The place is Sunrise, Wyoming. The date is March 5, 1861. Two men straight out of western are preparing to duel at high noon.
Timothy Olyphant A man stands opposite the Sheriff… Sheriff Dean Winchester!
Rewind 48 Hours Earlier (or fast forward 150 Years Later) as Sam brings Dean and Bobby to the Campbell Family Library, a secret underground room of books and other artifacts grandpaSam has collected over the years in their hunting.
The bros and Bobby are trying to find a way to kill that Mother of All. Bobby finds that the ashes of a phoenix can burn the mother. But where to find a phoenix? Dean might have just found a way… in Samuel Colt’s personal journal. After fanboying over it, they read it to find Colt himself had used the Colt to kill a phoenix back in 1861. Dean, remembering how Castiel can snap his fingers and time travel,
Dean calls for Castiel but instead pops in Rachel. She says she’s a friend and is here in his place as Castiel is tied up leading an army up in heaven right now. Rachel feels the bros are very needy, only calling Castiel when they need something and she lets them have it before the big guy himself flies in.
He tells her he’ll handle it now, thanks.
Castiel tells them they only have 24 hours otherwise he won’t be able to pull them back to the present. Dean prepares by going shopping for some traditional old west clothing. He’s a huge fan.
Sam refuses to go all out so he settles on a shirt while Dean… overdoes it maybe.
Castiel sends them back to March 4, 1861 and they arrive in town just as a man, Elias Finch, is being executed for murdering his wife. Before he dangles from the noose, he vows everyone here will pay.
The bros go talk to the Sheriff afterwards to ask about Sammy Colt. Dean, or Marshall “Clint” Eastwood and Sam,rather Walker Texas Ranger get pointed to Elkins at the saloon.
As Dean’s western fantasy gets dashed bit by bit, they find Elkins who tells them Samuel Colt has been building a railroad stop outside of town. (Or really, the devil’s gate.)
Darla, one of the saloon gals comes down the stairs and takes an interest in Dean Clint. Not the kind of saloon gal he had in mind that’s for sure. He gets saved though as the Judge comes in to have his “date” with her.
They head upstairs and the Judge gets on top of Darla but suddenly Elias Finch shows up, puts his hand on the Judge and he gets burned to a crisp. The bros run up the stairs to find the ashed up corpse on the bed. The Sheriff comes and suggests maybe Elias Finch didn’t get finished off by the rope after all. They’ll be forming a posse tomorrow at dawn to find him and finish him off for good.
Sam and Dean head over to salt and burn the bones of Elias but find maybe he just could be the phoenix they’re looking for. But they need the Colt so Sam will head out to find Sammy Colt while Dean stays behind to join the posse.
Later that night, the Sheriff saddles up his horse, but it gets spooked. Elias Finch shows up and the Sheriff’s bullets are no good on him. Elias incinerates him too.
Back in the present, Rachel has summoned Castiel to talk things out. She’s heard things and wants to ask if they’re true. A dirty little secret. He says he has to defeat Raphael. But Rachel doesn’t like what he’s turning into. She is set to kill him, but instead they have a duel of their own. Castiel ends up killing her instead.
Three hours away until high noon and Castiel, injured, falls into Bobby’s. He draws a seal on the wall.
“Are we fighting or running?” Bobby asks as Castiel collapses in his arms.
Back in Sunrise, Dean is ready for the posse, but they just find the Sheriff on the ground in ashes. Elkins takes the badge and pins it on the new Sheriff, Dean Clint Eastwood.
Out in the boonies, Samuel Colt buries two demons who’ve come to get him to open devil’s gate. Sammy Winchester meanwhile arrives and after a splashing of holy water on him, tells Sammy Colt he’s a hunter from the future. To prove it, he takes out his Blackberry.
Okay says Sammy Colt. “A giant from the future with some magic brick doesn’t exactly give you the vapors.”
Winchester tells Colt about needing to head back to Sunrise to kill a phoenix in about an hour. But Colt says he’s quit the business. Alright, then how about just handing over the gun then?
Back in the present, Castiel wakes up and tells Bobby he was betrayed. Raphael is getting to Castiel’s troops.
Castiel says he’s out of juice to be able to bring back the bros. But one thing can be his energy bar… that’s touching Bobby’s soul. But he has to do carefully or Bobby’ll explode.
Ten minutes till noon and Sheriff Dean is with the deputy. He wants to know what he, the old Sheriff and the Judge could’ve done to have angered Elias for him to want revenge this bad.
Elias himself arrives though and tells the story himself. He had a human wife, a nice lady. They lived outside of town and one day, they had gone in to go to the bank. Elias comes out, his wife is gone and he goes to find her in some alley with the deputy. He shoots Elias and his wife, but of course Elias can’t die.
Dean says he could care less about that deputy but he has to kill Elias though. Elias shoots the deputy and sets his sights on the Sheriff who hurls himself through the window.
Sheriff Dean runs into Sam and he hands him the Colt.
Two minutes until high noon and Castiel gets ready to touch Bobby’s soul.
Sheriff Dean meanwhile calls Elias Finch out to the middle of town for a duel.
One minute left, Castiel sticks his hand in Bobby.
Sheriff Dean and Elias whip out their guns and the Sheriff gets a clean hit. Elias burns.
It’s noon. They run over to grab the ashes but instead they run straight into 2011.
There’s a knock on the door and a delivery guy is looking for a Sam Winchester. He’s got a package that’s been at the office since forever and the guy just decided to give it a shot.
Sam takes the package inside and finds his Blackberry, now old and dusty. And a note. Samuel Colt had looked through the thingamajig and found the address and date so he shipped the package and had it be delivered right on April 22 let’s assume. Sam takes out a bottle of black stuff… phoenix ashes.
“I didn’t get a soulonoscopy for nothin’,” Bobby says.
Now that was fun. It could be my favorite episode of the season depending on how well they wrap up season 6 with the last four episodes.
It was absolute fun. And it showed just how fearless Supernatural is. But also how they can take on gimmicks and stunt episodes and do them well. TV spoofs, pop culture spoofs, spoofing themselves, uber-meta spoofs… Supernatural has always been more hit than miss (last week’s Titanic homage more on the miss) when taking on high concepts and not only are they fun and well executed, they always play into the mythology.
It was definitely the case with this episode. So good I had to do the full, long recap.
Visually great, plenty of laughs, hilarious deux ex machina ending, and Jared and Jensen using their Texas blood very well.
I echo the “Get Jared and Jensen in a Western Now” calls. Let their full Texan out!
As for the mythology, it still feels the whole “Mother of All” lacks a sense of importance or at least they haven’t gotten us to care about it all that much.
Maybe because she is just one of the running threads of the season instead of past seasons where we’ve had one overarching arc or theme.
There’s the Mother of All, the Heavenly Civil War, Sam’ brain wall, now Castiel’s deep dark secret… maybe it makes the show seem like it has no focus?
I’m still happy Supernatural is still alive though and looking at a short-of-being-confirmed 7th season. For me, the show continues to be fun and enjoyable with bouts of depth but still plenty of shallow fun.
Finally, this was the first episode in a LONG time that compelled me to list hilarious quotes such as these…
Bobby: “Either of you jokers ever heard anything about a phoenix?”
Dean: “River, Joaquin, or the giant flaming bird?”
Dean: “We’ll Star Trek IV this bitch!”
Bobby: “I only watched Deep Space Nine.”
Dean: “I’m a posse magnet. I love posse.”
Castiel: “You sure?”
Bobby: “Well, we can’t just strand those ijits in Deadwood can we?”
Castiel: “The risks?”
Bobby: “Just don’t explode me.”