Review

Review

TV Recap: 'Supernatural' Episode 916 - 'Blade Runners'

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Supernatural Episode 916
“Blade Runners”
Written By: Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming
Directed By: Serge Ladouceur
Original Airdate: 18 March 2014

In This Episode…

Dean has been trying to get Crowley on the phone for weeks, with no luck, and he is getting damned frustrated. Crowley has been living the rockstar life, holed up in the suite of a fancy hotel with a sexy young minion named Lola, who responds to his every whim (which, it turns out, is mostly sex, pizza and human blood). Maybe it is more accurate to say that Crowley is living the rockstar junkie life - he is a blood addict, shooting it up like heroin. (Exactly like heroin - The Velvet Underground’s “Heroin” plays in the background.) Anyway, his “donor” is almost empty so he sends Lola out for more. Instead, she stops to pass off intel to Abaddon. She knows nothing except the Winchesters keep leaving voice mails for Crowley about “the first blade.” When she returns to Crowley with bags of blood, he is watching an old movie on TV - and crying. But Crowley is annoyed with her - he knows she was reporting to Abaddon behind his back. He claims he could have helped her, but she laughs at him (he has gotten pretty pathetic) so he kills her. He shoots up the blood she brought him, then sees the bodies around him, catches sight of his pathetic visage in the mirror, and is on the verge of tears. He needs help.

The Winchesters, desperate for information, paint a demon trap in the middle of nowhere and call for one. Snookie shows up. (So I guess the mystical “Snookie” promos aired ahead of the wrong episode.) Apparently she is a demon, and she is going by Nicole now. Maybe this would have been more amusing had I more knowledge or interest in The Jersey Shore. As I imagine is always the case with Snookie, she has no information to offer on Crowley. Last she heard, he was over the Pacific Ocean, but hell is getting crazy and even the loyalists are ready to side with Abaddon. Sam banishes her back to hell (or wherever aging reality stars go to die) and they return to the bunker. Sam thinks Crowley may have double-crossed them, even though the blade is useless without Dean’s mark. Crowley is only of use to them until they have the blade. Crowley finally calls - and he is calling for help.

Sam and Dean find Crowley living in the ruins of his addiction. They cuff him to a chair and Crowley gets belligerent - “Is this an intervention?” Damn straight it is, and they are going to make Crowley kick the blood habit cold turkey. He is returned to his warded “closet” in the bunker, and Sam interrogates him. He has no sympathy, even though Crowley is right that being force-fed Sam’s blood means that at least half the blame falls on the Winchesters. Anyway, Crowley admits that he doesn’t know whether or not he told Lola anything about the first blade. He tracked it to the Marianas Trench, where it was scooped up by a submarine and changed hands a half-dozen times before he lost track of it.

The guys arrange a meet with an antiquities dealer who was the last person to have the blade. Sam and Dean question him as FBI but get nowhere, so Crowley, a few yards away, turns to smoke, possesses the guy’s body for a minute, then returns to his own. The blade is at the National Institute of Antiquities.

Abaddon’s demons beat them to it. They enter the Institute as black smoke, possess the guards, and open up the vault. A research assistant walks in, the very definition of “wrong place, wrong time” and all three end up dead. When Dean and Sam show up to investigate, the curator admits that the vault has been empty for weeks. They did have the first blade, and while carbon dating placed it to biblical times, the authentication process was unreliable, so she - discretely - sold it to a private buyer who insisted on anonymity. Luckily the curator is a cougar with an eye on Dean, so she gives up the only thing she knows about him: his name is Magnus.

The boys recognize the name Albert Magnus as the pseudonym the Men of Letters would use, so it is back to the bunker for them. Crowley agrees to help if he is allowed up in the living quarters and given scotch. He tells them that there was a rumor that a “rogue member” was tossed out, so his name would not appear on the last roster of active members. Dean finds a box labeled in Latin, translated to mean “dishonored and forgotten.” Bingo. Inside they find a file for Cuthbert Sinclair, “master of spells.” He designed most of the warding that keeps the bunker safe, but he got crazier and more eccentric, with his proposed projects being summarily rejected. He was kicked out in 1956, just before the Men of Letters massacre of 1957. Crowley admits that he did his damnedest to find this guy, to no avail.

