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Supernatural Spotlight – Episode 6.7 “Family Matters”

Monday, November 8th, 2010 | Posted by Andrew Zimmerman Jones

Poor Sam finds out that he doesn't have a soul.

Poor Sam finds out that he doesn't have a soul.

This week picks up right where last week’s episode left off: upon getting proof that something is wrong with Sam, Dean beat him unconscious. He awakens to find Castiel trying to diagnose him. Sam doesn’t think much of this tactic.

“You really that this–”

“What,” asks Dean, ” you think there’s a clinic out there for people who just pop out of hell wrong? He asks, you answer, then you shut your hole, you got it?”

Sam reveals that he hasn’t slept since returning from the pit. When Castiel answers how he feels – not just physical sensations – he says, “I don’t know.” And when Castiel digs for his soul, he comes up with … nothing. Looks like Sam came back from Lucifer’s prison without his soul.

“So is he even still Sam?” asks Dean.

Castiel replies, “Well, you pose an interesting philosophical question.”

Unfortunately, Castiel can’t bust him out the way he busted Dean out of hell a couple of seasons back. And Sam isn’t a demon, so he can’t be held by a devil’s snare … or anything else, apparently, since he can slip out of his bonds pretty much every time he gets tied up. Dean is stuck reluctantly accepting that he has to work with a soulless Sam in order to figure out how to get his soul back.

First order of business is figuring out who brought Sam out of hell. If Castiel can’t get Sam’s soul out, then who has the mojo to have brought Sam out in the first place?

The only lead that Sam has is that his grandfather, Samuel, seems to have come back in a similar fashion, but Castiel’s “angel cavity search” turns up that Samuel’s soul is intact. He promptly has to return to Heaven, because there is, after all, a civil war in progress. (How cool is it that a war between Heaven & Hell is completely sidelined this season!)

Dean signs on to the Campbell family’s hunt for the Alpha Vampire, which they were apparently going to tackle without either Sam or Dean. During the attack, Dean is left as part of the rear guard, but breaks orders (shock) and enters the house they were raiding, passing through a battlefield of decapitated corpses.  On the way, he has flashes from the visions he had as a vampire.

While sneaking around, he witnesses Samuel and the clan, including Sam, loading the Alpha Vampire into the back of a van. Samuel lies to him, saying the Alpha is dead. Then, when they’re alone together, Sam lies to him as well, leading to another little heart-to-heart outside the Impala. Sam knew that Samuel was kidnapping monsters to grill them for info, but decided not to tell Dean. It doesn’t even register to him that kidnapping powerful monsters in order to torture them might be on the shady side. Dean realizes that Sam’s instincts are completely blown because his lack of a soul.

Sam is able to track Samuel’s cellphone to the location where the torture of the Alpha Vampire is taking place.  They’re able to eavesdrop on Samuel asking him where “it” is located. After Samuel leaves, though, the Vampire reveals that he knows the boys are there.

The vampire knows Dean’s name and about how he was a vampire for a short time. Not a big surprise. What is a big surprise, however, is that (according to the vampire), Samuel is trying to find out where Purgatory is. It seems that Purgatory is the place where monsters go when they die.

Sam and Dean get busted by Samuel, but then the vampire breaks loose (no one saw that coming, I’m sure). Samuel wants to dose it up with dead man’s blood, though they only have two syringes full. Dean stands firm, though, that their only option is to kill it, and Samuel reluctantly relents.

The vampire is getting the upper hand, about to turn Sam, when suddenly Christian (played by Corin Nemec) shows up with black eyes, indicating demon possession. He, along with some other demons, crams the vampire back into the cage.

Then Crowley shows up, confessing that he’s had Christian possessed for some time. It turns out that Samuel has been taking orders from Crowley for quite some time. In fact, it was Crowley (once a “punk-ass crossroads demon” but now “King of Hell”) who pulled Samuel and Sam out of Heaven and Hell … and who is now holding Sam’s soul hostage. If they want it back, they have to bring him monsters, so that he can find out where Purgatory’s located.

Okay, so the Heaven/Hell civil war is apparently not as sidelined as I thought.

The question that Sam & Dean still want answered is why Samuel is working for Crowley. He won’t answer, but my suspicion is that Crowley is holding the soul on Mary Winchester – his daughter and Sam/Dean’s mother. A family member in peril is about the only thing that makes people in that family act this stupidly.

Which is why, of course, Dean will be working for Crowley next week in order to get Sam’s soul back….

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