I’m just going to put it out there that I’m not entirely sure what the Hell went down in “Family Matters,” but I will give it my best shot. If I screw it up, comment me!
We begin with a bloody Sam being evaluated by Castiel, whose only remark is a matter-of-fact “You did this” to Dean. He does the ol’ gut wander and finds what the CW PROMOS PREANNOUNCED (ahem), that Sam is back among the living minus a very special ingredient – it seems his soul has taken a powder on the return trip. He admits to not sleeping the whole time he’s been back, and Castiel’s response is sort of a “Hmmm,” before he blinks out.
The boys decide to go see Samuel (without taking time to hash out the beat-down, which I thought would be sort of an important discussion to have) and waltz into the compound, where Sam is greeted warmly, and Dean not-so-warmly, by Parker Lewis (this is important later). They sashay into Samuel’s office, and suddenly Castiel is there, too, so he soul-searches Grandpa and finds out he’s OK.
Then a case breaks out because the alpha vamp is nearby, so Dean agrees to backseat his own alpha role and tagalong on a Campbell hunt, where he’s saddled with lesser-than status alongside Gwen. That doesn’t sit well with him and he goes off on his own in time to see Sam and the Campbells loading the alpha into a blacked out van.
When Dean asks Sam what happened, he gets a lie, promptly calls him on it, and then talks Sam into helping him get to the truth. Sam GPS’s Samuel’s ride and they track him to the demon holding area. This is where I got really confused (the first time) because alpha vamp is played by Rick Worthy, who was the angel Camael in Fallen (with Paul Wesley), and I was thinking he’d been an angel here (last season, which I didn’t see all of), so I was discombobulated for a minute there.
So, the boys go talk to alpha and he starts prattling on about purgatory (oy), which is where the soulless go but to which nobody has the address, and that would seem to be why the demons are being rounded up (I think). Samuel and Parker Lewis arrive pretty quickly and bust up the interview and while they’re arguing with the boys, another random hunter accidentally releases, and is then killed by alpha. Everybody mobilizes to find him, and out of nowhere, he jumps out and is about ready to turn Sam (rather gleefully because he’d be a “machine”) when Parker Lewis stabs him with dead man’s blood, then suddenly goes black eyes, is joined by other black-eyed demons who help him grab the alpha, and then they all blink out of there. I’m guessing Dean didn’t get close enough to Parker Lewis to realize he was “off,” and Sam’s soullessness made him less able to ID Parker Lewis as a demon?
Dean, Sam, Samuel, and Gwen get about a minute to figure things out before Crowley shows up. He has been scouting purgatory for development and having the demons gathered to find the location. Samuel has been under his thumb the whole time because he’s knowledgeable about demons (in a way John Winchester wishes he’d been) and Crowley has something (TBD) that Samuel wants. Crowley says Parker Lewis had been invaded by a demon way back there so he could keep tabs on Samuel. But the other kicker is that Crowley brought both Sams back and conveniently left Sam the younger’s soul back in Hell as a bartering tool, so he of course offers that up as “why you should help me and be nice about it” to the Winchesters (YAWN).
He says that if they don’t work with him, he can just send Sam back to Hell. When Dean tries to get the who’s and what’s out of Crowley, he just snits back that it’s none of his business and then he blinks out again. Surprisingly, it’s Sam who wants to put a bullet in Samuel for the betrayal and Dean who lets him go. The boys then yadda yadda a bit that they’ll play along for now until they get Sam’s soul back (around episode 22, I would guess) and then get revenge later (in season seven?). I repeat – YAWN.
One little observation on the dialogue patterns – in the last act, Dean uses “I’ve seen some stupid in my time” when talking to Samuel and “I’ve done some stupid things in my time” to Sam very close together, so I’m wondering if that was intentionally symbiotic about Dean and Samuel and why they do the things they do, or the production team just missed a repetition that didn’t mean anything at all.
All that aside, I really, really want my monsters of the week show back. It doesn’t look like I’m getting it, though.
Photo Courtesy of Michael Courtney/The CW