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'Supernatural' recap: 'The Werther Project'

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Liane Hentscher/The CW

Supernatural

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-14
seasons:
11
run date:
09/13/05
performer:
Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki
broadcaster:
The CW, WB
genre:
Sci-fi, Drama

It’s official: We’re nearing the end of the Supernatural season, which means a few things: 1) The Winchester brother bond becomes the focal point, and 2) The drama is taken to the next level. And tonight was just the beginning—what with Sam doing everything he can to save Dean and that whole suicide plotline. Let’s get to it, shall we?

We start the hour in St. Louis, but more importantly, in 1973, where a teenage feminist is asked to do laundry and decides instead to take a sledgehammer to a wall in her basement. You know, Betty Friedan stuff. Behind the wall, she finds some sort of safe. Long story short, she tries to open it and lets out some sort of yellow smoke, which then infects her mom, dad, and brother. Moments later, her mom, dad, and brother have all committed suicide.

The lesson? Yellow things are bad. First we had Yellow Eyes, and now we have yellow smoke.

Back in present day, Rowena and Sam are discussing the terms of their agreement. After Sam agrees to kill Crowley, Rowena reveals that she’s probably the only living witch who can understand the dark magic of the Book of the Damned. But there’s a twist: She needs it translated. According to Rowena, Nadia, a Grand Coven witch, once decrypted the book, but when the Men of Letters murdered Nadia, they hid her codex. So now Sam has to find it.

After saying goodbye to Rowena, Sam catches up with Dean at a vamp nest, where Dean has single-handedly taken out six vamps—a personal record—and is enjoying a beer. The takeaway? Sam doesn’t appreciate when Dean goes rogue, and Dean loves Speed 2: Cruise Control.

Back at the bunker, Sam waits until Dean falls asleep to listen to some recorded minutes from a Men of Letters meeting. In the meeting, Cuthbert Sinclair—and his awful bow tie—explains something called the Werther Box, which is an enchanted vault that he created in order to hide the codex. When the Werther Box started making Men of Letters kill themselves, they asked Cuthbert how to shut it down. And when he refused to give them an answer, they buried it in one of their chapter houses … until that poor girl discovered it in the 1970s.

Sam quickly calls Rowena–who’s giving new meaning to the phrase “I woke up like this”—and she provides him with a spell that will help with the enchantment on the Werther Box. With that, Sam heads to Missouri, where the owner of the house threatens to blow off his “bits.” Instead, Dean shows up to save Sam’s sack—get it?—and agrees to help Sam get into the house without really knowing what Sam’s doing.

With Dean distracting the home owner, Suzie—the same girl who opened the box in the ’70s—Sam sneaks into the basement, tries a spell, and lets the yellow smoke out. As a result, Suzie kills herself and tries to convince Sam to do the same when Rowena shows up in a blue dress, matching eye shadow, AND A CAPE. I love this woman.

NEXT: Enter Benny

[pagebreak]

While Sam and Rowena try to open the box, Dean hallucinates that he’s in purgatory, his—how twisted is this?—happy place. There, Benny (!!!) tries to convince Dean that suicide is his only option. If the Mark of Cain takes over, does he really want to ask Cas and Sam to kill him? And, as Benny puts it, “What happens in purgatory, stays in purgatory.”

Dean considers it, but he’s stronger than that. Not only will the Mark not allow him to die, but he realizes that he’s not talking to the real Benny, because the real Benny would never let him commit suicide. So Dean tells Benny his version of “thanks but no thanks.” Yeah, he kills him.

Dean then wakes up with just enough time to save Sam from killing himself in the basement. It turns out that Rowena never showed up—she was really a yellow smoke-induced hallucination. (I should’ve known that eye shadow was too good to be true.)

She and Sam had discovered that the way to open the box was with the blood of one of the Men of Letters, and just as Sam nearly drains himself dry, Dean shows up and adds his blood to put the finishing touches on the box. It opens.

With that, the guys take the codex and hit the road, even though Dean still doesn’t know what exactly the codex is for. However, he does know that he and Sam are stronger together than apart.

Once back home, Sam takes the codex to Rowena, where the “giant” quickly cuffs her. If Sam can control it, Rowena will find the cure for the Mark and then he will burn the Book of the Damned. Oh, and he’ll kill Crowley (but somehow I doubt that).

And we’re off to the beginning of the end of season 10! Altogether, this hour gave us multiple near-suicides, a familiar face, and a serious case of one Winchester doing whatever it takes to save the other. I’d say this final stretch is off to a good start. 

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