Supernatural, Episode 204 “The Things We Left Behind” Broadcast on December 9, 2014
Written by Andrew Dabb
Directed by Guy Norman Bee
THEN: Sam confronts Dean over the Mark of Cain, Rowena is captured by her son Crowley, and Castiel has taken possession of Jimmy Novak’s body. NOW: Dean is covered in blood, surrounded by bodies. He wakes from his nightmare, looking at the mark on his arm. Pontiac, Illinois at a Youth Transition Center, Clair “frequent flyer” Novak is put into isolation for 48 hours after being caught shoplifting. Morning comes and her knuckles are bruised from punching the walls. A guard opens the door, “You have a visitor, Claire.” “Who?” “Your father.” The girl flashes back to when she encountered Castiel, who said, “I am not your father.” Cas walks into the room. “Hello, Claire. It’s been a long time.” Cue opening title sequence.
Cas asks the guard if they can have a moment. Once alone, the angel says, “I’ve come here to help you, because I’ve hurt you so much.” Claire reveals her mom left her when dad disappeared, and she was bounced among foster homes until her grandmother took her in, but she’s dead, so the state is taking care of her. Castiel apologizes and asks what he can do. “Get me out,” she replies. They go before the home director so he can get custody of his “daughter.” Director Phelan denies his application because Claire doesn’t need a friend, she needs a father. The scene moves to Dean laughing uproariously at the antics of the Three Stooges. Sam brings over a toasted cheese sandwich and sees what’s making his brother laugh. As Dean eats, Sam joins in the laughter, but can’t help notice that the Mark of Cain has grown. Back in isolation, Castiel shows up and lets Claire out, having knocked out a guard. In one of Crowley’s many cells, Rowena is chained to a wall. The door opens and a woman (demon) is pushed in, who is then chained to the wall. Rowena begs the guard to let her talk with her son–it’s been weeks, but he slams the door on her pleas. In a diner, Claire eats fries, noticing how Castiel is much nicer than the last time she saw him. Once he says he doesn’t think they should separate, she ditches him after lifting his wallet, running outside to hitch a ride. She gets in a car, leaving Cas sad by the side of the road. Cue first commercial break.
I liked the focus being on Castiel, and Misha Collins really shows the pain that the angel is finally acknowledging for ruining her life and taking the life of her father. Cas just has to tilt his eyebrows up in sympathy and viewers will be completely in sympathy. Dabb has written the angel into a corner where there is going to be no easy solution, and having Sam and Dean tag team him on how this can’t ever be fixed only makes him more sympathetic. Kathryn Love Newton as daughter Claire is okay, but the story becomes rote when the person she considers a father is revealed. This person is very one note and does everything one could predict. The incident that occurs upstairs could have happened without his response; though this would make the final action of Dean indefensible. This killed the final act of the show. Dabb’s story nicely combines Cas and Claire, Crowley and Rowena, and the boys and their father into a commentary on parents and children. It’s a good balancing act that reveals some solid backstory about all of their relationships. Ruth Connell’s accent was better in this episode because Rowena didn’t have to hobnob with common people; she could be herself. The Winchesters are really secondary in this story. That is until the coda, where something that has been building comes front and center, leaving fans gasping until new episodes return.
The good: Misha Collins, Castiel’s longing for resolution, Dean’s final three minutes, and Mark A. Sheppard (Man, can he turn a phrase!).
Fun lines: “It’s for a teenage girl,” “That’s every Friday night for Sammy,” “I’m extremely old, I think I’m entitled,” “I can’t be that thing again,” “Eat me, Hasselhoff,” “and “Sorry, sir.”
The bad: The solution to Claire’s adopted father’s plight, the incident upstairs, and the actor playing the heavy.
The final line: A non-supernatural story for a character trying to atone for his sins that can’t keep the momentum for the end. Overall grade: B