Note - I am tired of brother wars and just tired all around so here's my take in a nutshell. Dean is right. Sam is right. They both disagree. That's okay because for once the writers allowed them to both be mature about it and I am eternally grateful for that. I live in hope that the next episode doesn't destroy this blessed truce. Now if only the fandom would call one.
Previously - Everything is about Amy. I'm glad she's dead. Now I wish she would die.
[My take: I both fret over and celebrate this scene, mostly since they are both partially right. Still, even with both sides together it doesn't feel like the whole truth. Dean says Sam has every right to be angry and he does. Dean lied to him numerous times. It's even worse because he harped at Sam for not telling about the hellucinations earlier in the season. Sam wasn't right about hellucination hiding and Dean wasn't right about Amy lying. Both brothers know lies get you what you need in the hunting world but they have ample proof it doesn't work in their relationship. If lying was the heart of this conversation, then the solution is simple. Dean needs to apologize profusely and sincerely and vow to never lie to Sam again. Sam needs time to build trust in Dean again. However, this conversation seems to debate whether Dean was right to kill Amy or not. I'm not even a little bit objective about this. Amy needed to die for reasons I shared ad nauseam in the Girl Next Door recap. For this, I celebrate the conversation because it allows Dean to explain why he killed Amy.
My first objection is Sam calling Amy his friend. He knew Amy maybe a couple hours as a teen and maybe another hour as an adult, where he had a knife to her throat a good portion of the time. Yes, it was an intense few hours but there's no indication they kept in touch. Sam needed to save Amy because she saved him and he saw himself in her plight. That's not friendship. That's overidentifying. He was desperate to save Amy because he saw her as a person taking control of her life when her nature fought against it. For someone hearing Satan in constant surround sound that's a real comfort and hope. He wanted to believe she could make it because then maybe he would make it too. That's a natural reaction and there's no faulting it, but it does leave you blind to the person's circumstances and nature. The truth is if Amy felt her son was threatened, she would kill again and it wouldn't matter who was standing in the way. She used their brief history as a shield but it wouldn't stop her from killing Sam if she thought Jake was in trouble. I firmly believe Sam's reaction is less about Dean killing Amy than it is about him killing the hope Sam had in Amy. She represented a piece of control he had in a dark time and now it's gone.
The next morning it's Dean who's distraught. "We should have known that whole good sis-bad sis story was just showmanship c**. Oh and it turns out that Kate was just trying to warn people about her evil b** sister and we burned her bones. So that's gone." Thanks for the recap Dean. Writers, the plot's not that complicated. We got it. Sam refocuses Dean before the guilt train drops from the sky. "All we can do now is go stop her." Dean says that's not good enough and for once the brothers agree. I sigh. Melanie comes down the stairs and Sam asks, "Can we talk about this later?" I'm excited that he plans on a later. Melanie nicely tells them to leave and I'm frankly stumped by that one. Does she want to die? They look at her with guilt and pity but explain Margaret is still out there and she tells them the only target was Camille and that Margaret is sadistic. We already knew that too. Next up, a daylight salt and burn. Yikes! The brothers really are shaken up by this ghost. Dean starts shoveling. "I feel naked doing this in the daylight." Sam plays look out and agrees. Then they switch places. Dean: "Alright Mags, my lighter's juiced this time." Hard to believe it wasn't last time, but whatever. It doesn't matter since Margaret's bones are missing. Taking someone's bones is used in binding magic, according to Sam. "Great psycho ghost b** on a leash." There's a live person behind this and I naturally suspect Melanie. After all this story is ripe with family issues.
Sam suggests calling Bobby but lo and behold, the brothers figure out the motive on their own. Love that! Dean picks up the Psychic Festival flyer. "Hey Sam, you know why I'm not going to spend my money at the Annual Lily Dale ESP Festival and hot dog eating contest this year?" Because you know they're all fakes and you can't use fake credit cards anymore? Just a guess. "Because all of the headliners are dead." That too. Apparently our demon friend Envy has moved to the astral plane. Hokey wrote a book. Imelda was on the Nate Berkus Show. (Had to Google him. He had an interior design psychic on his show. Who knew psychics specialized?) Melanie fills in the blanks; Camille was next in line for the spotlight. Unfortunately, Melanie moves to the head of the line now. Meanwhile Sam heads to the Pawn Shop Emporium with a list of items he presumably got from Bobby. Jimmy asks why him. Sam: "I'm kind of doubting they sell ashwood altars at the Gas n Sip." I kind of wonder if America has Gas n Sips. Midwest folks are partial to QT. Jimmy pulls out a handwritten ledger to get Sam an address. I guess psychics don't need computers. Back at Melanie's, Dean makes up for Camille's lack of salt. The plan - Dean and Melanie stay in the salt circle until Sam burns the bones. I'm nervous about Plan A ever since Jo froze the window and shattered the salt line. Melanie asks if burning bones causes ghosts pain. Neither Dean or I thought about that but he says probably. If we get guilt about ghost pain out of this, I'm dropping anvils on the writers' heads. Melanie: "Good." Guess not. I worried for Dean's safety here even though it's a natural response.
Review - After a second watch, I decided I really like this episode. It's strengths outweighed it's weaknesses, which are more annoying than insurmountable. The end all and be all is the brothers back together again. Yes, it was too simple and I don't think we're done with their trust issues. I have a feeling these will chase us the entire season. However, I'm greatly relieved by this new step toward maturity they've taken and I swear if the writers ruin it next episode I'm going ballistic. They've finally gotten to a point where they can have differences and be annoyed and still communicate in a healthy way. It better last. I also thought the humor was spot on this episode. The one-liners flew and reminded me of season 1 wit. In fact much of the episode did, showing that new kids, Ben Blacker and Ben Acker, obviously did their homework. Love how they respected the show enough to do so. The ghost story, salt and burns, actual investigating, smart brothers, and even Melanie all brought me back to a time when Supernatural was simpler and yet the relationship itself has never been more complicated. I like how the story didn't overshadow the characters. A complicated plot line would have lessened the punch so I'm glad they took this road. Still I hated the return of Wincest throwaway lines; they need a good salt and burn. I also have a problem with all that anvil dodging. Otherwise it's in the win column. So far season 7 is shaping up to be better than seasons 4, 5, and 6 for me.
Next week - Sam heads down the aisle and I fear Becky's return more than any Leviathan to ever escape Purgatory.
Best surprise: The brothers talk honestly and maturely about the Amy situation. (And the Bens wrote the episode.)
Worst surprise: Freaking Wincest line.
Most important scene: Brother fight outside of the museum. (Yes I know it's crazy not to pick the end scene.)
Best death - Planchette in the throat
Best line: "He broke my spoon."
Other great lines:
"It's just less woo woo, more body language."
"We'll be taking the state's evidence discount."
"Their spirit monkey said so."
"If you affirmate me, I'm going to punch you in the face."
Screencaps by Home of the Nutty