Episode Report Card
Cindy McLennan: A- | 10 USERS: B+
A Hardy Boy Goes Back To The Future

"Hey, Winchester!" Kudos to the director and actors, here. Dean and his neighbor (I am completely out of things to call this guy; thank goodness the charade is almost over) both turn. They both tilt their heads the same way. They both raise their right eyebrows. The older man continues, "Son of a bitch, how are you doing, Corporal?" Our newest Winchester says, "Hey Mr. D.," which makes me think of McG, and they shoot the breeze about Winchester having been "back" for a while, and Mr. D. tells him, "Good to have you home, John. Damn good." Dean's eyes are as wide as saucers, probably because he knows people didn't typically say S.O.B. in public back in '73, and because the last time he checked, his father was a brown-eyed man (and, of course, dead). Someone check John's journal. What manner of demon changes your eye color? Still, he says, "Dad?" aloud, but nobody hears him. Mr. D. shakes John's hand and leaves him with a, "Say hello to your old man for me," as Dean wishes Castiel had packed him some clean undies.

While the Allman Brothers are having a good time down on the bayou, despite the fact that their song never made it to number one because of this song, Dean can't stop staring at John, who finally asks, "Do we know each other?" Ackles' reaction here is priceless. His jaw muscles clench and unclench. His lips start moving but no sound comes out and the movement fades to a quiver and then is gone. Finally he says, "I guess not." He drinks his coffee, keeps his eyes front, and manages not to cry, which is more than I can do. John is disturbed enough by Dean that he decides it's time to leave, and tells Dean, "Take it easy, Pal." Dean steals a glance over his shoulder to watch John leave. When he sees John is looking back out of the corner of his eye, he looks away, but not quickly enough. John stares at his son who is older than he, and his face is full of pity. I shudder to imagine this young man's expression if he knew what kind of life his sons lead and his role in that. Only once he hears the diner door shut does Dean feel it's safe to look back after him, again. His expression is one of happy freaked scared mournful elated confusion. In that order. And we have our new title card complete with those intimidating wings. Are you kidding me? We're just getting to the title card. Moving right along.

The carillon sounds from the Campanile at the University of Kansas (which I know thanks to the Buffistas, who know everything -- just ask them) as John Winchester walks the street of Lawrence. The episode title card reading, "In The Beginning" leads him forward. Dean shadows him, until he is stalk-blocked by the ever-cryptic Castiel. Poor Dean can't catch his breath. "What is this?" Castiel asks him what it looks like and Dean punches him out and gets sent straight back to Hell. Or not. There's just one thing Dean wants to know: "Is it real?" Castiel says, "Very." Dean screws up what was going to be my episode blurb for the earlier Recaplet until I actually saw the episode, and says, "Okay, what, so angels got their hands on some DeLoreans? How did I get here?" Evoking my memory of the Glitter Twins, which I thought I'd buried -- Castiel tells Dean that time is fluid, and although it's not easy, they can bend it when need be. Dean doesn't give a crap. "Well, then bend it back, or tell me what the Hell I'm doing here." Castiel, as cryptic as usual, says, "I told you; you have to stop it." Dean says, "Stop what, huh? Is there something nasty after my Dad?" And I can see why that's your first reaction, but obviously Dean, even if something nasty was after John in '73, he made it to 2006, so duh! There's a screech of car wheels that distracts Dean and makes me think about Back to the Future, again. When Dean turns back, Castiel is gone. Dean is frustrated. "Come on! What are you -- allergic to straight answers, you SON OF A BITCH?!"

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