Episode Grade: 8
A couple is camping alone in the woods in Nebraska. They discuss their relationship and its problems but seem to be doing well. All is well. That is until decides to go off by himself and collect some firewood. Moments later, he bursts back into the clearing screaming and being torn to shreds by a hellhound. The minute he stops twitching, the hellhound turns on Gwen. She grabs a nearby ax and swings at the hound, wounding it and sending it running.
Sam and Dean catch wind of the case as they get back to the bunker covered in blood after a long string of hunts back to back. Sam gets an alert from the Men of Letters. Dean asks him where he's been getting all the cases from, so Sam lies and tells Dean that he's made an algorithm to sort through data and find cases for them. Dean accepts the answer, and they roll out.
Sam and Dean check out the scene and conclude that the "bear" in the question was, in fact, a hellhound and assume that Marcus must have made a deal. Their last stop is to stop by the home of the surviving victim, Gwen. What they don't realize is that their arrival let the hellhound into Gwen's home. The brothers try to reassure her that it was simply a bear and that the bear has been disposed of and she has nothing to fear. But Gwen insists that she knows what she saw and refuses to believe the Winchesters. But now the hound in her house, and she's just sent away the only people who can save her from it. Fortunately for her, the hound attacks as soon as the brothers are gone, and they hear her terrified screams. Dean bursts in just in time to take a shot and send the hound scampering out the window.
Down in hell, Crowley continues to lord his new dominance over Lucifer, still locked in his chains. He is interrupted by his advisors who need him to attend to the more mundane tasks involved in running a kingdom. But "not squirrel" comes to the rescue with a phone call. It seems that the hellhound has been killing people who haven't made deals. He asks his advisors and discovers that a hound named Ramsey has escaped. He immediately goes to the Winchesters to help.
Turns out that Ramsey is one of the first hellhounds ever created. She was supposed to be put down with the rest of the hounds, but was rescued by Lucifer. No one can control her except for him. Crowley informs the brothers that he will be assisting them in recapturing or killing Ramsey. Crowley and Dean head into the woods to try and find Ramsey's den while Sam takes Gwen for a drive in the Impala so that Ramsey can't catch up with them. Both Sam and Dean wear glasses treated with holy fire to allow them to see the hellhound (Jensen ad Jared really rock the glasses look btw).
On their car ride, Gwen feels sick, possibly with regret or guilt about what happened to her boyfriend. Sam pulls over the car so she can get out for a minute. When she gets back in, they sit and talk for a moment. She confides in Sam that she hadn't been entirely honest with Marcus. She had liked him, but had not loved him and much as he'd loved her. If she ad told him the truth, they wouldn't have been camping and Marcus wouldn't have died. Just as they're about to leave, Ramsey shows up and smashes the Impala. Sam orders Gwen to stay inside the car as he gets out to get rid of Ramsey. They struggle and after a few minutes, Sam is able to put a blade through Ramsey's heart.
But Gwen's words about her regret stick with Sam. When the boys return to the bunker, Sam tells Dean about working with the Men of Letters. Dean takes the news surprisingly well. Just like he accepted Mary's decision in the earlier episode, he also respects Sam's choice to assist the Men of Letters. He agrees to go along with it, although he makes his reservations clear.
Back in hell, Crowley's curious advisors do a little snooping and discover that Crowley s holding Lucifer in chains rather than in his cage. They brought the key and offered Lucifer his freedom in exchange for a few demands. True to form, Lucifer agrees, is freed, and immediately kills his rescuers.
After Ramset is taken care of, Crowley returns to find Lucifer sitting in his throne. LUcifer makes his dramatic speech about being back and flexes his wings. But Crowley snaps his fingers and the light flickers. Each snap of Crowley's fingers crushed Lucifer's body and cripples his power. He reveals that it is Lucifer's vessel that is his new prison. The chains he wore were just for show. The cage's power has now been written into every molecule of his vessel. Lucifer is totally under Crowley's power.
Meanwhile, Cas is tracking down another rash of angel killings, only this time, he;s stumbled onto the murders committed by Dagon, the yellow-eyed demon who currently has Kelly Kline, the woman carrying the Nephilim. His investigation leads him to an angel named Kelvin. Kelvin ,akes Cas an irresistible offer. If Cas can help the angels hunt down and take care of the nephilim, Cas could have a chance to be forgiven and be welcomed back by Joshua.
This was a really great episode for showcasing character development. In previous seasons, we have seen many examples of one brother lying about something and then the other finding out and then a massive fight ensues. I'm so proud of the boys for this growth and so thankful to the writers for taking this step forward in a very natural and believable way. What do you guys have to say about it?