Last week: God is back and prefers to go by Chuck, and Metatron is not so douchey after all.
I try to be honest with y’all in these recaps, because I think there is real value in being critical of the media you consume, especially the media you love. In middle school, I read a book in which a teacher cautioned his student to “be a filter, not a sponge”, and I have always tried to take that advice to heart. I think we – and our beloved books, movies, television shows, and their creators – are made better for it.
I say all that to say that this episode really pissed me off.
Let’s start with the good stuff.
The boys needed verification that they were truly in the presence of G-O-D, not just an imposter wearing Chuck who had the ability to teleport (that trick is a dime a dozen in the SPN-verse, honestly). To that end, out popped Kevin, our own beloved CAPTCHA code, in the flesh…sort of. He’s still very much dead, if you had any hopes of him being resurrected, the show definitively squashes them when Chuck snaps his fingers and Kevin slowly vaporizes into a ball of white light and floats upwards, presumably to Heaven. Hopefully, he’s on his way to a different suite than we’ve been shown this season, because Kevin deserves so much better than to be stuck with the morons in white button downs we’ve seen this season. Seriously, what happened to the bad-ass angels? It would have been nice to speak with Kevin for longer than two seconds, considering he’s such a universally loved character and we haven’t seen him in forever. Bringing him into the episode only to, essentially, kill him again feels disingenuous and icky.
It’s not every day you’re able to sit down and have a chat with the creator of the universe. When Sam and Dean are given the chance, Sam, unsurprisingly, babbles nervously until Dean shuts him up. Dean has some tough questions for Chuck, and he won’t rest until he’s made them known. Jensen gave this monologue his all, and it’s virtually impossible to watch this scene unmoved; Dean has always taken it upon himself to shoulder the burden of keeping humanity safe, and so it makes sense that he would – gently, but firmly – demand some accountability from Chuck on their behalf. I found Chuck’s responses flimsy, at best, particularly his last shot at John: “I know you had a complicated upbringing, Dean. But don’t confuse me with your dad.”
What the hell does that mean? Is Chuck not, canonically, a terrible, careless father who gave up on his children because they disappointed him? When he was the one to give them free will in the first place? Real talk, how is he that different from John Winchester, terrible father extraordinaire? Chuck can have an entire galaxy of seats.
Amara’s been holed up in some cave torturing Casifer, in a rather pitiful attempt to get God’s–Chuck’s attention. Technically, it works, but I still find her efforts and general existence pretty pathetic.
I’m having trouble understanding exactly why she is so determined to destroy the world. What issue does she take with one tiny planet within an entire solar system? Considering she’s such a giant supernatural force, why can’t she go to some other solar system and enjoy the nothingness? Is this merely to spite her brother, for getting his way so many eons ago and trapping her? I suppose none of our monsters thus far have been a sterling example of maturity, but this just seems ridiculous. And Chuck’s first instincts in his responses to her needling aren’t that much better.
So, yeah. Once Amara starts to get a little bored with Casifer, she remembers Dean and starts bugging him as well. She flaunts Casifer in front of him, knowing that seeing Cas’ broken body will rile him up enough for him to agree to meet with her. It works. In a really strange scene where Sam, Donatello (more on him later), and Metatron, who is officially Team Good Guys, set off on a rescue mission to collect Casifer, Dean walks into a deserted forest to chat with the villain trying to murder the entire universe. And then we are forced to listen to Amara trying to convince Dean to abandon his humanity and run off with him so that they can exist in dark nothingness for the rest of eternity. To which Dean mumbles something like, “I’m not ready to say goodbye just yet,” and I’m just staring at my television like
I can’t believe I’ve expected to continue to accept this absurd storyline. Why would Dean ever, ever, ever, ever agree to this? Dean, the quintessential human? The Righteous Man? The literal placeholder and spokesperson for humanity? Why is Amara so concerned with a measly human who is clearly trying to kill her at every turn? If she can divine his thoughts, why isn’t she more wary of getting close to him, knowing he has a giant brother who is probably doing something sneaky behind her back while she stares at him with those big glassy eyes? How does any of this make sense??
Meanwhile, Sam & the boys get Lucifer down from his whipping post and get ready to go. Amara, finally having caught on to the fact that Chuck is around, Dean’s seen him, and there is a plan afoot, hightails it back to her not-so-secret lair. Metatron, suddenly the most valiant and self-sacrificing character on the show, grandly decides to stay behind while waving the others on to drive off. He draws a sigil in blood, just in time for Amara to show up, and triumphantly slams his hand onto it, the equivalent of trying to hold back a tidal wave with a teaspoon. She immediately blasts him into the ether, and what could have been an actual, meaningful redemption arc is rendered completely meaningless. I’m not losing sleep over Metatron’s death, but I do think he deserved better than the ending he got. What a shame.
Donatello could have used his help, for one. Oh, right, Donatello. Our brand new prophet of the Lord, because why not suddenly create the need for a prophet in the fight against Amara, have Kevin pop up at the beginning of the episode, only to re-kill him and get an old white guy to do what he could have done, minus the learning curve? Why not? Listen, Donatello is adorable and quirky, and the whole former-Atheist thing is charming, but, SPN, come on. Why are you the way that you are?
By this point, you’re probably asking yourself – and if not, you should be – wait, why hasn’t there been any mention of Cas, and expelling Lucifer? If they went and rescued Casifer, surely that would be top priority, right? Especially when you consider how desperate Dean has been, all season, at the beginning of every single episode, to find him so that they can save him? Wouldn’t that, logically, be the very first obstacle that they would deal with?
ONE WOULD CERTAINLY THINK SO, BUT ONE WOULD BE WRONG.
Zero. Zip. Zilch. Amara waves her hand over Cas’ chest in order to create a connection that would allow her to speak to Dean. She lures Dean out by showing him Cas’ injured body. And that’s just this episode – all we’ve seen this season is Dean being worried sick about Cas, and the moment they’re actually able to have a second shot at freeing him from Lucifer’s presence, they la-di-da about cars inside the bunker and porn on Dean’s computer. The last time we saw Cas, he was practically comatose in front a television screen his imagination had conjured because he literally couldn’t handle reality anymore. Is no one concerned about his mental state by this point? After being both victim and bystander in Amara’s epic torture session? Has Dean suddenly stopped caring? What is going on here?
I’m honestly bewildered by this episode, y’all, if you couldn’t already tell. I have no idea what the writers are doing, if they’ve developed amnesia, if they think fans won’t remember storylines from week to week…either way, I need them to fix this, and fast.
Next week: It’s finally no-holds-barred against Amara, and if Lucifer is still possessing Cas by the end of the episode we’re going to have a real problem.
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.