It’s a really good thing we’re getting the hellatus in a week, because I’m close to separating from Supernatural again. If I were a smarter person, the episode title would’ve led me to avoid “Caged Heat” altogether. The gist this week is that Meg (still in the guise of Rachel Miner, looking much better here than on Terriers) is back to taunt the boys until Sam announces to Dean, thanks to some sort of soul-free demon decoder ability, that she’s actually powerless to do anything really nasty to them this go around.
She states her case – she’s looking for Crowley – so they decide to team up to take him down, since it’s in their best interest to eliminate him. With help from Castiel, who’s lured by Sam with the plot from Raiders of the Lost Ark and some underhanded guiltmail, and a seemingly genuine, but not so much, assist from Samuel, they track him to the abandoned prison where he’s keeping and torturing all the alpha and alpha-wannabe demons (including the Djinn from “Exile on Main Street”) in his purgatorial quest.
There’s a lot of back and forth about whether Sam’s soul would be worth saving now, because it’s more than likely in such a state that restoring it to Sam’s person would render him catatonic, if he survived. This conversation happens first between Dean and Castiel and then Crowley/Dean/Sam/Meg/Castiel, and Sam finally speaks up and admits that he’s actually pretty content to remain, as Dean calls him, a replicant (hee!). Crowley is finally killed (for now) when he admits to the four he actually can’t get Sam’s soul back and Castiel roasts his bones. Meg gets away (in a disjointed edit that didn’t come off as cool as I think they intended), but at least they get the demon Ginsu back.
We also learn that Samuel was being baited by Crowley with the return of Mary (called it), which Dean pretty quickly advises him would be capital B, capital I, Bad Idea, but Samuel’s not listening. When he dispatches the brothers and Meg and her goons to the demon prison, where they’re run down by hell hounds and the boys are locked up, it’s pretty clear he’s still Crowley’s bitch. Dean tells Samuel to get going, because when they meet again, he will kill him. Parker Lewis gets hold of Meg for a little while and she’s confined to the torture chair we saw Alastair use on Ruby, but Dean comes in fairly quickly and dispatches him with the demon blade. And there’s some weird side business where we revisit Castiel’s potential debauched tendencies as he gets sucked into porn and practices smooching on Meg.
The net net was a big old “don’t care.” Sam’s still soulless, Dean’s still tortured, Castiel’s still losing his battle to rein in Heaven’s rogues, and Meg’s still loose in the world. I guess we’ve forked Dean’s home life for good, and we haven’t seen Bobby in a while, but I think he’s back next week. No closure on the demons still locked up – I thought the boys would detonate it, but no go, so that’s still to be resolved. We learned via Meg that a spell inside the prison’s walls is keeping the demons confined to their physical bodies, so I’m sure we’ll be revisiting that.
Everybody was very convincingly sincere and dark and what not, but it all seemed like such a retread of the torture porn that made me bail out last season. I guess we’re going to find out who was yanking Crowley’s chain and driving all of this for real, since he wasn’t as all-powerful as he’d been telling the boys he was. Are we starting over again with “who’s on first?” There are 12 episodes left this season, and we seem to have bought a ticket for the extended version of The Quest for Purgatory (and Sam’s Soul), so I’d go with “yes.”
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