Episode 9.14

“Captives” Review
By Annie Kenney

If I could contact the Supernatural writers right now I would ask them but one question ‘What are you doing to Sam?”

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why the writers are dragging out this conflict between the brothers. It doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t do anything for the show or, from what I’ve read, the audience. I don’t mind a bit of brother conflict (the show has done it a lot and very well in the past) but one brother being so palpably cruel to another is taking it too far.

The second thing about this episode is that it seemed to do a lot and yet go nowhere. Nothing was resolved (apart from Kevin finding his mom again but why couldn’t they have kept him alive to do that?) The slow pacing of the episode left me feeling strangely discontent and it is an odd feeling to have about a show that used to excite me on a weekly basis.

The bunker being haunted was a great plot point but it didn’t take them long to find out it was Kevin that was haunting them. Sam and Dean working together to find out who the spirit was would have been a much more satisfying episode in my opinion. Still it was nice to see Kevin again and it wasn’t much of a surprise that he managed to reveal himself much quicker than Bobby because Kevin has always been good at everything! Dean’s talk with Kevin was emotional but a tad pointless (even though Jensen does emotional well) as we, as an audience, already knew how he felt about Kevin’s death.

The captives’ element of the show was creepy but confusing. There wasn’t enough explanation as to why Crowley was keeping these people prisoner (or if there was I totally missed that one). Ok so he wanted humans who were connected to important people and he wanted them alive (human leverage) but why? And why had he kept them there for so long?

I really liked the brother’s interaction both in the woods (‘have you ever thought he’s just not that into you?) and in the storage places. Those exchanges contained some of the humour that has been missing these past few weeks. It appears when the brothers fight they are less snarky with each other and, so, the occasional snark goes a very long way!

Despite all my criticisms this episode did make me tear up. Sam’s interaction with Mrs Tran was just incredible. Both actors knocked it out of the park as Sam tells Linda (without using the actual words) that her son is dead. Jared was wonderful in this scene and his pain was absolutely tangible. Kudos to Lauren Tom too, she was brilliant and didn’t mind looking totally unglamorous!

The demon possessing the storage geek wasn’t scary in the least and we have to assume he killed Candy although we aren’t ever directly told. I actually found the villain more irritating than threatening and would have gladly plunged a knife through his chest given the chance.

Meanwhile, as all of this was going on, Castiel was back to investigating rogue angels and, finally, confronted Bartholomew. It turned out that Bartholomew was a follower of Castiel’s back in Season 6/7 when he went a bit mad and fought against Raphael for control of heaven. I rather liked that Bartholomew had been tracking Metatron and knew he was on Earth but I was expecting more reveals about Gadreel (have the writers forgotten his existence?) and instead there was more angel infighting and Bartholomew (who at one time looked as if he was the big bad) was killed by Castiel. Perhaps it’s just me but I am so confused by the angel thing!

So – as far as this episode is concerned – we know that Bart’s old followers are now prepared to follow Castiel. Crowley is keeping captives to use as human leverage and Kevin and all the other spirits who have died since the angels fell are being kept in the veil and may very well turn vengeful. All very interesting but difficult to link too much else that has happened.

Which brings me back to my initial point; what is happening with Sam? At the end of this episode I was actually crying because of what happened. You could blame it on my hormones but Sam, Sam made me weep. How could he just walk away from his brother like that? How could he lie to poor dead Kevin? This was hardly the Sam I personally have come to know and love and, as much as I agree with him about Dean, this sudden personality change is just too much. The writers are throwing Sam to the wolves but for what purpose? Is this going to be resolved with some great revealing drama or is it going to be a quick coffee and a chat followed by everything reverting to normal. I hope it is the former because last season the writers made Sam seem callus for not searching for Dean and now, now his behaviour is worse than ever.

Please Supernatural writers and Jeremy Carver, please make sure you give us a good and satisfying explanation for Sam’s odd behaviour, please can you stop Dean being a self-pitying wreck, please can you get the brother’s back together and make your plot strands less jumbled and confusing.

I await the next episode with excitement and a hell of a lot of trepidation.