A new column at The Nerdy Girl Express is The Miller Twins Talk Supernatural Season 12. Here twins and The Nerdy Girl Express writers, Stacy Miller and Tracy Miller, will share their thoughts about the heroic Winchester boys, Sam and Dean (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) as well as the many other wonderful characters on The CW’s longest running show. Will these twins agree on the characters and plot themes for each episode? Read below to find out.
Supernatural returned from the winter break with its milestone 250th episode titled “First Blood.” When we last left our favorite hunter siblings Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles), they had been arrested for the attempted assassination of the President. There are many occupational hazards of hunting the supernatural and for the brothers, being falsely accused of a crime is a familiar theme. In the Season 1 episode “Skin,” Dean faked his own death when a blood thirsty shape shifter wearing his face killed several people. The Season 2 episode “Nightshifter” saw both brothers on the FBI’s Most Wanted List and branded criminals after the nefarious handiwork of yet another shape shifter who killed a bank employee. Season 2 “Folsom Prison Blues,”Season 3 “Jus in Bello,” and Season 7 “Slash Fiction” had the boys incarcerated after pursuing a ghost, fighting demons and tracking down Leviathans (the Leviathans turned out to be very good shape shifters themselves effectively framing the Winchesters after said Leviathans went on a murderous rampage). Yet, each time Sam and Dean were eventually able to emerge victorious.
However, this time around Sam and Dean are imprisoned in separate cells. The boys always function best as a team where they can rely on their collective strengths to strategize. In solitary confinement, the brothers are faced with trying to preserve their sanity in the cruelest of circumstances as well as to figure a way out of their dilemma.
An interesting approach was that the first half of the episode, in the scenes involving Sam and Dean, they are silent. Without dialogue, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles rely solely on their body language to convey their characters’ emotions. This is a risky strategy, but Padalecki and Ackles know their characters so well that even non verbally, they silently convey so much to move the narrative.
In addition, “First Blood” offers the opportunity for Mary and Castiel to work together to save the brothers. Mary is initially angry at Castiel (and herself) feeling as though she failed her sons. Similarly, Castiel is tormented over failing his friends and apparently, he has also been unsuccessful picking up the hunting mantle. But Mary hasn’t lost her talents as a hunter; where Castiel failed, Mary cleans out a vampire nest.
What I found refreshing in this episode is how resourceful Sam and Dean were in saving themselves. There was a montage where viewers saw the mundane ritual of the boys getting prison food, ticking off the passing days and exercising (which I thought suggested that the prison ordeal would drag over multiple episodes). A shocking twist was when the captors found Sam and Dean dead in their cells. Of course, I wasn’t worried because seriously, when had death ever truly stopped a Winchester?
It wasn’t long before we realize that dying was the most ingenious method for a prison break. The boys were dead one minute, yet the next minute, they were alive. The second half of the episode was action packed with our courageous heroes eluding their pursuers along the outdoor terrain. Even highly trained government officials proved no match for Kansas bred hunters. Soon the hunted hunters (see what I did there?) overpower their captors.
Meanwhile, after Crowley was unhelpful in mission rescue Sam and Dean, Mary and Castiel found themselves making a deal with the devil in order to save the boys. No, not that devil (did you think I was talking about Lucifer?) No, the devil in question is Mick who promises Mary and Castiel the full assistance of the British Men of Letters. Mick hasn’t been too successful in recruiting American hunters so helping the Winchesters will be good PR.
Sam, Dean, Mary and Castiel are later reunited. But their bliss is short-lived: Through flashback sequences we learn that Dean called Billie while in prison. A deal was struck where Sam and Dean would die, be brought back to life in order to make their escape, then one Winchester would permanently die at midnight. Mary can’t let either of her sons die so she is ready to sacrifice herself. Just as Mary is about to shoot herself in the head, Castiel comes behind Billie (Lisa Berry) and fatally stabs the reaper.
This latest development poses an interesting question: Killing Billie means the Winchesters have reneged on the deal. What will the cosmic consequences of violating this deal be?
In the end, Mr. Ketch is dispatched to kill everyone in the government prison facility who knew about the Winchesters’ arrest and imprisonment.
I thought this episode was a solid mid-season premiere. I liked how we got to see a strong Sam and Dean rely upon their own wits for the most part to save themselves. The emotional moments of the first half hour was perfectly paced with the action packed focus of the second half hour. For me, the Sam and Dean devising a scheme to flee their captors had an early seasons’ feel (shades of “Nightshifter”).
