'Supernatural' Recap: The Dark Queen Rises

October 16th, 2013 9:13am EDT

Supernatural Last week's episode of "Superantural" may have been the premiere, but this week's episode, "Devil May Care," was the true kickstarter to season 9. With fallen angels and Abaddon rising out of the ashes like the fiercest of phoenixes to contend with on top of everything "demony and monstery," it's going to be a busy year indeed.
Let's dive in, shall we?
Since they didn't close the gates of hell, Sam and Dean have to rid the world of demons the hard way: one by one. They Crowley into their handy dungeon (much to Kevin's dismay) and prepare to holy waterboard the names of every demon possessing humans out of him. Knowing demons, especially ones as theatrical as Crowley, Sam and Dean don't whip out the weapons, but let Crowley stew in his own "delicious juices." If a demon monologues in an empty dungeon, does it still snark?
While Crowley seems to be affected by his near cure, Sam and Dean work a case involving long-dead meatsuits found on a city bus and three missing naval officers. Winchesters assemble! Who needs “NCIS” when you have Agents Stark and Banner on the case? After Kevin Solo uses some of his mad hacker skillz to blackmail clearance from the officer barring Sam and Dean from the scene, they quickly discover out that Abaddon (Alaina Huffman) has orchestrated this current nightmare. Our favorite knight of hell has been torturing hunters, with nooses not fists, for information about the Winchesters. She grabs two hunters and holds them in a town abandoned from an earlier chemical spill. Cover the goods, everyone, the Winchesters are going in.
The rescue is arguably too easy, especially since Abaddon has demons in superpowered vessels carrying assault weapons. They give the Winchesters enough time to rescue a hot and angry hunter named Tracy and and her mentor Irv, formulate a plan and split up into teams. It feels extremely unnecessary that Olivia is near-violent towards Sam because a demon murdered her parents as a way to celebrate Lucifer’s freedom all thanks to “some dumb kid" who set him free. When did this become public knowledge in the hunting world? It would have been an interesting twist a few years ago, but it feels like the writers pushed this particular angst button for no discernible reason. And it wasn’t needed, because minutes later poor Irv, who broke under Abaddon’s torture, is killed, Sam get bumrushed by three demon-possessed SEALs and Abaddon takes Dean down faster than Homer Simpson can devour a donut.

For her first outing as this season's Big Bad, Abaddon proves she pulls no punches. "You’re the perfect vessel, Dean. You give a girl all sorts of nasty ideas. Play hard to get and I'll peel off this No Demons Allowed tattoo and blow smoke up your ass. Once I'm on top I'll make you watch, and I'll use your body," she threatens while nearly breaking Dean's wrist. I generally don't ship the Winchesters with anyone because they always die horrifically, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn’t captivated by Abaddon and Dean's scenes together. There is incendiary chemistry between Huffman and Jensen Ackles, and she slays as a demon who wants to "liberate" hell.
Dean looks to be well and truly screwed. If only they had an angel tucked away in Sam's sleeve. When Sam is knocked unconscious, one of the douchey SEALs remarks that he thought the Winchesters would be tougher, and Sam's eyes open, glowing blue. He stands, hums with light, revealing a shadow of wings. They aren't as magnificent as Castiel's. They're spindly and molting feathers—a brilliant metaphor for Ezekiel's damaged grace. But angel always trumps demon, and Ezekiel vanquishes the three demons with an angelic blast. It's enough to make Abaddon flee.
Dean runs in to find Ezekiel slitting the throats of the already dead demons with the knife to make sure Dean can cover for their deaths when Sam wakes up. He also reassures a troubled Dean, "I was protecting your brother. I thought that's what you wanted."
"I was the one who talked Sam out of boarding up hell. Every kill that they make, you're looking at the person who let it happen," Dean confesses. Apparently Tracy's hatred of Sam illustrated for Dean how not closing the gates of hell allowed the demons to wreak havoc on others, and the impact it would have.
"I am in Sam's head. Everything he knows I know, and I know that everything you did, you did out of love. It is why I said yes," he admits. "Dean Winchester, you did the right thing."
Zeke says the right things to comfort Dean, and while I'm growing fond of the angel riding Sam's coattails, I still don't trust him, especially when he’s digging around in Sam’s head. However, the pep talk works for Dean, who's conveniently clutching the bloody knife when Sam wakes up, boasting how awesome he is.
I will not speak of the fact that Dean let bitchy Tracy drive the Impala. I can't remember anyone else besides Sam and Bobby driving the car. The trio head out for "burgers and silkwood showers." I guess the "ice cream and strippers" come later.

While the Winchesters are gone, Crowley, desperate for interaction, toys with poor Kevin, dangling the life of his mother before him. Kevin vents his rage first with fists and then with a hammer. Our prophet is smart enough not to let him go, but he wants to set out to find his mother on his own. Dean painfully tells him that "if she is alive, then she's dead in every way that matters." With angels and demons roaming the earth, Kevin is safest inside the bunker. He also hands him his official membership into Team Free Will. "After all the crap we've been through, all the good that you've done, you don't know that we'd die for you? You're family." Dean assures him. For Winchesters, the praise doesn't get any higher.
Kevin, the newest Winchester, stays. Dean, brandishing some booze, checks in on Sam, who "feels better than I have in a long time. I realize it's crazy out there, and we have trouble comin' for us, but I look around and we have friends and fmaily. I'm happy with my life for the first time in forever. Things are good." It's a wonderful revelation coming from Sam who was tortured all last season from the Trials, but it also makes me wonder what his character arc will be for the season. Nothing is more badass than watching Zeke emerge through Sam's body and Jared Padalecki nailed those scenes as well as the physicality this episode required, but I'm curious if he go on an emotional journey this year.
While Sam's content with his newfound health, Dean's struggling. In the last minutes of the episode, he downs his liquor in a single gulp, and clearly needs more. When Sam asks him how he is, his flippant "never better" rings hollow and palpably sad.
"Devil May Care" was a rollercoaster of an episode that establishes Crowley as a demon in transition, Zeke as a pretty useful secret weapon, and Abaddon as the baddest bitch hell hath ever produced. Long live the queen, indeed.
Grade: B+
What did you think of the episode? How much did Kevin break your heart? Do you trust Zeke yet? Are you worried for Dean? Hit up the comments section below!
Next week, it's the Adventures of Newly Human Castiel!

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Photo Credits: The CW Network

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