Mary and Jack make a new friend in a world full of enemies while Dean, Sam, and Cas impatiently wait for Donatello to find the necessary spell to open the portal. What Donatello reveals, though, might not be what they’re expecting.
Supernatural – “Good Intentions”, Season 13, Episode 14
Airdate: March 1, 2018
Director: P. J. Pesce
Writer: Meredith Glynn
Created by: Eric Kripke
What You Should Know:
Mary Winchester is being held captive in Apocalypse World by the archangel Michael, who has grand designs of coming to the main world to conquer it as well. After learning Mary was still alive, Sam, Dean, and Jack sought out a dreamwalker in an attempt to rescue her. Though the attempt failed, Jack found himself also trapped in the Apocalypse World, landing on the floor of Mary’s cell.
Having learned, through Lucifer, of the existence of a spell which can open a portal between worlds on the angel tablet, the Winchesters brought in the current prophet Donatello, whose soul was devoured by Amara, to read over the demon tablet in hopes it, too, would hold a similar spell. Unbeknownst to them Donatello was accosted by Asmodeus and instructed to bring any positive results to him instead.
What You’ll Find Out:
Jack wakes up, finding himself in his room in the bunker, overhearing Sam and Dean talking in the hall, saying how glad they are to have Jack home safe and sound. In the following moments the bunker’s alarm system flares, startling Jack, and he sees smoke wafting into his room. He runs down the hall in search of Sam and Dean, who are trapped in another room, with flames flickering under the door. They call to him for help, unable to get out. Unable to open it with his hands, Jack tries blasting it open with his powers, which only knock him back instead. Leaving him forced to listen as Sam and Dean beg for his help.
The vision shifts, revealing Jack standing, effectively frozen in the center of a room, while an unidentified angel seems to poke around in his head. Michael walks into the room, addressing the angel as Zachariah, and expressing his impatience with Zachariah’s lack of results. But Zachariah insists in his certainty that this “half-breed” is their ticket to the other world. That he’s even got the strength to open a portal big enough for them to bring their army through, as opposed to the one-way ticket Kevin Tran has found. Still, for as much as Michael likes this option, Zachariah’s attempt to trick Jack into helping them with fear has yet to work. Zachariah assures his commander that he believes he’s found another tactic which will work better.
Jack comes to at a lakeside, standing on a short forest cliff-edge, with towering mountains across the way. Birds sing calmly around them as Castiel shows up at Jack’s side, saying he wanted to show Jack the way the world was before mankind destroyed it. Because that’s what humans do. This confuses Jack, so Cas offers to show him, and gives him visions of catastrophes from throughout time. From large chunks of melting glaciers, oil spills, and soldiers at war, to the explosion of a nuclear bomb. Cas explains that humans can’t help but to just keep taking and it’s Jack’s destiny to save everything. Jack asks about Sam and Dean and Cas replies vaguely “if only they’d accepted you,” before going on to remind Jack of how they treated him out of fear of his powers.
After a moment of surprise and sadness, Jack turns back to Castiel and insists Cas is wrong. Because he remembers now the last time he’d used his powers and how he ended up in Apocalypse World. He pauses again, clearly realizing he doesn’t remember escaping and declares that he knows he’s not speaking to Castiel and nothing around them is real. The scenery around them spins, fritzing, and Castiel’s figure smiles before Jack comes into focus in reality. Where Zachariah and Michael stand before him.
Zachariah lowers his hand when he sees his hallucinations have failed and Michael steps forward. Jack quickly deduces who he’s looking at and Michael throws him casually into a wall, before throwing Zachariah into another wall for good measure. He towers over a disheveled Jack while telling his subordinate that, in light of Zachariah’s failure, it’s time to do things his way.
Michael drags a mostly-unconscious Jack down a dark hall, unlocking a steel door before tossing Jack carelessly inside the room and locking the door again. The room is fairly small, with only one window, and as Jack pushes himself up he finds himself face to face with Mary Winchester. Mary recognizes him from the time he landed on the floor beside her previous cage and he wastes no time in telling her that he knows Sam and Dean, that they were trying to rescue her. After reassuring her sons aren’t trapped in the Apocalypse World with them, he introduces himself, and though it takes her a moment, Mary figures out who he is. She’s surprised, though she contains it well, to see a boy in his late teens instead of a six-month-old baby.
