This Supernatural review contains spoilers.
Supernatural Season 14 Episode 14
Supernatural returned on what felt like a monster-of-the-week episode. Our monster was that of the Gorgon, a creature you and Dean remember from Greek myth and movies like Clash of the Titans. The Supernatural-ized version of the Gorgon was a suave dude with a pet snake who went on human eating binges from time to time, prefering men because “Women are so cautious these days.” You go girls!
On the case with the Winchesters are Jack and Cas, and it quickly becomes clear that the majority of the episode is Jack-centric. Jack is shown utilizing his grace-fueled powers to heal himself and others, a dangerous tactic that is literally wearing away what’s left of his soul.
Faced with Dean’s decision to destroy himself if there’s no other way to stop Michael, Jack deals with loss the way a real kid would. Cas, the surrogate father, steps in to offer his words of wisdom, and explain why experiencing loss is part of growing up. Cas tells Jack, “The point is that they were here at all and you got to know them. When they are gone it will hurt, but that hurt will remind you how much you loved them.” Jack responds, “That sounds awful,” You can tell he’s made up his mind that he won’t allow it to get that far.
Wrapped up in the Jack story is our Gorgon guy who tells him the story of the chicken and the snake. It’s a story of greed and it’s a story about how you might need to sacrifice what you love in order to destroy what you hate. Jack doesn’t see the connection at first, but for the viewer it’s clear: Jack will destroy his own tenuous hold on his soul in order to deal with Michael.
Although Dean has some really heart wrenching moments, including getting his noggin’ knocked so hard he loses grip on a pesky angel, I do question how Dean willfully kept Michael at bay as long as he had. I know he says he barely sleeps anymore but if he always has to be on guard, how did he sleep at all? Am I reading too much into this? The answer is yes, because that’s what this show has done to me. I question everything, looking for clues to where we’re going, piecing together what was set up and hinted at before.
With the return of our main cast after the Daddy Winchester episode, we also got Hunter HQ full of the interdimensional hunters again. Sam reports in and here’s that all is quiet in the bunker. Of course things have to go so South they’re subterranean. And I hate that they set up this Maggie character so well and then kill her off. I had a feeling it would happen, I just didn’t want it to happen yet. She was set up just to be another Michael casualty.
Joining the Winchesters and Cas was Rowena, who usually resurfaces in magic-centric episodes or when she’s needed for particularly strong spellwork. At first her assistance in this episode was unclear — she was mostly just tracking the Gorgon as he traveled. When Rowena questions how Jack is back on his feet and what’s holding him together, she issues the warning that the Winchesters are messing with forces they don’t understand.
It would have been exceedingly strange to hear this warning any earlier than this. Rowena is a pretty selfish person, typically. She never showed too much in the way of caring for others. She’s changed though.
“Until very recently, I was the villain,” Rowena said. Supernatural is great in utilizing its villains as uneasy allies and occasional turncoats. Sam and Dean have worked alongside Lucifer, Crowley and the evil witch Rowena so they can all attain their ends. It’s part of the evolution of the show. Having Rowena say this in the episode is important, however, because not only has she really come full circle, helping the boys when there’s no conceivable gain for herself, but also by showing concern for Jack when she used to want him gone. Michael later reinforces this, threatening everyone in the bunker and killing who Rowena cares about. It makes Michael’s possession of her more bittersweet.
Surely this possession of a powerful witch would mean the boys would have to chase down a Michael amped up with witch powers in addition to his own. No? Oh. The warnings about Jack using his powers are fulfilled by the conclusion of this episode, as Jack faces down Rowena-Michael.
It’s frightening to see, because you know he’s burning off what makes Jack Jack. Without a soul, he’d be a real danger, but we’d also lose the adopted member of the Winchesters, and that would hurt. We’ve gotten to know him, and we want to protect him as much as the Winchesters and Cas do.
Michael’s swan son kills off a number of forgettable hunters (and Maggie) but ends up in a mysterious point of the season. Why episode 14? Will he mysteriously return? Will integrating Michael’s grace into Jack inevitably corrupt Jack, making him next seasons’ antagonist? The odd timing of it all does make me wonder.