Crowley leads the boys to an empty field in the middle of nowhere, the last place his men were able to track Sinclair / Magnus. Even now, if he is here, he is warded out the ass - Crowley can’t feel him there. The Winchesters figure they are probably being watched, so they announce their pedigree and wait. A smoky portal of fire appears, and the boys step in…

…and out into the hallway of a well-appointed mansion, where they are attacked by a pair of vampires. They wipe them out easily, and a voice tells them “Bravo.” The boys continue into the mansion and find Cuthbert Sinclair, now going under the name Magnus. Magnus hasn’t aged a day - “there is a spell for damn near everything.” He also brags that they are in the midst of the great collection os supernatural oddities, antiques, and ephemera in the world - including a zoo full of supernatural monsters. He is surprised that the boys are actually hunters, not official, indoctrinated Men of Letters - apparently the Men were snobs and would laugh at mere hunters continuing their work. Magnus has a chip on his shoulder - he wanted to rid the world of monsters, but the Men insisted they were just there to “study” and not interrupt the balance. 

Once Dean shows off his mark of Cain - and Magnus is suitably impressed - he reveals he does have the first blade. Then he puffs Sam out of the room with a spell, explaining that he has separated the ordinary from the extraordinary. Living alone for nearly 60 years has clearly driven Magnus crazy (not that it was a long trip) and tells Dean that he wants him to be part of his permanent collection. Dean is ready to fight his way out, but there are no doors or windows in this mansion. The only way in or out is via spell. He wants Dean to “fire up” the blade and puts it in his hand. The mark glows and Dean is filled with trembling power - then drops it. Apparently handling the blade is one of those things that comes with practice. He casts a spell on Dean that, over time, will weaken him to the point where he will do anything Magnus tells him to do - including turning over the mark. (You’d think that with all the magic in his hands, Magnus could speed up the process a bit.)

Sam has been dropped back at the car with Crowley, and starts going through the file box he brought with them, looking for clues on how to get into the mansion. He finds the spell - Sinclair / Magnus wanted to ward the bunker with this same spell. He sends Crowley off to procure the ingredients for this spell, then casts it. A smoky vortex appears, and both Sam and Crowley are able to step through. 

Inside the mansion, Sam pounces on Magnus and demands to be taken to his brother. He is, but it is quickly revealed that the person he has his knife to is a shapeshifter. Sam kills him, but Magnus is one step ahead, and soon has Sam tied up across the room from Dean. Magnus promises to torture Sam (rather than just kill him outright) but Magnus doesn’t realize that Crowley got into the mansion, too. He unties Dean, and by the time Magnus notices this, Dean has already gotten the first blade and beheads him in one fell swoop. Unfortunately, he seems to be hypnotized by the blade, and it takes much yelling and pleading from Sam for him to drop it.

Free from the mansion, the guys head back to the car - to discover it has been raided by demons. Dean is beside himself when he sees that they keyed his “baby.” The message is in Enochian, and meant for Crowley: “Be afraid. Your queen.” Sam points out that Crowley was only useful until they had the blade. Well, they have the blade. Crowley doesn’t take to kindly to this backstabbing and takes the blade. Now that Dean is a “killing machine,” Crowley will hold onto it until they can find Abaddon. Sure, the blade is useless without the mark, so it has no power in Crowley’s hands - but this way he can keep the power out of Winchester hands.

Dig It or Bury It?

Did anyone else get a Cabin in the Woods vibe off this episode? The mysterious, hidden “cabin” (well, mansion) and the supernatural zoo? The moment Magnus mentioned the words “supernatural zoo,” that is immediately where my mind went. I wanted to see this zoo, but at the same time, I’m glad they didn’t show it because then I would just be comparing it in coolness to Cabin in the Woods.

As much as he doesn’t want to admit it, I think Dean has a soft spot for Crowley. They have worked together an awful lot this season, and frankly, King of Hell or not, Crowley seems to be a very good guy to have as a frenemy. 

Spooky Humor

The show really brought the humor this week. I like that Crowley drunk-dialed Dean. But my favorite was that, when Dean calls Crowley, the caller ID says “Not Moose.” 

Prophecies?

Family secrets are revealed as Sam and Dean’s feud reaches the boiling point.

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