Review

Review

'Appointment in Samarra' - 'Supernatural' Episode 6.11

Supernatural Episode 6.11
"Appointment in Samarra"
Written By: Sera Gamble & Robert Singer
Directed By: Mike Rohl
Original Airdate: 10 December 2010

In This Episode...

Dean calls forth Death to ask him to help get Sam's soul back from Lucifer. Dean also wants Death to mend Sam's tortured soul, but Death says the best he can do is put up a mental block that will keep Sam from remembering hell. It's not foolproof, but it is the only way. He agrees, on one condition. Dean must put on Death's ring and be him for 24 hours. He must follow all the rules, and keep that ring on for 24 hours. Tessa is his reluctant reaper, accompanying him on his task. Dean will touch the soon-to-be-deceased, and Tessa will reap them.

Things start pretty smoothly. Dean's first death is a a punk who gets shot in a botched convenience store robbery. Next is a middle-aged guy who has a massive heart attack while eating pizza in the park. Then it starts to get more difficult: Dean next has to kill a 12-year-old girl with a heart defect. Her mother died and her father has no other family. Dean cannot bring himself to kill her, and flat-out refuses. In doing so, Dean messed up the natural order of things. By not killing the little girl, she didn't go in for surgery, so her nurse went home early, and was hit by a car on the way. Dean is forced to take the nurse. The nurse's husband comes in, grief-stricken, and ends up drinking himself into oblivion. Dean follows when he sees the husband drive off suicidally. Dean tries desperately to talk him down, but with the ring on, only the dead can see and hear him. Dean yanks off the ring, scaring the husband, and grabbing control of the steering wheel, bringing the car in for a controlled crash.

Dean is shaken by this. Neither the nurse nor her husband were meant to die. Letting the girl live upset the balance, and Tessa promises that death and misery will follow her around for the rest of her life. Even though he lost the bet, Dean is determined to set things back on course, so he takes the little girl.

Meanwhile, Sam is left in Bobby's care, and he is not too excited about the prospect of getting his soul back. He sneaks away to a warehouse, where he calls forth Balthazar, looking for a spell that will prevent him from regaining his soul. There is a way, but it requires patricide. "Blood from a father, but not necessarily a blood father." Who has been like a father to Sam? Bobby. Back at Bobby's house, there is tension between the two. Sam is trying to plot his move, and Bobby knows Sam is up to no good. Sam makes his move, but Bobby sees it coming and instead takes the upper hand. He locks Sam in his stronghold of a basement, but Sam finds his way out, sneaks up on Bobby, and this time has him tied up. Sam is about to plunge a dagger into his friend's chest, when Dean appears, stopping Sam with a punch that knocks him out cold.

With Sam tied up properly, Dean is at a loss with what to do with his brother. Death comes to see him, and is surprised to learn that, if he had it to do again, Dean would have killed that little girl the first time around. Death gave him this little task to show him what it was like to mess with natural order - something the Winchesters do with annoying frequency. But Death is not going to harm either Winchester brother. Although they really muck up the works, right now they have a purpose. "Keep digging," he tells Dean cryptically. "It's all about the souls. You will understand when you need to." Death returns Sam's soul, complete with trauma wall. But will it work?

Dig It or Bury It?

Meh. This was an average episode. It wasn't a bad or boring episode, there just wasn't anything special about it. Wait, I take that back. The cold open was special. Robert Englund has a brief cameo as the slightly mad doctor (though when doesn't he play slightly mad?) who kills Dean long enough that he can chat with Death. Other than that, it was a very middling episode. For benevolent soul reaping, I prefer Dead Like Me.

Sibling Rivalry

I think at this point, Sam is really sick of being beaten up and held captive by his brother. We are past childhood games. Tonight's big battle between the brothers is that Dean desperately wants Sam to have his soul back, and Sam is terrified of it. The mental block Death puts in his brain is only 75% effective, and Sam is convinced it will crumble.

Blood Brothers

There was plenty of death in this episode; it just wasn't particularly noteworthy. Dean plays death, but he kills with a touch. Not much to report there.

Spooky Humor

Robert Englund. ‘Nuff said.

Prophecies?

Supernatural returns on January 28th. I suspect Sam's soul implantation will go swimmingly - for a brief time. Then cracks in the wall will start show....

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