“The Things We Left Behind” Review
By Annie Kenney
Oh dear – just when you thought everything was going well for the Winchesters along comes a murderous dream and it all starts going wrong!
What an episode; it really did have me on the edge of my seat and it was especially interesting as Sam and Dean didn’t exactly fight anything supernatural at all. In fact the supernatural came from within so to speak and that made it all the more chilling.
Those who read my reviews regularly know that I’m not the greatest fan of angel themed episodes, but this one was different. I really felt for Castiel and the fact that he was trying to make things right. His experience with Hannah/Caroline had obviously moved him and his guilt over what had happened to HIS vessel was palpable. I liked that Claire had become a rebel due to her unusual childhood and that she wasn’t an instantly likeable character. Claire herself was once possessed by Castiel and it had evidently left a long standing mark (as indeed it would!) The conversation between Cas, Claire and the woman who was looking after her was bitter sweet and amusing and I like that Cas still fumbles for words when interacting with humans.
Meanwhile, back in the bunker Sam and Dean were having a quiet domestic moment (after Dean’s earlier murder nightmare) and Dean was watching the Three Stooges (I seem to remember them having an argument about who was the funniest Stooge at one point). It was so touching to see Sam bring Dean food, to see Sam caring for Dean for once. How refreshing that the writers have finally made a change and it is Dean who has some supernatural worry hanging over him rather than Sam. Jared’s acting in this scene was tremendous and very understated. His expressions changed so subtly from joy at seeing his brother happy to despair as he was reminded of the mark. It is clear Sam knows it’s affecting Dean far more than he is letting on and this scene was a dreadful foreshadowing of what was to come.
In Hell it was clear Rowena was planning something (although I’m not clear what part she is going to take in the mytharc). I’m not sure how I feel about this character yet, but there is certainly some potential there. I loved the fact that Crowley was almost sold for three pigs and also the fact that he hated his given name (Fergus). Crowley is one of those characters that you just love to hate and despite what he has done over the years you still feel sorry for him. It’s clear he was very hurt by his mother (not that he’d admit it) and it is interesting to see them coming together.
The writers are sometimes very understated and extremely clever; nice touch that Claire’s friend worked at Wiener Hut (just as Alfie Heaven’s cutest angel had) and that Claire and her friend had been taken in by a man who was using them for his own ends (like Victor in Season 8’s Freaks & Geeks). These little touches are a nod to the fans that have been there from episode 1 and it is testament to them that they do this.
Nice to see Team Free Will back together again with Sam and Dean (reluctantly) supporting Castiel through his attempt to take care of Claire. The scene in the bar was wonderful – a BM with a touch of Cas – and a lovely story about Sam & Dean’s transient childhood. It was easy to see Dean in that club, drunk and confused, saved by his dad and, like most children, incredibly embarrassed by his parent’s intervention. We don’t get to hear much about the Winchester’s childhood, but every single nugget we do get (including episodes like ‘A Very Supernatural Christmas’, ‘Bad Boys’ and ‘The Girl Next Door’) help us to paint a very vivid picture of the Sam and Dean that we now know and helps us to understand how they came to be the men who saved the world (several times).
And so to that ending; it absolutely broke me and I was on the edge of my seat. I’m not ashamed to admit that – when Sam ran into the room and knelt by his brother – there were tears streaming down my cheeks. Sam’s desperation and his pleas to his big brother were so moving that it was almost too hard to watch. Evident too that Castiel is both concerned and horrified by what he has seen and by looking at the trailer for the next episode things are going to get worse before they even start to get better.
I have no idea what is going to happen now; I am dreading the next episode and yet it can’t come quick enough. What is happening with Dean? How will it link in with Crowley and his mother (and looking at the trailer two more familiar characters are on their way back). What is Castiel going to do with Claire? Will she become part of this oddly dysfunctional family or will he take her somewhere safe? Finally what is Sam going to do about his brother? He looked so devastated at the end of last night’s episode that it was hard to even conceive what was going through his mind…
I’m enjoying this season and I just cannot wait for 20th January to see where it is going to take us next…