Jack explains how he ended up there, and that he knows Michael was in his head, knows about his powers and wants to use them, but he doesn’t understand why. Mary tells him Michael’s been in her head, too, and she knows exactly what he wants. He wants to bring an army into their world to destroy it. Realizing Michael sees him as the key, Jack vows he won’t open the door for Michael, but he’s taken aback when Mary informs him that Jack won’t be the one Michael will torture for results. Michael will kill her if Jack doesn’t cooperate.
Taking a moment to gather herself, Mary instructs Jack to let Michael kill her if it comes to that. But no matter what he is not to open that door. Jack immediately refuses, insisting he can save them both, that he’s strong enough. Then he confesses that for whatever reason since he’s been there, any time he tries using his power it “just comes out … wrong.” He blames it on the pounding in his head. Something Mary takes note of, as she’s had a permanent headache for as long as she’s been a captive of Michael’s, too. She’d chalked it up to the torture, but in light of this news, she comes to the conclusion that the entire place must be covered in such strong warding that even ordinary humans are affected by it.
She turns and moves to the window, saying that specific spot is the only place her headache ever eases. Which implies the warding is weaker in that spot. Jack puts his hand to the steel bars of the cage window and summons his power. The bars begin to glow orange like fire and he smiles. It’s working.
Michael, with Zachariah in tow, come to collect Jack only to find the window wall melted apart and his captives missing. Escaped into the night. Michael orders Zachariah to find Jack, and when asked what he wants to be done with the woman, Michael tells his subordinate to kill her with Jack watching. To make sure she suffers.
Mary and Jack are doing their best to keep out of sight as they maneuver the piles of sand, not knowing where to go. They spot a couple of people ahead and duck behind a massive barrel but are found anyway, caught at gunpoint. The lead man demands to know if they’re angel, demon, or human and Mary quickly assures the men they’re both human. The man recognizes her, calling her Mary Campbell – her maiden name – and pulls down his mouth covering bandana, revealing himself to be that world’s Bobby Singer. Mary recognizes him by reputation and tells him about her sons, enabling him to figure out which Mary he’s speaking to, and he admits to finding it stranger to be talking to a Mary from another world than a ghost. Bobby inquires about Jack, and Mary calls him a friend of the family, which Bobby accepts and tells the pair to come with him.
Bobby leads Mary and Jack to their refugee camp in the forest, where the injured and lost have gathered for survival. They’ve clearly made a rough settling in the area, but it’s equally as clear that the people there have been through some hard times, and Jack is surprised when Bobby tells him angels are the cause. The cause of everything and so much more. Mary stops Bobby to make sure he understands that Michael himself will be coming for them, and Bobby assures her they have precautions. He adds that he owes Mary Campbell a few, anyway, and continues to lead them into the camp.
As Jack sits with the kids in front of lit canvas and gives them a hand-puppet show, Bobby walks up to Mary with a drink to have a conversation. He confesses he’s still thrown off by how much she looks like the Mary he knew, so she asks him to tell her about his Mary. Bobby says she was a complicated woman, but when Mary takes a not-so-difficult guess that she made a bad demon deal, he says no. She didn’t. And that decision haunted her the rest of her life; she never got over John.
Realization hits and Mary tells him in her world she made that deal, and while that choice caused her sons a lot of pain, ultimately her sons prevented this very war. Bobby stares at her for a beat before telling her in his opinion then she made the right call. He tells her how they’d asked him to go to their world with them, and explains he’d refused because he’s all that really stands between what’s left of humanity and the angels.
