Supernatural Review 9.17 - "Mother's Little Helper"
Posted by Joseph Lee on 03.26.2014
Abaddon's master plan is revealed as the Mark of Cain continues to affect Dean.
The Road So Far: The Winchesters have to deal with the fact that Crowley, who was supposed to be searching for the First Blade, is actually hooked on human blood and out on his feet. The boys begin searching themselves and finally locate a former Man of Letters named Magnus who has the blade, as he has been collecting rare supernatural items (Supernatural's version of The Collector). Dean grabs the first blade, feels the thirst for violence and kills Magnus. It takes some serious talking down from Sam to stop him from killing anyone else.
Season 9, Episode 17: Mother's Little Helper Directed By: Misha Collins Written By: Adam Glass
Last week's episode was merely average, but this one completely makes up for it. Sam and Dean are separated again but both get equally strong stories and we also get a little third story of their grandfather Henry Winchester, told through flashbacks. It was a solid watch that set the stage for the rest of the season and provided some history of the Winchester family we didn't know before.
The episode opens with the Winchesters' rift growing even more, not helped by the fact that Dean is under the influence of the Mark of Cain, which is making him more irritable and longing to kill. You can't entirely blame Dean for being upset with Sam, who has already made his feelings clear on their relationship earlier this season. I know they're just going to resolve their differences the end of the season, but it's cool that they're at least prolonging it a little bit.
Sam decides to leave Dean in peace and go on his own case, which involves ordinary people killing others for seemingly no reason. Sam soon finds out there are demons involved and this leads to him learning of Henry Winchester's first encounter with Abaddon. Meanwhile, Dean, claiming he is doing research, is actually drinking heavily and in a deep depression. That's when he's approached by Crowley who wants to get him on the right track so that he can kill Abaddon.
All three stories were good this week, combining into a very memorable episode and one of the best of the season. This is Misha Collins' first time directing and he did an excellent job. I would actually say he did a better job with his one episode than Jensen Ackles did with his three, although "Weekend at Bobby's" from season six is still an all-time favorite. I guess we just need Jared Padalecki to try his hand at the gig before the series is over.
Sam's story and Henry's story are interlinked and without spoiling anything, they're really an origin of sorts for Abaddon. We also learn about her present plans, which are very serious and once again raise the question of just how many people are going to be left alive when this show is done. The Winchesters save lives, sure, but how many people have died before they save anyone? The body count has to be in the millions at this point, right?
I enjoyed Gil McKinney's turn as Henry last season and seeing him return was a nice treat. If we can't get any more appearances from John, at least we can go back in time and see some Henry adventures. Although, I really would like to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan return at some point as Papa Winchester, if only to redeem himself after the latter seasons turned him into a worse character than he was starting out. I can't be the only one that sees that.
Dean's story was the weak link of the episode in my opinion, but I don't say that like it's a bad thing. It's just a good story in an episode with two great ones. I like that Crowley, of all people, is helping Dean out, even if it's for his own selfish reasons (or is it? You never can tell with Crowley). Mark Sheppard could play the King of Hell in his sleep at this point, but he never fails to entertain in the role. Jensen Ackles is really selling the mental torture of the Mark of Cain and it will be fun to see how far that goes. It's nice to see Dean struggling with the mental issues for once after Sam had to deal with it for five seasons (4-8).
Overall, this was a great episode and again, one of the best of the season. I'd say that it has me ready for more new episodes, but the final break before the finale is happening right now. We have three weeks until the final six episodes air. See you on April 15.
The 411: Misha Collins' debut as a director brings one of the best episodes of the season with some great storytelling and character development. Abaddon's master plan has been revealed and things are getting more intense as we head towards the ninth season finale.