I know I've lucked out before and got to recap some really fun episodes of Supernatural. This was not one of those episodes (not that the title "Repo Man" particularly suggested a romp...) Anyway, if you don't mind major SPOILERS for the episode, stick around and I'll tell you what I did and didn't like.
(But first, random anecdote! Mark Pellegrino, the show's recurring Lucifer, recently turned up on the Castle episode "The Blue Butterfly." I said, "Hey, it's that guy from--" "Practically everything?" my husband joked. Like the show's recurring demon Crowley (played by Mark Sheppard) Pellegrino does turn up on several of the shows we like, including a vampire on Being Human and mystical island guardian dude on Lost. My husband and I cracked up at a reference to Pellegrino "not aging" on Castle since he's played some sort of immortal on pretty much everything we've seen him in.)
The show opens in Idaho "four years ago" when the boys were exorcising a serial killing demon from a local guy named Jeffrey, a sensitive postal employee. Unfortunatley, they had to torture Jeffrey's body to get info from the demon within but the upside of that was, since the demon squealed on higher-ups, they felt confident it wouldn't be allowed topside any time soon. It would be in hell for a good long while. The flashback included a white magic practicing Wiccan who helped them track down Jeffrey and ended with Dean dropping Jeffrey off at the hospital.
Flash forward... Bad news for the Winchesters (and Idaho in general), the killings have started again. Since Sam and Dean can't get a new lead on Leviathan leader Dick Roman, they decide to return to Idaho on what they consider unfinished business. The Wiccan is their first stop and she says she has to take care of a few things and then she's getting out of town (since the demon threatened her last time) and asks if they've checked on Jeffrey.
We then go to some sort of group therapy session where a guy is complaining about no access to Cinemax and discover that Jeffrey is in a halfway house but is doing better. He's just received permission to care for his very own pet and as soon as he went to get the dog, I turned to my husband. "If the dog doesn't survive this episode, I am going to be upSET." My husband waved away my concerns.
Sam and Dean nab Jeffrey and ascertain that he is not possessed again. (My CW was a bit on the blink, but I think they did this by pressing a magical blade to his skin.) Then Jeffrey tries to recall what he "heard" while the demon was living in his head to give them clues.
What I probably should have mentioned sooner is that Sam has been hallucinating the devil again for this whole episode. Mark Pellegrino's Lucifer is both playfully disturbed and truly scary. He's angry that Sam won't talk to him and acts out for attention not unlike a middle school boy (only, you know, way more gruesomely). When he stuck out his tongue at Sam, I was utterly repulsed (the tongue was forked) but may have also laughed out loud accidentally.
Jeffrey says that he thinks he knows who the next victim his (town librarian) and Sam goes to check on her, with pretend-Lucifer working as his creepy, unwanted but ultimately helpful sidekick. You know how Sam presses on his old wound to ground himself in reality and make Lucifer disappear? He did this several times and my favorite moment was when he reached to do that and Lucifer groused, "Oh, don't bother" and winked out.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey and Dean go to the demon's old nesting grounds. When they get there, Dean is surprised to find a young guy with a bloody wound on his head chained to a chair. (To date, the demon's killings have all been women.) Then we see a hand behind Dean inject him with something and realize...this can't be good. As soon as Dean and Jeffrey walked into the creepy place, I told my husband I did NOT have a good feeling about Jeffrey. He told me he thought Jeffrey would get a chance to help destroy the demon and find closure that way after the last few troubled years. (No, dear, that would be what we in the biz call a happy ending.)
Sam realizes that he's been sent on a wild goose choice and his subconscious (played by Lucifer) points out an inconsistency between the recent killings and those four years ago--the victims now have been tranqued. They also discover a summoning spell written in familiar handwriting and go to see the Wiccan for answers. She greets them by trying to bop Sam upside the head--but have you seen Sam? Tough for a woman to get the drop on him like that and he thwarts her pretty quickly. She tells him that Jeffrey took her son (the wounded college kid) and was holding him hostage for the summoning spell. He wants to bring BACK the demon who possessed him. But he needs the blood of the demon's exorciser (Dean) and the heart of his pet and, I ain't gonna lie, I pretty much checked out in disgust at that point.
Turns out Jeffrey had only been a wishy-washy WANNABE serial killer before his possession, which gave him the power to act on his darkest thoughts. And he misses that power. So he brings back the demon. But the demon inhabits the Wiccan's son and Jeffrey doesn't get what he was after. (Oh, boo hoo for Jeffrey.)
In the end, the demon is vanquished and the woman and her son are reunited but it's hard to feel like this was a victory for the good guys. Especially when Sam tries to banish his hallucinated Lucifer at the end...he won't go. Sam made the mistake of interacting with the devil in head throughout the episode and now he appears stuck with him.
Maybe this episode just seemed so flat and despairing after last week's fairly funny one, and maybe I'm just still bitter (really bitter) about the dog, but I really disliked it. What about you guys? Did you find the moments of genius in it that I haven't done justice here?