Episode Title: “Devil May Care”
Writer: Andrew Dabb
Director: Guy Bee
Previously on "Supernatural"
"Supernatural’s" second episode of the season, “Devil May Care,” paints the picture of a show that doesn’t seem to know where it’s going.
Granted, who doesn’t chuckle when Crowley (Mark Sheppard) is described as the “junk” in Dean’s (Jensen Ackles) trunk. But if we’re to believe the rest, the show is headed in a few directions at once. In one clip, Dean wants to interrogate Crowley as to the whereabouts of all demons on earth, because, you know, he must know where they all are. The second part of the plan is to shank him with the knife and celebrate with ice cream and strippers once he spills the beans.
It’s one thing for a show to sacrifice its plot for the sake of its main characters, but it’s another to suggest the death of a fan-favorite reoccurring guest star will solve all their problems. Especially when they had the chance to slam the gates of Hell once and for all.
At the start of “Devil May Care,” the clips confirm Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean’s plans to interrogate Crowley for the names of people whom demons are possessing. This plot comes off looking weak, just an attempt to please fans and provide screen time for one of the show’s favorite reoccurring guest stars. Crowley’s screen time adds nothing, and in fact, falls to the wayside for most of the episode to make room for Abbadon’s (Alaina Huffman) story.
Through a spell, Abbadon is resurrected into her original body. Her plan is to take over Hell with an army of demons, including the top-side demons that Sam and Dean want to find and hunt down. Don’t worry, though, it’s just mere coincidence that the brothers want them. However, Abbadon’s big hang up are the meat-suits being used. One being a granny, and a businessman of some kind. Clearly, she doesn’t see the potential of a deal-making demon dressed as a granny, wielding an oozi, but we’ll let that slide a minute.
Eventually, the demons trade bodies with a group of military personnel, and suddenly, our demons are carrying guns. If demons carrying guns in this episode is a big deal, why haven’t they done it before? This idea seems trivial and stupid. Abbadon’s meat-suit dilemma is trivial as well. In the end it adds nothing; demons are demons. It’s not the suit, but the demon that makes it all count.
Sam and Dean’s story line brings them to investigate the army personnel that the demons possessed and their discovery of Abbadon’s reemergence. This leaves Kevin alone with a chained up Crowley at Men of Letters HQ. A search for Knights of Hell info leads Kevin (Osric Chau) to Crowley and your typical exposition between the two characters. As much as I love Sheppard on screen, his scenes are painfully repetitive; how many times have we seen Crowley chained up, being held for information at the hands of torture devices? It’s as if we’re at the end of season eight again, only nothing is on the line. By episode’s end, Crowley coughs up two names, and a possible arrangement to be made in the future.
Sam and Dean’s investigation leads them to a group of abandoned buildings where two hunters are being held, used as bait to bring the brothers in. One, Tracy Bell (Olivia Ryan Stern), holds resentment against Sam for letting Lucifer out of the cage, leading to the death of her family and the birth of her hunting career. The other hunter, Irv (Paul Rae), spills the beans about the brothers to Abbadon. He seeks penance, and tries to create a diversion for Sam only to have a tender moment taken from him by a sniper’s bullet.
This leads to a showdown between Sam and the “Army Demons” and Dean with Abbadon. When all hope seems lost, like it usually does in most episodes, Ezekiel, still residing in Sam’s body, comes to save the day. He fires up his angel battery, spreads his wings and vanquishes the demons in the diner. The special effects department does a superb job showing Ezekiel’s injured form, displayed as feathers falling from his wings.Subsequently, Abbadon flees to fight another day.
The best part of the episode is the exposition between Dean and Ezekiel. Jared Padalecki does a fantastic job as Ezekiel, with great voice work and facial acting to portray the possessing spirit. The performance carries over from his equally great performance as Lucifer in season five. When "Supernatural" creates tender moments, they do so with great emotional impact. As Dean blames himself for failing to close the gates of hell, Zeke reassures him that he did it for the right reasons. It’s those moments that keep me coming back to this show over and over again.
Dean and Kevin have a similar moment at the end of the episode. Crowley has Kevin convinced that his mom is still alive, but Dean, ever the voice of reason, stops him. Dean throws around the “f” word; family. In many ways, Kevin feels like that additional brother. Sure, he’s the wussy, can’t really defend himself brother, but family is family and they stick together through it all.
“Devil May Care” attempts to tie a few loose ends from last season while pushing the story in a new direction. By the end, this muddled episode fails to accomplish anything. "Supernatural" still doesn’t have a clear direction. Is Abbadon still a threat? Sure, but how much of a threat since her plan failed miserably? The most disappointing part of this episode was the lack of angels. Since the fall, Earth is supposedly a more dangerous place than Purgatory, and yet it feels the same as it ever did.
Dean remarks at the beginning of the episode that “it’s going to be a busy year.” So far, that’s not the case. While I don’t think "Supernatural" is on par for a gutter year; (it opened to its best ratings in years) but it still has a long way to go to make a compelling story this season.