It has been a long road but the Winchesters have finally tracked down the Father of Murder himself, Cain.
Following the mysterious murder of a death row inmate, the Winchesters decide to investigate but end up stumbling onto something much bigger than they were expecting. After talking with the warden and reviewing the security camera footage, the feeling in Dean's arm tells him it can only be one person: Cain. Elsewhere, Castiel is doing some detective work of his own and after a brief interrogation (and execution), he finds Cain's newly made graveyard and the man himself. Cain has no quarrel with Castiel but tells him that his plan is to purge the earth of his entire bloodline which is roughly one in ten people. With that knowledge, Castiel and the boys figure it out that the next victim will be the dead inmate's young relative. Now they know where Cain is headed but what do they do about it? Knowing they need the ultimate weapon to stop the Father of Murder, they turn to Crowley for the First Blade. Seeing as how Dean is the only person that can wield it other than Cain, does he have what it takes to stop Cain and keep himself from losing control in the process?
After several weeks of lackluster episodes, we can honestly say that The Executioner's Song was Supernatural's return to form. Done with the hints and the constant reminders of the Mark of Cain on Dean's arm, this week brought Dean face to face with the man that gave him the mark to begin with and there was a lot to be satisfied with. First, besides some stuff that I will get to soon, the episode moved at a brisk pace and was always building up to the fight between Cain and Dean. There were no long pauses for Dean to reflections to drag on, Castiel wasn't concerned with using too much of his power and Crowley was quick to hand over the First Blade to deal with Cain. Overall, it was mostly a no nonsense story that was focused and took itself seriously.
While the guest stars of late have been all miss, Timothy Omundson is a hit. Thankfully, the writing for Cain has always been quite strong (with no pop culture references) but Omundson delivers with such conviction that most actors would sound silly given the same dialogue. He brought a level of pathos to the character that blurred the line between antagonist and protagonist that addressed killing as a disease rather than just an act. Cain may be dead but Omundson stole every scene and made them memorable.
Though The Executioner's Song was pretty great, it didn't get everything right. Unfortunately for us, Rowena doesn't seem to be going anywhere just yet. Every scene with Rowena continues to drag Supernatural down and Ruth Connell doesn't do anything to make it interesting to watch. If Supernatural does plan to turn Crowley back to full villain they need to start taking some steps to make him an actual villain again. For starters, he could threaten to kill Rowena or worse yet, he could hit her when he's heard enough of her doting. Nothing turns a character into a full antagonist as quickly as that action. My last quip happens to be with the fight between Cain and Dean. We've all seen people getting thrown around by mystical forces a thousand times now but this was the chance for something more. It could have been more of a brawl than Dean getting the upper hand right (see what I did there!) at the end. We shouldn't always hear about Dean losing control, we need to see some of that to understand how dangerous he can become.
The Executioner's Song was the episode that Supernatural fans have been waiting all season for. It had action, a great story and a fantastic guest star. For the first time, Dean isn't facing something that he has to live with, he's now realizing that taking the Mark of Cain may have damned him. We'll see what happens when Supernatural returns on March 18th with a new episode for its new Wednesday timeslot.