It was old home week for “Appointment in Samarra” as Tessa, Death, and Balthazar resurfaced, along with Freddy Krueger, in a Hail Mary attempt on Dean’s part to retrieve Sam’s soul, and Sam’s part to block it. We begin with Dean doing a Flatliners turn in the back room of a Chinese grocery so he can have a sitdown with Death. Death is in a giving mood, so he hears Dean out – he’ll fetch Sam’s soul in exchange for Dean wearing his ring for a full 24 hours – no backsies, no breaks. Dean asks about the puddle-of-brain possibility and Death says he can shore up a wall that will hold the trauma back for a while, but not forever, and Dean says do it.
So Dean takes the ring, loops Bobby and Sam, and then pops into the alternate realm, where a pissed-off Tessa awaits her duty as his assigned reaper. Bobby is told to keep an eye on Sam, and that goes sideways when Sam greets the potential news of his soul retrieval with summoning Balthazar and asking for a spell to block that soul coming back in. Balthazar says yes, sure, patricide will make your vessel uninhabitable, and Sam says that’ll work just fine, so we get a tedious-ish sidebar of Sam stalking Bobby around his house until they’re both beaten up. Dean turns up in time to save Bobby and again smack Sam down.
Before that, Dean’s detour as Death progresses from simple (would-be hold up dude/heart attack) to impossible (12-year old heart patient and then her nurse when he can’t pull the trigger on the girl). To save the nurse’s grieving husband from suicide by drunk driving, Dean takes off the ring, breaking the deal. Before he goes home, though, he goes back and kills the girl like he was supposed to because the misguided second chance he gave her would have bit her in the ass for the rest of her life. Each time he killed somebody, he was asked why and what it all meant – he quoted Kansas to the heart attack guy, but to the girl, he just says he’s sorry and doesn’t know. More Dean angst.
After Dean goes back to Bobby’s, Death shows up toting beer and bacon dogs and says he’ll help Dean anyway, so the whole thing was some sort of test for his amusement. We end with Death retrieving Sam’s white, glowing soul and putting it back inside Sam’s chest while Sam begs and screams that he not do it and Dean stands outside the panic room where they’ve confined Sam, watching silently.
And that’s it for six weeks. So, we’ll find out then if Sam is gooey at the end of the soul replacement and what the shakeout is for the brothers because, once again, they weren’t on the same page of their intentions, and again, Bobby nearly got whacked in the process. Two things I was surprised about with Death and Balthazar showing up – there was no mention of Crowley’s death by either party. I was glad to see Tessa again – this was Lindsey McKeon’s third appearance in the role. I do like that this season they’re revisiting past folks who were significant for the boys. I’m just ready for us to get back to business now that we’re not chasing Sam’s soul anymore.
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