Guys remember how the Winchesters broke up? They’re still broken up! This was our first peek at the world of Supernatural since the collapse of TV’s most important relationship! I for one am in favor of this split, even though I’m sure fan fiction authors worldwide mourn the separation of the studs. Let me explain. If you’ve been reading my recaps this season (all eleven of you), you know that my biggest problem is that the show has developed two huge overarching plots, and they just can’t seem to get Sam and Dean to consistently be in two places at once.
Good thing Sam and Dean are two people. By putting the bros on different paths, Supernatural is finally able to give time to both of its plots. Before this episode, I was worried they’d not do that, and instead get the gang back together and continue to confuse me. I was wrong (again!), and it is great. “First Born”(directed by John Badham, named after the sandwich I ate today) totally worked from beginning to end. Let’s get into it.
We open with a flashback. It is as most flashback openings are, very confusing. It’s Mississippi 1863, and there are some terrified Civil War soldiers holed up in a shack. What are they so scared of? Timothy Omundson (the grumpy detective from Psych)!! He’s bearded, he’s got a jawbone in hand, and he is ready to get stabby. Oh, those soldiers were demons it turns out. Who is this demon slayer with the fossil? Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, my fantasy of a Sam and Castiel buddy comedy is blooming back at the bunker. Castiel discovers he can no longer taste food now that he’s an angel again. He mourns this loss as we all would, “I miss you PB&J” (which is what I think whenever I see otters #bornin1990). After another attempt at healing Sam, Castiel discovers that Sam’s got a little bit of grace left up in him from Gadreel’s time in his brain. What does that mean? It means that if they can extract it, they can use it to find Gadreel and take him out! Castiel and Sam start delving into science.
As all of this nonsense is happening, Dean is at a bar being handsome. Suddenly, Crowley appears. The King Of Hell (kinda sorta) has news. There’s a way to kill Abaddon it turns out. Surprise, this story has a direction now. They just have to find the first blade, but how? Oh Dean’s dad knew something about it. After checking a storage locker and going to visit a friend of the patriarch named Tara, Dean and Crowley learn that the blade is somewhere in Missouri, which is apparently obvious because Tara says, “of course” as soon as it happens.
The two buddy teams are of on their tasks. Castiel and Sam talk about their feelings and start to work on getting that grace out (their plot is NOT interesting) while Dean and Crowley head to Missouri. At the same time, some demon shows up at Tara’s place and interrogates her. Apparently he cut her skin off to get the info he needs, and this rednecky demon cruises out to Missouri after our heroes.
I’m just going to sum up the Sam and Castiel plot now, before getting into the cool part of the episode which is the whole Dean and Crowley story. Castiel finds a way to extract the grace from Sam. They do the procedure, then put the grace in a bowl with what appears to be water and curry powder. The spell does not work. Sam then sums up their role in the episode when he says, “is that it?” Yes. That is it. They decide to find Gadreel some other way and then talk about how Castiel has empathy now that he was human for a while. It’s heartwarming and sets up Castiel’s character for the future, but it’s not an interesting plot at all seeing as literally nothing changes.
Back to the good stuff. Dean and Crowley arrive at a rural home in Missouri. There’s a man keeping bees. It’s Timothy Omundson! He is Cain! The one who killed his brother. He’s the first ever murderer. Of course, all is not as it seems. Cain explains to Dean that while he did create the knights of hell, it was him and not the archangels (as previously thought) that slaughtered all but one of them. The last one left is as we know, Abaddon. Cain is not cooperative with their plan though. He is not about to give that first blade away.
All seems lost when Dean and Crowley break into the house while Cain is in town. At almost the exact same time, a whole gang of demons rolls up on the Cain estate. Cain returns home, and he is pissed about this. He’s been exposed after years in a nice hidden retirement. Cain then decides to make dinner, while Dean and Crowley fight the demons. This scene is awesome. Cain just makes some corn while there is murder in every direction. Finally, with the demons fended off, Cain decides that Dean is up to snuff for his secrets.
We learn that the first blade is just a bone, that jawbone from before, and it is not really magical unless it is paired with the Mark Of Cain. That seems to be a problem as the mark is clearly on Cain, but worry not. He can pass it along to a suitable successor, but there’s a price. Dean don’t care about no price, and he’s all ‘lemme get that mark boi’ (paraphrased). Cain agrees, he has some serious personal beef with Abaddon (the lady knight possessed his great love and tricked him into killing her). They make the transfer, but not before Dean promises Cain that he will use the blade on him after Abaddon is dealt with. Then Cain warps Dean and Crowley outside and goes Neo in the lobby on the remaining demons as Dean and Crowley follow his instructions to the blade which is actually hidden in the ocean.
It turns out Crowley set Dean up the whole time. Played him like a dang banjo, but despite his rage, Dean continues to cooperate with Crowley. Abaddon is, after all, a huge problem. They drive out to the ocean and agree to work together. Then credits. All in all, a fun and action packed episode. It even had some poignant, if tremendously boring, emotional exposition. “First Born” takes a big first step toward setting the table for the rest of the season. If Supernatural can figure out how to balance the two plots now that the infrastructure is in place, this could become a very interesting show.