The Super Sleepy Dispatch
Recap and Review: Supernatural 10:7 “Girls, Girls, Girls”
By P.S. Griffin
“Girls, Girls, Girls” was a surprisingly strong episode despite the writer Robert Berens’ thankless task of moving forward no less than seven different storylines for lead and reoccurring characters. It wasn’t perfect by any means because of all of the jumping around. However, it had good dialogue, strong acting and solid directing by Robert Singer. It actually made me care about Hannah as a character!
The actress playing her is excellent in this episode in the dual role of the angel Hannah and her human host. That yawn inducing storyline actually makes perfect sense in Berens’ hands so kudos! This was no mean feat.
Berens also demonstrates considerable common sense in his attempt to rectify witch canon. I appreciate a man with a good head on his shoulders, especially if he can write! Berens impressed me with his season nine writing as a newbie (“Heaven Can’t Wait”, “Captives” and “Alex Annie Alexis Ann”). I look forward to seeing more from him in the future.
The episode starts in a dark dirty alley complete with a shabby homeless man. A pretty and scantily dressed young lady is running in fear. In her haste she trips and falls breaking the stiletto heal of those black thigh high boots that scream “hooker”.
She continues limping until she runs into Raoul, a tough looking dude who’s apparently her pimp. He tells her the equivalent of “Lucy you got some explaining to do.” The girl apologies and promises to do anything he wants as long as he doesn’t hurt her. Raoul says that won’t make a very good impression on the other girls. The desperate woman uses her broken heel to puncture Raoul’s left eye. This is not a problem because Raoul is a demon and our pretty painted lady is expendable. The streets are full of desperate pretty girls. He snaps her neck.
Dean and Sam have taken a detour to a steak joint on their way home. Sam initially believes they stopped for a case but Dean happily assures him that they stopped because it’s the only place between Connecticut and Kansas that has a decent steak for under $10. Mmmmm.
Meanwhile Dean’s phone is dinging off the hook. Sam notices and Dean brushes it off as monster alerts… yet he’s obviously lying and he can’t keep his hands off the phone. Sam grabs it despite Dean’s comment on privacy and stuff… and notices that Dean has a dating profile (Impala 67) and has multiple risqué messages from Shaylene. Sam is amused and believes the girl and her sexy Penthouse prose are too good to be true.
Dean is momentarily angry because he interprets Sam’s comment as him not being good enough. “I’m sorry, is it… is it so hard to believe that an attractive, red-blooded, American female could be interested in someone like me?”
Sam explains that he thinks Shaylene is literally too good to be true. “You realize there’s no guarantee ‘Shaylene’ is even Shaylene. I mean, for all you know, it could be some… Canadian trucker named Bruce.”
As Sam continues to tease he looks beyond Dean and is rendered dumbstruck by the sight of the utterly gorgeous Shaylene standing in the bar behind Dean. Dean turns, sees her and turns back to Sam ebullient. Sam is clearly chagrined at Dean’s good fortune, sibling rivalry I guess. His mood changes to annoyance when he realizes that they detoured eight hours for Dean to get laid. As he calls Dean out on this, Dean smiles and pays the bill, telling Sam not to wait up. Cue classic Sam bitchface.
For some reason Castiel and Hannah are back to their poorly realized mission of finding spiritually fallen angels and forcing them back to heaven by the threat of death. God forbid if they chose to live in harmony with us great apes!
I can’t for the life of me understand why Castiel is still following Hannah’s mission considering that he sympathized with Daniel and feels that killing angels is wrong.
It’s especially perplexing considering that Dean still has the Mark of Cain. I don’t think that Cas considers killing Dean Plan A. So if he’s so against the Mark and the changes it wrought in Dean, why isn’t he doing something about it before they’re at code black again (see what I did there… Code “Black”).
Cas and Hannah have a hunters board for rogue angels. As they discuss logistics Hannah strips down to her vessel’s birthday suit which makes Castiel uncomfortable. Apparently she wants to take a shower. We later learn that she enjoys the feeling of the water on her skin. That’s pretty sensual for an angel.
We’re back to Dean who is at a funky motel room with Shaylene anticipating a mutually beneficial frisky frolic. She throws Dean against the wall and they engage in passionate kisses. Shaylene interrupts the afternoon delight to conduct lay down the ground rules. It takes a while for Dean to comprehend. “Like rules? Sexy rules!” Unfortunately Shaylene is one of life’s pleasures that is not free even to a magic man like Dean Winchester. Shaylene is like no hon, “More an issue of payment,” but assures him that she’s worth it with a provocative pose.
