Supernatural: First Blood
January 27, 2017 11:48 AM - Season 12, Episode 9 - Subscribe

After being arrested for the attempted assassination of the POTUS Sam and Dean must find a way out of a government detention facility in the middle of nowhere. Determined to find her sons, Mary and Castiel seek help from an unlikely source.

A slow episode, but with some very heavy consequences.

Thoughts:
- How has the US government never learned anything about the supernatural with all the crazy stuff that happens? There's literally armageddon that happens every year. You'd think they might even follow up on all these weird deaths that are solved by mysterious FBI agents that aren't in their system.
- Castieeeel what the fuuuuck! She JUST said cosmic consequences! Like the DARKNESS wasn't bad enough??
- I don't trust those limey bastards one bit! The boys tried so hard to let those soldiers live! Mary whyyyy?
- Occasionally episodes like this one reminds of how fucking badass the Winchesters are when they have to be. Like you have to remember that they fight demons and monsters on the regular. So a few human soldiers are nothing to them.
posted by numaner (14 comments total)
 
I was all "Bye, Mary" when Billie showed up, I mean, I literally said it out loud, but then when Cas did what he did, the kid and I both screamed "WHAAAAAT?" and had to pause to digest what just happened. Did not see that coming one bit, so well played, show. During that pause, we debated the consequences. Kid is of the opinion that another Reaper will hold up Billie's end of the deal, but I think that the blood seal was made specifically with her. I guess we'll see.

Kid and I both agreed that there is something creepy about the square-headed Brit. Beardy Brit is suave, but the other one just oozes something really off-putting. He makes me physically uncomfortable. I kinda expected Crowley to be in that final scene, but I think Mary is trying, foolishly, to protect her sons.

Also, I don't know if there was a weird cable glitch for us, but we had a definite lag that was really disorienting, especially during the big fight scene.
posted by Ruki at 12:38 AM on January 29, 2017 [1 favorite]


When Billie said she'd come for "a Winchester" it was pretty clear Mary would volunteer, but since Sam and Dean hadn't expected her to be there, we never did find out what they had intended to happen. I have a hard time seeing either one being okay with the other doing it, or not trying to game out a way to make sure it was him.
posted by jameaterblues at 8:54 AM on January 29, 2017


The OP sums up my feelings about Cas taking out Billie pretty well:

Castieeeel what the fuuuuck! She JUST said cosmic consequences! Like the DARKNESS wasn't bad enough??

We literally *just* did this plot. I think the show shouldn't go to that well again at all, but even if they were going to, it's too soon.

The other thing that concerns me is that the British Men of Letters are being given too many advantages. It sort of reminds me of the Leviathans: 'here's an enemy so powerful they scare angels and demons.' The problem there was that with such an overwhelmingly powerful organization, the resolution was pretty bad. I think these guys are going to go the same way: the writers are painting themselves into a corner by making them so competent.

Plus, it does raise the question of 'if they have all this shit, how did they not know God himself was working with the Winchesters just last season. Shouldn't they really have gotten involved somewhere in S4-S5?' It's distracting. I wish they had been time shifted or locked away or otherwise elsewhere, ('across the Pond' doesn't count), to explain why they're so good, but have been out of play so long.
posted by mordax at 9:28 AM on January 29, 2017


I figured Dean was gonna call dibs on the permadeath, but nope!
Couldn't help but laugh at how well the English MoL pitch was going with the indie hunters.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:47 PM on January 29, 2017


The whole deal with Billie thing drove me crazy for the few minutes it floated on the screen. Isolation in a black government facility was WORSE than Hell? The Hell where the Winchesters were personally tortured for what felt like years upon years? And they couldn't make it more than sixty days or so?

ARGH.

If you're going to play that card, you got to PLAY IT. Lock the Winchesters up for months before they crack and pretty much agree one of them can die. Heck, it makes more sense for them to agree to sell their souls to a crossroads demon than to summon Billie up. I could see them figuring they could find a way around it (okay, most demons probably wouldn't take on that liability - see Crowely's rant.)

