The Super Sleepy Dispatch

Recap and Review: Supernatural 10: 10 “The Hunter Games”

By P.S. Griffin

The final scene of “The Things We Left Behind” left me wanting for more.  “The Hunter Games” did not give me what I wanted. 

Written by Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner, the episode was plagued by poor, repetitious plotting, out of character moments and too many notes. We were very lucky to have the talented action director John Badham on board to give the scenes with Dean a powerful punch. 

Sadly the episode felt a lot like things we should have left behind, since we pick up on the same three stories that featured in “The Things We Left Behind: poor Claire’s horrible life, poor Crowley’s horrible mother and poor Dean’s horrible tattoo.

The episode opens with an extended and detailed Road So Far sequence which emphasizes Dean, Dean, Dean; as well as recent events concerning Crowley, Castiel, Claire and Rowena.  Sam is, apparently a spectator this season; he gets one scene where he shouts “Where is my brother!” with passion and conviction. The Recap is scored by Electric Light Orchestra’s “Long Black Road”.  “Carry On Wayward Son” it ain’t, of course it ain’t the finale either.

Last episode we opened wirh Dean’s very bad no good dream; this time it’s Crowley’s personal restaging of Shakespeare’s famous murder scene in Julius Caesara (Et tu Guthrie?).  We soon learn that the nightmare was courtesy of his mum and one of her powerful hex bags. 

This appears to be a deliberate attempt to link Rowena to the Mark through mirroring.  Perhaps she can purge the demon from Dean per her nasty demon killing hex in “Girls, Girls, Girls”?  Or perhaps she will spur Crowley to dangerous and violent acts.  At least now we see her actively manipulating her son and isolating him from loyal demons, presumably for her own ends.  Great!  Now that the cat is out of the bag we need not see any more of her scenery chewing ways…

Seriously the only thing that works in their story is their dialogue.  I love how he stabs and she twists and parries with aplomb. He calls her “evil bitch”; she corrects him by saying, “… evil bitch, mother”.

Dean is mulling his recent murder spree, however he seems to be remembering the dream and not the real thing since it’s the doe eyed version of Dean kneeling in the bloody room.  In the Recap were saw the hard eyes of a demonic killer from the real event.  Then Dean gets up and looks, at himself in a broken mirror that bisected his face.  Hmmm… this seems like a hard sell of two Dean’s.  So was he passed out and his hidden demonic self took over, or is he mostly human except for the few times his demon awesomeness peeks out and wrecks havoc.  There’s no telling what is going on until, thst is until the karaoke starts.  I am going to start a play list.

Castiel is still trying to clean up the mess he’s made of Claire’s life.  This is like watching paint dry and it seems like they are recycling all of the same issues thst they covered previously, plus the new one: daddy (NOT), your best friend is a bloody knife murderer. At least we don’t have to watch Dean cleaning up his bloody mess with a mop!

Cas and Sam are talking about Claire, Dean and dead neerdowell Randy.  Claire is still mad and yes Cas, Dean gutting her only friend probably didn’t help his case of only wanting to help her.

Dean walks up just as Sam and Cas agree that Randy was bad news but didn’t deserve to die that way.  Dean interjects, “It was a massacre, that’s what it was. There was a time I was a hunter, not a stone cold killer.” Well actually Dean… you were a hunter, a stone cold killer, and a stone cold fox… MEOW!

So Dean wants the arm candy off in a big way. Sadly that’s not an easy thing to do and despite all of their research they have learned nothing. Wait! Castiel has an idea!

Oh my God! Now Rowena is yammering at Guthrie who in loyal fashion has stopped her from snooping around Crowley’s digs.  He doesn’t trust her yet manages to remain polite.  She is sporting her second dress this episode!  Another blue number.  I preferred the first gown myself.

Finally the King arrives and sends Guthrie off to attend to state business. Rowena starts in immediately sowing seeds of doubt.  Yes.  We know that her plan is to isolate Crowley, probably to Macbeth the hell out of him.  She has enemies after all.  Someone should fix this broad up with Metatron;  it’s a match made in heaven.

