Episode Review – Brother’s Keeper

Well… that wasn’t quite as bad as the S8 finale…

Let’s double check…

  • Singing bit from epi 200, “Carry on” acapella, no plot relevance.
  • Action, action, action.
  • Switch to Kansas, we finally have dialog and plot relevant stuff.  Sam is yelling into a phone… I’m reasonably sure that was from 10.22
  • “MoC”, “it’s just a curse, can be removed” – ok, those were from earlier episodes.
  • Rowena taunting Crowley – another one.
  • Charlies penultimate appearance – not from previous episode.
  • Rowena mentioning the code breaking.
  • Action break.
  • Line from Sam in episode 10.21.
  • Castiel’s mentions grace restored.
  • Sam & Crowley talking from episode 10.22.
  • Charlie retrospective of epi 10.21
  • Dean & Castiel fight of 10.22.

Ok, so it wasn’t quite ALL 10.22, but it does look like a fair bit of the flashback that wasn’t misc action and money shots were just references to the previous 2 episodes.  One starts getting the sense that you could skip the entire season except for the last 3 episodes.

Seriously, still waiting for them to work out angel-blade bullets… (of course given how the show has now made angel-blades OP, making a gun with them would be like handing EACH of the Winchesters the Colt)

Let’s see…  Ok to be fair, I’ll assume that anything inhuman might have defenses or be unreadable for some reason.  But magic using humans?  They don’t get a pass since Rowena could be scanned here.  Now then…

  • Instead of concern over Dean torturing that guy while searching for Claire?  Just pluck the answer out of that guy’s mind.
  • Why bother having a game with Metatron when you could just mind meld with him when he was mortal? (we’ll toss a flag on this one as maybe you can mind meld with borrowed grace)
  • Interrogating Frakenstein?  Have Cas grab the answer.
  • Or why not have Cas grab the decoding instructions from Rowena instead of letting her near all those dangerous books?

Maybe we should also start a betting pool on how often this ability will be forgotten in the next season…

Just… so annoying… This entire season has been lacking direction and EACH of these items could be worth a few episodes of an interesting journey/hunt for them.  Instead?  All of them are gotten in less than an hour. 😦 This is as bad as the “rescue someone from Hell” requirement in S8 that wasn’t even a two-parter!

The first time?  Leviathans were (at least at the start) conceptually cool.  This?  Just feels like they’re ripping off Gamble and violating one of the first lines of Death Itself.

Death: As old as God. Maybe older. Neither of us can remember anymore. Life, death, chicken, egg. Regardless — at the end, I’ll reap him, too.

I seriously want to know how this works!  They say this boy is immortal.  Not only that, Death, THE Death is killed.  HOW does this person die?  HOW?  HOW?  HOW?  He should be alive twice over!  Is this how zombies begin?  Next season being SPN/Walking Dead is pretty much the only thing that can save it.

Another thing that bugs me: So Lucifer was put in a cage with a door/lock?  Ok.  That makes sense.  God has a soft spot for one of His firstborn, maybe he always hoped that Lucifer might reform and could rejoin proper society someday.  That I can get.

The Leviathans?  No door or lock.  They were shoved into purgatory with no discernable way out.  From what we can pick up in S6, it seems like Castiel et al had to PUNCH a hole into purgatory to get the Leviathans out.  Again, makes perfect sense and understandable.

“The Darkness” is put into a cage… with a lock and a key.  Why?  WHY?  Assuming it’s all even true, why would GOD, put the most horrible, wicked, evil of all time and space into a place it could get out?  Why not seal it up and never EVER bother with a damn key/lock/door?  (not to mention that to remove the Mark of Cain and “unlock” the Darkness involves two components that are at least several thousands of years apart in history – like… that just raises more questions!)

.

And with this episode, one can almost see the moment that Carver & co just said, “I don’t give a fuck.”

I mean this episode just screams “first draft.”  And I don’t just mean all the continuity problems!  Take what they do to get rid of the curse.  Let’s set aside the whole “Mark of Cain” is a key nonsense – why does the spell caster have to kill what he/she/it loves most?  Think about it a moment: Why would you kill the person you love most, to help out someone that had a funky branding on their arm?  The obvious implication is that the person with the MoC would be the one you loved most. Seriously think about it: Why would Rowena bother killing this boy she was so fond of for Dean?  It’s not like she needed to to escape (as we see shortly).  By far the most narratively logical solution is that the cure has to be performed by the MoC bearer.  Meaning it would be Dean who has to kill… oh who would be his most loved?  Bingo.  Sam.  Which would make the whole scene in the mexican place much more poignant than the “you have to kill him otherwise he won’t give up” set up we had (because it’s totally believable that if Dean is taken to a far off galaxy, Sam is going to learn rocket science and develop faster than light travel /sarc).

Not only would that make sense, but we would have something pretty darn unique this time.  One brother begging for the other to kill him.  (We had something like it in the S2 finale where Dean sells out to rez Sam.)  You think the episode was good?  Imagine how it would have been had Sam been the one begging Dean to kill him so Dean could be free while Dean begs him not to.  Give me fifteen minutes to script it and Jared & Jensen to act it and I guarantee I’ll have every one of you crying so hard the actual finale will seem like a comedy.

Castiel and Crowley were much better and end up proving that had both been made mortal and sent on a road trip in the season (like the brothers originally) would have been some quality television.

What else is there to say?  This episode is just like the potato chips I just ate.  Super tasty, but ultimately no meat, no substance to it overall.  Which is a shame.  This season started as one most likely to be the most personal in a lot time.  Dean’s soul, Claire’s life, Cole’s vengeance, it was all there, yet in the end… they still had to blow up the world.

Yet when you go back and look at Kripke’s years, how many times was the world blown up?  Once.  Season 4. (though there could be some argument over season 2’s)  The rest?  All of them were incredibly personal finales.  The showdown in the cabin (S1).  The a deal and a bullet (S2).  A desperate race to keep Dean out of Hell (S3).  Sam trapped with the Devil inside (S5).  The world wasn’t at stake, our characters were (though with S5, they did save a world already under attack).  Since then?  It’s always been the world at stake.  They’ve lost sight that the show needs to pull back.  Let the world be fine for a season.  It’s danger no longer has any impact.

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