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Recap / Supernatural S 12 E 09 First Blood

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Recap of Supernatural
Season 12, Episode 9:

First Blood

Sam and Dean are taken into government captivity for their (perceived) attempt to kill the President. While Castiel and Mary search for them, they make a desperate move to save themselves.

Body Count

For this episode: At least 12 humans, 1 vampire, and 1 reaper

For the series so far: At least 1315 humans (of which 19 were witches), 1126 angels (2 of which were archangels), 188 demons, 72 vampires, 59 ghosts, 36 Jefferson Starships, 22 gods, 19 zombies, 17 werewolves, 10 hellhounds, 8 Bisaan, 7 shapeshifters, 7 skinwalkers, 6 changelings, 5 djinn, 6 reapers, 4 dogs, 4 ghouls, 4 Leviathan, 3 Khan Worms, 3 Thule, 2 Amazons, 2 arachnes, 2 kitsunes, 2 rugarus, 2 vetalas, 2 zannas, 1 banshee, 1 cat, 1 crocotta, Death, 1 deer, 1 dragon, 1 fairy, 1 familiar, 1 lamia, The Mother of All, 1 nachzehrer, 1 okami, 1 phoenix, 1 pishtaco, 1 Purgatory creature, 1 qarin, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 shojo, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 soul eater, 1 Titan, 1 wendigo, the Whore of Babylon, 1 wicked witch, and 1 wraith

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Tropes in this episode:

  • Ambiguous Syntax: When the Secret Service agent is listing all of the Winchesters' crimes, he mentions "multiple counts of desecrating a corpse". His superior needs clarification that it was against multiple corpses, not the same one.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Castiel contacts Mary looking for help in finding Sam and Dean. When Cas explains what happened, Mary, frustrated, asked why the boys didn't contact her. The audience, having seen the previous eight episodes, knows that Mary has been pushing the boys away all season, routinely avoiding their calls, constantly telling them she needs time alone to find herself, and reiterating that she never wanted them to be in the hunter life style and that she was not sure she wanted to be back in hunting either.
    Mary: Why— If they needed help why didn't they call me?
    Castiel: You were out.
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  • Badass Boast: When one of the government agents asks who the brothers are, Sam responds "We're the guys who save the world."
  • Balancing Death's Books: According to Billie, the failure to fulfill their deal will have cosmic consequences.
  • Black Site: Site 49, where Sam and Dean are locked up, officially doesn't exist.
  • Character Death: Billie is killed by Cas.
  • *Click* Hello: Sam pulls this on the counter-terrorism officer.
  • Deal with the Devil: The brothers make a deal with Billie — reinstate Death Is Cheap so that they can escape the government, and she can claim one of their lives. Cas violently disagrees with this.
  • Enemy Mine: Cas and Mary team up with the British Men of Letters to save Sam and Dean.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Dean specifically says that being locked in solitary confinement forever is worse than Hell. That's saying something considering he was sent to Hell between Seasons 3 and 4 (which was decades from his perspective).
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  • Genre Savvy: Crowley isn't worried about the brothers' disappearance, since they've come back from worse.
  • Heroic BSoD: Cas and Mary while Sam and Dean are locked up.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Cas' reasoning for killing Billie.
    Dean: Cas, what have you done?
    Castiel: What needed to be done. You know this world? This sad, doomed little world, it needs you. It needs every last Winchester it can get. I will not let you die. I won't let any of you die. And I won't let you sacrifice yourselves. You mean too much to me, to everything. Yeah. You made a deal. You made a stupid deal, and I broke it. You're welcome.
  • Leave No Witnesses: The Men of Letters kill the government agents the Winchesters spared.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The means of communication used by the Men of Letters — modified typewriters — has previously been used on Fringe and Agent Carter.
    • Dean's threat over the radio to the Secret Service agent pursuing them is a twofer:
    • We learn the full name of the agent tasked with pursuing Sam and Dean: Rick Sanchez.
  • Slashed Throat: How Ketch cleans up the Winchesters' loose ends.
  • Tally Marks on the Prison Wall: Dean uses a loose screw to etch tallies into the wall of his cell to help him keep track of how long he's been there.
  • Time-Compression Montage: Dean is shown using a bolt to etch tick marks into the wall to record how many days the brothers have been in captivity. This is combined with trays of food being shoved through their door ports and images of each brother pacing around their cell trying to find ways to pass the time. The montage, split into two parts, takes up about a minute of showtime, but represents over six weeks of time in-universe.
  • Torture Technician: Averted. An anti-terrorism expert is brought in to decide how to deal with Sam and Dean. He wants to know what and who they know but states that physical torture is pointless. Instead, he will isolate them until they voluntarily give up the information just for the chance to be able to interact with another being.
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: The Winchester brothers have been arrested and since no-one would believe them anyway, they just maintain an absolute silence. So the FBI agent's speech is rendered as a single dialogue, with him cutting between Sam and Dean whom he's interrogating in separate cells.
  • Waking Up at the Morgue: Sam and Dean do this and thoroughly frighten the poor morgue attendant.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Mary calls out Castiel for leaving the brothers when he did. He agrees with her point.
    • Castiel calls out Sam and Dean for their deal with Billie, saying it's stupid and the world needs them.
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