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TV Recap: Supernatural – “In The Beginning”, Part Two

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Read part one of this episode recap. 

Now for the scene that tears me apart. I realize when Jensen is in a scene he attracts the best qualities of an actor like a magnet (Jared being the best example), but he and newcomer Amy Gumenick had something extraordinary between them. Mary talks dreamily about John, about marrying him, and how about she’s finally going to get out of her life. She hates hunting, wants a family, and wants to be safe. That’s exactly what Sam wanted in the pilot, to be safe. He couldn’t escape, though, and the life sucked him back in. Turns out his mother couldn’t escape either. How tragic. I’ll never be able to watch the pilot the same way again.

Mary sets off the collective sobbing when she says, “You know the worst thing I can think of, the very worst thing, is for my children to be raised into this like I was. I won’t let it happen.” Dean understandably is crushed. It’s so tough for him to hear that, knowing the outcome. He fights through his distress to tell her on November 2, 1983 not to get out of bed, but can’t make it through without breaking into tears. I’m pausing the TiVo now and going to dig out another box of Kleenex.

Dean’s on his two-state Pinto trek, and poof, there’s Castiel. “God is my copilot.” He has to be in that death trap. Dean asks why Sam couldn’t see this (thank you!) and Castiel reveals Dean had to do this alone. He also warns Dean that if he tries to save his parents, all those people that he, John, and Sam saved will die. Dean is aware, but that’s not stopping him.

While this seems like the same dilemma from “What Is And What Should Never Be,” this time Dean’s choice is different. He has the chance to save his family over saving others. When the choice involved his happiness over other lives it was no contest. Throw his family in the mix, though, and his dedication to saving the world is bound to change. Plus killing Yellow Eyes lets him carry on his most important task, saving Sam. I wonder if this visit in time is not only a glimpse, but a character test as well. Putting family first means he’s more likely to effectively deal with Sam. Maybe that’s why Castiel told him the truth in the end.

What I don’t understand is how Dean convinces Elkins to let him borrow the Colt, but whatever, he got it. I’ll dismiss for the sake of plot. Swarmy bible salesman talks to a woman about a deal and Grandpa barges in with a shotgun. Have these guys never dealt with demons before? They’re hunters, right? Holy water and rock salt didn’t exist in 1973 either? Was the early '70s the dark ages or something? Yellow Eyes has no problem overpowering both Samuel and Mary. Dean shows up with the colt, but as we’ve seen before, Yellow Eyes escapes in a black cloud in no time.

Red flag alert! Grandpa gives Dean a compliment and says he was wrong about him. That right there is the giveaway. Just like with John in “Devil’s Trap”, improvement in people skills is a clear-cut sign of possession. Dean decides to come clean with Grandpa, revealing that Mary dies, that he’s his grandson, and Grandpa believes him. Yep, possessed.

Another big sign, he wants to see the Colt, also like possessed John. Dean should have drawn the gun on him but too late — yellow flashes in Granddad’s eyes and Dean goes slamming into a wall. I’m dying for the day when Sam slams Dean into a wall with his mind. Can it happen at least once? They have a fight and boom, into a wall! That would be so cool.

Here is where Mitch Pileggi reinforces why he’s an acting God. He switches character fast and picks up the mannerisms of Yellow Eyes in convincing fashion. That’s versatility. With creepy delight he figures out that if Mary is Dean’s mom could Dean be one of his psychic kids? Damn, this is getting good! He smells Dean and finds he isn’t, but then asks if it’s a sis. Or a bro. Oh, there’s the reaction he was looking for. He’s pleased to see his plan worked out.

He goes further into the creep territory by in so many words saying how hot Mary is. “She’s my favorite.” He told Sam he was his favorite in “All Hell Breaks Loose.” Throw that in with the red tape comment and the continuity fairy is doing back flips right now. Yellow Eyes tells Dean he makes the deals not for the soul of the dealmaker, but for their children. He’s going to go to bleed into the mouth of Dean’s sibling and turn the child into a powerful being. Who’s taking bets that Sam won’t be able to hide the fact that he knew about the demon blood when Dean tells him? Who’s taking bets Dean tells him? At least Dean finally knows and as expected, he’s not taking it well.

