XI : Winchester Brothers Report “We Broke It, We Bought It”

Supernatural is back, and I’m delighted to bring you my very first Winchester Report. Call it a recap/review/commentary with a focus on my favorite hunting duo. New season, new series (XI).

amara by some-people-call-it-tragic

The season 11 premiere opens with Dean, surrounded by a black, swirling storm. He sees a woman with her back turned to him. When he asks her what’s going on, she turns around and glances at him. Cut to Sam, waking up, alone in the car.

What happened right after the end of Brother’s Keeper?

As soon as The Darkness hit the Impala, Dean saw a female form materialize in front of him and he disappeared from behind the wheel. Sam called out to Dean, but as the car was being rocked by the storm, he hit his head against the window and lost consciousness. When Sam wakes up, he searches for Dean and finds him lying face down on the ground, a mile away from the car.

After the storm: the Rabids

An infection is spreading. The brothers think the smoke is mutating people, turning them rabid and murderous. The infected have a shelf-life and drop dead after a few hours.

Dean & The Darkness: “bound”

“She saved me.”
While Dean was inside the black cloud, safely away from the storm, he had a most interesting chat with The Darkness. She says she feels the most peaceful she felt in a long time, thanks Dean for setting her free and says she helped him because he helped her. She also informs Dean that he will never hurt her, because they are “bound”, and she shows him that she too, has the Mark of Cain.

The brothers: facing consequences

“Now, have we made mistakes? Hell, yeah. And we can analyze each and everyone of them over a couple of frosties when we’re old and farting sawdust.”

Sam and Dean have an animated conversation inside a hospital littered with the bodies of nurses, doctors and patients killed by the “Rabids”. Dean is focused on saving a newborn baby and ready to kill the mutants that block the way out of the hospital.

Sam wants to do things differently. He believes they’ve become trigger happy, and forgot that the job is about saving everybody, not just each other, or one baby. He feels responsible for what’s happening because he didn’t care about the supposed plague that would come from using the Book of the Damned. His priority was to save Dean and deal with the consequences later. Now that it’s time to face the consequences, he’s determined to find a cure and save as many people as possible.

Sam & Croatoan 2.0: the infection

“Come and get me, sons of b*tches!”

Sam decides to use himself as bait so Dean can get Jenna, the Sheriff who’s working with them, and the baby out of the hospital. Sam is jumped by a Rabid in an attack that’s reminiscent of Croatoan, the whole episode is actually. And just like in Croatoan, the attacker bleeds on Sam before they die. Three more Rabids enter the room.

infectedsam by themegalosaurus

“I can help you.” It’s a heartbreaking moment for me. Once again, Sam tries to reason with people who are too far gone and already overtaken by the mutation process. He hoped Jack Montgomery could control the Rugaru transformation, that the working girl could control Rowena’s attack dog spell and now he prays that the Rabids can slow down and listen to reason. He survives their attack because they somehow choose to let him go. Could be because Sam is already one of theirs. He’s infected.

Overall grade: 8/10

I give this one a 8.

I liked the episode. I thought it was beautifully shot and I enjoyed the guest stars performances. Hi Emily from “There Will Be Blood”, I mean, Jenna. I also loved Mike, the devoted father who fought until the end for his baby girl, even after the mutation had taken hold, and used his last breath to say her name. “Amara.”

I was slightly annoyed by Sam and Dean’s conversation in the hospital but wait! I did love that they had a conversation, listened to each other, and were allowed to finish their sentences without anybody storming out. I don’t have to be in love with the content of the exchange. I’m grateful they’re talking. I think the writers are addressing some criticism about the brothers becoming too murderous, too selfish and never saving anybody anymore. It was never my issue, therefore I didn’t care for the content of the exchange.

For me it was a case of the old, Dean thinks the monsters must go, Sam wants to save them. That’s been going on since forever and the “shoot first, ask questions later” was taught to Dean by John when Dean was a child, all the way back to “Something Wicked” season 1, so… talk it out and figure it out, my darlings. I’ll be sitting right here, waiting for you to get it together.

