Supernatural 6.11 “Appointment in Samarra” Review

Follow the Souls

Bobby and Dean cuff Sam in the panic room and Dean is at the end of his rope and doesn’t know how to handle his brother anymore. When Dean goes upstairs he finds Death eating at Bobby’s table. Once again they have a conversation over fast food. They discuss the weight and responsibility of Death’s job. Dean admits that he failed and screwed up the natural order of things. He admits that he would have killed the little girl if he could do it all over again. Death rightly points out that Dean has an expectation that he’ll get his life back if he throws it away, which was true when he was intended to be Michael’s vessel, but certainly isn’t the case now. After all, human souls are fragile things. Which nicely segues into Death’s announcement that he’ll be heading off to Hell to retrieve Sam’s soul.

On a final note Death admits that the Winchesters wreck with the natural order and disrupt the universe, but they’re still useful. He wants Dean to keep digging into what’s happening with souls. He says Dean will ‘understand when he needs to’.

Death disappears and Dean and Bobby rush into the panic room to find Death already there, carrying Sam’s soul. He explains to Sam about the wall, warns him not to ‘scratch at it’, picks up the bright little ball of Sam’s soul, and jams it back into his body.

Sam screams out, and we fade to black.

What About the Souls?

Well. That episode wasn’t as tense as last week’s ‘Caged Heat’, but it got the job done. And, most importantly, we’re not dragging out the retrieval of Sam’s soul. I would rather the boys deal with the fallout from the damage to the soul than spend the next 10 episodes arguing about whether or not to put it back and then trying to figure out how to do so. I like it when Dean acts smart. He went to the most powerful being in the universe that he’s actually met (which would exclude God) when he figured out that nothing else was going to work.

Of course, now the question is how to deal with the inevitable fallout. The wall that Death erected in Sam’s mind is a clever plot device, but I have no doubt that the mechanism that is ‘eventually designed to fail’will fail a lot sooner than anticipated. Probably in the next few months, actually. How will it impact Sam? Will he go completely insane? His suffering will far outweigh Dean’s when he returned from Hell, but they certainly can’t have Sam committed to a mental hospital for an indefinite period of time, so you just know that something will be done to ‘fix him’, so to speak. What that is, I can’t even begin to guess.

Also, can I say how absolutely thrilled I am that someone (ie. Dean) finally remembered that Adam is also trapped in the box with Michael and Lucifer. When I expressed my frustration over this last week a few people said that the audience should have assumed that Adam’s soul wasn’t still trapped in his body when he went into the cage. I guess that may have been a safe assumption, but I wasn’t very convinced by it. Of course, Dean’s split-second decision to save Sam over Adam didn’t surprise me, but it did sadden me. Is there nothing he could have done to save his other brother, especially considering the poor guy was dragged into the entire situation because his brothers kind of screwed everything up? Oh well, at least the question of what happened to Adam was finally answered, even if I am sad about how he got the short end of the stick.

That leaves us, of course, with the question of souls. Earlier this season Balthazar hinted that human souls were a valuable commodity, and we know he was buying them. Then we have our other dangling plot: the strange-acting monsters, the alphas, and the search for Purgatory. Since I hope that Crowley’s search for Purgatory and the importance of alphas won’t just disappear with his death, I’m wondering if they’re all connected.

So here it goes, I’m going to throw out a theory. This might be wrong – and completely crazy – but here it is. Remember when the alpha vampire said ‘we all have our mothers?’What if there is a ‘mother’monster out there? What if this monster is taking advance of the chaos in Heaven and Hell to step in? What if he/she is gathering up human souls? To what end and for what purpose I honestly have no idea. Perhaps Crowley wanted to take over Purgatory not only to expand his empire, but to prevent this monster from usurping him.

Well, that’s not much of a theory. It’s more of a very short hypothesis. But the thing is, the show is ripe with potential storylines right now. We’ve moved beyond the single-minded focus of the apocalypse and angels and moved into multiple potential directions. More importantly, I am excited for the future.

Supernatural returns with all new episodes on January 28. It’s going to be a long, cold winter without the Winchester boys on Friday nights. Until then, check out this promo for the January 28th return.

clarissa @

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