Dean’s got the crazy eyes of anger going while asking why Yellow Eyes needs someone to lead his demon army. Dean’s got it all wrong, the plan is much bigger than that. “End game.” Yellow Eyes won’t reveal what that is though and boasts he’s covered his tracks very well. Now for the huge treat; classic, angry, over the edge Dean with clenched teeth daring Yellow Eyes to “look into my eyes, you son of a bitch, because I’m the one that kills you.” No wonder Castiel busted him out of Hell. Hot, sexy, tough guys like that are great muscle for your team.

Yellow Eyes plunges the knife into his meatsuit, essentially killing Grandpa. Too bad, I loved him. That’s probably why he had to die. Grandma is next, courtesy of a neck twisting. Who’s dying to see Sam learn the 'neck-twisting with one hand swipe' trick? You remember Sam, the brother not appearing in this film. Dean breaks free, grabs the Colt, but Yellow Eyes is gone. Dean realizes he’s after Mary. Anyone not on the edge of their seat by now? Anyone have fingernails left? Anyone breathing?

John and Mary are in the Impala, by the river, and John sweetly tries to propose. Bad timing, dude. The moment is ruined when Grandpa shows up and yanks Mary out of the car. Careful John, this is the big bad, don’t intervene or… oops, he gets his neck broken! John Winchester dies? Holy crap. Mary cradles his body in her arms and Yellow Eyes tells her he killed her parents, too. John can live (but only John) and Mary can have her picket fence life if she gives him permission to come back in ten years for a little something. “As long as I’m not interrupted, nobody gets hurt.”

Mary didn’t remember that? Come on, she was warned twice. No, I get it, I’m a mom, too. What choice did she have? If she didn’t take the deal, there would be no Dean and Sam, so she loses either way. Still, whose heart isn’t crushed right now by the fact that she unknowingly doomed her youngest son?

Dean arrives just in time to see Yellow Eyes and Mary kiss (no daddy kissing daughter comments please, for this follows continuity). Dean was late because he had to gun a Pinto. If only he had the Impala. By the way, was anyone else thrilled that the Impala was there for all this drama? She’s been there for all the family heartaches. I’m even feeling sorry for the car.

The deal is done, Yellow Eyes disappears in smoke, and Dean stares at a weepy Mary as John comes back to life. Cue the sad music, the touching reunion, and Castiel offering a look of sympathy to a heartbroken Dean. Oh man, I have to pause the TiVo again. I’m a mess! It’s going to take me hours to get through this episode. Poor Mary! She doomed her family to save her future husband. Poor Sammy! He never had a chance. Poor Dean! He had to live a rough life and see all that.

Mary looks back. Dean is gone, but the Pinto was left behind. Castiel forgot to send it back to 1979. How’s he going to explain that one to the man upstairs? John and Mary hug in distress over Samuel’s body and I need this commercial break. I have to pull myself together to get through the rest of this.

Dean wakes up in horror and sees Castiel. “I couldn’t stop any of it.” Castiel reveals the real reason behind the time travel.

“Don’t be too hard on yourself. You couldn’t have stopped it. Destiny can’t be changed, Dean. All roads lead to the same destination.” Dean was sent back to see the truth and now he knows what the angels know. Dean is angry, confused, and frustrated all in one distressed glare. I love it when Jensen does that. Castiel’s head slowly turns toward Sam’s empty bed. A trip back in time to witness the tragic family history is a pretty elaborate way to break the news to someone his brother has been lying to him. Those angels do have their quirks.

“Where’s Sam?” Dean is worried.

“We know what Azazel did to your brother, we don’t know why.” Dean doesn’t care and asks again, “Where’s Sam?” This time, Castiel actually tells him. The straight answer comes with a big tag though.

“Your brother is headed down a dangerous road, Dean, and we don’t know where it leads. So stop it, (dramatic head turn) or we will.” Final shot of Dean’s aghast face, before we get the dreaded “To Be Continued.” Arghhhhhhhh! I’m hysterical again.

Since this was a mind blower, I’m left with several incoherent thoughts.

Was Dean yanked out of Hell solely to stop Sam? It makes sense since he’s the only one who can do it. The possibilities now are huge. What’s Dean going to have to do to stop Sam? Will Dean have to kill Sam like John told him?

Now we know why Mary said “I’m sorry” to Sam in “Home.” I’m dying to see if Dean tells him, or if Sam will be too far gone by the time he does. I know, trust in Kripke.

The Winchester chain went back farther than we thought. Follow the bouncing ball. Mary made a deal for John, John made a deal for Dean, Dean made a deal for Sam. Frightening what the Winchesters will do for each other. I wonder why no one would deal with Sam. Maybe because of that “end game” thing?