On a very positive note, I love The Darkness and her introduction. I’ve complained that ancient characters like Eve were portrayed by little girls which made it impossible for me to take them seriously. I applauded the show for having a powerful witch played by Ruth Connell instead of a toddler, and I like Emily Swallow as the mysterious and very intriguing The Darkness. I already love the connection she has with Dean and the fact that she’s looking out for him. “No matter where I am, who I am, we will always help each other.” Her prediction comes true. At the end of he episode, we learn that Amara, the baby Dean vowed to save, has the Mark of Cain.

crowlette by timetraveldean

Another thing I loved? Crowlette! The actress clearly studied Mark Sheppard and she gave us a very familiar Crowley in a female package. Crowley brought some levity to the doom and gloom. From his joining R-rated birthday celebrations to complaining about hot flashes, my second favorite demon never disappoints.

Favorite Dean moment: Sleeping Beauty

meadowsleep by habitatfordeanwinchester

My son sleeping in the meadow, freckles bathed in sunlight. This is an emotional moment for me.

Favorite broment: the hills are alive…

skippingthroughhemeadow by itsokaysammy

It took 11 seasons but Supernatural has finally given me a scene where Sam is running through a (albeit tiny) field of flowers towards Dean to wake him up. *dabs eyes* Balthazar would have gotten a kick out of this one. Remember his comment about Sleeping Beauty in The “Man Who Knew Too Much”? Good times.

areyouokay by itsokaysammy

Favorite quote, which is also a broment: I’d do it again

“I unleashed a force on this world that could destroy it, to save you. And I’d do it again. In a second, I would do it again.”

doitagain by itsokaysammy

At the end of season 9, I made a wish on IMDb. I said I wanted Sam to do something incredible to save Dean in season 10 and not regret it, no matter the consequences. I’m having another Lilith Day (for those who wonder, it’s like a birthday, a great day, like Lilith when she was having a birthday party everyday on while she was on shore leave in “No Rest For the Wicked”).

Drinking game: metal skull

Two minutes in and Sam’s knocked out. I took a sip of Chocolatey Chai tea.

The brangst: keeping secrets already?

“We have to change.”

infectedsam by mooseleys

Oh, Sam, you always have the best intentions but ALREADY, by the end of episode 1, Dean hasn’t told Sam the most important thing about the woman in the cloud like, the Mark on her skin and his very special connection to her, and Sam? He hasn’t spelled out to Dean that a Rabid bled on him, which they both know is how you get infected. This not keeping secret thing is going to take some time, I’m afraid…

Juicy bit: maybe Michael?

According to one of Crowley’s minions, the Cage is rattling downstairs. The rumor is Michael or Lucifer are trying to send out a warning about The Darkness. Please let it be Michael. We’ve had more than one season of Lucifer already. It’s time for Michael to shine. Plus it opens up interesting possibility for his true vessel, The Dean.

Final verdict: I like!

Good premiere! As I was watching, I kept in mind the fact that Carver told us to see it as a Part I. It made it easier to stomach the fact that Dean was far away while Sam was curled up on the floor, alone, scared and sick.
I’m loving The Darkness/Amara already. I can’t wait to see how her relationship with Dean develops. I think I saw sparks fly… Deanmara? Just kidding.

sparks by alionaw

I’m interested in what’s rattling in the cage. Most of all, I want to know how Sam’s going to get out of his predicament and I want to see the brothers reunited, back in sync and on the road, taking on The Darkness together. We’re back in business, folks!

