Previously on Supernatural, ‘Safe House’
Sam and Dean battle a pair of werewolves who have captured two victims. Just as the brothers are about to win, one of the werewolves shoots Sam. Dean gets his brother and the victims out of the house but learns a pack of werewolves are hot on their tail, hoping to kill them all.
Supernatural’s “previously on” cold open focuses on the reapers, Agents of Death, whose sole purpose is to take souls away once they die on earth, but somehow due to the Winchester’s superpower of either not dying or coming back from death, they’ve always seemed like a stepping stone for the boys instead of the final entities that they should be.
After Dean killed Death last season, a new reaper Billie (Lisa Berry) was introduced with the message that the next time one of the Winchesters die it will be for good. With that edict in mind, Supernatural tries to instill some urgency while they’re rescuing a husband and wife, Corbin (Blair Penner) and Michelle (Erin Way) from a pair of werewolves. Unfortunately, Sam gets shot during the fracas. In a race against time, Dean not only has to worry about Sam bleeding to death but also protecting Corbin and Michelle from a couple of Alphas hot on their trail.
Whatever tension is garnered is decimated by the fact that not for one second did I ever believe that Sam’s life was in danger. Even when Corbin, realizing that a wounded Sam is only slowing them down, takes advantage of Dean inexplicably leaving Sam alone with strangers and asphyxiates Sam. I never believed that it would stick. Spoiler Alert: It didn’t.
Later on, Supernatural goes for a Shakespearian tragedy when a desperate Dean, thinking that Sam’s dead, attempts suicide so he can make a deal with the reaper to take him instead. Sigh. While Dean’s drowning in his own vomit, Billie appears to Dean’s spirit/soul ready to reap him and is understandably amused by Dean’s pleas to take him instead of Sam. Billie tells Dean there will be no deals made ever, but she’s not there for Sam because he’s not dead (Doh!), but she will take him when he finishes dying. Of course, Dean miraculously (or not) survives, leaving Billie unsuccessful for now.
The third act concludes when Corbin, who was bit by the werewolves, transforms and attacks Dean at the hospital. This plays out more like standard Supernatural fare as Corbin takes out the asshole policeman who was hounding Dean all episode along with some random nurses. Fortunately, Sam shows up in the nick of time and saves the day.
This episode was a mess. I understand what they were going for, but no one who’s been watching Supernatural for 11 years is going to believe that Sam or Dean is going to die mid-season, especially after they’ve just been renewed for a 12th season. Not only that, but this episode was full of plot holes that didn’t make any sense. For instance, after Corbin suffocated Sam, Dean checked for a heartbeat and found none. So how does Sam inexplicably wake up later? Does Dean not know how to check for a heartbeat? Speaking of Dean, this episode does not do him any favors. Dean commits one senseless act after another. After getting into an argument with Corbin over leaving a dying Sam behind because he’s slowing them down, Dean leaves Corbin alone with Sam, and of course Corbin takes matters into his own hands. Also, why was Dean so afraid that the werewolves would catch up to them to the point where he leaves his dying brother behind? This made no sense. This is the same guy who wiped out an entire vampire nest on his own – not to mention all the more powerful monsters that he’s battle over the years. Supernatural even emphasizes this by having a half-dead Sam killing both werewolves by himself later on. Then Dean shows that all the lessons we thought he learned this season about sacrificing himself for his brother go out the windows as he essentially commits suicide to get his brother back.
At least we got a little more of Billie as I enjoy her no-nonsense “I’m not taking any Winchester bullshit” attitude. Hopefully this character is not marginalized later so the Winchesters can have their way. Incidentally, the star of this episode was Sam, who burdened with a gunshot wound still ends up taking out not only the two werewolves that where hunting them, but also manages to make his way to the hospital just in time to save Dean from Corbin. But the best part is at the end when he asks Dean with a smirk “What did you do?” knowing that Dean always resorts to stupidity to save Sam. Of course, Dean only responds with “Nothing because I knew you werent dead” but Sam’s smile tells it all.