The cadence of the children’s laughter behind them changes and Bobby glances over his shoulder in time to see the shadow of an elephant trunk, then a dog, then a flying bird. Bobby turns back around to Mary, demanding to know what Jack really is, thinking perhaps the boy is a witch. With obvious reluctance, Mary tells him the truth. Enraged that Mary would bring even a half-angel into their camp, Bobby demands he leave by morning. Mary tells him she’ll have to leave with him and he says that’s her choice. But before he walks off, he offers her advice. Angels may start off saying they’re on the side of the humans, but it’s only a matter of time before they turn against the humans they swore their allegiance to.
The next morning, Mary finds Jack with a big smile on his face. He’s found he likes the people in the camp, he admires their bravery. Mary tells him gently that they can’t stay and when she doesn’t tell him why he realizes it’s because of him. She starts to apologize, to tell him she knows it’s not fair, but a warning siren sounds, startling them and sending the camp into a frenzy. Bobby comes running by, shouting about an incoming, and they turn to see what looks like a catapulted fireball barreling down directly on them. Mary and Jack throw themselves to the side just seconds before it crashes into the dirt. As soon as the dust begins to clear Mary looks behind her and finds angels in army gear stepping out of the crater, so she shoves at Jack to get him going and tells him to run.
Having managed to escape the immediate danger, Mary and Jack are fleeing through the forest when Bobby cuts them off, angrily accusing Jack of being responsible for this attack. He blames it on Jack’s use of his power the night before. Jack tries assuring him it wasn’t his intent, but Bobby refuses to hear it, so instead Mary switches the tone of the conversation by asking how they can help. Bobby gives her a gun and tells her of a safe place, asking her to round up as many of the children as she can find. When Jack offers to go with her, Bobby cuts him off by reminding Jack that he’s done enough already. Softening the blow as best she can, Mary reminds Jack of how important it is not to be caught, asking him to find somewhere good to hide before she and Bobby race off to save who they can.
Zachariah snaps another human’s neck before instructing his companions to find Jack and “kill the rest.” Jack himself is trying to make his way through the woods, surrounded by the screams of dying refugees. Mary finds one of the girls from the puppet show hiding behind a fallen tree, gets her attention, and tells her to run just as Zachariah calls Mary’s name. Mary turns to face him and is immediately punched in the face. Only then does Zachariah demand to know Jack’s location. A demand Mary fails to comply with, inciting Zachariah to step toward her again threateningly, when Jack calls out from behind him for him to stop. Zachariah turns around, declaring Jack to have perfect timing, and instructs Mary to “enjoy the show” before moving to approach Jack. Jack holds out his hand and reminds Zachariah that he told the archangel to stop. He uses his power to lift Zachariah from the ground just as Bobby arrives, and in a few short seconds, Zachariah seems to implode, turning to ash. They barely have time to register this before Bobby spots three more catapult-like fireballs incoming, so Jack turns his attention to them and in moments he manages to destroy all three. Leaving Bobby and Mary in shock.
In the aftermath of the attack, the survivors have gathered the injured for treatment while Bobby comes back to speak with Mary and Jack. His tone humbled, Bobby thanks Jack for everything he did for them. Jack explains that he realized he couldn’t run away because it wasn’t what Sam and Dean would have done. They would have stood their ground and fought. And in doing so, he’s also realized that the war will continue until Michael is dead, and with his power, it’s up to him. He has to kill Michael.
Meanwhile, Donatello continues to work on translating the demon tablet, though it seems as though the tablet is possessing him simultaneously. Castiel knocks on the door and Donatello quickly covers his notes before Cas comes in to bring him a plate of breakfast from the brothers, pausing to ask if Donatello’s all right. Donatello awkwardly insists that he is, gesturing to the tablet and attempting to explain how it has a raw power as if the power is enthralling or fascinating, but he never fully explains the thought. Instead, he assures Cas that he’s making progress and Cas leaves with obvious hesitation. Once the door is again shut, Donatello returns to his real notes, ignoring the plate of food.
Cas rejoins Sam and Dean in the main room, where Dean is happily enjoying a plate of bacon and a cup of coffee. After reporting Donatello’s message, Cas reminds them they still need archangel grace, which means they still need to find Lucifer. Dean assures him they’ve spread the word out to every hunter they can to help them find him, but in the meantime, their best play is to help Donatello do what he needs to do for the rest of the spell. Without knowing the full spell they can’t do anything about Michael’s impending threat, anyway.
