Last week: Sam and Dean teamed up with hunter husbands Cesar and Jesse to destroy a pack of homicidal cicadas, Cas is still MIA, and our boys desperately need a vacation.
Tonight’s episode took me through a full on Lemonade-style arc of emotion: disbelief, acceptance, contentment, wry appreciation, annoyance, boredom, surprise, anxiety, anticipation. Many lingering questions were answered, and yet, there are a few that glaringly remain. In all honesty, though, given the huge reveal at the beginning, I have absolutely no idea how they’re going to continue into a brand new season this fall. But that, I suppose, is tomorrow’s problem…
If there were any lingering doubts after the 200th episode special as to whether Chuck was truly God, this episode has definitively put them to bed: he is. Or, He is. But considering Chuck’s characterization of God, I don’t think he would object to the lowercase. Rather than a grand pronouncement, blinding flashes of light, earthquakes, booming voices–all of the bombast that normally accompanies the unveiling of a major player, cosmologically speaking–there is very little distinguishing between God and the mousy Chuck Shurley we met all those seasons ago. He’s a bit more boastful, and perhaps a little less outwardly anxious, but his core, frumpled twee-ness remains perfectly in tact. It’s a little bit… annoying.
I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. Metatron, at one point the consummate villain, exquisitely hateable with his mealy-mouthed soliloquies, plaintive whining, and utter arrogance–is so completely normal during this episode, I found myself almost liking him at a few points. Chuck–per his wishes, I won’t call him “God”, also because it just feels wrong–zapped Metatron to an empty, well-lit bar, that he calls “the safest place in the universe”. He has presumably brought them there so that Metatron can read over and edit his latest literary undertaking: a memoir. A second Bible, I suppose, but with a tighter focus. Metatron, understandably, is completely stunned, falling into an almost nauseating obsequiousness when given the task, but it quickly melts away as he begins to read. Chuck, for all his seeming transparency and openness, is totally incompetent when it comes to telling the truth about his nature, writing the facts as people deserve to know them, rather than how he prefers to tell them. This episode functions as a conversation between the two of them, in which we receive simultaneously a more human side of Metatron than we’ve ever been privy to, and a more courageous one.
Meanwhile, the Amara’s ghostly fog is back–blackening veins, driving its victims mad, eventually killing them. It’s an old shtick, but an effective backdrop for Metatron and Chuck’s conversation, rapidly raising the stakes as the fog threatens to wipe humanity out completely. Sam and Dean are, naturally, our intrepid heroes, doing everything in their power to save whoever they can, until the moment they are forced to play martyr.
Metatron takes on the burden of spokesperson–for humans, angels, and demons alike–when he finally confronts Chuck on his evasive prose. He demands real answers: where did he go? Why did he leave? Why didn’t he come back? Curtis Armstrong delivers a stirring performance in his monologue, pleading tearfully with Chuck as a child would with a perpetually absent father. And Chuck is rather cavalier and heartless in return, boasting about his adventures on earth, the human ticks and habits he’s come to enjoy. (We also learn that he is bisexual, which has incredibly interesting implications for the show, but we won’t get into that now.) And the reason for his sustained absence, and utter lack of prayers answered? Disappointment. Humanity let him down, and so he left. And now that his sister is back and doing her best to wrench his creation apart, he can’t see the point of trying to stop her. Her very nature is darkness, nothingness. She’s already begun her destruction? Why fight? Why not construct a comprehensive account of everything he’s created, for posterity, and then watch it all burn?
What sense does it make to create everything–angels, humanity, nature, love, SOULS–and then let it be snatched away? What point is a memoir if no one is around to read it? How does any of this make sense?
I never, EVER, thought I would say this: Amen, Metatron.
Eventually, he’s fed up. “Humans are better than you,” he spits angrily, heartbroken. Because despite everything–everything thrown at them, all of the obstacles and ugliness and death and war and grief in this world, they never give up. Chuck? Chuck has given up.
Thankfully, not for long.
Sam is going under, near the point of succumbing to the despair that fills the heart of anyone who breathes in Amara’s fog. Its purpose is to make you believe your most awful, most harrowing suspicions about yourself and the people you love, an interesting parallel to Castiel, who succumbed to the devil because he made the mistake of believing his worst fears about himself: that he was useless, a burden to his family. Unsurprisingly, Dean is spared the effects of the fog, as Amara seems to be hellbent on both destroying the world and making him bae, but Chuck finally comes through with this episode’s pièce de résistance: THE SAMULET.
“You’ll never believe where it’s been all these years,” he tells Metatron ruefully. (Not in Sam’s pocket, apparently.) But he makes it look that way, a glimmering beam of light coming from inside Sam’s jacket, the sign that God is near. Dean palms it and they walk slowly outside, watching as the fog’s victims come back to life, reunite with their loved ones. Until they reach Chuck, standing in the middle of the road, wearing his signature unaffected half-smile.
Next Week: CAN WE PLEASE HAVE CASTIEL BACK NOW?!
Carla is a writer, teacher, and proud Slytherclaw. Her work has been published in The Toast, McSweeney’s, Potluck Mag, and Luna Luna Mag. Follow her @carlawaslike for more Supernatural rants and desperate dispatches from the middle school trenches.