Then, Angel Radio stops working whenever it'd be inconvenient for Castiel to find Winchesters.

(I actually liked this episode for the most part.)

Killing one Reaper doesn't seem like it'll have a big impact unless reapers come looking for revenge or the ilk (Castiel?!). It's different when one kills Death, himself.

The UK Men of Letters, hrm. They continue to be jerks, but I think they laid down their fall in this episode. They complain about American/Canadian hunters being unpredictable, wild and disorderly. I'm seeing a big show down at the end of the season where the UK's MoL finest get it handed to them by hunters ganging up. At worse, I have sense that Mary's alliance with them may not be everything it seems.

lus, it does raise the question of 'if they have all this shit, how did they not know God himself was working with the Winchesters just last season. Shouldn't they really have gotten involved somewhere in S4-S5?'

Yah, the only thing that makes any sense is that the UK MoL simply don't have great intelligence on the supernatural in the US. They obviously make sure the federal government has no clue about such things, so it's not as if they can infiltrate or spy on it to gain information. Obviously, they didn't read Chuck's Supernatural series or attend any high school theater productions, either. Given the lack of US MoL, the lack of cooperation by American hunters, and then you're stuck with them noting really crazy weird weather/environmental phenomena, and not much else. Almost all the big stuff the Winchesters have been involved in have been on a very narrow playing field regarding surviving witnesses. Even American Hunters have doubts on what the Winchesters have or haven't done.

So...UK MoL after following up on all the rumors and legends about the Winchesters, tied to the few things they can monitor, and I think it's plausible they waited until now to step in. Likewise, perhaps they were building up their own resources for that purpose and it just took time.
posted by Atreides at 11:22 AM on January 30, 2017 [2 favorites]


Yah, the only thing that makes any sense is that the UK MoL simply don't have great intelligence on the supernatural in the US.

... I think you may be onto something. It occurs to me that they're very possibly not half as good as they think they are. Maybe the British MoL are so slick and successful because everything important that's happening is far from their home turf. Lucifer? Leviathans? Mother of Monsters? They don't have any of that shit, they just have regular monsters of the week, which an organized group really *ought* to crush. Maybe they're out of their depth entirely, here.
posted by mordax at 9:52 PM on January 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


From their introduction at the end of last season and this season, I got the impression they developed a lot of technology to prevent and disable supernatural stuff in England, but not a whole lot of methods to study the supernatural in other countries. They have wards and traps all over the place over there, but I guess since the US MoL was destroyed they didn't have a way in with North America.
posted by numaner at 9:52 AM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


Then, Angel Radio stops working whenever it'd be inconvenient for Castiel to find Winchesters.


During the episode, I asked KidRuki, who is one of those obsessive SuperWhoLock teenagers, about this, and she said Cas can't track them anymore. I just asked for details, and apparently Enochian markings on their ribs, although Kid is not sure if they both have them or just Dean. So there's actual canon for that, at least. (I'm pretty sure Kid just put our text conversation on Instagram. I'm the cool mom.)
posted by Ruki at 12:58 PM on January 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


During the episode, I asked KidRuki, who is one of those obsessive SuperWhoLock teenagers, about this, and she said Cas can't track them anymore. I just asked for details, and apparently Enochian markings on their ribs, although Kid is not sure if they both have them or just Dean. So there's actual canon for that, at least. (I'm pretty sure Kid just put our text conversation on Instagram. I'm the cool mom.)

I was hoping there was a canonical explanation for it, and that sounds right in my foggy memory. Thanks!

It occurs to me that they're very possibly not half as good as they think they are. Maybe the British MoL are so slick and successful because everything important that's happening is far from their home turf. Lucifer? Leviathans? Mother of Monsters? They don't have any of that shit, they just have regular monsters of the week, which an organized group really *ought* to crush. Maybe they're out of their depth entirely, here.

