I have a tough time determining how they do it so well, but for 13 seasons now, the writers and producers of Supernatural take a repetitive theme and find a way to make it fresh and shocking. I know like me, you were likely saying, “Wow! I didn’t see THAT coming!” As longtime fans, we all know that Sam and Dean’s “Achilles heel” is their deep love for each other. It has created some rash decisions in the past, and perhaps none more so than the one made by Dean in this episode; Though we fully understand his reasoning.
From the clever editing and stringing together of short clips from season 13 in the opening, to the very last scene with a close up of Dean’s eyes, I thought it was ‘brilliant’ from the word, “go!” Political/social commentary was with us from the start, as Sam lectures the alt-world residents on the going’s on in ‘our world.’ “That damn fool Id-yett from “The Apprentice” is now the President of the united states?…And you call our world weird!” Classic Bobby! Even if he is from the alt-world. Were there some sparks between him and Mary? They took a walk and alt-Bobby said he preferred to stay in our world, giving her a ‘loving’ look? Mary didn’t seem too uncomfortable behind it! Then they run into a body of one of their own, Maggie, that doesn’t seem to have met a supernatural end! (Actually, she did! Lucifer being the culprit.)
We learn that life has kept moving for our new residents. Rowena and Alt-Charlie are in the southwest doing who knows what! Sam and Dean were hunting with a couple of new teammates, Cass and Jack, and they easily took down a Werewolf den as Jack flashed his yellow super wave! All was right with the world, but this episode always had us wondering when the ax would fall! Did it ever!
For Jack: Who rushed to judgement, thinking a boy that Maggie was crushing on was the one who killed her, so he rushed in (To a convenience store) for revenge and had to be stopped by Cass, Sam and Dean. Of course, he had proceeded to hurl the poor guy through the refrigerator door and some other painful things before Sam convinced him that the young man knew nothing about Maggie’s death and certainly wasn’t the cause! Once again, when Jack reacted emotionally, prompting the exclamation from Dean, “You’re acting like a psycho!”, somebody was in line to get seriously hurt. Jack really beats himself up about this, and about all the people he promised to save in the alt-world, but couldn’t, which leaves him vulnerable to the evils of “The Dark Side.” “Careful with your feelings! Hurt you, they can!” (In my Yoda voice…)
Dean: For the first time all season, he wasn’t a “Grumpy Old Man!” Dean actually was up-beat, complimenting Jack’s work, (a far departure from the “freak” he thought Jack was earlier this season!), and thinking of a day where the team could wipe out evil and perhaps retire on a sandy beach somewhere! Alas, it was too good to be true!
Lucifer: Once again, Mark Pellegrino takes us brilliantly and delicately through his interpretation of the Devil! He shows up while Jack is emotionally vulnerable and says all the right words to get his young son to seriously consider leaving this world behind and traveling the universe together! “Like Star Wars?” Lucifer also throws in the caveat of someday, “making the universe better” to which his son can’t respond because he doesn’t have enough wisdom to comprehend what Lucifer is all about! Lucifer is even brought into the bunker and introduced as “help” by his naïve son, who makes him bring Maggie back from the dead. Lucifer is hesitant because he doesn’t want his cover blown that HE is the one who murdered Maggie in the first place! She later admits to seeing her murderer’s “glowing red eyes” when Sam interviews her later, and everyone knows who that is!
Alt-Michael: He shows up at the store where Jack goes for revenge, and our shocked heroes hold him off with some holy fire! Michael’s goal was always clear: Come to our world to rule it and destroy anyone standing in his way. All these variables beautifully clash when Supernatural pays homage to “The Matrix” and it all comes crumbling down. Michael (As the robots did to Zion) finds the MOL bunker and easily breaks in the door, only to float down to where our heroes are as they helplessly fire guns at him. He easily dispatches Sam and Cass, while he wants to make Dean pay by administering a “slow and painful” death to him! Sam prays in hopes that Jack will hear and respond, which he does, followed by Lucifer.
Jack is surprised to see Michael, thinking he was still behind in the alt-world. When he learns that his father and Michael made a deal so they could get to our world, his anger unleashes, and we see how powerful he really is. He nearly crushes the life out of Michael, and is very upset that his father lied to him about…EVERYTHING! I thought he might dust Lucifer here, but I was shocked (I shouldn’t have been) to find how the Devil responded once his cover was blown. Instantly, he became the narcissistic, petulant, angry, brooding being and let out a piercing scream in anger. On a dime, he turns on his own son and slits Jack’s throat with the arc-angel blade to take Jack’s grace and consume his immense power. He’s going to escape with his weakened son, but Sam grabs hold, and just like Dean got in the way of “Exploding Dick” and got blasted into Purgatory a few seasons back, Sam got taken to where Lucifer was headed with Jack to presumably kill the Nephilim.
More Matrix type stuff; Lucifer, knowing how powerful he now is, tries to make Sam and Jack kill each other by promising to kill them both if they don’t fight over and use the arc-angel blade. Dean meanwhile, sacrifices himself to a bloody mess Michael as his ultimate “sword” as a last ditch to find Lucifer and save Sam and Jack! Where have we seen this pattern? Just as Jack is prepared sacrifice himself and begin to thrust the blade into his own heart, (This after Sam orders Jack to kill him), a bright light appears, and Michael is wearing Dean, his true vessel! Tell me it didn’t feel like when Neo was resurrected after he was shot dead by Mr. Smith! (The triumphant music…The sticking out of the chest! BRILLIANT!)
Dean and Lucifer have a Matrix-like battle in mid-air! ‘Souped-up’ Lucifer is winning, but Sam saves the day by tossing the blade up to Michael-Dean, who uses it, to bring the devil to a very dramatic ear-piercing end! THE DEVIL IS DEAD??? REALLY??? YUP! And before they broke out the bubbly, Dean is overtaken by Michael, who will now go about his plans to rule our world! The classic final shot; Dean, dressed like he did when he went back to the 40’s and teamed with Elliott Ness, is walking down the street, marveling at this world, now his oyster! Freeze-frame on flashing blue angelic eyes! Wow!
Will Jack recover enough strength to take on Michael? Who else but God and Amara can? I believe a being like him cannot exist with our heroes in the same world. Jack must leave, so he doesn’t bring it all down! (Assuming he recovers his grace.) How it happens, I don’t know. We saw “Dean-mon” for a few episodes…how long will we have to stomach “Michael-Dean?” Is the Devil really dead? He really was all over the place this season. Finally, we found out what he really wanted: To Be God and remake the universe in his own image. If he is gone for good, I’ll miss Mark Pellegrino and what he brought to the character. So does this mean Cass will return to run heaven? What about Demons and hell? Who’ll run things downstairs? Who’ll make some more angels? It’s all a mess, but it leaves us with so many questions to be answered as we await season 14! I don’t know how they do it, but keep it coming ladies and gentlemen! You were excellent once again, taking the consistent themes, yet keeping the stories fresh!
Eric “Feeling Supernatural” Clemons
(Photos: The CW and Supernatural: All rights Reserved)