Samuel involved his young daughter in the family business. That’s what John ended up doing to Sam and Dean. That’s so tragic.

Maybe Sam Winchester is the Antichrist. I’m convinced Ruby is evil. That argument will be explored further in the next article.

It was great to see John as the wide-eyed innocent in this one. Boy, did he change. Think about it though. He became a cold, obsessed bastard without Mary as the stabilizing force in his life. Isn’t that how Sam ended up without Dean?

I loved when Mary looked through the albums. For those of us pushing middle age and beyond, who remembers doing that as a kid? Go ahead, raise your hand. It’s okay. I still have albums and a turntable in the basement. It’s our little secret.

Grade, A+. The greatest episodes list is likely going to be drastically revised when this season is done. The damned Pinto was the only flaw in this one, but not enough to mark it down. I think someone put it there for my amusement. Next week, Dean confronts Sam. Ah, the warm glow of brotherhood.

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About Alice Jester

  • Huppy

    Great review, Alice. Your comment about Castiel forgetting to send the Pinto back to 1979 cracked me up.

    Riveting episode; I am hoping the ensuing confrontation between Sam and Dean is just as good. I am so glad that Dean knows about the demon blood in Sam. Finally, the cards are on the table.

    It was sad to see Mary make the deal with YED. The Campbell/Winchester family has suffered tragedy of epic proportions. Will Sam and Dean be able to escape this tragedy? I am crossing my fingers!

  • Joan

    Hi Alice

    I can relate to what you are feeling. I honestly can’t stop thinking about this episode. It was mind-blowing, tragic and yet so completely satisfying for me because I have been a fan of this show since day one. The comment Mary made to Sam in ‘Home’ has haunted me since Season 1. Mary started all of this and her worst fear came true.

    This episode will go down as my favorite episodes for so many reasons. Jensen Ackles would have an EMMY if he was on any other show. I had to rewatch that one scene three times when he was begging his mom to not get out of bed. That scene was so personal and so intimate that I felt like a intruder but I couldn’t stop watching.

    I LOVE this show.

    Take care
    Joan

    PS. I wanted to say thank you, from one fan girl to another. Your reviews ROCK!

  • ima

    Alice, I agree with you, on two things: I want to see Sam just for once slam Dean to the wall and snap someone’s neck. Hee, I am bloodthirsty cretin that way.
    On a different note, Alice, please allow me to remind every Supernatural fans, not to forget to vote for Jared in SpikeTV’s Scream Award 2008 for best actor in Horror TV/Movie.

  • strangelove

    “”Was Dean yanked out of Hell solely to stop Sam? It makes sense since he’s the only one who can do it.””

    I doubt it. If Castiel wanted to stop Sam, he would. He just as easily told Dean to make sure Sam is stopped from the road they Sam’s taken, or they will.

    Dean’s mission is to find the endgame. Sam is a favor that Castiel is giving Dean. The angels don’t know what Azazel’s endgame was. They only know that Sam is part of it. They need to find out what it is, otherwise, the game is on again in another 22 years if Sam is killed.

    So, while stopping Sam is part of why Dean was released, it’s not the all of it.

    If killing Sam would put an end to Azazel’s plans, the angels would have killed him by now.

  • Elle

    You are so dead-on in your description of this episode as one of the greats. We’ve had a slew of them this season, but I almost died when the “to be continued” flashed across the screen.
    This episode, as you noted, reminded everyone of just how phenomenal an actor Jensen is – the scene with Mary was heartbreaking. Poor Dean – always getting the emotional whumpings. I am glad he has finally been clued into Sammy’s naughtiness – big relief for me.

    So, I am absolutely in love with Misha Collins. He. Rocks. No ifs, ands or buts about it. And the chemistry between the two is excellent. The continuity in this show is mindblowing – there are rarely shows that follow storylines with such detail as this one – i.e. the apology from Mary in Home. How alike Mary and Sam were in there desire for a normal life. I was watching with my brother and mom who don’t watch SPN (but my mom and I are starting Season One DVD’s very soon – I’ll convert her yet!) and I was commenting on the dates, noting the 10 year, 6 month thing about the nursery fire and my brother is looking at me in that “you’re-insane” way, going “how do you know these things?”