How did you like the premiere? Speaking of sync, have some Winsync for the road.

winsync by artemiskitsune

Merci,

Vee

Gif credits

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65 thoughts on “XI : Winchester Brothers Report “We Broke It, We Bought It”

  1. I 2 felt as if something was missing or a bit off, but kept in mind that this premiere is being stretched over 2 episodes. Perhaps Carver knows it as well and needed the 2 episodes to develop the themes and re-establish the new old way. I did love the breaking of the fourth wall when Sam talks about the other half of the bumper sticker”Saving People,Hunting things”- I chuckled. It is not accidental that Carver does bring in many echos of the early seasons as a way to re-establish the early rhythm of the series. Much exposition was needed to set up the new tone and to pose the arc(s). Now, we know Sam is special so he may not react to the infection like others.
    Questions to ponder:
    1. Did the rabids stop going after Sam because
    a) he is one of them b) the baby is not with him and that is their true goal
    c) Sam’s blood has a vaccine in it( see Croatoa). d. The infection has a timed death

    2. What is the nature of the bond between Dean and Amara?
    a) he transferred the MOC to her b) something physical happened between them
    c) they saved each other d) all of the above

    3. Mike does anything he can to protect the baby because
    a) fatherly instinct b) rabids wanted the baby for lunch c) rabids wanted the baby as a leader d) self sacrifice is a hero’s characteristic
    4. Is baby Amara
    a) a product of a union between Dean and the Darkness
    b) a baby that was possessed by Amara at birth and killed the birth mother
    c) an innocent to be saved
    d) an entity that will grow up quickly and kill Jenna

    Yes, the brothers each say to each other that they are okay, but the second half of this episode will probably pull them apart so they can be drawn together to set up the season as being on the same page.

    It was intriguing to watch Crowley possess a menapausal woman, and she did a great job” sheppardizing “the role, we are reminded that Crowley is evil-something that has not been so evident lately and I wonder what part in the arc does this play.

    Misha had to use some acting chops to make the red eyes worth the watch and he pulled it off. Have not seen Castiel that animated in a while. The “angels” that captured him look much like Crowley’s minions. It is hard to tell who is who anymore when it comes to these stock players. The scene reminds me of the time when boys bagged Crowley in s 8.
    Jenna is a another strong female who had to make some tough choices, but seems vulnerable when it comes to baby Amara.

    Kudos to make up an lighting teams. Did you notice that Dean seems fairly well groomed and unscathed in this episode while Sam becomes increasingly dirty, disheveled, and bloody? The contrast of colors in the field( reminds me of an earlier episode with Amelia) where Dean lays and the grey of Sam’s awakening in Baby is stunning and only adds to the suspense.
    The choice of music, John Fogerty, reminds me of the end of season one when the pick up hits the car. Nice flashback. Yes, this is a re-set of the series.
    Robert Singer’s direction brought Carver’s words that extra thing.
    Even the humor lines were dark.
    Jared/Sam’s thinking is exposed although my criticism would be that it was a bit too long. Jensen plays well at being so focused as Dean. Notice Dean always gets to save the children.
    And then to mention the Cage.
    So this first half of the premiere is a re-set to some of the original pillars of Supernatural, even to the choice of music. I need to see the second half prior to scoring it.
    So far, I still need to tune in next week.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for that detailed and thoughtful comment, Debbab. I like your questions. Here are my answers.
        1. I think the Rabids stopped going after Sam because he’s already infected.
        2. I think the bond between Dean and Amara is the Mark of Cain. He was the lock to her prison and he’s the catalyst to her prison being open. He’s also the only human being alive who’s experienced her mentally and physically through the Mark. Nothing physical could have happened between them because Amara is not yet in human form, well she is, but just a baby.
        3. Mike did everything to protect the baby because he’s the good father.
        4. Baby Amara is the human incarnation of the Darkness. If we take the example of a soul, I would say the Darkness’ soul is inside baby Amara.

        “Yes, the brothers each say to each other that they are okay, but the second half of this episode will probably pull them apart so they can be drawn together to set up the season as being on the same page.”

        I guess we’ll see. I find the brother angst tiresome at this point. Season 8 and 9 provided enough of that for a lifetime. Hopefully the dissension you speak of will be brief and they can focus their energy on the task at hand 🙂

        “she did a great job” sheppardizing “the role”

        Lol, I like that. Yes, she did. I also liked to be reminded that Crowley is evil. He’s always so soft with the boys because he’s sweet on them.

        “It is hard to tell who is who anymore when it comes to these stock players.”