Donatello finishes his notes and comes barreling down the hall, shouting “Eureka!” repeatedly, before finally exclaiming he’s finished translating the spell and slapping down a piece of paper. Sam picks up as Dean and Cas inquire as to the remaining ingredients, already, of course, aware of the need for archangel grace. But that’s not listed, prompting Sam to surmise that the demon tablet held a different version of the spell. Regardless, it’s the spell they need, and Sam notes with amazement they have most of the ingredients in their storage. Except for the hearts of Gog and Magog.
Donatello, with the help of Castiel, explains that Gog and Magog are sometimes believed to be human, sometimes not – as the lore has changed over the years. They are ancient warriors who became too powerful and were sealed away “in a place without a place, in a time without a time.” For the spell to work, they must be vanquished in battle and their hearts ripped out. The tablet also provides specific instructions on how to summon them. Castiel adds that fighting these warriors will be dangerous, so he volunteers to handle it. Dean volunteers to go with him and Donatello jumps on board with the idea, quickly declaring that he and Sam will remain behind in order to gather the remaining ingredients.
As they’re headed out for their mission, Dean takes a moment to check in on how Castiel is doing with everything that’s going on. Cas is still struggling with why he was really brought back to life and whether or not he’s living up to that purpose. He’s haunted by his promise to protect Jack, knowing that Jack is currently trapped in an all-but-destroyed world with no means of escape. And he’s worried about the growing threat of Lucifer on the loose, as everyone assumes he’s regaining his power with each passing day. But Castiel rolls that all into one cumulative point, connecting a powered-up Lucifer with the very real possibility of another Michael’s imminent arrival. He truly believes it’s all building up to war, because “war is what Michael does.”
Accepting Castiel’s concerns, and having no real counterargument, Dean tells him if that’s the case they’ll just do what they do best. “Whatever it takes.”
As Dean and Cas arrive at their isolated location, Sam joins Donatello at a table with an armload of ingredients. Donatello tells him of two more they need, so Sam goes back to fetch them, and as soon as his back is turned Donatello’s enthusiastic smile vanishes.
According to Donatello, Gog and Magog can only be killed “by a weapon touched by God,” so Dean and Cas opt for their angel blades before Castiel performs the Enochian incantation to summon their opponents. Silence fills the forest around them for a long moment as nothing happens, leading Dean to believe Cas misspoke until two large men in old leathers and loincloths step up behind them. Dean and Cas turn around and Dean immediately begins struggling to withhold his laughter, frustrating Castiel. Dean can’t seem to get over the fact that the men are both wearing loincloths.
Gog and Magog address them in an old language, which Castiel summarizes awkwardly as the pair falls into a bickering match before one ultimately decides to fight the “pretty one.” The other brother argues they’re “equally pretty,” and so instead they simply charge forward. Gog and Magog are armed with swords and, as the legend warned, prove to be strong warriors. Dean moves to block his opponent’s swing with his angel blade and the angel blade shatters immediately, throwing Dean off. Castiel’s opponent says something and Cas calls that they claim their weapons have been forged by a god.
With no other weapon, Dean maintains his grip on what remains of his angel blade. He gets behind his opponent and manages to get the larger man to his knees and wrap him in a chokehold, but after a moment his opponent takes hold of Dean’s arm and hurls him over his shoulder. Meanwhil, Cas continues sparring with the other brother, managing to keep his own angel blade from taking a direct hit and therefore keeping it intact, but he himself is knocked off his feet. Dean is able to disarm his opponent, snatches up the sword, and takes advantage of the man’s brief distraction to lop off his head.
Cas’s opponent stands over him, declaring his regret over having to kill a beautiful opponent, as he prepares to impale Castiel with his sword. Instead Dean runs the other sword through the man’s heart, killing him instantly, and the man falls to the ground. Cas stares up at Dean and Dean replies “forged by God, touched by God, same thing.” Catching his breath, Cas moves to extract the man’s heart since that’s what they’re after. But when he opens the wound Dean made a sand-like substance falls out instead. Meaning Gog and Magog were never human, but were instead primitive beings made from rock and sand. Something Dean’s never heard, which Castiel brushes off as he’d believed them extinct after The Flood. But this is a bigger problem, because it means they never had hearts in the first place.
