Supernatural Season 9 Episode 2 Review: “Devil May Care”
“We need you…because you’re family….After all the good you’ve done, man if you don’t think that we’d die for you, I don’t know what to tell you.” Dean tells Kevin this after Kevin has had a disheartening conversation with Crowley. He is telling Kevin that while Crowley has convinced Kevin that no one cares about his welfare, it’s not true. Kevin has been adopted into the Winchester’s family. Because of that, they are willing to die for him. What is more important is what Dean won’t say aloud. This unspoken credo expresses the essence of Supernatural: I love you enough to die for you. In Season 1 Episode 1, we witnessed Mary Winchester sacrificing her life in order to save an infant Sam. Years later when we viewers learned the true nature of Mary’s covenant with Yellow Eyes, but by then, we had also witnessed John making an aagreement with Yellow Eyes so that Dean could live. Dean made a deal with a demon so that Sam could live.
This credo forms the basis of “Devil May Care.” Love entails sacrifice. At the beginning of the episode Dean reveals to Sam the obstacles they face: fallen angels, Metatron, Cas being mostly human and Crowley. What he doesn’t reveal is the agreement he’s made with Ezekiel. The agreement is predicated solely on Dean’s love for his brother. In “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here,” Dean tells Sam that “There ain’t no me if there ain’t no you.” Sam is alive because Ezekiel resides within Sam’s body.
That agreement remains unspoken as Dean seeks Sam’s reassurance. “You with me?”
Sam agrees, “You know it.”
The brothers are in a good place. Or are they?
Sam and Dean discover that Abaddon is alive and that she’s had demons possess three young naval recruits. The brothers show the expertise and competence that comes from working together for years when they rescue two hunters. Traci, a novice hunter, recoils from Sam. She feels he is responsible for her parents’ deaths. It was Sam Winchester who released Lucifer from Hell and a demon celebrated by murdering her parents. As she and Dean seek Abbadon, Dean reminds her, “Sam’s not the only guy who thought he was doing right and saw it all go to crap. It’s part of being…human.”
Dean repeatedly shows us his humanity. So, what happens in the diner? Is it part of being human that Sam is able to defeat three demons? Of course not. Ezekiel does that. Is it part of being human that Dean lies to Sam and tells him the demons were sloppy and that’s how he defeated them single handedly? Yes. Is it human for Sam to say, “You’re pretty damn awesome.” Not exactly.
In “Devil May Care,” is Ezekiel’s subtle influence affecting Sam in a positive manner? “Awesome” is part of Dean’s vocabulary, not Sam’s. When Dean enters the diner, he talks to Ezekiel. Ezekiel admits that he killed the demons not only to protect Sam, but because he thought Dean wanted him to. Dean believes that the problems in the world are because he wouldn’t allow Sam to close the gates of Hell. Ezekiel tells Dean he did it because of love. Dean says, “I’m not with the whole love thing…” Ezekiel says “Love is why I said yes.”
Is it out of character for Dean to observe Sam with a concerned look by episode’s end? I contend that Sam is acting a little too cheerful. Sam tends to be the more optimistic of the two brothers, but this Sam seems different. He tells Dean, “I’m happy with my life for the first time in forever.” I can’t help but wonder. Is this because the trials purified Sam or is it because of Ezekiel or is it a combination of both?
“Never better,” are Dean’s cryptic final words. It isn’t the demons, Abaddon, Crowley, Cas or Kevin whose welfare is paramount in Dean’s mind. It’s Sam. What if, despite Dean’s best intentions, Ezekiel’s possession with Sam goes “to crap”?