Episode 12.9 (250th episode!)

‘First Blood’ Review

By Annie Kenney

And we are back! With a bang, too and, despite feeling flat at the end of the last episode, I really loved this one! There are a couple of things I didn’t like, but overall I thought it was an excellent welcome back for Sam and Dean and I can’t wait to see where it all goes next.

So, Sam and Dean were captured, held by mysterious military men who were determined to get to the bottom of it all. As usual the Winchesters were stoic and refused to talk so the mysterious military man decided on the silent treatment rather than torture. A good choice as it appeared to drive both Sam and Dean mad and watching them suffer was painful and frightening especially when you think of what they have had to endure at the hands of supernatural creatures rather than mere humans!

I liked the fact that, at first, the Winchesters seemed to be coping. Dean was enjoying the food and Sam was working out. Then, as time passed, they got increasingly unhinged and it was horrible to see. I actually couldn’t see a way out of this for them and it added some much-needed tension.

Meanwhile, back at the bunker, Castiel became more interesting than he has been in years! To see him admit his weaknesses, to tell Mary he felt useless and unable to hunt, to admit to failure. It made him a much more well-rounded character. It was fantastic to hear him talk about Sam and Dean and how much they were needed and how the world wasn’t the same without the Winchester’s in it. I loved that Mary tried to stay away from hunting but couldn’t and ended up helping other hunters or cleaning up Castiel’s case for him.

The third thread was Mick and I’m starting to like him (apart from his ridicules cockney accent) and Mr Ketch (who just isn’t that threatening in the flesh so to speak). Being British it is always odd to see how others portray us and it was interesting to see the differences between American hunters and the British MOL.

It is testament to the amount of times they have died that I wasn’t shocked or horrified to see Sam and Dean dead in their cells although I do confess as to wondering how they had done it. Even more enjoyable though was how ‘bad ass’ they became while on the run! Loved their threats to the numerous mysterious military men and loved how they effortlessly put them all down. The thing is how believable it all it, not only because they are both built and look capable but also, we have seen them kill supernatural beings and come out on top so what are a few humans?

Now to one of the things I didn’t like. Why did they have to kill Billie? Yet another strong, well-written character gone! Such a shame after losing Charlie in Season 10. Yes, we still have Mary, Jody, and a few others but Billie was a great character and quite a threat. I did understand why Cas did it though so that helped. I was actually cheering his speech at the end and found myself fonder of him than I have been in quite a while.

The second thing that disturbed me was the killing of all the mysterious military types – specially the poor Coroner…surely that wasn’t necessary.

So, the Winchesters are back; bad ass and ready to fight. Castiel is fired up and Mary is prepared to work with the Brits. All of this leads to quite an interesting second half of the season so I’m hoping that things will continue to improve.

A good solid 8/10 with extra marks for bad ass brothers and – this is my guilty sin – watching Sam work out!

Can’t wait till next week.