Dean explains that he has, a code of sorts,
“No cash for ass.” Makes sense because his demon self has a code for regarding his preferred pleasure, killing.
However, it turns out that his luck hasn’t run out. He can have Shaylene for the mere pittance of his soul. She tells Dean, “It’s nothing, baby. Who knows what a soul is, really, if it even exists? All I know is you say yes, my guy comes up, you sign some papers, and then it’s you and me… good to go.” Dean’s face conveys NO in no uncertain terms. He looks annoyed that now Crowley has ruined sex. First he sells Dean out to Sam, then he takes Dean’s precious, and now this.
Cas and Hannah are checking out of the motel. She pays the bill as he gets the car. When she opens her wallet we see the identification of her vessel. Suddenly a hand grabs her arm and a man speaks to her, calling her “Caroline”. It soon becomes clear that this is her vessel’ s husband. He tracked her here through her credit card.
Dean is sitting on the bed facing away from the door when Shaylene’s pimp arrives with the contract actively trying to close the deal, “Everybody ready for a good time? Okay. John Hancock right here. Then we can get this party started.”
As, Dean turns around and gets up, Sam emerges from the shadows. Neither hunter is happy and the demon is dismayed to learn that his lure has snagged the infamous Winchesters. They point up and the demon realizes that he’s walked into to a devils trap.
Sam is his usual self-righteous self even though he recently helped procure Lester’s soul for Hell, “She told us everything, abduction, forced prostitution… pretty gnarly even for a demon… girls, how many are there? The demon dude lies saying it’s just the two of them, however Shaylene says that she’s heard him talk about a brothel. He disses her by saying that being a, demon is “better than (being) trash on the street”.
The brothers want to interrogate him about his sex for souls prostitution ring, but before they can learn anything useful Shaylene snatches Dean’s angel blade and rushes at her pimp stabbing him. He lights up as he dies which shocks and scares her. When the brothers grumble that she killed their informant she finds one of his business cards for them. It says “Raoul’s Girls”. We met Raoul in the opening sequence.
At Raoul’s Girls the ladies are getting restless. A tough brunette is refusing to wear the sanctioned slut wear. Raoul’s assistant Gerald is told to discipline her without leaving any marks. He likes that idea but before he can get started Rowena walks in. Raoul thinks that she wants a job and rather kindly tells her that she’s too old. However she’s welcome to stay if she is a customer. She replies “No disrespect to your girls, but I’d sooner die than do business of any kind with filth like you.”
Rowena has a killer accent and loads of spunk. She tosses a hexbag at Raoul who stupidly catches it. As he starts to convulse and spew black fluid she warns the girls to stand clear. Gerald sensibly smokes out. Rowena comments that it’s “Hardly the most appetizing process in the world, but killing demons always makes me hungry. You coming?” The girls are reluctant yet follow after her nontheless.
The Winchesters arrive too late to kick demon butt. They are able to piece together that a witch killed one demon and the other smoked out. Sam theorizes that the hex killed the demon and caused it to be purged as black goo. Dean who had helped himself to free booze puts his glass down at this information. I wonder if he is worried about his own demon essence, or is he wondering if this a potential way to purge his demon. Raoul is dead but the Marked Dean should survive. The Mark trumps everything for now.
Regardless of Dean’s inner thoughts, I am taking note of this new method to eradicate demons and wonder about Crowley’s safety and whether demonic Dean and Rowena will face off.
Back to our wacky angels… Caroline disappeared over a year ago and her husband is not leaving without an answer.
At this moment Cas returns and walks to Hannah. Hannah introduces them and her husband then asks if Castiel is the reason that she left home. Hannah is dumbstruck at first, but then realizes that his assumption is the best way to handle him.
She says yes, however he refuses to believe that she would behave that way. Impulsively she grabs Cas’ hand and kisses him deeply. As they part, they stare into each other’s eyes clearly emotionally affected by their kiss. Hannah tells Joe that she’s sorry, then leaves him standing there despondent as she departs with Castiel at her side.
