In Review: Supernatural, Episode 219 “Brother’s Keeper”

A satisfactory conclusion to the Mark of Cain arc has one major death and the introduction of next season's menace.

Supernatural, Episode 219 “Brother’s Keeper” Broadcast May 20, 2015

SEASON FINALE

Written by Jeremy Carver

Directed by Philip Sgriccia

The singer from the end of episode 200 begins to sing “Carry on My Wayward Son” accompanied by several images from this season: Sam killing a demon, Castiel powered up, the first Stein’s death, Dean killing in a gas station stop, and the brothers driving off into the sunset. “The Road So Far,” “I will save my brother or die trying,” Sam says into his phone, Crowley and Rowena spat, the witch mother says the Mark of Cain can be removed, Charlie has the Book of the Damned, Bobby is seen in Heaven, Dean is getting worse, demons and ghosts are dispatched, Cain is killed, Charlie is killed, Dean kills a lot of Steins and then beats Castiel bloody. “Now,” In the Winchesters’ bunker, Cas comes upon Sam making witch-killing bullets, asking if he’s learned anything about Dean’s whereabouts. All he knows is the Impala’s LoJack has been disabled, and then he grows furious at the angel, because he wants to do more than just find his brother; he wants to cure him, not kill him. “We save, Dean,” he says to Cas. Dean, meanwhile, wakes up on the carpet of a motel room from a drunken night. His phone goes off, but he ignores all twelve messages when he sees they’re from Sam. He takes a swig from a bottle, with most of it spilling on him. He rubs his haggard face. “Okay,” he says to no one. “I’m good. Good.” He looks like hell. Cue opening title sequence.

Dean clenches his fist as he looks down at the body of Rose Mckinnley, identified by the sheriff next to him. He and the law share some dark words overlooking the victim, and things become painfully honest when Dean’s source of the death appears. The sheriff interrupts, saying Rose wasn’t alone when she disappeared; her friend Crystal Thorrson was with her and she’s still missing. The dysfunctional agents are asked to sit out interviewing Crystal’s parents because of Dean’s attitude. Rowena sips a cup of tea alone, until she realizes Sam and Castiel are there, with the former pointing a gun at her. She calls Sam’s bluff, saying no one can cast the spell to rid Dean of the Mark of Cain but her. She wants to negotiate. Her freedom, guaranteed, and possession of the Codex are her ticket to cast the spell. Ignoring Castiel’s warnings, it’s obvious what Sam will choose. The scene then shifts to Rose’s parents being questioned by Agent Dean, whose directness offends them. A tense scene leads to Rose’s brother telling Dean that some guys in a cabin might have hooked up with the girls; he didn’t tell the police because he was the one that took them to the men. Back with Rowena, she tells the heroes the ingredients she needs: “the” apple, the golden calf, and a sacrifice from someone she loves. Rowena says she loves nothing, but “Feathers” isn’t having it, and touches her forehead to reveal a memory of a Polish boy named Oskar. She’s shocked the angel saw the boy. Sam’s phone goes off and it’s the hunter that contacted Dean, giving him the bad news that his brother is in Nebraska, not playing well with others. Sam’s going, but gives Cas a bag of Dean’s hair to make the spell happen. At an isolated cabin, a man goes outside to wash his bloody hands, just as Dean comes at him with a machete. The man hisses and pops his fangs, while Dean severs his head. The angered Winchester kicks open the door to find the girl, alive and tied to a bed, while the hunter that called him has a knife at his throat from the other vamp. Things don’t go well. Cue first commercial break.

The two leads get some good material that define their characters, allowing them to really get intense with each other and the rest of the cast. I enjoyed Jared Padalecki’s single mindedness to do whatever was necessary to save Dean. He’s hasn’t deviated from this stand since the first episode, and it rang true tonight in his actions and deeds. His opening blow up with Castiel showed that everyone is secondary to Dean, and it was nice to see Sam confronted with this in the final act. Jensen Ackles’ best scene was over a sink. There’s no dialogue, but he’s saying a lot with just a look. It was Shakespearian with what he was doing, aping Lady Macbeth. His later scenes with Julian Richings were fantastic, as is every pairing the two have had over this series’ run. I especially like what Dean made for that character, and that individual enjoying it. Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins have several scenes together and they are gold. Opposites make for fantastic dialogue, and everything that comes out of their mouths is sensational. I’d have to give the edge to Sheppard who has the stronger lines, while Collins has to play the straight man. Their final scene together will have chat rooms aflame for months. Ruth Connell still is not working for me, not generating any believability until she has her moment with actor George Klimovich. Her final scene held no threat, so I just couldn’t believe her or her words. The finale ends with a major death and the introduction of a new danger that will be the thrust for the entire season. It’s very impressive looking, and who’d of thought that “that” would be their undoing?

The good: The script, Padalecki, Ackles, Sheppard, Collins, the effects, Julian Richings, the note, and the new menace.

Fun lines: “Oh, you have no idea,” “Who did this?”, “You’re welcome,” “He just let him die,” “You’re not on my contacts list,” “I gave at the office,” “Blast me or beg me!”, “I’m in,” “She’s all yours,” “Consider it an offering,” “Well, that is just fan-freaking-tastic, isn’t it?”, “What if I told you…”, “Hamster told me,” “It’s yours,” “Evil tracks us,” “We are good!”, “Good. Fight,” “Do me the honor,” and, the last line of the episode, “Dean!”

The bad: Ruth Connell hasn’t been/isn’t working.

The final line: A satisfactory conclusion to the Mark of Cain arc has one major death and the introduction of next season’s menace. Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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