Crowley tells his mum to shut the f… up in a matter of speaking, “You are shamelessly sucking up so that I’ll free you, so you can run amok and gum up my operation once again.” Then we have, a repeat conversation cribbed from the last episode starting with Crowley’s line, “Excuse me if I don’t curl up in your lap. You did manage to stay away for 300 years.”  Okay then… major abandonment issues… WE GET IT!  

Sigh.  We do learn that Rowena had scored a nice gig with a fab witch mentor and placed her career over motherhood which earned poor wee Fergus a place in a work house.  I wonder if he stood in line a lot.  She plays that family card again, as in Rowena and, Fergus against the world.

Castiel is waiting at heaven’s door with impatience for a package delivery.  A punk angel plays with a child angel who loves sliding in the background.  The package is Metatron.  Sadly he must be returned in good condition.   That’s no fun.

I guess there’s an assumption that the demon tablet holds information about the Mark. Guess who had Kevin read the tablet to him… Crowley.  I think if Crowley knew how to cure Dean he would have mentioned it.  Metatron is kinda, sorta smug and pompous as well as dangerous.

Soon Metatron is under lock and key in the Men of Letters dungeon of talking and torture. Sam asks him how to remove the Mark of Cain which gets a funny response from Metatron.   He laughs, seemingly delighted that Dean’s alive, a demon and a crazed killer.  Sam gives him no quarter, except to nod NO at the thought of Dean as a demon. I want to see the look on his face when demonic Dean decapitates him. Hmmm…

Anyhow Metatron says that he knows a thing or two about the Mark, and then tells Sam to keep Dean away if he wants Metatron’s help.  Sam tells Metatron that he’s basically dirt because he killed his brother!!! Then he steps, aside to reveal a hulking Dean in the doorway who looks totally like a stone cold killer.  Excellent use of imposing body language Jensen Ackles. It reminds me of when you go full on killer miner in My Bloody Valentine 3D.

Metatron appears to be very scared.  But really who knows?  The angel is a bum and a lying liar who lies.  He makes the obvious reference to him being the nerd that always bests the jock types.  Must there be a weak Revenge of the Nerds reference every time he shows up.

It’s back to Claire who is damaged and sounding like Dean when she tells Cas that a normal life just isn’t in the cards.  She basically tells him that he can’t help because he looks like Jimmy and Jimmy died because of him, he’s friends with a stone cold killer, and she really doesn’t feel like playing house with him.  When she calls Dean a monster (oooh… that’s our subtext guys and dolls!), Cas says that, “It’s possible there’s a little monster in all of us.” Claire says that his defense of Dean is exactly why she canmot trust him.  She exits, a sad little runaway with a sad little backpack.  At least Cas sprung for some new clothes.

It’s back to our jolly torture circle.  Metatron is being a jerk and Dean is threatening violence. Metatron admits that the first step is the First Blade. Sam is dubious;  Dean thinks Metatron wouldn’t want the blade around for his own safety,  so it’s worth a shot.

Rowena was a horrible mother.  Instead of singing Fergus to sleep with a lullaby,  she doped him with booze.  Tea for two sucks in hell, and apparently one is required to have the same conversation repeatedly ad nauseum.  It’s almost like they accidentally used the wrong script notes for this episode and stuck Metatron in for funsies.

Luckily for Crowley Dean calls needing a meet and greet.  Crowley drops everything for Dean without a goodbye to Mama.  She pouts.  I wonder which was more appealing to Crowley: seeing Dean or not seeing Rowena.

Unbeknownst to Crowley, Rowena sees him and the Winchesters because of a cool spell using a dead bird’s reassembled bones, a piece from one of Crowley’s silk ties, and an invocation to Titania. (What do fairies have to do with witches?) She sees the meeting, recognizes the Winchesters and understands that Crowley plans to give them a powerful weapon which is hidden where the sun don’t shine, a crypt on Guam.

I can’t believe that Crowley is so open with the location of his bones which are in said crypt.  Them bones must be fake because Crowley is not that stupid.  Oh wait… LOL!canon perhaps?  The writers probably don’t know that Crowley can be killed by burning his bones (“Weekend at Bobby’s”).