Meanwhile, Rowena and the two hookers are enjoying the pleasures of fine French dining at a fancy restaurant courtesy of Rowena’s powerful magic and blatant disregard for mere mortals. We see Rowena hex the Head Waiter who proceeds to ignore the fact that her companions are dressed like very common prostitutes and fall far short of the dress code; the hex also causes him to bring them their hearts’ desires from the menu until his brain boils from her selfish magic.
When asked how she managed this, she tells the girls that it’s “magic”. She then describes the three types of witches. Bless Berens for trying to rectify the grievous canon violations regarding witches perpetrated by other writers in previous seasons. Seriously the witch lore canon has been all over the place.
Rowena explains that the Grand Coven recognizes three kinds of magic. The majority of witches are known as borrowers because they harness the power of a demon (“Malleus Maleficarum”). Some witches are students who have no natural ability, but learn a modicum of witchcraft through practice and training by a mentor. Honestly we’ve had witches that learned by using books, however I don’t recall any mentors being mentioned. For instance the perpetrator in “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie” seemingly used a written spell which Dean then used to defeat him. The rarest are the natural witches who are born with the gift like Rowena, and presumably the very powerful Starks (“Shut-up Dr. Phil”).
This segues into Rowena explaining her backstory. Apparently the Grand Coven disapproved of her magic, calling her methods “extreme”. I’ll say! Considering what we’ve seen this far this is unsurprising. She is reckless with the human lives of those in her general vincinity.
Anyhow they forbade her from training students or forming a coven and she’s been hiding from them ever since. Rowena says that she will teach them anyway, implying that she’s doing it because she likes them and/or they’re special. Yeah… right.
The hookers are upset by the waiter’s death but follow Rowena out the door before they’re presented with an enormous bill.
Rowena is clearly the Queen of the hex bag. No wonder Crowley was so adept with his hex bag spells in “Clip Show” and “Sacrifice”.
Gerald has returned to hell in a new meatsuit to report to Crowley. Crowley is not happy to find out that Gerald and Raoul were running a brothel for souls enterprise. Gerald tries to explain that they were trying to follow his directive to think out of the box to raise numbers, but Crowley is having none of it. “I’m evil. That’s just tacky.”
Gerald deflects by telling Crowley that Raoul was killed by a witch. “Act of aggression like that… didn’t seem like something you could let stand.” Crowley rolls his eyes because now he has to do something. Clearly Crowley’s head is still not in the game.
This episode’s Baby BM moment centers around Rowena. Sam has found a website that has information about the demon killing hex bag. Sam reads and talks, telling Dean of 18th century accounts of demons being vanquished by a spell which translates from Latin as “to bind and purge”. The only witch associated with the spell was the witch who created it, Rowena; there are no reports of it being used for over three hundred years.
Now this is interesting. It suggests that Rowena wasn’t in hiding. She was out of commission. I wonder if Crowley’s sentimental action of saving his son Gavin from returning to the past and certain death altered the timeline so that Rowena was saved too. Who knows? It’s curious and perhaps the most interesting part of her plotline. I am not particularly interested in her endgame because she’s only concerned about herself.
We now jump to a demon tied up to a chair, presumably inside a devils trap. Cole is getting his game on to proceed with his ill advised plan to execute Dean. He’s trapped the demon so it can tell him about his buddy Dean Winchester. We don’t see the demon talk, however the scene ends with Cole torturing it with liberal splashes of holy water. For a newbie he learns quickly. He is also focused and seemingly willing to do anything for revenge. Seriously this guy could be a Winchester.
Castiel and Hannah are at a garage. She is seriously freaking out over the recent run in with her vessel’s husband. Castiel wants to talk about that kiss but Hannah is in full reflective angst mode; she’s focused on the pain that she has caused. “He wouldn’t listen, Castiel. He wouldn’t let me go. I didn’t want to hurt him. I could’ve erased his memories, but… It didn’t feel right. I thought if he truly believed we were together, he’d give up. And it worked. So, why does it feel so bad?”
Cas tries to reassure Hannah that she did the right thing; her explanation provided him with a reason he could comprehend and allows him the closure he needs so he can move on.
Castiel briefly mentions his experience with his own vessel Jimmy Novak. Castiel reiterates that needs of the Mission always takes priority.
I wonder who’s Mission? God’s Mission was scrapped by the fact that he left. Michael’s Mission was ruined by Team Free Will. Naomi’s Mission was cut short by Metatron. Metatron’s Mission may or may not have come to an end by his imprisonment. I have no idea what that angelic mission is these days, except that they have a murderous hatred of peaceful rogue angels and yet they are committed somehow to not killing anymore angels, hence Metatron’s imprisonment. Can the angels hear me sigh?
