Supernatural Newbie Review – Episode 121 & 122 “Salvation” & “Devil’s Trap”

After eleven seasons, something possessed me (see what I did there) to start watching Supernatural from the beginning. If you are a fan of the series, feel free to go back and re-watch it with me. Please do not be a troll and post spoilers for future episodes in the comments section. If you have been wanting to start Supernatural, then I encourage you to watch with me. Spoilers for the series as I go.

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

The demon who has haunted their family is looking for its next piece of the puzzle and the Winchesters must find a way to stop it. Since the final episodes were essentially a two-parter, I decided to combine them here. Feel free to hum “Carry on My Wayward Son” while reading cause that song is stuck in my head thanks to the “The road so far” recap at the beginning of “Salvation.”

Can I just say that I knew Sam’s visions would be connected to the demon attack! I know all of you who are big fans already know this, but it feels good to guess things correctly. Also, John earns a bit more of my forgiveness for hiding some of the details of the demon from Sam and Dean. The yellow-eyed bugger marks children he has plans for when they hit six months of age. Marking them includes killing their mothers and setting their house on fire. There have been several children this has happened to since happening to the Winchesters. Possibly before, but that is not said for sure.

When Sam learns this information, he blames himself for Mary and Jessica’s deaths since he was the target of the demon. John was sparing him that guilt for as long as he could. The demon itself would later admit to Sam it killed Mary and Jessica because they interfered with its plans for Sam and all the other children. It makes me wonder why it goes after the women in the families of those it wants. Sam still has Dean and John, but the demon purposefully went for Mary and Jessica. It kills the mother and spares the father. Does the demon do this for all of the children? Any woman they love will be killed?

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

Back to the big plot to kill the demon. John has been looking at patterns of when the demon appears and he is determined the next child to be marked will be in (the conveniently named) Salvation, Iowa. As the three men search for the names and addresses of babies in the area about to be six months old, Sam has a (very stylized) vision of a mother pinned to the ceiling of her baby’s room the same way Mary was when she died. He finds the house in his visions and talks to the young mother, Monica (Erin Karpluk), as she is taking her six month old baby, Rosie, out for a walk. Monica remarks on how Rosie looks at someone and it is as if she can read people’s minds.

When he tells Dean and John about the family, Sam has to admit to John he has visions. John gets a little pissed at his boys for not telling him this, but they get to once again point out that John refused to communicate with them for the last year. How were they supposed to let him know, leave it on a voicemail? I know, I know, I’m supposed to have forgiven John, but it is nice for the boys to sometimes remind their father his neglect has caused him to miss out on important things.

The demon knows the Winchesters have the Colt and needs to deal with that. To pull the men away from their mission, Meg starts killing John’s friends including Pastor Jim and Caleb (at least we got to meet the both of them, if only briefly), then demands John meet her alone with the Colt or more of their friends and allies will be killed. (Cue the Admiral)

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

And this is where John breaks my heart (damn you Jeffery Dean Morgan for being so awesome). “I want to stop losing people we love. I want [Sam] to go to school. I want Dean to have a home. I want Mary to be alive. I just want this to be over.” (It’s the dust in my eyes I swear) He is going to go and meet Meg with a colt (just not the special one) to buy time for Sam and Dean to use the real Colt and kill the demon before it marks another child. John knows it’s a suicide mission either way, but his dreams for his sons to finally be done with it are more important to him. “It’s your fight. You finish this.”

Again, Dean is the real voice of reason here. He admits to Sam between killing the demon or saving his family, he will always pick saving his family. Dean knows there is no going back to the way things were after the demon is dead so why sacrifice everything for it. Mirroring Sam’s words earlier in the season “no matter what we do, they’re gone.” Somehow Sam is shocked by this statement which makes me want to smack him upside his head and yell “haven’t you been paying attention to what your brother has been telling you all along!”

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

Sam and Dean save the family, but fail to kill the demon. John is taken by Meg and her brother Tom (Sebastian Spence) when they realize he didn’t bring the Colt. Now the boys need help and we get to meet Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver) who has lots of books needed for this type of thing. I really enjoyed meeting Bobby and knowing he will pop up more during the series makes me happy. It is nice to meet someone else who is a hunter, is very knowledgeable, and is willing to share that information. The fact that he named his dog after the Secretary of Defense shows a wonderfully odd sense of humor.