As Sam carefully adds the required ingredients into a bowl, Donatello returns to the room, coming up from behind him. Donatello sees Sam’s phone buzzing on the other table, showing that Dean’s calling, and silently dismisses the call a moment before Sam turns around, briefly, to inform Donatello that he’s done. With his back once more exposed, Donatello lifts a sturdy bottle from the table and hits Sam in the back of the head, tumbling him to the floor. Sam crashes and rolls, injured and confused but still conscious, as Donatello approaches him to finish him off.
Dean and Castiel return to the bunker to find a mess scattered across the two main sitting rooms, prompting Dean to call out in concern. Sam calls back from the further one, revealing himself to be sitting in a chair with an ice bag over his eye. When Dean asks the obvious question Sam informs them that Donatello attacked him, further confusing Dean, so Sam takes his brother and Cas to see what he means. He’s locked Donatello in the dungeon, where Donatello is muttering – and yelling – to himself, mostly unintelligibly. Sam, Dean, and Cas watch Donatello’s crazed pacing and ravings from a security camera in another room as Sam explains how Donatello attacked out of nowhere and wouldn’t stop, forcing him to lock the older man up for both their sakes.
Dean declares he believes it all to be a lie. Sam attempts to ask for clarification, and Castiel volunteers the information about Gog and Magog and how they could never have been a part of the spell. Furthermore, the only logical conclusion to draw from that is that Donatello wants them dead for reasons unknown.
Dean and Sam head into the dungeon to talk to Donatello, taking the necessary precaution of tying him to the chair to prevent him from attacking again. The brothers try appealing to him, telling him they don’t understand why he’s behaving this way and all they want is to help. But Donatello doesn’t believe them. He’s convinced that now that he’s seen the power of the tablet, now that knows the power of God’s word, the Winchesters want to take it from him. All they want is to use him. Sam tries reasoning with him as Donatello offers to show him some magic and mutters something with a flick of his wrist. Sam shakes his head, unaffected and disregarding the moment as more of Donatello’s sudden lunacy, but Dean reaches out and catches his sleeve, suddenly gasping desperately for air.
Realizing what’s happening, Sam rushes Dean from the room while Donatello laughs. Cas, watching from the other room on the laptop, also runs to help in case Dean needs healing. Sam props Dean up against the wall in the hallway as Cas joins them. Dean takes a better breath, and then another, indicating that the spell was either temporary or distance-based. Acknowledging that Dean is all right, Castiel turns a threatening glare into the open doorway and straight to Donatello.
Leaving Donatello in the dungeon, Castiel and the Winchesters regroup to figure out what exactly happened to their friendly old prophet. Their first concern is whether or not it’s possible for the demon tablet to have done this to him, but Cas refutes this notion, explaining that prophets are conduits for the Word of God, it passes right through them. Dean discounts the straight crazy theory, reasoning that while it was hard on Kevin Tran when he’d had to do it, it hadn’t driven him to this point. With Kevin in mind they try to compare what might be different between the two and Sam comes to the obvious conclusion – Donatello has no soul.
Castiel becomes immediately alarmed, as he had no idea Donatello was lacking a soul. When Dean asks if that makes a difference, Cas tells them in no uncertain terms that of course that’s bad. The prophet’s soul acts as a filter, protecting them from any lingering damage. Accepting their mistake, Dean cuts to the chase: what do they have to do to make it right? Cas doesn’t believe there’s anything that can be done.
In the midst of this, Sam suddenly sags forward against the table and mumbles, “we were so close.” Dean looks over at him, thrown off by the comment, and Sam clarifies that he’s referring to the plan. To figuring out the spell. To rescuing their mom and Jack. But now instead Donatello’s locked up because the tablet’s driven him mad because he has no soul and there’s no real coming back from that. Dean points out that Sam did, so Sam reminds Dean that was only because Dean basically forced Death to release Sam’s soul and put it back. Except Donatello’s soul was literally eaten and therefore cannot be retrieved.
