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Main story arc picks up in latest Supernatural episode

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The master plan spilled out basically all at once in the episode “Family Matters.” Starting with formally revealing that Sam doesn’t have a soul, as alluded to in the previous episode. Plus, the anemic storyline of Sam and Dean’s grandfather finally gets put into context in a twist that involves Crowley in a big way.

(Spoilers ahead)

The episode starts in Sam vision as our protagonist wakes up from getting the shit kicked out of him by his brother Dean. He’s tied up, and we see Samuel in the room ruminating with Dean as to what’s wrong with Sam. Castiel soon shows up and does the painful soul-digging thing he did to the kid in a previous episode. He reveals once and for all that Sam’s soul is gone, and as such he can only function as an emotionless and sleepless human shell.

Sam doesn’t miffed at all by the situation — instead he focuses on untying himself from the chair. Once he sets himself free, Sam convinces Dean that soul or no soul they have to work together, and Dean agrees, taking on Samuel’s newest assignment. Apparently, Samuel’s team of distant relatives/hunters has tracked down the alpha and Dean has to promise to follow orders to join the hunt.

While on his post at the job, Dean sneaks a peak at Grandpa and Sam loading the alpha vamp onto a paddy wagon, all soaked in dead man’s blood, which according to a particularly Anne Rice-y part of the show’s lore paralyzes vampires.

The alpha vamp can’t be contained long, but when he breaks out, who steps in to control the situation? None other then Crowley! He reveals that he’s been pulling the strings all along, and all of the sudden the season’s most under-developed plot points — caused by some ham-fisted secrets — fall into place.

SPN fans can breathe a sigh of relief and judge this season’s main arc on its own merits. Although it had the clumsiest start of any of the show’s seasons so far, “Family Matters” opened up the main focus of this season: not heaven, not hell, but purgatory.

That’s right, in Supernatural’s world all the monsters end up in purgatory. And the kicker is King of Hell Crowley wants to take it over! He has Samuel’s soul in his pocket for some still mysterious reason (probably from a deal to get Sam and Dean’s mom in heaven) and Sam’s soul still sitting in hell.

So as it turns out, Crowley’s the big bad of Season 6. Who knew? And better yet, how will the Winchester boys kill him without a demon-killing device handy? I wouldn’t be surprised if Crowley already collected all of those artifacts already, but the biblical weapon side-plot seems to imply that there could be another way.

Of course, they didn’t even explore the fact that they could try to torch Crowley’s remains again, like the brothers threatened to do for Bobby’s soul, but I’m sure they’ll let us know later that Crowley’s hidden his remains for good, or that it’s still a viable option.

With the many fun paths for this story now, who knows where this season will go? That’s always been the fun of Supernatural‘s main story arc though. It’s a horror/thriller/action/bromance soap-opera that reveals a bit more almost every episode in a way that pushed it from the cheesy monster-of-the-week Buffy-look-alike in the beginning of Season 1 to the world-ending, emotional whirlwind awesomeness that was the end of Season 5.

We’re seeing that same progression in the nutshell that is Season 6, I believe, and if the writing is what I hope it still is, the show will choose the most unexpected and original route.

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