Supernatural Spotlight – Episode 6.1 “Exile on Main Street”

Supernatural Spotlight – Episode 6.1 “Exile on Main Street”

Season 6 starts a year after the events in the finale of Season 5, which I detailed a few days ago. This blog post is being written somewhat stream-of-consciousnessly as I watch the episode.

Dean Winchester (left), Sam Winchester (center), and their formerly-dead grandfather, Samuel Campbell (right)
It will contain spoilers (like the picture at the right).

You have been warned.

At the start of the episode, Dean’s been living a year with Lisa and her son, Ben, in suburbia, after his Lucifer-possessed brother, Sam, dove into a trans-dimensional prison to save the world. It’s clear that Dean hasn’t completely gotten over his past, though, as a montage relating his mundane daily tasks to his former life makes clear.

Still, he’s making friends. One in particular, a neighbor named Sid, seems to have bonded with him over regular beers, but Dean isn’t sharing anything about his past with him. He tells him that he used to be in pest control. (I, for one, am pegging Sid as a demon or something. He’s just a little too interested in Dean’s past.)

The spooky hasn’t completely let go of Dean, though. He hears a scream in an abandoned building and, investigating, finds some kind of claw marks and what appears to be a bloody handprint. And he’s still taking precautions, since he keeps a demon’s snare drawn on the floor beneath the welcome mat. (Not very welcoming to a demon.)

He later sees another set of claw marks and, again, investigates. The boy really can’t help himself. He almost blows a little Yorkie away and makes a bit of a fool of himself … but then finds some sulfur, a sign there’s some kind of nastiness afoot. He rushes out to the trunk of the Impala to load up on weapons, even getting his girlfriend’s okay on the whole enterprise.

Then, finally, a demon shows up: Azazel. He attacks Dean, with the big bad guy talk, “You never thought you’d be able to keep all this, did you? I had fun toying with you. You can’t outrun your past.” The whole while, I’m expecting Sam to show up and toast the thing, although it occurs to me that bringing Azazel back just to immediately kill him really isn’t very climactic.

And I’m not disappointed. Oh, Sam shows up alright, but instead of killing Azazel he swings his arm right … through … him … and injects some sort of white something-or-other into Dean’s chest. Azazel was a hallucination, dream, or hologram or something?

Commercial break.

Dean awakens, staring at Sam, in one of the dingiest little rooms they’ve been in. Since he sees Sam, he believes he’s dead, but Sam tells him he’s not. He’s been poisoned, “So whatever kind of crazy crap you think you’ve been seeing, it’s not real.”

But Sam is real, apparently. He said so. And he proves it by cutting his arm and bleeding, then by drinking some water with salt in it.

He doesn’t know how he got back. (This sounds familiar, though when Dean came back from Hell he’d actually crawled himself out of the ground.) Then he reveals he’s been back for nearly a year, hunting, with a team who is “almost like family.” He meets a couple of trio of distant cousins from his mother’s side of the family, who grew up in the hunting life. (One is Corin Nemec, from old-school Parker Lewis Can’t Lose and a brief stint on Stargate: SG-1.)

Then the bombshell … Samuel Campbell, Dean and Sam’s grandfather, is also alive. They believe that whatever force pulled Sam out of Hell also pulled Samuel out of Heaven. Dean thinks that this “isn’t all just fine,” and he isn’t alone.

Sam knew about the poison, because he’d been poisoned a couple of days earlier by some djinn. They slayed one a while back, so they suspect this is some kind of vengeance thing. In a rush, Dean returns home to check on Lisa and Ben. Instead, they find the person Samuel sent to watch over them dead. Lisa and Ben are both missing.

Commercial break. Awesome Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows trailer! Can’t wait for that one.

Shortly after the return, we learn that Lisa and Ben are fine. They were at the movies. Dean’s thrilled to see them alive, but they’re surprised to see Sam alive. He has them pack up, then ships them off to Bobby’s house. Bobby, it turns out, knew that Sam was alive the whole time. He hadn’t told Dean because he wanted him to have a chance at happiness, at getting out of the hunting business. “Do I look out to you?” Dean asks.

Dean apologizes to Lisa, saying that he shouldn’t have put her in danger. He should have known that something would eventually come, because something always comes. “You can’t escape your past.” She realizes that he is leaving. She tells him that the only thing she wanted was someone who her son could look up to, like a Dad. “Did you think it was all bad, Dean? Cause it was the best year of my life.” Damn, that’s some pathos.

The Campbell family wants to go hunting without a plan, but Dean comes up with a plan to use himself and Sam as bait. The hunters can’t keep their hands off the stuff in his suburban home. Even Sam gets in on the act, holding up a golf club. “Golf? Really?”

“It’s a sport,” Dean says defensively.

He and Samuel have a heart to heart, where Dean learns that there’s been a big shift in monster activity – nocturnals in daylight, werewolves all month long, and whole new monsters. The Campbells need Dean to step up to the plate and rejoin the fight.

Dean has everybody clear out but Sam and him, because the djinn won’t show up while they’re outnumbered.  Dean asks Sam if he remembers the cage. He does, but doesn’t want to talk about it. Why would want to talk about Hell when he’s been given a second chance?

Dean seems about to argue … but then notices that neighbors across the street (including Sid – looks like I was wrong) are falling over dead. Looks like the djinn targeted them to draw him out of the house.

Commercial break.

These djinn are the kids of the one they killed, apparently, and one of them gives Dean a double dose of the poison. In a trippy series of hallucinations, Dean sees Lisa and Ben being confronted by Azazel, who kills Lisa and makes Ben drink his blood.

Meanwhile, Sam beats one to death with a golf club. (See, it is a sport!) Samuel shows up with a knife, takes another one out, and sends Sam to help Dean. Then, instead of killing the female leader of the group, the Campbell crew throw a bag over her head, tie her up, and drag her off. “Quick, now,” Samuel says, “before the boys get back.” Looks like the Campbells are collecting monsters, not just killing them. Kind of disturbing.

Commercial break.

Sam and Dean are in the house after everything is over. Sam asks if Dean’s coming with him to meet up with the Campbells, but Dean says he’s not. He’s staying with Lisa and Ben, so that he can help protect them. He’s brought danger into their life, but it seems like it’s best to do what he can to minimize it by sticking around.

Surprised, Sam doesn’t really resist too much, though he does indicate that it’s better to have Dean around. Sam respects that he goes off half-cocked, because it means he cares. Sam wouldn’t have run out to save the neighbors. Odd how things have changed, because once upon a time it was Sam who tended toward the emotion-driven heroics and Dean who calculated the best tactics.

Dean offers Sam the keys to the Impala. “She should be hunting.” Sam’s appreciative, but he likes his current car. This is kind of a strange exchange and makes me wonder about Sam. The Impala is the very thing which was so important to Sam in the season 5 finale that it allowed him to gain control of his body over Lucifer’s possession. Now he’d just pass it by?

Sam drives off, leaving Dean in his suburban driveway … which winds down the season 6 premiere. Kind of lackluster, to be honest, but some great hooks for future stories. I am very impressed that Lisa and Ben both survived and that Dean is staying with them, because it provides for a whole new dynamic to the show if Dean has some kind of roots.

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