Cas interrupts, arguing that Donatello has already been corrupted, and as he sees it it might be more merciful to put him down. With Donatello gone a new prophet would come into existence and they could start again. Dean and Sam look rather aghast at this suggestion and Sam declares “no killing!” Dean echoes his brother’s declaration with a look and, seeing that his suggestion has been revoked, Castiel relents with an angry “fine.” He strides from the room with a purpose, clearly having another idea. They call after him, asking what he’s doing, and Castiel replies he’s doing what he has to do. The response concerns the brothers and they chase after him, but Castiel gets to the dungeon first and locks the door behind him.
Alone with Donatello, Castiel confirms that they were given the wrong ingredients, as well as that Donatello knows the right ones. Donatello reminds Cas that he’s already been over this with Sam and Dean, implying he’s not going to give up what he has. Cas removes his trench coat, laying it carefully over a bench in the back corner, and informs Donatello that he isn’t Sam and Dean. Intrigued, Donatello asks Castiel’s plan, and Castiel explains that he’s going to “strip the spell” from Donatello’s mind, a technique Castiel had vowed never to use on a human without consent. For the first time Donatello shows fear, stumbling over his tongue to warn Cas that with all the power he’s absorbed he could kill them both. Cas acknowledges this possibility casually, clamps a hand over Donatello’s mouth when Donatello attempts a spell, and swears he will never again allow anyone to harm the people he loves as he presses his fingers to Donatello’s head.
The door to the dungeon opens as Cas finishes putting on his trench coat, revealing a still, open-mouthed Donatello behind him. Dean calls to him hesitantly, unsure of what happened, and Castiel approaches them, saying he knows what they need before walking out of the dungeon. The brothers go inside to check on Donatello.
Cas paces the main room of the bunker until Dean and Sam return with news. They’ve taken Donatello to a hospital and when they return they give him the news – he’s technically not dead, but he is brain dead. There are machines keeping him breathing. The brothers are obviously upset and Dean takes the initiative to ask Castiel what’s going on with him. Again Cas tells them Donatello was already corrupted, and with his soul missing there was nothing to be done for him. He asks the Winchesters if either of them knew Donatello was working with Asmodeus and both are clearly shocked at the news. Cas adds it hadn’t been Donatello’s choice, but nonetheless he was, and something had to be done about the situation.
Still in disagreement with Castiel’s choice, Dean asks Cas where he got the right. Cas says he didn’t have it, he took it. Because something had to be done and if he hadn’t they’d likely still be sitting around debating their options. Implying that, at least in his present state of mind, Castiel thinks they spend too much time strategizing and thinking and not enough time taking action. He reminds Dean that a war is coming, and he is a soldier. Then he tells them he got the spell from Donatello, and there are four major ingredients. The grace of an archangel, of course; a fruit from the tree of life; the Seal of Solomon; and the blood of a most holy man.
Castiel assures them that with these things they can open the rift, and with everyone together they can win. They can survive. Then reminds Dean, it’s like he said before. “Whatever it takes.”
What Does This Mean for the Future?
Well, if Cas is right, then a war is coming. A war with a super-powered Michael and an army of angels from another reality. No war is good, and Michael has proven to be vicious. Both Heaven and Earth are in for a rough time if Michael manages to cross over from his world.
Castiel himself is showing signs of desperation and a determination to accomplish the end goal regardless of means – indicating he’s likely headed down the road of self-sacrifice, at least if the opportunity presents itself. This mindset typically puts him also on the path of being capable of increasingly ruthless ‘acts of necessity.’ Which sets the stage for emotional drama and power plays.
Regardless, the hunt is still on for a way into the Apocalypse World to save Jack and Mary before it’s too late. This will inevitably end up in a showdown between the boys, Jack included, and Michael, but on which side of reality remains to be seen.