        Preach. Angels, leviathians, demons, everyone has that sterile corporate look. They need to switch it up.

        “Did you notice that Dean seems fairly well groomed and unscathed in this episode while Sam becomes increasingly dirty, disheveled, and bloody?”

        Great observation. I noticed. This is Dean at the end of the episode, outside, looking strong, healthy and framed in black and red.

        Sam, on the other hand is inside, bruised and battered in the greys and shadows, slowly engulfed in darkness. Is was really well done.

        Credit: artemiskitsune(.)tumblr(.)com/post/130735976441/me-screaming-in-the-background-tell-him-that

        “The contrast of colors in the field( reminds me of an earlier episode with Amelia) where Dean lays and the grey of Sam’s awakening in Baby is stunning and only adds to the suspense.”

        I wrote my previous reply without reading this but yes, I completely agree with your sunny outdoors/dark indoors analysis.

        “Notice Dean always gets to save the children.”

        Indeed, it’s been his role since he was 4 years old and carried Sam outside of their burning house in Pilot.

        “I 2 felt as if something was missing or a bit off, but kept in mind that this premiere is being stretched over 2 episodes.”
        “I need to see the second half prior to scoring it.”

        Yes, I understand. I’m grateful that I knew about the 2-part structure of the episode beforehand or I would have liked a lot less.

        “It is not accidental that Carver does bring in many echos of the early seasons as a way to re-establish the early rhythm of the series.”
        “So this first half of the premiere is a re-set to some of the original pillars of Supernatural, even to the choice of music.”

        They’ve talked about going back to the basics a lot and I hope they keep that promise. Early Supernatural is my favorite Supernatural. I’m so ready for episode 2!

        Like

    1. Great notes Debbab, there is much to ponder, I feel another look at the premier coming on. I can see certain people moaning already thinking Sam is special. They hate the thought of this fact. I loved the whole feel, the cinematography was particularly well thought out. I so want to see that cage, have done since S5. The menopausal woman was such a laugh. I hope they use that actress again, she was fun!!

      B xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant review!! I had a theory about the Darkness & Amara from the trailer which I was surprised to see was true. Crowlette was pretty much the highlight.
    I do have a question- is it just me or is Dean acting like he did in season 8 after he got out from purgatory? Like Sam doesn’t understand & he has to take all the shots alone?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Brilliant review!! I had a theory about the Darkness & Amara from the trailer which I was surprised to see was true.”

      Thank you so much,Susannah ❤
      Yeah, I liked the Darkness-baby Amara connection. It's was interesting how the road pretty much led the Winchesters straight to that baby. I'm even more intrigued to see the next time Dean helps Amara without knowing who she is. Really enjoying the mystery.

      "Crowlette was pretty much the highlight."

      The actress did a fantastic job. I keep rewatching her scenes and going, this is so Mark Sheppard. Should Crowley need another vessel, she is IT!

      "I do have a question- is it just me or is Dean acting like he did in season 8 after he got out from purgatory? Like Sam doesn’t understand & he has to take all the shots alone?"

      Oh my God, Susannah, I've been saying this since the pictures and videos of the episode started coming out. Dean even looked high strung (more than usual, he's always a little high strung, Castiel would say lol) in the pictures. He was like that right after the Mark was removed and Jensen is playing him exactly the same. I wonder if he's still on that Mark of Cain rampage adrenaline. He hasn't really had time to come down and process anything. Everything happened so fast. Him killing Death, the spell, The Darkness and now this Croatoan 2.0 scenario. Hopefully he'll take a breath and a nice long nap. He seems on edge.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved the episode. So much happened-about a lot of which I am a little confused-but in a good way. I like not knowing exactly whats happening-its nice to be surprised by the show again.

    There were a lot of great lines-Hunting things is only part of the bumper sticker 🙂

    and Saving people. It’s better on paper…that last one actually teared me up a little the way Dean said it.

    I liked the deputy and loves Fem Crowley! They gave us just enough of her and then-I’m back!

