Sam and Dean experienced quite the shock at the start of Supernatural last night: Their grandpa came out of the closet! Literally. (This is Supernatural, not a soap, folks.)
Yes, Grandpa Henry Winchester made his grand debut, traveling all the way from 1958 to help the boys keep a very important key out of some very bad (although, nicely manicured) hands.
But Grandpa didn’t know that he’d be meeting up with Sam and Dean at first. He had actually carried out his timey wimey magic in order to contact John, his son. Upon arriving, however, he found himself face to face with Sam and Dean, who were less than welcoming. (I can’t blame them, though — a man came out of their closet.) And soon enough he was informed that John was a little, ehem, dead. Awkward.
Also uncomfortable was the guys’ first encounter with Abaddon, a knight of hell, who was one tough lady despite her Stepford exterior. In fact, she proved too much for the trio to take on in the moment, and they chose to flee the scene, which could be the first time in history three men have run away from a motel room with a pretty lady inside.
Throughout the hour, Abaddon proved to have more than just super strength, she also did this nifty “show me what you’ve seen” trick that enabled her to enter the memories of any person she chose. This little trick kept her right on the boys’ trail the entire episode, which sucked for them.
Meanwhile, Sam and Dean kept busy trying to digest a ton of new information about their family that their grandpa dumped on them. Among the bombshells?
1) Dean and Sam were never supposed to be hunters! (“Hunters are apes,” Henry said.) Per their bloodline, the brothers were actually supposed to be Men of Letters. According to Henry, members of this organization were basically book worms who knew everything about the supernatural and occasionally used their knowledge when necessary. Henry for example, tapped the energy of his soul to accomplish time travel, something Sam and Dean thought only angels could do. That was beginner’s stuff, Henry said. (Note: I NEED more explanation about these “levels.” I bet there’s a bunch of cool things for the boys to learn, storyline ideas, etc, waiting to be exposed.) It was Henry’s intention to see that John learn this knowledge and more. Henry’s father — Sam and Dean’s great-grandfather — had done the same for Henry. But after Henry disappeared, John, as Dean explained, got to know the supernatural world in a very different way.
2) Speaking of Henry’s disappearance, until this episode, Sam and Dean believed exactly what John had told them: Henry walked out on John and his mother. But they realized that although John grew up thinking this to be true, it turns out that Henry time traveled and never returned. Or, as Dean put it at the end of the episode after Henry was killed (we’ll get to that): “He died saving our bacon.” Tragic!
3) Henry arrived holding a box, and, as we would expect, this box — or, more specifically, the key inside — had to be kept away from Abaddon. The key, explained former Letters member Larry, opened a bunker than contained a ton of info on the supernatural world. “The supernatural mother lode.” Every scroll, every important piece of lore. Larry wanted Sam to destroy everything to prevent it from getting into the wrong hands. But Sam seemed more interested in the knowledge they could obtain from combing through it. Larry died before he could convince Sam and (spoiler alert) I think we’ll soon know what Sam decides to do.
When all was said and done, the boys successfully kept the key away from Abaddon. (Note: They chopped her into devil-trapped pieces, but I do hope we see her again. She was fierce.) The sad part is that the only way they were able to retrieve Sam, who’d been hunter-napped, and keep the key out of her hands, was to shoot her with a bullet that had a devil’s trap carved in it. Henry volunteered to do this, knowing he’d put himself in grave danger. Ultimately, this move cost him his life.
RIP, Henry. Thanks for the knowledge, perspective, and for playing a key part in yet another amazing heartfelt, family-centric episode. These never fail to be among my favorites, and the fact that the writers took the opportunity to also push the mythology forward made it an A+ episode in my book.
So, everyone, what was your favorite part? The new mythology? The return of the Winchester family musical score? The picture of Henry and John? Sam and Dean’s uncharacteristically scruffy faces? The whistling story that I’m sure will spawn 100 fanfics? The fact that John’s journal was actually HENRY’S?! Dean talking about how he’ll always save Sam? Dean and Sam’s conversation about John at the end? I can’t choose!
Also, help me with a few burning questions: Do you think Dean overreacted to Henry’s mistake? I thought the “glorified book club” dig was harsh…but he also had a point. Was anyone else mad that Sam and Dean were asleep in jeans? Remember when we used to get boxer briefs? (I’m a pig.) What kind of cool stuff do you think is inside this bunker? Do you hope we see Abadon again? Did you think it was funny that Grandpa Winchester was a nerd? (Now we know where Sam got it!)
(Note: I’m currently away from home and without a DVR. So pardon the small section. If you have some faves, type them out and I’ll add them in. Team work!)
“Dudes traveling through motel room closets, that’s what we’ve come to?” — Dean
“I’m a little rusty on my boy bands.” — Dean, re “Men of Letters”
“Hunters are apes.” — Henry
Dean: You’re the Yodas to our Jedis.
Dean: You’ll get there.
Ed. Note: Um…no he won’t, Dean. SOB!
“It’s hard to imagine dad being scared of anything.” — Sam. [This wasn’t a funny line, but it really made me tear up.]