Claire is in a bar playing pool with her new lowlife friends.  The girl has a type.  She wows them with her tale of two dad’s and two murders.  I am excited because Claire also saw the killer demon look in Dean’s eyes before he became the confused guy that spoke to Sam.  The couple seem like trouble… supernatural trouble.  They ask Claire to hang.  The lady malcontent tells Claire,  “You seem real sweet, but sweetness don’t clean up messes.” Why isn’t Claire running for the hills.  She is headed for Law and Order: SVU!

Rowena manipulates Guthrie into getting the blade telling him that Crowley authorized it. Why he falls for this is inexplicable considering that Guthrie is Mr. Protocol and Rowena giving orders on Crowley’s behalf is not protocol.  However when he insists on giving the blade only to Crowley, she tells him he’s to receive a great boon.  Lovely!  She stabs him with an angel blade muttering something about him being a sycophantic in a harsh voice… her true voice. She’s a bwitch! 

I am grumpy because now everyone and their mother has an angel blade.  I remember when Dean killing Zachariah was a big deal (“Point of MO Return”).

Castiel is back at the MOL bunker having been dumped by Claire for the third time.  He’s not down with Crowley helping or Dean having access to the First Blade. It seems he still blames Crowley for Dean’s predicament. Cas love, Dean made his choice and choices have consequences.

Cas asks Dean to speak to Claire, “one extremely messed-up human to another.” He thinks that they might connect, and he thinks Dean can simply tell her why he slaughtered her only friend. Dean is surprised but agrees.  Cas happily texts him her number.  He apparently loves texting because of the emoticons. 

Writing naive Cas is an art form and possibly a lost art.  This is dumb ass Cas and he stinks because the writing stinks.  Seriously… emoticons?!!

Meanwhile… Crowley has made it to Guam.  The crypt looks like the scenery from his dream.  There’s bones in the crypt but no First Blade. 

He goes back to his dreary topside digs to find his mother standing over the very dead Gerald. She sweet talks him into believing that she uncovered a conspiracy which is easy because she knows everything about his meeting with the Winchesters,  Gerald had the First Blade in his briefcase, and Crowley remembers that troubling dream… Et tu Guthrie!

So now Claire is shacked up with her new friends who are very bad seeds indeed. They offer to kill Dean for her.  She seems okay with this and sets it up.  Get this girl to a nunnery.  She’s too dumb to be out on her own.

Dean is making a sandwich.  Crowley calls to say that he has the First Blade.  This is news for Metatron!  Dean mosey alongs to have a chat with heaven’s most annoying angel.

Metatron is no longer playing ball.  Dean pulls out his angel blade, pointedly places it on the table (literally and metaphorically speaking) and locks the door.  Things get real as we are all reminded that Dean was trained by Alastair,  Hell’s Chief Torturer; moreover Dean was Alastair’s star pupil and he liked it.

Dean lists all of the reasons that Metatron is on his hit list, “I mean, where do I begin? Stealing Cas’s Grace… Casting out the Angels… Making Gadreel kill Kevin using my brother’s hands… Starting an Angel war… And, oh yeah… …you killed me.” Dean is finished talking and makes a move to start roughing up the jerk angel. 

Surprisingly, Metatron eggs him on with a long rant that tells us he’s memorized all of the sections on Dean in the Winchester Gospels, “My morality is being judged by Dean Winchester? How many people have suffered and died because they believed in you? How many times have you lied to Sam, including… oh by the way… when he was possessed by an angel? And you say, ‘Oh well it’s for the greater good,’ but lately buddy, that greater good thing went away didn’t it? And now people die because you want them to.”

Of course Metatron’s rant elicits violence from Dean who punches him repeatedly.   Still he won’t shut his ugly mouth, ” Good Dean, go darker… Go deeper. Surely you noticed every time you respond when the Mark gets you all twitchy, you fall deeper under its spell. You think roughing up a few demons or humans makes it worse? Try messing with the Scribe of God bucko!!”

Now this is interesting.  He’s admitting that he’s powerful and we are darn sure he knows all about the Mark. He also knows exactly how to make Dean mad enough to kill.  It sounds like he’s studied Dean thoroughly.  Once again I am struck by the fact that Metatron’s main goal seems to be screwing with Dean; much like “Do You Believe in Miracles?” when Metatron practically sent Dean a flyer letting him know where to  find him for the big fight.  This in turn makes all of the crimes cited by Dean suspect; each can be considered a calculated move to force Dean’s hand.