    I originally gave this and 8/10 but after rewatch 8.75/10

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “So much happened-about a lot of which I am a little confused-but in a good way. I like not knowing exactly whats happening-its nice to be surprised by the show again.”

      Yes, I was a little confused too and I had to watch a second time to get all the details. I really like the mystery surrounding Amara and the manifestations of The Darkness.

      “Saving people. It’s better on paper…that last one actually teared me up a little the way Dean said it.”

      You could see on his face it’s been hard lately. They don’t have the easy hunts anymore and with them often being infected by evil, the body count is mounting around them.

      “I liked the deputy and loves Fem Crowley! They gave us just enough of her and then-I’m back!”

      Right? I enjoyed Female Crowley a lot and I had a big smile on m face when Old Crowley said “Daddy’s home!”

      “I originally gave this and 8/10 but after rewatch 8.75/10”

      What changed? Which parts got better on rewatch?

      Like

      1. I prefer Crowlette. I thought those scenes were hilarious. The actress did a very close imitation of Crowley and I liked how he didn’t call for help until after the orgy.

        My favorite line, and my first big laugh of the episode, happened in the first fifteen minutes, when Dean got in the useless Imapala, and asked why Sam just let him get in.

        “You were on a roll.”

        Liked by 2 people

          1. I didn’t know it for myself but fandom’s been talking about it since the first spoilers about Amara came out, and especially since after the premiere. The show can get a little lazy when it comes to names what with the 50 Roys we have or giving relatively important characters the same name like Amelia, but they chose well for this character and what it represents, I think.

            Like

        1. “I prefer Crowlette. I thought those scenes were hilarious. The actress did a very close imitation of Crowley and I liked how he didn’t call for help until after the orgy.”

          “I apologize, for nothing” lol.
          Not gonna lie, I love me some Sheppard but this actress gave him a run for his money. She was really good and effortlessly funny. If Crowley ever needs another vessel, she’s the only one who should do it.

          “You were on a roll.”

          It was a very cute scene. Sam was standing there like, wait for it, and the way Dean tightened his mouth when he saw the tire stuck in the pothole like, this dude is messing with me was very cute and funny. I think they both needed a comical interlude after all the heaviness.

          Like

      2. I think the first time I watch I am not catching everything that’s happening. Thsi episode especially as it was a little confusing with the strange flasbacks.

        Liked by 1 person

            1. I don’t know, the flashbacks became clear to me and I didn’t think there was a difference in Sam and Dean timelines. Sam was knocked out was Dean was talking to Amara. After her conversation with Dean, Amara safely place Dean in a bed of flowers. Sam was waking up during that time and he started walking until he found Dean. That’s how I understood it 🙂

              Like

              1. Ever second Sam is on the screen he displayed a whole array of emotions and moods reflecting the action and plot line. Not a wasted motion, all his body language flowed into the next moment. Every tone of voice fit talking to Dean or addressing others.

                I was ready to hide under covers with fear as Sam tightened his muscles, worked his jaw, gasped his breath. Caught up in it all I had the wild thought, “Was Sam going to be able to advance or was he frozen in terror?”

                Liked by 2 people

                  1. Jared’s fighting skills have really improved lately. I wonder if they have a different choreographer or something, because in these scenes have really seemed to have upped their game. I know both boys are into karate and martial arts stuff. But its really exciting to watch. It always has been, but there is more tension within the scenes now, which I don’t think there was before.

                    B xx

                    Liked by 1 person

                  2. And where he says, “I can save you!” That just hurt me really bad for some reason. He’s always trying to save. How often has he actually saved anyone? Is this going to be a them all season again?

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Yes, I called his “I can help you” moment heartbreaking and paralleled it to the Rugaru and the attack dog spell. I like that Sam always wants to try. I just feel he’s not always realistic about the situation because he relates to the victims in a way Dean doesn’t. His intensified feeling of failure might come from the fact that he too often latches on to lost causes.

                      “Is this going to be a them all season again?”
                      I’m not sure I understand what you mean…

                      Like

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