I haven’t been that tense during an episode of Supernatural in a while. What a doozy! There’s a lot to unpack about the ending of Supernatural Season 13 so lets start from the beginning.
The beginning recap intro started with a Dean voiceover, which basically sounded like “If you haven’t been watching this show religiously up to this point, you’re about to be real confused.” And it’s true. With a long run like this show has, the avid viewer is rewarded with references to the past and old characters and once-forgotten storylines being brought back front and center.
For the montage of intro sequences, they added a lot of Scooby-Doo, which had no bearing on the season story arc, and shots of the Wayward Sisters. It makes me wonder if this intro was compiled before it was clear the Wayward Sisters spinoff was axed.
The beginning of the episode is at a slower pace, feeling like a regular episode. Sam coaches the inhabitants of Apocalypse World on current events, glossing over how The Shape of Water won best picture and the President is a reality star. Political jokes aside, it at least serves to update these newcomers.
Then we have our typical inciting incident – a body is discovered, and it’s one of the Apocalypse Worlders. This easily could have been the first act of any middle-of-the-road-episode. But of course, it’s not.
The murder distracts us from Michael’s impending arrival. It leads Jack to confront and hurt the wrong person. Jack is immediately shamed by his tendency to lash out. As he hits himself in the woods, you get the feeling again that maybe Jack will go over the deep end. Maybe he still has the potential for evil. So of course his neglectful Dad shows up to offer him toys and sweet vacations. “Like Star Wars?” He offered him a lightsaber… temptation, much? This is when Jack is most vulnerable, so Lucifer has a prime opportunity to corrupt his son.
It is Jack’s human side that, in the end, makes all the difference. When Lucifer is revealed to be the manipulator he has always been, Jack loses all interest in connecting with his old man. Of course, Lucifer never really wanted Jack – he wanted his power. He siphons his kid before the big ending battle.
The finale made a big callback to a major story arc that was built up and dropped quicker than Adam into the Pit (too soon?). Back in season five, Zachariah broke the news that Dean would be Michael’s vessel – the Michael Sword – while Sam was destined to be Lucifer’s meat suit. After season five, we didn’t get nearly as much of that “destined to be vessels” stuff, because Lucifer was killed off (or so we thought) and Michael was trapped forever in the Pit (or … well you get the idea).
In season 13 we pick that storyline back up, when a broken Apocalypse Michael and Dean make a deal. This leads to a pretty great clash of the titans. Seeing Dean enter the scene all glowy and angel-winged was a fangirl delight that was surely GIF’d as soon as it appeared on TV screens. It was a great fight; even though I have to overlook the rather sloppy wirework they did up in the air where it was obvious Dean/Michael and Lucifer were supported in harnesses.
This was preceded by a tense moment when Sam and Jack are given the choice to kill the other to survive. This was the last moment in the “Will Jack become evil?” thread. I’m happy to say he didn’t. Sam wouldn’t kill Jack because: “He’s family.”
Family has always been such an important thematic quality in Supernatural. That’s probably one of the reasons why the fandom is designated “The Supernatural Family” instead of something like “Trekkies.” The Winchester family has grown and been cut by tragedy over the years, but it has evolved into something even more special. The fact that Dean and Sam could adopt Lucifer’s child as one of their own is incredibly touching. It illustrates just how far they’ve come. They used to blindly believe all supernatural beings were evil.
Here’s where the ending uprooted my season-long prediction of what season 14 would bring. I’ve been predicting right along that Apocalypse Michael would be the Big Bad of next year. He’s been thoroughly set up. What I didn’t expect was that he’d claim himself a new vessel.
When everything finally seems to be alright, Dean hunches over in a great internal struggle. “We had a deal!” he shouts before calmly standing upright again. His body language – hell even his face – shows he is a different man now. Later, he’s shown wearing something out of character – almost 1940s style classy suit and hat combo. Certainly dashing. Dean has been pushed aside so Michael could claim his ultimate vessel. We knew a deal made with the evil archangel was shaky at best, but still we hoped.
There’s no umbrella drinks and Hawaiian shirts in your near future. See you on the other side, boys.