Trial and Error

Episode Report Card
Tippi Blevins: B- | 8 USERS: A
"Calgon, Take Me Away!"

We go now to the hub, where Dean is settling into his new bedroom. He's already amassed a tidy collection of vinyl records. Some viewers might wonder where he's been keeping these in the already crowded Impala, but the implication seems to be that he has recently gone shopping. He takes his latest purchase from its paper bag with no small amount of love, for it is Led Zeppelin's debut album. Why vinyl instead of CDs or music downloads? Because this is supposed to be a demonstration of some measure of permanence. Vinyl is something that requires care. You can't just toss old records into the back of your car where they might warp from the heat, or become irreparably damaged from sharing close quarters with assorted knives and swords. To invest in a proper record collection means you have some expectation of being able to care for it. It means you're optimistic to some degree, which is quite a feat for Dean Winchester.

With the same tenderness he showed his new old record, he straightens a shotgun he's displayed on his wall. For the final decorating touch, he takes a small photo from his wallet. "Hey, Mom," he says. It is dog-eared, faded and scuffed, but it takes pride of place under the lamp on his desk, between the old typewriter and cache of celluloid pens. "Wow," Sam says from the doorway. "Not bad." Dean is just about bursting with pride. "'Not bad'? I haven't had my own room in... ever." He's even thrilled about his new mattress: "Memory foam! It remembers me." As he then goes on about how clean his new room is compared to the motels he's known up until now, Sam unwraps a stick of gum. He tosses the wrapper towards a wastebasket and misses. When he makes no move to clean up after himself, Dean is aghast. "Really?" He looks at Sam like he just peed on the floor. Sam, duly chastened, removes his litter from the floor. "I'm gonna go fix us some grub," Dean grumps. Once Sam is alone, he has his first real look at the room. He sees the photo, the obvious care that went into the weaponry displays, the immaculately made bed with pillow placed just so. He smiles, seeming to understand the significance of it all.

Later, Sam is reading in the library Dean walks in wearing surprisingly few shirts. He's almost unrecognizable without a four or five hobos' worth of outerwear. "Whatcha reading?" he asks. "Sort of everything," Sam says. "Well, good," Dean says. "Somebody's gonna have to dig through all this, and it ain't gonna be me." Now watch, that'll be exactly what ends up happening. Dean slides a delicious-looking burger in front of baby bro. Sam looks down at the glossy, eggy bun, the fresh tomatoes, the ooey melty cheese. "You made these?" he asks, incredulous. "We have a real kitchen now," Dean says. "I'm nesting, okay?" Sam takes a bite and finds, to his amazement, that it's as tasty as it looks. "You're welcome," Dean says. Before he can dig into his own meal, his phone rings. It's Kevin, who manages a weak "come quick" before dropping the phone. Thus called, the Winchesters rush off to the rescue, but not before Sam goes back for his burger.

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