This Supernatural review contains spoilers!
Supernatural Season 15 Episode 15
Sam and Dean take a little backseat to this week’s episode directed by Supernatural alum Matt Cohen. Jack and Castiel are where the majority of the story takes place as they investigate a series of gruesome murders connected to a church.
It’s a feel-good moment to have a Jack/Cass adventure this week. We didn’t see Cass when the season restarted this month, cueing a fun confused reaction on his face when the boys mention the Mrs. Butters incident. Castiel used to be the source of all the awkward comedy when he tried to imitate the Winchesters as fake FBI agents. In this case, with Jack and Cass on their own, there was no human to act as a filter for the weird things they say while investigating the case. It’s incredible angels stayed secret for so long. They’re not particularly good liars.
Jack’s endearing innocence translated to him making a connection with the pastor’s daughter while investigating the murders of the church members. As cringe-worthy as his introduction involving Kool-Aid was, he was able to bridge a gap between himself and the pastor’s daughter over shared trauma—the death of a loved one. In his case, that was his mother. It’s nice to hear Jack is still affected by her passing, even though it happened before he could meet her. Kelly is the major reason why Jack has a good heart, and embracing that fact is good for his character.
Relegated to the B story for a time, Sam and Dean take a trip to Atlantic City, to follow up on a loose hunch on Amara’s whereabouts. Who knew the antithesis of God was such a fan of Keno? But it’s in Pennsylvania when Sam and Dean run into her, as she decides to seek them out. It’s really difficult to sneak up on such a cosmic being, afterall. Seeing Amara again is like a punch to the gut. Another note ringing out, signaling the end that is coming.
Emily Swallow’s depiction of the character has suitably evolved to this point, starting out as this otherworldly, alien being, to a woman of the world, enjoying the simple pleasures of a life she missed out on. She makes a very important point to the boys though, who now see her as more of a person than they used to. Basically what they see here is a woman, but they can’t grasp the enormity of her power. The same is true of her brother Chuck.
Seeing the boys trying to convince the Darkness to help them take out Chuck (at least, that’s what they want her to think) is one thing. The real emotional gravitas is placed on Dean’s solo chat with Amara. Dean demanded a reason for her bringing Mary back to the land of the living, only to have her killed later on. What, he demanded, was the point? What did she want him to learn from that tragedy?
Amara’s response was perfect. Bringing Mary back was not an underhanded way for Dean to suffer the pain of her loss again. It was a lesson in learning the truth about his mother, seeing how she was better than even his memory depicted. The biggest lesson was in accepting his life now, as it is. Not living in a past, wondering how things couldn’t have been different if she’d survived all those years ago.
A recurring storyline in Supernatural is this “what if” scenario. What if the boys never lost their mother to that demon? What if they could have avoided the deal and the curse and the many years of hardship? What if they’d never become hunters? These what if scenarios usually paint the Winchesters as happier, but missing out on that special something. Nature vs Nurture arguments thrown aside for a second—these boys were always meant for something more. And that is part of Dean’s issue.
Dean describes himself, his brother, and all the major players as stuck in a story. Chuck’s story. It sounds very defeatist, but this thought of the battle of free will versus Chuck’s plan is constant, ever since the concept of Heaven and angels became a central throughpoint for the show. It presents a real-world writing problem too—how do you come to a satisfying conclusion for your characters when they’re convinced they don’t truly have free will?
The question then becomes—is the ultimate surprise that they had free will all along? Afterall, Sam and Dean never went along with the Cain and Abel storyline, the Michael/Lucifer fight—really at every turn the boys have always defied someone else’s expectations and gone out swinging. This reviewer is excited to see that conclusion come to pass in the biggest way, wrapping up 15 years of story that began simply as two brothers searching for their missing father, and ultimately ending with them facing down against the ultimate Father for the fate of the universe.
No pressure boys, but there’s only five episodes left.