Jack continues to grow and learn what it means to stand for something and to fight back. He’s made a decision now knowing it’s putting him on a path of confrontation with Michael, willing to walk into that battle. Michael is incredibly powerful and incredibly dangerous, but Jack is a new breed of powerful as well. Michael will have the edge in what he’s willing to do, which could hurt Jack’s chances in a one-on-one battle. Unless Jack gets a better grasp on his full powers first. But it would be lovely to see Jack and Castiel team up to fight Michael together, an alternative to the coming battle that seems like a decent possibility as well.
Of course, Lucifer is always a wild-card in every sense of the term.
Final Thought: This episode did a lot while feeling as though it didn’t drag us through very much at all. At first watch it was good, at second watch it was better because I was better able to appreciate everything the episode did. I really like when you gain more insight the second time around!
It was good, and fairly satisfying, to get more time in Apocalypse World and see what’s going on with Jack and Mary. I’m glad we got to see their first actual conversation, and I love watching Jack continue to grow. He still has his young innocence and joviality for life, he still sees beauty in things most are blind to. But he’s coming to understand more about hardships and the need to stand and fight, something most evident by the end of the Apocalypse portion when he declares his intent to kill Michael. We’ve seen him develop a sort of idolization type respect for Sam and Dean, using them as role models for how he should be and the kinds of choices he should make. And he was right, Sam and Dean wouldn’t run away. They would stay and fight. Jack has so much potential to be a deep, dark, brooding and complicated character, but instead (at least for now) he’s still light and hopefully, like a breath of fresh air in comparison to so many others. It’s a beautiful contrast and I love the way he’s being handled.
Having Apocalypse World solidly defined for us as the world in which Sam and Dean were never born, where their non-existence is the difference and this is what would have been, was a great thing. I mean, isn’t it always nice to see how much of an impact they really do have? That aside, I’ll give credit where it’s due, and while I’m not a fan of Mary since her return, I appreciated her acknowledgment of the fact that she was – ultimately – responsible for so much of the pain her sons have been put through. The moment where she nearly mentioned it like a detached, impersonal event, but caught herself and adjusted her phrasing to personalize it. Whether or not it was the intent, I like to think it was her acknowledging that some of what Dean said to her last season, about hating her and loving her at the same time, has sunk in and resonated. I’d like to think that when the reunion comes, assuming she survives it, she’ll make more of an attempt to be a mother figure, as opposed to an absentee work associate.
Now for Bobby. I’m conflicted on Bobby. On one hand, obviously, yay! More Bobby! We’ve all missed our surly ol’ Bobby Singer and any chance to see that scraggly mug is great. And all of that stands true. But. Well, for as many similarities as the two Bobbys have, there are a few subtle differences and I’m just not as sure that I like this Bobby as much. It could boil down to being as simple as that the original Bobby already had affection for the boys when he was introduced and we as viewers didn’t need to work too hard to get past that grumpy exterior, whereas this Bobby – despite his obvious affection for Mary Campbell – really has less than no affection for Jack the Nephilim. I admit it could be that. Or maybe it’s something else I can’t find the name for, something that just … rubs me wrong. Either way, if it’s what we’re getting, I will endure, because at the end of the day: yay! More Bobby!
As for our boys in the real world, they had an interesting couple of days. Gog and Magog (really? I thought it was a joke for a good thirty seconds!) were like the comedy of the episode, and the obligatory fight scene, all rolled into one. I do love Dean’s sense of often awkward humor, even though this one was a bit heavy on the awkward. Really, Dean, “furry diapers”? It’s like he forgot they were about to be fighting these men for their lives. There’s going to have to be a reference to loincloths in Dean’s future, probably next season, which will make this joke infinitely funnier. But beyond this scene, which aside from the weird loincloth gag was pretty well done with the fighting choreography and the swordplay, the main events happened at the bunker.
