she saw when she first died. It could be a nod to the 1969 TV Christmas classic Frosty the Snowman. Whenever he's brought to life Frosty says, "Happy Birthday!"

The Book of the Damned by Charles Fort is an actual book that can be bought online. Written in 1922 by the famous Charles Fort, he created a news magazine called The Fortean Times about strange and unusual occurrence that happen all over the globe. Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones was an avid fan and always carried his latest issue with him on tour.

When this episode aired in April 2015, Robbie Thompson tweeted that Jensen Ackles was wearing the hoodie in the beginning of this episode (an unusual wardrobe choice for Dean, who never wears workout clothes) because he had been working out just prior to shooting the scene.

The idea of a book made from flesh and written in blood could've been taken from The Evil Dead franchise. The book, The Necronomicon, was the source of conjuring up demons and other evil. It was also bound in flesh and written in blood.

When Metatron brings Castiel to a library where his grace is hidden, Metatron then says, "Safest place in the world to hide something." This isn't quite true given that Peter Gabriel, formerly of the band Genesis, once hid a catalog of unreleased music in his local library and someone else took them out and his music on those tapes were lost forever. If Metatron really was the scribe of God and knew all the stories, then he would have known about Peter Gabriel losing his unpublished catalog.

When Cass and Metatron are in the library, Metatron puts his finger under the bandage on his right leg to gather blood to write the spell on the books. But it was his left leg that had been shot and had the bandage on it.

The gas station where Charlie calls from the phone booth clearly says "Campbell River Store" on it. Campbell River is a city in British Columbia, Canada. The store is located at 790 176th St, Surrey BC. Charlie stated she was in Iowa, south of Des Moines.
posted by orange swan at 11:22 AM on December 8, 2021

Charlie was using one of those folded paper fortune teller things during the pizza and beer supper. I haven't seen anyone use one of those since elementary school.

Castiel really should have been more on his guard with Metatron.

The Styne (guess what that's short for) family is an interesting development.

And now Sam has enlisted Endora Rowena in the effort to help Dean. I'm sure she can help if anyone can, but the question is will she.

I've seen the series once before, but I don't remember how the Mark of Cain situation was resolved, so I'm in a pleasant little buzz of suspense here.

Interesting conversation between Sam and Charlie about how they feel about hunting. This was not a conversation Sam could have had with Dean. Dean has never considered doing anything but hunting, while Sam originally wanted something different and got dragged back into it, first because of his father's disappearance, then Jessica's death, and then one thing after another until he reached the point of realizing he no longer wanted to go to law school (and realistically, cannot, given that he's officially dead/FBI's most wanted). It's taken him time to realize that the life he was saddled with as a baby is the life that he wants.

Interestingly, Sam and Dean don't actually change much during the series. We get a lot of character development in terms of reveals about their past and seeing how they function day to day, but while they mature and grow past some of their emotional issues and learn a lot about the supernatural world in fifteen years, and acquire new griefs to carry, they are still fundamentally the same men at the end of the series as they were at the beginning, who have the same tastes and interests and who function in very much the same way. Sam works through issues with his father and his ambivalence towards the hunting life; Dean works through issues with his father and his youthful cockiness gets toned down significantly, although he never gets past his fear of abandonment. Surprisingly, it's Castiel who changes a lot over the 15 years, becoming humanized and softened by his life among human beings, learning to understand, empathize with, and love them. Let's not forget, in his first mention of the series, he burned Pamela's eyes out when she tried to summon him during a séance. He can still be ruthless when he needs to be, but it's a last resort with him now, and he never mindlessly, rigidly follows orders.
posted by orange swan at 12:10 PM on December 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Still real puzzled by the strategy of making Metatron the most annoying person on the show and then giving him a ton of screen time. (“Samateur Hour” was pretty funny.)

Speaking of samateur hour, if you had asked me a year ago I would have bet cash money the Stynes were around for an entire season, I think because their episodes are fuckn interminable. Which sucks because, on paper, an occult family empire burrowed into the 0.1% could probably work as an antagonist for Sam and Dean, especially a few seasons ago when they were “back-road nothings” living out of stolen cars, and it’s even a plausible leveling up in threat level while being distinct from both the demons/angels and the monsters. But this is an extremely boring version of that idea that sort of just gets lazily dropped into the show's world, and maybe by this point it would’ve been too close to the Leviathans anyway, but gosh I don't remember it being enjoyable to sit through.

Charlie's first words when Sam and Dean wake her up in the cabin are, "Merry Christmas!" Charlie says the very same thing when Ezekiel brings her back to life

I forgot about that so it seemed like forced quirkiness in the moment, but okay, I’ll allow it.

The bit about how no one goes into libraries anymore sounds, if I may, like something a TV writer who supports libraries in theory but never gets around to visiting their own would say. Libraries where I live are plenty busy.

There’s for sure some retconning here, but taking Sam at his word, it’s an interesting layer that this entire time he’s mentally had one foot out the door of hunting, or at least he thinks he has. I think you have to disregard a lot of the characterization with him and Lucifer to make that work, since a lot of the first half of the show was Sam (and Dean, in different ways) coming into the belief that normal life was not and never had been possible for them. I’m not sure that’s objectively true, but it must have been a weird thing to hold in your head while also swearing you’re going to get back to law school applications next week, for real this time. Not to mention, by this point however long Sam lives, he'll always have spent more time in Hell with Lucifer than as Dean's brother on Earth.

The idea that hunting has no appeal without Dean is interesting, since the first few times he was involuntarily separated from Dean after Stanford (in Mystery Spot, while Dean was in Hell, and after Sam got out of Hell) he hunted rather relentlessly and with apparent (maybe grim) satisfaction, though the first two were largely about trying to save Dean and the third was in part to protect Dean from hunting (and also he had no soul, but. details.) I personally still find it hard to square that he stopped looking for Dean in Purgatory, but the resolution to that rupture was Sam and Dean deciding to stay together and hunt even at the cost of other things they wanted. And I might rethink this in later seasons, but I could put that down as the point when Sam and Dean decide or realize or just accept that they’re it for each other and this is going to be their life for as long as they get to have it. It’s a little sad how long Sam thought of “his” life as some other thing that he’d still be able to get back to someday, and I think it's a fair read that their life has always been more of him living in Dean's world than anything else, even if he's ultimately content there. But I do think it’s right that this is not something he’s ever been able to say to Dean in this way, and I wonder if he's ever said it to anybody.
posted by jameaterblues at 9:32 AM on December 19, 2021

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