This week’s episode, entitled, “Death Takes a Holiday,” has it all. Humor, angst, familiar faces, meta arc stuff and more. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s dive right in. We begin with the apparent “murder” of a normal average fellow following a mugging…yet he doesn’t die. Wow, did Death REALLY take a holiday? He had a bullet hole looking thing in him, but was still walkin’ and talkin’. This in itself was very weird, but this is Supernatural, so weird and this show walk together, hand in hand down a sandy beach.
Anyway, we find the boys in a diner, Dean eating as usual, and it doesn’t take long for the angst to seep in. Dean is still stinging from the comments Sam made in the previous episode, wherein Sam said Dean was slowing him down and that he was a better hunter. At the end of the last episode, Sam asked “are we okay?” Both of them lied to each other and said they were, but it’s obvious at this point that they aren’t.
The boys then find themselves in Wyoming, investigating the matter. After talking to the gunshot victim and getting pretty much nowhere, they decide they need to talk to the last person in the town who died, a kid named Cole Griffith. At the grave site, the boys prepare a ritual that will — they hope — bring the spirit of the boy around so they can talk to it. However, before they can do the ritual, they get interrupted by someone who looks to be the groundskeeper. However, they soon find out that this guy is no one other than Alistair himself, the big bad demon that forced Dean to torture souls during his time in the pit.
Alistair quickly dispatches Dean with a wave of his hand, knocking him out. When he tries the same move on Sam, however…nothing happens. My jaw was slowly falling to the floor at this point, but wait with me, it gets better. Sam then, with a wave of HIS huge hand, throws Alistair against a tree and removes him from the body without barely blinking an eye, something that was much more difficult for him not so long ago. Like even Alistair noticed, Sam’s been practicing with his anti-demon juju.
Back at the hotel, Dean is recovering from his knock on the noggin — calling Sam “House” when asked about his head, which I found hilarious. When Dean asks Sam about what happen…Sam lies. AGAIN. Dean calls him on it, saying it’s okay for him to keep his secrets, but Sam doesn’t budge. I like how they’re setting this angst up between them, and while I hope it’s not everlasting, I like the directions it could take us in.
In talking to Bobby and doing more research, they realize that demons have kidnapped the Reaper and are going to kill them to break one of the seals. Dean comes up with this CRAZY idea that they need to become spirits in order to find the Reaper. I emphasize crazy because both Sam, Dean, and the returning Pamela — whose aid they enlist again to help them cross over into the spirit world — also think the idea is pretty nutty. Being as good as she is, she accomplishes this fairly easily.
Once the boys have crossed over, they leave Pamela — In a room with no salt on the doors or windows? Hello? Demons running around? — to watch over their bodies while they track down the Reaper. We have a few laughs with the “passing through stuff” shtick, and a nice little nod to the Wincesters with the whole “get outta me” moment, but eventually, the boys find the boy they need to talk to, Cole Griffith.
The Griffith house is a sad place. Cole’s mom is still grieving for the loss of her son, and visits his room often. Cole, in the midst of throwing balls around his room at his mom, finds himself throwing balls at Sam and Dean instead. After they talk to him a bit, he tells them he knows where the “black smoke” is, but before he tells them where, a new Reaper arrives and runs him off. The cool thing is that it’s Tessa from “In My Time of Dying”! At first Dean doesn’t recognize her, but she reminds him with this whole mental-montage-flashback thing.
While Dean and Tessa share a moment, Sam goes to try to coax Cole out of his hiding place by LYING TO HIM TOO. Gee, Sam, you’re becoming a big fan of this whole lying thing, ain’tcha? Anyway, while Sam is up in Cole’s room, lying to him, Dean confesses to Tessa that he wished he had gone with her way back when, to avoid all the pain he’s witnessed since. Fairly angsty of Dean, but I wasn’t bothered by it like I was previously when he turned on the angst.
Anyway, we find out from Cole that the demons are hanging out at a local funeral home. Said home is just wallpapered on the outside with crazy symbols, which is obviously meant to keep something out. When the boys venture in, they find the Reapers laying in a ceremonial circle on the ground, guarded by one lone demon. They proceed to beat the snot out of this demon using the ghostly tricks they learned from Cole — which was reminiscent of the whole bit in “Ghost” where that guy teaches Patrick Swayze to move stuff — only to find that it was all a trick to lure them there, as they’re surrounded by iron chains.
Once again the boys meet up with Alistair, who proceeds to shoot the boys repeatedly with rock salt — wow that’s gotta hurt — and then begins the ritual right in front of them. After killing one Reaper, and ready to kill the other, the boys use their ghostly-moving-powers to drop a chandelier on the circle, breaking it and freeing the Reaper.
Meanwhile, back at the hotel room, a demon — SEE? YOU NEEDED SALT ON THE WINDOWS AND DOORS — proceeds to fight with and stab Pamela in the gut…one second before she revives Sam, who is unable to help her, but still uses his juju to banish the demon in a particular fit of anger. Overall, this is sad, as I liked Pamela a lot. Anyway, since Sam has disappeared, Dean and Tessa try to find Sam, but all Dean finds is Alistair, who looks like he’s about the lay the smack down until he disappears in a brilliant white light.
It’s a while light because Castiel has shown up. YAY! I love Castiel, so I’m always happy to see him. Anyway, Dean is rightfully pissed because Castiel just THEN showed up, but Castiel explains that they couldn’t get into the funeral home because of the symbols. Castiel then explains that he recruited Sam and Dean for this job, pretending to be Bobby because he figured the boys wouldn’t listen to him if he asked them for help directly…and he probably figured right.
Once that’s done, we find Dean and Tessa returning to Cole so that Tessa can help him pass to the other side. Dean gives a lovely little speech about how “we’re all scared” followed by a nice speech by Tessa in which she spouts off about lying. Kinda prophetic, huh?
Anyway, once we return to the room, we find Tessa is back at work, because Pamela’s wound has now begun to bleed, and she has little time left. In her last moments, she tells Sam she knows what he did to the demon, and that he thinks he has good intentions, but he’s wrong. WOW. Powerful stuff, that. The episode ends with Dean asking Sam what Pamela said, but Sam only sitting there in what looks to be a stunned silence.
In conclusion, DAMN that was a great episode. It had angst, action, humor, angels, demons, you name it. This show is back with a BANG and now I can’t wait to see how the remainder of the season plays out.