This reviewer doesn’t know if androids dream of electric sheep; however, Dean Winchester dreams of being locked in a forever cage in the depths of the ocean. The claustrophobia of that opening scene alone was enough to give me the willies. It also puts a dab of extra terror into Dean’s plan to put Michael — and himself — in an undersea death trap.
It’s also very fitting in this episode of Supernatural that drowning is a bit of a theme in the case the Winchesters investigate — one of the victims was even drowned in salt water. Couple that with what’s going on with the prophet Donatello’s coma and we’ve got lots of things poking at Dean’s plan. Donatello’s coma state is what really puts the pressure on the boys, when they have to decide whether to pull the plug or not. Sam describes him trapped between life and death and how he can’t imagine it, and Dean remarks that nothing has changed. Same plan as usual.
This all coupled with the fact that the Winchesters are literally towing that box around with the Impala wherever they go. It’s a visual metaphor for the plight weighing down their consciences and the dual role it serves. For Dean, that box represents his responsibility to the world, and his inevitable and horrible demise. To Sam, the box is a physical manifestation of Dean’s quitter attitude.
The trap for Michael is constantly weighing on them. Early in the episode, Sam wants to skip the conversations that sounds like “Death bed apologies” from Dean. I get it but harsh, Sam. Your brother feels he needs to have this time to clear the air, you may as well give him the opportunity.
In our B-story, Nick continues his shenanigans, and being arrested and hospitalized haven’t slowed the guy down yet. Nick is scary good at escaping handcuffs. He’s also talented at being sympathetic and endearing to the point of base manipulation. He tells the officer in the hospital that he’s got a bum leg and handcuffs, what could he possibly do? Escape spectacularly of course.
Nick finally visits his old home. How fitting that he breaks through a stained glass window in the door shaped like a cross? Ever since accepting Lucifer the first time, he’s turned his back on normalcy and the right way of things. Breaking a literal cross is a great visual metaphor.
Let’s not gloss over the fact that the house is haunted by Nick’s wife. That alone isn’t enough to twist our poor fragile feelings regarding the Nick saga, because a new wrinkle emerges. Nick, who should be overjoyed at a chance to talk to his wife, tearfully asks, “Lucifer?” Her disappointment is palpable. Nick is so far gone, he is no longer pretending all this mayhem is to get vengeance for his family. Nick’s gotten some serious Beauty and the Beast Stockholm Syndrome from his time with Lucifer, and now that’s all he wants. Like a true marital spat over a mistress, Nick and Sara argue about his infatuation with Lucifer.
Decisions and motivations changed for most of our characters in this episode. A poorly made prophet is shown the error of his ways. Nick has turned his back on his Earthly connection to his family in pursuit of the epitome of evil. Most importantly, Sam finally convinces Dean to change his mind. This episode was a punch to the face followed swiftly by an embrace. The Winchester way.