This Supernatural review contains spoilers.
Supernatural Season 13 Episode 19
The Winchesters and Castiel search for allies to help with their multifaceted problem of rescuing Jack and Mary and holding back the dictatorial Michael. Sam and Dean tackle finding Rowena, who won’t answer her cell, while Cas heads up to Heaven to recruit the angels. Things do not go well for anyone.
I didn’t love this episode, and so I’m trying to unpack exactly why. It wasn’t terrible, that’s for sure. It was treated with high stakes and humor that kept things interesting. I did enjoy Dean’s fight with Rowena’s crony. It was filmed in such a way as to highlight points of the fight. I liked the low camera catching Dean sliding on the floor, or the straight on shot for the sight gag of the elevator doors opening and closing during the fight. I just didn’t feel wowed by the story here. The stakes were artificially high because I didn’t really believe the consequences.
Rowena’s indiscriminate killing of people and reapers had the high stakes of screwing up fate and causing a potential mass extinction due to the butterfly effect. The murdered reapers was a bit of a throwaway. It was shocking at first, but then fizzled out towards the end. I also wonder if Rowena’s actions really will twist fate, or whether this was just an instance of raising the stakes for this one episode.
I still have trouble believing Rowena wants Crowley back. Is it just me? While he was around, she just used him or hated him. Now that he’s gone, she’s so upset and wants to give him a good life? She feels remorse now? It’s a drastic character motivation change. Actress Ruth Connell still does a bang-up job with portraying the fraught, vengeful mother, but storywise I’m not sure I buy it. She does have one great line that really encapsulates her character: “I’m a flawed, evil, petty creature, Samuel. I don’t know if I can be redeemed.”
Something major does happen in Castiel’s side of the story. He finds out exactly how many angels are left. Only nine angels reside in Heaven, and about two are on Earth. When they said their numbers were low, they weren’t kidding. We blew through quite a few angels in the past few years. Now the consequences include some really agoraphobic angels and the whole works of Heaven shutting down, including the eternal resting place for all the deceased souls of Earth.
The only way to get more angels is if God gets off vacation with his sister (not likely) or angels breeding with humans to create nephilim, which is another moral no-no for them. They really are stuck between a rock and a heavenly place.
The logistical problems of Heaven shutting down are staggering. Billions of souls would fall back to Earth. Then what? Would the entire world be mega-haunted because of it? Would Season 14 (because we’re officially getting that season) be inundated with more ghosts per capita than a Ghost Whisperer can shake a stick at?
Oh, and I must mention this: Dean telling Rowena that Sam will be her killer was a really poor choice. You don’t give away a piece of intel like that!
Other bright spots included the badass Billie, a lighthearted reaper named Jessica (What Sam, no flashbacks? That name doesn’t do anything for you now?) and Naomi as a reasonable, if more defeated angel.
It may not have been the best episode, but at least we have an inkling of where the remainder of the season is going. Heaven help us all (if it can somehow help itself). Michael is definitely going to be kicking down our door.