Knowing Meg is hunting them, the boys set up the “Devil’s Trap” for her. A circle which snares and leaves a demon powerless. Watching Dean torture her is troublesome, especially when it is revealed Meg is an innocent person the demon possessed. Falling several stories out of a window and being shot has broken the poor girl’s body and the demon is the only thing keeping her alive. Exorcising it would certainly kill her, but Dean has Sam continue on with it. Dean’s ruthlessness is further displayed when he shoots Tom in the head with the Colt, killing the demon and the person it possessed without remorse.

Dean confesses to Sam that he is worried about his willingness to go that far without hesitation. This is something that has been building throughout the season. More than once, Sam has had to talk Dean out of killing a person who is doing horrible things. The Preacher in “Faith”, the townspeople in “Scarecrow”, Max in “Nightmare” to name a few. Dean didn’t care they were human, just that those people were doing evil things. To him, they are just as bad as the horrors they hunt. I thinking this is going to come back and haunt Dean eventually because it feels too heavy to just let it go.

The sons save their father from an apartment building full of demons, but it is too late. The yellow-eyed demon has taken possession of John. Watching the demon as John saying such cruel things to Dean is distressing. “Your dad, he’s in here with me, trapped inside his own meat suit. He says ‘hi’ by the way. He’s going to tear you apart. He’s going to taste the iron in your blood.” He goes on to mock Dean with his biggest fear. The younger Winchester is the favorite of John’s because he has displayed “more concern [for Sam] than he’s ever shown you.” Morgan knows how to flip the switch from loving father to callous demon way too easily.

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

Through these conversations we learn a bit more about the hierarchy of demons. Meg has stated before she was a “big league” type demon and walking into consecrated ground is not something that can hurt her, but holy water still has an effect. The yellow-eyed demon is immune to the effects of holy water and I imagine hallowed ground as well. He is also the father to the demons that possessed Meg and Tom and wants revenge on Dean for killing them. This feels like a weak point for something so menacing, but I guess the writers wanted to have the demon and the Winchester family mirror one another. Both families are driven by revenge on one another.

Eventually John takes enough control to free Sam as the demon is tearing into Dean. Sam has the opportunity to shoot the demon and end it all, but it means killing John. He instead shoots John in the leg to weaken the demon, but refuses to kill it (and his father) even when John begs. Sam finally sees what Dean has been saying the entire time. Sacrificing everything to slay the demon will not bring their loved ones back, just take away more of them.

Watching Sam’s arc for the season has been really fascinating. Starting off as an unwilling participant, then fueled by grief and revenge as he hunts evils with Dean, then making peace with his need for retribution when faced with a lose/lose decision. In the car ride to the hospital, he tells his father they still have a chance to find the demon, but somethings are just more important to him than revenge. Jared Padalecki really handled what could have been an annoying character with a great deal of sympathy, especially since we see much of the story thru his eyes as the less experienced hunter. Dean has had a great arc too and Jensen Ackles’ charm really makes Dean the star of the show, but the amount of character development is not as prevalent as Sam’s is for the first season.

Of course none of us had a chance to reflect on that change for too long as a semi plows into the Impala, leaving the Winchester men seriously injured and at the hands of a possessed trucker.

Image Courtesy of The CW

Image Courtesy of The CW

What did you think of “Salvation” and “Devil’s Trap”? Did the season ending crash make you jump too? Was the confrontation between the brothers and the demon hard for you to watch as well? Do you think Dean would have made a good firefighter? Talk to me in the comments section below and please do not post spoilers for future episodes.

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About Nerdling

The Nerdling has an unhealthy obsession with books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars. She finds hockey to be the best sport in the world (Go Dallas Stars!) and is working on her first novel, but mostly glowers at a blank screen. You can find her on Twitter @nerdlingstale on Facebook @NerdlingTales or Instagram @nerdling_tales

2 comments on “Supernatural Newbie Review – Episode 121 & 122 “Salvation” & “Devil’s Trap”

  1. Mostly, I’m just glad you’re watching versions that have Carry On, Wayward Son” and “Bad Moon Rising” in the soundtracks. Netflix replaces them with inferior (but still OK I guess), songs.

    “I want you to go school! I want Dean to have a home! I want Mary to be alive.”

    I love that line and how indicative it is of how well John knows his boys (especially Dean who I doubt has ever expressed that) and how futile he knows it all is. Mary can’t be alive, and it doesn’t look like normal lives are in the Winchester cards.

    • I thought the same thing when John was talking about his wants. And the look on Dean’s face when he said it, it was like he was surprised and happy his father knew him which is why I think the things possessed John said didn’t get to him as much. His father already showed he knew and cared about Dean.

      I had been watching the Netflix versions until I realized they were replacing some of the music choices and so I’m borrowing the DVDs from someone. lol

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