Episode: Supernatural 6.21 – “Let It Bleed”
Original Air Date: May 20, 2011
Screencaps by rawr_caps.
The end is coming nearer. Castiel and Crowley’s plot to open Purgatory and bring destruction to Earth is heating up and the Winchesters are still searching for a way to stop it. With a plot that included H.P. Lovecraft, a kidnapping, a character twist, and the final disintegration of more than one relationship, “Let It Bleed” was a fine way to spend a tense hour as we headed into the finale of Season Six.
Dean is still feeling betrayed by the choices Cas made, but the events of this episode pretty much sealed the deal. To gain leverage over the boys, and to keep them from disrupting their plans, Crowley kidnapped Lisa and Ben. You don’t do that and expect to endear yourself to your former friend, as Cas soon finds out. But he’s made his choices and the Winchesters have made theirs. First order of business: save Lisa and Ben, which is Dean and Sam’s task. Second order of business: get to the bottom of the plan to crack Purgatory, a task that falls to Bobby. I loved how the two storylines gave each character a chance to shine, while working towards a common goal.
I liked Lisa and Ben. I thought they were originally good for Dean, to give him some sort of stability during his year without Sam. Yes, he was going through PTSD and he was drinking himself to oblivion, but they gave him something to focus on and, most importantly, they loved him and understood who he was and what he did. However, as Dean learned over the season, you can’t have your loyalties lie in two different areas. As much as he tried to make it work, his domestic life had no place in hunting and he kept trying to walk away from them, only to be pulled back again. Well, this time it looks like it’s for good. Lisa was possessed and gave herself a fatal blow, causing Dean to have to make the ultimate choice of leaving her that way or exorcising the demon to surely cause her eventual death. Of course Dean chose the latter. And wasn’t it nice of Cas to pop in and heal her? It didn’t change anything in his and Dean’s fractured relationship, but at least he tried repair parts of what had gone wrong. He also fulfilled Dean’s one last request and wiped the memories of Lisa and Ben so that they could have the normal life that they needed, without him wrecking it again and again. Great for them, maybe, but a heartbreak for the audience and Dean as well. It was a nice way to end the storyline, without having to kill them, but the fact that Dean still remembers means he can still be hurt by them and, more importantly, they can still be used as leverage against him. I’m not sure that was as neat and tidy an end as we were hoping, but I’ll go along with it.
Balthazar played a part in the proceedings of the episode as well. He’s more of a free-agent angel, in that you were never sure what side he was really on. Initially, it looked like he was falling behind Castiel, but upon confrontation he soon discovered that Cas had gone a bit off the rails, so he turned double-agent for the Winchesters. He did just enough to help them find Lisa and Ben, but not enough to get himself in too much trouble. It was interesting to watch him debate which path to take, since Cas pretty much gave him the ultimatum of either being with him or against him. There was no middle ground where Cas was concerned, but that was a clear signal that it would not end well for either of them. In the end, though, Balthazar tried to do the right thing and he should be commended for that.
The storyline that Bobby was following throughout was that of H.P. Lovecraft. Yes, the horror writer. He’s known to have written books about opening a door to another realm and in Supernatural one of those events was the cause of his death. After some digging, Bobby finds out that Lovecraft held a dinner party to open the door to Purgatory and all the guests died within a year after the supposedly-failed attempt. Well, all the invited guests died. The maid and her son didn’t meet quite the same fate. The son, who has been in a mental institution as a result of what he witnessed, saw a being come over when they opened the door to Purgatory and it eventually took over his mother. The woman in question looked very familiar to viewers, since she is none other than Doctor Eleanor Visyak. Yes, our favorite dragon expert is a former resident of Purgatory. Bobby was a little peeved at the news, but surprisingly seemed to take it all in stride when he confronted her. She knows the way to open the door, but she’s not telling, since it’s dangerous knowledge that no one should know. But with that knowledge comes danger. Bobby found out her true identity and Castiel will soon find out, too. Sadly, at the end of the episode, Dr. Visyak was whisked away by our former favorite angel and her fate was left unknown.
All in all, this was a great lead-up to the finale. The audience got energized, shed a few tears, and were left wondering where we’d be going when the ultimate showdown did happen. My heart broke over Dean’s choice to wipe Lisa and Ben’s memories and my anger rose as I saw how far Castiel had fallen away from the right path. He was determined to win against Raphael, but he continually made choices that sacrificed all the relationships he had built prior. In the end, it would be Castiel and Crowley against Dean and Sam. Who would win? That’s what the finale will tell us.
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars