10.10 The Hunter Games

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Title The Hunter Games
Episode # Season 10, Episode 10
First aired January 20, 2015
Directed by John Badham
Written by Eugenie Ross-Leming
Brad Buckner
On IMDB The Hunter Games
Outline Sam and Dean try to get information out of Metatron on how to remove the Mark of Cain. Castiel continues to attempt to build a relationship with Claire, who wants revenge for the death of her friend, Randy.
Monster Rowena
Metatron
Timeline
Location(s) Fall River, Massachusetts
Lebanon, Kansas
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Synopsis

Crowley has a vision that he is being assassinated by his own demon henchmen in a hallway. Rowena brings him back to reality where he sits at his throne, staring blankly into space. She shows concern and offers to help him in any way. However, Crowley insists that nothing is wrong and tells her she can't do anything to help him. Immediately after he exits the room, she pulls out a hex bag from under his throne.

Back at the Bunker, Dean sits at the edge of his bed, still recovering from the massacre he had committed back at Randy's house. Meanwhile, Castiel tells Sam that Claire barely speaks to him. Sam replies saying he really did try to help her get her life back on track and realize that Randy was trying to use her. As Sam is about to mention the massacre Dean had caused, he suddenly appears at the staircase behind him. He admits that what he did was wrong, and says that "there was a time I was a hunter, not a stone-cold killer". He then rolls up his sleeve to reveal the Mark of Cain and insists that it has to go. Both Sam and Cas persist that it will be a daunting task and that they've searched up every lore they could find. However, Cas does reluctantly say that there may another alternative they can find.

Rowena schemes and sows distrust between Crowley and Guthrie, one of the demons from Crowley’s vision. Meanwhile Castiel has persuaded the angel Ingrid to deliver Metatron to him for interrogation. Ingrid warns him that Metatron must be returned intact. Sam chains Metatron up in the MoL dungeon, while Metatron deduces that the Mark of Cain has made Dean go nuclear.

Castiel confronts Claire, who is in a hurry to get away from him. He feels responsible for how her life has unfolded, but she tells him that while he may look like her father, and is in fact wearing his body, he’s the thing that killed her father, and he is nothing to her. Also she can’t trust Dean – he killed Randy whom she considered family. ”Dean Winchester is a monster,” Claire says. Castiel counters: ”It’s possible there is a little monster in all of us.” Claire leaves.

Dean and Sam interrogate Metatron about how to get rid of the Mark of Cain. He says they’re going to need the First Blade. Sam is skeptical, but Dean sees no other option but to call Crowley, who is only too happy to get away from Rowena’s reminiscing about his neglectful childhood.

Claire is in a bar, shooting pool with drifters Brit and Tony, she tells them about Castiel and Dean. Sam and Dean are meeting with Crowley to persuade him to bring them the First Blade. Rowena constructs a hex that makes her able to spy on Crowley, while still physically remaining in Crowley's Lair. Rowena sees Crowley with the Winchesters and hears him talk about the First Blade and its whereabouts. Rowena tricks Guthrie into fetching it. Castiel joins Sam and Dean in the Bunker, incredulous of their plan to have Crowley bring them the First Blade. He then talks about his worry for Claire and asks Dean to talk to her, "one extremely messed up human to another." Dean reluctantly agrees.

Rowena kills Guthrie, but before she can retrieve the First Blade from his briefcase, Crowley walks in. She convinces him that Guthrie was a traitor and acted on his own. Meanwhile Claire is drinking beer with Brit and Tony and listening to Dean’s voicemail about meeting up to talk. Tony and Brit offer to beat him up for her – or worse.

Crowley calls Dean to say that he has the First Blade, but he’s not bringing it to Dean until there’s more information. Dean locks himself in the dungeon with Metatron to force him to reveal how the Mark of Cain can be removed, while simultaneously settling the score for all of Metatron’s evil deeds. Dean beats up Metatron, then cuts him with an angel blade, while Sam and Castiel helplessly pound on the locked door of the dungeon. At the height of Dean’s torture, the Mark of Cain starts glowing red on his arm, and Metatron speaks: ”Behold, the river shall end at the source.” Castiel shatters the door with his grace, Sam pulls Dean back, and Castiel takes Metatron back to Heaven.

Sam talks to Dean about the ”powerful force” it would take to remove the Mark, and how part of that force maybe needs to be Dean himself and his will to fight it. While Dean mulls it over, Claire calls him. She says she’s thought it over and wants to meet.

Dean drives alone to meet Claire, but is ambushed by Brit and Tony, wielding a bat and an axe. Claire is watching as they sneak up on him, but changes her mind at the last minute and runs out yelling ”No!” Dean easily overpowers Brit and Tony, shoves them to the ground and raises Tony’s axe. To Claire’s screams of ”No, no!” he brings the axe down – into the park bench before he leaves.

Castiel, driving his Lincoln, catches up with Claire on the road. She asks how he found her and he says that angels can locate people who pray to them. She denies praying, but he says it doesn’t have to be a formal prayer; ”I could pick up on a longing.” Claire tells him that she thought about what he said, and she wants to let go of the little bit of monster in her, and maybe stay in touch. And that she likes him better in a tie.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Long Black Road" by Electric Light Orchestra
(plays during "The Road So Far" recap of events)
  • "Drunk and on My Own" by Ross Hardy & Brian White (De Wolfe Music Library)
(playing in the bar where Claire is shooting pool with her new friends)
  • "The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond" by Ruth Connell
(hummed by Rowena as she cuts off a piece of Crowley's tie)
  • "Scotland the Brave" by Ruth Connell
(hummed by Rowena while preparing her spell to spy on Crowley)

Quotes

Rowena: You're soaked in the horror sweat. I haven't seen that since the plague years, darling what can I do?

Crowley: Not a thing you evil bitch.

Rowena: 'Not a thing you evil bitch,' mother.
Dean: That was a massacre, is what it was. There was a time I was a hunter, not a stone cold killer. You can say it, you're not wrong. I crossed a line. Guys this thing's got to go.
Claire: This isn't going to work. I mean come on you look like my father, it is his body, but he's dead and I get you feel bad. But, you, whoever you are, are nothing to me.
Castiel: Claire that's not true, I'm in large part responsible for how your life unfolded. I have a responsibility to help you.
Metatron: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on there badass. Lighten up. Why do you just assume I won't help?

Sam: Because you're a dickwad.
Metatron: But I'm your dickwad. I have a special place in my... non-heart for you both, to which end ta-da! I would be tickled to help you pop this Biblical zit. To do it you are going to need one specific thing... Your old bud, the First Blade.
Sam: What?

Metatron: As I said ain't life a bitch?
Rowena: Of course you recall the lovely lullaby I sang you nightly after you fed the goat.

Crowley: You never sung me a lullaby, you dosed me with whiskey until I passed out.
Rowena: Even then I had a touch for pharmacology, your mum was a prodigy.

Crowley: Funny not what I called you.
Crowley: It's insane. You want me to procure the most dangerous weapon on the planet for Dean Winchester, the man who goes mental every time he touches it? I thought you wanted to go for a beer, catch a film.
Castiel: I thought there would be a connection -- one extremely messed up human to another. You could explain why you murdered her only friend.
Dean: Oh yeah well, when you put it like that.
Dean: I mean where do I begin? Stealing Cas' grace, casting out the angels, making Gadreel kill Kevin using my brothers hands, starting an angel war, and oh yeah... You killed me.
Metatron: My morality is being judged by Dean Winchester? How many people have suffered and died because they believed in you? How many times have you lied to Sam, including, oh by the way, when he was possessed by an angel? And you say, 'oh well it's for the greater good' but lately buddy, that greater good thing went away didn't it? And now people die because you want them to. [Dean punches Metatron] Good Dean, go darker. [Dean punches Metatron] Go deeper. Surely you noticed every time you respond when the Mark gets you all twitchy, you fall deeper under its spell. You think roughing up a few demons or humans makes it worse? Try messing with the Scribe of God bucko!
Metatron: And then Kevin's death all on you, you put him in harms way and kept him there. Gadreel possessing Sam, who was it who tricked Sam into letting him in? And then my personal favorite -- Dean Winchester. Whose entire existence is defined by a war on the dark and monsterous, bromancing his way around the country with the King of Hell.
Dean: He said the river ends at the source.

Sam: What does that mean?
Dean: Maybe nothin'. It was the last thing he said before you guys busted in.
Sam: Dean, look man we had to.
Dean: Hey, no I get it, alright. I was going to kill him, and I couldn't stop myself.
Sam: We'll figure it out alright. Remember what Cas said about needing a powerful force?
Dean: Yeah so?

Sam: So, I've been thinking, look. Cain still has the Mark right? And he's lived with it, for years he's lived with it. So yeah, the Mark is strong, but Dean maybe there's a part of you that wants to give into it, and maybe you have to fight that, you know? Maybe part of that powerful force has to be you.

Trivia & References

"The Hunter Games" is a reference to the book/film franchise The Hunger Games.
Crowley's vision is reminiscent of the death of Julius Caesar, who was encircled by senators and stabbed 23 times.
Metatron: Ain't life a bitch? Nebbishly little guy -- me -- always sticking it to the lunkhead jocks.
A reference to Curtis Armstong's role in the Revenge of the Nerds series.
Dean: I don't have a choice, okay. I don't do this I'm down the rabbit hole; hear evil, see evil, do evil -- the trifecta.
Going "down the rabbit hole" is a reference to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the phrase is also used to denote bizarre, difficult or chaotic situations. "Hear evil, see evil, do evil" is a play on the three wise monkeys image "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."
Rowena: Wings of Titania, bear mine eyes aloft as I bid thee.
Titania is the queen of the fairies in William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream. The name was later adopted by other fiction writers, as in the folklore the queen of the fairies has no name.
Dean: Okay look, the Blade may be powered down, but the Mark is not. I'm doing everything I can to keep it together. Now you think the body count around me is high right now? Wait till Hal takes over.
Hal 9000 is the is the sentient computer and primary antagonist of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Rowena: You will recall it was I who exposed the traitor Gerald, the one the King executed. It turns out not all demons are nice, and I am a tigress when it comes to my bonny lad.
"Bonny lad" is Scottish slang for a "good looking boy."
Castiel finds Claire hitchhiking along KS Route 7, which runs N-S through eastern Kansas. At its closest point, it is a 3 ½ hour drive from the Men of Letters Bunker.

K-7 is possibly the most haunted highway in Kansas. It runs through Atchison, KS, which boasts over a dozen haunted locations. The most famous haunting is Sallie’s House, but there are also reported ghosts at the Atchison Daily Globe Newspaper, Waggener House, Jackson Park, Glick Mansion, Muchnic House, Theatre Atchison, Ferrell and Memorial Halls at Benedictine College, and the ghost of a drowned woman on the Missouri Riverbank near Atchison Street. K-7 also runs near to haunted locations in other parts of Kansas such as the Round Mound Cemetery, Santa Fe Depot Diner, Stonewall Inn, Fort Scott Historic Site, Free State Hotel, and Oak Hill Cemetery.

If ghost towns are actually haunted, it’s worth noting that K-7 also passes within 5 miles of 12 different ghost towns, including Farlington, Cato, Monticello, Kennekuk, Six-Mile House, Kickapoo City, Zarah, Trading Post, Paris, Freedom Colony, Monmouth, and Treece.

Minutiae

This episode was dedicated in memory of Matt Riley (1971 - 2014), a long time stand-in for Jared on the show until season 8. Matt also appeared as a Firefighter in 1.22 Devil's Trap.
Brad Creasser was the director of photography on the episode, as Serge Ladouceur was preparing to direct a subsequent episode.
Bradley Stryker, who played Tony, previously played Ted in 4.11 Family Remains.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

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