Firstly, Keith Szarabajka (Donatello) did an amazing job of playing that mood-swinging, possessed-seeming, muttering, formerly mild-mannered professor! Supernatural has a cast of awesome actors (and actresses), but it’s always nice to give them credit for pulling off stunts like this when they switch around behavior roles in the same episode so superbly. Kevin Tran will always be my favorite prophet (since Chuck doesn’t count, cheater!), but I feel pretty sad for what happened to Donatello. Losing his soul and unwittingly becoming corrupted by the demon tablet, only to have his mind plowed through and leaving him in a less-than-alive, but not really dead, state. Which begs the question: does this mean no other prophet will come to be? Until Donatello officially passes, at least. Or does ‘brain dead and living under the power of machines’ count enough for the power to pass on? I suppose we’ll find out … the next time the series requires a prophet!
Which is as good a time as any to roll around to Castiel. Whoa. Let me say, I love badass, determined, get-outta-my-way, man-on-a-mission Castiel. I love protective, don’t-mess-with-me, Castiel. I guess you could say my favorite Cas is Cas of old. Not that I’ve disliked any Cas (any real Cas). And in this episode, it really felt like we got that Castiel, at least in terms of attitude, back. Which is great. Mostly. Kinda sad that he took it out on Donatello, even though he was probably right. Also a little hesitant because ultimately this is the Cas who went a bit too far with that ‘protective, do what I gotta do’ thing and, well … Leviathans. Need I say more? So let’s hope we see a variation of Cas who’s learned that lesson, but also has accepted that the shit has hit the fan and it’s time to step up to bat. Someone get him another Molotov.
Sam and Dean. I’m ping-ponging here. Of course, they’re focused on opening that doorway to rescue Mary and Jack. In its own way, it makes sense, for them, that that drive has taken precedence over defeating Lucifer. Yes, they’re worried about Michael, but they’re most worried about their family – and I love Jack’s inclusion here – and essentially they’ll deal with all the other stuff after. That is entirely like them, one of the things this fan loves about them. I can’t fault them for falling for Donatello’s fake spell. They’d had no prior reason not to trust the man, after all. Sure, he’d started acting strangely, but as Dean later pointed out, the tablets freaked Kevin out, too, so that wasn’t a warning bell. Where I do start to question something is on the whole idea of calling him without at least communicating with their angel friend first.
The Winchesters have been through a lot. Like – a LOT – of bad things. Including lost souls. Sam’s lived it, Dean’s witnessed it, both should have a modicum of understanding it. So while I get that their first thought was ‘we don’t have the angel tablet, but we do have the demon tablet, and we know the prophet, let’s call him up,’ I think before actually presenting it, one of them should have had a second thought. That thought being to ask Castiel: hey, by the way, our prophet Donatello kinda had his soul eaten by Amara a while back, is it cool if he reads the demon tablet? Because, hey, demon energy corrupts. (C’mon, Sam, you of all people should know this!) So for that, I do fault them. They’re smart enough to figure that out, at least to the degree of suspicion and investigation.
The other part of my ‘boys, really?’ feeling this week is their big ‘no killing!’ and associated ‘what the hell, Cas!’ reactions. Because, honestly, what the hell, Winchesters? Earlier this season, Dean, you held a gun to a teenage girl’s head and basically kidnapped her to get her to open a portal in your desperation to rescue your mom. You’ve both done some epically dumb, crazy dangerous, mighty sketchy things in the name of saving each other – not to mention saving the world. If ever there were a Pot Meet Kettle situation on this show, I do believe we’ve just witnessed it, folks! Yeah, sure, it’s nice to see the boys value a life (not that they don’t value life, of course), but I think most of their indignation was out of guilt. If Sam were the one in Apocalypse World, and Dean had the power to do what Cas did? You know damn well he’d have done it.
Despite that, I really liked seeing Cas stand up for himself and his choice without the whole thing turning into a giant argument and someone storming angrily away. We’ve had all of those in past seasons, after all, and those poor reactions only cause more harm than good.
So here we are. On the brink of war, unprepared, all sides bracing and scrambling for literally the same thing under a different label. It’s gonna be a doozy. And hey, I think I’m late to the party, I admit it, but I realized this week that Asmodeus probably isn’t this season’s real villain. Which means we have to deal with Creepy Colonel Sanders at least one more year….
Supernatural airs on The CW on Thursdays. Check your local listings for times.
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