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'Wilder, lower, wolves
Here's a house to put wolves out the door'
R.E.M. (Wolves, Lower)

So what's the over/under for how many times The Winchester boys have bought it? Taken the dirt nap? Seen the b side? Countless, right? Well, get ready for one (or two) more!

The boys are in a nondescript cabin this time, fighting werewolves. The battle is going reasonably well, until one of the doggies picks up a gun and administers a nasty gut shot to Sam! From this point on, the episode really feels different from countless ones before - Sam falls, blood gushing from the wound. Dean does his best MASH impersonation and gets the slug out, but Sam is in a very bad way. The gravity of the situation is very different from their previous brushes with death. Dean frees two captives - Corbin, a serious Hipster Dick, and his mousy girlfriend Michelle. HD Corbin warns Dean-o that other werewolves are lurking, and that they need to bug out post haste.

courtesy CW
courtesy CW

They head out to the nearest spot that Dean remembers having a cell signal, with Dean carrying the rapidly worsening Sam, and HD helping his GF Michelle.

They find another cabin, and HD insists that they leave dying Sam so the rest of them have a better chance of survival. Dean will have none of that, so he goes outside to build a litter from tree limbs for Sam to lie on so they can drag him to safety. While Dean is away, HD will play. He takes it upon himself to smother Sam TO DEATH. Before Sam fades away he sees a bite on HD's arm, meaning that soon HD will become a werewolf too.

Dean comes back to find Sam's lifeless body sprawled on the cabin floor, and breaks down as hard as we've ever seen on the show. Even after more than a decade, Supernatural can still make you feel the stakes involved. make you CARE about the crazy Winchester brothers. Major kudos to Jensen Ackles for a nuanced, heartfelt performance.

courtesy CW
courtesy CW

HD convinces Dean to abandon Sam's body and lead him and Michelle to safety. Eventually they come across a cop and Dean attempts to leave them and go back for Sam. The cop, acting as cops do, won't let Dean go and get his bro. Dean punches the cop and gets tasered for his troubles.

Dean wakes up in the hospital, and the only thing on his mind is to temporarily 'die' so he can find Sam in the afterlife and bring him back. Mousy Michelle is so gratified that Dean saved them that she agrees to help Dean pass over.

Back to the cabin now. The camera does an excruciatingly slow pan from Sam's feet to his head, just in time to see Sam WAKE UP! These Winchester boys have more lives than a bag of cats! Now we have a real 'Gift of the Magi' situation going on - Dean dies because he thinks Sam is dead, Sam's not dead, and now Dean IS! This is a hot mess, folks.

Dean swallows a butt-load of pills, collapses and foams at the mouth on the floor. Since he is near death, the reaper Billie materializes to claim Dean's ever-loving soul. Dean pleads his case, and Billie is having none of it. When he tells her to bring Sammy back from the dead she clues Dean in that 'Big W' is NOT dead. Don't you just hate it when that happens? Dean is revived and 'poof', buh bye Billie - for now.

Meanwhile, back at the cabin, the lurking werewolves from before are searching for the stragglers. In his weakened state Sam still has enough juice to gank the two puppies, take their car, and make his way back to Baby. Once he's back at the Impala he tries Dean on his cell, and gets the message across that HD will soon be HD the werewolf!

HD begins the transformation, kills the doctor and the cop(with a nice chest-buster blow BTW), and tells Michelle that they can be together forever if she lets him put the bite on her. Before he can do that Dean pounces on HD and the battle begins. HD reverses the fight, and has Dean in a bad way until a shot rings out and HD is dead. Sam, staggering and barely conscious, holds the smoking gun. Then, in classic Supernatural fashion, Dean looks up and says, 'That took you long enough.' At that Sam falls like a mighty redwood.

Sam gets patched up, and the boys get in the Impala to ride off into the sunset. Sam asks Dean what he felt when he thought Sam was dead, and Dean (of course) lies and tells Sam he never thought for a minute he was dead.

That's what I love about Supernatural - 11 years in, and it can still surprise and touch you in unexpected ways. That speaks to the writing and the performances of Jensen and Jared. This did get me to thinking about that day (hopefully far in the future) that the show DOES end. How will Sam and Dean go out? Bloody? Will one or the other sacrifice himself out of love for the other? My choice is that will they the ride off into the sunset in Baby to the strains of some old time rock n' roll.


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