This seems like a strange comment for Castiel to make given his unique history. Is he just trying to make Hannah feel better? Whatever! Castiel looks away awkwardly. When he returns his gaze to Hannah she is gone.
Dean is at the unfortunate chichi Bistro des Moules investigating the death of the Head Waiter. One shot focuses on the restaurant’s name prompting a Google search since my highschool and art historical French leads me to believe that “moule” means mold. Oh La la! Sure enough “moule” is vulgar French slang for female genitalia ( http://www.languagerealm.com/french/frenchslang_m.php).
I want to both wash Berens’ mouth out with soap, and make sure he understands the slang reference in “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” from the famous surreal meta painting by Magritte, “The Treachery of Images”meta (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Treachery_of_Images). Suffice it to say a pipe is something you put in your mouth and both suck and blow. These writers…
Dean talks to a waiter and finds out that the victim was acting strangely before he had his fatal fit, for instance graciously serving women who were dressed like ladies of the night. We don’t see the waiter describe the third woman who was dressed like a witch. I doubt Dean believes much in coincidences when working a case.
Speaking of coincidences, Sam has uncovered a series of similar deaths in upscale hotels where staff were found impaled on the ceiling with similarly boiled brains. They decide to check out five star establishments.
Remember Hannah? Well she disappeared to reflect. Castiel finds her on a bridge over a stream. I think about “Bridge over Troubled Water” and find the lyrics to be very appropriate for Castiel’s role in her life ( https://www.google.com/search?site=&source=hp&ei=V5C-VMvaI5DAgwSLoIHIBA&q=bridge+over+troubled+water+lyrics&oq=Bridge+over&gs_l=mobile-gws-hp.1.1.0l2j0i20l2j0.2142.6549.0.79184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1919.0j10j1.11.0.msedr…0…1c.1.61.mobile-gws-hp..1.13.927.3.vFLU2uHsnfI).
Hannah has decided that her Mission is not more important than the lives’ of the humans that she’s affected. “Being on earth, working with you, I’ve felt things. Human things… passions, hungers. To shower, feel water on my skin… to get closer to you. But all of that was nothing compared to what I felt when I saw him. Her husband… his anger and his grief. And Caroline was inside of me, screaming out for him, for her life back. These feelings, they aren’t for me, for us. They belong to her. I know it’s time to step aside.”
Hannah kisses Cas’ cheek, says adios, and becomes a little ball of light that flits away as her body collapses in Castiel’s strong arms. Cas is silent and sad, yet he is there for Caroline too when she awakens, to reassure her and help. He drives her back home where her husband welcomes her with open arms.
As he sits in the car Castiel looks troubled, then performs the simplest Google search ever for his vessel Jimmy Novak. It’s good to be a super charged angel!
Castiel gave so much to Hannah and now she’s returned the favor by showing him a new road. Jimmy is long gone but Castiel can help his abandoned family, especially Jimmy’s daughter Claire per spoilers.
So why Claire and why now? I will save any speculation for the episode in which she’s featured.
Rowena and her girls are shacked up in a room that doesn’t look that fancy to me. There’s a knock on the door. Rowena assumes that its management wanting payment and asks the girls to try the brain boiling spell. The blonde says that she doesnt speak Spanish. Rowena says that it’s Latin and she wrote the spell phonetically on the reverse. Blondie obviously doesn’t know what that means.
Rowena sees a bellhop through the peephole and opens the door to find two demons supporting the bellhop’s dead body. They plan to kill the girls and take Rowena to hell. Or is it hell? How can Rowena get there without a rogue reaper? Maybe it’s an earthly annex…
Anyhow, Rowena’s mouth is duct taped to prevent spell casting. They encounter the Winchesters in the hallway or rather Sam and his big brother, the cold stone fox/demonic killing machine Dean. The look on his face is pitiless, merciless and ruthless as he ganks both demons in short order. Then he calls out the witch Rowena by name.
Rowena tells the girls that the Winchesters are hunters. Then she casts a spell on the blonde with some Latin and a hex bag, turning her into a relentless attack dog.
