Now, onto the episode....
So we did get another reveal (besides the general one about Sam's soul being missing) in this episode. Part of me expected it a little, as far as who was involved, but not quite in the way of specifics. I'll get to that.
Okay, the scenes in the beginning were pretty painful to watch. :( Poor Sam tied up and bloodied. Cas wants to know if he's speaking in tongues and all of that. He asks Sam if he's slept at all and he hasn't. Ouch, I know that would kill me. He asks Sam a few times "How do you FEEL?" Sam admits that he doesn't know.
Alrighty, that's new... Cas sticking the belt between Sam's teeth. Heh... But the torture scene... again, so hard to watch. :( *huggles Sam*
Cas finds out that Sam's soul is gone. He thinks it's still in the cage with Lucifer and Michael. Huh, that's one theory I've had for a little while now...
Dean demands that Cas get it back. Not that easy though. Aw.... you know, I'm trying to understand Dean's POV and I kind of do, but really, it just hurts so bad that he doesn't trust Sam. Sam tells him he's trying to get it right, that this is still him. Dean wants to keep him tied up forever?? Noooo. :(
Sam breaks out of the ropes and tells them they're stuck with the soulless guy.
They head on over to the Soup People's (I can't remember who I first saw coining that term, but it's perfect *G*) place. Dean refers to Jonas Quinn-er, I mean, Christian as "Newman." Hah.
Cas does the soul searching thing on Gramps and finds that it's still intact. Huh...
So he has a lead on the alpha vamp. Sam wants to know why he didn't call him. Dean pipes up that it's because of him - Gramps doesn't trust him.
Dean still doesn't trust Gramps and he's right not to do so. There really is something shady going on with him. Seems like he's full of half truths or something. He's even got his own private office.
Wow, Christian really is a smartass, isn't he. Gah, someone gank him already...
They're going to hunt down the alpha vamp but Gramps wants Dean and Gwen in the back. Of course Dean objects. Hmm, Gwen doesn't seem to annoy me as much right now... and she does end up saving Dean, but eh.... I still don't like this family.
All the carnage takes place and suddenly Dean recognizes the weather vane on top of the building - from the vision or whatever from when he was still a vamp.
Okay, they're walking the alpha out of there? Dean tells Gramps he wants to see him but Gramps says he's already on the pyre. Really?? Okay, is it just me or did we actually SEE them putting the alpha into the truck? Does Gramps really think Dean is that stupid? Yep, guy is way too shady.
Sam rejoins Dean in the Impala and Dean asks him if everything went okay. Sam simply answers that it did. Dean stops the car and they get out. He tells Sam he saw him walk the alpha out of there.
Oh geez, boys keeping secrets from each other! How much longer is this gonna last? *SIGH* Sam says that Dean wasn't supposed to know. He admits that they capture the monsters and grill them for info. Sam says it's his idea because Dean would mess it up - he shoots first and asks questions later. Dean asks Sam if it ever occurred to him that Gramps is really shady. I can understand why Sam trusts him so much - Sam considers him family and has been with him this whole year that he stayed away from Dean. So I can see why the idea of Gramps being shady would bother him.
Dean says that family with him doesn't mean the same as family does with them, and he's not Dad. He tells Sam that he's seriously messed up (awwwwwwww... *heart breaks*). Finally he tells Sam that he doesn't have to work with him but if he does, Dean is calling the shots. Finally he tells Sam to go off with Gramps. So he does. Gah, this is really frustrating...
Sam goes back to Gramps. He wants in on the interrogations. He says this is what family means to him. But Gramps doesn't want him to join him until they figure out the soul thing. Um... okay..... Yeah, really shady...
Sam goes back to Dean now. He asks if Dean didn't think he would be back. Dean says he figured it was 60-40. Sam says Gramps didn't take the bait. Wha...? Was this their plan all along? I feel like I missed something. Did Sam and Dean plan to have Sam try and join Gramps to figure out what was going on? Sam is tracking his cell phone and they find him.
Gramps is grilling the alpha vamp (who BTW I think is a pretty cool dude... I think they cast that part well :D), asking him "where is it?" and "How do we find it?" Hmmm... where is what? At first I wondered if he was talking about Sam's soul but no, it wouldn't have been that easy.
Alpha Vamp (I think I'll just keep referring to him as AV to keep things simple, lol) senses the boys are there and asks them to come out. He says Dean was his "child" and asks if Dean enjoyed being a vamp. Obvious reaction from Dean, torturing him.