“First Blood” marks the landmark 250th episode of Supernatural. What I loved best about “First Blood” is that it was full of the elements that remind us why we love Sam and Dean Winchester: Their resourcefulness, their bad ass hunter survival skills (thanks John), their brotherly love and deals and self sacrificing for each other.
So, Sam and Dean saved the President of the United States by extracting Lucifer from his body. They receive the gratitude of a grateful government and a parade. If you think that, what show are you watching? Sam and Dean were arrested and locked up. To the world, they are dangerous criminals with a psycho brother reputation to rival the James brothers. Forget due process, the President’s aide wants to take them out back and shoot them. But first, they need to learn if the Winchesters are working with other dangerous groups that threaten national security. In order to get answers out of Sam and Dean, they’ll be locked up for days, weeks, how ever long it takes with the hope that they’ll go bonkers and sing like two killer canaries. Threats, been there, done that. Dean doesn’t show any emotion or fear. Sam, on the other hand, looks like he’s going to burst into tears at any moment. Aw, poor Sammy…he really needed a hug! When I saw Dean pull out a nail, I immediately thought that he was going to use it to try to pick the lock. Instead, Dean uses it to tally the days of his captivity. I found it humorous that while Sam turned his nose up at the prison food, Dean actually seemed to like it (shades of “Folsom Prison Blues”). But come on, there was A LOT of corn on their meal trays. I mean A LOT of corn. It made me think of Cain in “First Born” and all his corn. Ironically, “First Born” is a similarly title to “First Blood.” But I digress. We see Sam and Dean doing what they can to not go insane at being imprisoned.
Meanwhile, Mary (Samantha Smith) is at a diner in Lawrence when she receives a phone call from Castiel (Misha Collins). He tells her to meet him as soon as she can at the Men of Letters Bunker. When she arrives, Castiel tells her about Sam and Dean’s arrest. Worried about her sons, Mary is angry with Castiel for not protecting them. Poor Castiel, he experiences a case of the “uselessness,” a common ailment for angels who develop a closeness with their human charges after said angels become human, angel, human and angel again. Oh wait, that doesn’t happen to angels, except when your name begins with ‘C’, ends with ‘l” and has an ‘a, s,t,i e’ in the middle. Anyway, since Castiel doesn’t know how to get Sam and Dean out of prison, he decided to help them as a hunter. Unfortunately, he’s not that good a hunter. Although Mary has been dead for the past thirty-three years, she’s still a total bad ass. I guess hunting is like riding a bike. Once you are one, you never forget how to do it. Mary cleans out a vampire’s nest quicker than you can say “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Back at Fox River. Oops, wrong prison and jailed brothers; Sam and Dean are found dead in their cells. Was I worried? Ah, no. It wasn’t like Sam and Dean were going to stay dead. Honestly when I watched the scene, I thought they were first faking their deaths. But that would mean the government agencies were “dumb as a sack of hair” if they were fooled. And how could Sam and Dean fake having no a pulse. Then, I thought they had performed a spell. But how would they both had decided to use a ‘death spell’ without being able to talk to each other? And is there a ‘death spell?’ Any Supernatural fan know? Anyway, the ruse allows them to make their prison break. Then, the manhunt begins. And the government ain’t playing- it’s shoot to kill if they get Sam and Dean in their rifle sights instead of returning them back to prison. I loved how the Winchesters turned the tables on their pursuers. And thank you John Winchester for teaching your boys survival skills.
Mary and Castiel meet with Mick and Mr. Ketch, who offer their assistance. Mary would rather have Crowley and mommy witch Rowena’s help. Speaking of Crowley, he had one brief scene but it contained my favorite line of the episode: “Sam and Dean are like herpes. Just when you think they’re gone, the boys are back.” So, Sam and Dean over power the government agents and Sam tells them the truth: They saved the President when he was possessed. “Who are you?” the agents ask. “We’re the guys who saved the world,” Sam answers.
The big reveal of the episode is Dean called out to Reaper Billie (Lisa Berry) and made a blood deal: They would die and be brought back to life one last time. But then at midnight, a Winchester would die for good. To save her boys, Mary offers her life. But it’s Castiel who breaks the deal by stabbing and killing Billie with his angel blade. No, I love Billie- please tell me she’s not dead dead.
As the episode closes, it looks like Mary has decided to work with The British Men of Letters. I wonder how this will turn out. “First Blood” was a solid 250th episode of Supernatural and a gift to fans. Despite the odds, Sam and Dean will always find a way to carry on. And that’s why we love them.
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