She and the brunette escape to the alley. The brunette is upset because she believes that her friend will die like the waiter. Rowena agrees, “Probably. Few humans are built to survive magic like that, and (blondie) was weak. But you’re not. I saw it the second we met. You’re strong.”
Yep. She’s smart enough to punch Rowena and run away from a woman that will use her to death. Rowena starts to cast a spell her way but is rudely interrupted by Dean. He has his gun trained on Rowena. She looks scared for a moment and then she smiles. Dean tells her that her luck has finally run out. Rowena says that “(she’s) pretty sure that’s not true,”
Meanwhile Sam deals with Blondie by shoving her in a closet until she quiets down. She finally does because she’s dead with blood trailing down her eyes.
Doh! Cole has shown up in the alley, giving Rowena the opportunity to escape. Dean tries to tell Cole that Rowena is too dangerous to be freed, but Cole is too entrenched in his view of Dean as his childhood Boogeyman. Nothing is more important than Cole’s revenge.
Soooo, Dean has to drop his gun and let Rowena go into the wind. Cole is very sure of himself as he uses his new demon knowledge on Dean. Alas, alack! Dean doesn’t fizz and scream with holy water. He tells Cole that he is no longer a demon.
Cole asks Dean, “So, were you a demon when you murdered my father?” The question implies that Cole is not so completely consumed by his revenge that he would kill an innocent man.
Dean tells him the truth; he was not a demon when he killed Cole’s father, prompting Cole to call him a monster. Dean knocks the gun out of Cole’s hands and they start to fight per “Reichenbach”.
What follows is another sad beat down where Cole is clearly outmatched, so much so that Dean appears to have superhuman strength.
This time Dean’s abrasions do not heal. Is this something that he can control? Is he just this side of human, making him immune to holy water and able to forego killing without puking blood (“Do You Believe in Miracles”); he’s super strong, yet he’s too human to heal? I don’t know!
Cole wants to have an armed standoff; however Dean gets his gun first. Dean apparently doesn’t want to kill him. Dean wants to talk. It’s unclear if Dean choses the high road because Sam is in the alley, since Sam is quickly behind Cole with a gun. Dean talks both men down, answers Cole’s questions and gives him a speech that speaks to Cole, Sam and the viewer’s in different ways.
Dean asks Cole to give him five minutes to explain, after which if Cole doesn’t buy Dean’s story he can take his shot. To punctuate his sincerity he hands Cole his weapon.
Now this is a very reckless move, especially considering that Cole clearly has resolve. If Dean dies he surely becomes full on demonic in the way that the Mark creates a demon. He won’t die. We know that Dean knows this. I ask myself if he was that sure of Cole’s inherent goodness, or was he hoping to die and become fully demonic with human residue.
The story is exactly as we expected. Cole’s dad was already gone, a monster. Dean was working a case with multiple victims with missing livers. He tracked daddy to Cole’s house and killed him before he killed Cole or his mother.
Cole wants to know what kind of monster his daddy was. Dean doesn’t know so apparently a rare kind. Maybe daddy was a very picky eater for a rugaru?
Cole is approaching this rationally despite being highly emotional. He says that he doesn’t know if he can believe Dean.
Dean replies, “I get it. That was your story. Look, man, I got one of those, too. Okay, but those stories that we tell to keep us going? Man, sometimes they blind us. They take us to dark places… the kind of place where I might beat the crap out of a good man just for the fun of it. The people who love me, they pulled me back from that edge. Cole, once you touch that darkness… It never goes away. Now, the truth is… I’m past saving. I know how my story ends. It’s at the edge of a blade or the barrel of a gun. So, the question is, is that gonna be today? That gonna be that gun?”
Sam has been watching all along. He reminds Cole that he has a family who need him to return to them whole and untainted. Cole decides to back down and leave.
On the surface Cole’s abrupt turnaround seems strange; however, in retrospect the signs are all there. Cole has only killed as a soldier. Soldiers have codes for conduct and kill an enemy to save their comrades’ lives. Even if one disagrees with American military policy, the majority of soldiers are not killers because they like it. They are serving their country and doing their job the best that they can.
Cole abducted Sam but didn’t really hurt him. He wanted to kill Dean the unrepentant killer and was bested by a demon. He learns about the supernatural, demons, hunting; only to return and find out that Dean is now human.
His first question is whether Dean was a demon or human when his father died. This demonstrates his morality. Cole won’t kill an innocent man.