    I was very amused by John’s complete innocence (especially the comment from Gramps about John and how he couldn’t imagine him as a hunter – flashforward anyone?) and I found it so touching that Dean wanted to know what John was like pre-fire. The line from Dean to Azazel about how he’d be the one to kill him rocked – I only wish there’d been some reference to than in AHBL2 (now I will have to go over-analyze by DVD of that episode and all Dean’s interactions with YED to see if some exists).

    Can I just ask – I don’t have children, but I find it odd that Dean, the first born son, was named after his grandmother versus his grandfather. (Did Mary name him after Dean Van Halen? Is this why Mary thought “angels were watching”?)I imagine Sam would get a kick out of Dean being a version of “Deanna” – anyone recall the “Samantha” commentary?

    I love your insights Alice – you always reflect my thoughts on an episode perfectly. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this episode – glad I’m not the only one. Thanks again!

  • Tigershire

    Wicked reviews again Alice. Thank you.

    Stunned, plain and simple. There is no other way to describe what is happening with this show and its effects on me. It’s just amazing.

    Now, as for the whole “no interruptions” YED stipulated, I wonder then if the only 4 nursery fires (as revealed in Simon Says) were the only ones who interrupted YED? Curious, no?

    And the whole reveal at the end about Dean having to stop Sam. That just put so much more depth into John’s request of Dean.

    Actually, it’s made wonder how much John actually found out. When he is making his deal with YED in “In My Time of Dying”, there is the whole exchange between the two of them about the purpose of the kids. Did John actually know more?

    And at the end of “All Hell Breaks Loose Part 2″, I always felt that the silent exchange between John and Dean carried a lot more weight from John then just the relief of having Mary’s death avenged. He had the same kind of “I’m sorry” look on his face that Mary did when she said it to Sam.

    I agree with you – Dean is the only one who can save Sam.

    Season 4 is having the effect on me of being on the edge of remembering something, or the clunk of realization….that puzzle piece that drops into place like the 20 ton weight falling on Wile E Coyote.

    Kripke is god and I have finally found religion. And I can thank you for the translations! GRIN

  • Alexia Kriniti

    Hello everybody! At last, I have watched this great episode.

    “Would you prefer me with a guy like him?”(or something similar, Mary to her father pointing at Dean): Poor Dean! His own mother considers him inappropriate for husband!! Given how desperately he wants a family, that should have really hurt. Nontheless, Dean managed to hide his emotions behind the self-sarcastic smile and his constrained agreement to what Mary said. But later on, when he realised that him and Sam have only managed to materialise their mother’s worst nightmare, he couldn’t manage to keep his mask any longer. I loved these two scenes!

    Something else I really loved in this episode: the storyline was based on one of the most ancient and widespread legends, found across nations and cultures: the mother who makes a deal with the Evil and she offers her child in return! Alone in the Greek Mythology and folklore, I can think right now of at least 4 such legends without searching in books or the web! And that’s only a very small number. Usually it’s the firstborn offered to the Evil and the mother is fully aware of the agreement, but in “our” case the version is just a little bit different and still rocks!

    Alice, my only disagreement to what you said regards Sam: I can’t see him as “a cold obessed bastard”, at least not yet. Hopefully, Dean will not have to face the dilemma of killing his own brother (it’s too cruel). I think the brothers will face the imminent storm together (as they have always done). Besides, from my point of view, if Castiel (and consequently the “Man upstairs”) wanted Sam dead, he wouldn’t go to all the trouble bringing Dean back and warning him about his little brother. After all, God might not be that cruel as Dean seems to believe. Let’s see what future brings for Dean and Sam.

  • Emma

    This is something somebody noticed: was the To Be Continued yet another Back to the Future reference?

    We’ll have to wait and see what Dean finds when he confronts Sam

    I personally think Dean was named after himself (Dean Van Halen) because we didn’t get to know Grandma Deanna enough for him to be named after her and Mary seemed to be closer to her Dad, so if she was going to name her first born son after a relative I think it would be her father.

  • Sarah

    “Was Dean yanked out of Hell solely to stop Sam?”

    Ack! I hope not! How much more worthless can they make him feel? “Oh, yeah, by the way, we would’ve let you rot in Hell, except you’re the brother of the most special guy in the world, so we’re gonna get you out so you can save him. But just remember, kid, you’re not worth crap on your own!”

    I hope Dean’s hunting skills, altruism, and all-around awesomeness are worth something, for once. I love his love for his family, but it’s not the only worthwhile thing about him!

  • Ashley

    So, when John made the deal with YED, did they kiss? I find that really, really odd.