That would go with their reaction when they learned that Lucifer was involved with the presidential exorcism. Okay, put me down as hungering for one of the smug agents getting the poo scared out of them when they find themselves dealing with more then they can handle.

One can only imagine how the UK MoL would have felt about that failed spin off idea of Chicago's dark side being controlled by monster families. Heh.
posted by Atreides at 1:36 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


I do wonder why they didn't summon Crowley, though. If he's good enough to team up with Cas to take out Lucifer, then... I hate the mid season break because it's hard enough to remember who is playing what side anyway.
posted by Ruki at 2:11 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


I know the show isn't trying that hard to be consistent or interesting, but I wish the writers would decide if the Winchesters are actually any good at fighting or not. Their tactical skills move at the speed of plot. Six weeks earlier they couldn't get the drop on those Secret Service agents when they were fully armed and only fighting like five dudes, but this week they take out Seal Team 007 with a rifle, a hunting knife, and a pack of matches? GODDAMMIT ARE THEY ANY GOOD AT THIS OR NOT??????????

Like, you know they're not going to address the fact that solitary was worse for both of them than hell (which I could actually buy, bc its well-established that Dean's greatest fear is being alone and Sam has gone crazy in the past), because there are arcs that move the plot forward and arcs that are About Feelings and this arc was just about getting them out of Area 51 as quickly as possible. The writers of SPN are congenitally incapable of doing two things at once, and it makes me insane!! Argh!!!

And I am so sick of plots where LEO learns the truth about hunters and then IMMEDIATELY DIES. I'm still bitter about Victor Henrikson and I always goddamn will be, but I don't understand how no one sees the potential in having an entire agency of Sheriff Jodys. Or some governor who periodically sends out some state troopers and cash and guns but turns out to expect way too many favors in return. Or like three episodes from now Secret Service dude shows up at the bunker heaving figured things out and produces a file on a Big Bad. Or the UKMoL bust them out and a scrappy gang of misfits investigates to learn the truth. Or the painfully Canadian antiterrorism dude turns out to be a demon whose whole job is to prevent the U.S. Army from finding out about supernatural stuff and killing all of them, so he helps Dean and Sam escape, except then they obviously have to kill him and then they get in trouble with the Unified Monsters Local or whatever.

But nope! None of that! Instead we get "cosmic...comsequences" which istg means "we got kind of wasted over Christmas and forgot to storyboard anything."

Gosh, for a show I love so much, I sure do hate it. Sigh.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 9:55 PM on February 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


Quotes

Camp: Quiet types. Okay. What do we know about ‘em?
Rick: A lot. Brothers. Born in Lawrence, Kansas to Mary Winchester, deceased, and John Winchester, also deceased. FBI started investigating them back in 2007.
Camp: For what?
Rick: Assault, murder, multiple counts of desecrating a corpse.
Camp: The same corpse?
Rick: No. Different corpses.

Dean: [on walkie-talkie] Well, let me tell you how this is gonna go. You're gonna call off your boys, and you're gonna turn around, and nobody's gonna get hurt.
Rick Sanchez: No, here's how this is gonna go. I take my highly trained soldiers, track your ass down, and YOU get hurt -- a lot. You can't run forever. You're trapped out here.
Dean: Well, what we have here is a failure to communicate. 'Cause we're not trapped out here with *you*. You're trapped out here with *us*.

Castiel's voicemail message: This is my voice mail. Make your voice… a mail…

Castiel: [to the Winchesters] You know this world, this sad, doomed little world, it needs you. It needs every last Winchester it can get, and I won't let you die. I won't let any of you die.

Castiel: Do you even care that they're gone?
Crowley: No. Do you know how many all-powerful beings have tried to kill them?
Castiel: Roughly, yes.
Crowley: As do I. I was bloody one of them. Sam and Dean? They're like herpes. Just when you think they're gone... hello! The boys are back, leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. So wherever they are, whoever has Sam and Dean, well... in the immortal words of Lawrence Tureaud... [imitates Mr. T] "I pity the fool."