Then he hears daddy was a monster. This changes the story enough that he loses his conviction that Dean is a murderer. Obviously the supernatural is real and Cole knows very little about it. He probably learned from the demon, and can see for himself, that the Winchesters are hunters who rid the world of evil.
The actor aptly shows that Cole’s bravado and his conviction that he was doing the right thing have been shattered. Given the man Cole is, this is reason enough to back off from murder.
As far as Dean’s pretty speech, it seemed heartfelt and true. He’s voiced a similar sentiment before, especially in “Trial and Error” and during his Mark arc in season nine. Of course, his words are also suggestive of his awareness and/or resignation over the fact that the Mark/demonic Dean are still here.
Ironically the fact is that Dean as a human hunter is nearly guaranteed a bloody death. Whereas, as a demonic Mark holder, death is probably the last thing on his agenda. That doesn’t mean that Dean will not throw himself into suicidal situations regardless, because he has a death wish and he believes that the only use he can serve is to die doing something good for the world.
Then there’s also the subtext of hunters behaving like monsters in their quests to kill evil, even crossing lines to become exactly like the creatures that they hunt. Sam obviously crossed this line per his season ten flashbacks with Lester, and Purgatory Dean was the most violent, ruthless and feral animal in Purgatory when he searched for his Angel.
With the exception of Garth, very few hunters are able to maintain normal lives because of what they’ve seen and done. And most hunters that we’ve seen drink to forget and to be able to sleep. War is never easy for the men and women who are responsible for the killing.
After Cole leaves, Sam asks about Dean’s speech clearly concerned. Dean assures him that “(he) was just telling the guy what he needed to hear.”
And obviously Dean is telling Sam what he wants to hear, much as he has been doing since being cured. The question in my mind is why. Is he protecting Sam so he doesn’t worry, protecting himself from torture, or heaven forbid he’s conning him to play with the brother that refused to accept him to the point that he tortured the aberration out of him. I still remember Dean’s promise to show Sam no mercy at the end of “Reichenbach”.
It seems that Rowena wasn’t so lucky after all. Gerald’s B team caught her and now she’s Crowley’s prisoner. Crowley doesn’t really like Gerald.
Nobody is surprised that Rowena is Crowley’s mom although they do give her some nice dialogue to fill in the silence when Crowley is rendered speechless at the sight of her. “The king at last. King of what? Lilliput? I mean, I’d heard you were short, but… Well? Get to it. Time for the coup de grace. Wee boy, is something the matter with you? Cat got your tongue, hmm? Meow.” Finally he musters up an incredulous “Mother”.
Additional Thoughts: So why the need for all of these storylines? Well Hannah was used to set up Castiel to find Claire Novak. The jury is still out on the why.
She also is another example of how even the “good” guys can create havoc and harm in the lives of innocents.
Cole is a wannabe Winchester and a potential hunter. Moreover his story illustrates that hunters are the bad guys in some people’s stories, as well as the fact that hunters can cross those proverbial lines when performing their duties.
We saw this in spades during Sam’s search for Dean; however the Winchesters’ storied past in general certainly contains other instances where lines have been crossed.
Both Dean and John have been shown to be rather “trigger happy” in the old days. Ellen’s husband died because of John’s, questionable actions and some of Dean’s early vampire of kills were violent and merciless. Sam also crossed lines in his search to kill Lilith, even murdering innocents to achieve his goals. In a dirty business like hunting everyone gets stained.
Rowena and Crowley are wildcards. We have no idea what Rowena is after besides a free piece of the high life.
Now that she and Crowley have met, their stories will intertwine. She could be the inspiration for him to get out of his funk and either abandon Hell or reclaim it with vigor. Or she could be the death of him. Time will tell.
As for the Winchesters, they’re still pretending that everything is beautiful. The Mark and demon residue aside, Sam’s hackles should be raised by Dean’s speech. His suicidal tendencies and low self-worth have taken him down dark paths before.
He sold his soul because he thought that his own life meant less than Sam’s. He took on the Mark in the first place to be able to do something good without a thought for his own well being. Dean being in this head space never leads to good things. Be smart Sammy!
I can see that all of these storylines may develop into something great. It’s just that it’s taken so long to get here, and there’s too much extraneous nonsense and goofball humor. I miss my riveting mytharc and my dark horror. These days there’s not enough build-up to make the events of the finale tense and meaningful.