Sam wants to know who made the AV if he's the first. He says they all have mothers. Hmmm, interesting... Sam asks why Gramps brought him there, but AV says Sam is cold and has no soul. He asks how that feels. This reminds me of what Famine said to Dean in My Bloody Valentine.
This was kinda funny, I thought:
AV: "When freaks die, where do they go?"
AV says they go to Purgatory, which is filled with souls. And Gramps wants to know where Purgatory is. So... is Sam's soul supposed to be in Purgatory then? When he came back, his soul was somehow left there? Is this why Gramps is trying to find out where it is? Methinks not, for some reason...
Huh, Gramps does as he's told. I'm with Dean here - exactly who has the hand up his ass?
Gramps makes his entrance and Dean tells him he's crazy doing this, putting Jaws in a fishbowl.
Uh oh, AV has escaped and killed a guy.
Dean wants to kill the AV now and tells Gramps that if they get through it, "you, me and Sam are having one hell of a family meeting." Hell yeah, about time we get down to the bottom of this.
I thought I saw the AV kill Christian and I nearly cheered at the screen but I guess I was wrong. Damn. LOL. AV grabs Sam and tells him he's got plans for him (hoo boy, here we go again *g*). That as a soulless human he's the "perfect animal."
But wait. Christian attacks AV... or Demon!Christian anyway. Okay, that's different. And then they both go Poof!
Christian was possessed ages ago? Why does that not surprise me?
Gramps is Crowley's bitch! Okay, yeah, that was a little twist. I thought Crowley was involved in this somehow, and I did have half a notion that he might've been the one who Gramps was talking on the phone with at the end of 6x02 (and I did think he was somehow connected to Sam's soul), but ... yeah.
Crowley is looking for purgatory because he's apparently looking to "develop" it. He tells the boys that Gramps knows things, more than they know.
"If you wanna see Sam's soul again..." I KNEW IT I KNEW IT I KNEW IT!!!!!!
Crowley brought both Sam AND Gramps back?? Well, I guess Gramps I could see, since he was a big cheese type of hunter from what we saw in In The Beginning. As for Sam..... is he using him as a bargaining chip? Maybe he thinks that Gramps will do what he says if he's holding onto his grandson's soul, but also he thinks that Dean will go along with this because he wants Sam's soul back as well? I definitely think the latter i in play here.
Yep, Crowley wants them to bring him the creatures. "Me Charlie, you Angels." He can either snap his fingers and bring Sam's soul back, or put him back in Hell.
Gwen seems to be pissed that Gramps is taking orders from a demon. Guess she's sticking around for a little longer then, hmm?
Sam is rightfully pissed, too, telling Gramps "you're not who I thought you were."
Gramps lamely tells them there are a lot of reasons he did this and that they're his family. So they can put a bullet in their grandfather's head or step aside. Sam says he sold them out. But Dean tells him "I know. Let it go." He says they can't work for Crowley because of the whole demon trust thing. Sam wants to play ball with him though, at least so they can get his soul back. He tells Dean they can do this a while and then give that SOB what's coming to him.
Last scene is Sam asking "You with me, Dean?"
Dean doesn't answer but seems to be seriously considering it.
So... final thoughts. I know a lot of people are saying it's not a big reveal that Sam is without his soul since we could pretty much assume it, and maybe it wasn't a huge reveal. But we got the reveal of why Gramps is being so shady and who he's working for. And we got the reveal of who is holding Sam's soul. As soon as Crowley said he was "King of Hell" back in 6x04 I started thinking he had to be involved in this somehow. The quote by Sam at the end of that ep about "A deal is a deal" was interesting and I thought it could be connected, but Sam didn't seem to have any knowledge of this whole thing. Maybe it was just foreshadowing in a way.
The scene at the beginning just broke my heart. It ached to see Sam like that and Dean not wanting to trust him. I'm still unsure about that talk they had after they got out of the Impala and Sam went to join Gramps. Did they actually plan that all along since Sam later told Dean Gramps didn't take the bait?
I think Dean told Sam to "let it go" about Gramps because if they did anything to Gramps, it would affect the deal with Crowley and getting Sam's soul back. Even though he told Sam they couldn't work with Crowley, I think deep down he knows it's their only option. He just isn't admitting it yet. I guess we'll see in the next episode what his decision is. If he's not game for it right away, I think in time he will be. I just hope it won't take too long. I really want to see the boys working together and doing what they can to get Sam's soul back. Crowley isn't to be trusted completely, though (although he did get Bobby out of his contract), so I can see how it's a bit of a conundrum.
Well done ep, I thought. And I'm saying that as a totally objective viewer.