“’Cause we’re the guys who break the rules.”
It was only last week that Sam and Dean found out that Chuck was still on the board and in that time, nothing’s changed. Sam’s found bupkis in his research and Dean would rather eat cereal and watch Scooby-Doo marathons than get back on the hunting kick. Even the surprise appearance of the ghost of Eileen (Shoshannah Stern, This Close, Weeds, Jericho), the former hunter who was killed in Season 12 by a hellhound commanded by Ketch — the arsehole version before he joined Team Winchester — doesn’t shake Dean from his malaise. Though he offers a surprisingly insightful suggestion to her predicament — bind her into a soul crystal — he bows out on the “milk run” to Rowena’s. He’s right in a sense; it’s an easy stop-n-shop (of a sort) though, as things tend to do when the Winchesters are involved, coincidence and bad timing have a way of making the simplest tasks a bit more life-and-death.
After he picks up the supplies to possibly transform ghost Eileen back into her living/breathing self, Sam is ambushed by a nameless witch (Keegan Connor Tracy, Once Upon A Time, The Magicians) and her daughter Emily (Jodelle Ferland, Dark Matter, The Cabin in the Woods). Not only do they want Rowena’s stash of magical items, but they also need a spell since the eldest daughter, Jessie, was killed by a hex placed on the apartment, a hex that doesn’t affect Sam.
Nothing about the situation brings anything new or different to the table: Eileen leads Dean to Sam, they fight with the witches, they win. Despite the rather bland nature of the antagonists, it’s the aftermath that may add more to the Supernatural flair.
The burgeoning witch that he is—a man-witch…errr, warlock—Sam successfully performs the spell, transforming Eileen into a real girl again. Though she was only in a handful of episodes, Stern was always a likable character. She carries the same energy in “Golden Time” and, unless I miss my guess, there were some interesting vibes between her and Sam.
After a couple of weeks on the sidelines, Castiel is back though he’s turned his angel blade in for a rod and reel in Idaho. However long he’s been off the grid in Idaho, Cas has spurned the hunter life; that peace is shattered when he gets involved with some strange disappearances, particularly when Melly asks him to help find her son. Getting even less time than Sam’s witch ordeal, Castiel confronts and then kills, in a supremely brutal fashion, the djinn responsible for the killings. Like the Winchesters, Castiel’s arc is more about pushing him towards a watershed revelation. “It’s time for me to get back in the game,” he tells Melly, understanding that nothing will change by him being on the sidelines. Even with the possibility of making mistakes, Cas can make a difference to people like Melly and her son; people that, without him, would be powerless in the face of things that go bump in the night.
Though “Golden Time” is every bit the filler episode, it’s a catalyst for our Supernatural protagonists. Cas is ready to jump back into the fight (even if it looks as if his grace is once again starting to fade), while Sam is more determined than ever to find a way to take Chuck down. Dean is a bit more reticent in that regard, but he doesn’t carry the despair he once did. Maybe Sam’s conviction is rubbing off on him or maybe it’s because they were able to do something they’ve never done — transmorph a ghost back into her human form — but, if only for a moment, Dean shows that spark of hope. Sam reminds him that they break the rules and, considering that Dean killed Death itself, maybe the idea of taking down God is not as far-fetched as it once seemed.
The Good, the Bad, the Supernatural
- Castiel’s use of the alias ‘Clarence’ is another one of those wonderful Supernatural deep cuts. It’s a wonderful reminder to his time with the hell-raisin’ Meg. Talk about a character that’s been missed; she was so much fun and another one of those who, like others before her (Crowley, Rowena, Ketch to name a few) got sucked into the Winchesters’ orbit and found themselves official members of the white hat club.
- It was only a moment, but watching Castiel struggle to heal that sprained ankle doesn’t bode well for his grace reserves. I’m not sure if the energy he used to heal himself from being shot took more out of him than he realized or if healing someone else is a more arduous task now that he’s running on a quarter tank (maybe less). This is going to be one of those things that’s going to rear its ugly head when the boys need it most.
- Now that Eileen is human, I’m hopeful that she’ll be a recurring guest for the rest of the season. With so many characters dying over the years, Sam and Dean have preciously few allies. We’ve still yet to see some of the remaining ones like Garth, Dawn, Jodi and her girls, so keeping Eileen alive and kicking, at least until the back half of the season, would be a smart play. Especially if those vibes I mentioned between her and Sam pick up over the next few weeks.