Mick: Mrs. Winchester -- Mary… I came to this country to do one thing: make friends. But you American hunters, you’re… you’re a different breed than our sort. You’re surly. Suspicious. You don’t play well with others.
Castiel: Well, that is accurate.

Trivia

Lawrence Tureaud is Mr. T's real name.

Dean says: "We're not trapped out here with you, you're trapped out here with us." This is paraphrasing a line by the character Rorschach from the comic The Watchmen.

Dean says, "What we've got here is a failure to communicate." This is a quotation from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, as well as the opening of the song "Civil War" by Guns 'N Roses.

The title of this episode is the same as the 1982 Rambo film First Blood starring Silvester Stallone, in which a Vietnam vet is chased by law enforcement through the hills as he picks them off one by one.

The apple juice boxes on the prison food trays contain the distinct "Western Family" logo, a house brand for a Western Canadian supermarket chain called "Save-on-Foods." It would not be served in an American prison.

In the prison the guard tells his superiors he performed CPR on the Winchesters. However, Sam's body is in the exact same position it was in when the guard looked through the hatch in the door. He couldn't have done CPR without moving the body.
posted by orange swan at 10:35 AM on January 18


Six weeks earlier they couldn't get the drop on those Secret Service agents when they were fully armed and only fighting like five dudes, but this week they take out Seal Team 007 with a rifle, a hunting knife, and a pack of matches? GODDAMMIT ARE THEY ANY GOOD AT THIS OR NOT??????????

These are different scenarios. In the first scene, Sam and Dean were fighting hand to hand in the open air with five heavily armed and highly trained guys. In the second, they are not directly fighting all of the Seals but are running from them in the woods, and only have to deal with one or two at a time. They are outnumbered and unarmed, but they have tactical advantages that buy them time. It would have been a completely different outcome if they'd had to fight off five Seals at once while unarmed as they were when they first escaped.

How did Sam and Dean still have perfect hair after over six weeks in prison? They also wouldn't be in such good shape after six weeks of close confinement, even if we do see Sam working out in his cell.

Hilariously and totally characteristically, Sam turns his nose up at the prison food, while Dean thought it wasn't half bad.

Why on earth couldn't Castiel find Sam and Dean and zap them out of prison *in six weeks*? Castiel can hear them when they pray to him, and Dean and Sam would surely have prayed to him before appealing to Billie. For that matter, I don't believe Castiel would have left them behind while he escaped with Kelly. He would have whisked them all away back to the bunker.
posted by orange swan at 10:44 AM on January 18


This wasn’t a good episode but as FBI characters go Camp was pretty fun to watch until he vanished from the story. We’re probably not supposed to take it like this but since you definitely can’t do CPR on someone lying on their side on a bed, I assumed the guard was totally lying and did not even attempt CPR because fuck that, and knew nobody would call him on it. (I do appreciate taking the time to make textual that torture is useless and solitary confinement is worse than Hell. On an in-show level I am…mildly surprised Dean thinks that given what Hell was like for him? but I appreciate it nonetheless.)

For the sake of plot I guess I can grudgingly accept that Castiel on his own can’t locate Sam and Dean in six weeks, it doesn’t really make sense to me but whatever. (I do buy that Crowley might be able to but would not actually try that hard.) The idea that a for real for real angel is helpless to find a vampire leaving corpses all over town is embarrassing enough that I probably wouldn’t admit it either. I can get there with Castiel caring deeply for the Winchesters and admiring them for the squishy mortal meatbags they are, making terrible choices for love is right up this show’s street, but the hero worship and killing lots of other people because the Winchesters are so important to the universe, ehhhh. "We're the guys who save the world" is just. not the show I got into or one I super enjoy watching.

I was going to make this point but since I see upthread that me from 2017 already made it, I will just reiterate, how exactly did Sam and Dean plan to settle the “one of us will be fine and one of us will drop dead forever at midnight” part of this plan?
posted by jameaterblues at 11:08 PM on March 12


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