Then Metatron crosses the line that makes Dean feel murderous, “And then Kevin’s death is all on you. You put him in harms way and kept him there. Gadreel possessing Sam… who was it who tricked Sam into letting him in? And then my personal favorite… Dean Winchester, whose entire existence is defined by a war on the dark and monsterous, bromancing his way around the country with the King of Hell.”  Ouch.  He played the bromance card. How “embarrassing” for Dean (“Paper Moon”). 

Unfortunately before things get too ugly Sam and Cas suddenly wonder where Dean is.  There’s a lot if screaming heard outside the door before Cas forces it open, giving Dean time to makeMetatron squirm blood red with the angel blade.  Dean visibly enjoys the torture. He’s fast and he’s brutal.  In desperation Metatron utters, “The river shall end at the source.”  How delightfully vague… isn’t that just like a prophet.

Finally Sam and Cas are inside.  Somehow Sam is able to pull Dean off of Metatron.  Cas says he’s taking Metatron back to Heaven,  and he will have some explaining to do.  As if Dean cares about those winged docks and their rules.

Metatron tries to turn things around so that he’s the winner.  He tells Dean that he will die before he tells him anything. It’s easy to taunt Dean when you have Castiel to hide behind.

I am very intrigued about Metatron’s endgame since he seems to be so focused on Dean; and appears to have deliberately set the stage for Dean and Sam to split last season, as well as Dean’s depressive decline that lead him to take the Mark.  Furthermore, he created a situation where Dean would feel the compelled to kill him last season.  Then he broadcast his location using YouTube so that Dean could find him.  Dean’s fall from grace was staged by Metatron.

I don’t think that the Mark was part of his plan.  I do think his actions have been designed to f… with  Dean.  The question is why? Because Dean said no to Michael?  To corrupt the righteous man and servant of heaven?  To force God out to save his favorite pet? I don’t know and it’s pretty interesting. Sadly Metatron himself is boring.  Claire and Castiel are boring. Rowena is boring.

Well… Dean admits that he wanted to kill Metatron and wouldn’t have stopped on his own.  I think that this is perfectly understandable.  The guy has done them more harm than Azazel, Zachariah,  Alastair, Lilith, Abaddon or Crowley.

Sam thinks that Dean should view Cain as a role model.  Dean needs to find the strength inside himself to resist.  What has Dean been doing all year?  He’s trying Sam.  But yeah, I agree that it begins and ends with Dean.  He needs to view the Mark as a powerful tool for good, and not a symbol of all of the bad he believes is inside of him.

Oh no…. we are still not done with young Claire.  Dean shows up for their rendezvous.  Claire watches as her two new, inexplicably human friends prepare to sneak up on Dean and kill him. She screams at the last minute for it all to stop which gives Dean a heads up and probably saved her friends’ lives.  Dean stops the pair easily. He lifts an axe over their prone bodies and seems to want to kill them both.  Claire screams again and he smashes the bench instead, giving them stone cold killer eyes. Judging by his face he really really really wanted to kill them. 

The very bad couple run away quickly.  Dean looks at Claire and she runs from him in tears.  No resolution there.  Why must I watch this made for TV movie about a troubled kid from a troubled home.

Claire is on the road, hoping to hitch a ride when Cas drives up.  He claims that he heard her praying but really he heard that she was in need. She makes him smile for a change by saying, “Wanted to tell you that I thought about what you said. I’m gonna try doing things a little bit different… let go of the little bit of monster in me.” She still doesn’t want to play house, but she will have him on speedial and call sometimes.  And she still wants him to look like her dad, “Not that you care, but… I like you better in a tie.”

And just like that “The Things We Left Behind” part deux is over.

I liked that Dean got to torture Metatron.  I also like Claire but she needs to grow up and become a fierce hunter.  You go Miley Cyrus!

Let’s all ponder “The river shall end at the source.”  Hmmm… Cain, Lucifer,  God, Death, Dean himself.  Have I missed a possibility?

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